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GPS Newsletter


GPS Newsletter

Fabiola Bachinelo

September 17, 2019

What's New...

Dems Question 'Meals Tax' Guidance

It took a few days, but Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic legislative leaders are questioning the state Department of Revenue Services’ guidance on the new meals tax.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, and the entire Democratic caucus wrote a letter to DRS Commissioner Scott Jackson to tell him they “were shocked to see that DRS has somehow interpreted the language in the budget (PA. 19-117) to significantly broaden the base on what meals and beverages would be covered by the sales tax.”

The DRS guidance says the higher 7.35% sales tax will apply on Oct. 1 to things sold in grocery stores such as rotisserie chickens, “lettuce or greens-based salads sold in containers of 8 ounces or less,” “hot dogs served on a bun or heated,” and fewer than five donuts, muffins, rolls, bagels, and pastries, to name a few.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz also wrote to Jackson to urge him to review the guidance his department issued.

“The unilateral decision by the agency to expand the sales tax to additional food items is not consistent with the intent of the budget,” Aresimowicz said.


Health & Human Services

First Human Case Of EEE Reported In Connecticut This Season
“The Department of Public Health (DPH) announced the first human case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Connecticut on Monday…”

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont Plans To End Religious Exemption For Vaccinations
“Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said on Monday that the state should join a handful of others that require minors to receive vaccinations for preventable diseases, eliminating most exceptions to vaccination…”

Connecticut Public Health Commissioner: Don’t Use Vaping Products As Lung Disease Spreads
“Connecticut’s commissioner of public health is now urging consumers not to use any e-cigarette or vaping products, as a mystery illness linked to vaping continues to spread…”

With $2.6 Billion In The Rainy Day Fund, It’s Time To Invest In Nonprofits
“Connecticut’s projected surplus continues to grow. Just this week, the state Comptroller’s office said revenues will run $126 million ahead of expenditures for the fiscal year. By the end of this month, that will put $2.6 billion in the state’s rainy-day fund, by far the highest amount ever held in the account…”

Connecticut Health Officials Issue Warning On Risks Of EEE Virus
“Public health officials are warning Connecticut residents that they should take extra precautions to avoid the risk of contracting the eastern equine encephalitis virus from a mosquito bite…”

A Not-So Public Commissioner Of Public Health

“The state health commissioner’s decision to keep private a robust data set detailing school-level vaccination rates in Connecticut, along with her insistence that it’s not her job to weigh in on matters of public health, is rattling some policy makers and provoking questions about her approach to a role that demands input and accessibility…


 New Haven Schools CFO Search Picks Up, CT Post, 9/16/2019
“After a three-year drought in the school district’s executive CFO role that predates even Superintendent of Schools Carol Birks, administration officials say interest in the role is beginning to bloom…”

Greenwich Parents, Administrators At Odds Over Special Education, Greenwich Time, 9/14/2019
“Parent dissatisfaction with the special education department in Greenwich Public Schools has simmered for two decades or more, periodically boiling over when individuals have banded together to demand reform…”

Bridgeport Officially Bends Its Special Education Busing Policy, CT Post, 9/13/2019
“A school district policy that bars transportation of special needs students to and from babysitters or relatives has apparently been bent for years…”

Lawmakers Balk At Being Excluded From Decision Making In Education Partnership, CT Mirror, 9/11/2019
“A proposal that would dramatically weaken oversight of  — and public access to — an initiative that will pump hundreds of millions of public and private funds into Connecticut schools has run afoul of state legislative leaders…”



Governor Calls For Review Of Tax On Groceries, Meals, NBC Connecticut, 9/17/2019
“With weeks to go before a sales tax increase is set to go into effect for certain foods and drinks at grocery stores and restaurants, the governor is calling for a review of the interpretation of the law…”

Sales Tax On Prepared Food Items Increasing Oct. 1, NBC Connecticut, 9/12/2019
“Get ready to pay more for prepared meals in the state. Come October the sales tax for certain food items and drinks goes up 1 percent at grocery stores and restaurants…”

Republicans Claim Grocery Tax Is Back, Hidden In Budget, Yankee Institute, 9/12/2019
“Early in the legislative session, word spread that the Gov. Ned Lamont administration was considering a possible sales tax for grocery items. The subsequent outcry from groups across the political divide buried the idea, seemingly forever…”

Governor Lamont Signs Connecticut Biennial Budget: New Deal Or Déjà Vu? JD Supra, 9/12/2019
“On June 26, 2019, Governor Ned Lamont signed a $43.4 billion budget for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years. The biennial budget addresses the projected $3.7 billion budget deficit for the period, but still increases spending by 1.7% in the 2020 fiscal year, and by 3.4% in the 2021 fiscal year…



We Didn’t Leave Connecticut. Connecticut Left Us, Hartford Courant, 9/15/2019
“A few weeks ago, we packed a lifetime of belongings and moved out of Connecticut. It was sad to leave a state we had called home our entire lives…”

Stop Pushing Poor People To Save More For Retirement, Market Watch, 9/12/2019
“It’s a fact: low-wage workers don’t save much for retirement. States are aiming to fix that. But here’s a question: is it really a problem that needs to be fixed? How hard should we push the poor to save for retirement?..”

Your Pension Plan Benefits May Not Be As Ironclad As You Think, Washington Post, 9/9/2019
“If you’re fortunate enough to have a pension, there’s a certain relief you may feel that no matter what, when you retire, you’ll get a set amount of money every month for the rest of your life…


Insurance Regulators Approve An Average 3.65% Increase In Premium, CT News Junkie, 9/16/2019

“Insurance regulators knocked down some requested health insurance rate hikes, but premiums will be going up for a majority of consumers in both the individual and small group marketplaces…”

Purdue Bankruptcy Opens Door For CT Towns To Weigh Opioid Deal, CT Mirror, 9/16/2019
“Connecticut and about 20 other states are rejecting Purdue Pharma’s offer to settle lawsuits about the drug company’s role in the nation’s opioid crisis, but cities and towns in the state may still prefer to accept the deal, a leading lawyer for the plaintiffs said…”

Larson Continues Push For Hartford Tunnel, CT News Junkie, 9/13/2019
“U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon said he doesn’t know of any members of Congress aside from U.S. Rep. John B. Larson, who have imagined and proposed large infrastructure projects for their home states…


In Case You Missed It

Fasano Tries To Keep Nursing Home Issue In Play
By: Keith Phaneuf, CT Mirror
September 13, 2019

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, volleyed back Friday at Gov. Ned Lamont’s offer of temporary relief to nine nursing homes rather than accepting Fasano’s call for a special session to make revisions to the budget crafted by the Democratic majority.

In a letter sent Friday to Lamont, Fasano wrote: “We need our governor, as leader of the state, to take strong action and to have the courage to stand up, admit a wrong, and fix it.”

Lamont’s office had no immediate comment.

The Department of Social Services announced this week it had temporarily suspended plans to reduce one-and-a-half months’ worth of funding on Sept. 20 to the nine homes with high numbers of vacant beds. At issue is a budget provision authorizing DSS to reduce rates to nursing homes with bed vacancy rates exceeding 30 percent.

The nursing homes that stand to lose an estimated $5.3 million in total over this year and next, based on the vacancy standard, are located in Bristol, Fairfield, Hamden, Shelton, Simsbury, South Windsor, Torrington, Wallingford, Waterbury and Wolcott.


Latest News From The Governor's Office

Governor Lamont Announces Support For Eliminating Vaccination Exemptions For Children Who Attend Public Schools

"Governor Ned Lamont today said that Connecticut should join the growing number of states that due to overwhelming public safety risks are requiring children who attend public schools – and are medically capable – to receive vaccinations for preventable diseases, citing recently-released statistics from the Department of Public Health (DPH) showing that over the last year the state has had the largest single year increase in claimed exemptions for vaccinations since the state began tracking the data a decade ago..."


Governor Lamont On The Retirement Of Jeffrey Geiger From Electric Boat And Appointment Of Kevin Graney As President
"Governor Ned Lamont today released the following statement regarding the announcement that Jeffrey S. Geiger, who has served as president of Electric Boat since 2013, will retire effective September 30, and General Dynamics NASSCO president Kevin Graney will be appointed as his successor..."


Governor Lamont Announces Connecticut Receives $4.7M Grant To Enhance Employment Services For Those Impacted By The Opioid Epidemic 
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) is receiving a $4.7 million federal grant that will be used by the state to fund initiatives that provide employment and workforce-investment services to people who have been impacted by the nationwide opioid epidemic..."


Governor Lamont  Selects Josh Geballe To Chair The Paid Family And Medical Leave Insurance Authority, Appoints Three Members
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is naming Josh Geballe, Commissioner of the Department of Administrative Services (DAS), to serve as chairperson of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority’s board of directors. In addition, he is appointing Molly Weston Williamson, Henry J. Zaccardi, and Richard Duffy to serve as members..."



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. 


Lucy Dathan.jpg

Meet Representative Lucy Dathan

Representative Lucy Dathan was born and raised in St Louis, Missouri and went to an all-girls school from grade school through high school. She then went to Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California where she majored in Accounting and Business. She values her education as it greatly contributed to her success and professional career, which has spanned over 25 years, working within finance and across many commercial sectors all over the world. Lucy began her career as an auditor in a Big 4 firm in San Jose, California where she focused on venture capital firms and ventured backed technology start up companies. There she qualified as a Certified Public Accountant. She moved to Poland and worked with the financial sector as the country was opening up to western markets. She then went to London and worked over 10 years broadening her experience in investment banking, raising finance and as a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in two Venture backed firms. In London, she also worked for the London Stock Exchange in the legal department where she managed the intellectual capital of the firm.

Since moving back to the United States 13 years ago, she has continued to work part-time while raising a family as a CFO in various technology companies, building finance functions from the ground up, creating budgets and strategic forecasts, overseeing funding rounds, and mergers & acquisitions activities.

She moved with her husband and three children aged 15, 13 and 11 to the Town of New Canaan in February 2015 from Palo Alto, California, where she had lived for 9 years. She has continued to work for Silicon Valley technology companies as their CFO until a career break in 2017 where she took time to focus on school volunteer activities and politics in New Canaan.