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Local Lawmakers Vote to Restore Medicare Assistance for Seniors, Disabled

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HARTFORD — State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78), Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22), and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) on Monday co-sponsored and voted in favor of a bipartisan plan that would provide funding for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) through the end of the fiscal year.

“I’m pleased that we’ve provided the critical financial support that is vital to the health and well-being of low-income seniors and disabled individuals. In the meantime, we are looking for alternative funding to ensure these individuals will continue to be eligible to receive the health benefits of this program,” said Rep. Betts.

Realizing almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified from the program and another 27,000 would have their coverage reduced, members from both the House and Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly petitioned the Secretary of the State to call them back into special session in order to restore the previous cut.

“Our message to our seniors and those who are disabled is that we’ve heard you. Last week, over 100 seniors came to the Bristol senior center to advocate for themselves and demand that the legislature act. I’m proud to say that today, I joined my legislative colleagues in taking action to address this issue. However, we are far from finished. I will continue to work with my fellow lawmakers as we now deal with deficit mitigation, to try and find alternative funding to ensure that critical resources for our seniors remains intact,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato.

“Today we acted to restore funding for seniors and those who are disabled. This is a temporary fix, which, while easing the financial burden for those residents, is not a permanent solution. We have far more work to do on finding funding alternatives as we continue to deal with Connecticut’s ongoing fiscal crisis,” said Rep. Petit.

“The legislation passed today shows that health care for Connecticut’s low-income seniors and disabled is a priority for the state,” Sen. Martin said. “Today’s decision is in line with what the legislature intended when the budget was recently passed. I’m glad this was a bipartisan effort and hope the Governor will reconsider his threat to veto the bill.”

The MSP plan was approved in the House through a 130 – 3 vote. Among the methods used to restore program funding is a requirement that Gov. Malloy reduce the number of managers and consultants—a provision included in the adopted budget ignored by the governor. Other components include moving human resources-related functions of some state agencies into the state’s Department of Administrative Services, and requiring the governor to find savings in Executive Branch functions while limiting his ability to cut more than 10 percent from any one program.

State senators approved the plan 32 – 1 in a vote later in the day.

The 2018 legislative session—a so-called short session—starts Feb. 7 and will see lawmakers focus primarily on issues tied to the state budget.

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New Laws Effective January 1

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Please note that this is provided as information, and inclusion in this message does not indicate my support or opposition to an individual measure.

A number of new laws took effect beginning January 1, 2018. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I encourage you to take a look at the full list of laws that can be found by clicking here. I have listed some of the more noteworthy legislation below.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these laws.

AN ACT PREVENTING PRESCRIPTION OPIOID DIVERSION AND ABUSE – Public Act No. 17-131 – requires prescriptions be transcribed electronically to safeguard against over prescribing, reduces the maximum number of days for a prescription from seven to five for minors and allows patients to request drugs other than opioids be prescribed. Summary

AN ACT CONCERNING WITHHOLDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INCOME FOR CHILD SUPPORT – Public Act No. 17-27 – requires an employer promptly notify the dependent (i.e., spouse, former spouse, or child owed the support) or judicial branch’s Support Enforcement Services, if an employee, whose income is withheld to enforce a child support order, makes a workers’ compensation claim. Summary

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF A VETERAN FOR A CERTAIN HONOR AND CERTAIN BENEFIT – Public Act No. 17-83 – broadens the eligibility criteria for certain veterans’ benefits, allows additional people to receive a service ribbon and medal, be buried in a Connecticut veterans’ cemetery, or have veteran status indicated on their driver’s license or identity card. Summary

Please pass this information along to those who may benefit from knowing what to expect this new year in the State of Connecticut.
New legislation typically goes into effect on January 1st, July 1st, or October 1st in a calendar year, although a few laws go into effect immediately upon passage.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns relating to state government.

Lawmakers Ring Salvation Army Bells to Help Neighbors in Need

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Bristol– Local lawmakers Senator Henri Martin (R-31) and Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) again participated in the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign by ringing bells at the Bristol Walmart and greeting shoppers during the holiday season. The legislators thanked everyone who took the time to stop and donate, and support their neighbors in need.


The Salvation Army provides food, clothing, comfort and care to local residents as well as people in need across the United States.

 

 

Bristol Legislators Cancel Friday Coffee Hour 

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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) have announced that the coffee hour scheduled for Friday, January 5 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol) has been cancelled due to the legislature being called into session that morning.

Residents who wish to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Bristol Legislators to Host January Coffee Hour

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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for the first Coffee Hour event of the New Year on Friday, January 5 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, and discuss what lies ahead for the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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