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State Senator

Will Haskell

Representing Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, Wilton

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Senator Haskell Endorses Senate Democrats’ Health Care Agenda

Today, State Senator Will Haskell (D-Wilton) voiced his support for the healthcare reforms detailed during the Senate Democrats’ “A Healthy Connecticut,” the third of four legislative agendas for the 2019 legislative session to strengthen our healthcare system, environment and energy system.

While all of those proposals are vital to building a better future for Connecticut, Sen. Haskell highly endorsed healthcare proposals that would directly address the opioid crisis and prevent youth and teen access to vaping products.

HEALTH CARE

Senate Bill 769: An Act Concerning The Prevention of Opioid Use Disorder

“From 2012 to 2017, the opioid death rate in Connecticut tripled. That’s nearly 700 parents, children, friends and neighbors we’ve lost due to these drugs. In 2016, our state ranked 11th in the country with an overdose rate of 27.4 deaths per every 100,000 people,” said Sen. Haskell. “We owe it to those we’ve lost and those who we risk losing next to fight against this epidemic. By expanding access to substance use disorder treatment services and detoxification, we can increase the number of people receiving much needed help and address an issue that touches nearly every family.”

Senate Bill 397: An Act Prohibiting the Sale of Flavored Electronic Nicotine Dispensing Systems at Retail Establishments

“When the Surgeon General declared youth vaping to be an epidemic in December, it became clear that we must do something to fight for our future generations. More than 3 million young people vaped in 2018, including 20 percent of high school students and 5 percent of middle school students, and the CDC says e-cigarette use has jumped in high schools by 78 percent,” said Sen. Haskell. “Vaping products help adult cigarette users turn away from those products, but as tobacco companies increasingly target them toward our youth—using flavored vaping products as a draw—we must be proactive in reducing youth exposure to tobacco products.”

This bill would ban the sale of all flavored vaping products other than tobacco, mint and menthol flavors.

Other legislation discussed Thursday includes:

Senate Bill 375: An Act Concerning Nursing Home Facility Minimum Staffing Levels

This bill would require that nursing homes disclose the actual number of direct care staff providing care to residents, and make this information accessible to patient families, in an accurate and understandable manner.

Senate Bill 750: An Act Concerning Mental Health prevention and treatment of undergraduate and graduate students

This bill would require institutions of higher education to establish programs for the prevention and treatment of mental illness for undergraduate and graduate students.

Senate Bill 770: An Act Concerning Mental Health Prevention and Treatment for All Children

This bill would increase training and education of mental health awareness and understanding including best practices on how to get help at the elementary school level.

Senate Bill 4: An Act Concerning The Affordability and Accessibility of Prescription Drugs

This bill would require the Insurance Commissioner to consider affordability in reviewing health insurance premium rate filings.

ENVIRONMENT

Senate Bill 588: An Act Prohibiting Off-Shore Drilling in Connecticut’s coastal areas

This bill would ban offshore drilling for oil and/or natural gas in Connecticut’s coastal zone and territorial waters to minimize adverse environmental effects and economic effects related to tourism.

ENERGY

Senate Bill 469: An Act Concerning Utility Response Times For Restoration of Electric Service and Utility Minimum Staffing Levels

This bill would establish minimum staffing levels for utility line crews and related utility employee positions in order to improve utility response times for restoration of electric service after power outages.

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