Thank you for giving me the privilege to represent you in the General Assembly. It is an honor to serve as your state representative for New Haven. I am always appreciative of those who take the time to respond to my newsletters. This was a session dominated by the budget. Although there were no easy solutions, we approved a budget that is balanced, without tax or fee increases, without borrowing, and without dipping into the Rainy Day Fund. Improving public health, increasing public safety, and encouraging financial security for everyone were featured elements of some of the major bills approved by the legislature this year.
Keeping Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family is our ongoing responsibility. Though the 2016 legislative session presented one of the toughest budget challenges in decades, we succeeded to help move our state forward.
End Of Taxing Feminine Hygiene Products
This year the legislature agreed that the era of taxing feminine hygiene products had to end.
Legislation that I championed to eliminate the taxation of all feminine hygiene products, as well as baby diapers, passed in the 2016 Legislative Session.
Now these items will be exempted from the Connecticut sales and use tax giving families much needed tax relief.
There are no smoke and mirrors with this budget – it cuts spending by $830 million:
- Without dipping into the Rainy Day Fund
- Without borrowing
- Without tax increases
We made the following structural changes that will reduce long-term obligations and create a more sustainable budget over time:
- Non-union state employee wage freeze & insurance co-pay increase
- A salary pension cap for retiring non-union state employees
- Reduced the size of state government
We are also delaying some of the Governor’s transportation initiative in order to protect legislative priorities like:
- Hospital funding
- School funding
- Property tax relief
- Funding for state colleges and universities
Protecting Our Children
This year the House passed numerous laws to promote the wellbeing of children in Connecticut. We worked to keep kids safe and healthy by passing legislation to combat childhood obesity and ban toxic chemicals from kid’s products. We’re also ensuring children receive a high-quality educational experience by safeguarding student data used by schools and making improvements to the Office of Early Childhood, such as improving notification
to parents when a childcare facility is unlicensed.
Supporting CT's Growing Manufacturing Sector
The manufacturing industry is making a comeback and we are working to ensure a strong and educated workforce for the increasingly high-tech jobs of the future. In order to meet the growing demand of manufacturers, we established a committee that will educate middle and high school students about careers in manufacturing, provide manufacturing training, and study workforce needs to introduce students and their parents to careers in manufacturing.