NORWALK, Conn. – This is a press release, presented in a slightly altered format from which it was sent:
GOV. MALLOY HIGHLIGHTS ‘CONNECTICUT FAIRNESS’ IN 2018 STATE OF THE STATE ADDRESS
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Dannel P. Malloy today used his annual State of the State address before a joint-session of the Connecticut General Assembly to focus on the theme of Connecticut Fairness. The Governor outlined more than ten specific policy initiatives he will support in the 2018 legislative session, all aimed at creating a fairer, more equitable, and more just state for Connecticut residents.
In laying out his agenda, the Governor noted the significant work and progress Connecticut has made during recent years in each of the selected policy areas, often serving as a national leader. He also stressed the importance of focusing on fairness in the context of a tumultuous national and global political landscape.
“This year, I urge you to consider Connecticut’s rich tradition of fairness in the context of a national and global landscape that is changing by the hour, leaving many of our constituents feeling anxious about their future, and about the future of their state and nation,” Governor Malloy said in his speech. “Today too many people are falling behind financially, even as they work harder and harder. The gap between the rich and the working poor continues to grow. Too many historically marginalized groups are still subject to harassment, oppression, and unequal treatment … This year, in the face of growing national inequity and unfairness, I want to begin a conversation about a series of commonsense changes we can adopt to advance our proud tradition of Connecticut Fairness.”
The Governor invited the legislature to work with him on the following initiatives:
- Preserving the key elements of the Affordable Care Act, including passing a state-level individual mandate. The Governor believes health care is a fundamental right, and that Connecticut residents must be protected from efforts in Washington to undermine health care access for millions of Americans – including the end of the individual mandate. He also called for legislation that ensures contraceptive care remains cost-free for Connecticut women.
- Building upon Connecticut’s landmark “paid sick leave” laws. Since Connecticut became the first state to guarantee paid sick time for employees, eights states have followed. The Governor’s proposal aims to close loopholes in the existing legislation and expand it to cover even more workers.
- Redoubling Connecticut’s clean energy and environmental protection efforts. The Governor’s plan calls for the creation of a new comprehensive resiliency plan to give towns and cities the resources necessary to adapt to the realities of a changing climate and for the adoption of a renewable energy standard in which 75 percent of Connecticut’s energy comes from clean sources by 2030.
- Passing a statewide ban on bump stocks and other “rate of fire enhancements.” The Governor’s proposal would ban “rate of fire” enhancements, including but not limited to bump stocks, binary trigger systems, and trigger cranks, which are inexpensive and allow weapons to fire at machine gun-like speed.
- Increased Protections for Young Adults in the Criminal Justice System. During his first few years in office, Governor Malloy successfully implemented legislation to raise the age that young people are eligible to be tried in juvenile court to 17. The result has been a clear reduction in crime, and significant savings for Connecticut taxpayers. The Governor’s proposals this session continue to gradually raise the age further through age 20, expand youthful offender status through age 20, codify best practices regarding incarcerated women, and restore the use of special parole to its original intent.
- Make it easier for Connecticut residents to cast their ballots. The Governor supports a constitutional amendment to allow early voting. He has also signed an executive order directing his administration to explore the possibility of implementing “vote by mail” in Connecticut.
- Raise Connecticut’s minimum wage. In 2014, Connecticut became the first state in the country to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. The Governor is committed to working with legislators to once again raise the minimum wage this year.
- Ensure experience, and not salary history, determines wages. The practice of asking potential employees about salary history often leads to underpayment throughout a person’s career. This impacts women and people of color disproportionately. The Governor’s legislation would encourage employers to base salaries of new hires on experience and qualification – not past salary.
- Create comprehensive standards to prevent workplace harassment. The Governor’s legislation creates a uniform standard for anti-harassment training in both the public and private sectors, including training for bystanders to respond to and prevent harassment.
Taken together, Governor Malloy’s Connecticut Fairness proposals aim to help ensure that every Connecticut resident, regardless of their background has the opportunity to succeed.
Governor Malloy concluded, “We can strive to be ever more inclusive and ever more compassionate. We can stop the tides of prejudice and hate from washing away our progress and drowning our ideals. Our fight to build a more just and more equitable society can never be deterred. History will judge us by our action this year, this session, to build a better, fairer Connecticut.”
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