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Kokoruda Votes to Restore MSP Funding

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State Representative Noreen Kokoruda on Monday, January 8, 2018, voted in support of a bipartisan plan that would provide funding for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) through the end of the fiscal year.

Rep. Noreen Kokoruda

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 eligibility limits exceeded the federal minimum level. In adopting the budget in October, legislators reduced the eligibility to the federal minimum, which in turn reduced or eliminated coverage for many of the program’s thousands of participants. In December, the state’s Department of Social Services announced it would delay implementation of the eligibility reduction by two months, giving 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.

“The Medicare Savings Program provides much-needed support to individuals with a limited income and also those with intellectual disabilities,” said Kokoruda. “Although Connecticut faces dire economic times, government still has a responsibility to support vital services to those who need a helping hand. We cannot simple cut core services that individuals depend on to survive without any notice, which is why I am proud to support this fix. The truth is that we still have more work to be done and I will continue to support our seniors and those with disabilities.”

Realizing almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified 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.

The MSP plan was approved in the House through a 130 to 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, which is referred to as a short session begins on February 7, and its primary focus is to deal with all issues tied to the state budget and all proposed legislation must be fiscal in nature.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Representative Kokoruda’s office at Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

 

New Laws Taking Effect on January 1st

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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.

I encourage you to contact me regarding any state or local concerns at 800-842-1423 or Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov.

Best,

 

Kokoruda to Host “Beat the Blues” Informational Forum for Senior

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HARTFORD—State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda will host a “Beat the Blues” informational session at the Madison Senior Center, located at 29 Bradley Road, on Friday, January 19, from 1 – 2:30 p.m.

This meeting will serve as an opportunity for seniors to learn about tools and techniques to “Beat the Blues” this holiday season and throughout the year.

Anyone with questions can contact Kokoruda’s office at 860-842-1423.

Kokoruda represents the 101st General Assembly District, which includes Madison and Durham

Kokoruda Achieves 100% Voting Record

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HARTFORD- State Representative Noreen Kokoruda achieved a perfect record for votes cast on the floor of the state House of Representatives during the 2017 legislative session, according to the House Clerk’s Office.

Representative Kokoruda was present and voted for all 417 votes taken on the state House floor during the 2017 session, according to voting record data released by the House Clerk’s Office.  Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, with only 67 out of 151 legislators able to do so this year.

“I am honored to report back to my constituents that I have served them to the best of my ability, which is reflected in my voting record,” said Rep. Kokoruda.  “Being the voice of the people of Madison and Durham in the Capitol is a privilege that I take very seriously and I want them to know that their collective voice was heard on every issue debated by the legislature during the 2017 legislative session.”

Kokoruda serves as House Republican Caucus Chair and is also a member in the General Assembly’s Committees on Children, Appropriations and Education.

The next regular legislative session will convene in February 2018. For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2017 legislative session visit the Office of Legislative Research website: www.cga.ct.gov/olr/Documents/year/MA/2017MA-20170620_Major Acts for 2017.pdf.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Representative Kokoruda’s office at Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

Kokoruda to Host “Beat the Blues” Informational Forum for Seniors

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HARTFORD—State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda will host a “Beat the Blues” informational session at the Madison Senior Center, located at 29 Bradley Road, on Friday, December 15, from 1 – 2:00 p.m.

This meeting will serve as an opportunity for seniors to learn about tools and techniques to “Beat the Blues” this holiday season and throughout the year.

Anyone with questions can contact Kokoruda’s office at 860-842-1423.

Kokoruda represents the 101st General Assembly District, which includes Madison and Durham.