Martha Marx

STATE SENATOR

Martha Marx

DEPUTY MAJORITY LEADER

LISTENING TO YOU

May 24, 2023

SENATOR MARX VOTES FOR POLICIES BENEFITTING WORKERS AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Today, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London) voted with the Senate to support policies that will make life a little better for workers and the environment in Connecticut. Her votes included support to update the state’s Paid Family and Medical Leave program, first passed in 2019 and made available to the public in 2022, making it more friendly to workers by prohibiting disability insurance benefit reductions and increasing eligible organizations , and voting in favor of legislation creating a Public Schools Solar Power Systems and Energy Efficiency Projects Financing Program through the Connecticut Green Bank, helping schools and municipalities improve the energy efficiency of their buildings and resources.

“These bills are representative of ground-level, real-world changes that the Legislature can press forward,” said Sen. Marx. “They will help workers with significant problems avoid reduced benefits from disability insurance because they claim paid family medical leave. They will help our environment by allowing local schools and municipalities better afford valuable upgrades – and benefit workers in the process by expanding employment opportunities in the process. I love being a Senator because I get opportunities to support legislation like this.”

Senate Bill 1179, “An Act Amending Connecticut Paid Family Medical Leave,” prohibits certain disability insurance policies from reducing benefits due to receipt of benefits from the Paid Family and Medical Leave program and allows tribal enterprises, such as the commercial businesses managed or controlled by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation or Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, to enroll in the program – which represents many businesses including those at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos.

Ed Hawthorne, President of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, testified in March that this bill comes as some employers have required employees to exhaust PFML benefits before short-term disability benefits, even as workers have paid into both programs as required by law. The bill now moves to the House for further consideration.

Senate Bill 961, “An Act Concerning Carbon-Free School Requirements For New School Construction And Establishing Other School Construction And Establishing Other School Construction And Public Health Requirements For School Districts,” would establish the Public Schools Solar Power Systems and Energy Efficiency Projects Financing Program through the Connecticut Green Bank. That program would provide financing to public school districts looking to voluntarily install solar power systems and energy efficiency improvements. Projects would undergo feasibility and energy-efficiency studies to determine cost-effectiveness.

The program would also see contractors enroll in an apprenticeship program supporting workforce development programs connecting workers residing in the same municipality as a project and workers traditionally underrepresented in employment.
This bill received strong support from education and clean energy advocates for its benefits both to resources in educational institutions and for the state’s environment. It previously passed the Environment Committee by a 22-10 tally in March and now heads to the House for further consideration.