Posted on October 2, 2018 by admin
A number of new laws passed during the 2018 Legislative Session took effect yesterday, October 1st. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. For a full list of bills taking effect today, please click here.
I am pleased to have supported the following Public Acts in becoming law:
Public Act 18-90 prevents credit agencies from charging fees for security freezes and doubles (from one year to two) the amount of time businesses have to provide free credit monitoring if an account is hacked.
Public Act 18-29 bans the sale or transfer, possession, manufacturing or use of bump stocks or other accessories to increase the rate of fire of a firearm.
Public Act 18-135 criminalizes the act of masking the identity of a caller initiating robo calls.
Special Act 18-15 provides consumers with access to information regarding the safety of sports helmets on the State Department of Education’s website.
Public Act 18-4 establishes various requirements regarding the treatment of women – specifically pregnant – inmates. In general, it requires the Department of Correction (DOC) to establish support services, such as a lactation policy, for incarcerated women, provide inmates with feminine hygiene products free of cost (upon request), reinstate its training program on mental health issues for custodial staff and use a gender-responsive approach to risk assessment.
Public Act 18-149 protects patients from unexpected costs and fees at outpatient clinics, urgent care centers and freestanding emergency departments.
Public Act 18-109 strengthens the ban on sales of e-cigarettes to minors by prohibiting the sale of e-cigarettes through ‘self-service’ vending machines and by limiting access to e-cigarettes in stores.
Public Act 18-74 allows pharmacists to add biological products to generic drugs substitutions.
Energy & Environment
Public Act 18-7 enables the transfer of funds from the Passport to the Parks account and requires special event fees at state parks to be based on the number of attendees and cover state costs related to such events.
Public Act 18-50 aims to improve Connecticut’s energy future by establishing many sustainable policies, including reconfiguring funding for the state’s energy efficiency programs and establishing tariff-based programs for low-emission, zero-emission, shared clean energy and residential clean energy facilities.
Public Act 18-73 provides for the offering of proof that farm products that are sold to school districts as “Connecticut-grown” are actually grown in the state.
Public Act 18-84 limits exposures to pesticides by prohibiting the use of residential automatic pesticide misting systems.
Public Act 18-101 raises awareness and provides funding for efforts to fight aquatic invasive species and cyanobacteria blooms that threaten the state’s lakes and ponds by establishing a “Save Our Lakes” license plate.
Public Act 18-47 expands eligibility for certain veterans benefits to certain individuals who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injury or who have had an experience of military sexual trauma.
Public Act 18-102 eliminates qualifying income limits for veterans in order to improve eligibility for certain municipal option tax exemptions.
Public Act 18-79 exempts from the property tax a business’s tangible personal property that is more than ten years old and had an original value of not more than two hundred fifty dollars.
Posted on September 4, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – A new emergency response system, called “Text-to-911” has launched in Connecticut. State Representative Mark Tweedie (R-13) says that though calling 911 remains the best and fastest way to receive emergency help, if you are not able to make a phone call due to an unsafe environment or speech impairment, texting can be used if absolutely necessary.
“This system will increase the protection of Glastonbury and Manchester residents – as well as residents all across Connecticut,” said Rep. Tweedie. “It will be particularly beneficial to victims of domestic violence or a home invasion, or those who are deaf or hard of hearing. I applaud the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) for leading Connecticut in becoming one of the first few states, alongside our close neighbors like Maine and Vermont, to implement this very helpful option that could save countless lives.”
To use the free system, enter 911 as the recipient of a text message. Then, text the exact location and a brief description of the emergency. Dispatchers will respond with the same questions and prompts they would use on a 911 call.
The system has been tested by all of Connecticut’s 109 emergency response call centers for more than a month and was beta tested by a small group of centers beginning in May. According to DESPP Commissioner, the state plans on improving the system’s mapping capacities and adding a function for people to text videos and photos to emergency call centers — which is not currently allowed.
For more information, please visit www.text911ct.org.
Posted on August 27, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – The State of Connecticut will award more than $61.5 million in grants and loans to 20 towns and cities across the state to help create, rehabilitate or expand 24 housing developments. Rep. Mark Tweedie (R-13) announced that more than $5 million will go two developments in his district, one in the Town of Glastonbury and one in the Town of Manchester.
The Housing Authority of the Town of Glastonbury will receive over $3,013,000 from the Department of Housing (DOH) to make exterior and interior upgrades to the 45 units at the Herbert T. Clark Congregate. Additional funding will be provided by the owner as well as utility companies.
The Manchester Housing Authority will receive over $2,047,000 from the DOH to improve the exterior and interior of the 80-unit elderly property of Spencer Village. In addition to state assistance, the owner, Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA), and utility company will contribute funding.
“Investments in structural maintenance and improvements in senior housing and affordable housing will help many residents of Glastonbury and Manchester,” said Rep. Tweedie. “I thank DOH, CHFA and other partners for investing in our communities.”
Posted on August 22, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – Yesterday morning State Representative Mark Tweedie (R-13) met with a group from the Manchester office of Corporation for Public Management (CPM), an I/DD assistance group operating under the umbrella of Partners for Communities, during their tour of the Captiol.
CPM operates programs that enable people to break the cycle of welfare dependency and allows those with special needs to remain in the community, supporting their capacities to lead productive lives surrounded by friends and family rather than in institutionalized settings. They seek innovative solutions to such social issues as teenage pregnancy, welfare dependency, joblessness and illiteracy. Each CPM program is based on the belief that self-esteem and personal dignity start with an ability to become self-sufficient.
The Manchester, CT office is located at 75 Summit Street and can be reached by phone at 860-643-0355 (Day Program) or 860-646-8683 (Supported Living Services).
Posted on August 7, 2018 by admin
As the beginning of a new school year approaches, I would like to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week,” beginning Sunday, August 19 and ending Saturday, August 25, for back-to-school shopping!
This one-week long event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item. Please note that since sales tax is calculated after the use of any coupons or discounts, the sale will still be exempt from taxes as long as the final price is less than $100. Clothing or footwear under $100 put on layaway is also tax-free.
Tax Free Week, which occurs the third Sunday in August through the following Saturday, was first enacted in 2000. It applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use. Legislation enacted in 2015 reduced the exemption to clothing and footwear costing less than $100; which is substantially reduced from previous years.
For a complete listing of items that qualify as tax exempt and others that do not, please click here. If you would like to review additional details about the event, you can consult the Department of Revenue Services webpage by clicking here, or by speaking with your local retailers.
Please feel free to share this information!
Posted on July 20, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – Led by State Representative Kathleen McCarty (R-Waterford), lawmakers from all over Southeastern Connecticut joined together last week in an opinion-editorial to urge the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to amend its draft RFP (Request for Proposals) that essentially excludes Millstone from participating in a competitive auction for zero carbon electricity until 2023. The legislators reminded DEEP of their responsibility to comply with a law passed last year which requires that Millstone be allowed to compete in a competitive auction for carbon-free resources.
This week, legislators from across the state have joined Rep. McCarty’s effort, with the help of Senator Paul Formica, and sent a letter directly to DEEP Commissioner Klee. In the letter, 46 Representatives and 9 Senators in a bipartisan manner informed DEEP of the adverse economic and environmental ramifications of a premature closing of Millstone.
“While we are pleased that DEEP recently issued a draft RFP, we were shocked and dismayed to discover DEEP is ignoring the legislative intent of the law,” the legislators wrote. “Unfortunately, in the draft RFP, DEEP usurped legislative authority by defining a new term, “at risk time period” to 2023, which would significantly delay the time frame of potential contracts for certain resources. This language is inappropriate and unfair.
“Millstone Power Station – the source of 50% of the state’s power, 90% of its carbon-free electricity and 1500 jobs – is the only resource participating in the comprehensive “At Risk” determination process and thus is the only resource potentially impacted. What’s more,” they continue, “DEEP waited until it knew that Millstone was the only resource seeking “At Risk” treatment before it defined the new term. This language in the draft RFP is unacceptable and MUST be removed before the Final RFP is issued on July 31, 2018. If Millstone is determined to be an existing resource confirmed At Risk, the risk is NOW and it should not be forced to wait until 2023 to be treated as such.”
DEEP has confirmed the receipt of this letter and states that they “appreciate” the legislators’ input and “will take [their] comments into consideration.”
de la Cruz