Connecticut State Senate must pass ACA protections

Supporters of access to health care at Planned Parenthood were thrilled to see the House pass HB 5210 with huge bipartisan support 114-32 on April 26. Thanks go to Rep. Sean Scanlon, House chair of the Insurance Committee, who led this bill to victory in the House. In partnership with many women legislative allies of both parties, we are now one step closer to ensuring the 10 essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act, and women’s preventive health, are protected in state law regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.

Employers are the key to developing workplace harassment solutions

The workplace is shifting, and it’s clear that what has been tolerated in the past will no longer be acceptable. That’s a good thing. Everyone deserves to work in an environment where they feel safe, and employers must be part of the solution. As it stands now, Connecticut is a leader in creating safe workplaces. Our sexual harassment prevention training laws are some of the most stringent in the nation, and we should all be proud of that.

Connecticut’s chance to save net neutrality is now

Ever since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed its net neutrality rules last year, there has been massive public outcry. Net neutrality is the principle of open access to the internet. It enables users to access the services they want without interference from their internet service provider. Without the FCC’s net neutrality rules, internet service providers are free to block websites, deliberately speed up or slow down traffic from specific websites, or charge customers special fees for improved access.

Connecticut can’t afford NOT to pass paid family medical leave

I am writing to counter recent arguments that Connecticut’s economic woes mean that we can’t afford to pass ‘compassionate’ bills like House Bill 5387, AN ACT CONCERNING PAID FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE, despite strong bipartisan support inside the legislature and outside in the real world. Frankly, I am surprised by the lack of vision shown by opponents of the bill. How can we move forward and build our economy without creative solutions? The House passed HB 5386 last week by a vote of 142-4 and I would urge the Senate to move quickly to send it to the governor’s desk.

Support homegrown solar energy this session

Last week the General Assembly advanced a flawed bill that would put Connecticut’s growing solar industry on ice. While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s bill aims to increase clean energy in Connecticut, it undermines the ability of residents and small businesses to contribute to a more renewable future. Senate Bill 9 eliminates “net metering,” a simple policy that pays solar households for the excess electricity they share with their neighbors.

You are invited April 18 for real talk, real action on climate change

Young people are conscious about the threat of climate change. We know that this fight isn’t about our far-off future; it’s about our today. It’s about what we are willing to tolerate in the present moment and what we cannot afford to ignore any longer. Just as Florida’s Parkland School survivors are taking a stand for their own safety, the young people of Connecticut can take a stand for climate justice and a rapid transition to renewable energy.

Fighting for students, fighting with students

The tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has forced a national reckoning. The images of that fateful day continue to haunt me, and sweeping regulations on gun purchases and use are long overdue. But the shooting and its aftermath are about something more than guns. The past few weeks have reinforced one of my deepest beliefs, which inspired me to commit my life to public service in the first place: young people are the vanguard of progress.

Now is the time for addiction treatment solutions that work

Every fatal opioid overdose means our system has failed to provide treatment. A patient of mine — I’ll call him John — overdosed and almost died last year. After missing a visit in our addiction treatment clinic, he was brought in to the emergency department after being found nonresponsive in his car. John’s close call could have been avoided. When he had first come to our clinic months before, worn-down from years of addiction to heroin and prescription opiates, he was ready to change his life and get treatment.

There definitely is a problem and NPV will solve it

In his March 29 letter to the CTViewpoints, Nicholas Malino gets it wrong. He rejects two arguments in favor Connecticut joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact that he hears most often. Unfortunately, he argues with faulty logic in one case and, more importantly, fails to address the best argument in favor of the NPV compact at all.

The NPV will not solve the problem because there is no problem

The is a follow up to John Stoehr’s excellent article a few days ago. Although I agree with very few of the arguments nor his conclusions, it is one of the very few that I have read that presents a cogent and rational argument against the National Popular Vote (NPV). Bravo. I certainly do concur that we should just stick a fork in the National Popular Vote argument and let it go away.

Time for Connecticut to act on Tesla

Automobile accidents are fourth leading cause of death in the world.  If these new technologies save a single injury or death, I say bring it on. I will gladly get ready for the future knowing that we will need to adapt to thrive and survive. But not everyone in our state is ready to embrace change.   For those of you who may not have been paying close attention, Tesla – the electric car manufacturer that has been leading the charge against climate change – is trying now for the fourth year to gain the ability to sell its vehicles and other products here in Connecticut.

Why including emerging adults in CT’s juvenile justice system makes sense

Gov. Dannel Malloy is again proposing that Connecticut become the first state in United States history to include most emerging adults – those ages 18, 19 and 20 – who have committed crimes into its juvenile court. He has also put forth a second bill that would provide confidentiality protections for low-risk emerging adults in the adult system, offering them a carrot for good behavior by erasing their criminal record if they don’t re-offend for four years. Both applied research and Connecticut’s own experience with raising the age of juvenile court suggest that the Constitution State would be on strong ground to move in the direction the administration has proposed.