Mohegan is trying to be the competition they want CT to fear

If the Mohegan Tribe has their way, a satellite casino in East Windsor will not be the only new casino they would build in the region. As the Mohegan Sun Massachusetts (yes, Massachusetts) website currently points out, “Mohegan Sun Massachusetts is prepared to break ground immediately.”

Support small business: Pass paid leave this year

As the owner of a small business in Colchester, I support paid family and medical leave as a critical safety net that will support workers during times of financial insecurity, when their last concern should be missing a paycheck. Contrary to the narrative spread by the big business lobby, a new poll shows that 77 percent of small business owners in Connecticut support paid family and medical leave. When respondents learn more about paid leave, including how a range of research has demonstrated its benefits for businesses, support for legislation climbs to 85 percent. And it’s easy to see why.

Why keep a ‘promise’ that hurts birth mothers?

One of the most persistent myths surrounding adoption is that birth mothers like me were “promised” privacy to hide the shame of having had sex (and getting caught at it). Single pregnant women like me had few viable options, and did not consider the relinquishment of our child an exchange for the promise of privacy. Senate Bill 977 extends an existing 2014 law to pre-1983 adult adoptees to restore the right to an original birth certificate to all Connecticut adoptees. Let’s keep it in the family, between those personally affected, where it belongs.

The government is us and taxes and tolls are not theft

A triumph of the conservative movement was getting citizens to think of government as something separate and distinct from the citizenry. In reality, government is not a lurking entity waiting to tax us and give nothing in return. As Abraham Lincoln said, the government is of, by and for the people. The government is us.

We need higher standards of high school competence, not looser

It is truly sad that the legislature has voted and sent to the governor a bill to loosen graduation standards. Frankly, I am aghast that the children who will most likely suffer are low income and minority children. If we look statewide at test results either on state measures of proficiency or national measures, the children who have the lowest scores are often the same children.

Online contact lens ban is protectionism, not patient protection

The Connecticut legislature is currently considering legislation HB 6012 that would radically restrict emerging telehealth technologies and would set a dangerous precedent by legislating standards of care. Physicians go through rigorous schooling, training, licensing, and certification, and ultimately, we trust doctors to make the best treatment decisions for their patients. In the case of HB 6012, optometrists, who are not medical doctors, are trying to use legislation to dictate how doctors treat their patients.

Save the Bottle Bill

The Bottle Bill is our most effective recycling program in the state, and after being around for 37 years, we’re pretty familiar with how it works. But the bottle industry is lobbying for us to dismantle it and replace it with curbside recycling programs and taxes, which would waste much of the value to be found in recycling.

Let’s eliminate the pharmaceutical ‘gag order’ that costs patients money

Connecticut lawmakers need to continue their history and proactive approach to patient-focused legislation by passing a bill that will ensure patient consumers are not paying too much for their medication. S.B.445 would put an end to an insurance industry secret—where pharmacists are contractually prohibited from telling customers if there is an option for them to pay less for their medically necessary, and sometimes life-saving, prescription treatment options. It seems crazy but it’s true.

Education funding: An investment in Connecticut’s future

The lawsuit decided last fall and currently in appeal, CCJEF v. Rell, confirmed what we already know about the way we fund public education in Connecticut: while we might spend enough to educate our state’s public school students, we do not share our funding equitably. The reality is that many of our highest need communities need more resources to support their students. This is too important to wait to address for another year.

East Windsor casino fails the Jimmy Kimmel test

The Jimmy Kimmel test is very simple: No family should be denied medical care, and any legislation that falls short of it fails this test. But this test can be applied to a third casino in Connecticut. It’s simple, really. All lawmakers have to do is ask their constituents: Do you want a casino in your town? Here’s how the conversation might go. …

The National Popular Vote is not an end run of the Constitution

Last Thursday, the Connecticut House of Representatives debated a bill, HB 5434, which would include Connecticut in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. When this bill passes in enough states, the NPV Interstate Compact will change the way the American people elect the President of the United States. During the Connecticut House debate, an argument was made that the NPV Compact is an “end run around the Constitution.” This assertion is not true.

Legal marijuana is coming to New England; Connecticut should benefit

Last week, House and Senate Democrats announced a budget proposal that, among other things, would tax and regulate marijuana. As a Hartford City Councilor, this was welcome news. Back in March, I submitted a resolution to support marijuana legalization as a way to generate revenue for our struggling cities that would not increase tax rates. But more importantly, marijuana legalization would create jobs and business opportunities for our youth, something Connecticut needs even more than revenue.