Dear Friends,

I wanted to give you an update on the 2017 legislative session. Each year, our goal is to forge a path for a stronger Connecticut, and this past session was no different.

As chairman of the Bridgeport delegation, I am pleased to share that we passed key bills that will steady the city’s financial footing, increase economic development, and make Bridgeport a better place to live.

These pieces of legislation will not only take Bridgeport into the future, but it will also allow the city to become a regional job creator and leader in cutting-edge technology.

I hope you find the enclosed information helpful. Our future is stronger when we work together, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to my office if I can ever be of help to you or your family. It is my pleasure and honor to serve as your state representative.

Sincerely,


Refinancing Bridgeport’s Debt

For years Bridgeport taxpayers have been burdened by high property taxes. We sought to address this encumbrance by passing legislation that allows the city to restructure some of its unfunded pension liabilities. By borrowing at a lower interest rate, taxpayers are expected to save more than $70 million over the term of the payoff period. This is just one small way for the city to cut costs while giving taxpayers some of the relief they need. (PA 17-107)


Technical High Schools

This legislation establishes the technical high school system as an independent agency. By separating the technical schools from the state Board of Education, we expect them to be more responsive to the needs of the business community in training our future workforce. The newly named Technical Education and Career School System will have stronger oversight, more effective governance and more checks to prevent wasteful spending. (PA 17-237)


Property Tax Exemption for Gold Star Parents and Spouses

As chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am happy to share that this bill allows municipalities the option to grant a tax exemption to the parents or a spouse of a service member who was killed while performing active military duty, also known as a Gold Star recipient. Any Gold Star parent or spouse can apply for this tax exemption, and it is granted at the discretion of the municipalities. A municipality may exempt up to $20,000 or 10 percent of the property’s assessed value. (PA 17-65)


Nursing Home Patient’s Bill of Rights

Under existing state and federal law, nursing homes, residential care homes, and chronic disease hospitals must fully inform patients about their rights and provide each patient with a copy of a document that lists these rights. (SA 17-14)


The Ox Brook Flood Control project

Since 2005, I have fought hard to alleviate flooding in Bridgeport’s North End. For years, the chronic flooding along Ox Brook has jeopardized the safety and welfare of the city’s residents.

In May, the governor approved $5.14 million in funding to begin to tackle the city’s flooding issues and rebuild an earthen dam in Rogers Park which will hold back flood water in the event of catastrophic rainfall.

This comprehensive flood control project is the first step toward addressing flooding in the North End. The Bridgeport legislative delegation has worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition. Together, we have worked to protect our citizens and the homes they have established in Bridgeport’s North End.

Through this project, several thousand feet of piping and channel will be constructed to reduce the volume of flooding in and along Ox Brook in Bridgeport. This will not only reduce the frequency of flooding in the area but will also create 40 temporary jobs.

It is vital that we continue to invest in our local infrastructure and our citizens so we can build a safer Bridgeport.


Capitol Update 2017 (pdf)