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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 Commends Senate Democrats’ “A Connecticut For All” Agenda

Bill proposals aim to strengthen gender equity and provide a more equal state

Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex) commended the Senate Democrats’ announcement of “A Connecticut for All,” the fourth of four legislative agendas for the 2019 legislative session. The series of bills outline the policy proposals from Senate Democrats to strengthen gender equity and build a state for all our residents.

“Continued news stories over the last few years prove, time and time again, that our society is not as equal as we’d like it to be, and Connecticut is unfortunately no different,” said Sen. Needleman. “We owe it to everyone in our state to push for these significant improvements to current law that would place power back in the hands of those who have been victimized and discriminated against. By strengthening our laws concerning sexual assault and sexual harassment, bolstering anti-discrimination standards and changing current laws that continue to rely on outdated gender roles, we can push for a state that serves us all equally.”

The legislative proposals in the “A Connecticut for All” agenda include:

Senate Bill 3: Time’s Up Act: An Act Concerning Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment

“By extending statutes of limitations against those who commit horrific crimes against others, we give agency and strength back to their victims, who will now have additional opportunities to seek justice,” said Sen. Needleman. “We can also strengthen sexual harassment standards to hold individuals accountable for their bad acting and those who seek to protect or hide what those people have done to others. These additional steps toward equality in our laws would hopefully prevent future crimes and discrimination.”

This bill would extend the statute of limitations for sexual assault crimes, extend sexual harassment training and protect those who have been discriminated against in the workplace.

Senate Bill 697: An Act Concerning Nondisclosure Agreements in the Workplace

“This bill would ban the use of non-disclosure agreements in settlements involving serious allegations,” said Sen. Needleman. “By blocking NDAs in these circumstances, we strengthen protections for those who have for too long been silenced.”

Senate Bill 765: An Act Concerning Equal Pay

“While we’re working toward ensuring equal pay for equal work, there are still more steps we can take to do so,” said Sen. Needleman. “By studying and potentially improving the language and standards of our current gender equity laws, we can work to prevent loopholes and issues that may otherwise arise.”

Senate Bill 395: An Act Concerning Deceptive Advertising Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy

”By ensuring crisis pregnancy centers are providing accurate information and advertising only the services they do provide, we can better ensure women receive the healthcare they deserve,” said Sen. Needleman.

Senate Bill 394: An Act Concerning CT Protecting Women From Unfair Health and Wellness Mandates

“The federal government has taken several steps in recent years away from the health and wellness standards for women a majority of Americans support,” said Sen. Needleman. “By establishing this new council, we would have additional protections against legal threats to women’s healthcare in our state and ensure Connecticut remains a leader in providing fair, equal opportunities for all of its citizens.”

This bill would establish the Council on Protecting Women’s Health. The Council will be tasked specifically with monitoring federal legislation, proposed administrative rules and the progress of litigation relating to women’s health and wellness ensure that the actions of the federal government will not be thwarting women’s health care here in Connecticut.

Senate Bill 792: An Act Concerning Discrimination

“Everyone deserves to be treated fairly and equally, but time and time again, we learn that transgender people still don’t receive that treatment,” said Sen. Needleman. “Working to ensure they, like everyone else, can feel comfortable and confident being themselves should be a driving factor in our efforts to provide a fair, safe Connecticut.”

This bill would establish a task force to consider what state laws may be necessary to strengthen protections against transgender discrimination in our schools and workplaces.

Senate Bill 533: An Act Concerning Expanding Access to Diaper Changing Tables

“When fathers’ share of childcare has tripled on average in the last 50 years, we owe it to them to support legislation providing them with tools to provide the best care for their child as possible,” said Sen. Needleman. “Gender discrimination shows itself in subtle ways, and assuming only women are responsible for taking care of children does a disservice to men and women alike. This won’t just increase access to these tables, but effectively enhance the safety and health of our state’s youngest residents.”

The bill will require all newly constructed or substantially renovated buildings with public restrooms to contain at least one diaper changing table for women and at least one diaper changing table for men on each floor of the building that is open to the public. This will greatly increase access to diaper changing tables, enhancing the safety and health of Connecticut’s youngest residents.

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