Chris Murphy is currently serving his second term in the State Senate representing the 16th District, which includes the towns of Waterbury, Wolcott, Cheshire and Southington.
Upon his arrival to the Senate, Murphy was appointed chair of the General Assemblyâ€™s Public Health Committee. His work over the past four years as the Senateâ€™s leader on health care has been guided by his fundamental belief that everyoneâ€”regardless of income, race, employment status or ethnicityâ€”deserves quality, affordable, health care. â€œBeing healthy should be a rightâ€”not a privilege available only to those who can afford it,â€ Murphy often remarks.
During his first year in the Senate, Murphy steered the passage of an impressive array of landmark bills advancing public health, including the stateâ€™s workplace smoking ban. He also authored legislation that prohibits hospitals from engaging in overly aggressive collection practices against uninsured patients. In addition, he authored bills that expand low-cost prescription drug access for the uninsured, establish new government powers to be utilized during a bioterrorism attack, and increase whistleblower protections for hospital employees.
In 2004, Murphy worked to pass legislation increasing standards for auto emissions in Connecticut, and he authored and passed bills protecting nurses from being forced to work overtime shifts and implementing new patient safety protections for hospitals. He also led the fight for increased federal funding for Connecticut nursing homes.
That same year, Murphy introduced legislation that would provide vital funding for stem cell research here in Connecticut. Murphyâ€™s work that year helped lay the groundwork for future victory on this important issue, and in 2005 Murphy succeeded in passing Connecticutâ€™s landmark stem cell investment act, one of his proudest accomplishments.
From 1998 to 2002, Murphy represented Southington in the State House of Representatives. During his tenure in the House, Murphy wrote and passed laws to give towns more power over the siting of new power plants, increase penalties for crimes against the disabled, and require insurance companies to cover Lyme Disease treatment. He also served on the House Prescription Drug Task Force that was instrumental in the passage of legislation to expand ConnPACE, the Stateâ€™s prescription drug program for low-income seniors. Murphy was also the lead sponsor of a bill to impose maximum prices on certain essential prescription drugs.
Before being elected to the legislature, Murphy was a member of the Southington Planning and Zoning Commission. Murphy grew up in Connecticut, and attended Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating with honors and a double major in history and political science. In 2002, he graduated from UConn Law School in Hartford, Connecticut. He resides in Cheshire.