February 6, 2019

Senator Abrams Endorses Senate Democrats’ “A Smart & Responsible Connecticut” Agenda

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

Today, State Senator Mary Daugherty Abrams, (D- Meriden, Middlefield, Rockfall, Middletown, Cheshire) endorsed 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 endorsed by Sen. Abrams include:


Senate Bill 496: An Act Concerning The Legalization, Taxation and Regulation of the Retail Sale and Recreational Use of Cannabis

“I support the legalization of marijuana,” said Sen. Abrams. “When marijuana already has numerous approved medical uses, proper oversight, regulations and restrictions on its use would protect public safety while growing a new industrial opportunity. And far too many people have faced serious criminal punishment for simply possessing the drug, a nonviolent crime. We can put an end to that.”

  • The bill would allow adults who are 21 or older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and individuals cultivating marijuana at home would be allowed to possess a limited number of six plants.
  • The bill would include automatic expungement and re-sentencing for conduct that would now be legal and allowing for expungement and re-sentencing for other marijuana offenses.

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

To permit the growing, cultivation, production and processing of hemp in the state.

“As of last year, hemp has been removed from the Controlled Substances Act, and its industrial use has so many benefits we owe it to our state to legalize it,” said Sen. Abrams. “The economic benefits that could be reached by hemp legalization would be a great boon to farmers and businessmen across the state. Hemp’s wide-ranging uses could benefit the textiles, paper, construction, cosmetic and food and beverage industries, among others, and as such legalizing it would directly benefit our economy.”

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

To allow the wagering on the results of certain sporting events.

“Sports gambling has long been conducted on illegal terms across the country,” said Sen. Abrams. Legalizing it would only legitimize it, pulling it out of the darkness.”

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

To create a Connecticut Transportation Authority that would oversee operations and prioritize transportation projects.

“Creating a Connecticut Transportation Authority would give this state important oversight of transportation, helping us look forward to new opportunities to provide important projects that impact those needing them most,” said Sen. Abrams. “Everyone in Connecticut travels, whether by car, train or bus, and ensuring their best interests are being looked after will strengthen our state.”

Senate Bill 764: An Act Concerning Prohibiting On-Call Shift Scheduling for Employees

Senate Bill 440: An Act Concerning Captive Audience Meetings

“Workers deserve fair employment, and both of these bills strike back against that,” said Sen. Abrams. “On-call shift scheduling puts workers in limbo, preventing them from living their lives, sometimes called in for short periods of time, other times forced to wait all day for no pay, often unable to properly arrange for childcare, injecting instability into their lives. Captive audience meetings hold the underlying threat of an employee knowing their employer could punish them if they don’t do what is asked of them, which can sometimes involve political or religious views being forced upon them. These bills will put a stop to that.”


Senate Bill 273: An Act Concerning Debt-Free College

Senate Bill 435: An Act Concerning Student Loan Forgiveness

“The cost of college has continued to increase with little relief for students, tuition spiking by the year,” said Sen. Abrams. “Even after students graduate, student loans can follow them for years or decades; some people believe they will die without paying off their loans. That’s a system that we cannot allow to continue and a drag on our economy. Debt-free college and student loan forgiveness programs represent important first steps toward relieving the pain and stress of these important issues that have harmed students for too long, and they could have the additional ability to keep them in our state after graduation, helping us compete against other states.”

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

To provide the necessary funding for special education costs incurred by school districts.

“Special education costs continue to rise, and our school districts that already work hard to meet the needs of every student should be able to do so without unreasonable impact to their budgets,” said Sen. Abrams. “This legislation would provide us with a simple and valuable reversal of that issue, giving us the chance to do right by our schools and our students.”


Senate Bill 526: An Act Concerning Allowing Municipalities to Amend their Fiscal Years

Senate Bill 696: An Act Concerning Unemployment Insurance Reform

“Protecting our municipalities and our current systems is vital to the financial future of Connecticut,” said Sen. Abrams. “These policies, which would put money, freedom and flexibility back in the hands of our towns and cities, could lead to significant change and improvement around our state. By allowing for amendments to the federal fiscal year and keeping our unemployment fund solvent, we protect Connecticut’s economy and future-proof it for years to come.”