Our Work in the Public Health Committee

March 3, 2023


Here at the Capitol, March is full of Public Hearings and Committee meetings to vote on bills. On Monday, the Public Health Committee, which I co-chair, held our third hearing which focused on two bills dealing with end of life care. The Transportation Committee also met Monday to discuss a number of proposals designed to make our roadways safer for all. Today, the Planning and Development Committee held a hearing and the Public Health Committee had its first meeting to vote on bills before the committee.

In the midst of hearings and committee meetings, legislators participate in many other events. Over past days, I have joined the Governor for his announcement of proposals for healthcare savings, attended a breakfast meeting with Sacred Heart leadership, met with retired teachers to discuss their pensions and healthcare and heard from local non-profits working to balance their budgets as they provide behavioral healthcare to vulnerable residents. These activities, along with meetings with constituents, stakeholders and fellow legislators about bill proposals, and corresponding with all of you make up our days. I was also thrilled to join Stratfield School’s Reading Palooza for Read Across America Day. Reading is our ticket to the world! Please find more information below on a number of these items.

You can click on any of the links above to jump to that section of the email. I hope that you find these resources helpful.

Read Across America Day
I know I had even more fun at Stratfield’s Reading Palooza yesterday than the students.

It was a treat to see some of my favorite Stratfield teachers and share my love of reading with the students for Read Across America Day. Reading is our ticket to the world. Thank you

Fairfield Public Schools for having me. I am already excited about next year's Reading Palooza!
Education Committee Hearing
On Wednesday, the Education Committee held a public hearing where committee members heard testimony for nearly 12 hours. One of the bills I want to highlight is S.B. No. 1094, An Act Concerning the Implementation of Reading Models or Programs.

This bill would require local and regional BOEs to fully implement a comprehensive reading curriculum model or program in K-3-grade classrooms. BOEs that have not received waivers from the State Department of Education would be required to fully implement these plans by the 2025 school year.

If you would like to learn more about the bills and testimony, please click the button below. Please also feel free to watch any portions - or all - of the hearing below.

Education Committee Hearing Testimony
Public Health Committee Hearing
On Monday, the Public Health Committee heard testimony from over 100 members of the public on two bills that deal with end of life:

During the course of the day and night, we heard heartfelt, impassioned stories from multiple perspectives regarding the importance of these two pieces of legislation. You can listen to testimony by watching below. If you would prefer to read the testimony submitted, please click the buttons below. These issues are deeply emotional and often some of the more controversial conversations. I look forward to hearing from you about this and other bills before the Public Health Committee.

Read Testimony on SB 1075
Read Testimony on SB 1076
Reducing Medical Costs

I joined Governor Lamont recently when he shared information on two of his proposed bills to reduce healthcare costs for Connecticut residents, one of which was referred to the Public Health Committee:

The proposed legislation works to eliminate unnecessary charges, reduce rising healthcare and prescription drug costs, and increase affordability by enhancing competition by:

  • Outlawing the use of anti-competitive contracting practices
  • Enhancing transparency
  • Cap out-of-network charges
  • Establish a Drug Discount Card Program
  • Utilize a multi-state bulk purchasing program to lower prescription drug costs

Fox 61 covered the Governor's announcement, which you can watch by clicking the button below:

Watch Fox 61 Story
Transportation Committee Hearing
On Monday, the Transportation Committee heard testimony on 21 bills. The bills address the increase in fatalities on our roadways, and include proposals on lowering the legal limit for the Blood Alcohol Content to .05, increase penalties for distracted driving, tree removal and sound barriers along the roadway, bus fares and shelters, and ways to prevent wrong way drivers. There were 13 wrong way crashes and 23 fatalities in 2022. You can access the full list of bills by visiting the agenda and can watch the hearing at the video below.
Smart Growth
I am honored to have been selected as a Smart Growth America State Legislator Champion. The State Legislator Champions Institute is a technical assistance and peer learning program designed to help state legislative officials develop effective transportation policies that support public health, climate, and equity goals. I will have the opportunity to learn from national experts and peers about best practices and solutions to help curb the increase in pedestrian and roadway fatalities.

As the House Chair of the Public Health Committee, and a member of the Transportation Committee, I am thrilled to be a part of this group - representing 15 states across the country - and look forward to the opportunity to better serve our community. If you would like to learn more about the Institute, 

please click here.

I also want to congratulate my two colleagues, Representatives Aimee Berger-Girvalo and Kate Farrar, for being named in the institute.