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Sen. Hwang Honored for Bipartisan Legislation to Help Firefighters with Cancer

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During a Sep. 6 ceremony in New Britain, Sen. Tony Hwang was recognized as the 2016 Co-Legislator of the Year by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.

The award recognizes Sen. Hwang’s efforts in helping craft legislation which provides wage replacement benefits to all eligible paid and volunteer firefighters diagnosed with specified cancers.

Sen. Hwang, the ranking Republican senator on the Labor and Public Employees Committee, was part of a firefighter working group which consisted of Republican and Democrat legislators, the Connecticut Council of Municipalities (CCM), the Council of Small Towns (COST), municipal leaders and the firefighter unions.

“This is a groundbreaking proposal which protects the men and women who ensure our safety,” Sen. Hwang said. “It was an honor for me to have been asked by critical shareholders to participate in the year-long bipartisan working group which led to the crafting of this important policy. We are helping Connecticut firefighters who are diagnosed and recovering from job-related cancers, and we are doing so without adding new financial burdens on cities, towns, and local property taxpayers.”

Peter Carozza, President of the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters of CT (UPFFA-CT) who represents 65 locals and over 4,000 firefighters in Connecticut, presented the award. “This legislation finally gives protection to Connecticut’s firefighters and is long overdue,” Carozza said. Carozza praised the work of the ‘Cancer Legislation Committee’ who worked for months on drafting this legislation and specifically thanked Sen. Hwang and Reps. Michelle Cook and David Rutigliano, who were key members of the working committee.

“With this law in place, firefighters won’t have to worry about losing their insurance or losing their house,” said UPFFA-CT Legislative Director Rick Hart. “This truly was a bipartisan effort and we feel it is a great example of what can be accomplished when labor and municipalities work together to protect their common interests.”

“This legislation is the product of many hours of productive discussions on how to tackle a public policy problem,” Sen. Hwang said. “Our talks brought together different viewpoints in order to bring about common sense solutions. With this proposal, we have accomplished that goal. This legislation is a great example of working together to find valued solutions to help our community.”

Attached photo, left to right: Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut President Peter Carozza, Sen. Hwang and Fairfield Firefighters Association Local 1426 Executive Board President Bob Smith. The Fairfield Fire Fighters Association (www.iaff1426.org) represents the career fire fighters, fire mechanics, and fire master mechanics of the Fairfield Fire Department and the career fire fighters of the Easton Fire Department. Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov . On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com.

Noting that motor vehicles fatalities in Connecticut increased 45 percent during the first six months of 2016, Sen. Tony Hwang is working to raise awareness of Connecticut’s distracted driving laws.

“That 45 percent increase in fatalities is shocking and should serve as a wake-up call to everyone who gets behind the wheel,” Sen. Hwang said. “Especially now that school is back in session, we need to make sure that people of all ages are aware of the law. We can prevent senseless tragedies, but we’ve got to talk about the dangers. We’ve got to spread the word that texting while driving – and distracted driving in all its forms – is a recipe for disaster.”

Sen. Hwang will be organizing future community forums to discuss the issue and ways to prevent distracted driving.

Under Connecticut law:

  • No person shall text message or use a hand-held phone while driving.
  • Drivers under 18 are subject to a complete ban on cell phone and mobile electronic device use.
  • Drivers are prohibited from engaging in any activity not related to the actual operation of a motor vehicle in a manner that interferes with the vehicle’s safe operation.
  • School bus drivers are prohibited from using a cell phone while driving except in emergencies
  • Each distracted driving or use of cell phone while driving ticket comes with DMV points (2 points per ticket) and fines:
  1. $150 for a first offense
  2. $300 for a second offense
  3. $500 for a third or subsequent offense
  4. A doubled penalty in a construction/work zone
  5. It can also result in an increase in insurance.

Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .

On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com .

(Listen) Raising awareness about distracted driving can prevent senseless tragedies. Sen. Hwang updates WICC AM 600’s Mike Bellamy.

(Listen) Raising awareness about distracted driving can prevent senseless tragedies. Sen. Hwang updates WICC AM 600’s Mike Bellamy.

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Sen. Tony Hwang has been recognized as the 2016 Co-Legislator of the Year by the Uniformed Professional Fire Fighters Association of Connecticut.

The award recognizes Sen. Hwang’s efforts in helping craft legislation which provides wage replacement benefits to all of Connecticut’s firefighters diagnosed with cancer.

The award will be presented on Sept. 6 during a ceremony in New Britain.

“I’m honored to receive this recognition of our bipartisan legislative efforts within the General Assembly,” Sen. Hwang said. “This is a groundbreaking proposal which protects the men and women who protect us. We are helping all Connecticut firefighters who are diagnosed with job-related cancers, and in collaboration with municipal leaders we are doing so without adding new financial burdens on cities, towns, and local property taxpayers.”

Sen. Hwang, the ranking Republican senator on the Labor and Public Employees Committee, was part of a firefighter working group which consisted of Republican and Democrat legislators, the Connecticut Council of Municipalities, the Council of Small Towns, municipal leaders and the firefighters union.

Throughout the legislative session, Sen. Hwang co-sponsored “An Act Establishing A Firefighters Cancer Relief Program” Public Act 16-10, which establishes a relief fund used for wage replacement of those who are diagnosed with certain conditions of cancer as a result of their service as paid municipal or volunteer firefighters.

In addition to providing wage benefits, this bill also requires firefighters to take preventative measures to avoid contracting cancer. Eligibility for the relief fund requires firefighters to maintain a healthy lifestyle and undergo regular pre-screening for cancer.

“This legislation is the product of many hours of productive discussions on how to tackle a public policy problem,” Sen. Hwang said. “Our talks brought together different viewpoints from major stakeholders in order to bring about common sense solutions. With this new law, we have accomplished that goal. For everyone working on this important legislation, one mutual goal existed: we were working together to fight cancer and support our firefighters and their families.”

Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .

On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com.

https://audioboom.com/boos/4922046-sen-hwang-rails-about-train-and-bus-fare-hikes-by-conndot

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There’s still time to speak out on potentially outrageous double-digit health insurance rate hikes. Sen. Hwang updates the Talk of Connecticut’s Brad Davis.

Sen. Hwang, Stage 4 Breast Cancer Survivor Spread Word About www.Metavivor.org

Sen. Tony Hwang and stage 4 metastatic breast cancer survivor Champagne Joy are raising awareness about the need for metastatic breast cancer research.

Hwang and Joy have recorded a public service announcement to spread the word about metastatic breast cancer.

“One third of all women diagnosed with breast cancer will go on to develop metastatic breast cancer,” Joy said. “That means the disease is now further into the body beyond the breast. There is no cure. That’s why we need metastatic breast cancer research now. Visit www.Metavivor.org . Every penny donated goes to metastatic breast cancer research. We’re looking for a cure. We’re looking to save lives.”

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport

State Senator Tony Hwang gives testimony at a public hearing concerning Anthem's request for a premium increase for healthcare policies. CT Insurance Department Hartford, CT. August 3, 2016.

By Sen. Tony Hwang

I drove up to Hartford twice this week in search of state government and health insurance transparency.

I failed on both attempts.

My travels to Hartford, the Insurance Capital, were for the purpose of voicing my opposition to proposed double-digit health insurance rate increases. The Affordable Care Act has proven to be anything but affordable.

I arrived at the Department of Insurance hearing with a tote back filled with emails I have received from people like you who oppose the rate hikes but were unable to make the trip.

You see, state insurance officials chose to hold these hearings at 9:00 a.m. in the summer when people who are working and trying to make a living could not attend and have their voices be heard.

So, I submitted your comments. I then addressed state insurance regulators and insurance company executives face to face.

I noted that unpredictable health insurance rate hikes year after year are hurting middle class families and small businesses in Connecticut. I told them that proposed rate increases are outrageous and that the system is broken.

My words were blunt and to the point. They had to be in order to convey what so many of you have told me on the phone, at public events, and via email at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov. You are frustrated and angry. You think the deck is stacked against consumers. And you are absolutely right.

The fact is that we, the consumers, have been on a wild and unsettling roller coaster ride of rate increases without any sense of predictability. These huge rate increases are unsustainable, the reasons given for the increases are weak, and even garnering basic information about the public hearing required dedication, persistence and time.

Here’s the kicker: a day before the public hearing on its requested rate increase, ConnectiCare nearly doubled its original request for a rate hike from 24.3 percent to 42.7 percent. A day before!

Surprise, surprise.

I hope the state insurance regulators were able to hear my frustration and determination to oppose the rate increase. I was speaking for you, and I will continue to do so until we are heard.

Don’t like the sound of 42.7 percent rate hikes? Me either.

Want the transparent state government you deserve? Me too.

But please continue speaking out. You can still submit your comments on these unaffordable rate hikes until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Submit testimony at http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=4059&Q=581302 or access the link via www.SenatorHwang.com . Your submissions can be as brief as you like.

Remember: these rate hikes are tax hikes on you, your business, and your families. We have got to fight this, and I thank the community for joining me in this very worthy fight.

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport

State Senator Tony Hwang gives testimony at a public hearing concerning Anthem's request for a premium increase for healthcare policies. CT Insurance Department Hartford, CT. August 3, 2016.

I attended Tuesday’s health insurance rate hike hearing and submitted dozens of your emails opposing these outrageous proposed hikes.

The hearings continue today, and you can still submit your comments on these unaffordable rate hikes until 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10.

Submit testimony at http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=4059&Q=581302 .

Attached is my interview today with Vinnie Penn of AM 960 and stories about the hearings.

http://wtnh.com/2016/08/04/second-round-of-insurance-rate-hike-hearings-thursday/

http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/public_opposes_double-digit_anthem_rate_increase/
http://wnpr.org/post/health-insurer-anthem-proposes-double-digit-rate-increase