Anne Hughes Policies By Topic & Accomplishments
September 2020

  1. Anne co-sponsored or introduced 79 bills in her first term alone, in response to the pent-up concerns and advocacy by constituents from all over the district: In contrast to her predecessor, who introduced 5, and his predecessor, now running for the Republican nomination for this seat, (John Shaban) who introduced or co-sponsored 25 during his 6 year tenure. Rep. Hughes’ list, growing in the current session, is a benchmark for the increased engagement and expectation of our district to have an advocate representation and accountability, that many have not experienced from their state representatives.
  1. Anne quickly joined and helped to build the Bi-Partisan Women’s Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and the Social Worker’s Caucus, in addition to collaborating with colleagues across the legislature and Governor’s office to push for inclusive, justice-centered, equitable policy that amplifies the voices and concerns of the youth, that takes into account the climate crisis we face, that addresses the protections of civil, reproductive, human, environmental and health access and voting rights that are under attack by the current Presidency/administration. As a freshman legislator, Anne earned the unusual distinction of 2019 Environmental Champion by the CT League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) for advocating front and center the Youth Climate Strikers, for pushing for bolder renewable energy transition, renewable investment into transportation infrastructure, for carbon-neutral future and crisis-resilient measures.
  1. Governor Lamont refers to Anne and her colleagues in the Progressive Caucus as ‘the conscience of the Legislature’, with the political courage and determination to not accept the status quo, and advocate loudly for the best, inclusive policies we can vote on by the House/Senate. Governor Lamont has personally called/reached out to Anne throughout the year about how best to forward CT’s priorities. This is why he came personally to Anne’s re-election kickoff, along with Senator Will Haskell and many other legislators from around the State.
  1. Anne was instrumental in garnering the grant from the Governor for 160 more acres to be added to the Aspetuck Land Trust and Nature Conservancy in Weston; for the release of the bond funds for the expansion of Weston Library Children’s Room, for the grant for historical repairs to the Norfield Church in Weston.
  1. Anne has helped collaborate with the leadership and House majority to pass a balanced, on-time state budget that follows the spending cap, the Education Cost-sharing formula, and that supports Town Aid be distributed (finally) in a timely, predictive manner, without raising income taxes, or sales taxes (it does repeal sales tax exemption on 7 previously exempt categories), repealed the business entity tax,  state tax on Social Security income, and phases out state tax on pensions for retirees.
  1. In addition to serving on Human Services Committee, Insurance and Real Estate 

Committee; (which relieved small pharmacies of DIR fees, passed mental health parity for insurers to cover mental health and addiction treatment claims,  (which is determined to pass capping insulin costs for diabetics, affordable health insurance for CT workers,  Anne serves on the Special Public Transportation Task Force for Seniors, People with Disabilities and Veterans to make recommendations to the Legislature about modernizing/upgrading public transportation to including these communities, across CT; also served on the Environmental Subcommittee to insist on environmental impact standards and benchmarks for the offshore wind rfp.

  1. Anne brings her full-time work experience as a Social Worker, (and continues to keep grounded in her ‘day job’ at Jewish Senior Services) as advocate practitioner, and Coordinator to the work of policy-making and continuous constituent engagement: of all ages, affiliations and communities, to herald a new era of accountability, representation, and people-led government. We need to build on her record, her collaboration successes, and constituent communication, and endorse her for the fight before us in the Fall.
  1. Her priorities this session are the top concerns from talking to families across the district: access to affordable healthcare and prescription drugs for CT families, inhabitable climate future for the next generation; (banning toxic pesticides, protecting our drinking water supply); modernize and investment in sustainable transportation infrastructure; investment in care infrastructure for aging in community; property-tax relief, and debt free, workforce-ready opportunities for our students.

Deeper Dive: Specific Points for those interested

Accessibility to Government – Direct Democracy.  Anne is incredibly accessible to constituents, providing her personal cell number and the vast majority of bills she drafted in her first term were in response to constituent concerns.  

  • She responds nearly every day to constituents struggling with unresponsive state agencies such as Unemployment, Insurance Department, unresponsive DMV, providing support to find childcare; help finding resources for struggling nonprofits
  • Worked to get maximum federal and state funds to our towns for COVID19 expenditures
  • Provides daily email update on pandemic-related news for constituents

Accountability in Government

One theme that runs through Anne’s career in public service is the necessity of government to be accountable to the people.  Anne has 

  • Insisted we hold CT. power companies accountable via the Take Back Our Grid Act to protect citizens from underinvestment in infrastructure that leaves us vulnerable to storms—as happened recently with massive outages during Tropical Storm Isaias and surprise rate hikes that leaves Connecticut paying the highest rates for power in the Northeast, making us less competitive
  • Police Accountability Bill passed in Special Session
  • State Water Plan, ensuring water as a public resource
  • Holding insurance companies accountable for price gouging of patients, culminating in historic passage of the Insulin Cap/Insulin for All bill to cap insulin and equipment at $100. per month and Mental Health Parity to ensure coverage same as medical health coverage; Repealed state tax on Social Security

Fiscal Responsibility and Working for a Strong, Competitive State Economy 

Though Republicans are fond of the “tax and spend” label for Democrats, Anne has been a strong voice for fiscal responsibility in Hartford, which is a key element of Connecticut’s economic competitiveness. She supported the biennial “balanced and on-time budget” under the spending cap and does not raise tax rates.

  • Strong supporter of preserving the state Rainy Day Fund, the Teachers’ Retirement Fund Bonds Special Capital Reserve Fund, to provide adequate protection for Teacher pension obligation bond holders
  • Renewable Programs and tariffs, to allow for longer net metering period for energy sold by customer back to the grid; extends renewable programs like the low and zero emissions renewable energy credit program, and the Green Bank’s Residential Solar Incentive Program 
  • Plastic Bag ban, and 10 cent fee implementation was far more successful than expected:) 
  • Debt-free community college which brings more federal student aid to the state for unpaid portion of tuition. 

An Effective Voice in Hartford Who Can Get Things Done

As a member of the majority part in the House, Anne is positioned to bring her district more leadership and proactive legislation than a member from the minority party.  Simply stated, she can get things done.  

  • As leader in the Progressive Caucus and the Women’s Caucus and as a Democrat, Anne assumed a leadership role in the legislature and has a strong working relationship with both House leadership and the Governor’s office. 
  • This access translates in greater opportunity to advance issues that matter to Easton, Weston, and Redding, and to lead important statewide policy campaigns. For constituents, this means a more effective voice in Hartford.

Supporting Working Families with the Paid Family Leave Act. 

Anne has consistently worked for policies that benefit working families in Connecticut and during the COVID pandemic, her work as been particularly beneficial to many frontline workers. 

  • Anne led the charge for the Paid Family Leave Act in CT, sharing the belief that noone should be forced to choose between the family they love, their own wellbeing, and the job they need.  
  • Paid leave benefits workers and their families and builds a competitive economy. 
  • Paid leave is a critical step forward for women’s economic security, especially for low-wage workers and women of color who are an increasing number of primary breadwinners for their families. We are proud to join the rest of the world and become just the eighth state (including Washington D.C.) in the U.S. to create a system of paid leave.

Leadership on COVID Pandemic Response for Constituents

  • Anne coordinated local efforts to make and distribute PPE to frontline health workers since the beginning of the COVID pandemic 
  • She responds every day to constituents struggling with unresponsive state agencies such as Unemployment, Insurance Department, unresponsive DMV, providing support to find childcare; help finding resources for struggling nonprofits
  • Worked to get maximum federal and state funds to our towns for COVID19 expenditures
  • Provides daily email update on pandemic-related news for constituents

Choice, Women’s Access to Health Care, and Planned Parenthood Endorsement

  • Anne is endorsed by Planned Parenthood because he is one of the most committed voices for women’s access to health care in Hartford. 
  • Anne supports key bills to advance reproductive health care and maternal health including:
    • Protection of abortion access and addressing cost barriers to abortion
    • Protecting confidential healthcare information by suppressing the explanation of benefits paperwork in certain circumstances.
    • Expanding Medicaid coverage for doulas to address maternal health disparities, particularly the high maternal mortality rate for Black women.
    • Providing parity in Medicaid reimbursements for midwives with that of OB/GYNs to expand access to midwife care (proven to lower the rate of costly medical interventions) for low-income women in our state.
    • Limiting the deceptive advertising practices of fake women’s health centers.
    • Strengthening protections for breastfeeding women and removing the tax on breastfeeding supplies.
    • Access to PrEP (pre-exposure medication to prevent HIV) for minors without parental consent.

Racial Justice –Anne was a strong supporter of the police accountability legislation enacted in Special Session this year and took the lead in writing an open letter to her legislative colleagues on the urgent need to address systemic racism in law enforcement. 

Take Back Our Electricity Grid – Demanding Accountability from CT Power Companies. Anne is a strong and consistent voice for making the Connecticut power grid more responsive and resilient to protect us against epic failures such as the massive power outages that have plagued the state, as recently with Tropical Storm Isaias. She supports

  • Reviewing power companies’ ability to raise rates without accountability, which has left Connecticut paying the highest rates in New England, undermining our competitiveness and placing a huge burden on small business
  • Requiring power companies to bury lines in the most vulnerable areas
  • Requiring power companies to have adequate staffing so we’re not left waiting for out-of-state crews after a storm
  • Limiting multi-million-dollar compensation to power company executives from rate increases 

LGBTQ Rights and Legislation – As co-leader of the Progressive Caucus, Anne is a strong supporter of advancing and protecting the rights of LGBTQ people and supports: 

  • Banning gay and trans “panic” defense
  • Support establishing a statewide LGBT health and human services network to advance LGBT health and build capacity to foster a safer and more supportive state for LGBT residents
  • Ensuring access to safe bathroom facilities to address the basic needs of gender nonconforming students in middle schools and high schools
  • Creating a task force to study discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression that occurs in state workplaces and schools

Environmental Protection, Climate, and Endorsement from the League of Conservation Voters. Anne was a leading voice in the last Legislative Session that delivered many wins for the environment, including significant investment in offshore wind, the electrification of the state fleet, the passage of the State Water Plan, 

  • Worked against environmental rollbacks to the Environmental Protection Act, automatic permits from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) after 90 days, and the revocation of DEEP’s enforcement tools. 
  • Supported
    • Plastic Bag Ban (Towns still have the option to ban these bags or impose their own fees on single-use paper bags) Beginning on July 1, 2021, a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags will go into effect, helping us combat a significant threat to our waterways, wildlife, and climate. 
    • State Water Plan : First comprehensive framework for making policy decisions about our water, enshrines water as a public trust resource and provides guidance for balancing the needs of development, conservation, and recreation.
    • Fracking Waste Ban: a permanent, a statewide ban on fracking waste disposal in Connecticut, protecting the public from the dangerous carcinogens and toxins these materials contain.
    • Solar Net-Metering: After last year’s attack on the residential solar industry, legislators passed a temporary fix to restore net-metering. It now falls to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to determine how solar net metering will be calculated in the years to come. 
    • Electric Vehicles As part of the budget, legislators committed to transition 50% of our state’s light-duty fleet and 30% of our public buses to electric, zero-emission vehicles by 2030.