Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It has been my honor to work on your behalf in the Connecticut House of Representatives this year. This legislative session, we passed many important pieces of legislation that will make Connecticut a better place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

In this newsletter, I would like to share some of the most important laws that passed this year. We passed a bipartisan budget that fully restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program, increases education funding over 2018 levels, funds the Special Transportation Fund so projects can continue as scheduled, does not increase or add any new taxes, and increases our “Rainy Day” fund to the highest levels in a decade.

As always, do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions as to how I can better serve you.

Sincerely,


Bipartisan Budget

  • No income, sales or other state tax increases.
  • Restores funding to the Medicare Savings Program that helps low-income elderly individuals and the disabled pay for the cost of healthcare.
  • Fully funds Renter’s Rebate and shifts responsibility for funding the program entirely back to the state.
  • Restores funding for the state’s health insurance program for children and working parents, known as HUSKY A.
  • Prevents cuts to rail and bus services and prevents rate hikes.
  • Restores and protects funding for Summer Youth Employment programs.

Supporting Our Businesses

Tax Relief
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, we exempted from the property tax equipment worth less than $250 that has been owned by the business for more than 10 years. (PA 18-79)

Permit Process
In response to concerns that the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is taking too long to approve commercial permit applications, we passed legislation that requires DEEP to meet with businesses upon request for a “pre-application” meeting. Hopefully this process will help ensure that businesses are more successful in receiving necessary permits and in a more timely fashion. (PA 18-146)


Protecting Consumers

Combatting Data Breaches
In response to multiple recent data breaches at companies like Equifax, I worked with my colleagues to pass legislation to protect the consumer. Companies can no longer charge a fee for placing or removing a security freeze on a credit report and consumers will now get two free years of credit monitoring after a data breach. (PA 18-90)

Reverse Mortgage Counseling
Reverse mortgage lending can be a predatory practice. Lenders sometimes prey on the vulnerabilities of those facing tough financial burdens. Connecticut now requires counseling for those considering a reverse mortgage so a homeowner will have all of the information, including the risks, prior to entering into this type of arrangement. (PA 18-38)


Reducing Prescription Drug Costs

Recognizing that prescription drug prices are the number one driver of rising healthcare costs, we passed legislation to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable by increasing transparency and requiring them to explain large price increases for drugs that have a substantial cost to the state. Additionally, insurance companies must now submit information about which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which are provided at the greatest cost. By collecting more data and holding drug companies accountable, we can get closer to lowering drug costs for Connecticut residents. (PA 18-41)


Pay Equity

Women continue to earn less than men. This inequity is perpetuated by the practice of asking for salary history during the hiring process, ensuring that women who were underpaid at their first job continue to be underpaid. This session, I supported legislation that strengthens our pay equity laws by preventing employers from asking about wage history. (PA 18-8)


Supporting Our Veterans and Military Families

When members of the armed forces receive orders to be stationed in Connecticut, the shift in location can be difficult for their families. If a military member has a spouse that is licensed to teach in their state, it can be difficult for them to start over in the Connecticut education system. To address this issue, we created the “military spouse teacher permit” that offers a smooth transition for active military spouses to more easily work as teachers in our state. (PA 18-144)


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. (PA 18-171)


Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)