Litchfield News



Political Scene

Rep. Wilson Announces District Legislative Updates
HARTFORDState Representative David Wilson (R-66) has announced that he will be hosting legislative update events throughout the 66th District, giving residents the opportunity to hear the latest updates from the State Capitol and ask questions. 

Rep. Wilson encourages residents to attend the meetings and also discuss any issues they feel should be addressed in the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session.
Wednesday, January 17 ~ 7:00–8:00 pm
Warren Town Hall
50 Cemetery Road, Warren

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Rep. Wilson at 800-842-1423 or email
Local Lawmakers Vote to Restore
Medicare Assistance for Seniors, Disabled
State Representatives John Piscopo (R-76), and David T. Wilson (R-66) last week voted in favor of a bipartisan plan that would provide funding for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) through the end of the fiscal year.
MSP is a Medicaid program that helps seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare co-insurance, deductibles and premiums. Connecticut was one of five states whose income eligibility limits exceeded the federal minimum level. Legislators, in adopting the budget in October, reduced the eligibility to the federal minimum, consequently reducing or eliminating coverage for many of the program’s thousands of participants. The state’s Department of Social Services in December announced it would delay implementation of the eligibility reduction by two months, giving concerned program participants a reprieve from an unexpected jump in their healthcare costs as lawmakers worked to find $53 million to fund the program through June.  
“Many people were being affected by the funding cuts to MSP. While we voted to restore funding to this program, the legislature will again have to address the fiscal crisis and deficit that Connecticut faces in the upcoming legislative session. Lawmakers will continue their work to find funding alternatives to support our seniors and those most in need, which depend on these critical resources,” said Rep. Piscopo.
Realizing almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified and another 27,000 would have their coverage reduced, members from both the House and Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly petitioned the Secretary of the State to call them back into special session in order to restore the previous cut.
“I joined my legislative colleagues in supporting our seniors and our citizens most in need, who depend on MSP resources. We were able to restore funding without raising taxes. Unfortunately, Connecticut continues to face an uphill battle in managing the state’s deficit crisis. I will work with my fellow lawmakers in the upcoming 2018 legislative session to continue seeking alternative funding to ensure critical resources are available to those most in need. At the same time we are faced with many hard decisions in CT and it will take sacrifices in many line items and all our towns to get us to a truly balanced budget before this is over,” said Rep. Wilson.
The MSP plan was approved in the House through a 130 - 3 vote. Among the methods used to restore program funding is a requirement that Gov. Malloy reduce the number of managers and consultants—a provision included in the adopted budget ignored by the governor. Other components include moving human resources-related functions of some state agencies into the state’s Department of Administrative Services, and requiring the governor to find savings in Executive Branch functions while limiting his ability to cut more than 10 percent from any one program.
State senators approved the plan 32 - 1 in a vote later in the day.
The 2018 legislative session—a so-called short session—starts Feb. 7 and will see lawmakers focus primarily on issues tied to the state budget.
A number of new laws took effect beginning January 1, 2018. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I encourage you to take a look at the full list of laws that can be found by clicking here. I have listed some of the more noteworthy legislation below.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these laws.
AN ACT PREVENTING PRESCRIPTION OPIOID DIVERSION AND ABUSE - Public Act No. 17-131 - requires prescriptions be transcribed electronically to safeguard against over prescribing, reduces the maximum number of days for a prescription from seven to five for minors and allows patients to request drugs other than opioids be prescribed.

AN ACT CONCERNING WITHHOLDING WORKERS' COMPENSATION INCOME FOR CHILD SUPPORT - Public Act No. 17-27 – requires an employer promptly notify the dependent (i.e., spouse, former spouse, or child owed the support) or judicial branch's Support Enforcement Services, if an employee, whose income is withheld to enforce a child support order, makes a workers' compensation claim. Summary
AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF A VETERAN FOR A CERTAIN HONOR AND CERTAIN BENEFIT - Public Act No. 17-83 – broadens the eligibility criteria for certain veterans' benefits, allows additional people to receive a service ribbon and medal, be buried in a Connecticut veterans' cemetery, or have veteran status indicated on their driver's license or identity card. Summary
Please pass this information along to those who may benefit from knowing what to expect this new year in the State of Connecticut.
New legislation typically goes into effect on January 1st, July 1st, or October 1st in a calendar year, although a few laws go into effect immediately upon passage. 
Please note that this is provided as information, and inclusion in this message does not indicate my support or opposition to an individual measure.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns relating to state government at or call 800-842-1423.

Wishing you all my best for a Happy 2018!
State Rep. David Wilson (R-66)
800-842-1423 (Toll Free)
860-240-8700 (Local)
Problem Solvers Caucus Releases Report
 with Bipartisan Policy Recommendations
 to Rebuild America’s Infrastructure
 Bipartisan Lawmakers Urge Congress
 to Enact Commonsense Legislation
Today (Jan. 10, 2018), the Problem Solvers Caucus released a new report with bipartisan policy recommendations to build a 21st century infrastructure network for America. The forty-eight member bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus, led by Co-Chairs Tom Reed (NY-23) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), launched an Infrastructure Working Group to find consensus on a bipartisan set of policies to serve as the bedrock for a plan that addresses the dire need to rebuild and responsibly invest in infrastructure across the United States.
The Infrastructure Working Group, co-chaired by Reps. John Katko (NY-24) and Elizabeth Esty (CT-05), met with over one hundred outside stakeholder organizations, the Administration, and leaders in Congress, to develop bipartisan concepts to move an infrastructure plan forward. These bipartisan policy options will be the foundation for a comprehensive plan to improve the nation’s highways, roads and bridges, transit and railways, ports and airports, water and sewer systems, energy systems and the power grid, and broadband and communications networks.
“Our country became great because Americans dreamed big, built big, and made bold decisions. Working together, we spanned rivers, electrified rural America, built railroads across the continent, connected cities thousands of miles apart with highways, and moved information faster than humans ever imagined possible. Those investments created millions of jobs, led to unprecedented mobility and innovation, and established America as the envy of the world.
Today, millions of Americans see aging airports and rightly wonder if we’re still capable of tackling the toughest challenges our country faces in a bold, bipartisan manner. That’s why I’m proud to lead this effort with Congressman Katko and the members of the Problem Solvers Caucus to fix our country’s broken infrastructure and put people back to work. You cannot build a 21st century economy with a mid-20th century infrastructure. It’s time for infrastructure.” – Rep. Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)
“In Central New York and across the country, our infrastructure is crumbling. Bridges, roads, and ports have fallen into disrepair and states and local municipalities are not able to plan for the long-term. I was proud to work in a bipartisan manner with Rep. Esty and members of the Problem Solvers Infrastructure Working Group to produce a comprehensive report detailing areas in which we can begin to work together to streamline processes and provide sustainable funding solutions. In doing so, we’ve signaled to President Trump, as well as leaders on both sides of the aisle in the House and Senate, that we are ready to work in a bipartisan manner move our nation’s infrastructure forward.” – Rep. John Katko (NY-24)
“It’s always better for the country when we act together. The bipartisan policy solutions we’ve delivered provide Congress the building blocks necessary to craft a comprehensive infrastructure plan that both parties can agree to,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Tom Reed. “We’ve paved a bipartisan path to get to ‘yes’ and look forward to working with key leaders in Congress to find the right mix of policies to create legislation that can, and should, be enacted into law as soon as possible.”
“Today, one-third of the bridges and tunnels in New Jersey are considered unsafe, and we have the eighth worst roads in the country. Too many of our pipes are filled with lead; many of our residents have no access to broadband, at all,” said Problem Solvers Caucus Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer. “Commutes are a disaster, and it’s ruining family time and crippling our economy. We can’t keep kicking this problem down the road. Today's report details options for solving these problems, and it’s a good bipartisan starting point. It’s time to get a better ROI in New Jersey for our existing tax dollars. Under no circumstance can we increase gas taxes or tolls – or any taxes for that matter.”
President Signs Esty’s Bipartisan
Anti-Human Trafficking Bills Into Law
Efforts would establish tough new penalties
for truckers, create coordinator position
The second ofCongresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5)’s two bipartisan bills to combat human trafficking in America was signed into law today, marking the successful conclusion of an effort toestablish tough new penalties for truckers and create a human trafficking prevention coordinator position at the U.S. Department of Transportation. Esty introduced both bills with Rep. John Katko (R-NY).
“I’m proud that we were able to turn bipartisan proposals to protect Americans threatened by the horrible and inhumane crime of human trafficking into reality,” Esty said. “Our truckers are our eyes and ears on the road, which is why they’re often the best positioned to see when trafficking activities are occurring and report them to the authorities. I thank my Republican colleague Congressman Katko for his efforts on these important pieces of legislation.”
To view Esty’s floor remarks on her bipartisan legislation to address human trafficking, click the image above or this link.
According to the International Labor Organization,  more than 20 million men, women, and children are victimized by forced labor and sex trafficking worldwide, with 300,000 children annually trafficked in the United States alone. In a 2016 WNPR report, Connecticut’s Department of Children and Families testified during a panel discussiion that, since 2006, there have been 432 underage victims of human trafficking.
“We applaud Congresswoman Esty’s efforts to bring great awareness to the issue of human trafficking and to provide truck drivers with information and resources on human trafficking,” said Jillian Gilchrest, Chair, Connecticut Trafficking in Persons Council & Director of Health Professional Outreach for CCADV. “The unfortunate reality is that women, girls and boys are being sexually exploited all across this country, with large numbers being sold at truck stops. This legislation is an important step by helping truck drivers to intervene and connect victims to safety and services.”
The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act (S. 1536) focuses on preventing human trafficking. The bill would designate a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation and increase outreach, education, and reporting efforts at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The bill is supported by Truckers Against Trafficking, National District Attorneys Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, and ECPAT-USA.
The No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act (S. 1532) would disqualify individuals from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for their lifetime if they used a CMV to commit a felony involving human trafficking.