Session Recap for the Week of June 2

June 2, 2023

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The House has been in session for the past few days. My colleagues and I were able to pass several pieces of legislation, including a few that I wanted to highlight: 

✅ HB 5917: Connecticut has recently seen an increase in roadway fatalities. Implementing the recommendations of the Vision Zero Council will make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.

✅ HB 6755: Advanced manufacturing is our future – H.B. 6755 establishes a working group to develop a plan for an advanced manufacturing technology center in the state, and to maximize the economic, educational and workforce benefits provided to the state.

✅ HB 5441: HB 5441 is a bipartisan effort that improves the state’s workforce pipeline, including the extension of the existing teacher loan subsidy program for teachers in Alliance Districts, to paraeducators and school counselors.

✅ HB 6880: Education is a top priority for us. HB 6880 makes vital revisions to our education laws that support parents, teachers, families and most importantly, our students.

✅ HB 6486: The House took another step towards sustainability with the passage of H.B. 6486. This bill establishes a state-wide stewardship program for discarded tires and ensures access to tire collection while promoting recycling efforts and holding producers accountable.

✅ HB 6813: We are committed to protecting our marine ecosystems. H.B. 6813 ensures the safety of seabirds and shorebirds by establishing a protection program, including designated protection areas.
✅ HB 5001: We are addressing and expanding vital services to our Intellectually, Developmentally Disabled (IDD) population with HB 5001 by connecting people with the programs they need and qualify for.

✅ SB 922: Under this bill, Connecticut higher education institutions can no longer withhold transcripts as a means to collect debt.

✅ SB 1117: Expands protections for victims of human trafficking by prohibiting hotels, motels, and similar operators from offering discounts on many hourly rates.

✅ SB 1018: Expands your ability to collect the small remaining cash balance of a gift card and it eliminates the requirement to provide the proof of purchase or a gift receipt.

✅ SB 1017: The task force goal of SB 1017 is to ensure that our local emergency services and firefighter departments have enough personnel to keep our communities safe and protected.

✅ SB 1102: Exciting news for healthcare! S.B. 1102 expands pharmacists’ roles to include ordering and administering COVID-19, HIV, and influenza tests, prescribing HIV-related prophylaxis, and administering epinephrine cartridges. Plus, mobile pharmacies are now allowed with DCP’s approval.

✅ SB 1165: High schoolers should be financially literate. Educating students about managing money and debt can help them with a much brighter financial future.

✅ SB 953: Modernizes Connecticut's racial profiling law to reflect the reality that often race is not the only motivation for detention, but a major contributing factor.

✅ SB 1103: Data privacy is a high priority - SB 1103, establishes regulations and procedures for how state departments will regulate and use artificial intelligence and creates a working group to look at certain issues concerning  AI.

✅ HB 6901: Connecticut is the fifth-highest student debt holder in the nation. HB 6901 establishes a program to reimburse some student loan payments for certain Connecticut residents and incentivizes them to stay in our state.

✅ HB 6599: Intimate partner violence is a leading contributor to death during pregnancy. To help identify and circumvent tragedies, HB 6599 requires the distribution of educational materials to pregnant and postpartum patients on intimate partner violence in birthing hospitals and healthcare providers.

✅ HB 6762: This bill includes provisions for early childhood education, special education, audits of state and local testing requirements, a Multilingual Learners Bill of Rights, and the establishment of task force to study and develop strategies to improve and promote civic engagement and instruction on civics, citizenship, media literacy and American government.

✅ SB 913: The reality is some people witness traumatic incidents on the job. SB 913 expands coverage to make all employees eligible for workers' compensation coverage for post-traumatic stress injuries.

✅ SB 1108: Students should not have to choose between their education and their reproductive health. That’s why S.B. 1108 requires the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the UConn Board of Trustees to establish a plan for providing reproductive health care services to students living on residential campuses.

✅ SB 956: SB 956 Requires written hospital and nursing home discharge plans for patients, to include the date and location of each follow up medical appointment and a list of medications the patient is taking.

✅ HB 6796: Expands on legislation we passed last year to prevent the theft of catalytic converters by allowing the sharing of information among law enforcement units in other states, creating a uniform approach to the sales and penalty for the theft of a catalytic converter and establishing a task force to further study how to deter these thefts.

Connecticut Receives Credit Rating Upgrade From Kroll
Good news for Connecticut's growing economy!

Connecticut just received an upgraded credit rating from the Kroll Bond Rating Agency, which means that our General Obligation bond credit rating was upgraded from AA (stable) to AA+ (stable), just one step below the highest credit rating possible!

This news is an excellent testament to the success of the bipartisan fiscal guardrails and budgeting disciplines we have in place.

Our state has received an improved credit rating before.

Just last year, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) upgraded Connecticut's credit rating from A+ (positive) to AA- (stable). In 2021, all four major credit rating agencies upgraded Connecticut's credit rating, including Moody's. S&P, Fitch and Kroll.

Our credit upgrade allows us to maintain a strong financial standing and strengthens our appeal to those looking to make investments here.

Support Services for IDD Individuals Approved by the House
We are delivering on key legislative priorities this session by addressing specific concerns affecting our Intellectually, Developmentally Disabled (IDD) population, which has been lacking adequate funding and services for far too long.

HB 5001 is a comprehensive multi-year measure that expands vital services to these vulnerable individuals, so that their most basic needs are properly met. This new bill complements the children's mental health legislation that became law last year.
Key provisions in this wide-ranging bill, which reflect strong bipartisan efforts, include the reduction of waitlists and updating a decades-old approach to serving this community.

In addition, this bill establishes a solid framework to address:

  • Housing Needs
  • Educational and Transitional Services
  • Transportation
  • Day Programming
  • Career and Job Coaching
  • Life Skills Training
  • Behavioral Service

It is my goal to continue working on finding solutions that not only bring a level of relief and peace of mind to guardians and family caregivers, but also to the individuals who are developmentally challenged to help them reach their best potential.


Michelle Cook

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