Dear Neighbor,

The 2018 Legislative Session was “short” in duration but “long” on substance. One of our signature accomplishments was a bipartisan budget agreement (for the second consecutive year!) that will strengthen our state’s financial footing. The budget agreement does not raise the sales tax or income tax and restores municipal aid and education funding that would have been cut beginning July 1st.

Other noteworthy achievements include legislation to address the pay disparity between men and women who perform the same work; expand the use of mobile manufacturing labs to community colleges and public schools across the state so that students can learn skills necessary  in manufacturing and other industries.

Over the last two years I have worked tirelessly with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do what’s best for Bozrah, Montville, Norwich and all of Connecticut. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of service to you or your family. It is my honor to serve our community.

Sincerely,


Investing In Middle Class Families

  • In response to President Trump’s tax law, we passed legislation to protect, as much as possible, the state and local tax deduction. Changes to the deduction on the federal level will likely increase taxes on families in our community. Now, municipalities can establish non-profit, charity-type programs that will qualify for federal deductions – reducing your federal tax burden and preserving local services. The IRS is already pushing back on these efforts, so I will keep working on it. PA 18-49 Sec. 10
  • Women still earn less than men. This is perpetuated by the practice of asking for salary history during the hiring process, ensuring that women who were underpaid at their first job continue to be underpaid. We strengthened our pay equity laws by preventing employers from asking about wage history. PA 18-8

Protecting Health Care

  • We all deserve healthcare coverage, that’s why the Affordable Care Act contains 10 essential health benefits, including maternity care, newborn care, prescription drug coverage, mental health services and chronic disease management. With Congress and the President working to dismantle ACA, we passed legislation to safeguard these benefits in Connecticut with healthcare insurance policies continuing to cover these basic services. PA 18-10
  • Connecticut has a high rate of breast cancer among the 50 states. We redefined ‘mammogram’ to include tomosynthesis – a three dimensional image proven particularly useful for women with dense breast tissue and known to reduce the rate of false positive test results. By requiring insurance companies to cover all forms of mammograms, we can reduce out-of-pocket costs and achieve more early detection. PA 18-159
  • In an effort to ensure pregnant women have access to health insurance, we passed legislation allowing them to obtain coverage under a special enrollment period within 30 days of an official medical confirmation of pregnancy. Allowing enrollment at any time of year lessens the financial burden and stress of being without pregnancy coverage. PA 18-43

Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence And Sexual Assault

  • If you are a victim of domestic violence, you shouldn’t have to fear being arrested if you call the police. In Connecticut, nearly 20% of domestic violence victims are arrested along with their alleged abuser. An updated law now directs police to arrest the person they identify as the dominant aggressor. PA 18-5
  • We improved the system for collecting, transferring and analyzing sexual assault evidence kits. Now, anyone identifying themselves as a sexual assault victim at a healthcare facility must be directed to a counselor for help. PA 18-83
  • State Police are now required to implement an electronic tracking system for sexual assault evidence collection kits. Combined, these laws improve our system of supporting victims and identifying perpetrators. PA 18-83

Prescription Drug Costs

Recognizing that prescription drug prices are the number one driver of rising healthcare costs, we passed legislation to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by increasing transparency and requiring them to explain large price increases for drugs that have a substantial cost to the state. Additionally, insurance companies must now submit information about which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which are provided at the greatest cost. By collecting more data and holding drug companies accountable, we can get closer to lowering drug costs for Connecticut residents. PA 18-41


Fighting The Opioid Epidemic

  • In the ongoing fight against opioid abuse, the legislature approved initiatives to curb their use while improving state and local response and intervention. Prescribers are now prohibited from writing prescriptions for immediate family members. The availability and use of overdose-reversing treatments such as Narcan has been broadened. PA 18-166
  • More than 60,000 residents sought treatment for substance abuse in 2016 making it a challenge to provide adequate treatment and recovery services. To help address this, we set up a system where sober homes can register with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Families can now find out if a sober home is registered with the state. It also establishes marketing and advertising restrictions that have the consumer’s best interests in mind. Sober homes must also have Narcan onsite and residents must be trained in its use. PA 18-171

Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)