Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It is my privilege to represent you in the General Assembly. Now that a state budget is in place, I want to update you with some of its highlights.
Some of the key provisions include:
- New Haven receives nearly $229 million from the state in the 2018 fiscal year - equaling the overall grant allocation to the city in 2017.
- Opportunities for our young people will increase thanks to funding for local education, vo-tech schools, workforce training programs, and higher education.
- Full funding for the teachers’ and state employee pension systems means New Haven taxpayers won’t be saddled with additional costs.
- Starting next year, seniors and retirees get a break as Social Security benefits and pension income will no longer be subject to the state income tax.
- Spending and bonding limits, relief for municipal mandates, and legislative approval of all collective bargaining agreements help the state -- and City of New Haven -- achieve financial stability.
I look forward to spending time with my family and friends during the holiday season and I hope you are able to do the same. I will also reflect on our accomplishments and look ahead to further improving our quality of life in New Haven and Connecticut.
Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse
This year in Connecticut, more people will fall victim to drug overdoses than from car accidents and gun violence combined. This session, Connecticut took action and passed legislation to combat drug abuse and addiction. The legislation reduces the maximum opioid drug prescription for minors from a 7 day to a 5 day supply, requires health insurers to cover medically necessary detox treatment, requires medical providers to discuss opioid risks with patients, and eases restrictions on destroying unused medications.
The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) has a toll-free number connecting residents seeking treatment and services for an opioid addiction to local walk-in assessment centers. Residents will now be able to call 1-800-563-4086, 24 hours a day, to connect them or a loved one to a walk-in assessment center. PA 17-131
Pay Equity In The Workforce
The gender gap in pay is one of the most important, far-reaching issues we face as a society today. It affects not only working women, but their families and our economy. While the legislation passed the House, it did not come up for a vote in the Senate. I will continue to fight for pay equity to ensure that women and families do not face workplace discrimination.
Pregnant Women In The Workplace
For far too long, women have been losing out on opportunities to advance in the workplace due in part to unfair treatment with respect to pregnancy. Women’s full participation in the workforce is essential in a successful economy. This bill strengthens current protections for pregnant and nursing women under the state’s anti-discrimination law. It requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for these employees, such as allowing them to sit while working, modified work schedules, and time off to recover from childbirth.
Additionally, this bill goes further by setting up protections that prevent an employer from discriminating against pregnant women. No longer will a business be able to deny employment opportunities because of pregnancy, or retaliate when reasonable accommodations are requested. Under this landmark legislation, employers must participate in education about their responsibilities in these matters, while also notifying their employees about these rights. These protections are critical to women’s financial security and are good for families and the economy. PA 17-118
Exempting Social Security from the Income Tax for Our Seniors
We are one of only 13 states that taxes social security income. I believe this is unfair and I will continue to fight against it because of the burden it places on seniors. I am proud to have sponsored and help pass a new policy exempting social security from the state income tax starting in 2019.
I’m Here For You
As always, do not hesitate to contact me if you are in need of assistance or if you would like to share an opinion with me. It is an honor to be your state representative and I look forward to hearing from you about ways we can improve Connecticut for all of us.