Legislative Testimonies, Veteran's Advisory Meeting, CDC Update

March 12, 2021
Below you will find information on the following:
  • Testimony for Vision and Dental Insurance 
  • Breast Cancer Prevention Insurance Testimony
  • Veterans Advisory Committee Meeting 
  • Virtual Newington Town Hall 
  • Newington Community Champion Award
  • COVID-19 Update
  • CDC Update 
  • Turco Talk Time
  • Newington Youth Essay Contest 
  • Legislative Priority Survey
  • Facebook Live Fridays 9:00AM
I am a co-sponsor of S.B. 1004, which aims to provide access to affordable and vital dental and vision services for young people who are not able to access these benefits from an employer. This policy would allow young people to stay on their parent's insurance until age 26, similarly to medical insurance. On Tuesday, the Insurance Committee heard testimonies on behalf of this bill. Please view the video below to hear my testimony:
SB 1004 Testimony 
Next Thursday, March 18th, the Insurance Committee is holding a public hearing for H.B. HB-5687, An Act Concerning Health Insurance, Breast Cancer and Breast Health. 

This bill continues efforts to help make the early detection of breast cancer more affordable. Many of the vital screenings and tests utilized for early detection of breast cancer are delayed due to the out of pocket costs for deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance; and this bill would ensure that everyone has affordable access.  Furthermore, this bill would establish a program to provide outreach to individuals of color regarding the importance of breast health and early breast cancer detection. This bill builds upon the legislation passed in 2019 which mandated no out of pocket costs for screenings, ultrasounds and MRIs.

I encourage you to testify alongside Jan Kritzman, a breast cancer survivor and advocate from Newington who has worked closely with me in the development of this legislation. Jan and I hope to hear you on Thursday! 

To learn more about the bill, please listen to my conversation with Jan below. 

Breast Cancer Insurance
Please join me this coming Monday, March 15th at 6:30PM for the 3rd Veteran's Affairs Advisory Committee Meeting. We will discuss the legislative proposals that are currently being reviewed by the State Veterans Committee. To RSVP and receive the zoom link, please email me at gary.turco@cga.ct.gov. I hope to see you there!
Click Here to Sign up
This past Monday, I joined Rep. Sanchez and Sen. Lesser for a virtual Town Hall via Zoom. We will gave a legislative update and then opened the floor to the community for questions or concerns.

Click on the image below to hear our discussion. 

Today I launched the Newington Community Champion monthly award to honor champions in the Newington community. This award aims to acknowledge Newington residents who are advocating and contributing towards positive change in the community (i.e. Non-profit organizers, Eagle Scout, Volunteers, etc…)

There will be one award given each month. In order to nominate a Newington friend or neighbor, please email gary.turco@cga.ct.gov with the following information:  

  • Newington Resident's Name 
  • Reason for Nomination 
  • Nominee Contact Information 

Every year, and particularly this year, our community witnesses countless advocates fighting for positive change. These advocates come in all shapes and sizes from leaders of non-profit organizations, to students creating initiatives within our community. I think it is important for us to take the time to thank and honor these everyday champions for all that they do.

Prior to nomination, please ensure that my communications team has the winner’s consent to publicize their hard work through a poster/graphic to be shared in Newsletter and on social media. All nominations must be submitted by the end of the month to be considered the following month’s award. On the last Friday of each month, the Newington Community Champion Award will be announced at 9AM on a Facebook Live video.

Click Here for COVID Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Specific Updates for Our Community
Town Total Cases Total Deaths Number of Tests Total Confirmed Cases
Newington 2,393 101 17,166 2,265
With roughly 20% of U.S. residents having received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, many are wondering when life can return to a semblance of our pre-pandemic lives. It is understandable that people are eager to see friends and family in-person rather than through a screen, go out to eat, or listen to live music again, particularly in light of the upcoming loosening of certain restrictions in Connecticut.

To that end, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidelines on what kinds of activities are safe to resume after you and your family are fully vaccinated.

According to the CDC, once you are fully vaccinated: 

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms. 
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

While this is certainly good news, the CDC does still recommend, however, that everyone, including those fully vaccinated, continue to wear masks and practice social distancing when in a public place or at a social gathering with unvaccinated people from multiple households. The CDC also strongly recommends avoiding medium and large sized gatherings, as well as extensive domestic or international travel. 



A reminder- you are only considered fully vaccinated after two weeks following: 
  • The second of two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine; or
  • The single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine

To read more about these new guidelines from the CDC, click here. As we work to get everyone vaccinated and finally put this pandemic behind us, make sure to wear your mask, practice social distancing, and wash your hands.

State Rep. Gary Turco joins Newington resident Vincent Camilli, to discuss HB-5267, An Act Establishing a Personal Income Tax Credit for Long-Term Care Insurance Premium Payments, and HB-5547, An Act Concerning Insurance Premium Rate Increase.

These bills would prohibit the increase of insurance premium rates for long-term care, making it more affordable for individuals in need of long-term care insurance. As insurance rates have continued to increase over the years, it has become increasingly difficult for individuals to pay into long-term insurance coverage, which is often necessary later in life. These bills would not only help provide coverage for the cost of long-term care insurance, but it would also provide tax credit for those paying long-term care premiums.

Insurance Premiums

State Rep. Gary Turco joins Newington resident Kathy Flaherty, to discuss HB-6105, An Act Concerning Access to Original Birth Certificates by Adult Adopted Persons.

This bill would help adults who are adopted to access their original birth records and certificates.

Birth Certificates 
I am excited to launch The General Assembly’s Newington Youth Essay Contest for elementary and middle school students. This contest will allow Newington students to learn more about the CT government and critically analyze how legislation can improve our community. I can't wait to read the creative proposals developed by our youth!
The General Assembly’s Newington Youth Essay Contest: Elementary and Middle school students

Middle School Topic: What law can Connecticut create to improve in its efforts towards equality? (Ex. Public Ed, Public Health, Environmental Justice)
Elementary School Topic: If you could create any new law in the state of CT to improve your community, what would it be?

- Open to any Newington residents in elementary school or middle school
- All essays may be submitted through email to gary.turco@cga.ct.gov
- One entry per student
- Announcement of winners: 1 elementary school winner and 1 middle school winner
** While we understand parental assistance may be necessary for some spelling and grammar, we ask that each student actively brainstorms and crafts their own response.

Deadline: April 7th, 2021

There will be 1 elementary school winner and 1 middle school winner. Each of these students will receive an Official recognition from State of Connecticut and a personal tour and lunch at the capital (after COVID).

- 12 pt. Font
- Times New Roman
- Double Spaced, 1 in. Margins
- Name, School, and Grade written in top left corner
- Title: Creative name for your law
Elementary school: 1 page max, any length under 1 page will be considered
Middle school: 2 pages max, any length under 1 page will be considered

- To engage students in understanding the value of government
- To offer students a voice with regards to community values
- To encourage creative problem solving of inequality that students see within their community
- Acknowledge students for their potential and efforts in writing


The 2021 Legislative Session began on January 6th. During this time, I will face many tough choices which is why it is so important for me to get feedback from you about the most pressing issues facing Newington. I hope you will take a few minutes to complete this survey and help me better represent our district at the state capitol.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you or your family is in need of assistance or if you would like to share an opinion with me. It’s an honor to serve as your state representative and I look forward to hearing from you about ways we can improve Connecticut for all of us.

Click Here for Survey
Join me today at 9:00AM for my weekly Facebook Live update. Please email me via gary.turco@cga.ct.gov with any questions you would like me to address as we begin the 2021 legislative session.