The General Assembly concluded its 2021 session on June 9th, and I believe we passed significant legislation to bolster the Connecticut economy, maintain the state’s fiscal stability, and improve the quality of life for all.
I sponsored, co-sponsored and had significant input on many bills this year. As Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee I am particularly proud of a new state budget that holds the line on tax increases, supports small businesses, our local and state economies, invests in our communities, protects the environment, and supports hard working families.
Over the past 18 months, America learned that the U.S. justice system is not fair and just. We passed several pieces of legislation to ensure Connecticut’s judicial system is equal for everyone.
SB 1019, known as “The Clean Slate Bill,” creates a path toward expungement of low level crimes, protection for undocumented individuals, and provides those with criminal records with the opportunity to support themselves and their families. The legislation is meant for those who have done their time, reentered society, and remained out of trouble.
We passed SB 753 which requires the state to use U.S. Census data in counting incarcerated individuals in the community where they lived prior to incarceration rather than the prison where they are serving time.
With SB 972 the state ends the practice of charging inmates and their families exorbitant fees for phone calls. By signing the legislation, all communications to incarcerated individuals will now be free of charge. This includes costs for communication by phone, video, email, or any other type of communication service.
SB 1 is in response to the pandemic and Washington’s ongoing attempt to restrict access to health care. The legislation includes various provisions related to racial disparities in public health, health care services, pandemic preparedness, and other related topics. The pandemic highlighted how health care in communities of color is not as accessible or of the same quality as health care available in other communities.
HB 5677 requires the Department of Social Services (DSS) commissioner to amend the state Medicaid plan to provide coverage for community violence prevention services. It applies to individuals who have received medical treatment for an injury sustained from an intentional act of violence committed in public by someone other than a family member or intimate partner, and to those referred to receive the services by a certified/licensed health care or social services provider. The provider must first determine that the individual is at a high risk of retaliation or violent injury from another act of violence.
SB 241 is of particular interest to New London. This bill allows the legislature to review the payment in lieu of taxes program (PILOT) to the Port Authority as compared to similar quasi-public agencies. The Port Authority Executive Director must submit a report on port projects and bond funding and an analysis of job gains and losses at State Pier in New London.
We did all this despite the unprecedented challenges resulting from the pandemic. For health and safety reasons, the legislature conducted its business from afar and used technology to remain engaged with citizens and hear their views on the issues. I look forward to putting pandemic restrictions behind us and holding a “normal” session in 2022 with face-to-face discussions with my fellow lawmakers and our constituents.
State Rep. Anthony L. Nolan
39th District, New London