Legislators help educate seniors on state laws

State lawmakers representing New Milford recently spent time at the New Milford Senior Center to discuss the 2014 legislative session and ideas that have turned into law over the previous four-month period.

State Sen. Clark Chapin, R-30, state Rep. Cecilia Buck-Taylor, R-67, and state Rep. Richard A. Smith, R-108, covered a wide swath of policy questions and issues facing Connecticut.

Among the issues were rising energy costs and skyrocketing living costs, as well as the state's aging population and telemarketer do-not-call lists.

"I want to thank the New Milford Senior Center for hosting this open community forum," Sen. Chapin said. "We all have many concerns about the quality of life in Connecticut.

"The meeting gave all of us a chance to explore where we go next as community members shared their ideas for new legislation."

Sen. Chapin is opposed in his run for a second term by Democrat Bill Riiska of Falls Village.

"Serving as an effective advocate in Hartford on behalf of constituents back at home demands taking every opportunity possible to hear their concerns and ideas," Rep. Buck-Taylor said. "Many people here in New Milford follow closely what happens in state government and are keenly aware of how decisions at the Capitol impact their lives, so it's critical that we take every chance to hear them out."

Buck-Taylor also is seeking her second term in Hartford and is opposed by Democrat Gale Alexander.

"We had some intriguing dialogue," Rep. Smith said. "We have a community passionate about their state, their home, and making sure the leaders in Hartford are helping create an environment for sustainable living.

"It is always great to hear from our constituents, and I look forward to doing it again," added Smith, who is unopposed in his run for the state House.

In 2014, the state General Assembly enacted a number of laws affecting senior citizens.

The nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research assembled a report reflecting much of what the New Milford delegates highlighted during the debriefing, including the small house nursing home pilot program, over-the-counter drug coverage expansion, Alzheimer's and dementia training and the Commission on Aging's "livable communities" initiative.