Derek Slap


Derek Slap



May 7, 2020

2020 Session Is Over, But West Hartford Delegation Not Giving Up Its Push For Priorities

WEST HARTFORD – Although the 2020 state legislative session officially ended Wednesday at midnight, members of West Hartford’s legislative delegation say there is still plenty of necessary public policy to consider in any special session to be held this summer.

“There is necessary work that remains to be done, and we need to plan for that. Despite the pandemic – and, in fact, because of it – help cannot wait for voters, for nursing home residents and their families, for people with IDD and their families, and for embattled arts organizations,” said state Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford). “The pandemic has made some existing legislative proposals even more important and has created the need for new initiatives. Many of these ideas come from our constituents, and it’s our job to listen, to reach consensus with our colleagues, and to ultimately take action.”

“As lawmakers, our work must be responsive to the needs of our constituents, not the confines of the legislative session,” said state Representative Jillian Gilchrest (D-West Hartford). “I am committed to joining my colleagues in a special session to pass meaningful legislation to support the people of Connecticut who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19.”

“Although Wednesday marked the end of the regular session, we have much work left to do on behalf of our constituents. As soon as it is safe to convene, we must come together to find common-sense solutions,” said state Representative Tammy Exum (D-West Hartford). “We need to balance the needs of our community in terms of adequate support for small businesses, schools, and vulnerable populations while keeping health and welfare needs paramount.”

“Our delegation is continuing to work hard to meet the needs of our neighbors and friends,” said state Representative Joe Verrengia (D-West Hartford). “I am committed to pursuing these very important issues when the General Assembly reconvenes.”

The public policies that the West Hartford legislative delegation are pushing for include:

  • Expand the allowable uses of absentee ballots so constituents can vote without fear of endangering their health.
  • Encourage public participation in the 2020 Census to guarantee adequate federal allocations for infrastructure, student loans, special education grants, and more.
  • Allow individuals with intellectual disabilities who are hospitalized to have a loved one or guardian join them in the hospital to ensure that they can understand and communicate with their medical provider.
  • Require nursing homes and long-term care facilities to enable ‘virtual visits’ for residents and their families.
  • Prevent age discrimination in the hiring process by prohibiting employers from asking the age, date of birth, or graduation dates of job applicants.
  • Cap exorbitant insulin costs and provide patients with accessibility to emergency insulin supplies.
  • Create an arts stabilization fund for local nonprofits that may be able to re-open this summer or fall, but will not be able to operate in a financially sustainable way.
  • Provide additional financial relief to renters, small businesses, and restaurants.