Dear Friends and Neighbors,
It has been my pleasure to be your voice in Hartford during the 2018 legislative session of the General Assembly. Here at the legislature, we are responsible for writing laws that govern the State of Connecticut.
As a taxpayer and consumer, I understand the need for efficient government. As a legislator, I know our duty is to protect children, assist our elderly in health care and housing, provide for public safety and create a positive climate for business and workers alike.
As your State Representative, I have worked hard to make the changes we need to make life better for all of us in Hartford and the state. This newsletter will bring you up to date on what we did regarding some of these issues.
I am proud to let you know that I was instrumental in securing $4.4 million in funding for Puerto Rican residents who were displaced due to Hurricane Maria last year, and have now come to Connecticut. This money will be used for housing services, education, and family resource centers.
Thank you once again for the opportunity to serve as your State Representative. I hope to continue my efforts on your behalf in the future.
City of Hartford - Fiscal Year 2019 Aid from the State
|Education Cost Sharing||$202,425,081|
|PILOT: Colleges & Hospitals||$20,009,757|
|Municipal Revenue Sharing||$12,422,113|
|Car Tax Grant||$11,078,328|
|PILOT: State Property||$10,162,953|
|Pequot/Mohegan Revenue Sharing||$6,136,523|
|Municipal Stabilization Grant||$3,370,519|
|Local Capital Improvement Program||$2,248,301|
|Grants for Municipal Projects||$1,419,161|
|Town Aid Road||$1,194,825|
|Total State Funds to Hartford||$272,377,010|
Additionally, the state has pledged to Hartford support of up to $550 million to assist with our city’s long-term budget.
Grants for Youth Services
|Charter Oak Boxing||$15,000|
|O.P.M. Afterschool Program||$25,000|
|Computer Center @ Pope Park||$30,000|
|Mi Casa / HHC||$40,000|
Budget Cuts Restored
The budget passed in 2017 made many unfortunate cuts to essential services. This year, we were able to make budget adjustments, and restore funding to these services that many of us rely on.
Many people would have lost eligibility for Husky A Medicaid and the Medicare Savings Program this year. We were able to restore funding, and those who were eligible will remain so.
We were also able to accelerate funding to the Special Transportation Fund, so the Department of Transportation will not have to make fare hikes or service reductions, and the burden will not fall on those who use public transit.
Protecting Women’s Health Care
In an effort to make sure that pregnant women have access to health insurance, we passed legislation that allows them to enroll in insurance under a special enrollment period within thirty days of a doctor or physician officially telling them they are pregnant. The United States has the highest infant mortality rate among all developed nations, and the average cost for a premature birth is $55,000. By allowing pregnant women to enroll at any time of year, this policy change will lessen the financial burden and stress for those without coverage who become pregnant.
Supporting Our Small Businesses
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. In an effort to provide some tax relief so small businesses can put more resources into job creation, I supported a bill that exempts equipment worth less than $250 that has been owned by the business for more than 10 years from property taxes.
Promoting Careers in Manufacturing
We are working to develop mobile manufacturing training labs that will visit middle and high schools to educate students about advanced manufacturing. This continues our work to invest in our community colleges and technical high schools, and our belief that technical education and career training can lead students to family-supporting jobs.
Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you shouldn’t have to fear being arrested if you call the police. However, nearly 20% of the time when a victim of domestic violence calls the police they are arrested along with their abuser. This year we’ve updated the law to discourage this practice and will now direct police to arrest the person who they identify as the dominant aggressor.
Fighting the Opioid Epidemic
Over 60,000 of our residents sought treatment for substance abuse in 2016 alone. One of our challenges is providing adequate treatment and recovery services. To help address this, we set up a system where sober homes can register with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services so families will be able to check if a sober home is registered with the state. It also establishes certain marketing and advertising requirements, keeping the consumer’s best interests in mind. Under this legislation, sober homes must have Narcan onsite and residents must be trained in its use.