Derek Slap


Derek Slap



June 19, 2020

Senator Slap, Senate Democrats Announce Juneteenth Agenda for Special Session

Hearing the Calls from Demonstrations, Senate Democrats Unveil Wide-Ranging Policy Proposals to Address Police Accountability and Systemic Racial Inequities

Senator Slap at Juneteenth Event

HARTFORD – Today, state Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) and the Connecticut Senate Democratic Caucus announced a series of wide-ranging policy proposals to address police accountability and systemic racial inequities during the 2020 special session.

Senate Democrats chose Juneteenth, the day commemorating the abolishment of slavery, to announce this agenda. In addition, the Senate Democrats had a Black Lives Matter flag flown above the State Capitol for the first time ever in order to recognize the movement and the important holiday.

“Flying the Black Lives Matter flag over the State Capitol is great. It’s a very important symbolic gesture. But, as one speaker today said, symbols are not enough – we need concrete action and meaningful legislation to address systemic racism and racial inequality,” said Sen. Slap, who joined his colleagues in front of the State Capitol to unveil their agenda. “We’ve all seen the rallies happening all across the state. We’ve heard the voice at town halls and on town greens. This isn’t just a moment – it’s a movement. And as elected representatives of the people, we have a duty to act.”

“Our message to the people of Connecticut is simple: we hear you and we will take action,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven). “There are moments in our history that pass us by and there are moments that turn into movements. We will not let the voices on our town greens and our streets be ignored and we will ensure this movement transforms the laws and policies of Connecticut.”

Senate Democrats aim to reform criminal justice and police accountability policies, provide more economic opportunities, address educational inequality, reform health care, and address housing, the environment, and voting rights.

The legislative proposals outlined today are listed below. More details on the proposals can be found here.

Criminal Justice & Police Accountability

Banning Chokeholds & Other Unnecessary Police Actions
To combat police brutality and end dangerous and unnecessary police actions

Prosecutorial Reform
To empower an Inspector General to investigate cases of police misconduct and use of force

Decertifying Police Officers
To decertify police convicted of misconduct

Banning “No Knock” Warrants
To prevent police from executing “no knock” warrants and entering a property without notification

Duty to Intervene
To require police to intervene if another is engaging in brutality or misconduct

Requiring Body Cameras
To ensure all Connecticut police are equipped with body cameras

“Walking While Black” & Custodial Arrest Reform
To reform arrest policies in order to curb unnecessary detentions and custodial arrests

Increasing the Power of Civilian Review Boards
To provide more power to Civilian Review Boards when reviewing an investigation

Amy Cooper Law
To charge persons who call 9-1-1 making false accusations against someone based on race, gender, or religion

Better Police Training
To provide better and more frequent anti-bias training for police

Economic Opportunity

Renaissance Districts
To create “renaissance” investments in affordable housing, retail, and social services programs that are focused on the education, health, and economic development for of the residents of in that neighborhood

Supporting Minority-Owned Businesses
To provide additional support for minority-owned businesses

Expanding Workforce Development
To get more students involved in job-training programs

Educational Inequality

Minority Teacher Support and Recruitment
To address the racial diversity of our teaching staff

Expanding Access to High-Opportunity School Districts

To break down the historic inequities in our public education system where a child’s zip code too often determines the quality of their education

Addressing Entrenched Educational Disparities in Connecticut
To address the educational disparities highlighted and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic

Native American History in School Curriculums
To ensure the history of Native Americans is taught in our public schools

Health Care Reform

Addressing Overall Health Equity Issues
To address major health disparities by race and ethnicity which result in poorer health, premature deaths and hundreds of millions of dollars in health care costs

Strengthening COVID-19 Testing and Contact Tracing
To improve Connecticut’s approach to key COVID-19 prevention tools and to ensure a more equitable response

Addressing Disproportionate Cases and Deaths of Minority Populations from COVID-19
To address entrenched health disparities and strengthen state resources in the event of future public health emergencies

Strengthening Telehealth
To expand telehealth services used during the COVID-19 pandemic

Capping Insulin Costs
To cap exorbitant insulin costs and provide patients access to emergency insulin supplies

Supporting Community Health Workers
To fund community health workers who are an essential liaison between the health care and social services systems

Health Care Data Collection and Reporting
To expand data collection and reporting by race, gender, and other guidelines in order to expose health disparities and better guide health policies

Nursing Home Safeguards
To increase protections and strengthen procedures for nursing homes

Curbing Junk Health Insurance
To regulate the practices of so-called “junk” health insurance policies which deliberately target minority communities and people who have lost their jobs

Protecting Workers
To ensure everyone injured on job, especially those impacted by COVID-19, get increased protections, including workers’ compensation

Tackling Insurance Premiums
To examine and regulate expected insurance rate increases during a time of economic distress and record insurance company profits

Housing, the Environment, Voting Rights, and Recognition

Increasing Affordable Housing Opportunities

To increase access to and the availability of affordable housing, especially in areas with disproportionately low amounts of affordable housing

Addressing Unequal Zoning Restrictions
To address the major impact that local zoning laws contribute to housing discrimination

Addressing Environmental Injustice
To tackle the racial inequities exacerbated by pollution and emissions, which disproportionately impact minorities

Expanding Access to Absentee Ballots
To provide increased access to absentee ballots for voters and election workers concerned about their health and safety during the coronavirus pandemic

Juneteenth as a State Holiday
To establish Juneteenth, June 19, as a state holiday