Image

Rep. Siegrist Votes to Restore Medicare Savings Program Reductions

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORD – State Representative Robert Siegrist 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.

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.

“Cuts to the Medicare Savings Program were extremely unfortunate as these funds provide much-needed support to individuals with a limited income and also those with intellectual disabilities,” said Siegrist. “The largest issue that we face as a state right now is how to best deal with years of irresponsible spending and the mismanagement of state funds. It’s no doubt that these are trying economic times; the legislature must work together to ensure that the government services which our most vulnerable populations depend on are funded. I’m glad my colleagues and I were able to force a special session to fix this very important issue.”

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 Siegrist’s office at Robert.Siegrist@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

New Laws Taking Effect on January 1st

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

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 Robert.Siegrist@housegop.ct.gov.

Best,

Rep. Siegrist attends Haddam Killingworth High School Holiday Show

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HADDAM – On Friday, December 22, State Representative Robert Siegrist attended an annual holiday show held at Haddam Killingworth High School. Each year the HKTV communications program puts on a holiday show to benefit a local cause. This year’s efforts will benefit the Patsy Kamercia Memorial Scholarship Fund. Kamerica was a beloved member of the Haddam Killingworth community, teacher and field hockey coach at Haddam Killingworth High School. Kamercia was also the first female athletic director in the state of Connecticut and as a result inspired many girls within the community.

“I am very proud of these students for exploring a challenging field and creating such an impressive show. It is crucial that schools promote a variety of career fields and allow students to gain real-life experience. I’m glad Haddam Killingworth High School has taken the initiative to include these communications media classes in its curriculum,” said State Rep. Robert Siegrist.

“It was really a pleasure to be back at Haddam Killingworth High School after graduating in 2001. Ms. Kamercia will be missed. She played a vital role in shaping the lives of so many students.

The holiday show will air on Comcast Channel 18 every day from December 23, 2017 – January 4, 2018 at 8 am and 7 pm.

For more information visit: http://holidayshow.rsd17.org/.

Rep. Siegrist Honors Veterans at Middletown Wreaths Across America Ceremony

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

MIDDLETOWN – State Representative Robert Siegrist attended the annual Wreaths Across America Wreath Laying Ceremony held at the State Veterans Cemetery located at 317 Bow Lane in Middletown on December 16. The Ceremony commenced at noon sharp and was followed by volunteers placing wreaths on graves that were donated by individuals, local businesses, and local organizations.

“This is a day that deserves recognition. We must always honor and remember those who selflessly gave their lives to ensure our freedom,” Rep. Siegrist said after the ceremony. “This holiday season; let’s remember to be especially grateful to all the brave men and women that serve in the armed forces and also those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for us and our country.”

Wreaths were laid at cemeteries all over the country as well as each of the fifty state capitals. The charity offers tribute and honor to veterans with a mission to “Remember, Honor, Teach” about the service and sacrifices of our veterans, active military, and their families.

For information regarding how to donate a wreath visit: https://wreaths.fastport.com/donateLocation.html?page=14776&relate=19149.

Rep. Siegrist Joins the Red Kettle Bell Brigade for the Holidays

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

DEEP RIVER – On December 13th State Representative Robert Siegrist rang the bell for The Salvation Army at the Walgreens in Deep River.

Over the course of an hour, Rep. Siegrist participated in the time honored tradition of ‘Ringing the Bell’ as he greeted holiday shoppers. As a group, the Republican caucuses have raised more than $190,000 for the Salvation Army over the past several years. Walmart will be matching donations raised statewide by Connecticut House Republicans up to $25,000.

“The 36th District has amazed me once again,” said Rep. Siegrist of his experience partnering with The Salvation Army. “Our community has a way of binding together to assist those in need, and when we do we achieve amazing things. This joint effort sheds light on the true spirit of this season. I am grateful to all those that donated towards this worthy cause and also to those who help out in other ways during this holiday season and throughout the year. Your contributions and kindness go a long way.”

Rep. Siegrist was joined by Salvation Army Captain Jose Borrero, Corps. Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army.

All proceeds will be donated directly to The Salvation Army. Donated funds will help The Salvation Army provide basic social services to those in need of food, shelter, clothing, and financial assistance. The organization also responds to natural disasters such as wildfires and tornadoes, provides meals and toys to families in need, and conducts research and analyses regarding human needs around the country. They also provide adult rehabilitation, veteran services, elderly services, missing person searches, housing assistance, youth recreation, sponsorship, and support in the fight to end human trafficking.

Anyone that was unable to donate during the bell ringing but would wish to contribute to The Salvation Army can text CTREP to 71777 and donate directly to the House and Senate Republicans’ Red Kettle or visit The Salavation Army website at: http://www.salvationarmyusa.org/.

State Representative Robert Siegrist is a member of the General Assembly’s Committee on Insurance and Real Estate, Public Safety and Veterans’ Affairs.

Representative Siegrist represents the towns of Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam in the General Assembly.