Posted on June 3, 2021
The House took concurring action with the Senate on S.B. 1 An Act Equalizing Comprehensive Access to Mental, Behavioral, and Physical Health Care in Response to the Pandemic. State Rep. Billy Buckbee (R-New Milford) cast his vote in support of the public policy as it will ensure critical health services and access to jobs will be available to all Connecticut residents. He issued the following statement:
“This is a very large bill with 21 separate sections. I supported the bill based on the merits of several of these sections. Specifically, the bill calls for equal access to mental and physical health services and goes on to study the disparate impacts of the pandemic on various groups of people are vital to Connecticut’s future.
It’s become painfully clear, however, throughout the pandemic that the ability to access quality health services is not equal. Both mental and physical health are critical, regardless of one’s race, religion, or personal beliefs. Anything we can do at the state level to make treatment options more accessible will lead to healthier communities.
The bill also calls for fairer hiring practices and job retention within the healthcare industry.
Data shows that certain sectors, such as the healthcare industry, do not have a diverse workforce. Studying the barriers to employment and determining ways in which the hiring process can become more inclusive will only strengthen our health facilities. As we all look to recover from the COVID-19 outbreak, more long-term job opportunities mean a brighter tomorrow.
While it is concerning that there is a litany of unfunded mandates within the bill, the overall concept is to create a society that is more inclusive – a laudable goal that I believe all residents of New Milford support.”