The 2017 Legislative Session had some exciting victories, some disappointing losses, and some frustrating moments of inaction by our legislators. Read below to see where things landed with the legislation we worked towards this year.
Improved Pregnancy Accommodations - PASSED!
HB 6668, an Act Concerning Pregnant Women in the Workplace, passed the House and the Senate and was signed into law by Governor Malloy on July 6, 2017. This bill gives Connecticut some of the strongest protections in the country against unfair discrimination for pregnant women in the workplace.
This bill was part of a package of proactive legislation originally sponsored by Senator Mae Flexer alongside Representatives Robyn Porter, Liz Linehan, Caroline Simmons, Cristin McCarthy Vahey, Kelly Juleson-Scopino, and Christine Conley.
S.B. 586 Preserving Women's Preventive Services With No Cost Sharing - KILLED BY ANTI-CHOICE AMENDMENT
The Affordable Care Act required that a range of women's preventive services be covered with no cost sharing to patients. Contraceptive coverage is particularly vulnerable, but all of these services could be lost. It is vital that we continue with this element of the ACA in Connecticut.
We were angered to see that due to the actions of one anti-choice legislator, S.B. 586 was tabled during the regular session. Read more about what went wrong in our press release.
We aren't giving up on the fight for access to these vital services. So many amazing activists made calls, showed up to rallies, and lobbied on behalf of this bill. And we know that the Trump administration is not going to stop their attacks on reproductive healthcare. Stay tuned to see how you can help in the 2018 session.
Paid Family and Medical Leave - TABLED WITHOUT A VOTE
NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut is a proud member of the CT Campaign for Paid Family Leave.
On March 9, two bills (SB1 and HB6212) that propose a system of paid family leave were voted out of the Labor Committee. Even with strong support, and the moving stories shared by legislators, the bills were tabled without a vote this session.
NARAL Pro-Choice Connecticut remains committed to Paid Family and Medical Leave and will continue to fight alongside our fellow campaign members to ensure that this legislation moves forward in 2018.
Licensure of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants - WATERED DOWN VERSION DIED IN SENATE
For complicated reasons, this bill was amended in the House to a much more watered down version requiring simply that language about IBCLCs be added to the Department of Public Health website. The bill received a vote in the house and faced debate by legislators that was at times contentious and downright vitriolic, making it clear that some legislators have negative views about the importance of licensure. The bill then died in the Senate without ever coming to a vote.
When women need lactation support, it is vital that they get help from the most qualified medical professionals - International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). However, at the moment there is no regulation of who can call themselves a lactation consultant. This bill would have ensured that only IBCLCs are designated as certified lactation consultants, so individuals in need of support can receive it from someone who can truly help them. Learn more about this issue here.