Posted on May 31, 2018 by admin
NEW CANAAN – State Representatives Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton) and Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) toured the Silver Hill Hospital for Mental Health and Addiction in New Canaan on May 29th, 2018.
“The opioid crisis in Connecticut has reached a critical level,” Rep. Wilms said. “Hospitals like Silver Hill will help us combat addiction and reduce the number of fatalities in our state. I would like to thank the hospital for allowing us to visit, and for their dedication to saving and changing lives. To assist in their efforts, I cosponsored a bill expanding telehealth services to treat addiction, which has passed the legislature this year. We will continue to do our part in Hartford to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets and to provide assistance to those battling addiction.”
“Mental health and drug addiction are complex problems that require the unique care that Silver Hill offers,” Rep. O’Dea said. “They provide a tremendous service to the community, especially during a time when the number of opioid deaths has reached unprecedented levels. Combating drug addiction in our state is a group effort. We must continue to educate the public on this crisis, pass legislation to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets, ensure that hospitals like Silver Hill have the resources they need to treat patients, and continue to support our first responders in any way possible. In addition, Silver Hill’s new President and Medical Director, John Santopietro, MD, DFAPA, has experience developing and growing large scale telehealth programs, which, I believe, are key to making affordable healthcare available to all.”
Silver Hill Hospital has been operational since 1931 when it was founded by Dr. John Millet and Nurse Elvira Parsons with the first patient being admitted that December. The non-profit hospital began treating addiction in 1971 where the conducted original research into the biological and psychological contributors to addiction. Today, the hospital treats over 3,500 patients annually. Their goal is to treat the addiction, or other conditions, and eventually transition patients into productive lives. Silver Hill is a nationally recognized psychiatric hospital that continually receives accolades for their success with patients.
Reps. O’Dea and Wilms supported P.A. 18-148, An Act Concerning Telehealth Services, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly with strong bipartisan support. This bill allows telehealth providers to prescribe non-opioid Schedule II or III controlled substances in the treatment of a psychiatric disability or substance abuse disorder. The bill also adds registered nurses and pharmacists to the list of health care providers who may provide telehealth services. The bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.
State Rep. Tom O’Dea represents the 125th General Assembly district which includes New Canaan and Wilton. He is Deputy Republican Leader At-Large and serves on the legislature’s Transportation Committee as well as the Judiciary, Legislative Management and Regulation Review Committees.
State Representative Fred Wilms represents the 142nd General Assembly district communities of Norwalk and New Canaan. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee.
Posted on May 23, 2018 by admin
State Representatives Tom O’Dea and Fred Wilms, and State Senators Toni Boucher and Scott Frantz will be hosting a New Canaan Post-Session Legislative Update on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.
New Canaan Town Hall – Legislative Chambers
77 Main Street, New Canaan CT, 06840
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The legislators will be covering subjects including the budget, transportation and local issues affecting the community. Attendees are encouraged to come with questions for the representatives.
This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
If you are unable to attend, but still have questions or concerns relating to state government, Rep. O’Dea can be reached at Tom.O’Dea@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.
Posted on May 14, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representative Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton), Deputy House Republican Leader-at-Large, voted in favor of a compromise budget adjustment plan during the final hours of the 2018 Session, May 9th, 2018.
“The budget adjustment we passed last week had just enough positives in it to win my support, but I will admit that the Republican amendment we proposed was much better,” Rep. O’Dea said. “The adjustment restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program, which assists over 100,000 seniors in the state, and provides municipal aid and education funding to our towns all without increasing taxes. We also fully fund scheduled transportation projects without resorting to tolls.”
Republican lawmakers offered a budget adjustment proposal that offered necessary fiscal reforms to a state government that has lived above its means for decades. House Republicans called their budget adjustment as an amendment during debate on the compromise plan, but the amendment was rejected on near party line votes. Although the alternative compromised bipartisan budget did not contain all of the GOP initiatives, it laid the framework for a spending and revenue plan that will provide stability and sustainability for the future that were part of the original Republican proposal.
The compromise budget fully funds transportation projects, realizes $7 million in savings by adopting a hard hiring freeze, fully restores the MSP to 211 percent, provides $2 million to Department of Veterans’ Affairs, $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services patients, and brings the state’s portion of funding for the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare fund to 33 percent. The plan also includes some recommendations from the Fiscal Stability Commission. These recommendations include studies on tax and spending reform measures that will accelerate business growth, as well as a thorough review of the Teachers’ Retirement System.
“I think we can do much better in future budget sessions, specifically in regards to union labor contracts, our unfunded liabilities, and tax reform, but I believe we made progress this session and I am proud of that,” Rep. O’Dea concluded.
S.B.543, An Act Concerning Revisions to the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and Deficiency Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2018, passed the House 142-8 and the Senate unanimously. It now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.
Check out Rep. O’Dea’s interview with David Smith on “Meet the Leaders” from May 7, 2018.