Looney says his kidney function is normal after transplant

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

Arielle Levin Becker / CTMirror.org file photo

Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

Sen. President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said in a telephone interview Thursday night that post-operative blood tests show that the kidney transplanted Tuesday from his friend, Superior Court Judge Brian T. Fischer, is functioning well.

He said his creatinine level, a measure of waste in the blood, had dropped faster than expected from a preoperative level of 6 milligrams per deciliter to 1.2 on Thursday. A measurement of 5 or more in adults indicates severe kidney impairment, while 1.2 is evidence of normal function.

“Judge Fischer’s kidney is doing what it’s supposed to do,” Looney said.

Fischer went home Thursday from Yale-New Haven Hospital, and Looney is on track to go home Friday or Saturday, Looney said.

“I’ll be home for Christmas,” he said.

The phone call was initiated by Looney, who wanted to talk about a CTMirror.org story about 10 bills he filed before entering the hospital.

While some of them reflected his longstanding support for workers — one bill would raise the minimum wage to $15 in increments, and another would create an insurance program to provide paid family and medical leave — Looney talked about two measures that would lower taxes.

The senator also proposed exempting Social Security benefits from the state income tax and raising the state estate tax exemption from $2 million to $5.49 million, matching the federal exemption.

Looney said he strongly supports measures that encourage retirees and the rich to remain in  Connecticut.

Passage of those measures will depend on the calculated revenue loss in a year in which closing a budget gap will be the biggest challenge of the session.

Looney talked to Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, on Wednesday night about a deal finalized Thursday about how the evenly divided Senate will run in 2017. Looney will remain president pro tem, while sharing some power with the GOP.

Looney laughed and said, “It was a productive week.”