Bye Helps Unveil Connecticut Democrats Agenda For 2018

photo of Senator Bye.

State Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) joined with other Democrats in the General Assembly today to release the “Democratic Values Agenda” for the 2018 legislative session, which focuses on supporting the middle class and creating economic opportunities including increased access to education, protecting women’s health care, keeping state residents healthy, and preserving democracy.

“Things have changed over the past year. People are standing up for women’s rights and for paid family medical leave,” Sen. Bye said. “I’m proud to stand up and fight this session for this agenda because this is what my constituents are asking me for.”

The issues Sen. Bye and Connecticut Democrats will be fighting for this year include:

  • Earned Family Medical Leave—Working families shouldn’t have to face the prospect of economic ruin when presented with serious family needs such as caring for a newborn, a spouse, or their parents.
  • Pay Equity—It’s well past time that Connecticut ensures that women are paid the wages they deserve. Connecticut women working full time are paid 83 cents for every dollar paid to men working full time. The pay gap is even greater for African-American and Latina women.
  • A Livable Wage—For parents trying to make ends meet, there may be no more important, pressing issue than the stability of knowing they will have a full day of work and earning a fair, adequate and ‘livable’ wage. We simply cannot turn our backs on Connecticut residents earning low wages. We have seen large corporations like Aetna, Cigna, Wells Fargo and Target raise minimum wages company-wide but the rest of Connecticut needs to catch up. We must do all we reasonably can to help workers support themselves and their families.
  • Overhaul Our Workforce Pipeline—With companies such as Pratt & Whitney, Electric Boat and Sikorsky planning to add thousands of new jobs in the coming years, it is critical we have an efficient, effective workforce pipeline to meet the growing needs of Connecticut employers.
  • Community College Completion—Higher education should be available to all hardworking Connecticut students. Democrats re proposing to make tuition at our community colleges free for Connecticut residents.
  • Protecting Women’s Health Care—Republicans have attacked access to women’s health care. Democrats will introduce legislation aimed at protecting critical health services from federal cuts and shedding light on organizations that provide medically inaccurate information.
  • 10 Essential Benefits—Democrats will introduce a bill ensuring that health insurance plans offered in the State of Connecticut cover the “10 essential benefits” protected by the ACA. These benefits include outpatient care as well as hospital care and trips to the emergency room, prenatal care and ongoing care for the baby throughout its childhood, prescription medicine, lab tests, as well as mental health and substance use disorder services.
  • Women’s Preventative Services—Democrats will allow Connecticut to join a growing list of states that protect women’s access to contraception and other preventative health services with no out-of-pocket cost. There have been multiple attempts at the federal level to roll back this benefit.
  • Protecting our Natural Resources—With concern growing regarding Connecticut’s water, air and other natural resources, Democrats will call for a full and public vetting of issues surrounding Connecticut’s natural resources to ensure that they are properly protected and preserved for the people—not for businesses.
  • National Popular Vote—Democrats reject the notion that the citizens of the United States, in the year 2018, cannot be trusted to directly elect their president. Once again, Democratic members will introduce legislation allowing Connecticut to join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
  • Equal Access to the Ballot Box—With voting rights under attack across the nation, now more than ever Connecticut needs to protect everyone’s right to participate in our democracy. College campuses are where students get their housing, work, education, and meals—it is time that they also serve as a place where they can cast a ballot.

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