The 2019 legislative session has come to a close, and we have accomplished legislative successes that will continue to move Waterbury and our state forward.
We worked to pass bipartisan legislation that improves the lives of working families, encourages economic growth, and makes critical investments in the future of our children, as well as our state.
As a member of the Education, Veterans and Energy & Technology Committees, I helped make investments in the middle class and workforce training programs while encouraging economic growth for Connecticut. We also increased the amount of state education aid by $6 million for the city of Waterbury.
I appreciate hearing about the issues that matter to you, and I look forward to continuing these conversations. Please do not hesitate to reach out by e-mail, phone or social media.
More Funding for Waterbury Schools!
Waterbury schools will receive an additional $6 million in Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) funding in FY 2020 and an additional $12 million in FY 2021. This will provide relief to our taxpayers while ensuring our special needs students get the resources they need to succeed.
Appropriated Education Funding To Waterbury, FY20 and FY21
|Education Cost Sharing||$136,201,264||143,020,652||$149,840,041|
Tax Exemption on Retirement Income
I heard from many residents that the rising cost of living was pushing them out of their homes and the community they love. I am happy to say that we will increase the income thresholds by which taxpayers may deduct Social Security income and phase out the pension and annuity tax.
Blight & The Creation of Land Bank Authorities
I was proud to co-sponsor this legislation that will allow municipalities to facilitate the return of vacant, abandoned, blighted, and tax-delinquent properties to be as productive and useful as they once were. (PA 19-175)
African-American, Black, Puerto Rican, Latino Studies and Holocaust Awareness
This year, I co-sponsored legislation to expand social studies to include an important part of our shared culture and American identity: African-American, Black, Puerto Rican and Latino history. Through these updated and far more inclusive curricula, we will bring the accomplishments, challenges and stories of communities often left out of the spotlight into Connecticut classrooms where these narratives rightfully belong. This much needed update will provide students with a better understanding of the histories of Black and Latino populations, which will in turn provide them with a better understanding of the complexities of our history as a whole.
Last year, legislation passed that brought Holocaust and genocide awareness into Connecticut school districts through a new social studies curriculum to teach our young people of these horrors. I am honored to continue this legacy of providing Connecticut students with big picture and historically accurate accounts of resilience that are inherent to our national narrative. (PA 19-12)
Getting Our Veterans the Help They Need
In-State Tuition for Military Families
Connecticut will grant in-state tuition to the spouses and children of service members stationed in the state who may get orders to move elsewhere. This legislation allows reduced tuition to stay with the student. (PA 19-172)
Property Tax Exemption for Service Members and Veterans with Disability Ratings
We increased the property tax exemption for certain disabled veterans and service members. This additional financial benefit will hopefully make Connecticut a little more affordable for those who have given so much for our country. (PA 19-171)
Making Women’s Health a Top Priority
This legislation will require health insurance coverage for breast ultrasounds for any woman who is 40 years or older, who 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. It also prohibits insurance companies from charging co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for breast ultrasounds and mammograms. (PA 19-117)
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. (PA 19-115)
Covering Police and Firefighters for PTSD
We passed legislation to provide workers’ compensation benefits for police officers, parole officers and firefighters suffering from PTSD due to events in the line of duty.
This legislation will:
- Establish eligibility criteria to receive PTSD benefits
- Provide the benefits up to 52 weeks and within four years of an event
- Develop a peer support policy
- Offer training in resilience and self-care
- Create a working group to determine the feasibility of expanding these benefits to include EMS and Department of Correction employees
- Prohibit a law enforcement unit from disciplining police officers solely because they receive mental health services, or have surrendered their work weapons or ammunition (PA 19-17)