Highlights of the 2017 legislative session

June 8, 2017

This week, the regular session of the General Assembly came to a close, and many bills now await the governor's signature.

There is still plenty of work ahead of us -- we will be going into a special session shortly to pass a budget. I remain committed to passing a balanced budget that makes significant structural changes to align our spending and revenues while creating a long-term vision for our state.

I'd like to highlight several important bills passed by the General Assembly this session:

Preventing opioid abuse
House Bill 7052 helps prevent the abuse of prescription painkillers. Over the years, the legislature has passed measures to fight the opioid and heroin epidemic, and this bill is an important next step. It includes measures to encourage disposal and destruction of unused medication, require insurance coverage of detoxification programs, and reduce the standard opioid prescribing limits for minors from a 7-day to 5-day supply.

Protecting LGBTQ youth
HB 6695 bans conversion therapy -- the dangerous and discredited practice of trying to change a minor's sexual identity or gender orientation. LGBQT youth need our support and acceptance; they don't need to be changed.

Transportation "lock box"
We passed House Joint Resolution 100 in hopes of creating a "lock box" for the Special Transportation Fund, preventing the legislature from using the funds for anything except transportation projects. Whether this becomes reality is ultimately decided by you, the voter. There will be a question on the November 2018 elections ballot asking voters if they approve of amending the State Constitution to create the lock box.

Greater oversight of economic investments
HB 7316 will ensure that CT is only investing in economic development programs that show real results. It expands legislative review of economic development programs and requires a yearly audit of the programs. We all want to see businesses grow and create new jobs in Connecticut, but we also need to make sure that the state’s investments and financial assistance programs are meeting our goals.

Protections for pregnant women in the workplace
HB 6668 strengthens Connecticut's existing workplace anti-discrimination laws to prevent unfair treatment of pregnant women in the workplace. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant employees, such as providing a stool to sit on or more frequent breaks. No woman should have to choose between her job and starting a family.

I was proud to support these pieces of legislation. These are just a few of the bills we passed this session that I believe will make Connecticut an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.

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