Capital briefs

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Senators propose encryption for personal records

HARTFORD — Senators put forth a proposal to require insurance companies operating in the state to encrypt all personal information records in the wake of the hack of Anthem Insurance Cos. Inc.

Hackers gained access to personal information of current and former enrollees and employees.

“Each time we hear about a data breach we learn that the perpetrators’ methods are growing more and more sophisticated,” said State Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-17), co-chair of the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, in a press release. “That is why it is paramount that we use every tool in our arsenal to impede hackers in their undertakings. This proposed legislation is an essential continuation of our efforts to protect Connecticut consumers and their personal information.”

The proposal would also require that any health insurance company that holds, uses or transmits personal information adopt secure user authentication protocols and upgrade information safeguards to limit future risks.

“From the Commerce Committee’s point of view, we will be crafting a separate proposal to connect our research institutions with private businesses that are engaged in the cybersecurity sector,” state Sen. Joan Hartley (D-15) said in a press release.

Caucus unveils goals for 2015

HARTFORD — The General Assembly’s Intellectual and Developmentally Disabled Caucus last week unveiled its legislative priorities.

The caucus is seeking substantial changes in state funding and housing for intellectually and developmentally disabled state residents and their families, according to a press release.

The caucus supports legislation designed to close the state Department of Developmental Services’ Southbury Training School by 2020 and move its remaining residents to community-based settings; shift all of the Southbury closure savings to community-based settings in order to reduce the waiting list of disabled clients seeking supportive housing; evaluate the best use for the Southbury property and buildings and conduct an environmental assessment; maintain DDS funding at pre-rescission levels in the 2016-17 biennial state budget; study the creation of a client trust fund for individual spend-down requirements.

“This is a bold agenda that seeks to provide the best possible services for intellectually and developmentally disabled residents and their families,” state Rep. Theresa Conroy (D-105), a member of the caucus, said in a press release.

Crisco testifies in favor of legislation

State Senator Joseph Crisco (D-17), left, and state Sen. Rob Kane (R-32) testify recently in favor of legislation. –CONTRIBUTED
State Senator Joseph Crisco (D-17), left, and state Sen. Rob Kane (R-32) testify recently in favor of legislation. –CONTRIBUTED

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) testified Feb. 3 in favor of legislation that would require landlords to notify tenants whether there is an operative sprinkler system in their housing units.

“Too often we see news reports of fires in dwellings which result in the loss of life,” Crisco said in a press release. “As legislators, we must take every step we can to prevent such tragedies. Requiring that landlords notify their tenants about whether there is an operative sprinkler system in their unit is one such step.”

Crisco and state Sen. Rob Kane (R-32), who also testified, are co-sponsoring the legislation. The bill now awaits legislative action by the General Assembly’s Housing Committee.

Rebimbas, Labriola talk issues at health center

From left, state Rep. David Labriola (R-131), state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70), Beacon Brook Health Center & Outpatient Rehabilitation Center Administrator Linda Garcia, and Beacon Brook Director of Marketing Al Pistarelli pose for a photo at the center in Naugatuck Jan. 30. –CONTRIBUTED
From left, state Rep. David Labriola (R-131), state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas (R-70), Beacon Brook Health Center & Outpatient Rehabilitation Center Administrator Linda Garcia, and Beacon Brook Director of Marketing Al Pistarelli pose for a photo at the center in Naugatuck Jan. 30. –CONTRIBUTED

HARTFORD — State representatives Rosa Rebimbas (R-70) and David Labriola (R-131) recently visited the Beacon Brook Health Center & Outpatient Rehabilitation Center in Naugatuck to discuss legislation being considered in the General Assembly with patients and staff.

During the visit, Rebimbas and Labriola discussed several policies that impact the center, including staff training, staff and patient safety measures and the use of Medicaid benefits by local patients.

“With so many issues affecting seniors and healthcare facilities I am hopeful we can continue to work together to better provide for patients in need of these services,” Rebimbas said in a press release.

Labriola added, “I hope we can make advances this session towards enhancing the quality of life, healthcare, and age-restricted housing for our elderly citizens.”

Legislators hold town hall meeting in Prospect

PROSPECT — State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) and state Sen. Joe Markley (R-16) held a town hall meeting in Prospect Feb. 5.

The legislators met with citizens and discussed the state budget, road tolls and the collapse of the negotiations between Gov. Dannel Malloy and Tenet Healthcare Corp. Tenet is a Texas-based company that was seeking to acquire five nonprofit hospitals, including Waterbury Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital, to convert into for-profit operations.

State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89), left, and state Sen. Joe Markley (R-16) talk with constituents during a town hall meeting in Prospect Feb. 5. –CONTRIBUTED
State Rep. Lezlye Zupkus (R-89), left, and state Sen. Joe Markley (R-16) talk with constituents during a town hall meeting in Prospect Feb. 5. –CONTRIBUTED

“I always enjoy meeting with the people of Prospect, hearing their concerns and informing them about the business in Hartford,” said Markley in a press release. “Unfortunately, there was precious little good news to report. Yet again Gov. Malloy seems dead set on locking Republicans out of the budget negotiations, and ramming his likely new tax program — road tolls — through the legislature. Needless to say, representative Zupkus and I have pledged to continue to fight for small government, lower taxes, and a sensible regulatory environment which prevents deals like Tenet from falling through.”

“We heard loud and clear that the residents of Prospect have an expectation that the legislature and the Governor take a hard look at how irresponsibly they are spending taxpayer dollars,” said Zupkus in a press release. “At a time when families and individuals are managing their household budgets on less, they expect that they state should do the same. When a state with resources like Connecticut has the highest per capita debt in the nation, it’s time we reassess our priorities.”