I am pleased to share this update with you on the recently concluded legislative
session. Each year, our goal is to forge a path for a stronger Connecticut, and the 2019 session was no different. We worked to pass bipartisan legislation that improves the lives of working families, encourages economic growth, provides relief for victims of crumbling concrete foundations and makes critical investments in the future of our children, as well as our state.
I am committed to fighting for you and building a 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. Although the regular session has concluded, I will continue to work to keep Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family.
Our future is stronger when we work together, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can ever be of help to you or your family. It is my pleasure and honor to serve as your state representative.
Relief for Homeowners with Crumbling Concrete Foundations
As chair of the crumbling foundations caucus, I authored and passed bi-partisan legislation that will make significant improvements in the lives of victims and communities impacted by crumbling concrete foundations. The law expands the definition of “residential building” to include large condominiums. Additionally, we required sellers of residential property to generally disclose any knowledge of defects that significantly impair the property’s value and health and safety of its future occupants; and established a loan guarantee program for impacted homeowners who need supplemental loans.
Health and Public Safety
Ethan’s Law - We passed several sensible gun safety measures this year including “Ethan’s Law,” named after Ethan Song who tragically lost his life due to an improperly stored gun. The bill requires the safe storage of all firearms in a home with children under 18.
Banning Ghost Guns - We also banned “ghost guns”– homemade weapons that have no serial numbers and circumvent our background check laws.
Expanding Access to Healthcare - We expanded health insurance coverage for preexisting conditions, and for mental health and substance use issues.
Coverage for Mammograms and Ultrasounds - This legislation will require health insurance coverage for baseline ultrasounds and mammograms for women who qualify and prohibits insurers from charging out-of-pocket expenses for breast ultrasounds and mammograms.
The Winner In Our New State Budget: Manchester
The biennial budget was delivered on time this year, under the spending cap and includes important advancements like a plan for debt-free community college and the social security and pension tax exemption for seniors. This budget provides fiscal stability with no broad based increases in income tax rates or sales tax rates, and increased education funding to Manchester. We preserved the “passport to the parks” fund, reopened the highway rest stops, and increased access to health care for kids and seniors.
Thanks to the hard work of the Manchester delegation we will see a $1.3 million increase in FY 2020 and a $2.6 million increase in FY 2021 in state education funding for Manchester Public Schools without having to raise taxes on residents.
No one working full-time should live in poverty. Which is why I proudly supported legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. 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 until we hit $15 on June 1, 2023.
Education and Workforce Development
Minority Teacher Recruitment and Retention - We passed legislation which creates an annual hiring goal of 250 new minority teachers and administrators across the state.
Advanced Manufacturing Certificate Program - I supported legislation which expands manufacturing certification programs into public high schools through partnerships with our local colleges.
Supporting our Veterans
In-state Tuition for Military Families - Connecticut will grant in-state tuition to the spouses and children of service members stationed in the state who may get orders to move elsewhere. Legislation I supported will allow reduced tuition to stay with the student.
Property Tax Exemption - We increased the property tax exemption for certain disabled veterans and service members. This additional financial benefit will hopefully make Connecticut a little more affordable for those that have given so much for our country.
Protecting Our Environment
Green Jobs - We passed legislation to continue deployment of solar energy, increasing green jobs and economic activity.
The State Water Plan - We have recognized that our water supply is a “public trust” to ensure that these resources are protected, and that clean drinking water is accessible to all.