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State Senator

Norm Needleman

Representing Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook

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Sen. Needleman Gives Support To Democratic Legislative Priorities

HARTFORD, CT—Today, State Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, gave his support as Democrats in the Connecticut General Assembly announced joint priorities for the 2019 legislative session. The legislative package focuses on establishing a paid family and medical leave program, raising the minimum wage, investing in job training and the state’s workforce pipeline, supporting small businesses, making prescription drugs more affordable and increasing access to the ballot box.

The legislative package includes the following proposals introduced by Sen. Needleman:

Paid Family and Medical Leave
Senate Bill 1: An Act Concerning Paid Family And Medical Leave

Paid family and medical leave is necessary and beneficial to our modern workforce. Connecticut families should be able to care for loved ones or themselves in their time of need. No one should have to face the prospect of economic ruin when presented with serious family needs such as caring for a newborn, a spouse, or their parents.

“Relieving strain on hardworking Connecticut families is something I feel strongly about supporting, and paid medical and family leave ensures that they have one fewer problem to worry about,” said Sen. Needleman. “As a business owner, I know that we need to make sure workers get what they need. I also know we need to make sure businesses aren’t overlooked in the process of getting them that support. I look forward to working to ensure the final bill provides the best for workers and businesses alike.”

Increasing the Minimum Wage
Senate Bill 2: An Act Increasing The Minimum Fair Wage

Raising the minimum wage is long overdue in the State of Connecticut. Numerous large corporations and other states have already taken steps to increase their minimum wage so workers can earn a fair, adequate and ‘livable’ wage. We must do all we reasonably can to help workers support themselves and their families.

“If you work hard, you should receive a fair wage, and the minimum wage is not a fair wage,” said Sen. Needleman. “By increasing the minimum wage, we would give Connecticut’s lowest paid workers a 33 percent raise over a reasonable amount of time, helping them pay their bills and giving them increased financial stability. By coordinating with businesses and ensuring they are given time to adapt to this increase, we can best position this legislation to bolster the state economy.”

More Affordable Prescription Drugs
Senate Bill 4: An Act Concerning The Affordability And Accessibility Of Prescription Drugs

Democrats stand united in the belief that health care is a right not a privilege. Left unchecked, the pharmaceutical industry raises costs on consumers and limits access to prescription drugs. When a person is sick they should be able to get the prescription drugs they need, and this legislation will reduce prescription drug costs.

“This bill represents an opportunity for us to do right by far too many people, who often have to make tough choices when it comes time for them to pick up important, sometimes life-saving medication,” said Sen. Needleman. “If you’re sick, you shouldn’t have to worry about affording the very prescriptions that will help you regain your health. We can relieve that stress by moving this forward.”

Job Training & Workforce Pipeline
Senate Bill 5: An Act Concerning A Workforce Pipeline And Job Creation

Building upon the success of the workforce pipeline initiatives from last year, Democrats will expand these workforce development programs. It is critical we have an efficient, effective workforce pipeline to meet the growing needs of Connecticut employers.

“I know firsthand the ways technology transforms manufacturing and prepares it for the future through my business,” said Sen. Needleman. “This pipeline represents an incredible forward-thinking opportunity for Connecticut to prepare its future workforce for long, successful careers while ensuring its industries are well-suited for decades to come.”

Early Voting
SJ 14: Resolution Proposing A State Constitutional Amendment To Permit Early Voting

Democrats believe the more people who are able to vote, the stronger our democracy. Creating early voting in Connecticut will ensure that everyone has the ability to vote and will modernize our voting system.

“Adding more opportunities for voting is known to increase voter turnout,” said Sen. Needleman. “This legislation represents an easy and effective way for us to provide parents and workers with additional ways to get out and vote for whatever and whoever they support.”

About Norm Needleman: State Senator Norm Needleman was first elected in 2018 to represent the 33rd Senate District which consists of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Portland, Westbrook and part of Old Saybrook. Norm is also the First Selectman of Essex, a role he has held for four terms, and the founder of Tower Laboratories, an Essex manufacturing company that employs over 250 people.

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