HARTFORD – As a well-established allergist in Glastonbury, and Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Public Health Committee, State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-31) stood today in the House Chamber to offer his support for a bill that would improve school policies on managing life-threatening food allergies.
House Bill 5452 requires the following of all local and regional boards of education:
Allow students with life-threatening food allergies to participate in all course curriculum and any culinary program, other than those offered at a technical high school, by implementing allergen restrictions and safety protocols.
Include their current plan for managing students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease in any school climate or wellness programs that they adopt.
It also requires the State Department of Education to:
Revise and update the “Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum” framework to include life-threatening food allergies and
Include dietary restrictions, cross-contaminations, and allergen identification in an any culinary arts program or curriculum standards related to the National Family and Consumer Sciences Standards.
Apply for available federal or private funding to promote public awareness and education about food allergies.
Revise existing guidelines on managing students with life-threatening food allergies and glycogen storage disease.
Finally, the bill requires all public school district superintendents to annually attest to the State Department of Education (SDE) that their district is implementing this expanded management plan beginning in 2019.
“This is a very important bill that I am happy to have seen pass through the House Chamber,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “I also thank the proponent for reassuring me today that this bill would continue to allow capable students to self-administer epinephrine, or an EpiPen, if necessary. If they are incapable, due to their age or an anaphylactic reaction, an educator or a bus driver will be allowed to administer it and get the student out of immediate danger. Parents can rest assured that their child will receive the care they need to escape any long-term danger that an allergic reaction can cause, in addition, because the training that such educator or bus driver would receive regarding epinephrine administration would also teach them the importance of what comes next; which is calling 911 and monitoring the student while waiting for help to arrive.”
The bill has now been transferred to the Senate, where Rep. Srinivasan hopes it will receive a vote before session ends on midnight on Wednesday, May 9th.
HARTFORD – As a republic nation, the United States has a very unique system by which we elect a president. It is modeled after our constitution and form of government. Majority party legislators in Connecticut, however, want to change this process. Last week they pushed a bill, H.B. 5421, through the House of Representatives with a vote of 77-73 to adopt an interstate compact to elect a U.S. President solely by a national popular vote. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) opposed the legislation, saying that it would take away the voices and choices of our citizens.
This bill, which is now awaiting consideration in the Senate, would amend our constitution and enter Connecticut into the “Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by National Popular Vote,” thereby committing Connecticut’s votes in the Electoral College to the presidential candidate that wins the popular vote nationally, regardless of whether such presidential candidate wins the popular vote within the state. The compact would take effect when enough jurisdictions have joined and cumulatively possess a majority of Electoral College votes (270).
“This change would go against the very spirit of our great constitution,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “Our transition of power is peaceful and orderly. It is unnecessary to disrupt this process. The Electoral College is in place for a reason – one that particularly benefits the State of Connecticut. As a small state, we rely on our representation in the Electoral College to make elections fair amongst bigger states with a larger input in the National Popular Vote.
“In addition, I am concerned about the constitutionality of this legislation,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “We should be amending our constitution through due process, which is through a constitutional convention held by Congress.”
HARTFORD – Nominations to appoint new judges to the Connecticut Superior Court were called today on the House Floor. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) voted against all the nominations.
“I have had the privilege, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, of hearing from each of these judges directly during public hearings over the past week,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “Each judge has great qualifications for a position in the Superior Court, but given Connecticut’s ongoing budget crisis, this is not the time to appoint new judges. The Office of Fiscal Analysis predicts that the cost of appointing these judges and their support staff will cost our taxpayers $12 million. We are currently in a deficit of $381 million, and running the risking of compromising the funding for services impacting the most vulnerable in our community. We cannot afford to pay the salaries of new judges and their staff and hence I could not support the new nominations.”
All nominations passed through the House of Representatives on party-line votes. The nominations will now be brought up in the Senate.
HARTFORD – The Connecticut House of Representatives was alive in debate until 1:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. During this time Legislators voted on two very important pieces of legislation, including House Bill 5210, which mandates expanded insurance coverage for women, children and adolescents. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) supported a Republican-proposed amendment to this bill, but ultimately voted against the legislation when the amendment was rejected 57-90.
This bill requires expanded insurance coverage of health benefits that are already required to be covered under the Affordable Care Act, such as women’s health services, including a 12-month contraception supply, and immunizations for children, adolescents, and adults.
“Our amendment to this bill would have ensured that patients are offered a variety of affordable insurance coverage options,” said Rep. Srinivasan, “so they could choose what is best for them, instead of having requirements forced on them. Healthcare is already expensive; I could not support any new mandates on potentially higher-costing health insurance. Patients deserve options so that they can choose what they can afford and how they want to receive care.”
The bill passed through the House with a vote of 114-32. It now awaits a vote in the Senate.
HARTFORD – The House of Representatives today approved a bill, amended by the Senate, which grants financial aid to illegal immigrant students. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury), however, voted in opposition to the legislation.
This bill allows illegal immigrant students financial aid to attend a state public higher education institution (i.e., UConn and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities), raises the age by which such students must have arrived in the United States from 15 to 16, and changes the date by which such students are eligible for aid from Fall 2019 to January 1, 2020, or when Congress provides a pathway to citizenship.
“Institutional dollars provide financial aid to students and these dollars are not limitless,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “They are already fully utilized and paid for by the tuition that students – legal citizens – invest into their education. Our legal citizens need this financial aid. By granting financial aid to illegal immigrant students we are in fact taking away necessary and long-relied upon financial support from our legal citizens. Illegal immigrant students are not eligible for federal financial aid.”
Several amendments were introduced to improve this legislation. One such amendment would have required all students without legal immigration status that are eligible for financial aid to first comply with all United States citizenship and immigration policies and protocols for approval to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. Another would have required all public institutions of higher education to adopt policies to exempt tuition payments made by full-time or part-time students who are not eligible for institutional financial aid from the requirement and to set aside funds for such aid. Unfortunately these amendments were defeated.
“Tuition costs are raising,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “College education is almost becoming unaffordable. We need a sound, viable plan to help our legal citizens and not reduce the aid they deserve.”
This bill was ultimately passed by the House of Representatives with a vote of 91-59. It now awaits a signature from the governor.