Legislative Activity

When there is a systemic problem that affects children and families, Loretta Jay gets involved to change the law. Recognizing that to effect change, it is important to collaborate, Loretta partners with others.

Mental Health Parity, 3/12/2024

In 2018 and 2019, Loretta Jay’s advocacy was instrumental to passing Connecticut’s mental health parity bill. This legislation made clear that health insurers must provide coverage for mental health care on par with other medical care. While the bill was an important step in the right direction, it was not enough. The 2024 mental health parity bill gives some teeth to the previous legislation by pushing for enforcement of the parity laws.  Loretta Jay’s testimony offered real life stories illustrating how people are affected when insurance companies don’t follow the law. This was followed-up with live oral testimony to the Insurance and Real Estate Committee on March 12, 2024.

Child Marriage in New Hampshire, 2024

We’re hoping that the fifth time is the charm. Loretta Jay submitted written testimony to the New Hampshire Senate Judiciary Committee urging passage of a bill that will end child marriage in the state. It passed out of committee, and then the full Senate. Next, testimony to the NH House, which can be a bit unpredictable.

Risk Protection Orders, 3/13/2023

After one of her clients was affected, Loretta Jay organized a statewide coalition of stakeholders to modify the way the state’s red-flag laws are implemented. While good intentioned, this law that was intended to protect individuals and the community from firearms, unwittingly trapped minors in its net, subjecting them to further harm. The requested changes were approved and minors are now protected. Partners who worked with Loretta and supported this bill include DMHAS, CABLE, the Police Chief’s Association, CT Legal Rights Project, the Public Defender’s office, NAMI CT, Mental Health CT and more. Loretta both testified in person to the Joint Committee on Judiciary, and she submitted written testimony.

Child Marriage in Connecticut, 2/27/2023

In addition to advocating for students in need of special education and supporting agencies and organizations improve systems, Loretta Jay leads civil marriage officiants throughout New England. She is a national leader and an active member of the National Coalition to End Child Marriage. On February 27, 2023, Loretta testified to the Judiciary Committee and submitted written testimony in support of the bill that eventually ended child marriage in Connecticut. She was recognized for her role with an invitation to attend the bill signing.

Child Marriage in Massachusetts, 11/16/2021

As the managing member of the Justice of the Peace Association, Loretta Jay submitted testimony in support of legislation to end child marriage in Massachusetts at the November 16, 2021 hearing before the Joint Committee of the Judiciary. The bill eventually passed both chambers and Loretta was invited to attend Governor Baker’s bill signing on September 9, 2022.

Mental Health Parity, 3/5/2019

As the president of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Fairfield affiliate, Loretta Jay testified to the Insurance and Real Estate Committee alongside State Representative Brenda Kupchick, urging parity for mental health and substance use disorder benefits.

Specialized Formula, 3/6/2014

At first, insurance companies didn’t cover medically required specialized formula at all. Then, they covered it, but only until age 12. Loretta Jay’s statement to the Connecticut Insurance and Real Estate Committee urging coverage as needed, beyond childhood. 

Solnit (Riverview) Hospital, 2/8/2011

When legislation was proposed to close the state psychiatric hospital for children, Loretta Jay spoke up. She testified to the Select Committee on Children, describing the value of the facility and urging that it remain open. Read her testimony.

Community-Based Health Services, 2/8/2011

Loretta Jay testified to the Committee on Insurance and Real Estate advocating for the exploration of incentive-based systems to expand community-based services for children with developmental disabilities, and to expand the act to also include children with behavioral health needs. Her statement is here..