There is a lot happening in state government this week. Leading into special session, which we expect to begin on Thursday morning, July 23, there are a number of “listening sessions” and informational hearings. The first of those took place last Friday, when the Judiciary Committee held a twelve-hour long listening session (via Zoom) on “An Act Concerning Police Accountability” (otherwise known as AACPA, or LCO No. 3471). I listened to the entire hearing (shout out to my family for bringing meals and snacks to me at regular intervals) and found it invaluable.
We have now agreed with the Governor to take up four bills during a special session next week: increasing police accountability, making sure we have a safe and secure election in November, capping the cost of insulin, and increasing access to telehealth services.
It is now looking like the legislature will return to Hartford for a special session during the week of July 20, probably at the later end of the week. The House will go in first, then the Senate will follow, probably the following week. The House has installed new technology that will allow us to vote from our offices in the Legislative Office Building, entering the chamber (where we usually debate and vote) only to speak on the bill under consideration.
I hope you all had a happy Fourth of July weekend. While ours did not involve fireworks this year (though we could definitely hear a few sets going off in the neighborhood, which we tried to watch through the trees with little success), it did involve a couple of campfires. All of our kids are home for the first time since January, and having recently dug ourselves a firepit, we logged a lot of time in front of the fire catching up on topics old and new.
In this particular moment, when Pride Month, celebrating the LGBTQ+ community’s ability to live their true lives with love and freedom, has just ended, and the festivities around Fourth of July are about to begin, I found myself thinking a lot about that freedom: what it means, and how we achieve it.
On Saturday morning, more than 40 volunteers arrived at Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS), many as early as 5:45 am, and worked with diligence, patience, and good cheer to distribute more than 1,400 boxes of fresh produce to residents throughout the Northwest Corner.
Our schools are central to our communities in ways that go well beyond their core purpose of providing a quality education to every student. In addition to teaching literature, biology, or Spanish, schools impact our social and emotional development in profound ways, and can help craft lasting relationships between peers, families, and teachers that can sustain us over a lifetime. Over the last three months, we’ve been forced to expand the means by which instruction is provided, which took ingenuity, creativity, and courage. It has illuminated the work we know we need to do to ensure onl