Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This session, I had the honor of representing you in the legislature and was proud to serve on the Energy and Technology, Finance, Revenue and Bonding, and Transportation Committees.

With this newsletter, I am pleased to share with you an update on the 2019 legislative session. Each year, our goal is to forge a path for a stronger Connecticut, and this past session was no different. We worked to pass bipartisan legislation that improves the lives of our seniors and working families, encourages economic growth, and makes critical investments in the future of our children and our state.

I am committed to fighting for you and building a solid Connecticut for future generations. The policies we passed support our small businesses, spur workforce development and ensure that we are making Connecticut more affordable for our young people and our seniors. I will continue to work to keep New Britain and Newington great places in which to live, work, and raise a family.

It has been my honor to work on your behalf in the Connecticut House of Representatives. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions, concerns, or suggestions as to how I can better serve you.

Sincerely,


Covering Police and Fire for PTSD

We passed legislation to provide workers’ compensation benefits for police officers, parole officers and firefighters suffering from PTSD due to events in the line of duty. First responders see violence and death on a frequent basis and we must help them cope with the effects of these tragic experiences.

This legislation will:

  • Establish eligibility criteria to receive PTSD benefits
  • Provide the benefits up to 52 weeks and within four years of an event
  • Develop a peer support policy and offer training in resilience and self-care
  • Create a working group to study the feasibility of expanding these benefits to include EMS and Department of Correction employees    
  • Prohibit a law enforcement unit from disciplining police officers solely because they receive mental health services, or have surrendered their work weapons or ammunition

(PA 19-17)


Raising Wages

No one working full-time should live in poverty. Connecticut families will have more economic security as the state’s minimum hourly wage gradually rises to $15. This legislation will help over 300,000 Connecticut workers who make less than $15 an hour. The wage will increase on October 1 to $11 an hour, followed by incremental increases over the next 4½ years.

This legislation will:

  • Combat persistent pay disparities between races and genders
  • Stimulate our economy
  • After the $15 minimum is reached, future increases will be indexed to inflation

(PA 19-4)


State Budget

The budget provides fiscal stability with no increase in the income tax or the broad sales tax rate and does not cut municipal aid. It’s balanced and protects taxpayers now and into the future. We continue to protect our most vulnerable citizens while investing in the middle class and encouraging economic growth for all of Connecticut.

This legislation:

  • Maintains the tax exemptions for Social Security income and phase-in of a tax exemption on pension income to make CT more affordable to seniors
  • Keeps the “Passport to the Parks” fund
  • Increases education funding
  • Protects the Care4Kids program
  • Re-opens highway rest stops
  • Repeals the Business Entity Tax starting next year
  • Increases access to health care
  • Provides a tax credit to craft beer breweries
  • Incentivizes purchasing a zero-emission car to reduce greenhouse gases
  • Protects the Medicare Savings Program, and increases funding for Meals on Wheels
  • Establishes a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Health and Human Service Network

(PA 19-117)


Helping Seniors and Veterans

Seniors
In order to ensure the proper care for seniors, we modified continuing education requirements for physicians to include diagnosing and treating cognitive conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, delirium, related cognitive impairments and geriatric depression. (SB 827) In addition, We expanded access to background checks to help identify potentially dangerous individuals seeking jobs that require contact with our elderly population. (PA 19-116)

Veterans
Connecticut will grant in-state tuition to spouses and children of service members stationed in the state who may get orders to move elsewhere. Allowing in-state tuition to stay with the student makes education more accessible to military families. (PA 19-172)


Minority Teacher Recruitment

It is important for minority students to have teachers who reflect the diversity in our state and who understand the challenges they face in obtaining a good education. This year we passed legislation for the annual hiring of 250 new minority teachers and administrators across the state.

To accomplish this goal, the legislation includes:

  • Expanding reciprocal teacher certification with other states
  • Re-employing retired teachers who are graduates of colleges and universities that serve minority students
  • Allowing for flexibility in certain teacher certification requirements
  • Removes subject matter assessments requirements for teachers seeking to be recertified after their certification lapses in certain cases
  • Broadens the minority teacher incentive program to make eligible applicants who are in an ARC program administered through SDE

(PA 19-12)


Capitol Update 2019 (pdf)