As a lifelong resident of Ashford, Pat holds great pride in representing Tolland, Ashford, and Willington. She has worked hard to ensure that state dollars are used to support the communities in the 53rd District.
Pat has worked hard to ensure that funding from the state for our schools remains stable, and will continue to stand up for our local school districts. Amidst the threat of cuts, hundreds of thousands of dollars in unanticipated money was ultimately returned to the District. Pat secured $200,000 in grants and two years of funding for youth programs in Tolland, Ashford, and Willington. She also secured bonding for the construction of solar panels at E.O. Smith High School. These solar panels will result in a nearly 50% reduction in energy costs at the School.
The crumbling foundation at Birch Grove in Tolland came as a shock to us all, but the community has stood together – Pat looks forward to students returning to the newly completed school next year. She helped save Tolland taxpayers more than $50 million by negotiating an 89% reimbursement rate from the state for construction of the new school and a 100% reimbursement rate for the portables currently in use.
Pat has served as co-chair of the Bipartisan Crumbling Foundations Caucus. Purchasing a home is the greatest investment a family can make, and the plight of crumbling foundations has threatened to upend the livelihoods of so many of our neighbors. Several families have already returned to their homes. Pat is proud of the $29 million committed to fund home renovations from the state, and looks forward to seeing more families returned to their homes. If re-elected, she will continue the work to secure greater commitments from the state for homeowners in the District.
When she first ran in 2018, Pat made a promise to support your healthcare. Pat believes that healthcare is a right, yet adequate access to care remains unavailable for so many. The COVID-19 pandemic is revealing to all of us that healthcare is not equitably available and costs are continuing to rise.
The best way to reduce healthcare costs is to prevent urgent needs. Pat believes that we must invest in programs that promote healthy lifestyles. Rural communities are too often left out of the conversation – mental health resources are severely underfunded, and we do not even have a Community Health Center in the 53rd District. Pat was proud to support legislation that enhanced parity requirements for mental health coverage in 2019, and will fight for more resources for mental health care if re-elected.
Pat opposes the federal lawsuit aimed at overturning the Affordable Care Act, and that is why she voted to protect coverage for people with pre-existing conditions and expand coverage of ultrasounds and mammograms for women. Along with her colleagues, she voted to cap the price of insulin during this year’s special session. When this law goes into effect, Connecticut will have the lowest insulin price cap in the nation.
Pat was proud to co-sponsor legislation signed into law by Governor Lamont that expanded telehealth coverage under Medicaid. During this year’s special session, she was proud to support legislation expanding telehealth coverage to all insurers, and plans on supporting legislation to permanently extend coverage for telehealth services if re-elected.
As we face the COVID-19 pandemic together, working families cannot be left behind. There is a crisis of income inequality here in Connecticut, and Pat is invested in ensuring that this crisis does not serve to widen the gap between those at the very top and the rest of us.
In 2019, Pat was proud to support paid family and medical leave in Connecticut. The United States remains the only industrialized nation to not offer paid leave to new parents. She looks forward to seeing Connecticut provide proper support for new families and those who need to care for a loved one through this program. Pat also recognizes the legitimate concerns that small business owners have with the newly-signed law, and is committed to working with all stakeholders so that both businesses and workers’ interests and needs are respected in our state’s policymaking process.
Pat opposes the recent Eversource rate increase. It is cruel and inappropriate to raise electricity rates on consumers during a pandemic. She will work with her fellow legislators to hold Eversource accountable for putting profits over people.
As small businesses and working families recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Pat is committed to supporting policies that enhance their efforts and don’t hinder them. She will continue to champion mortgage relief for homeowners and tenant protections for renters, the continued operation of COVID-19 testing sites, presumptive eligibility for workman’s compensation, and the expansion of SNAP benefits so that families never have to worry about putting food on the table.
Pat comes from a long line of trailblazers. Her father was a Tuskegee airman, serving in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and her fifth great grandfather served as a freedman in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. She knows firsthand the great opportunity this nation offers, and also why we need to strive to “form a more perfect union” each and every day.
Standing with educators across this state, Pat was proud to support legislation creating a Black and Latino Studies course in high schools across the state. She believes that we not only need to diversify our school curriculum, but also support efforts to recruit teachers from a diverse array of backgrounds.
Pat is proud to stand with the LGBTQ+ community, and will continue to fight to make our District and State a safe and inclusive environment for those of all identities. She was proud to support legislation creating an LGBTQ+ Health and Human Services Network in Connecticut, which will provide recommendations to make our State a “safer and healthier environment for the LGBTQ community.” If re-elected, she looks forward to supporting measures that implement the Network’s recommendations.
The right to vote is the bedrock of our democracy, and Pat believes that we need to protect that right. That is why she voted to support early voting and no-excuse absentee voting, and supports amending our state’s Constitution to allow for more ways to vote in Connecticut. 40 states now offer the option to vote leading up to Election Day, and it is about time that we join them. This year, as we face the COVID-19 pandemic, Pat and her fellow legislators voted to provide voters the option to vote absentee if they wish, and she looks forward to working to provide this option permanently if re-elected.