April 8, 2019
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
“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…”
“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 legislators advanced a bill that would curb deceptive advertising by the state’s anti-choice pregnancy centers…”
“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…”
“The time has come to establish a minimum wage for state Medicaid-funded health and human (HHS) services…”
“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…”
“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…”
“The Naugatuck Valley Health District is educating the people of Connecticut on important health topics for National Public Health Week…”
“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…”
“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…”
“Among the world’s richest couples is donating $100 million to support education and businesses in a number of Connecticut’s most disadvantaged areas…”
“Hedge fund mogul Ray Dalio and his wife, Barbara, have pledged to donate $100 million to help public education in Connecticut…”
“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…”
“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 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…”
“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…”
“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…”
"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..."
"Financial experts agree that all Americans should build a strong retirement fund so they can avoid money woes in their golden years..."
"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..."
"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..."
"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.
Meet Representative Anthony Nolan
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.
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