Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been an honor to continue to represent you in the Connecticut General Assembly. There were many intensely debated issues this legislative session and it was a privilege to represent the people of New Britain in each of those discussions.
We have continued to make important investments in Connecticut’s economy by extending tax credits for manufacturing apprenticeship programs that will give students access to the manufacturing skills necessary for high paying jobs. We are also assisting companies by streamlining the permitting process for businesses in order to expedite their access to the permits needed to start and create jobs.
We kept our promises about fixing local transportation problems by shoring up funds in the Special Transportation Fund and increased Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding for our schools in New Britain. These investments are critical to growing our economy as businesses will not come to Connecticut if their employees cannot get to work in a safe and timely manner and if we do not have an educated workforce ready to fill 21st century jobs.
As always I have been on the forefront of fighting for women’s health issues, pay equity, earned family leave, and an increase to a $15 minimum wage. I will continue to fight until we have achieved all of these goals!
As always, I welcome your input and appreciate all those who have contacted me over the last year. Please continue to reach out at any time.
Thank you for your support,
Investing In Middle Class Families
- Women, and especially women of color, 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, placing all workers on a level playing field. (PA 18-8)
- 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, New Britain can establish non-profit, charity-type programs that will qualify for federal deductions – reducing your federal tax burden and preserving local services. Unfortunately, the IRS is already pushing back on this. However, I will continue to fight for tax fairness. (PA 18-49)
- We partnered with the business community on earned family leave so anyone working in Connecticut would be able to take paid time off when they or a loved one gets sick. I expect this effort to continue in the next term. I supported a proposal to raise the minimum wage, too, so no one working full time has to live in poverty. Unfortunately, neither of these proposals became law, but I will continue to support them.
Prescription Drug Costs
- Recognizing that prescription drug prices are the number one driver of rising healthcare costs, we passed legislation to hold pharmacy benefit 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)
- To encourage student interest in manufacturing, we’re working to develop mobile manufacturing training labs to visit middle schools and high schools. This adds to our investment in community colleges, technical high schools, and awareness that technical education and career training can lead to good-paying, career-long jobs. (PA 18-24)
Protecting Women’s Health Care
- Americans are entitled to 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 one of the highest rates 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. This means healthier babies are being born. (PA 18-43)