BROOKFIELD, Conn. – State Rep. Stephen Harding (R-107) co-sponsored two noteworthy bills relating to retired volunteer firefighter benefits and veteran health records that were passed Tuesday by the state House of Representatives.
“I am proud to support those who have served our state and nation to protect the freedom and safety of our citizens both at home and across the country,” said Rep. Harding, who represents Brookfield and parts of Bethel and Danbury.
“They deserve to have access to the benefits they have earned. I hope to see these bills signed by the governor,” he said.
On a local level, House Bill 5277 would allow municipalities to provide property tax relief to retired volunteer firefighters, Harding said. This relief could take the form of a tax abatement of up to $1,000 in property taxes due in any fiscal year, or a tax exemption on the assessed value of real or personal property up to $1 million (divided by the mill rate) at the time of assessment.
At the state and federal level, House Bill 5356 would prohibit health providers from charging patients or authorized representatives for health records requested in support of claims or appeals for veterans’ benefits, Harding said.
The bill also requires these providers to furnish such records within 30 days of the written request, he said.
Both pieces of legislation now await action in the Senate before the legislative session concludes on May 4 in order to progress toward becoming law.