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, and will invest in education and provide fiscal stability with no income or broad based sales tax increases, 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.
As a member of the Appropriations, Public Health and Energy & Technology Committees, we passed bills to protect our youth from tobacco before the age of 21, sought to maintain health insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions, and passed legislation which provides health insurance for mental health and substance use issues on par with medical coverage. I’m particularly proud of legislation we passed on physician education of initial symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer which will help to save lives.
I appreciate hearing from you about the issues that matter. I look forward to continuing these conversations. Please do not hesitate to reach out by email, phone or social media.
Preserving and Increasing Funding For New Britain
|PILOT: State-Owned Real Property||$2,996,392||$2,996,392|
|PILOT: Colleges & Hospitals||$2,066,516||$2,066,516|
|Municipal Transition Grant||$1,771,221||$1,758,937|
|Municipal Stabilization Grant||$2,176,332||$2,176,332|
|Mashantucket Pequot And Mohegan Fund Grant||$1,980,822||$1,980,822|
|Education Cost Sharing||$91,857,909||$95,931,058|
Earned Family & Medical Leave
In the event of a medical emergency, Paid Family and Medical Leave will allow workers to care for themselves or a loved one without having to face the threat of financial ruin. By providing up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Insurance per year, equaling up to 95% of an employee’s weekly paycheck, Family Medical Leave will provide financial protection to those who find themselves in an unanticipated medical emergency. This will help pregnant women on medically-ordered bedrest, families with an infirm or aging parent, and new parents who want to bond with their newborn. The program is funded by employee contributions. Under the program, benefits for leave will begin in January 2022. There will be financial peace-of-mind for families who find themselves with medical emergencies.
This year we continue to look at innovative ways to help address our environmental and energy challenges. We hope to create new and viable career opportunities in green jobs that benefit the environment, and help protect our planet for generations to come.
This legislation will:
- Create a Green Jobs Career ladder website with information on jobs available in Connecticut in the green technology industry.
- Extend renewable energy programs, including traditional net metering and the Green Bank’s renewable solar investment program.
- Expand the virtual net metering cap to reduce municipal energy costs.
- Require DOT to develop a land inventory on which lands are suitable for Class I energy resources such as putting solar panels on lands adjacent to state highways.
No one who works full time should live in poverty. That’s why I was proud to vote to raise the state’s minimum hourly wage to $15.00 an hour. This legislation will help over 300,000 Connecticut workers who make less than $15 an hour. The wage will increase on October 1, 2019 to $11 an hour, followed by incremental increases over the next 4½ years. Connecticut will be joining several other states across the nation including: California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, and Washington DC, that will phase in a minimum wage increase to $15 over the next several years.
This legislation will:
- Combat persistent pay disparities between races and genders
- Stimulate our economy
- Raise the minimum wage incrementally until it reaches $15.00 an hour on June 1, 2023
- Index future minimum wage increases
We all have a family member or know someone who has been affected by breast cancer. I supported legislation that will require health insurance coverage for ultrasound screenings for any woman who is 40 years or older. Coverage will be granted when the patient has a recommendation from her doctor, has a personal history of breast disease through the biopsy of a benign tumor, or has a family or personal history of breast cancer. The measure also prohibits insurance from charging co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for breast ultrasounds and mammograms.
Recognizing Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Legislation I championed this year adds screening for inflammatory breast cancer and gastrointestinal cancers, including colon, gastric, pancreatic and neuroendocrine cancers and other rare gastrointestinal tumors, to the required continuing education courses for physicians. In order to save lives, it’s important that we reduce the chances that our loved ones will be misdiagnosed.