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Health Care Access Legislation May Provide Windfall To School District



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Health Care Access Legislation May Provide Windfall To School District

By John Voket

Newtown’s State Representative Christopher Lyddy is pleased that the local municipal budget passed in referendum this week, but is concerned that belt-tightening at the school district will negatively impact “educational opportunities and transportation needs” of Newtown’s children.

The freshman legislator, who serves on the state’s Education Committee, drafted a memo to School Superintendent Janet Robinson this week, identifying “a potentially significant cost saving measure” for the district.

In the letter, which was copied to the school business manager, town financial directorand First Selectman Joe Borst, Rep Lyddy acknowledges “the state is currently facing a large deficit over the next two years,” and that “health care costs continue to climb at alarming rates, often putting small businesses, municipalities and school districts in strenuous situations.”

It is Rep Lyddy’s hope that the Health Care Partnership bill that is being heard in the General Assembly can have moderate to significant cost savings for Connecticut’s towns and Boards of Education.

“House Bill 6582 allows small businesses of 1–50 employees, nonprofit organizations and municipalities to buy into the state’s health care plan,” Rep Lyddy related in his letter. “With just over 600 staff members taking advantage of your medical benefits plan, there are potential savings under this proposal.”

He informed Dr Robinson that he bill will be brought to a full vote in the upcoming weeks.

“I hope that you will consider the potential benefits of this bill for our district,” he wrote. “If passed, the district could be able to take advantage of these benefits within the next year.”

Rep Lyddy told The Bee that the benefits for this plan will vary from community to community, and he is ready to work with the appropriate people in town to explore what the potential windfall could be for Newtown.

Part of the reason the town needs to make cuts is because health care costs increase each year, Rep Lyddy said. “The bill could help make health care a more affordable and predictable part of the budget.”

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