Sexual Assault Awareness Month Vigil April 27

April 6, 2023

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Susan B Anthony Project, a Torrington based nonprofit, will host a candlelight vigil on Thursday, April 27th at Coe Park. The purpose of the vigil is to remember victims and celebrate survivors of sexual assault. Please visit their website for any additional questions. I hope to see you on April 27. 

Resources Available for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I want you to be aware of the resources available to you in our community. If you need help, you can call (888) 999-5545 anytime to speak with a certified sexual assault crisis counselor in English. Dial (888) 568-8332 to speak with an expert in Spanish.
You can also contact any of the member sexual assault crisis programs in our state by clicking on THIS LINK and scrolling down to the “Need Help” section. These non-profit organizations provide free, confidential service in a safe, caring environment.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to focus our attention on the prevalence of sexual assault in our communities, uplift the voices of survivors, and commit ourselves to putting an end to sexual violence.

This year's theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” The campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect. CLICK HERE for more information.

Additional Resources for Expiring Services
On April 1, a number of resources that offered vital assistance to our most vulnerable community members came to an end or ended expanded eligibility.
  • Free Bus Services in Connecticut
    • Bus fares for all buses and ADA paratransit in Connecticut have returned
    • Federal restrictions prevent the state from extending this benefit for more than a year
  • SNAP Bump Payments and Automatic Determination
    • Families will no longer receive the additional pandemic-related payment in the middle of the month
    • Redeterminations restarted and will occur every 6 months
    • DSS does not have any control over when these benefits end because funding was provided under federal legislation
  • HUSKY Continuous Coverage
    • Medicaid enrollees will again have to provide proof of eligibility annually

If you, or a loved one were utilizing any of these resources and are now experiencing a disruption in vital care, please contact me by clicking the button below. My office and I will work to provide additional resources that may be able to offer you necessary assistance.

Bipartisan Women’s Caucus Press Conference 
Before Wednesday's session, the Bipartisan Women's Caucus held a press conference announcing the caucus's 2023 legislative priorities. I spoke on HB 6759, which if passed, will require licensed child care centers, School Readiness providers or any child care services provider that accepts state funds for infant toddler, or preschool programs to pay their employees on the OEC Compensation scale. Below is a complete list of bills discussed:
  • HB 6273: Aims to decrease the gender wage gap by requiring employers to disclose salary ranges on public and internal job postings
  • HB 6569: Requires that a person be not less than eighteen years of age to be eligible to marry
  • SB 986: Expands maternal healthcare access and affordability in response to pending requests from several hospitals to close labor and delivery facilities
  • SB 5: Provides greater protections for and enhanced responses to individuals involved in domestic and intimate partner violence
  • HB 5194: Asks the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity to conduct a study of community-based bereavement and grief counseling organizations and services for children and families and make recommendations for the implementation of a statewide program to deliver such services
  • HB 5003: Fully funds the Education Cost Sharing program by 2025 while also covering additional costs for high-need students at magnet and charter schools and within the Open Choice initiative
  • HB 5197: Offers access to emergency contraception from a vending machine
  • SB 1075: Provides dignity to hospice care patients by allowing them to pass away comfortably in their home
  • HB 5001: Encourages state agencies to use their funding to reduce waiting lists, establishes an adequate workforce to serve the intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) population and asks state agencies to recommend new service eligibility criteria that does not hinge on the results of an IQ test

You can watch the full press conference by clicking the video below.

Happy Easter 
Happy Easter!I Wishing you a day of hope and happiness.🐇🐣

Michelle Cook

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