Len Fasano

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Len Fasano
President pro tempore of the Connecticut Senate
In office
February 28, 2017 – January 9, 2019
Serving with Martin Looney
Preceded byMartin Looney
Succeeded byMartin Looney
Minority Leader of the Connecticut Senate
Assumed office
January 7, 2015
Preceded byJohn P. McKinney
Member of the Connecticut Senate
from the 34th district
Assumed office
January 2003
Preceded byBrian McDermott
Personal details
Born (1958-05-15) May 15, 1958 (age 61)
New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationYale University (BS)
Quinnipiac University (JD)
Boston University (LLM)

Len Fasano (born May 15, 1958) is a Republican member of the Connecticut Senate, representing the 34th District since 2003.[1] Fasano was sworn in as Senate Republican President Pro Tempore in January 2017. Under the new leadership role Senator Fasano will lead a Republican caucus with considerably more control over the Senate's agenda than in previous years[2] as a result of a power sharing agreement negotiated after Republicans gained three seats in the Connecticut Senate,[3] creating a tie for the first time since 1893.[4] Previously, he had served as the Senate Minority Leader since 2015.

Fasano has been the State Senator for the 34th Senate District since 2003, representing the suburbs of New Haven in the Connecticut Senate, including the towns of Durham (part), East Haven, North Haven (part), and Wallingford.

Education[edit]

Fasano graduated from Hamden Hall Country Day School in 1977. He earned his B.S. from Yale University in 1981, a J.D. from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 1984, and a LL.M. in taxation from Boston University School of Law in 1985.

Career[edit]

Fasano is a tax attorney and a partner with Fasano, Ippolito, Lee & Florentine, with offices in New Haven and Branford.[5] He also owns Silver Sands Beach and Tennis Club in East Haven, Connecticut.[citation needed]

Senate career[edit]

Fasano was elected in 2002, 50% to 48%. He served as Minority Whip from 2003 to 2004, Assistant Minority Leader from 2005 to 2006, Deputy Minority Leader from 2007 to 2008, Minority Leader Pro Tempore from 2009 to 2014, Minority Leader since 2014, and Senate Republican President Pro Tempore since 2017.

Fasano ran unopposed for reelection in 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010. In 2012, he defeated former state representative Steve Fontana, 58% to 42%. He ran unopposed for reelection in 2014 and 2016.

Health Care Issues[edit]

Alongside Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Fasano co-created and co-chaired Connecticut's Bipartisan Round Table on Hospitals and Health Care, established in 2014. In 2016, Fasano was recognized for his work on the Round Table and subsequent legislation that emerged from the bipartisan discussions with the Connecticut State Medical Society Legislative Award.[6]

In 2015, Fasano and Looney worked together to pass a wide-ranging health care bill aiming to help control health care costs and improve transparency for patients.[7][8][9][10]

In 2017, Fasano and Looney worked together again to craft and pass a bill attempting to lower prescription drug costs by, among other measures, allowing pharmacists to divulge information about actual drug price, and forbidding benefit managers from charging customers more than the full price of a drug and keeping the difference (so-called "clawback" practices).[11]

Fasano also worked to make Connecticut the second state in the nation to implement a statewide screening program to test all newborns for adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD), a genetic brain disorder.[12] He was the lead sponsor for the legislation in 2013 that was fully implemented in 2016.[13]

Urban Development & Jobs Policies[edit]

Fasano has proposed policies focused on urban development and job growth in Connecticut cities.[14] Proposals have included ideas to encourage the poor to enter the job market, remove disincentives to securing a job, and direct certain higher-education funds to subsidize low-income parents seeking college degrees.[15] In 2017 the state Senate passed a bill proposed by Fasano to expedite the brownfield redevelopment process to redevelop old urban industrial properties and encourage urban developers to work with high schools and community technical colleges on curriculum to train future job seekers. The bill was not called for a vote in the House of Representatives.[16]

Advocacy for the Disabled[edit]

Fasano has advocated for budgets that protect funding for social services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has protested deep cuts to these services.[17] He cosponsored legislation in 2016 to improve communication between the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) and families in need of services for family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities.[18] Fasano worked alongside a bipartisan group of lawmakers, the DDS state agency, and advocacy groups including DDS Families First and the Arc of Connecticut to draft the legislation which requires DDS to provide families with information about their eligibility status for state resources and initiated communication between the agency and families to improve the system.[19]

Advocacy for Children[edit]

Fasano was named a Children's Champion in 2015 [20] and 2016 [21] by the Early Childhood Alliance.

He has been a vocal critic of the Connecticut Department of Children and Families under the leadership of Commissioner Joette Katz appointed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, including findings that children's needs are not being met by the department,[22] multiple reports of system failures conducted by the Office of the Child Advocate,[23] an unprecedented number of child homicides where children were under the care of the Department of Children and Families,[24] and cases of child abuse reported at the Department's locked facilities.[25]

Senator Fasano has proposed reforms to increase oversight of the department [26] over many years. He renewed calls for reform following a Federal Audit conducted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families which found that the agency practice is inconsistent in assessing safety and risk in the child's living environment and in preventing children's removal from their homes. The audit also found that Connecticut's child welfare agency is not in substantial conformity with any of the seven child and family outcomes related to children's safety, permanency, and well-being.[27]

In 2017, a bill backed by Fasano to increase oversight of the Department of Children and Families garnered bipartisan support and passed the state Senate.[28]

The Connecticut chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) named Fasano a "Legislator of the Year" multiple times including in 2016 [29] and 2013 [30] recognizing his efforts in support of tougher laws to help prevent drunk driving and educate young drivers about road safety.

Criticism[edit]

In December 2014, Fasano appointed former state Republican Chair Chris Healy as a senior advisor to the State Senate Republicans. Healy was described as an unindicted co-conspirator in the prosecution of Lisa Wilson-Foley.[31] The hiring was condemned by Farmington Republican and former FBI agent Mike Clark, who ran against, and lost to, Wilson-Foley for the Republican nomination for Congress in 2010.[32]

In 2016, it was reported that the Senate Republican Caucus had hired a former state employee in 2012 living in Texas to manage the Senate Republican website, at the same time this former employee was managing the campaign websites of Republican senators. Fasano said he was confident that the contractor upheld the separation between his contract and campaign work, but also told the contractor to stop performing campaign consulting jobs for Connecticut Senate Caucus members to remove any appearance of impropriety.[33].The State Election Enforcement agreed with Fasano and took no action on the Democratic complaint, noticing Democratic Senators Looney and Duff in a SEEC report on August 23, 2018 where it found no evidence to support their claims.

In October 2017, Fasano was criticized by Dita Bhargava for his "pattern of misdirected criticism towards women holding high-ranking positions in our state's public institutions.” As evidence she cited his conduct towards Susan Herbst (UCONN president), Dora Schriro (Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection), and Joette Katz (Department of Children and Families). Bhargava also compared Fasano to president Donald Trump. Fasano responded “Sen. Fasano does not intend to respond to a political candidate trying to make news.” [34]

Personal life[edit]

Fasano and his wife Jill have three adult children, all graduates of Hamden Hall Country Day School. He is a founder of the East Haven Land Trust, and a Trustee of Hamden Hall Country Day School.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1] Legislative Bio
  2. ^ ALTIMARI, DANIELA. "Sen. Looney Returns And Is Sworn In By His Kidney Donor". courant.com. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  3. ^ "Senate Announces Power Sharing Agreement | CT News Junkie". CT News Junkie. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  4. ^ "Senate leaders grappling with 18-18 tie". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  5. ^ "About Len - Connecticut Senate Republicans". Connecticut Senate Republicans. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  6. ^ [2] Connecticut State Medical Society Award
  7. ^ Becker, Arielle Levin (2015-06-01). "Cheat sheet: What's in the big health care bill". The CT Mirror. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  8. ^ O’Leary, Mary (2015-05-22). "Connecticut Senate adopts major health care changes". The Register Citizen. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  9. ^ [3] New Haven Register
  10. ^ Looney, Martin M.; Fasano, Len (2015-07-31). "Sens. Martin Looney and Len Fasano: New law protects and empowers patients". New Haven Register. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  11. ^ Savino, Mike (2017-05-25). "Senate approves bill that seeks to reduce cost of medicine". MyRecordJournal.com. Archived from the original on 2017-08-03.
  12. ^ "Officials Gather in Branford to Launch ALD Test for Newborns". BranfordSeven.com. 2016-08-24. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  13. ^ "Branford's Brian Kelley an inspiration for newborn screening law". New Haven Register. 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2019-10-18.
  14. ^ [4] Courant 2014
  15. ^ [5] The Day Newspaper
  16. ^ [6] Urban Development Senate Bill
  17. ^ [7] Fox61 GOP oppose social service cuts
  18. ^ [8] DDS Bill
  19. ^ [9] IDD Bill summary
  20. ^ [10] Hartford Courant - Children's Champion
  21. ^ [11] Patch - Fasano Award
  22. ^ [12] Senate Republican Press Release
  23. ^ [13]
  24. ^ [14] Office of Child Advocate Report
  25. ^ [15] Connecticut News Junkie - Abuses at Locked Facilities
  26. ^ [16] CT News Junkie
  27. ^ [17] Federal Audit
  28. ^ [18] CGA Bill Tracking
  29. ^ [19] MADD award 2016
  30. ^ [20] MADD Award 2013
  31. ^ [21] Hartford Courant - Healy
  32. ^ [22] Hartford Courant - Republicans Condemn...
  33. ^ LENDER, JON. "Senate GOP's Contractor Told To Cease Campaign Work, To Avoid 'Appearance Of Impropriety'". courant.com. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  34. ^ BORSUK, KEN. "Bhargava rips Fasano in letter". greenwichtime.com. Retrieved 2017-10-11.
Connecticut Senate
Preceded by
John P. McKinney
Minority Leader of the Connecticut Senate
2015–present
Incumbent