Dear neighbor,

Let’s not sugar coat it…. this session was dominated by the $41 billion budget and there were not a lot of easy solutions. One of my top priorities throughout this process however was to protect West Haven from the same debilitating cuts our neighboring cities received. I am very proud to have been successful in those efforts. Additional accomplishments include no widespread tax increases on sales, income or business taxes.

Connecticut did not get in this financial situation overnight and it’s going to take a long term approach to rectify this situation. Therefore, I advocated for long term structural changes such as spending caps and a change in plan structure for future hires.

This budget was voted on and passed in a bipartisan way with both Democrats and Republicans coming together and finding common ground in the best interest of our state.

When I was elected, many of you commented to me that I joined the legislature at the worst possible time. However, I feel I joined at the best time because I’m optimistic about CT’s future and am glad to be a part of the discussion. I am determined, not exhausted.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative in Hartford. I look forward to continuing to work for you.

Sincerely,


Animal Rights

I’m not just an animal advocate, I’m an animal lover! I want to protect our furry friends but in a way that is safe for our residents. There’s much work to be done, but we passed two initiatives in this session I want to share:

  • PA 17-167 - This law requires that all animal shelters in CT be registered with the Department of Agriculture.
  • PA 17-185 - Ensuring that families know that children can testify against their abusers with a therapy dog by their side for comfort.


Rep. Borer and her dog Eli


Addiction

Having lost a brother to addiction, I know the heartbreak and how it impacts not just the addict, but family and friends. Since a very early age, I’ve been a strong advocate for drug and alcohol abuse assistance and now am grateful to be in a position to impact related laws. This session we passed legislation that supports addicts through improved access to affordable care and strengthens who is eligible for out and inpatient treatment. We also introduced legislation to regulate sober homes. The Senate didn’t pass this legislation but I’ll continue to fight for this measure.


Education

Having served on West Haven’s Board of Education for years, I understand the critical importance of giving children the opportunity and resources needed to be successful.  As a result, some of the legislation I supported include:

  • A change in the formula that makes it more equitable for how cities receive their education funding. As a result, West Haven will receive an additional $600,000 in year two of this budget.
  • Establishing technical schools to be an independent agency which will now provide stronger oversight, more effective governance and a better quality experience for our students seeking education in the trades.
  • State Colleges will be required to establish guidelines to minimize students’ out-of-pocket expenses, ultimately cutting down on textbook costs.


West Haven High School Groundbreaking


AP Government students from West Haven High School visiting the State Capitol


Welcome DMV

Bridging the gap between you and state services is one of my goals. That’s why I am proud to have worked with the DMV and our Chamber of Commerce to develop a one of a kind model so that you can access DMV services right here in West Haven. Our program will be a model for other municipalities. Early in 2018, you will be able to renew your driver’s license and ID card at City Hall through the Chamber of Commerce. This was an amazing team effort which I was happy to participate in. It also has the potential to boost our local businesses and hopefully inspire new ones!


At City Hall press conference announcing the new DMV Customer Center office


Tolls Tolls Tolls

Did you know that Connecticut is the ONLY state on the Atlantic Coast that does not have tolls? Surprising, but true. Pennsylvania alone realizes $1 billion in revenue from tolls. We introduced legislation to bring electronic overhang tolls back to CT, but were not able to pass it. It was split along party lines. Almost 88% of those polled in our home district were in favor of tolls. I will continue to advocate for this as it is one of the few opportunities for us to capture revenue from those driving through our state, using our roads and not paying a dime.


Women’s Issues

I am committed to protecting and enhancing women’s rights. This past session we worked to defend pregnant women in the workplace and addressed gender pay gap through proposed legislation. We have much work ahead of us before we can see the improvements we wish for, but I am optimistic that our continued efforts will pay off. Domestic and family violence was and will continue to be a focus in the next session.


Participants at the Blingo event that benefitted Family Centered Services of CT


Seniors

Here is a sample of some efforts that I hope will help our seniors.

  • Restored the $200 property tax credit for seniors.
  • Passed a phase out elimination of income taxes on Social Security and pensions.
  • Restored funding to CT Home Care Program for Elders, Renters Rebate, and Dial-A-Ride, all services that were cut by others involved in the budget process.

Environment

Going into the General Assembly this was honestly not my strength, but through a lot of homework and discussions with leaders and residents, I am so glad to have now been appointed to the Environment Committee as I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the conversation.

A few key accomplishments since April:

  • I brought the first paint recycle program to West Haven. Recycling should be convenient and by bringing the national PaintCare program into our city, you can now bring your paint cans AND leftover paint to Rings End on Elm Street free of charge.
  • The Flood Gates on Ocean Avenue are a critical juncture to our ocean. Joined by my colleagues, we have requested state bonding funds to fix that area to allow for natural and clean flow.
  • I’ve participated in numerous meetings regarding CT’s ability and plan to bring offshore wind power to our state. I will continue to focus on the state’s long term strategy for healthy and cost effective energy for you.


Rep. Borer and Rings End Store Manager Bill Bolstridge holding paint cans to recycle


Capitol Update 2017 (pdf)