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2019 YEAR IN REVIEW

Posted on January 6, 2020 by jpheasant


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Continued Fight against Tolls

  • While we can’t guarantee that there will or won’t be a toll vote in the future,  I can say with 100% certainty that I will not support any tolling plan regardless of the size.
  • If we truly want to improve our infrastructure, the legislature needs to be honest and stop diverting millions of dollars destined to fix our roads and bridges from the Special Transportation Fund ($171 million dollars in the majority party’s last budget) and then claim that we don’t have the funds necessary to improve our infrastructure.

Worked to Eliminate the Grocery Tax

  • Included within the biennium budget passed last year was a 7.35% tax on many single serve items prepared and purchased at grocery stores. This would have included sandwiches; salads from salad bars; bagels, donuts, muffins, rolls, and pastries sold in quantities of five or fewer.
  • After a House Republican petition to come in for special session to fix this issue and significant pressure from the general public, the governor reached out to the Department of Revenue Services to fix what he called a misinterpretation by the department of the legislatures true intent.

Fought Against School Regionalization

  • If this proposal would have passed, our boards of education would have lost their local control to Hartford politicians.

Increased Gun Safety

  • This legislation increases gun safety by requiring that any firearm being stored in a home be placed in a securely locked box or other container and secure location, whether loaded or unloaded.

Strengthening Penalties for Manufacturing, Selling, and Distributing Opioids

  • This session, the legislature overwhelmingly passed legislation to increase the penalties for those who manufacture and sell the deadly drug fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives, by reclassifying them as a narcotic substance.

Provide Mental Health Parity

  • This legislation will prevent a person with a mental illness from being treated differently than a person with a physical illness by requiring health insurance policies covering prescription drugs to also cover those prescribed to treat substance abuse, addiction services and the treatment of mental health.

Protecting seniors and Individuals with Disabilities  

  • I was proud to support this bipartisan legislation that expands the list of disqualifying offenses that prohibit someone from being hired as a direct care employee or volunteer at a long-term care facility.

Increased Property Tax Exemptions for Veterans

  • This legislation puts more money into the pockets of our veterans by increasing the base property tax exemptions for disabled service members and veterans by $500.

Increase Job Opportunities for Veterans

  • This legislation requires the State Department of Education (SDE) to reserve 10% of seats available in the existing alternate route to certification program for veterans.

An Act Concerning a Children in Care Bill of Rights and Expectations and the Sibling Bill of Rights

  • As Ranking Member of the Committee who had oversight into this bill, I believe this bill is an important step in ensuring the rights of children who currently reside in our foster care system are protected. In addition, it contains a provision that applies to guardians requiring them to provide a safe, caring, and structured environment.

Protected Victims of Sexual Assault 

  • This act exempts certain crime victims’ identifying information included in law enforcement investigation and arrest records from public disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

An Act Concerning Transitional Services for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • This act requires the first individualized education program (IEP) for a child who is at least 14 years old and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder to include appropriate measureable postsecondary goals and transition services, including courses of study, needed to assist a child in reaching those goals.