Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

June 26, 2019

Sen. Lesser-Introduced Legislation to Provide
Expanded Epinephrine Signed into Law by Governor Lamont

Senate Democrats Photo

HARTFORD, CT – Today, legislation championed by state Senator Matt Lesser (D-Middletown) which will provide expanded access to life-saving epinephrine to the public was signed into law by Governor Ned Lamont.

Public Act 19-19 will make epinephrine devices and EpiPens available in public venues, camps, preschools and entertainment businesses. This legislation will go into effect on October 1, 2019. Currently 33 other states and the District of Columbia have passed legislation permitting public venues to maintain epinephrine auto injectors. Providing expanded access to Epinephrine, which is used to treat anaphylactic allergic reactions, will save lives.

During last year’s legislative session, Sen. Lesser suffered an anaphylactic allergic reaction at the Capitol. He learned the Capitol did not stock Epinephrine and was rushed to the hospital to receive the life-saving care he required.

“Surviving a severe allergic reaction was one of the scariest things I’ve gone through,” said Sen. Lesser. “I am confident this new law will save lives. And it will provide much needed peace of mind to parents worried about their kids and severe allergies. I’m so pleased we were able to pass this law unanimously. I’m grateful that Governor Lamont has now signed our bill into law.”

Gov. Lamont agreed and said this common-sense law will prevent allergic reactions from becoming catastrophic.

“In a matter of minutes, an EpiPen can reverse the effects of an allergic reaction and prevent tragedy,” Gov. Lamont said. “It absolutely makes sense that we do what we can to increase access to these lifesaving medications. I appreciate Sen. Lesser for bringing this issue to the attention of lawmakers and championing its approval so I could sign it into law. If it saves just one life, this law is a success.”

Sen. Lesser worked alongside state Representative Robin Comey (D-Branford) on the bill. Rep. Comey said having Epinephrine readily available will benefit many who suffer from allergies.

“The fact is no one is immune to experiencing an allergic reaction and epinephrine is the first and most important treatment for an anaphylactic reaction. Time is of the essence and any delay in the administration of epinephrine can result in death,” said Rep. Comey. “Having it more widely available for daycares, restaurants, summer camp programs and businesses is a positive step forward for Connecticut. I’m proud to have worked with a dedicated group of advocates to ensure that our kids and others with life-threatening allergies like my son can be safer in public places, in case an emergency happens.”

A recent study revealed that 32 million Americans are living with food allergies and 26 million of those affected are adults. Severe food allergies can be life-threatening and, according to the Food and Drug Administration, it is estimated that each year in the United States there are 30,000 emergency room visits, 2,000 hospitalizations, and 150 deaths due to anaphylaxis to food.

About Matt Lesser: Sen. Lesser was first elected in 2018 to represent the ninth Senate District which consists of Cromwell, Middletown, Newington, Rocky Hill and Wethersfield. Prior to being elected to the State Senate, he was a State Representative for the city of Middletown. He has been a principle author of Connecticut’s Student Loan Bill of Rights, the first in the nation, a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing waste and a major workplace safety law later adapted as a national standard. He has been honored by the Connecticut chapter of the AARP and has been named a champion by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.