Let Tesla sell their cars in Connecticut

Fourteen years after its founding, Tesla is on the cusp of achieving a significant milestone in its mission. The company will soon roll out the Model 3, a mass-market affordable electric car with a 200-mile range. The Model 3 has the potential to make automotive history, helping to usher in a revolution in electric vehicles. Sadly, Connecticut currently blocks Tesla from selling its cars in the state, posing a significant obstacle to achieving their mission. It is time for state lawmakers to right this wrong.

Legislators must approve family medical leave bill

This past January, Connecticut lawmakers introduced two paid family and medical leave bills: Senate Bill No. 1 and House Bill No. 6212: An Act Concerning Earned Family and Medical Leave. The legislation passed through the Labor Committee successfully in March, but since then supporters of paid family leave have anxiously awaited further action from the Assembly. With less than a month to go before Connecticut legislators adjourn for the summer, Connecticut citizens need to demand that our representatives take action on these bills and pass paid family and medical leave in Connecticut.

Do education reform right — with an education adequacy cost study

Despite all the fiscal and other challenges paralyzing Connecticut, there is an opportunity in the 2017 legislative session to take the first real step toward comprehensive, rational and constitutional education funding reform. That first step is authorizing an education adequacy cost study be conducted in our state as called for in Substitute House Bill 7270.

Give her and other Connecticut adoptees back their identities

My birth certificate is a legal lie.

What’s true on it is that I was born at 4:44 a.m. Oct. 27, 1967. It’s also true I was born in Norwalk Hospital. And I’m guessing that Eric G. Norrington, MD, who’s listed as the attending physician, really was there.

What’s not true are the names typed in all caps under “Full Name of the Child’s Mother and Father.”

New health care act would wreak havoc on women, children, older adults

The latest healthcare plan to emerge from the U.S. House of Representatives is not merely cynical or short-sighted; it is downright draconian. And, if passed by the Senate and signed into law, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will wreak havoc – in many cases irreversible – on millions of people in our state. Women, children and older adults – who make up two-thirds of the state’s population – will be harmed the most by this proposal.

Connecticut shouldn’t restrict access to eye care

In Connecticut, health disparities are a well-known problem among ethnic minorities such as African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos. House Bill 6012, An Act Concerning Consumer Protection in Eye Care, is currently pending before the legislature and raises major concerns in terms of health disparities… I’m afraid it will only serve to exacerbate this divide…

Appreciation for lawmakers’ efforts to preserve funding for disabled constituents

I am the president of the board of directors of the Arc Connecticut, the state’s oldest and largest advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). I am writing to applaud the efforts of several key legislative leaders for the part they are playing to preserve funding for people with I/DD despite the State’s increasingly difficult budget situation.

MGM bill is a net loser for Connecticut

Right now, in Hartford, state legislators are facing a decision that will have repercussions for Connecticut workers and taxpayers for years to come. The General Assembly is considering three different bills regarding the future of Connecticut’s gaming industry, and while they deliberate, thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in casino revenue sharing hang in the balance.

Equitable pay for women worth billions to Connecticut

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, nationally, women earn about 80 cents for every dollar earned by men and this gap is even more pronounced for women of color – black women earn 63 cents and Hispanic women earn 54 cents as compared to white men. This economic injustice affects not only women, but every man and child who has a woman in their lives.

Soda sweetener, cigarette tax — infringements on civil and constitutional liberty

The Malloy budget proposes an additional 45 cents per pack tax on cigarettes which studies show have higher rates of use in poorer communities who are addicted to the product. The tax is being billed as a way to recoup money the state so desperately needs and as a public health benefit. However, economic burdens on addicts will only further cripple the people who need cessation help the most. The latest Democratic ploy to infringe on personal choice comes in the form of House Bill 7314. This is an act concerning a potential once cent per ounce tax on any beverage which has added sweetener, to go toward “health related causes.”

Lawmakers should consult the disabled community on this

Barriers faced by people with disabilities are often not understood by those who are not disabled; living with dignity, respect, and independence is a daily challenge. … An important but less obvious barrier is the use of inappropriate language; words such as “lame,” or “retarded” remain in popular use. Disabled people are among the last minority groups where discrimination and inclusion are under-recognized issues. …
Drafting SB796 “An Act Concerning the Use of Respectful and Person-First Language,” the state attempts to encourage the use of respectful language.