Dear Neighbor,

We passed significant legislation during the 2016 session of the General Assembly to help protect and improve the quality of life for Connecticut families.

Although this was a session dominated by the budget, we were able to work together to pass many laws that will help our students, seniors, and veterans.

We worked hard to keep Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family, despite presenting one of the toughest fiscal challenges in decades.

I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. As always, please do not hesitate to call if I can ever be of assistance.

Sincerely,


Hospitals

Supplemental payments to hospitals has been a political football since last year.  We met in special session in December and made sure hospitals would be fully funded.  But when the state budget deficit began to increase, the Governor cut those funds.  It’s been back and forth ever since with all of the money restored, then cut, then partially restored.  As it stands now, Day Kimball Hospital is set to receive almost all of its funding.


Housing

  • Nearly $5 million will go toward new housing construction projects in Killingly, including units targeted for homeless veterans.
  • Killingly and Thompson will also receive funding for updates and repairs to their senior housing units.

These projects will go a long way toward helping people in need of a quality and affordable living space.


Dyslexia

This year we worked to pass a law that requires reading teachers to have completed a course that includes instruction on the detection and literacy interventions for students with dyslexia.

I strongly support efforts to improve childhood literacy in our state. This legislation takes us one-step closer to providing all children the opportunity to become life-long readers.


Opioids

Over the past year I have been meeting monthly with various groups in our area regarding the state’s opioid epidemic. To combat this crisis, I co-sponsored legislation that will allow any licensed healthcare professional to administer drugs that reverse opioid overdoses, require towns to equip first responders with the reversal drug Narcan, and cap first-time opioid prescriptions at 7 days.


Veterans

We must never forget the service of our military veterans. Veterans return with skills that can be applied to a variety of professions. This year, we passed legislation that will help veterans find good private sector jobs. To accomplish this, the state Labor Commissioner will establish the Special Operations Resources Network to help our veterans find jobs that match their unique skill sets.


Seniors

As Vice-Chair of the Aging Committee, I want to make sure that our elderly residents live out their days with dignity.  We passed several pieces of legislation aimed at preserving the quality of life for seniors. Here’s what we did:

  • Residents and/or patients of long-term care and nursing home facilities must be notified when these facilities are closing or downsizing.  
  • Nursing homes are now required to provide discharged patients the opportunity to designate a caregiver who will carry out post-discharge tasks. This will free up nursing home and hospital space while giving patients the chance to be home with their families and receive continued care.

Consumer Protection

We passed the following legislation to ensure consumers are not being taken advantage of:

  • Electric ratepayers that subscribe to a Shared Clean Energy Facility Pilot program, administered by the electric distribution companies (i.e. Eversource), may have billing credits applied directly to their electric meter.
  • Licensing for installers of residential stair lifts – this law will make it easier for homeowners to have stair lifts installed in their homes by allowing more contractors to be licensed to perform these installations.
  • Concrete Foundations – a new law requires an applicant for a certificate of occupancy, for a new building with a concrete foundation, to include documentation of the companies that supplied and installed the concrete. It also requires the Department of Consumer Protection to investigate the cause of any failing concrete foundations.