With the Senate tied 18-18, and a four vote margin for Democrats in the House, this session required painstaking cooperation on process, legislation, and budget.
On policy, we made our cash bail system fairer, but other ideas were held up in the legislative process. The difficult budget climate stalled any new idea with a dollar figure attached. For example, I authored legislation on the future of brick and mortar retail, but pulled the bill due to its potential cost. The loss of local retail has implications for our property tax base, jobs, and sales tax receipts, so I will continue to pursue this issue in the future.
On budget, the state Senate shocked by passing a Republican budget, which then passed the House as well. Although it was vetoed, and we recovered a bit, much was lost. Prospects are challenging.
We’ve made progress and have much to protect. New Haven has many voices, and we did better for you when we shared a common agenda. Your efforts have improved our quality of life. Though we face challenges, our strongest asset is our people.
Thank you for your support and confidence.
State Aid to New Haven
|FY 18||FY 19|
|Education Cost Sharing||$154,301,977||$155,295,358|
|PILOT State Owned Property||$5,146,251||$5,146,251|
|PILOT Colleges & Hospitals||$36,545,385||$36,545,385|
|Mashantucket & Mohegan Fund||$5,753,352||$5,503,352|
|Town Aid Road Grant||$1,245,504||$1,245,504|
|Local Capital Improvement||$2,938,895||$1,870,206|
|Grants For Municipal Projects||$1,369,123||$1,369,123|
|Muni Rev. Sharing Account (MRSA)||$14,584,940||$15,246,372|
|MRSA Supplemental PILOT||$14,584,940||$15,246,375|
|New Haven Municipal Aid Total||$226,874,038||$226,624,038|
In the News...
- Met with Jewish community groups and Consul Yehuda Yaakov, Consulate General of Israel to New England and discussed our relationship with Israeli business.
- Joined the Congressional delegation to hear advocates for immigration reform and President Obama’s Dreamer program (DACA).
- Attended Sen. Chris Murphy’s panel on urban trauma with Alder Richard Furlow, Earl Bloodworth, Stacy Spell and others about strengthening efforts for youth.
- Spent evening at Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen with Steve Werlin, served dinner and heard people’s concerns.
- Threw out the first lettuce at the opening of the summer City Seed Edgewood Market.
- Joined with West River Watershed Coalition at the old dam site for an update on the river, bike access, walkability, and the return of fish.
- Spoke at International Peace Day in West River.
As homeowners know, parts of Westville rest on a high water table, and some homes were damaged from water and subsidence, or sinking. Thanks to the outstanding work of the New Haven Loan Fund, now Capital4change, the most severely damaged homes were repaired with dollars I secured. This year was an opportunity to continue that work. When homeowners in eastern Connecticut asked for help for their homes, I pressed our case. As a result, this year’s budget allocates $4 million in new dollars to continue preservation of homes, which include expansion, administration, and new inspections. Next step is advocating for action by Governor Malloy and the Bond Commission.
Teamwork Wins on Union Station
Union Station, an architectural gem of a building managed by the city, is an ideal location for transit oriented development. New Haven leaders had proposed retail use, but the state Department of Transportation (DOT) opposed it and attempted to wrest control of operations. The New Haven delegation responded by supporting legislation to transfer ownership of the land to the city of New Haven. After negotiations, DOT agreed to retail on the first floor and a five year management agreement with the city.
Pretrial Justice Reform
Justice and fairness should not depend on the wealth of the defendant. Yet under our previous system of pretrial detention, low risk offenders were held in jail because they lacked money. This year’s reform makes the system more fair. Now, a judge would be prohibited from setting bail for those charged with misdemeanors unless the judge determines that person poses an immediate threat to the public. PA 17-145
Celebrating Milestones in our Community
- 2017 marked the 25th anniversary of the Dwight Management Team. Rep Dillon spoke at the dinner and praised their achievements in community renewal.
- Rep Dillon kicked off the 25th anniversary of Artwalk, a key part of Westville Village’s economic development and marketing.
- Congratulations to Hon. Juliett L. Crawford, Connecticut Superior Court Judge and Army veteran, for recognition as a Heroic Woman Honoree of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.
Animal Shelter Accountability
Concerned by reports of poor conditions, I cosponsored legislation to require a person who wants to operate or maintain an animal shelter in Connecticut to register with the Department of Agriculture commissioner and comply with regulations on sanitation, disease, humane treatment of animals, and public safety protection. PA 17-167
Responding to Hate Crimes
Singling people out for attack or exclusion based on their religion or ethnicity has increased. Sadly, this plays out in our own communities. The CT Anti Defamation League revealed during a meeting with legislators that there has been a 100 percent rise in the reporting of incidents since last summer. I cosponsored legislation that imposes minimum fines for certain hate crimes, including cross burning and desecration of property, and toughens penalties for targeting and desecrating a house of worship. It also creates a statewide Hate Crimes Advisory Council. We know that legislation alone cannot change behavior. Progress can come from legal consequences and the power of personal example, as we join to say “No more.”