March Updates from the Capitol

April 9, 2024

March was a busy month up at the Capitol and in our district. In the legislature, we were busy meeting in our committees, conducting hearings on proposed legislation and ultimately voting numerous bills out of committee to likely be considered by the full General Assembly. It's a short session this year, so things move at a very fast pace. But, the work is still extraordinarily important and will aim to implement numerous positive changes across our state. I will be sure to keep you informed as we move into the next several weeks of voting.

As always, your voice is what matters as I contemplate the bills before us. Please never hesitate to reach out with questions, concerns, or input.

With gratitude,
Representative Moira Rader
State Historic Preservation Office Roundtable
In early March, I was happy to organize and host a roundtable with my Republican colleague, Rep. Tami Zawistowski, and various members of the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO). 

This roundtable brought together legislators, preservation experts, and agency liaisons to better understand the processes and opportunities to preserve our shared historical assets and work towards better ways to protect and integrate our historical treasures into the future of our communities.

As someone who has studied and practiced in the profession of historic preservation and design for much of my early career, I was eager to bring this roundtable together in the hopes of highlighting the important work of the SHPO and the opportunities there are for property owners, municipalities, and developers. Historic preservation can absolutely be an integral part of economic development. I'm excited to continue convening future roundtables to support historic preservation initiatives throughout our communities. 

Supporting a Local Family
On March 7, I testified in favor of SB 206, "An Act Concerning the Expansion of the Katie Beckett Waiver Program. Also testifying that day was David Negron, who along with his family, lives in Guilford. His daughter Chloe, now age 5, was diagnosed in 2022 with Tay-Sachs, a rare, neurodegenerative, and terminal disease. As the mother of four children, I can only imagine the devastation the Negron family is feeling. Their advocacy developed after Chloe's diagnosis and in their darkest time, they reached out to Senator Cohen and me for help. 

The Katie Beckett Waiver Program provides Medicaid coverage to children with significant medical needs and has been a lifeline for many families, allowing them access to complex, multi-specialty medical care and supportive services, often not covered by commercial insurance. This waiver allows the terminally ill child to remain at home, avoiding costly hospitalizations. However, the current waitlist limits the program's reach, leaving many families without the assistance they desperately need. Currently, Connecticut is the only New England state with a cap on the number of physically/medically disabled children provided with a Katie Becket Waiver, leaving 307 individuals on the waitlist. This bill directs DSS to expand the waiver program to reduce the waitlist for program services. Expanding access to the waiter or complete removal of the waitlist would provide relief for these children and their families. As David Negron said in his brave testimony, "My daughter Chloe is on a waitlist longer than she will live." 

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day at the New Haven Parade
This Irish girl had a wonderful day at the Greater New Haven St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Thank you to all of the organizers and volunteers who made this day so extraordinary!
Making Prescriptions More Affordable: The ArrayRx Event
Thank you to everyone who came out to the Nathanael B. Green Community Center on March 22 for the senior lunch and a discussion on the state's ArrayRx program. State Comptroller Sean Scanlon and I will be offering a presentation on Friday on the ArrayRx prescription drug discount program. The digital discount card is free and accepted at most pharmacies throughout the state.   

If you missed the event, but you're interested in signing up for this free program, you can click HERE. You can use the digital ArrayRx Discount Card instead of insurance or Medicare if your insurance does not cover a medication. You can also use it when the digital ArrayRx Discount Card gets you a better price than your insurance or Medicare plan. ArrayRx Discount Card purchases will not count toward your deductible or out-of-pocket maximum.

ArrayRx participants can see a savings of up to 80% on generics. All FDA-approved prescriptions are included. This program is a valuable tool here in Connecticut that can help lower the cost of prescription drugs. 

House in Session 
On March 25, we held a session day, where we voted on executive nominations and on the Personal Care Assistant (PCA) contract. It's a three-year agreement between the Personal Care Assistant Workforce Council and SEIU District 1199 New England that was passed by the Connecticut General Assembly. The contract still needs approval by the federal government.
School Meals for All Press Conference 
On March 26, I joined fellow legislators, including State Reps. Gary Turco, Anne Hughes, Rachel Khanna, Amy Morrin Bello, Kevin Brown, Mike Demicco, and Senator Cici Maher, as well as End Hunger CT, to support renewing funding school breakfasts across the state (HB 5510). The press conference was held right before the Appropriations Committee public hearing.

Schools that offer breakfast at no cost increase school and class participation and decrease tardiness and absenteeism, while building community in the schools. According to End Hunger CT, there are 965 schools/sites that offer breakfast to Connecticut students. The CT Department of Education numbers show the demand for breakfast is on the rise - 400,000 more breakfasts were served in October 2023 (3,075,661) vs. October 2022 (2,680,866). 

Breakfast is a fundamental part of education - it helps children focus on learning. Students who eat at school get better nutrition than those who eat at home, and students who eat breakfast at school do better on tests, even if they ate breakfast at home beforehand.

Breakfast sets the tone for children for the entire day. Studies have shown that students who eat breakfast have:

  • Increased cognitive and school performance - students are ready to learn
  • Increased math and reading scores
  • Better nutrition translates to positive weight and athletic outcomes
  • Less absenteeism and tardiness

To watch the full press conference on CTN, click HERE. Click the video below to watch my remarks to the Appropriations Committee. 

Click the image to watch my testimony before the Appropriations Committee. 
HB 5001 Passes Aging Committee
I am glad to report the Aging Committee approved HB 5001, an omnibus bill that will provide further support to our seniors. Issues impacting seniors are often ignored or misunderstood. Our elderly residents need support and access to resources that will provide them with the best quality of life possible. HB 5001 does this by: 
  • Requiring additional training for home care workers 
  • Creating a more efficient process for accessing Medicaid
  • Expanding the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Click here to read an article that explores additional details of the bill. 

Our aging population faces a growing list of challenges that are not isolated incidents. As our society gets older, these issues will only become more pronounced. HB 5001 not only acknowledges these complexities but also paves the way for crucial improvements. This legislation will ensure that our seniors will age gracefully. Next stop, the House Floor!

 HB 5002 Passes Out of Finance Committee
House Democrats have made it a top priority during this legislative session to address the issue of childcare affordability. HB 5002 focuses on making childcare more accessible and affordable for families through long-term strategic investments. This is a significant measure that could positively impact many families in our community.

I am proud to support this proposal, as childcare plays a crucial role in nurturing the growth and well-being of our children while also strengthening the economy by supporting parents and guardians. By improving accessibility and affordability, we are investing in our community's future and providing relief to individuals striving to balance work and family life.  

Volunteer for Loan Forgiveness
During National Volunteer Month, we're thrilled to shine a spotlight on Connecticut's Student Loan Reimbursement Pilot Program! Going into effect this July, this initiative not only encourages volunteerism but also supports our dedicated volunteers by helping alleviate student loan burdens. It's a win-win for community service and financial relief. Let's celebrate the power of giving back and the impact it has on both individuals and communities!

State of Connecticut Department of Banking:

Bishop's Orchards Fire
By now, you've probably heard about the devastating fire the night before Easter at Bishop's Orchards and the damage to the Little Red Barn. We are all so relieved that no human or animal lives were injured or lost. I am so grateful to the first responders from both our town and surrounding communities who jumped into action and worked together to address the fire and keep everyone safe. This family and their business are an integral part of our community. They support so many of our nonprofit groups, schools, and community programs. While the Bishops regroup and plan their next steps, please consider supporting their business and future events.
College Transition Workshop
Elderly Tax Relief Program Open in Guilford
Enrollment in the Elderly Tax Relief Program is open to Guilford residents until May 15. To learn more about it, click HERE.  
Resident Stickers Available in Branford
2024-2026 Branford Resident Stickers are now available, including the residence sticker, residence cards, trip pass, or golf cart sticker (Pine Orchard area only). 

Stickers are issued by the Office of the Tax Collector, 1019 Main Street, 1st floor - Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Bring a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration showing your Branford address.

All taxes must be current; residents with delinquent taxes will not be issued a sticker.

Each sticker costs $5. However, residents 65 years of age or older and Branford Volunteer Firefighters may obtain a sticker at no charge.

For more information, click HERE

Fire Safety from the Branford Fire Department
You’re never too young to learn about fire safety. Children under five are twice as likely as other people to die in a home fire. The American Red Cross has interactive trainings available for protecting and educating your little ones. Learn more at