June 17, 2019
Parents Sue DPH Over Release Of Vaccination Information
By: Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie
June 17, 2019
Parents of a boy with autism are suing the state Department of Public Health for releasing school-level data in May that revealed how many unvaccinated children attended each of Connecticut’s private and public schools during the 2017-18 school year.
Kristen and Brian Festa, who are representing themselves without an attorney, are seeking an injunction against the public health department to stop the expected release of the data for the 2018-19 school year.
The complaint says 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.
On May 3, the public health department released school-level data for the first time, including the percentage of children in kindergarten and seventh grade in each school who were vaccinated against measles and other diseases as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The DPH also included the percentage of children in any grade who claimed an immunization exemption, which is based on what the schools report to the state.
After a few schools reported errors in their numbers, revised data released May 10 indicated that 109 schools had kindergartens or seventh grades with immunization rates below the 95% standard for measles, mumps, and rubella for the 2017-18 school year. Read More...
Health & Human Services
“Democratic legislators and government officials stood with a small crowd of supporters at the Legislative Office Building in March to announce that it was time that Connecticut created a public option health insurance program…”
State Dredging Of Farmington River Spill Pollution Possible, Official Says, Hartford Courant, 6/14/2019
“State officials are considering the possibility of dredging a section of the Farmington River in Windsor contaminated by a spill of firefighting foam containing the hazardous chemical compounds called PFAS…”
Racial Cancer Gaps Persist In CT, New Haven Register, 6/14/2019
“Recently, the American Cancer Society provided a briefing called Report of Cancer 2018. The article documented that over the past decade, the cancer incidence rate was stable for women and declined by approximately 2 percent annually for men, while the overall cancer death rate declined by 1.5 annually…”
Lamont Won’t Rescind New Home Care Industry Regulation Protecting Workers, Despite Opposition, Hartford Courant, 6/13/2019
“Despite a lobbying campaign by home care agencies, Gov. Ned Lamont is not backing down on new regulations added to the state budget bill that prevent home care agencies from prohibiting employees from making their own deals with patients…”
After 18 Years, Connecticut Finally Has A State Water Plan, Wallingford Patch, 6/10/2019
“The legislature on June 5, 2019 finally ratified the State Water Plan, a technical and policy document four years in the making and 18 years in the planning since the legislature first required a water plan in 2001…”
Officials Gather In Hartford To Address Outbreak Of Opioid Deaths, CT Mirror, 6/10/2019
“As state lawmakers were unanimously passing a comprehensive bill to address Connecticut’s opioid crisis last week, Hartford was experiencing an unprecedented outbreak of opioid-related deaths, causing alarm among advocates, lawmakers and city officials…”
Education Philanthropy Must Be Open To Public, CT Post, 6/15/2019
“When the General Assembly returns for a special session to complete its unfinished business, lawmakers should also consider correcting a major mistake from this recently completed regular session…”
Scholarships For Low-Income Families To Be Offered In CT, Guilford Patch, 6/14/2019
“Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that CSDE has teamed up with the College Board to launch a supplemental pool of scholarship funds available to students from lower-income families starting with the class of 2020…”
How Racial Quotas Are Hurting Minority Kids In Connecticut, The Daily Signal, 6/14/2019
“Connecticut has put in place diversity quotas for certain magnet schools, meaning the racial breakdown of those schools has to stay relatively fixed. That policy is backfiring on the state, which is now being sued by parents—largely African American—saying that it adversely affects their kids…”
What Education-Related Bills Did Connecticut Lawmakers Pass? WNPR, 6/10/2019
“With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through…”
Partisan Battle Heats Up Over Whether New CT Budget Is Balanced, CT Mirror, 6/13/2019
“The partisan battle over the new state budget heated up Thursday. Minority Republicans continued to argue the $43.4 billion, two-year budget is unbalanced and unconstitutional, relying on nearly $460 million in labor savings that unions still haven’t endorsed…”
Republican Leaders Question Gov’s Budget Savings, WFSB, 6/13/2019
“Republican lawmakers are calling on Connecticut's Democratic governor to reveal the details of his state budget's savings…”
A Guide To Connecticut Taxes You’ll Pay In New State Budget, Middletown Press, 6/10/2019
“With a budget deal headed to his desk for a signature Gov. Ned Lamont is quick to point out it won’t increase income or sales tax rates, or reduce aid to cities and towns…”
A Dramatic (Bad) Policy Change Hidden In State’s Budget, CT Mirror, 6/10/2019
“The budget document now headed to the governor’s desk involves much more than the dollars and cents of state spending…”
Connecticut Teacher Pension Cost Debate Not Over Yet, Middletown Press, 6/17/2019
“Cities and towns have been on the defensive for the past three years, trying to avoid getting billed for a portion of the scariest expense in the state budget — the annual contribution to the teachers’ pension fund…”
50 Great Places For Early Retirement In The U.S., Kiplinger, 6/17/2019
“Early retirement can be more than just a daydream for those long Tuesday afternoons at work. With some smart planning, you can make leaving the workforce early a reality…”
Financial Planning Is Key To Retiring Well, New Haven Register, 6/10/2019
“Multiple studies have shown that people who follow a financial plan save significantly more money for retirement than those who do not follow a plan…”
Commission Meets To Discuss Offshore Wind Development, CT News Junkie, 6/14/2019
“An unpaid group of volunteers gathered at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection headquarters Friday to discuss how they can pursue a strategy that optimizes wind resources while minimizing the impact on fisheries and the environment…”
Five New Conditions Added To Medical Marijuana Program, CT News Junkie, 6/14/2019
“Five new conditions were accepted for treatment to the state’s growing medical marijuana program at a recent Board of Physicians meeting…”
Why Did The Drive To Make Pot Legal Fail? CT Mirror, 6/12/2019
“Among the big-ticket items that did not pass in Connecticut’s 2019 legislative session were tolls and legal cannabis. While tolls will likely be debated in a special session this summer, proponents of recreational marijuana will have to regroup and wait until next year…”
In Case You Missed It
Session Over, But Still A Few Things Rattling Along
By: Paul Stern, CT Mirror
June 16, 2019
The week after a Connecticut legislative session ends is typically pretty slow on political news, but the politicians always have time for a few ceremonial signings and press conferences to keep things stirred up.
In Washington, D.C., stirred up is the daily normal – in this case on both national and international fronts.
Last week at the State Capitol, State Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano complained that the recently passed $43.4 billion budget is unconstitutional because it relies on yet-unrealized union contract savings to be in the legally required balance.
Not so, responded Gov. Ned Lamont, who signed into law a new gun-storage measure that honors the memory of Ethan Song, who lost his life in a firearm accident. Lamont’s spokesperson met Fasano with a stinging rebuke when he observed on Friday that the bid for a consultant to help with the contract savings had only gone out the day before.
It probably felt good to escape, even temporarily, the fuss over United Technologies’ decision to move its headquarters out of Connecticut as part of its proposed merger with Raytheon – a deal that is, in fact, not a done one. Read More...
Latest News From The Governor's Office
Governor Lamont: Connecticut Partners With College Board To Offer Scholarships For Low-Income Families
"Governor Ned Lamont and Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) Commissioner Dianna R. Wentzell today announced that CSDE has teamed up with the College Board to launch a supplemental pool of scholarship funds available to students from lower-income families starting with the class of 2020. As of June 1, 2019, these students who join the national College Board Opportunity Scholarships program are eligible for an additional $40,000 in scholarships per year..." Read More...
Governor Lamont Announces Departure Of Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz
"Governor Ned Lamont today announced that the state’s Consumer Counsel, Elin Swanson Katz, has chosen to leave her position with the state effective July 5, 2019 to pursue her passion for improving broadband access for Connecticut’s citizens..." Read More...
Governor Lamont Signs Ethan's Law To Strengthen Requirements On The Safe Storage Of Firearms In The Home
"Joined by state lawmakers and advocates for commonsense gun safety laws, Governor Ned Lamont today held a bill signing ceremony on the Guilford town green to commemorate final passage of a measure closing a loophole in state statutes on the safe storage of unattended firearms in homes..." Read More...
Governor Lamont: UTC's Continued Commitment To Connecticut Helps Economy, Workforce
"Governor Ned Lamont today released the following statement regarding conversations he has had over the past 48 hours with United Technologies Corporation (UTC) CEO Greg Hayes on the company’s continued commitment to Connecticut..." 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.
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.