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News from State Senator Cathy Osten

January 8, 2016

Capitol address
Legislative Office Building
Room 2100
Hartford, CT 06106-1591

E-mail me here

On the Web

Capitol: 860-240-0579
Toll-free: 1-800-842-1420

Extra Recycling Funding for Local Towns

recyclingThis week, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced that the towns of Hebron and Columbia will be receiving additional funding to bolster their recycling programs. In Hebron, the program will increase recycling participation and create an education campaign.

In Columbia, the funds will support a program to allow residents to drop off organics, including food scraps, at sites throughout the town.

Supporting recycling, composting and other waste reduction activities is critical to maintaining our environment, our farms and our open space. I am happy that our towns are getting the attention, along with some funding, to make progress in this area.

Expanding Transparency in Hospital Fees

hospitalsHospital patients can expect a more clear explanation of the charges for their stay as the result of a law passed last year. The law, which went into effect this month, ensures that hospitals notify patients of their intentions to begin charging facility fees. The new law also requires that all billing statements clearly identify the fee, explain that it is being imposed to cover hospital operational expenses, and inform patients that they have the right to request a reduction of the facility fee or any other part of the bill.

Facility fees are charged by hospitals for outpatient services provided in the facility and are intended to cover operational expenses associated with these services. Patients have complained about being charged hundreds of dollars in facility fees without being told about them in advance and without explanation of their purpose. On many occasions patients have been seeing the same doctor or specialist for years and are unaware that they have been acquired by a hospital which would begin charging facility fees. Patient advocates argue that the fees are difficult to understand and can be different amounts depending on the hospital charging them. The law that went into effect this month will help patients better understand these fees and their rights regarding them.

A Top-10 Energy Efficient State

energyAn annual ranking from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) rated Connecticut among the Top 10 energy-efficient states in America.

Connecticut was noted for its financial incentives and energy efficiency investments. The state ranked sixth in the 2015 State Energy Efficiency Scorecard, the same position it held in 2014.


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