The CPA Has Your Back on Legislative Issues
The CPA is a strong voice at the State Capitol and in Washington DC. We fight to ensure that the practice of pharmacy is protected and that our profession will flourish for years to come. That's why CPA will host a fundraiser for Congressman Joe Courtney on Thursday, October 25, 5-7 p.m. at the CPA office. From DIR fees to the opioid epidemic to vertical integration deals like the planned CVS Health-Aetna merger, this event is an opportunity to speak one-on-one with Congressman Courtney about issues that affect your profession. Click here for more details.
The CPA has trained and is advanced in grassroots techniques and organization. We ensure that you have the information you need to develop a coalition around a specific issue, the CPA is here to represent you in the most effective manner possible.
The CPA employs a lobbyist, Jean Cronin, of the firm Hughes and Cronin, for the State of Connecticut lobbying effort. Ms. Cronin monitors all proposed legislation and assists the CPA staff and Legislative Committee in determining impact to the pharmacy profession.
In general, there are are dozens of bills introduced each year that have a potential positive or negative impact on the practice of pharmacy. Advocacy includes the monitoring of these issues as they develop, attendance at legislative meetings, testifying at legislative public hearings on the impact of proposed bills, as well as meetings and encouraging grassroots lobbying and outreach to the state legislators by pharmacists.
The Legislative Committee is currently chaired by pharmacists Jean Keating, from Granby Pharmacy in Granby and Philip Hritcko, faculty member at the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy. Committee membership is open to all CPA members in good standing.
A Few Facts About The Connecticut General Assembly
The General Assembly (GA) is part-time. It is in session for five months in the odd numbered years and three months in even numbered years. The schedule is set by the State Constitution. In 2013, the GA will go into session in January and adjourn in early June.
There are 151 House of Representative Members and 36 Senators in the General Assembly. Democrats currently control the House and the Senate. The Governor, Dannel Malloy, is a Democrat, as is the Lt. Governor, Nancy Wyman. The Lt. Governor serves as the President of the Senate meaning she presides over the Senate, which currently has 18 Democrats and 18 Republicans, and thus, a shared leadership structure. The House of Representatives is presided over by the Speaker of the House, who is Joe Aresimowicz, a Democrat. He is a member of the House and elected by the House members.
The General Assembly has joint committees with members from both the House and the Senate. Each Committee has a House and a Senate Chair. The number of Senators and Representatives assigned to each Committee is proportional by party and by chamber.
Unlike Congress, members of the General Assembly do not have a lot of staff. They also do not receive a lot of phone calls or e-mail on most issues. Legislators acknowledge that they are impressed and give special attention to an issue if they receive even 10 e-mails or phone calls about a particular subject. For your convenience, the CPA has state legislator contact information loaded onto the home page under Legislation.
Lobbying in Washington D.C.
Despite the totally polarized climate on Capitol Hill, community pharmacy has to have a strong federal presence in Washington, D.C. Half of the average community pharmacy's patients are directly affected by changes to Medicare and Medicaid—and that number is not going down anytime soon.
Legislation will get passed this year that will affect you, will affect your business, and will affect your patients' health care. Where will you be when that legislation is passed? Waiting to read what was decided about your future? Letting someone else—often a PBM-contract lobbyist—speak on your behalf? Or, will you take some time to look up and do something proactive about your future?
The CPA is proud to state that we have excellent working relationships with all members of Connecticut's Congressional delegation. In order to maintain those relationships, each year, CPA and a group of Connecticut Pharmacists attend the NCPA's Annual Legislative Conference.
(L-R) Mary Keating, Phil Hritcko, Angelo DeFazio, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, Rick Carbray,
Marghie Giuliano and Jean Keating after a briefing session on pharmacy issues in Senator Murphy's Capitol offices.