March Newington Community Champion Award, HB 6669--Addressing Car Theft & Renters' Rebate Program

April 2, 2021
In this newsletter I will touch upon the following subjects:
  • March Newington Community Champion Award Recipient
  • Happy Holidays
  • HB 6669--Addressing Car Theft
  • HB 5172--Property Taxes and Manufacturing 
  • Vaccine Update
  • COVID-19 Update
  • Renters' Rebate Program
  • Access Health Update
  • Newington Youth Essay Contest 
  • Veterans Advisory Committee
The March Newington Community Champion Award goes to Jan Kritzman for her tireless work as an advocate for breast cancer insurance.
I am very proud to announce this award as I have known Jan, and worked with Jan, for many years. For those who do not know Jan, she is a breast cancer survivor and advocate from Newington who has been instrumental in the development of breast cancer insurance legislation. 

I worked with Jan in 2019 to pass legislation which mandated no out of pocket costs for screenings, ultrasounds and MRIs. We are currently working on another bill which continues efforts to make the early detection of breast cancer more affordable for women with dense breast tissue.

Jan's testimony for breast cancer insurance
Here are a few snippets of the nominations that I received for Jan:

"Jan has been fighting for years for legislation mandating that insurance companies cover the cost of life saving mammograms, ultrasounds and MRI screenings for those diagnosed with dense breast tissue. I believe Jan was instrumental in passing legislation preventing insurers from charging out-of-pocket expenses for these screening services and is now fighting for coverage of diagnostic screening once something suspicious is found and patients need follow up imaging. This has been a cause dear to her heart for about 20 years due to her personal story and her desire to help others. Jan’s determination on this important issue has been unwaning. No doubt Jan Kritzman is a community champion and deserves this recognition!"

"Jan Kritzman is an extraordinary person who works tirelessly with a passion, drive and deep caring advocating for change far beyond our community.... HB 5687 will profoundly affect the lives of many promoting health and well being."

Thank you so much for all your hard work Jan!

Wishing a wonderful Holi and Chag Sameach to those who celebrated Holi and Passover last week. And Happy Easter to all celebrating this weekend!

It’s the time of year when family and friends gather to celebrate their religious beliefs, and enjoy food and good times with loved ones. 

However, this year’s celebrations will continue to be different as we are still in the midst of a global pandemic and positivity rates are once again on the rise in Connecticut. Even during holiday celebrations, we must remain vigilant in the fight against COVID-19.

The CDC has released a list of safer ways to observe religious holidays. They include:

  • Enjoy traditional meals with those who live with you
  • Practice religious holiday customs at home
  • Prepare and deliver a meal to a neighbor
  • Watch virtual religious and cultural performances
  • Attend religious ceremonies virtually

I’ve been working with law enforcement, the judicial branch, community non-profits, and colleagues on legislation to help mitigate the the recent increase in car break-ins and thefts since the start of the pandemic that has plagued our community. 

There is a bill which works to address this issue, and this bill was heard before the Judiciary Committee a public hearing on Wednesday.

H.B. 6669: An act concerning juveniles and motor vehicle theft, investigations of certain pending juvenile matters and reporting of requests to detain arrested juveniles. 

This bill will:
(1) establish the crime of enticing a juvenile to commit a criminal act,
(2) employ other new strategies to discourage juvenile motor vehicle theft,
(3) allow for investigations of certain juvenile matters.

Please see a video of my testimony in the Judiciary Committee below. To read my full testimony please click here

HB 6669 Testimony 
To learn more about car theft in Connecticut, please click here to view "Car Theft: Fact vs. Fiction."
This legislative session I introduced H.B. 5172: An Act Concerning Payments In Lieu Of Taxes To Municipalities For Manufacturing Machinery and Equipment.

This legislation will assist Newington by both lowering residential property taxes, and attracting manufacturing businesses.

Connecticut has established itself as a leader in advanced technology manufacturing, with a highly trained and educated workforce to support it. We must continue our goal of supporting the manufacturing industry so they can help further grow our economy and create new high paying jobs.

Property tax exemptions on machinery and equipment are good incentives to attract these businesses to the state. However, the state stopped reimbursing municipalities in 2011 to cover the lost revenue from the exemptions. As a result, many towns have lost significant revenue. For example, Newington has lost over $25 million since 2011. In order to compensate for this lost revenue, the property tax burden is passed on to homeowners and other businesses who are already increasingly burdened year after year by rising taxes.

By passing this bill and fully reimbursing municipalities for the lost revenue due to exemptions, we will be accomplishing two important goals to assist our towns, businesses, and constituents: 

  1. First, we will ensure that our towns are incentivized to attract manufacturers, that they will work to keep current ones, and help them expand to grow our economy.
  2. Second, we will provide much needed property tax relief by removing the burden of this exemption from our municipalities.

Supporting this bill and dedicating the funding is a win-win for our entire state.

    All individuals ages 16+ are now eligible for the vaccine! 
    At the time of the vaccine appointment, minors (ages 16-17) should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian to consent to the vaccine. Or, the parent/guardian will need to contact the provider scheduled to administer the vaccine to get direction on what will be needed to confirm adult consent for the vaccination. If a minor arrives at their appointment without a parent or guardian and you have not consulted the provider to know what is needed, they may not be able recieve the vaccine.
    To schedule an appointment, please visit the VAMS webpage:

    Further information on making an appointment and finding the closest available clinic can be found online at without access to the internet can call the Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line at 877-918-2224. The assist line is available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

    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 2,547 99 17,849 2,404
    The Renters' Rebate program is open and runs through October 1st. This program provides rental reimbursement to elderly and disabled residents in need. These rebates can be up to $900 for married couples and $700 for individuals. The amount is based on a graduated income scale and the amount of rent and utility payments (excluding telephone) made in the prior calendar year.
    Who is eligible?
    Renters who meet the one-year state residency requirement, and are one of the following:
    • A renter (or their spouse) who is 65 years of age or older, or
    • A renter who is 50 years of age or older and is the surviving spouse of a renter who at the time of the renter's death had qualified and was entitled to tax relief provided such spouse was domiciled with such renter at the time of the renters’ death, or
    • A renter who is 18 years of age or older and eligible to receive Social Security Disability benefits.
    Applications can be made at the town social service agency or the local Assessor's Office. 
    For more information, please call the Renters’ Rebate Hotline at 860-418-6377 or click here to visit the website.


    Please share with this information with anyone that might be able to take advantage of this program, which helps people on low or fixed incomes. During these difficult economic times, programs like this are more important than ever.
    Below are a few updates from Access Health CT in regards to the implementation of the American Rescue Plan:
    • Strategic Plan: Our teams continue to collaborate with external stakeholders (CMS, Carriers, Business partners, etc.) to put together a strategic plan.
    • Special Enrollment Period: Access Health CT will open a new Exceptional Circumstances Special Enrollment Period for new/returning customers from May 1 – August 15, 2021 following the end date that the federal exchange will be using.
    • Spreading the word: In the next couple of weeks, our team will be putting together a series of webinars/training for enrollment specialists (CAC’s, Brokers, staff) ahead of the May 1, 2021 start date of the Special Enrollment Period. The communication to the public is planned to start mid-April (subject to change).
    • System Planning: The system planning to accommodate the American Rescue Plan will be done in two phases:


    Phase 1 Phase 2
    - On April 30, 2021, system release (30.1) will update APTC calculations so that any customer updating their application triggering manual re-determination of eligibility will be able to benefit from the new contribution rates. 
    - Starting May 1, 2021 AHCT will open a new Exceptional Circumstances Special
    Enrollment Period
     for new/returning customers.
    - Implementation of another system release to support FPL reduction for applicants with unemployment income, and a feature to allow automatic application of updated financial help (APTCs) to existing enrollees is in progress. A deployment of these features will likely be scheduled by July of 2021.


    *The American Rescue Plan Act which President Biden signed into law on March 11, will make health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible for many Connecticut residents during the current health crisis, by virtually eliminating or vastly reducing monthly payments (premiums) for many people with low and moderate incomes who enroll through Access Health CT; and providing new financial help for people with somewhat higher incomes who can face high premiums.

    How much will people save? It will depend on a household’s annual income. 

    • The average savings per household will be $116.05 per month, or $1,392.57 per year
    • Households over 400% ($51,040) of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), will be newly eligible financial help through Access Health CT and will see an average monthly savings of over $500 or $6.2K a year.
    • People up to 150% Federal Poverty Level ($19,140) can now get silver plans for nearly $0 premium with vastly reduced deductibles (the amount you pay for covered health care services before your insurance plan starts to pay).
    • People who receive Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits at any time in 2021, will be automatically placed in a 133% Federal Poverty Level ($12,880) and will eligible for a nearly $0 premium benchmark silver plan with comprehensive cost sharing subsidies this year.
    • The number of enrolled households with nearly $0 premium plans will more than double to 33k households.
    The General Assembly’s Newington Youth Essay 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
    - 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

    If you are a Newington veteran, the family member of a Newington veteran, or anyone interested in helping veterans in Newington, and across CT, then please join me this coming Monday for the first Advisory Committee meeting. This is an opportunity to ensure the voices of veterans and active service members are heard throughout the legislative process. Members of this committee will help inform decisions made at the state capitol and will also learn about the legislative process, bill tracking and more.

    If you are interested in joining the committee, please email me at