Dear Neighbors,

This year’s legislative session has concluded. We passed new legislation that will shape our state for years to come. The headline from the session is the passage of a bipartisan budget, the second in two years.

We worked on policies that support small businesses, workforce development and make our state a place that we can proudly raise our families. I am committed to fighting for you to build a bright future for Connecticut and Bridgeport.

I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can be of service to you or your family. It is such an honor to serve our community.

Sincerely,


Bipartisan Budget

I’m proud to have voted for another bipartisan budget agreement that restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program, maintains the “Rainy Day” fund reserves at the highest level in over a decade and restores funding to the Energy Efficiency Fund. In addition, the agreement does not increase income, sales or other state taxes. Other highlights include:

  • Increases state aid for Bridgeport schools by over $1.3 million more than we received last year
  • Restores funding for the state’s health insurance program for working parents, known as HUSKY A
  • Prevents cuts to the Greater Bridgeport Transit system
  • Restores and protects funding for Summer Youth Employment programs
  • Provides funding for the towns and non-profits that are working with displaced students from Hurricane Maria

Minority Teacher Recruitment

This year we put into law many of the policies that the Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force and State Department of Education (SDE) have worked hard to implement over that past few years. These policies are aimed at developing a thriving and diverse teacher workforce in our state. The State Department of Education will work to develop new alternative routes to certification for paraprofessionals, charter school teachers and veterans. Additionally, SDE will work with vendors to allow certain teachers to retake their licensure test for free if they do not successfully pass the first time.


Pay Equity

Women still earn less than men. This inequity 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. This session we strengthened our pay equity laws by preventing employers from asking about wage history.


Fighting The Opioid Epidemic

In the ongoing fight against opioid abuse, the legislature approved a number of initiatives aimed at curbing use and saving lives. The new law prohibits prescribers from writing prescriptions for immediate family members and promotes the increased use of overdose-reversing treatments like Narcan.


Banning Bump Stocks

This session we took another step to build on our state’s strong commitment to gun violence prevention by banning bump stocks. Known for its use in the gruesome shooting in Las Vegas last year, these devises dramatically increase a gun’s destructive power by increasing its rate of fire. We responded by making it a crime to own or sell a bump stock, and other rate of fire enhancements.


Reducing 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. This landmark legislation creates a mechanism by which drug rebate savings are reflected in your premiums. Additionally, health carriers must submit information about which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which are most expensive. This is part of our overall effort to lower drug costs.


Protecting Victims Of Domestic Violence

If you are a victim of domestic violence, you shouldn’t have to fear being arrested if you call the police. However, nearly 20% of the time when a victim of domestic violence calls the police they are arrested along with their abuser. This year we’ve updated the law to discourage this practice and will now direct police to arrest the person who they identify as the dominant aggressor.


Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)