Capitol Update: December 18 Special Session

December 18, 2019

The legislature convened for special session Wednesday, December 18 to take up two important issues - a settlement between the state and hospitals and the restaurant tipped wage. 

The legislature voted to approve an agreement between the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut Hospital Association, ending a dispute over tax and Medicaid reimbursement rates that has been hanging over us since before I came to the General Assembly.

The agreement provides immediate financial stability and more certainty in budgeting for our state’s future needs. It also represents a new chapter in the relationship between Connecticut and its hospitals, which serve a critical role in communities throughout the state.

Before the settlement, the state was facing a possible $4 billion liability because of the association’s legal claims.

Thankfully, the seven-year agreement that we now have will provide for Medicaid rate increases of 2 percent for inpatient services in hospitals and 2.2 percent for most other services through 2026.

The legislature also voted on a bill to address the ongoing wages issues between restaurants and their employees. The bill allows restaurant wait staff and bartenders to collect damages from restaurants that relied on unclear guidelines from the state Department of Labor when determining how to pay tipped employees.

State Representative Gregg Haddad and I had the opportunity to welcome to the State Capitol the University of Connecticut's first-ever Rhodes Scholar Wawa Gatheru. She is a graduate of Pomfret Community School and the Woodstock Academy. Pictured is her family and UConn President Thomas Katsouleas right after we introduced her on the House floor, to which she received a standing ovation.