The state's legislative session has ended and on five of the issues, Connecticut Conference leaders got their wishes.
The Conference's Legislative Advocate, Michele Mudrick - who is guided in her work by the resolutions adopted at Annual Meetings
- reports the following:
- "Conference clergy were instrumental in helping lawmakers in CT agree to restore funding for the HUSKY A Medicaid program in the budget," Mudrick said. "More than 200 CTUCC clergy signed on to a letter for this concern and the letter was delivered to legislators."
- More than 200 clergy also signed onto a letter in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. That letter was submitted, along with testimony from Mudrick, to support legislation that opens financial aid in the state to “dreamers,” the undocumented immigrants brought here as children. That bill passed.
- House Bill 5542 passed, banning the sale, transfer, possession, manufacturing or use of bump stocks or other accessories to increase the rate of fire of a firearm. Mudrick had submitted testimony in favor of this bill.
- Senate Bill 9 passed, supporting the implementation of legislation to help achieve state mandated reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and in support of the increase of renewable energy resources in the state. This was supported by Mudrick, Pam Arifian, the Director of the Northeast Environmental Justice Center at Silver Lake, and others.
In addition to the legislation that did pass, Mudrick expressed gratitude for something that did not: HB 5305, which would have dramatically increase casino gambling int he state. Mudrick and the Coalition Against Casino Expansion in CT (CACE) had actively opposed the bill.
The bill had passed the House, but was never brought up for a vote in the Senate. But, Mudrick warned, this does not mean the end of the casino battle.
"MGM is likely to continue lobbying throughout 2018 in preparation for the 2019 Legislative Session which will start in January 2019, so our work will continue," she said.
In addition, Mudrick warns, the governor may be calling a special legislative session regarding legalized sports betting in Connecticut.
Mudrick is urging everyone in the Conference to find out how their state Representative voted on the casino bill by checking this webpage
. (Find your representative at: www.openstates.org
She suggests that if the representative voted no, to contact them and thank them for their vote.
"If they voted yes, call or email them and ask why they voted yes and let them know why you are opposed to casino expansion in Connecticut," she said.
Mudrick is keeping track of what legislators are saying, and asks that anyone who does communicate with their state representative to email her an update at firstname.lastname@example.org
Reasons to oppose casino gambling can be found at: nomorecasinosinct.org
Mudrick also reported that the following bills, for which she and other Conference leaders had advocated, did not pass:
- House bill 5388 to Increase the Minimum Wage
- House bill 5387 for Paid Family Medical Leave
- House Bill 5408 An Act concerning Access to Original Birth Records by Adult Adoptees
- Senate Bill 103 An Act Concerning Hydraulic Fracking Waste in CT to permanently prohibit the receipt, collection, storage, treatment and disposal of waste from Hydraulic fracturing.
- House bill 5540 An Act Concerning Ghost Guns and the Permit Application Process.
Learn more about the Conference's advocacy work at: ctucc.org/economicjustice