Martha Marx


Martha Marx



May 2, 2024
May 2, 2024


Six months after the on-duty death of home care nurse Joyce Grayson, State Senator Martha Marx (D-New London), Senate Vice Chair of the Public Health Committee and a nurse herself, kept her promise to Grayson and home health care workers who have for too long faced adverse treatment and violence on the job. The bill passed by a 34-1 tally.

Sen. Marx joined the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 1, legislation she played a pivotal role in developing, which among other changes will institute several significant protections for health care workers on the job.

“Every worker deserves to feel safe at work, but I can tell you firsthand that home health care workers don’t,” said Sen. Marx. “Recent deaths of home care workers made the news, but too many workers are forced to feel unsafe far too often. With this bill, that will change. By allowing home health care workers to receive transparent information about the patients they serve, adding tools that will protect them in moments where they may be at risk and recognizing the abuse they sometimes face on the job, we take strident steps forward in ensuring the loss of Joyce Grayson and Otoliegle Morulane will never be forgotten and their legacies will help protect their colleagues.”

“One of our significant public health priorities is to protect the health and safety of those who keep us safe and healthy,” said Senate President Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “Home care workers perform a critical service for our families and communities throughout Connecticut and deserve the protections we are moving forward today. In addition, this bill represents an important advance in addressing other public health policy initiatives, including but not limited to studying conditions and diseases and continuing to combat the opioid epidemic. SB1 represents our continuing commitment to make our state healthier.”

“The deaths of two home care workers in late 2023 and early 2024 only underscore the dangers many of those who work to preserve and improve patient health face,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff. “The actions we’re taking today are in honor of the men and women who help others recover and heal in their own homes and recognize their growing role in modern health care. We’re working to continually improve service and quality of care and the actions we’re taking today reflect that drive.”

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 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 among other safety updates.

These agencies will also annually report instances of verbal abuse perceived as threats or dangers by staff members, collecting information that has not previously been considered.
Further, the bill will create a working group comprised of employees of home health care and hospice care agencies; representatives of those agencies; representatives of CBA units, mobile crisis response services and assertive community treatment; police, hospital, home health agency and labor union leaders, among others; and state department commissioners to study health care worker safety.

In autumn 2023, Sen. Marx promised that after the death of Grayson, who was killed on duty after entering a halfway home to provide care for a patient who has since been charged with murder, she would deliver change and improved safety for health care workers across Connecticut, who all too often face unsafe and concerning conditions while performing their duties. 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, 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.

Prior to the Senate’s approval today, 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.

Contact: Joe O’Leary | 508-479-4969 |