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State Senator

Norm Needleman

Representing Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Senator Needleman Backs Senate Democrats’ “A Smart And Responsible Connecticut” Agenda

Bill proposals aim to strengthen our economy, economic competitiveness, and education system.

HARTFORD, CT—Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) backed the Senate Democrats’ announcement of “A Smart & Responsible Connecticut,” the second of four legislative agendas for the 2019 legislative session. The series of bills outline the policy proposals from Senate Democrats to strengthen our economy, economic competitiveness, and education system.

The legislative proposals in the “A Smart & Responsible Connecticut” agenda introduced by Sen. Needleman include:

ECONOMIC COMPETITION & FAIRNESS

Senate Bill 598: An Act Concerning The Growing, Cultivation, Production and Processing of Hemp

“Legalizing hemp production would be a direct boon to the farmers and businesses of Connecticut, giving them access to a resource that for too long has been unfairly been blocked away despite its numerous known uses,” said Sen. Needleman. “We can easily support the more than 100 farmers interested in growing hemp while providing our industries with new and better materials to work with.”

Senate Bill 665: An Act Concerning Establishing Competitive Sports Wagering at Casinos and Off-Track Betting Sites on Certain Sporting

“Sports gambling provides a new opportunity for Connecticut to gain access to additional tax revenues while taking the practice away from the black market,” said Sen. Needleman. “It would benefit and bolster our casinos and give our state an influx of tax dollars.”

Senate Bill 423: An Act Concerning Establishing the Connecticut Transportation Authority

“A Connecticut Transportation Authority would be a way for Connecticut to ensure its most pressing transportation needs are directly addressed,” said Sen. Needleman. “The authority could provide direct and improved oversight toward our roads, our trains and our buses, helping push Connecticut’s transit needs to the forefront of important discussions.”

Senate Bill 440: An Act Concerning Captive Audience Meetings

“Prohibiting these required meetings from employers, which all too often employ unfair and aggressive tactics toward employees, would assist Connecticut’s workforce greatly,” said Sen. Needleman. “I know that employees who no longer face retaliation for speaking out against these practices will be more confident in their rights and more comfortable in their jobs.”

EDUCATION

Senate Bill 637: An Act Concerning Reimbursement for Special Education Costs

“This is an easy way for us to protect our schools and our municipalities without losing sight of what’s most important—our future generations,” said Sen. Needleman. “This legislation would give us an opportunity to provide schools with additional funding they can use to support modern education with even more strength than before.”

Senate Bill 435: An Act Concerning Student Loan Forgiveness

“Businesses and workers alike would benefit from student loan forgiveness programs, keeping our skilled young workers in the state and providing our companies with a new way to attract the young workers they need,” said Sen. Cassano. “This bill would benefit our economy, not just by providing new opportunities for business growth but by giving those who are struggling with student loan debt a way to escape it.”

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY

Senate Bill 526: An Act Concerning Allowing Municipalities to Amend their Fiscal Years
Senate Bill 696: An Act Concerning Unemployment Insurance Reform

“These bills will provide important protections to our municipalities and our financial systems, giving our cities and towns more freedom and flexibility while ensuring our unemployment insurance fund remains solvent so it can continue supporting our workforce.”

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