Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I hope this legislative update finds you well! This session, we were successful in achieving many of our goals towards securing funding and programs that benefit the 118th district. Not only did we successfully balance the budget on time, but we also set course for a $3 billion rainy day fund in the future. I am so proud to share with you the details of some of these strides towards supporting and empowering our Milford residents.

This session was particularly impactful on our local working families. In order to ensure that nobody working full time lives in poverty, a minimum wage increase is underway. Also, a paid family leave program will protect our workers in times of unexpected illness. We have created and improved learning programs which support the manufacturing workforce that is so essential to our diverse community. These essential updates are going to have a positive impact on all of us!

I am proud to chair the state’s Capitol Internship Program which brings together Connecticut students and legislators for mentorship and enrichment. We will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of this enriching curriculum next spring!
I look forward to working with you to prepare legislation for the upcoming 2020 session! Please take advantage of my contact information to share your priorities and perspectives with me, and sign up for my emails to hear about upcoming local events where we can chat. See you in Milford!


Affordable Housing Moratorium Reached!

Twelve years ago I was told that no one would ever be able to change CT state statute 8-30g. For me, those were fighting words. For 8 years, I worked tirelessly with my delegation to make the necessary changes to protect my community from predatory developers going into little neighborhoods and knocking down one or two houses and building 15. It took years of convincing my colleagues that Milford is certainly not against affordable housing, but we were against the way in which developers used a state statute to profit at the expense of my neighbors and their homes.

This was a campaign promise of mine and I am so grateful to the Mayor and all the city officials who worked through the years with me to reach this goal. Now, our town will have the opportunity to better plan for affordable housing in areas that make the most sense.

In-State Tuition for Military Families

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 helps Connecticut support our military and their families. This legislation will allow tuition reduction to follow the student and make education more accessible to military families.

Health and Safety

Research shows that if you haven’t started smoking by 21, you likely never will. We have made the sale of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and vape products illegal for those under 21. Nicotine creates addiction in teens, and 95% percent of adults who smoke started young. Nationwide, e-cigarette use, also known as “vaping,” is on the rise among middle and high school students. This law seeks to keep nicotine out of the hands of minors.

This legislation will require individuals to show their ID proving they are 21 or older to purchase cigarettes / vaping products, and protect middle school students who often purchase vaping products from 18 year olds, as well as ban smoking and vaping on the grounds of child care centers and schools.

Fighting for Consumers: Mental Health Parity

Diseases of the brain and body need to be treated equally in society and by insurance companies. We unanimously passed the Mental Health Parity Act which gives people with mental health and substance use disorders the same access to care as those with cancer and heart disease. One in four Americans has or will be affected by mental health or a substance use disorder. It should be just as easy to receive treatment for depression or addiction as it is for heart disease or diabetes.

Pre-existing Conditions

This session, we expanded health insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. Passed unanimously, this legislation protects Connecticut residents against any changes to federal law. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, if someone had a pre-existing or chronic condition, insurance companies could refuse to insure them – impacting fifty million people. As a result, hospital emergency rooms and Medicaid were forced to absorb these costs, resulting in higher prices for everyone.

Mammogram Coverage

This legislation will require health insurance coverage for breast ultrasound screenings for any woman who is forty years or older, has a recommendation from her doctor, has a personal history of breast disease through the biopsy of a benign tumor, or has a family or personal history of breast cancer. It also prohibits insurance companies from charging co-insurance, co-payments, deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses for breast ultrasounds and mammograms.

Increasing Sustainability and Reducing Waste

In an effort to become a national leader in environmental protection, this year begins the phase-out process of single use plastic bags in Connecticut.

Green energy is good for the planet and our economy. We are creating a Green Jobs Career Ladder website for jobs in the green technology industry.

No more fracking waste in Connecticut! This policy ensures that pollutants generated by fracking do not enter our state.

We have cleared the path for offshore wind energy generation in order to lead in green energy technology and help achieve Connecticut’s renewable energy goals. Through this law, Connecticut will procure up to 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind power. This will help achieve our energy consumption goal of 40% renewable energy by 2030.

Giving Working Families the Support They Deserve

In the event of a medical emergency, Paid Family and Medical Leave allows workers to care for themselves or a loved one without having to face the threat of financial ruin. By providing up to 12 weeks of Family and Medical Leave Insurance per year, equaling up to 95% of an employee’s weekly paycheck, we will provide financial protection to those who find themselves in an unanticipated medical emergency. This will help pregnant women on medically-ordered bedrest, families with an infirm or aging parent, and new parents who want to bond with an infant. The program is funded by employee contributions. If you or your family has an emergency, there will now be financial peace-of-mind.

Capitol Update 2019 (pdf)