Legislators pick up honors, endorsements from advocates

Three weeks before Election Day, several local legislators have garnered support and honors from non-profit agencies and advocacy groups for their positions and votes on various issues.

State Sen. Anthony Musto, D-22nd District, was named 2012 Legislator of the Year by Leading Age Connecticut, an agency that serves over 16,000 elderly state residents. The agency cited Musto work on Senate Bill 394. The bill, according to the group, sought to reduce costs on nursing homes when a Medicaid penalty is imposed on a resident.

"There is no doubt that with an aging population and rising costs, health care issues are some of the most complex and crucial public policy debates going on today," Musto said. "I'm proud to be recognized for my commitment to keeping Connecticut residents and all of their health care options healthy and viable."

Musto also is expected to be honored by the Connecticut College of Emergency Physicians as one of its legislators of the year for his opposition to SB 243, a bill that would have allowed more health care providers to provide legal opinion letters in medical cases. Musto also supported SB 236, which established the rate at which the state would pay for Medicaid beneficiaries who visited hospital emergency rooms.

Business advocates

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association, an advocacy group with 10,000 member businesses, released its slate of endorsements Tuesday. The group backed incumbents Larry Miller, R-122nd District, and Tony Hwang, R-134th and David Rutigliano, a Republican who is running for the 123rd District seat currently held by T.R. Rowe, who is not seeking re-election to the legislature.

The group cited Hwang and Miller's pro-business votes on taxes, mandatory paid sick leave, the minimum wage, education and job creation. Rutigliano was specifically picked for his commitment to job creation and his experience as the chairman of the Connecticut Restaurant Association's Legislative and Government Relations Committee.