Rep. Rutigliano, CT Legislators Give Bipartisan Support To Bill To Protect Older Job Applicants From Age Discrimination
HARTFORD – State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-Trumbull) along with State Senator Derek Slap (D-West Hartford) and a bipartisan group of legislators and advocates today announced their support for a bill that prohibits employers from asking the age, date of birth, or graduation dates of job applicants, unless a particular age is a bona fide occupational qualification.
“We cannot tolerate any kind of discrimination on any level, of any sort. Someone’s age on a job application should not be a determining factor on whether they receive an opportunity for employment,” said Rep. Dave Rutigliano. “Many seniors who live on fixed incomes look for part-time jobs or additional income due to the ever- rising costs and taxes in Connecticut. They should not be turned away based on their date of birth.”
With 436,000 workers in their mid-50’s, Connecticut has the 6th-oldest workforce in the nation, with a median age of 41 (as of 2017.) Just 20% of Connecticut employees were over the age 54 in 2008; today that figure is 26.5%, with the health care, manufacturing, educational services and retail trade industries employing the most workers over age 54.
A 2018 AARP survey found about 60% of older workers have seen or experienced age discrimination in the workplace, and 76% of them see age discrimination as a hurdle to finding a new job. Meanwhile, nearly a third of U.S. households headed by someone age 55 or older have no retirement savings or pension, meaning they’ll have to continue working or rely on Social Security in order to survive financially.
“According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, older workers will make up the fastest-growing segment of the workforce from 2014 to 2024,” said Nora L. Duncan, State Director for the AARP of Connecticut. “While age discrimination is illegal, we live in a society where age seems to be the last acceptable bias. Whether it’s intentional or not, knowing someone’s age can create bias that keeps a qualified job applicant from getting a fair chance at being considered for a position. This legislation reduces that risk and levels the playing field.”
“Mature workers are the backbone of the modern-day workforce, providing skills, leadership and deep professional networks,” said Tom Long, Senior Vice President of Communications and Development for The WorkPlace in Bridgeport, which seeks to develop a well-educated, well-trained, and self-sufficient workforce to compete in today’s global marketplace. “Age does not define ability, and it is essential for employers to provide an opportunity for job candidates to demonstrate that their experience is an asset.”
“While no legislation can by itself change the way people think, laws can influence what they do. Enacting this bill will remove an obstacle from an early stage of the hiring process,” said Bernie Weiss, vice president of the Seniors Job Bank, a non-profit community organization serving the Greater Hartford region, which has for 40 years connected men and women over 50 seeking work to businesses and households with work to be done.
The bill, which will be formally introduced once session begins in February, will closely the follow the language of a similar bill introduced last year, House Bill 6113 that includes the language, “except in the case of a bona fide occupational qualification or need,” employers are not allowed to “request or require a prospective employee’s age, date of birth or date of graduation from an educational institution on an initial employment application.”
TRUMBULL – The ‘Stuff a Humvee’ event co-hosted by State Representative David Rutigliano (R-123) in conjunction with Trumbull Stop & Shop and Homes For The Brave to collect items to benefit local veterans in need was overwhelmingly successful in November of 2019.
“I am grateful to everyone who donated at our ‘Stuff a Humvee’ collection. Trumbull residents are very generous and caring community, and I believe that together we can ensure that no veteran goes to bed hungry,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
During the three hour drive, Rutigliano collected not just one but two Humvees full of non-perishable food items and toiletries that will be donated to local veterans in need.
Homes for the Brave has provided housing, vocational training, and life skills coaching to help individuals out of homelessness since 2002. To date, they have worked with nearly 1,200 men and women, most of whom are veterans.
In 2011, Homes for the Brave opened Female Soldiers: Forgotten Heroes, Connecticut’s first and only community-based transitional home exclusively for homeless female Veterans and their young children.
HARTFORD – State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) along with Trumbull Board of Ed Member Kathleen Fearon, and Board of finance member Marty Issac today sat on the bi-partisan Healthy School Start Times Forum held at the State Capitol to examine to health benefits of starting school later particularly for adolescents.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “No child should have to wait outside in the pitch black of the early morning for the school bus. The science is clear and it has wide bipartisan support: early start times for students can potentially harm our children and make them dangerously sleep deficient. I am hopeful the legislature can come together this year and provide a road map and or incentives for local boards of education. Our Trumbull Board of Education is engaged in the issue, we want to help.”
Research has shown that high school aged students simply are biologically in need of more sleep. During adolescence, young peoples’ sleep patterns change, as does there need for sleep and daylight. When school start times are moved later, not only do rates of tardiness, truancy, absenteeism, and dropping-out decline, but improvements in academic achievement are nearly twice as high in students from economically disadvantaged homes.
The Healthy School Start Times Forum heard from experts in the field including Sarah Raskin, Charles A. Dana Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Craig Canepari, sleep scientist at Yale, Maria LaRusso, developmental psychologist at UConn, and Michelle Ku, a school board member in Newtown which recently made the switch to later school start times.
The science that lawmakers have cited most often is a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics, which calls adolescents’ lack of sleep “an important public health issue that significantly affects” academic success.
Rutigliano plans to continue to meet with fellow legislators leading up to next session on the start time issue.
TRUMBULL- State Representatives David Rutigliano (R-123) recently held a successful business advisory forum for local business leaders, employees and the public in the Council Chambers of the Trumbull Town Hall.
The hour long discussion began with a general overview of the main topics and quickly became an informative back and forth between the legislator and the forum attendees.
Rutigliano talked about several important pieces of legislation presented, debated or passed by the General Assembly this year, including the state’s new paid family medical leave program, an increase to the minimum wage and changes to the pass-through entity tax. He also touched on the issue of the new payroll tax and business filing fee increase.
Each of these issues directly impacts Connecticut businesses, and will affect residents across the state.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “The governor and the majority in the General Assembly spent 2019 waging war on state businesses. We wanted to alert local business owners that the cost to do business is going up this year.”
Businesses aside, among the tax increases that went into effect October 1st are:
Digital Goods – The current tax on digital goods of 1% will increase to 6.35%. This increase applies to a wide range of online services, including, but not limited to, TV streaming services (e.g. Netflix, Hulu), online music (e.g. Spotify, Apple Music), eBooks, and in-app purchases made on smartphones.
Restaurants & Prepared Foods – Consumers will see a 7.35% levy on certain prepared foods and an additional 1% at restaurants. The only way to protect consumers from being impacted by this regressive tax is to call a special session and remove the part of the law that taxes groceries. Republicans have petitioned and are awaiting a response from the Speaker of the House.
Motor Vehicle Trade-In Fee – The current motor vehicle trade-in fee of $35 will increase to $100. Instead of being rewarded for trading in their older vehicles for new, more efficient ones, car buyers will now be double-dipped by a sales tax at purchase and a trade-in tax at sale or trade.
HARTFORD – State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) along with Senate and House Republican colleagues announced newly released details on a grocery store tax included in the Democrat state budget set to go into effect October 1, 2019 which could potentially encompass all cooked food.
The Democrat-approved 7.35% tax will be applied to a long list of food items that have never been taxed when sold in grocery stores before, according to the state Department of Revenue Services policy statement issued this week.
The tax will apply to not only prepared meals such as sandwiches, deli salads, pizza and hot buffet items, but also small packages of snacks, loose baked goods, wrapped salads, small servings of ice cream, and meal replacement bars. It also applies to fountain drinks including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”
In February, Gov. Lamont assured Connecticut residents that grocery tax proposal was dead. In fact, Gov. Lamont says it was ‘never alive.’
Earlier this year, Democrat lawmakers labeled the new tax as only a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, but the DRS statement clarifies that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that have never been taxed at all before when sold in grocery stores.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “I voted no on these tax hikes in June, because I did not believe Trumbull families should be forced to pay more for their groceries, this budget also leaves businesses wondering how to manage the confusing mess of newly taxed items. As predicted these new taxes are significantly more than was first told to Connecticut residents. Gov. Lamont and the Democrats continually pick our pick our pockets believing they know better on how to spend our hard earned money.”
The DRS document explains that items sold at restaurants and eateries currently taxed at 6.35% will see a 1% tax increase. It also clarifies that the total 7.35% tax rate will also be effective in grocery stores, “which previously taxed meals in a different manner than other eating establishments.”
TRUMBULL- State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123) and Laura Devlin (R-134) presented Lisa Cerulli with an official state citation in recognition for being selected as the 2019-20 Madison Middle School and Trumbull Teacher of the Year.
Lisa Cerulli has been a teacher for 27 years. She teaches social studies at Madison Middle School and is co-team leader for grade 7 social studies curriculum.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “We commend Lisa Cerulli’s tireless level of commitment to our children in all that she does. The Town of Trumbull is proud to join in celebration to recognize your unique talents, enthusiasm, and selfless dedication in honor of this great accomplishment.”
TRUMBULL- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) is requesting that Governor Ned Lamont rescind his recent budget cuts to the Connecticut nursing homes, these cuts are effecting many Trumbull facilities, notably St. Joseph’s Center in Trumbull.
Rutigliano opposed the state budget with these nursing home cuts in June. The language in the budget limits reductions to 2% but if nursing home facilities (1) do not meet the minimum 70 percent occupancy rate requirement utilizing 2018 cost reports, under other circumstances some facilities will see cuts in excess of 2%, some as high as 15%.
“I did not support the budget that contained these devastating cuts. I call on the governor to revisit these cuts to our nursing homes immediately. These cuts only end up hurting our most vulnerable citizens” said Rep. Rutigliano. “State officials should be working with state nursing homes with low occupancy and quality ratings and help them correct these issues before being crushed with dramatic cuts.”
HARTFORD- To make sure the interests of Trumbull families were represented to their fullest, State Representative David Rutigliano earned a one hundred percent voting record for all roll call votes taken on the floor of the House of Representatives during the 2019 Regular and Special Sessions. The House Clerk’s Office released the data on members’ votes this week.
Rutigliano was present and voted for all 392 votes taken on the state House floor during the 2019 session, according to voting record data released last week by the House Clerk’s Office. Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, with only about 26 percent of legislators able to do so this year.
“As a member of the House Republican leadership team and senior Trumbull legislator, I always try to set a good example for my colleagues. It is important to listen and hear all the debate before coming to a final conclusion, Trumbull residents deserve our full representation at the State Capitol,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February 2020.
For an overview of legislation passed this year, visit the Office of Legislative Research website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/rpt/pdf/2019-R-0120.pdf.
TRUMBULL- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) joined forces with the Trumbull Memorial American Legion Post 141 in collecting worn, faded and tattered American flags during their Annual Flag-Collection Drive and participated in the VFW Flag Day ceremony retiring the old flags on June 14th.
Rutigliano had collection boxes stationed around Trumbull for town residents to turn in their American flags for retirement.
“It was an honor to have had the opportunity to stand with Trumbull veterans on Flag Day,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
The Second Continental Congress adopted the first American flag on July 14, 1777, and President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 to be Flag Day in 1916. National Flag Day was then established by an Act of Congress in August 1949.
HARTFORD- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) co-sponsored a proposal which would amend the definition of narcotic substance to include fentanyl, which currently is only listed as a synthetic drug, meaning it carries a lesser sentence. The measure passed the House of Representatives.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which is more addictive and deadly than opioids or heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl depresses central nervous system and respiratory functions and is estimated to be 80 times more potent than morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin.
The legislation, HB-5524, An Act Increasing the Penalties for the Sale of Fentanyl would increase penalties for the dealing and manufacturing of fentanyl and its derivatives adding them to the same category as heroin.
“We need to punish the street dealers harshly for selling this deadly drug. Fentanyl seems to be finding its way into so many other substances, sometimes instantly killing its users. Changing the definition will permit state prosecutors and judges to level heftier sentences,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
Individuals convicted of selling narcotics generally face longer prison sentences and greater fines than those convicted of selling non-narcotic controlled substances.
Under current law, a person convicted for a first offense of selling narcotics may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, fined up to $50,000, or both. In contrast, a person convicted for a first offense of selling non-narcotic controlled substances may be sentenced to up to seven years in prison, fined up to $25,000, or both.
There were 1,038 overdose deaths in Connecticut in 2017, according to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. In nearly two-thirds of those deaths some trace of fentanyl was found in the person’s system. Last year, there were 1,017 overdose deaths and 760 of those deaths involved fentanyl, which is up from 677 in 2017, 483 in 2016, and 189 in 2015.