Connecticut legislators eschew partisan bickering and act on gun violence prevention, reproductive freedom, health care access, cutting fees to consumers and more.
In a week where Republican-led states continued to chip away at individual freedoms, the CT legislative assembly took a different tack, passing bills to improve the quality of our lives and expand our freedoms.
- The South Carolina House passed a six week abortion ban;
- Lawmakers in Texas prohibited parents from accessing medical care for their transgender children;
- Florida prohibited state or federal funding to colleges offering diversity programming;
- Florida also prevented teachers from using the pronouns that students prefer;
- AND Montana banned TikTok.
In contrast, CT legislators advanced bills to prevent gun violence, protect reproductive freedom, expand healthcare access, improve senior care, reduce traffic fatalities, and strike at hidden fees for consumers, all while negotiating a historic tax cut for residents.
Preventing Gun Violence
The CT House approved a comprehensive bill to reduce gun violence, stop mass shootings, and prevent firearm accidents and suicides. Among the provisions are:
- a limit on the bulk purchase of guns,
- a requirement to register existing ghost guns,
- expansion of the state’s safe storage laws,
- closing loopholes in the state assault weapons ban,
- better enforcement of the ban on high capacity magazines,
- and disqualifying convicted domestic abusers from obtaining a pistol permit.
“I strongly encourage the Senate to vote on this bill and get it to my desk so that I can sign it into law,” said Governor Lamont.
Expanding Reproductive Care and Protections
This week the House voted to allow specially trained pharmacists to prescribe hormonal birth control and also to legalize vending machines that dispense an over-the-counter emergency contraceptive commonly known as Plan B. The pill is already available over the counter and without age restrictions. Last year, we became the first state in the nation to pass a safe harbor law. It protects abortion seekers and providers here from prosecution by other states for procedures performed in Connecticut. Last week, the state House of Representatives strengthened that law with a bill extending protections for medical providers who offer abortions or other reproductive care.
Quicker Access to Healthcare
Senate Democrats passed a bill to reduce the burdens of “prior authorization,” a cumbersome process that delays patients’ care while medical professionals seek approval from insurance companies to treat them. The bill would also limit step therapy, where insurance companies require patients to exhaust less costly medications before approving medications they require. The bill also protects newborns from denial of coverage by giving parents additional time to enroll them for health insurance.
Protections for Victims of Domestic Violence
After the murder of a woman last year by her ex-boyfriend, despite having both a restraining order and a protective order against him, Senate Democrats made strengthening protections a priority. They passed a bill that would expand the use of GPS monitors which track movements of domestic violence offenders. That increases the chances that first responders can reach them quickly if restraining orders are violated. The bill would also prevent assailants from collecting alimony from the victims of their abuse.
Improved Elder Care
Too often, abuse or neglect of seniors goes underreported. A bill passed the House last week which would expand the professional classes legally required to report suspected elder abuse. Another bill seeks to increase the number of state residents eligible for adult day care services, offering a lifeline to family caregivers.
Tired of seeing credit card charges for subscriptions you forgot you had? A bill passed by the CT House would put a check on automatic renewals by requiring businesses to get your approval before charging you. Less hassle for you and more money in your pocket.
Reducing Traffic Fatalities
Wrong-way driving crashes here tripled in 2022. These are the deadliest kind of automobile collisions. The House passed a bill requiring the Department of Transportation to implement wrong-way driving countermeasures and include instruction on reducing wrong-way driving in driver ed programs.
Tax Cut, Anyone?
And with a fiscal year once again expected to end in the black, state lawmakers have the luxury of arguing over the size of a historic cut in income tax rates. Business reporter Dan Haar predicts savings for most households of $300-$600 in addition to child tax deductions.
The legislative session draws to a close on June 7, and our state reps are working furiously to get these and other bills improving our quality of life, expanding our freedoms, and growing our economy over the finish line. That beats culture wars anytime.
State Funds New Trail for Greenwich Bikers and Walkers
We will have a new recreational trail linking Old Greenwich to southwest Stamford, Governor Lamont announced from Binney Park on Monday. The Greenwich Department of Public Works was awarded a $270,400 state grant to plan and design the 2.5 mile trail. It will connect our two towns, increase opportunities for bikers and walkers to enjoy healthy exercise in the open, and improve options for sustainable transportation. The numbers of people biking and walking increased sharply during the pandemic, but efforts to improve conditions for them have been repeatedly rebuffed by the Republican-controlled Board of Estimate and Taxation (BET). No funds have been allocated by the BET for bicycle improvements in the 22 years since the town developed a Bicycle Master Plan. A big thank you to the CT Recreational Trails Program for coming through for us!
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For your calendar
Join us as we march in the Memorial Day parade on March 29 at 9:30 a.m. Meet at Lincoln Avenue off Sound Beach. Show your Democratic pride by ordering one of our fabulous t-shirts (scroll down to see) or wear red, white and blue. We will bring ordered T-shirts to the parade.
Other Memorial Day Events
10:30 a.m: Cos Cob VFW Post 10112 ceremony by their memorial on Strickland Road right next to the Mianus River Boat & Yacht Club and across from the Greenwich Historical Society.
1:00 p.m: the Byram Veterans Association will hold its annual parade starting at the Vets’ clubhouse. 5:00 p.m: the annual Glenville parade organized, by the Glenville Volunteer Fire Company will be held.
8:00 a.m: American Legion Post 29 annual memorial service at Indian Harbor Yacht Club.
10:00 a.m: At the memorial grove in Eugene Morlot Memorial Park in Byram.10:00 a.m: The annual parade in Old Greenwich from the Sound Beach Volunteer Fire Department.
Don’t miss this conversation between our witty local commentator David Rafferty and our Congressman Jim Himes, a senior member of the Intelligence and Financial Services committees. 101 Field Point Road
Proclamation against gun violence, hosted by CT Against Gun Violence. Show support by wearing orange. 12:00 p.m. in front of Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road
Kick off Pride month at Greenwich Town Hall on Sunday, June 4th at 1:00 pm! LGBTQ+ neighbors, families, friends, and allies will join our elected officials and community leaders to raise the Pride flag at Town Hall. All are welcome for an afternoon of community and celebration. 101 Field Point Road
Kyle Spencer, investigative journalist and author of “Raising Them Right,” will speak about the 4 years she spent embedded with the well-funded right-wing activists seeking to lure young voters to turn back the clock on the quest for greater inclusivity and diversity. Spencer will discuss how to engage young voters in the issues they care about, and how to sustain their interest in preserving our fragile democracy. After all, it’s their future we are fighting for.
June 6, 6:30 p.m. refreshments, 7:00 p.m. program.
Greenwich Library, 2nd Floor meeting room, 101 W. Putnam Ave.
Seating is limited, so register today!
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|Volume 1, Number 46 • May 26, 2023|
|Paid for by the Greenwich Democratic Town Committee.|
|Greenwich Democratic Town Committee P.O. Box 126 Greenwich, CT 06836|