September 30, 2019
Judge Dismisses Challenge To Release Of Immunization Data
By: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie
September 30, 2019
A Hartford Superior Court judge concluded that the Bristol couple challenging the release of 2017-18 immunization data failed to exhaust their administrative remedies and dismissed the case.
It’s unclear at the moment if Brian and Kristen Festa will appeal the ruling. Calls and emails were not immediately returned Monday morning.
Late Friday afternoon Judge Susan Cobb decided that the court lacked jurisdiction because the Festas had not exhausted their efforts with the Connecticut Department of Public Health, which released the school-by-school data for the first time on May 3.
The Festas have a son who attends Meliora Academy in Meriden where 18.5% of the students reported religious exemptions to required vaccinations for the 2017-18 school year. The names of students who submit exemptions are not part of the data released by the state.
The Festas claim that almost immediately after the DPH release of the information on May 3 that “hateful and vitriolic statements regarding non-vaccinated students and parents began appearing on the internet.”
Health & Human Services
Conn. Judge Dismisses School Vaccination Data Lawsuit, WNPR, 9/30/2019
“A Superior Court judge has dismissed a parents’ lawsuit against the Connecticut Department of Public Health over the release of school-level vaccination data…”
Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Release Of CT Vaccination Data, Fox 61, 9/30/2019
“A Hartford Superior Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Connecticut couple seeking to stop the Department of Public Health from publicly releasing additional information about immunization rates at private and public schools…”
CT Nonprofits Developing For-Profit Arms As Charitable Giving Stalls, Hartford Business Journal, 9/30/2019
“Hartford nonprofit Harc Inc. is looking for an economic lifeline amid turbulent times for charitable giving…”
Physicians: Don’t Forget About Medical Marijuana Patients In Vaping Investigations,
CT News Junkie, 9/30/2019
“Doctors on the state’s medical marijuana review board said patients in Connecticut using vaporizers to administer their cannabis prescriptions are worried about sweeping changes in response to hundreds of vaping-related illnesses around the country…”
Political Courage Needed To Modernize Bottle Bill, Says Somers, The Day,
“Connecticut has a trash crisis on its hands. Every week, average Connecticut residents diligently put out their recycling bins thinking they are doing a good thing…”
Connecticut Health Officials Report Increase In Vaping Related Lung Illnesses,
CT Mirror, 9/27/2019
“As the nationwide toll for vaping-related deaths hit 13 and the number of illnesses exceeded 800, state health officials said Friday that more cases have been recorded in Connecticut…”
Second Person In CT Dies Of EEE, CT Post, 9/24/2019
“The state Department of Public Health is reporting that a second person in the state has died as a result of Eastern Equine Encephalitis this year…”
Connecticut Has Highest Student Loan Debt In US, WTNH, 9/30/2019
“Getting a higher education in Connecticut is becoming much more difficult for middle and lower income students and families…”
‘Quality Counts’ Education Survey Ranks Connecticut Schools Among The Best In The Nation, Hartford Courant, 9/27/2019
“Connecticut schools have been ranked third best in the nation according to a new survey of the quality of education in the United States…”
Four Connecticut Schools Win National Blue Ribbon Awards From Department Of Education, Hartford Courant, 9/26/2019
“Four Connecticut public schools — in Guilford, Greenwich, Meriden and Norwalk — received National Blue Ribbon awards from the U.S. Department of Education on Thursday…”
Battling Discrimination In Connecticut Schools, Pacific Legal Foundation, 9/25/2019
“America’s civil rights movement ended the legalized segregation that forced black students into separate—and very much unequal—schools. But decades later, the quality of education for too many of the country’s minority children has still not improved…”
Ghost Gun Ban, Higher Minimum Wage And 8 Other Laws That Go Into Effect Oct. 1, Hartford Courant, 9/30/2019
“Increases in the minimum wage and smoking age, new requirements for sexual harassment training and regulations regarding electronic scooters are among the dozens of laws that take effect Oct. 1…”
CT Legal Age To Buy Cigarettes, Vaping Products Goes Up Tuesday, CT Post, 9/30/2019
“As Connecticut wrestles with a rise in the number of mysterious lung illnesses linked to vaping, the state is preparing to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products…”
Your Money, Your State: State Community Colleges Cut Personnel, CT Post, 9/29/2019
“The two-year institutions in the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system were instructed this summer to cut their deficit spending for the 2020 fiscal year from an estimated $19.6 million to $8 million…”
The 2020 Social Security COLA Is Expected To Be Minimal-And That’s Not Even The Worst Part, Market Watch, 9/30/2019
“Social Security’s cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, likely won’t rise much next year, but retirees may not feel any change — especially a positive one — at all…”
Connecticut To Play Direct Role In Negotiating Health Care Prices, CT Mirror, 9/26/2019
“State government is looking to take a more direct role in negotiating the prices hospitals and other providers can charge for treating public-sector employees and retirees…”
6 Great Places To Retire In New England, Kiplinger, 9/24/2019
“Turning leaves for fall. Blankets of snow for winter. Popping blooms for spring. White-sand beaches for summer. Every season brings a new reason to love New England—but not enough to convince many pre-retirees to retire there…”
Judge Tosses Suit By CT, Other ‘Blue States,’ That Challenged SALT Cap, CT Mirror, 9/30/2019
“A federal court on Monday dismissed a lawsuit by Connecticut and three other high-income states seeking to overturn a new cap on the deductibility of state and local income taxes on federal returns…”
Murphy Calls On Senate Republicans To Come Up With ACA Alternative, CT News Junkie, 9/27/2019
“ U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy called on Republicans in the Senate Friday to come up with a plan in case the Appellate Court upholds a lower court ruling that struck down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety…”
Senate Leadership Spat Over Restaurants Continues, CT News Junkie, 9/26/2019
“Republican Senate Leader Len Fasano has become a prolific letter writer sending them on all sorts of topics. However, on Wednesday it was Senate President Martin Looney who was sending a letter to Fasano…”
In Case You Missed It
Sen. Osten Asks Sentencing Commission To Study Mental Illness In CT Prisons
By: Kelan Lyons, CT Mirror
September 27, 2019
Over the 21 years Sen. Cathy Osten worked for the Department of Correction, mental illness was so pervasive among Connecticut’s inmates that it was not unusual for her to hear from families who were grateful their loved ones were incarcerated because they were better off behind bars than on the street.
Such conversations helped the Sprague Democrat identify a too-common issue in Connecticut and across the country — that many incarcerated people wind up behind bars because they’re not getting the psychiatric care they need in their communities.
“When people don’t have access to the supports they need, they end up interacting with different systems, whether it’s emergency rooms, inpatient psychiatric or corrections,” said Kathy Flaherty, co-chair of the Keep the Promise Coalition, a group that advocates for Connecticut residents impacted by mental health conditions. “We are very much concerned when people with mental health conditions are not accessing the supports they need in the community and then end up interacting with the criminal legal system as a result of behavior that may be attributable to their condition, yet society has chosen to deem criminal acts.”
Osten shares those concerns.
Latest News From The Governor's Office
Governor Lamont: Wall Street Journal Recognizes Positive Shift In Connecticut's Economic Outlook
"Governor Ned Lamont released the following statement responding to an editorial in today’s edition of The Wall Street Journal [“States of Economic Comparison”], which noted the governor’s efforts to both stabilize and grow Connecticut’s economy, referencing his budgetary and fiscal restraints while also recognizing that wages and salaries in the state have increased four percent during the first two quarters of 2019:.."
Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Receives $2.9M Federal Grant To Strengthen Medicaid Treatment Of Substance Abuse Disorders
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the State of Connecticut is receiving nearly $2.9 million in federal funding to plan for increased capacity of the state’s Medicaid program in delivering substance use disorder treatment and recovery services..."
Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Schools Ranked Top Three In Nation By Education Week
"Governor Ned Lamont and State Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona today announced that Connecticut’s K-12 schools have been ranked as the third best in the nation by Education Week in the annual edition of its Grading the States report. Connecticut’s ranking is an improvement of two spots from last year’s position of fifth in the nation..."
Latest News From The Office Of Legislative Research
On a weekly basis the Office of Legislative Research ("OLR"), the Connecticut General Assembly's nonpartisan research arm releases reports on a wide variety of topics. Any member of the Connecticut General Assembly can ask the OLR for information on any given topic to get a clear understanding of what laws we have here in Connecticut and how we compare to other states. The reports issued by the OLR can serve as a preview of potential future legislation so we frequently check OLR’s website for updates.
Meet Representative: Christopher Davis
An Ellington resident raised in East Windsor, Representative Christopher Davis was first elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 2010 to represent both communities in the 57th District, serving as the youngest member of the General Assembly at that time. Representative Davis currently serves as a member of the State Bond Commission and as Ranking Member of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, with oversight over state tax and borrowing policy. He also serves on the Executive & Legislative Nominations Committee and Energy & Technology Committee. Representative Davis is also an Assistant Republican Leader in the House of Representatives.
Representative Davis has worked tirelessly on behalf of his constituents for fiscal responsibility in state government, advocating for reduced spending, limited taxation, and reductions in our state’s debt obligations. As a leader on the Finance Committee, Representative Davis co-authored the historic 2017 bi-partisan compromise budget that enacted caps on state spending, instituted a bonding cap, and implemented a volatility cap requiring the state to deposit excess revenues into the rainy day fund.
Serving as one of ten members of the State Bond Commission that is chaired by the Governor, Representative Davis has been a staunch opponent of excessive and irresponsible borrowing.
The East Windsor Chamber of Commerce named Representative Davis the 2016 Business Person of the Year for his community service and advocacy for businesses and he was selected for the 40 Under Forty Award by the Hartford Business Journal in 2013.
Representative Davis has also been a leader on the crumbling foundations crisis in Eastern Connecticut, serving as an Incorporator of the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Corporation and co-authoring the state’s program to provide assistance to impacted homeowners.
A product of East Windsor schools from kindergarten through high school graduation, Representative Davis graduated with his Bachelors of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. Prior to his election as State Representative, Davis was an elected member of the East Windsor Zoning Board of Appeals.
Representative Davis is a REALTOR in the greater Hartford area, and resides in Ellington with his wife, Emily and daughter.