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Rep. Ferguson, Danbury Legislators Vote to Restore Medicare Savings Program

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HARTFORD—State Reps. Michael Ferguson (R-138) on Monday voted for a bipartisan plan that would provide funding for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) through the end of the fiscal year.

Upon learning that almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified and another 27,000 would have their coverage reduced under the new state budget, Ferguson along with other lawmakers petitioned the Secretary of the State to call them back into special session in order to restore the funding for the program.

MSP is a Medicaid program that helps seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare co-insurance, deductibles and premiums. Connecticut was one of five states whose income eligibly limits exceeded the federal minimum level. The budget adopted in October reduced the eligibility thresholds, consequently reducing or eliminating coverage for many of the program’s thousands of participants. The state’s Department of Social Services in December announced it would delay implementation of the eligibility reduction by two months. This gave concerned program participants a reprieve from an unexpected jump in their healthcare costs as lawmakers worked to find $53 million to fund the program through June.

“Many seniors in my district rely on this program for essential medical services that they could not afford otherwise. We need to make sure government is here to protect our most vulnerable citizens. I am happy we were able to restore the program,” said Rep. Ferguson. 

The MSP plan was approved in the House through a 130 to 3 vote. The Senate approved the legislation 32 to 1.

Among the methods used to restore program funding is a requirement that Gov. Malloy reduce the number of state 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.

The 2018 legislative session starts February 7. State lawmakers will focus primarily on issues tied to the state budget.

State Rep. Michael Ferguson, Danbury Legislators to Host Pre-Session Update

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DANBURY- State Reps. Michael Ferguson (R-138), Will Duff (R-2), Stephen Harding (R-107) and State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) are inviting Danbury residents to a pre-session legislative update on the General Assembly session which begins on February 7th.

The pre-session legislative update will be held Monday, January 22nd 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Danbury City Hall located at 155 Deer Hill Avenue in Danbury.

Please join the Danbury Legislative Delegation as they discuss the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session, ask any questions you have about potential legislation, or bring suggestions on how we can work together to make our state a better place to live.

The legislators ask that any constituents with questions ahead of the event call Reps. Ferguson, Duff and Harding at their State Capitol offices at 1-800-842-1423 or email, Michael.Ferguson@housegop.ct.gov, William.Duff@housegop.ct.gov, Stephen.Harding@housegop.ct.gov. For Sen. McLachlan please email her at Michael.McLachlan@cga.ct.gov or call 1-800-842-1421.

State Rep. Michael Ferguson: Fight the Electric Rate Hike

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The state has set a series of public hearings on Eversource Energy’s request for an average 9.82 % rate hike on electric bills starting in May.

The proposed rate increase would add $13.69 per month to electric bills for the typical residential customer.

That’s more than $150 a year!

Are you tired of rate hikes?

Join me in speaking out!

  • Send a brief email to Pura.ExecutiveSecretary@ct.gov saying “NO” to rate hikes.
  • Copy me on the email at Michael.Ferguson@housegop.ct.gov.
  • Put ‘Docket No. 17-10-46’ in the subject line.
  • Share this information with fellow ratepayers.
  • Attend one of the hearings if you can.

Hearings are scheduled for:

  • January 24, 6 p.m., 10 Franklin Square, New Britain.
  • January 30, 6 p.m., Government Center, 888 Washington Blvd., Stamford.
  • January 31, 6 p.m., Branford Fire Department, 45 N. Main St., Branford.
  • February 6, 6 p.m., Council Chambers, 181 State St., New London.

Eversource Application LOI (CLP Rate Case) 10.27.17 final

Thank you!

State Rep. Michael Ferguson: New Laws for January 1, 2018

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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.

As 2017 comes to an end, we prepare for a number of new laws to take effect starting January 1, 2018. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I therefore 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, reduce the maximum number of days for a prescription from seven to five for minors and allow 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, as directed 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 in the 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 at michael.ferguson@housegop.ct.gov or at (800) 842-1423.

Wishing you a safe and Happy New Year!

Rep. Michael Ferguson Guest on “Plugged in Politics” Podcast

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NEW HAVEN- A few months ago, State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) was a podcast guest at the University of New Haven (UNH) with students from the political science department called “Plugged in Politics.”

Rep. Ferguson’s appearance was the premier episode of the UNH “Plugged in Politics” podcast which airs on the school’s radio station (88.7 – WNUH).


Three UNH students interviewed Rep. Ferguson for about an hour on a variety of topics which ranged from his role in the legislature and how the legislative process works to the intricacies and nuances of the state budget process and the ultimate budget compromise passed by the General Assembly.

Rep. Ferguson is a former student of Dr. Trish Crouse, who used to teach at Western Connecticut State University, and is the advisor for the UNH “Plugged in Politics” podcast.

Dr. Crouse said, “We greatly appreciate Rep. Ferguson taking the time to participate in our first podcast. Our students were extremely impressed with Rep. Ferguson’s knowledge of the budget process and state politics in general. They were especially impressed with the fact that he had achieved so much at such a young age.”

Rep. Ferguson said, “It is always fun to share my experiences as a young elected official. I enjoy representing the people of the 138th Assembly District and being their voice at the State Capitol. I am encouraged so many young adults are engaged in the political process and hope this podcast will inspire others to carry the mantle going forward.”

Please listen to the podcast if you want to by clicking here: http://wnhu.org/plugged-in-politics/