February 4, 2019

Abrams Lauds Democratic Legislative Priorities For 2019 Session

Today, State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams, D-Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire, voiced her support as Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly announced joint priorities for the 2019 legislative session. The legislative package focuses on establishing a paid family and medical leave program, raising the minimum wage, investing in job training and the state’s workforce pipeline, supporting small businesses, making prescription drugs more affordable, and increasing access to the ballot box.

Sen. Abrams has sponsored a majority of the proposals in the legislative package, which include:

Paid Family and Medical Leave
Senate Bill 1: An Act Concerning Paid Family And Medical Leave

Paid family and medical leave is necessary and beneficial to our modern workforce. Connecticut families should be able to care for loved ones or themselves in their time of need. No one should 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.

“Connecticut families struggling with illness or welcoming the sometimes-overwhelming joy of a newborn shouldn’t have to worry about balancing that stress with having to return to work before they’re ready,” said Sen. Abrams. “Paid family and medical leave will ensure everyone undergoing these significant life events will be able to focus on what’s really important: their loved ones.”

Increasing the Minimum Wage
Senate Bill 2: An Act Increasing The Minimum Fair Wage

Raising the minimum wage is long overdue in the State of Connecticut. Numerous large corporations and other states have already taken steps to increase their minimum wage so workers can earn a fair, adequate and ‘livable’ wage. We must do all we reasonably can to help workers support themselves and their families.

“Increasing the minimum wage is long overdue, considering the ever-increasing cost of living and stagnant wages that haven’t kept up with inflation,” said Sen. Abrams. “By ensuring all workers start on the same page at $15 per hour, we give workers a giant step forward, bolster our economy and give everyone in Connecticut the same opportunities toward financial success.”

More Affordable Prescription Drugs
Senate Bill 4: An Act Concerning The Affordability And Accessibility Of Prescription Drugs

Democrats stand united in the belief that health care is a right not a privilege. Left unchecked, the pharmaceutical industry raises costs on consumers and limits access to prescription drugs. When a person is sick they should be able to get the prescription drugs they need, and this legislation will reduce prescription drug costs.

“The ever-rising cost of prescription drugs has an increased impact on everyone in Connecticut, from families whose children are struggling with illness, to seniors who have to save every penny to cover their bills,” said Sen. Abrams. “By making these drugs more affordable and removing the sticker shock from prescriptions, we will help every taxpayer in the state.”

Job Training & Workforce Pipeline
Senate Bill 5: An Act Concerning A Workforce Pipeline And Job Creation

Building upon the success of the workforce pipeline initiatives from last year, Democrats will expand these workforce development programs. It is critical we have an efficient, effective workforce pipeline to meet the growing needs of Connecticut employers.

“Far too many well-paid and valuable jobs in Connecticut are going unfilled,” said Sen. Abrams. “By creating a pipeline that will connect our residents with the skills and valuable knowledge they need to achieve such success, we will not only bolster our workforce but our state’s economy by keeping these manufacturing and technical jobs in our state.”

Early Voting
SJ 14: Resolution Proposing A State Constitutional Amendment To Permit Early Voting

Democrats believe the more people who are able to vote, the stronger our democracy. Creating early voting in Connecticut will ensure that everyone has the ability to vote and will modernize our voting system.

“Supporting the expansion of voter access gives the public more power to fulfill their right to vote,” said Sen. Abrams. “With any number of reasons why someone might not be able to reach the polls on Election Day—illness, disability, lack of childcare, their job, a last-minute emergency—giving them another opportunity to cast their ballot provides another way for them to choose the persons and policies they support, no matter who or what they are.”