Matt Lesser

State Senator

Matt Lesser

Deputy Majority Leader

Your Independent Voice

May 4, 2024
Contact: Garnet McLaughlin |


State Senator Matt Lesser hailed the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, which seeks to improve health and safety of Connecticut residents including improving on-job safety of home health care workers, and improved oversight and monitoring of serious mental and physical health maladies.

“Nobody who cares for us should have to put their life or safety on the line. After the recent killings of home health workers, it was clear that we needed to improve the safety of visiting nurses and other home health workers. It was important that we provided funding for home escorts, required safety training and ensured that all health facilities comply with national workplace safety standards,” Senator Lesser said. “All of those provisions originated in Senate Bill 365, our bill from the Human Services Committee. I am thrilled we were able to collaborate with our colleagues on the Public Health Committee to get them incorporated into Senate Bill 1. ”

Lesser also hailed another provision, which establishes a Parkinson’s Disease registry.

“I was approached by a constituent, Regina Stankaitis of Cromwell about the urgent need to improve Connecticut’s coordination and response to Parkinson’s Disease,” Lesser said. “I am thrilled we were able to get support to do just that in this bill.”

Senate Bill 1, “An Act Concerning The Health And Safety Of Connecticut Residents,” promises to make a number of changes to current health care and public health laws, with its foremost intent improvements to the health and safety of the home health care workers who take care of Connecticut residents every day.

The law will require home health care and home health aide agencies to collect and provide information regarding patient history of violence toward healthcare workers, substance use, domestic abuse and violent acts or sex offender registry inclusion, as well as information regarding the safety of residences they plan to visit. Agencies will also provide annual staff training to recognize hazards commonly encountered in home care workplaces and have monthly safety assessments with staff and provide a mobile app or GPS system for on-duty safety checks.

The bill will also create a grant program for escorts and safety tools from the Department of Social Services and create a working group comprised of stakeholders in the home care industry, including workers, police and organization representatives to study health care worker safety.

This drive to support home care workers came after the October 2023 death of home care nurse Joyce Grayson, who was killed while visiting a patient who resided in a halfway house; that patient has since been charged with her murder. The urgency of the call only grew after the January 2024 deaths of live-in caregiver Otoliegle Morulane and his patient in an East Lyme house fire.

In addition to Senate Bill 1’s focus on health care worker safety, it takes a broad, overarching approach to improving public health in Connecticut. Its measures include development and distribution of gun safety material distribution for increased awareness and education; working groups to study health issues like nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, loneliness and isolation, and nail salon workers’ potential exposure to chemicals; studies on prescription drug shortages; increased public access and education regarding opioid drug deactivation systems; and increased oversight and studying of Parkinson’s Disease and schizophrenia, among many other aspects.

The bill further will support individual and group health insurance plans covering coronary calcium scans, will ensure hospitals and nursing facilities are prepared for cybersecurity breaches and have plans to respond if needed, and will support a statewide health information exchange that will interconnect myriad state medical services.

Prior to the Senate’s approval this week, Senate Bill 1 was previously approved by a 25-12 vote on March 20 in the Public Health Committee. It will next be considered by the House; upon its passage there, it would proceed to the Governor’s office to be signed into law.

Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward