Capital briefs

Markley seeks support to override veto

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joe Markley (R-16) sent a letter this week to legislative leaders asking for support in overriding the Governor’s veto of House Bill 5375.

House Bill 5375 would have required managed care organizations to report more information on substance abuse treatment to the state Insurance Department, according to a press release issued by Markley. The bill received unanimous support in both the Senate and House of Representatives this year, but was vetoed by Gov. Dannel Malloy on May 29.

“It is imperative that our state improve the availability and accessibility of care for those who suffer from substance abuse. House Bill 5375 is an important step in the improvement process. By giving officials more information about Connecticut’s treatment system, we can move closer to identifying the gaps that prevent individuals from finding the care they need,” said Markley in the press release. “I am saddened to see the Governor’s veto interrupt the bipartisan progress our legislature has made on this issue.”

The legislation would require managed care organizations in Connecticut to report the information to the state including the estimated prevalence of substance use disorders by county among children, young adults and adults covered by insurance, and the median length of a covered treatment provided

“If we want to improve the care offered to those suffering from substance abuse and their families, our legislature must continue to move forward with implementation of the recommendations made by the Program Review and Investigations Committee. We must encourage more transparency so we can identify and close the gaps that severely impact treatment,” Markley said.

Conroy hails restoration of train service

HARTFORD — Following calls from local officials, Metro North has restored a morning express train from Waterbury to Stamford.

“The restoration of this train is just a first step,” state Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-105) said in a press release. “We need to make sure DOT and Metro North invest in the Waterbury Branch Line to make sure our commuters can get to work on time.”

Legislators and officials from Waterbury and the Valley, the Valley Council of Governments, the Council of Governments of the Central Naugatuck Valley, worked to have the service, which had been cut a month ago, restored.

“A thriving Waterbury Branch Line will yield economic growth in the Valley,” Conroy said. “Metro North should be working to expand the Waterbury Line instead of making shortsighted cuts.”

Rebimbas applauds law to assist merger

HARTFORD — State Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) applauded Gov. Dan Malloy for signing into law legislation that makes it possible for the potential transaction of the Greater Waterbury Health Network (GWHN) and Tenet Healthcare to go forward.

The potential deal between the groups has been delayed since 2013 and this new law, PA 14-168, clears the way for a merger by creating new regulatory requirements for hospital mergers, medical practices and hospital conversions to for-profit status.

“I’m pleased the legislature and the Governor saw the community need for quality healthcare options and  worked together to address the concerns of the parties involved and passed a law that will undoubtedly strengthen the Greater Waterbury community,” Rebimbas said in a press release. “Allowing access to quality healthcare is in the best interest of all of the people of Greater Waterbury.”

Rebimbas said the law and potential merger are important for Naugatuck residents that utilize Waterbury Hospital. The Greater Waterbury Health Network still needs to get their merger application through public hearings and the regulatory process before being granted a green light, according to the press release.

Senate bill creates pilot program

HARTFORD — A bill establishing a pilot program that will allow seniors and Women, Infant and Children (WIC) participants access to the nonprofit farm retail market run by the Brass City Harvest was signed by Gov. Dannel Malloy in May.

“I am proud to say that after a united effort to allow more seniors and women with infant children to secure more locally grown produce, that this has become a reality,” said state Sen. Joan Hartley (D-15), who advocated for the bill, in a press release. “This new law will benefit many in the state of Connecticut. I want to thank the Governor and all those who collaborated to see this vision achieved.”

Senate Bill 313, “An Act Concerning Participation in WIC and Senior Nutrition Farmers’ Market Programs by Certain Nonprofit Farmers,” became effective immediately.

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