Dear Friends and Neighbors,
The 2019 legislative session has come to a close, and we have accomplished many of the goals set out in our Democratic agenda.
The budget passed on time, invests in our education system, and provides fiscal stability with no increase in income tax rates or cuts to municipal aid. It is not only balanced, but protects taxpayers into the future. We are protecting our most vulnerable, investing in the middle class, and encouraging economic growth for Connecticut.
We also passed legislation to give people with mental health and substance use disorders the same access to care as those with cancer and heart disease. Diseases of the brain and body need to be treated equally in society and by insurance companies.
We proposed legislation regulating prescription drug prices, but unfortunately it did not pass this session. No one in Connecticut should be forced to go without medications because they can’t afford them. We are proud to be working with AARP-CT, Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and others on this effort to lower drug prices for Connecticut seniors and consumers.
I am committed to standing for the families and seniors who live in the town of Norwalk and the state of CT. I appreciate your trust and will continue fighting for the concerns that touch you.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Too many families simply cannot afford to get sick. That’s why I proudly supported creating a family medical leave program that will provide replacement wages. This ensures patients and caregivers can take time off and make ends meet without having to face the threat of financial ruin.
Insurance Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions
This session, we required additional health insurance plans to provide coverage for pre-existing conditions. Passed unanimously, this protects Connecticut residents against any changes to federal law. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, if someone had a pre-existing or chronic condition, insurance companies could refuse to insure them – impacting fifty million people. As a result, hospital emergency rooms and Medicaid were forced to absorb these costs, resulting in higher prices for everyone.
This legislation will:
- Assure that patients receive treatment and insurance coverage for
- pre-existing conditions
- Codify federal Affordable Care Act protections
- Save lives and money
- Prohibit some types of short-term health insurance plans from containing a pre-existing condition provision
Meals on Wheels
We have increased funding for the state’s Meals on Wheels program in order to keep our seniors fed. A new law we passed will make sure that the Department of Public Health develops recommendations to track clients’ nutrition and quality of care.
Tackling Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
In order to ensure the proper care for seniors, we modified continuing education requirements for physicians to include diagnosing and treating cognitive conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, delirium, related cognitive impairments and geriatric depression.
African-American, Puerto Rican and Latino Studies
We are expanding social studies to include an important part of our shared culture: African-American, Puerto Rican and Latino history. Through the teaching of these curricula, we all become more aware of both the suffering and accomplishments of our fellow Americans. It helps all students to have a fuller picture of the challenges and resilience of our African -American and Latino populations. This also gives students of color the opportunity to learn more about their history and the significant contributions their cultures have made in Connecticut and the rest of the country.
Keeping People in Their Homes
We are helping families stay in their homes by extending the state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program for people facing tough times. Created during the 2008 recession to help those impacted by the housing market crisis, it requires mortgage lenders to use mediation to avoid foreclosures.
Foreclosures have affected many Connecticut homeowners from wealthy communities to inner cities. The program has assisted nearly 30,000 homeowners reach settlements with their lenders, allowing them to keep their homes.