House Democrats led the way in passing significant legislation during the 2016 session of the General Assembly to help protect and improve the quality of life for Connecticut families.
This was a session dominated by the budget. Although there were no easy solutions, we approved a budget that is balanced, without tax or fee increases, without borrowing, and without dipping into the Rainy Day Fund. Although this budget has over $830 million in painful cuts, the savings will reduce the projected deficit in our next budget.
Improving public health, increasing public safety, and encouraging financial security for everyone were featured elements of some of the major bills approved by the legislature this year.
With over 600,000 private sector Connecticut workers lacking an employer-based retirement plan, we created a voluntary program to help encourage and assist people to save for retirement. There is no cost to taxpayers for the program, and the bill was a top priority of AARP.
Keeping Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family is our ongoing responsibility. Though the 2016 legislative session presented one of the toughest budget challenges in decades, we succeeded to help move our state forward.
Thank you for your support,
Tackling The Opioid Epidemic
In recent years, Connecticut, like other New England states, has seen a heartbreaking increase in fatal opioid overdoses. Earlier this year we passed groundbreaking legislation to combat this crisis.
This lifesaving law will:
Increase access to Narcan, a drug that reverses opioid abuse, and:
- Allows any licensed healthcare professional to administer Narcan.
- Requires municipalities to equip their first responders with Narcan.
- Allows pharmacists to prescribe Narcan.
Limit opioid prescriptions and reduce the risk of addiction. It:
- Caps first-time adult prescriptions at a seven-day supply.
- Caps all prescriptions for minors at a seven-day supply.
- Contains exceptions for certain medical conditions.
Add more on-the-ground experts to the Connecticut Alcohol and Drug Policy Council, such as:
- An emergency medical technician.
- A licensed drug and alcohol counselor.
While there is still more work to be done, this legislation is a historic step forward in both combatting opioid abuse and preventing new cases of opioid addiction.
Promoting Clean, Reliable Energy
We are making a great deal of progress in promoting clean, reliable energy. Several laws provide incentives in the form of credits for excess electricity generated through clean sources such as solar and wind. These monetary incentives will help to expand the use of clean, renewable energy while keeping our environment clean.
Ban The Box
An Act Concerning Fair Chance Employment was created to prevent employers from requiring people to disclose a criminal record when first applying for a job. On job applications, people are frequently asked to “check the box” for any arrests or convictions. Under this legislation, the box would be banned and employers would be prohibited from inquiring about a criminal record during the initial application process (but would still have the ability to inquire about criminal history during the interview process). Some employers, such as law enforcement and school districts, which are required to verify an applicant’s criminal history, would be exempt.
Supporting Connecticut's Growing Manufacturing Sector
The manufacturing industry is making a comeback and we are working to ensure there is a strong and educated workforce for the increasingly high-tech jobs of the future. In order to meet the growing demand of manufacturers, we established a committee that will educate middle and high school students about careers in manufacturing, provide manufacturing training, and study workforce needs to introduce students and their parents to careers in manufacturing.