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GPS Newsletter

Cindy Caron

GPS NEws Letter.jpg

What's New...

Dems Propose Capital Gains Tax
By: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie
April 18, 2019

The Democrat-controlled Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee is ignoring Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and proposing a bill that would impose an additional 2% capital gains tax on Connecticut’s wealthiest residents.

The bill, which is scheduled for a public hearing next Friday, will impose the additional tax on income derived from capital gains on single filers who earn more than $500,000 and couples with income over $1 million. Currently capital gains are taxed for this income bracket at 6.99 %.

The proposal has support from the Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate, but Lamont and Republican lawmakers are not in favor.

“I don’t think it’s good policy,” Lamont said Thursday in an interview at the Legislative Office Building. “For 25 years we’ve said we’re going to tax capital gains, dividends and interest income at the same rate. This would break sort of a 25-year tradition.”

He said Connecticut’s rate is higher than the rate in Massachusetts, but lower than New York’s.


Health & Human Services

Investments High In CT Medical Pot Growers, Dispensaries, CT Post, 4/21/2019

“Nearly seven years after the General Assembly approved the state’s medical marijuana program, Connecticut has more than 34,400 patients and nearly 1,100 consulting physicians enrolled in what is a national model for palliative use of the drug…”

The Autism Community Needs More Than Ribbons, It Needs Support, Hartford Courant, 4/20/2019

“If it seems you are hearing more about autism than you once did, you’re right — and it’s not only because April is autism awareness month…”

CT Faith-Based Pregnancy Center Sues City Of Hartford, CT Post, 4/19/2019

“A faith-based pregnancy center in Willimantic has asked a federal judge for an injunction against a controversial Hartford ordinance that requires the religious facilities to disclose whether their staff carry medical licenses…”

Price Too High For Undocumented Children’s Health Care, CT Lawmakers Say, CT Post, 4/18/2019

“Despite early enthusiasm and a brawny push from the nonprofit health community, lawmakers now say a plan to extend state-sponsored health coverage to about 18,000 undocumented children is unlikely to succeed this year…”

Proponents Push Health Benefits To Sweeten CT Sugar Drink Tax, CT Post, 4/16/2019

“The legislature’s chief advocate for a tax on sweetened beverages is trying hard to push the initiative as a broader behavioral health care agenda and not a money grab for the cash-starved state…”


Schools Need To Share Services, But That Doesn’t Mean Moving Students
Hartford Courant, 4/21/2019

“When I worked at the state Department of Education, whenever we discovered something incredibly inefficient, we would sigh and cite “local control…”

Connecticut Higher Education System Names New Leaders To Oversee Regional Clusters Of Colleges
Republican American, 4/18/2019

“The state’s plan to merge 12 community colleges into one accredited institution by 2023 moved forward Thursday with the appointment of new leaders to oversee new regional clusters of colleges…”

Regents Move Forward With Merger Plan; Raise Tuition
CT Mirror, 4/18/2019

“The Board of Regents for Higher Education forged ahead Thursday with controversial plans to merge the state’s 12 community colleges by hiring three regional presidents — newly created positions, each with yearly salaries of $220,000…”

Connecticut Education Chief Accepts Saint Joseph Job
WTNH, 4/16/2019

“Connecticut's education commissioner, Dianna Wentzell, is planning to go to work for the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford…”


Legislators Break With Lamont And Propose Higher Taxes On Wealthy Connecticut Residents, Hartford Courant, 4/19/2019

“Democratic legislators are proposing a tax increase on the investment income of Connecticut’s wealthiest households to help close the state budget deficit, putting them on a collision course with a Democratic governor opposed to raising any tax rate…”

Federal Reserve Economist Paints Sober Picture Of Connecticut, A State Still Struggling To Recover Jobs Lost In 2008 Recession, Hartford Courant, 4/18/2019

“A Federal Reserve economist Thursday painted a sobering picture of a Connecticut economy that continues to struggle nearly a decade after the last recession, still losing higher-paying jobs and replacing them with ones that pay less…”

CT Projected To Pay $45.6M In Hartford Debt Aid In Fiscal 2020, Hartford Business Journal, 4/17/2019

“The state is projected to contribute $45.6 million to the Capital City in fiscal 2020 as part of its long-term commitment to pay off Hartford's general obligation (GO) debt, according to the mayor's proposed budget…”

Who Pays The Next CT Tax Hike? Democrats Must Answer Question Soon, CT Mirror, 4/16/2019

“Majority Democratic lawmakers, who’ve flinched at — but not ruled out — tax proposals that fall heaviest on the poor and middle class, face a watershed moment in the next two weeks…”

A Soda Tax Could Raise $163M A Year For Connecticut. Opponents Say It Would Be An Unfair Burden On Businesses And Families, Hartford Courant, 4/16/2019

“With only six weeks left in the legislative session, lawmakers are battling over whether to approve a new tax on sugary drinks, including soda…”


Relocating Retirees: Where Americans Are Moving To Retire, Fox Business, 4/19/2019

“About 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every dayOpens a New Window., according to data from the Government Accountability Office, and some who are retiringOpens a New Window. are packing their bags and relocating…”

Retirees Are Flocking To These 3 States-And Fleeing These 3 States In Droves, NBC Connecticut, 4/17/2019

“Step aside, Florida. New Mexico is the new top retirement destination. Those were the findings from a survey by United Van Lines. The relocation company polled 26,998 of its customers who moved last year, through Nov. 30, 2018…”


Bradley Airport Officials Begin Formal Talks With Tweed, CT News Junkie, 4/19/2019

“Connecticut Airport Authority officials will soon begin formal negotiations on an offer to take over operations at Tweed New Haven Airport…”

Job Losses Mark First Three Months Of 2019, CT News Junkie, 4/19/2019

“Connecticut lost 3,400 jobs in the first three months of the year, according to a report from the Department of Labor…”

Lamont Tries Constructive Engagement With Trump, CT Mirror, 4/18/2019

“Gov. Ned Lamont, whose signature proposal to implement congestion-priced tolls on Connecticut’s highways turns on approval by the Federal Highway Administration, declined Thursday to join other Democrats in assailing Attorney General William P. Barr’s newest take on Robert S. Mueller’s investigation of President Trump…”

In Case You Missed It

Legislation Shielding People With Pre-Existing Conditions Clears House
By: Jenna Carlesso, CT Mirror
April 17, 2019

Lawmakers in Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed a measure Wednesday to safeguard people with pre-existing conditions who are on short-term health insurance policies, sometimes called temporary health insurance.

They could not say how many people the bill would protect, but pointed to data compiled by the Kaiser Family Foundation showing that as many as 522,000 people younger than 65 in Connecticut have pre-existing conditions such as cancer or heart disease. It was unclear how many of those residents are on the short-term plans.

Rep. Sean Scanlon, D-Guilford, a key backer of the bill, said it would help “give our constituents peace of mind” as the Trump administration encourages more families to buy inexpensive, temporary health policies.

On those plans, people with pre-existing conditions may be denied coverage or charged higher prices.


Latest News From The Governor's Office

Governor Lamont Nominates Marissa Paslick Gillett To Serve As A Commissioner Of The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is nominating Marissa Paslick Gillett of Baltimore, Maryland to serve as a commissioner of the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), the state entity responsible for regulating the rates and services of Connecticut’s investor-owned electricity, natural gas, water, and telecommunications companies..."


Governor Lamont And Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Solicit Input From Transition Policy Committees As They Near Their 100th Day In Office

"As they approach the 100th day of their administration, Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz convened a meeting with the co-chairs from each committee of their Transition Policy Working Groups to review the progress of the first 100 days and discuss priorities going forward..."


Governor Lamont: A Bigger Table, Open Door, And Creative Solutions Enabled Us To Advance A Better Deal To Keep Millstone Open For Another Decade

"Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz today were invited by executives and employees from Dominion Energy to visit the Millstone nuclear facility in Waterford to celebrate an agreement reached by Dominion and the state’s two electric utilities last month to keep the facility open for another decade..."


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.

Income Tax Deductions For Social Security And Pension Income

Meet Representative Anne Hughes


Anne Hughes is a first-term State Representative serving Easton, Weston, and Redding’s 135th district. She serves as a member on the Aging, Human Services, and Insurance and Real Estate Committees in the 2019 legislative session. Anne works as a Licensed Master Social Worker for Jewish Senior Services’ Institute on Aging and as Coordinator for the Center for Elder Abuse Prevention. She also joined Easton’s DTC in 2016 to serve on Easton’s Commission on Aging.

Anne has devoted herself to public service throughout her life as exemplified by her decision to write a letter to President Nixon at the age of seven requesting him to consider the use of boxing gloves in lieu of semi-automatic rifles for wars. She was the Program Director at CLASP Homes INc, for over a decade which provides support homes for adults with autism and developmental disabilities. Anne co-founded the Norwalk Peacemakers and began The Goddess Faire art collaborative to host annual pop-up neighborhood art and music festivals.

She graduated Cum Laude from College of New Rochelle with Bachelors in Art and Political Science and earned her Master of Social Work at University of New England in 2014. She resides in Easton with her husband Tim with whom she has pursued a lifetime of community service.

Copyright © 2019 Graff Public Solutions, All rights reserved.


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Graff Public Solutions

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Hartford, CT 06106

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CCFSA Intern - Fabiola Bachinelo - Makes UCONN's NASPAA - Top 5

Cindy Caron

UConn’s NASPAA-Batten Team Makes Top 5

2019 NASPAA-Batten Competition Team Members (left to right): Fabiola Bachinelo, Joshua Schreier, Claudia Rodriguez, Miranda Richard, and Sneha Jayaraj.

2019 NASPAA-Batten Competition Team Members (left to right): Fabiola Bachinelo, Joshua Schreier, Claudia Rodriguez, Miranda Richard, and Sneha Jayaraj.

In February, UConn’s Department of Public Policy (DPP) sent a team of students to the 2019: “The Refugee Simulation” NASPAA-Batten Competition at Rutgers University. The team included Fabiola Bachinelo, Sneha Jayaraj, Claudia Rodriguez, Miranda Richard, and Joshua Schreier.

The simulation was centered on a fictional refugee crisis. Students participated in multiple rounds of competition, alternating roles throughout each round. During the 13 hour event, the DPP team competed against students from more than 20 universities, making it to the final round of competition consisting of five teams.

“Beyond competitive performance however, the competition gave us the opportunity to practice collaboration and team work in a fast paced environment, similar to settings we will, without doubt, encounter in our professional work after UConn,” explained Schreier. The students were able to display their critical thinking, policy writing, and public speaking skills.

The DPP team was generously funded by UConn’s Pi Pi Alpha (PPA) Board Members. PPA funding allowed the students to travel to Newark, New Jersey, and attend the simulation competition as well as a networking event for the competitors.

During the 2019 UConn Gives Campaign, the DPP will be raising money for the “Public Policy Student Success” fund. This fund will directly benefit students by providing funds for additional learning activities including competitions like the NASPAA-Batten Competition. For more information please view our story about the DPP UConn Gives Campaign.

In April, another student driven team will begin competing in the NYU Policy Case Competition. Good luck to the DPP team!

The Department of Public Policy

The UConn Department of Public Policy is committed to high quality research, teaching and service in the areas of policy analysis, public management, public financial management, nonprofit management and survey research.  The Department offers top-ranked and nationally recognized graduate degrees – Master of Public Administration, Master of Public Policy and Master of Arts in Survey Research. The Department also offers graduate certificates in the areas of Nonprofit Management, Leadership and Public Management, and Public Financial Management. The Department’s faculty is nationally and internationally known for the highest quality research, teaching, and public service in the areas of public policy, public administration, and survey research. The Department’s programs have more than 1,100 alumni who are public, private and non-profit leaders in the State of Connecticut and around the nation.

April is Fair Housing Month

Christopher Brechlin

fair housing month flyer.jpg

The month of April is National Fair Housing Month. This month is a designated time to recognize the advancements of equal housing access and to remind ourselves of the purpose of the Fair Housing Act. Enacted by Congress in 1968, the Fair Housing Act applies to housing and housing-related activities including:

·         Apartment and home rentals

·         Mortgage lending

·         Home owners insurance

·         Real estate sales

The Fair Housing Act was enacted to protect persons form housing related discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, nationality, familial status (children), or disability. 

Examples of discrimination under the Fair Housing Act include:

·         Refusal to rent or sell housing

·         Refusal to negotiate for housing

·         Making housing unavailable

·         Setting different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a property

·         Providing different housing services or facilities

·         Falsely denying housing is available for inspection, sale or rental of a property

·         Persuading owners to sell or rent their home for profit

·         Denying access to or membership in a facility or service related to the sale of housing

·         Advertising or making any statement that indicates a limitation or preference based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, disability or blindness. This prohibition applies to single family and owner-occupied housing that is otherwise exempt from the Fair Housing Act.


Fair Housing Resources:

Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity

To learn more about the office and Fair Housing rights or to file a Fair Housing violation complaint, visit this siteYou may also contact the Housing Discrimination Hotline via email at or at 1-800-669-9777 (Voice) or 1-800-927-9275 (TTY).

10 Activities to Promote Fair Housing

View document here. Provided by the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston.

National Fair Housing Alliance

The NFHA provides information about fair housing rights, resources and news. Learn more here.

Nonprofit Advocacy Day

Fabiola Bachinelo

Barry Simon (second from right to left) our Board Chair and President CEO of Oak Hill participating in Nonprofit Advocacy Day on April 10, 2019 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, CT

Barry Simon (second from right to left) our Board Chair and President CEO of Oak Hill participating in Nonprofit Advocacy Day on April 10, 2019 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford, CT

State Senator Marilyn Moore our 2019 Family Legislator of the Year honoree showing her support on Nonprofit Advocacy Day

State Senator Marilyn Moore our 2019 Family Legislator of the Year honoree showing her support on Nonprofit Advocacy Day

GPS Newsletter

Cindy Caron

April 8, 2019

What's New...

Fiscal Note Points To Risk In Public Option Bills
By: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie
April 8, 2019

The Office of Fiscal Analysis says it will only cost Connecticut $1.5 million to open up the state employee health plan to small businesses in the first year, but analysts are concerned about what happens if claims outpace premiums.

The state plan is self-insured, which means the state is responsible for paying out the claims.

The fiscal note says “as a self-insured pool, the state currently bears the risk for costs incurred in excess of plan premiums. The state does not currently have stop-loss insurance. To the extent claims are in excess of the premiums established, there will be a cost to the state.”

Sen. Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, the ranking Republican on the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, said that’s exactly what he’s worried about, too.

“We don’t know how many people are going to participate and what happens when costs exceed premium,” Kelly said.

He said the cost of the state comptroller’s office handling the actuarial analysis and adding staff for plan design is not the cost he’s concerned about. He said he’s concerned about whether the taxpayer will be on the hook to cover the costs if the state comptroller’s office is unable to accurately predict the risk.


Health & Human Services

CT Public Health Plan Runs Risk Of Claims Outpacing Premiums, CT Post, 4/8/2019

“The Office of Fiscal Analysis says it will only cost Connecticut $1.5 million to open up the state employee health plan to small businesses in the first year, but analysts are concerned about what happens if claims outpace premiums…”

Smoking Pot Vs. Tobacco: What Science Says About Lighting Up, NBC Connecticut, 4/8/2019

“As more states make it legal to smoke marijuana, some government officials, researchers and others worry what that might mean for one of the country's biggest public health successes: curbing cigarette smoking…”

Connecticut Lawmakers: Bar Anti-Choice Clinics From Lying To Pregnant People, Rewire News, 4/8/2019

“Connecticut legislators advanced a bill that would curb deceptive advertising by the state’s anti-choice pregnancy centers…”

Child Poverty In Connecticut Hurts Us All, CT Mirror, 4/8/2019

“Decades of research continue to confirm the obvious; poverty is bad for children. As evidenced by a 2015 report from the Urban Institute, the more time children spend living in poverty, the worse their outcomes are across nearly every domain…”

Opinion: Health And Human Services Minimum Wage Is Imperative, Patch, 4/8/2019

“The time has come to establish a minimum wage for state Medicaid-funded health and human (HHS) services…”

State’s Opioid Prescriptions Down But Number Of Deaths High, Hartford Courant, 4/8/2019

“New statistics show physicians in Connecticut are continuing to prescribe fewer opioids to their patients, but the number of deaths associated with the powerful painkillers continues to remain high in the state…”

Unregulated Nail Salons In Connecticut Pose Labor, Health Risks, WNPR, 4/3/2019

“Near a fleet of glossy parked vehicles in a Wallingford Toyota showroom, Fredina Mendez sits in the corner at a manicure table. Her job is to offer manicures to people waiting for their cars to be serviced. She thinks it’s a great customer service idea, but it’s not her dream job…”

National Public Health Week, WTNH, 4/2/2019

“The Naugatuck Valley Health District is educating the people of Connecticut on important health topics for National Public Health Week…”


After The Donation, The $100 Million Question, CT Mirror, 4/8/2019

“The Dalio Foundation’s pledge last Friday to donate $100 million toward Connecticut’s schools is being hailed as good news, but it also opens a Pandora’s Box of questions that lawmakers must answer with less than two months before the legislative session adjourns…”

Tesoro: Tell Elected Reps Not To Cut Trumbull Education Aid, Trumbull Patch, 4/8/2019

“First Selectman Vicki Tesoro is urging Trumbull residents to call their elected representatives in an effort to reduce the cut in education aid to Trumbull…”

Connecticut Receives $100 Million Contribution For Education, Fairfield Current, 4/7/2019

“Among the world’s richest couples is donating $100 million to support education and businesses in a number of Connecticut’s most disadvantaged areas…”

Dalio Philanthropies Donates $100M To Connecticut Schools, WSHU, 4/7/2019

“Hedge fund mogul Ray Dalio and his wife, Barbara, have pledged to donate $100 million to help public education in Connecticut…”

CT Education Board Cancels Meeting Due To Lack Of Members, CT Post, 4/2/2019

“The State Board of Education has canceled its Wednesday meeting because Gov. Ned Lamont hasn’t yet appointed enough members for the board to have a quorum…”


It’s Time For A People’s Budget And It’s Doable, CT Mirror, 4/8/2019

“To close observers of state politics, Gov. Ned Lamont’s budget proposal was no surprise. More cuts in vital services and investments, but no tax increases for the wealthy. The General Assembly will undoubtedly produce a rather different document, but for now the governor’s budget is still the only game in town. However, progressives might look to Washington for inspiration…”

Middletown Anti-Toll Resolution Says Gov. Lamont’s Tax Plan Will Hurt The Working Class, Hartford Courant, 4/6/2019

“Middletown officials are considering a resolution opposing highway tolls like a number of cities and towns have adopted across Connecticut, but this one is pointed in its criticism of Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed budget, which it says is regressive and will harm the working class and small businesses…”

Advocates: Wealthy Need To Pay ‘Fair Share’ In CT Budget, CT Post, 4/5/2019

“On the anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., a group of advocates and clergy asked lawmakers from both parties to deliver a state budget that honors his legacy…”

CT Estate Tax Could Get Eliminated, CT Post, 4/4/2019

“The Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee filed a handful of bills this week, including one that would eliminate the estate tax and also borrow $200 million for STEM scholarships…”


Many Retirees Taking Classes...But Not To Earn A Degree, Hartford Courant, 4/2/2019

"For many years, Tom Anderson of Woodbury sent off his 11-year-old granddaughter, Mackenzie, to school with a simple directive to go forth and learn..."

Build Your Retirement Nest Egg With Trump's Tax Law, Newsmax Finance, 4/2/2019

"Financial experts agree that all Americans should build a strong retirement fund so they can avoid money woes in their golden years..."


House Minority Leader Focuses On Increased Penalties For Fentanyl, CT News Junkie, 4/4/2019

"It makes little sense to some legislators that they’ve spent the past few years passing numerous bills to combat the opioid epidemic but have done nothing to increase the penalties for those who traffic fentanyl — the drug that contributes more than any other to drug-overdose fatalities..."

Drug Treatment For Inmates Could Save Lives, CT News Junkie, 4/4/2019

"A bill that would give opioid-addicted inmates access to medication-assisted treatment and counseling received widespread support from medical and law enforcement officials Wednesday..."

CT Would Benefit From Increased Sub Production, But Hurdles Remain In Congress, CT Mirror, 4/3/2019

"Connecticut is certain to benefit from the Navy’s plans to step up submarine production, but there are fiscal hurdles and other challenges to overcome before the state can count on that ramped up production..."

In Case You Missed It

SEEC Says Campaigns Can't Pay For Childcare
By: Mark Pazniokas, CT Mirror
April 3, 2019

Despite a push by Hillary Clinton on Twitter and direct lobbying by Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and others, the State Elections Enforcement Commission unanimously concluded Wednesday that publicly financed candidates for state office in Connecticut cannot use campaign funds for child care under current rules.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Bysiewicz quickly urged the General Assembly to accept the commission’s invitation to change the state’s campaign finance laws to make child care a legitimate campaign expense under the terms of the Citizens’ Election Program, a reform passed in 2005 to provide public campaign financing for state offices.

“Preventing parents from using these funds to care for their children while they operate a campaign puts a barrier in place that will end up discouraging people from running for office — the exact opposite of what this program was intended to accomplish,” Lamont said. “We should be doing more to encourage women to run for office, and that is why I am urging the General Assembly to fix this wrong.

“Send me legislation clearly stating that childcare is a permitted campaign expenditure, and I will sign it into law.”


Latest News From The Governor's Office

State Of Connecticut Partners With Dalio Philanthropies To Strengthen Public Education And Promote Greater Economic Opportunity

"Ray and Barbara Dalio of Dalio Philanthropies today joined Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont, First Lady Annie Lamont, leaders in the General Assembly, students and other stakeholders to announce the launch of a partnership strengthening public education and promoting greater economic opportunity in Connecticut..."


Governor Lamont And Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Urge General Assembly To Adopt Legislation Clarifying That Childcare Is A Legitimate Campaign Expense

"In response to a decision today by the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) stating that candidates in Connecticut cannot utilize the Citizens Election Program (CEP) to cover childcare costs when running for office, Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz are urging the General Assembly to adopt legislation affirming in statute that childcare costs are a permitted campaign expenditure under the program..."


Governor Lamont Announces Stanley Black & Decker CEO And Yale School Of Management Associate Dean Join Board Of CERC

"Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. (CERC) co-chairs Indra Nooyi and Jim Smith today announced that Jim Loree, president and CEO of Stanley Black & Decker, and Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, Sr., associate dean at Yale School of Management, are joining the board of CERC, a nonprofit corporation that seeks to foster business formation, recruitment, and growth in Connecticut..."


Governor Lamont And Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Mark Equal Pay Day At Woman-Owned Business

"Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz today visited Penn Globe Gaslight Company, an independent woman-owned business in North Branford, to mark Equal Pay Day – the date that symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year..."


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.

Reciprocity For Public Water Treatment Plant Operator Certification

Meet Representative Anthony Nolan

A. Nolan.jpg

Anthony Nolan is a first-term State Representative serving New London’s 39th district. He serves as a member on the Aging, Appropriations, and Insurance and Real Estate Committees in the 2019 legislative session. Nolan has spent his entire life in public service. He served on the U.S. Navy and continues to work for the New London Police force. He was a four-term member on New London’s City Council and even served as President during a difficult time. Nolan is a deacon at Shiloh Baptist and youth advocate for many youth programs in the city.

Youth advocacy is a priority for Nolan who represented children’s interests on the Board of Education. He has also volunteered in countless programs including the New London Youth Collaborative and the city Youth Talent Show.

Nolan was awarded the NAACP Freedom Fund Award, NAACP Danny Jenkins Memorial Award, and the Rotary Club of New London Unsung Hero Award.

Copyright © 2019 Graff Public Solutions, All rights reserved.

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Graff Public Solutions
101 Oak Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Add us to your address book

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Meet Representative Leslee Hill

Cindy Caron


Leslee Hill was elected to her first term in November of 2018. She currently serves on the General Assembly’s Judiciary, Education, and Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committees. Prior to being elected as State Representative to the 17th Assembly District, comprised of Canton and Avon, she was the first female Republican elected to serve as the First Selectman of the Town of Canton in 2015. In addition to serving as Canton’s chief elected official, Representative Hill was appointed to Canton’s Board of Education in 2008. She was then elected, and served for two consecutive terms on the board in 2009 and 2013, respectively.

Before public service, Representative Hill practiced law. She earned a B.A. in Political Science from Providence College and went on to earn her J.D. from Western New England University. As a licensed attorney she has been admitted to the Connecticut state courts, U.S. District Court, 2ndCircuit Court of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court. She has worked in private practice focusing on general commercial law, contracts, collection, and complex foreclosure litigation.

Representative Hill has lived in Canton since 2004, and was also a resident from 1995-1998. She is married to Richard Hill, who is a partner at KPMG in Hartford. They have two daughters, Katie, age 21, and Ainsley, age 17.

Latest News From The Office Of Legislative Research

Cindy Caron

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. 

Latest News From The Governor's Office

Cindy Caron

Governor Lamont And Congressional Delegation Announce $5.8 Million Federal Grant To Support Connecticut's Efforts Against The Opioid Crisis
"Governor Ned Lamont and the members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation today announced that the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) is receiving a $5.8 million federal grant that will be used to enhance the state’s efforts to fight the opioid crisis..."


Governor Lamont Applauds Momentum For Supporting Working Families As Paid Family And Medical Leave Bill Is Approved In Committee
"Governor Ned Lamont is applauding the General Assembly’s labor committee for voting today to approve legislation he introduced that will establish a paid family and medical leave program in the state..."


Governor Lamont Amends Education Proposal On Shared Services; Encourages School Collaboration And Reallocation Of Resources To The Classroom
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is submitting revised language to the General Assembly on his proposal encouraging shared services in Connecticut schools. The new proposal, which was developed in collaboration with stakeholders, addresses concerns raised by members of the community while continuing to encourage collaboration and shared services among schools..."


In Case You Missed It

Cindy Caron

Is CT's Slowing Job Growth A Sign Of Something Worse? 
By: Keith Phaneuf, CT Mirror
March 22, 2019

A recent report showing the state grew far fewer jobs in 2018 than originally anticipated is only the tip of a more dangerous economic iceberg, one key Connecticut economist warns.

The revised data from the Department of Labor is the latest link in a chain that demonstrates job growth — according to one metric — is slowing to its lowest level in nearly a decade, according to Don Klepper-Smith, chief economist with DataCore Partners.

“If the job numbers are the canary in the coal mine,” said Klepper-Smith, who was the state’s chief economic adviser in the late 2000s under Gov. M. Jodi Rell, “then you have a clear deceleration in the Connecticut economy.”

Economists and labor officials routinely compare employment levels at key points in time — such as jobs filled now versus jobs filled last March.



Cindy Caron

Corporate Decision Kills Effort To Change Connecticut’s Automotive Franchise Laws, CT News Junkie, 3/22/2019
“The battle between electric car maker Tesla and Connecticut’s auto dealerships came to an abrupt halt following Tesla’s Feb. 28 announcement that it was changing its strategy in favor of an online-only sales model…”

Report: Car Theft Up In Suburbs, Down In Cities, CT News Junkie, 3/22/2019
“The suburbs of central Connecticut are now the “hot spot” for car thefts, while authorities in nearly every major city are seeing fewer vehicles stolen, according to a preliminary report released Thursday to the Juvenile Justice Policy and Oversight Committee…”

Panel: No Pay Hikes For Legislators, Statewide Officers, CT Mirror, 3/21/2019
“A state study panel is recommending no pay raises be given next term to either the General Assembly or constitutional officers…”


Cindy Caron

Connecticut Has Lowest Pension Funding In The Country, According To Report, Yankee Institute, 3/22/2019
“Connecticut has the worst-funded pension system in the country, maintaining its position from last year at the bottom of the list even as state pension payments continue to increase…”

Connecticut Money: Heading South May Stretch Retirement Dollars, New Haven Register, 3/20/2019
“There seems to be a buzz lately about Connecticut residents moving South. In some cases, it’s “the grass is always greener” and they end up returning home because they miss family, friends, four seasons, big metropolitan cities nearby or higher wages…”

State Becoming More Affordable For Seniors And Retirees, Hartford Courant, 3/20/2019
“Over the past few years, I’ve seen letters from many of your readers complaining about the high cost of living in Connecticut, especially for seniors and retirees. Many readers claim they plan to leave for more affordable states…”


Cindy Caron

AFL-CIO Chief: Lamont Would Roll Back Contracting Corruption Safeguards, CT Mirror, 3/25/2019
“One of Connecticut’s highest-ranking labor officials charged Gov. Ned Lamont’s administration Monday with trying to roll back crucial clean contracting reforms enacted in the wake of the corrupt administration of former Gov. John G. Rowland…”

A Transportation Solution To Move Connecticut Forward, CT Mirror, 3/22/2019
“Creating and maintaining a modern and efficient system of transportation will be one of the keys to the future prosperity of Connecticut’s economy…”

For The Second Time, Health Program For CT Seniors In The Budget Bulls-Eye, 3/21/2019
“Elizabeth Brandt lives modestly on the income she receives from Social Security, drives a 16-year-old car and has to tap savings for unexpected costs, such as the hearing aids she needs to fully participate in conversations…”

Far From Perfect CT Budget Scrutinized At State Capitol, News 12, 3/20/2019
“Connecticut residents, especially small business owners, had plenty to say Friday during the first public hearing on Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed budget…”


Cindy Caron

CT Preschool Advocates Press For Better Pay, Family Affordability, CT Post, 3/23/2019
“Jacqueline Valle’s love for early childhood education began in the basement of Good Shepherd Christian Church on Hancock Avenue in Bridgeport…”

Don’t Make Special Education About Bottom Line, Trumbull Patch, 3/23/2019
“I recently had the opportunity to review Governor Lamont's Transition Policy Committee Reporting Template which is available here...”

Major Changes Coming To CT School Regionalization, Hartford Patch, 3/20/2019
“Gov. Ned Lamont has pivoted his school regionalization proposal after opposition from residents who want to keep their school systems independent…”

Governor Lamont Drops “Redistricting” From Controversial Bill To Get Schools To Share Services, CT Mirror, 3/20/2019
“Gov. Ned Lamont has recast his proposal encouraging school districts to share services, eliminating some of the words — like “redistricting” and “consolidation” — that prompted widespread controversy and protest…”

Governor Revises School Regionalization Proposal Following Criticism, WFSB, 3/20/2019
“Following widespread criticism for a statewide school regionalization plan, the governor is amending the proposal…”

Health & Humans Services

Cindy Caron

Don’t Legalize Pot, CT Mirror, 3/25/2018
“On March 16, a press conference opposing legalizing marijuana was held in Wallingford, with remarks by Mayor William Dickinson, North Haven’s First Selectman Michael Freda, State Sen. Len Fasano, Reps Mary Mushinsky and Craig Fishbein, the Rev. Todd Foster of New Haven, 19-year-old Jordan Davidson, and others…”

Feds Award CT $5.8M To Expand Opioid Treatment, Hartford Business Journal, 3/25/2019
“Connecticut is set to receive another $5.8 million grant from the federal government to expand access to opioid treatment and recovery services, according to state officials…”

CT Gets No Clean Bill Of Financial Health From Doctors, WFSB, 3/25/2019
“Doctors may be among the highest-paid and most educated professionals in the country, but Connecticut is far from the best state for them…”

481 Measles Cases Reported During 2019, Precision Vaccinations, 3/23/2019
“According to various health agencies and news publishers, measles cases have been reported by 16 states during 2019…”

Network Proposed To Help LGBTQ Community, The Day, 3/22/2019
“Almost six months ago, Patrick J. Dunn, executive director of the New Haven Pride Center, got a call from a 16-year-old who had just come out as gay to his family…”

State Public Health Committee Oks Raising Smoking Age, News 12, 3/22/2019
“Connecticut is one step closer to raising the smoking age to 21. The state Public Health Committee approved the change today…”

With The State’s Medicaid Rides Service Under Fire, Farmington Independent Living Center Ventures Into Medical Transportation, Hartford Courant, 3/22/2019
“In the quiet of its 26 acres, its tenants in wheelchairs emerging from tidy apartments, heading for art therapy, or to the gymnasium known as the “great room,” or to board meetings, there is one variable at New Horizons Village, one wild card, one outlier…”

Connecticut Flu Deaths Rise To 55 This Season, WTNH, 3/21/2019
“The number of flu deaths in Connecticut has risen once again.  On Thursday afternoon, the Department of Public Health said that 11 more people have died from the flu this week, bringing the total to 55 flu deaths in Connecticut…”  

CT Public Health Insurance Option Moves Forward, CT Post, 3/20/2019
“Legislation that would extend state health benefits to small businesses, nonprofits and individuals cleared a key hurdle Tuesday, winning a favorable vote from the Insurance and Real Estate Committee…”

Governor's Paid FMLA Headed To Senate

Cindy Caron

By: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie
March 21, 2019

Gov. Ned Lamont told business leaders Wednesday that paid Family Medical Leave was going to pass, and on Thursday the Labor and Public Employees Committee forwarded his bill to the Senate.

With little fanfare or debate, the Labor and Public Employees Committee voted along party lines to approve the measure, which creates a paid FMLA program for an estimated 103,600 employers with approximately 1,456,000 employees. 

Under the legislation, all employees in Connecticut would contribute 0.5 percent of their weekly paycheck to a state-run trust fund, which would pay them during their approved leave. The governor’s bill says an employee could earn 90 percent of their typical earnings up to $600 per week for anyone making around $15 an hour and 67 percent up to $900 for workers earning more than that.

The other two pieces of legislation offer a wage replacement level of 100 percent, up to a maximum of $1,000, which is much higher than programs in other states. 


Latest News From The Governor's Office

Cindy Caron

Governor Lamont And Lt. Governor Bysiewicz Announce Updated Family Violence Policy For State Employees "Governor Ned Lamont and Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz today announced that the administration has updated the state’s policy regarding leave rights available to state employees who are victims of family violence and the procedures relating to such leave..."

 Read More... <>

 What They're Saying: Business Leaders And Community Members Show Support For Modernizing Connecticut's Transportation System "Business leaders, community members, transportation advocates, and other officials are testifying today at a public hearing of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee in support of legislation Governor Ned Lamont introduced that will put Connecticut on a path toward achieving a modernized and efficient transportation system that reduces gridlock and attracts business growth..."

 Read More... <>


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.

 *          Major Changes To Film Tax Credit Programs In Selected States <>

*          Veterans' Discounts For Public Bus Fares <>


Meet Representative Irene Haines

 <> State Representative Irene Haines serves the 34th District including the towns of East Haddam, East Hampton and Colchester. She was first elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018. She serves on the legislature’s Education Committee, Planning & Development Committee and the Transportation Committee. The Education Committee works on all matters related to the Connecticut Department of Education and local boards of education. Haines’ work on the Planning and Development Committee will see her work on issues tied to local governments, economic development, and regional planning.

 As a member of the Transportation Committee, Haines will work on matters related to the Department of Transportation and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

 A resident of East Haddam since 1996, she has been an active member of the community and her two daughters attended the local public schools.

 She serves our community as a member of the Economic Development Commission. She has also served as President of the East Haddam Business Association, as a Founding Board Member of East Haddam News, a Business Sector Leader with the Local Prevention Council, former Girl Scout Troop Leader, and Founder & Former President of the Colchester Civic Orchestra.

 Professionally, Haines has worked as an insurance sales agent, marketing manager and small business owner. She is currently an insurance sales agent for AAA.


Lembo Warns CT Is Not Guaranteed Another April Tax Bonanza

Cindy Caron

By: Keith Phaneuf, CT Mirror

March 8, 2019


After years of watching state tax receipts fall short of expectations, Connecticut officials have enjoyed the last 12 months as they’ve amassed a $1.2 billion budget reserve — with the potential to sock away another $1 billion before the fall.

 But for the last two months, Connecticut’s chief fiscal watchdog has been trying to temper expectations through his monthly budget forecasts.

 And while Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo has not forecasted gloom-and-doom, he has warned it’s premature to say the bonanza will continue in the next forecast — due shortly after the April 15 income tax filing deadline.

 Major changes in federal tax policy and a dangerous national trend in household debt are wild cards that cannot be ignored, the comptroller told CT Mirror this week.

 “These items give me pause, but I am not in red light territory,” Lembo said, adding that his office “generally has a lot of agreement with the governor and the legislature on the strengthening of Connecticut’s economy and its balance sheet.”

 Read More... <>

Health & Human Services - 3-11-2019

Cindy Caron

As Measles Returns, Connecticut Offers Little Info About Immunization Rates <> , CT News Junkie, 3/11/2019 “When immunization rates fall below a certain percentage, vulnerable populations such as babies under six months or individuals with certain medical conditions are at risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…”

 Navigating Recovery In Southeastern Connecticut <> , WNPR, 3/11/2019 “In southeastern Connecticut, a team of Recovery Navigators is offering a hand -- and a sense of hope -- to residents with opioid drug addiction. This hour, we take an in-depth look at the work this team is doing…”

 Lamont Opposes Minimum Wage To Trainees, Supports Public Health Option <> , CT Post, 3/8/2019 “Gov. Ned Lamont stressed his small-business background Friday in pushing back at a proposal by labor Democrats to require payment of the minimum wage to trainees and then offering support for the concept of a public option for health insurance…”

 Connecticut Lawmakers Unveil A Public Option Health Plan <> , WNPR, 3/8/2019 “State lawmakers revealed details Thursday on how Connecticut could create and run its own public option health care plan, which would compete with private insurers…”

Connecticut Legislators Unveil Public Option For Health Insurance <> , CT Mirror, 3/7/2019 “Connecticut lawmakers are joining other states that have unveiled proposals to expand government-run health coverage, with plans to extend state health benefits to small businesses and nonprofits, and to explore a public option for individuals…”

 Connecticut Nurse Midwives Fight For Equal Health Care Pay <> , WNPR, 3/6/2019 “Brianne Foley didn’t have time to plan for the birth of her first child. So when she and her husband were having their second child, Foley did extensive research on which ones accepted Medicaid and were within driving distance of her home in Watertown…”

 California Sues Over US Abortion Rule, 20 States Including Connecticut To Follow <> , WTNH, 3/4/2019 “ California and 20 other Democratic-led states announced they were challenging the Trump administration's effort to set up obstacles for women seeking abortions, including barring taxpayer-funded family planning clinics from referring patients to abortion providers…”


Proposal To Consolidate School Districts Leads To Confusion And Fear As Legislators Look For Ways To Save Money <> , Hartford Courant, 3/11/2019 “Ever since Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney’s controversial school regionalization bill referenced realigning districts “in a manner similar to the probate districts,” the brightly colored map delineating those court districts has been shared widely on social media by alarmed parents and educators…”

 Budget Cuts Are Hurting Our Children And Their Future <> , CT Mirror, 3/11/2019 “Investments in our young people have long lasting implications for their future, and for our communities…”


Getting Serious About Closing The Education Gap <> , The Day, 3/10/2019 “In my column last week, I noted that despite the plaintiffs emerging with a legal victory in the Sheff vs. O’Neill case, filed 30 years ago this year, the large academic performance gap between public school students in our poor urban centers and their affluent suburban neighbors persists…”


Connecticut Bills Call For Schools To Teach African-American, Puerto Rican, Latino History <> , WNPR, 3/7/2019 “Two bills before Connecticut lawmakers would require schools to teach African-American, as well as Puerto Rican and Latino history…”


Fluctuating Sales Tax Revenue A Target For Change In State Budget Talks <> , News Times, 3/11/2019 “Connecticut sales tax collections spiked in December after the state enacted new rules for taxing online purchases…”


Lembo Warns Of Stock Market’s Effect On Connecticut State Budget <> , The Day, 3/10/2019 “State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is warning about record-high household debt in Connecticut and the implications of a volatile stock market on state revenues…”


Progressive Dems Will Test Lamont’s Open-Door Approach To Next CT Budget <> , CT Mirror, 3/5/2019 “Gov. Ned Lamont insists he’s ready to hear any idea to end Connecticut’s cycle of budget deficits…”


Budget Cuts Threaten CT Courthouse Security, Juvenile Justice Programs <> , CT Post, 3/5/2019 “Judicial Branch officials told members of the Appropriations Committee Monday that Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed Judicial Branch budget will jeopardize courthouse security and juvenile justice programs…”


Baseball, Taxes And Retirement Destinations <> , Investment News, 3/11/2019 “My husband is a huge baseball fan. Me, not so much. But I always appreciate it when he forwards articles about his favorite pastime that are relevant to my passion for retirement planning…”


Lamont Budget Is A Step in The Right Direction For Retired Teachers <> , CT News Junkie, 3/8/2019 “After decades of not adequately funding the Teachers’ Retirement System, Connecticut is at a crossroads. Do we continue to kick the can down the road or make substantial improvements to how we fund the state’s long-term obligations to teachers? The Association of Retired Teachers of Connecticut is grateful that Gov. Ned Lamont made stable retirement funds for teachers a priority in his budget proposal…”


CT Unemployment Falls To 3.8%, Despite Anemic Jobs Growth <> , CT Mirror, 3/8/2019 “Connecticut gained 1,000 jobs and its unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent in January, its lowest point in 17 years and two-tenths of a point below the current U.S. rate…”


House Democrats In Washington Approve Campaign And Election Reforms <> , CT News Junkie, 3/8/2019 “On a party line vote, House Democrats on Friday approved sweeping changes to campaign, ethics, and election laws that among other things would establish a public-funding mechanism for federal campaigns, restore voting rights to felons released from prison, and make it easier to register to vote…”


What Should Remain In Public Information In Criminal Investigations? <>  CT News Junkie, 3/7/2019 “Whether the public should have access to all evidence seized in a criminal investigation was the subject of a Judiciary Committee public hearing Wednesday…”

In Case You Missed It

Democratic Majority Gives Advocates Hope For Path To $15 Minimum Wage

Cindy Caron

March 11, 2019

 What's New...

 Democratic Majority Gives Advocates Hope For Path To $15 Minimum Wage

By: Jack Kramer, CT News Junkie

March 7, 2019

 The legislature’s expanded Democratic majority had advocates in favor of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour buzzing with excitement Thursday.

 “This has been a long time coming,” Rep. Robyn Porter, D-New Haven, a staunch advocate for raising the minimum wage said at a press conference before the start of the Labor and Public Employees Committee’s public hearing. “I’m so excited.”

 Porter is the co-sponsor of a bill that would raise the minimum wage from its current $10.10 to $15 an hour by January of 2022.

 Gov. Ned Lamont has his own bill to increase the minimum wage to $15 — but his bill would take a year longer than to get to that goal, not hitting the $15 mark until January of 2023.

 At the press conference, Porter and Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, who co-chair the committee, were joined by workers currently earning minimum wage, labor leaders and economists to make the case that Connecticut’s time has come.

 Read More... <>


Latest News From The Office Of Legislative Research

Cindy Caron

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.