Crisco hails passage of bills in special session

Joseph J. Crisco

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph J. Crisco (D-17), voted with a majority of his Senate colleagues to approve comprehensive budget implementation language ahead of the July first start of the new fiscal year during a special legislative session Tuesday.

Crisco said, in a press release, the legislation is an annual exercise designed to help clarify the intent of certain appropriations and help state agencies administer designated funds.

Crisco said one highlight this year is inclusion of provisions to build upon successful job-generating economic development programs enacted last year. State sponsored incentives for job-training, business relocation, and new hiring will be available to a greater number of Connecticut businesses as a result, the release stated.

“These budget implementers provide essential guidance for administrators and managers at state agencies and others who receive state funding so they have appropriate guidelines about the expectations that accompany those funds,” Crisco said in the release. “I’m also gratified by the widespread support demonstrated [Tuesday] for the provisions of our jobs bill. As a result, our Small Business Express program is now available to companies with twice as many — up to 100 — employees  with grants to launch new products or expand inventory, and the STEP UP job training program has new incentives for employers to hire post 9/11 combat veterans.”

Crisco added he was also able to win final approval for a study of Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorder Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS), which seems to be caused by strep or other infections when antibodies made to fight the infection mistakenly attack instead the portion of the brain the controls thought and muscle function.

Crisco explained that one of the first obstacles to a complete understanding of PANDAS is the fact there is no test for the condition but rather, doctors use a combined diagnosis of up to five individual criteria.

“The incidence of PANDAS, while still rare, is increasing at an alarming rate and compounding our concern is the suddenness with which it strikes and PANDAS cannot be treated with antibiotics as most other infections are treated because in this disorder the infection isn’t the culprit — the antibodies are,” Crisco said in the release. “In order for our state to better understand this emerging condition and prepare itself to help residents stricken by it we simply have to learn more about it and this initiative sets in motion that exploratory phase.