News from Hartford

State Reps. Brenda Kupchick and Tony Hwang support legislation that will improve the state’s response to sexual violence at all of Connecticut’s colleges and universities.

House Bill 5029, An Act Concerning Sexual Assault, Stalking And Intimate Partner Violence On Campus, expands sexual assault policies at all college campuses in Connecticut by requiring colleges to immediately provide victims of sexual assault with supportive information regarding their rights and options, and allowing any victims of sexual assault to report the crime anonymously.

The legislation would require colleges to establish sexual response teams and partner with local sexual assault service providers to enhance the level of care given to victims.

The legislation also requires colleges to annually report information on sexual assault policies and details of sexual assault cases to the state legislature for review.

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State Rep. Brenda Kupchick supports a proposal to extend the Forclosure Mediation Program for another four years. The program was scheduled to discontinue in June.

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State Rep. Tony Hwang supports legislation that would establish a constitutionally mandated “lockbox” for transportation funds, stipulating that no moneys in the Special Transportation Fund may be used for any purpose not related to transportation infrastructure improvements and expenses.

In 2013, the fund was raided to the tune of $90 million to balance the state budget.

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State Rep. Kim Fawcett continued her work to fix an affordable housing statute when she testified with her colleague, state Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, in support of House Bill 5511 during a Planning and Development Committee public hearing. House Bill 5511 was drafted based on the work of the Affordable Housing Working Group, which Fawcett chaired.

The group explored the use of Incentive Housing Zones as a way to increase local control over the affordable housing issue and has backed the HOMEConnecticut Plan that supports towns in creating these zones.

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State Reps. Tony Hwang and Brenda Kupchick spported a bill to provide greater safety to youths by requiring young athletes suspected of suffering from a concussion to get written clearance from a medical provider before returning to play.

HB 5113, An Act Concerning Youth Athletes and Concussions, aims to reduce the number of concssuons in children by having the state Department of Education develop or approve a concussion education plan and by having sports leagues provide parents or guardians with information on concussions so they know whay to look for. All student athletes and parents will be required to review and complete this plan each year before the student is allowed to participte in any sports activities.

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State Rep. Brenda Kupchick supported a bill providing civil and criminal immunity to anyone administering antagonist prescription drugs like Marca, a life-saving measure against heroin overdoses that medical professionals say will reduce the number of untimely deaths in Connecticut.

HB 5487 was approved by a 140-0 vote, allowing family, friends, partners and others to administer Narcan or similar drugs during a loved one’s opioid overdose. Previously, only doctors were allowed to give the life-saving drug.

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State Rep. Branda Kupchick has voted against the nominations of Timothy Bates and Anthony Avalione to be Superior Court judges due to flaws in the current judicial selection system used in Connecticut.

Once confirmed by the House and Senate, both appointees would start their judicial careers at the age of 66, entitling them to collect full pensions once they reach the mandatory retirment age of 70.

By state law, a full judicial pesion is two-thirds of final salary, currently $154,559 for a Superior Court judge. The salaries are due to increase by 5% next year, meaning the latest crop of nominees can expect pensions of at least $106,000.

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