Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thank you for giving me the privilege of representing you in the CT General Assembly. It is such an honor to get to continue to serve you in the legislature.

I wanted to provide you with some updates on what we worked on in the 2018 Legislative Session. First, the legislature came together to pass a historic, bipartisan budget that included the following:

  • No tax increases
  • Restored funds to the Medicare Savings Plan
  • Avoided fare increases on trains and buses
  • Avoided cuts to town aid and education
  • Added surplus revenues to our Rainy Day Fund to improve sustainability for the future

Second, it was an honor to serve again as House Chair of the Commerce Committee, and to introduce and pass on the House floor a dozen bipartisan, pro-business, pro job growth bills (see details below!).

Third, I worked hard this session on initiatives to make CT more affordable, to secure education resources for Stamford schools, to improve public safety by banning bump stocks, and to protect our environment.

I continue to believe strongly in bipartisanship and the need to attack the problems facing our state rather than attacking each other. That is why I supported more than a dozen bipartisan bills and continued working with the bipartisan young legislator’s and women’s caucuses.

As your State Representative, I will continue to work tirelessly for the people of Stamford and I welcome your feedback and suggestions. If you ever need anything or have a concern, contact me anytime on my personal cell phone at 203-962-4619 or email me at caroline.simmons@cga.ct.gov.

Sincerely,


Business Growth And Job Creation

As Commerce Chair, my top priority was to support business growth, job creation, and workforce training programs to grow our economy. I was proud to introduce and help pass on the House floor the following bills:

  • Expanding Mobile Manufacturing Training Labs: This bill aims to expand mobile manufacturing labs to community colleges and public schools across the state so that students can learn manufacturing skills. (PA 18-24)
  • Expedited Permitting for Businesses: Combined, these laws (PA 18-146 and PA 18-17) will improve the permitting process and create a one-stop, online permit portal. Together, the legislation gets companies up-and-running with new jobs for the economy  – faster and with less red tape.
  • Unveiled the Connecticut Made Initiative: As Chair of Commerce, I was proud to help launch the new Made in Connecticut initiative to highlight the many small businesses that make or manufacture their products locally. To learn more, visit: ct.gov/ctmade
  • Business Marketing Efforts: This session, I led a working group of public and private sector marketing experts to discuss ways to better promote the positives of CT, better tell our story, and recruit more businesses and jobs to CT.

Environment

  • I supported legislation to increase the use of clean energy, improve our air quality, and to fight climate change. This comprehensive bill increases our state targets for use of renewable energy, gives towns more opportunities to use renewables, provides better safeguards for our energy efficiency funding, and restores $10 million toward homeowner energy efficiency upgrades. (PA 18-82, PA 18-50, PA 18-81)

Health Care

  • I was proud to co-sponsor legislation aiming to reduce the cost of prescription drugs and increase transparency requirements on drug companies. (PA 18-41)
  • I also joined colleagues in standing up for health care rights for families in CT, including coverage for preventative screenings and prenatal care. (PA 18-10)

Education

  • Supporting Stamford Schools continues to be one of my top priorities. I fought again this session to secure $11,252,502 in ECS aid for Stamford, an increase of 6.6% over what the city received in FY 18.
  • I also supported legislation that would ban the governor from cutting our education funding.  This bill was vetoed but passed with enough votes in the House and Senate to override his veto.
  • I was proud to speak up for and support legislation requiring Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum to be taught in CT Public Schools (PA 18-24)

Transportation

  • Thanks to your feedback and advocacy, I helped fight back against DOT’s proposed fare increases on trains and buses and fortunately the fare hikes were cancelled!
  • I fought to maintain state aid in the amount of $1,235,501 to help fix Stamford roads, bridges, rails, and other projects. Our total town aid for this year remains at $19,240,185.
  • I continued to call for stronger oversight of DOT to hold the agency accountable for transportation projects and for protecting funding to our transportation infrastructure.

Fiscal Sustainability

  • Getting our fiscal house in order is critical to CT’s future. I continued to call for fiscal sustainability measures, and this year, we passed a bipartisan budget with no tax increases that finally added surplus revenues to the Rainy Day Fund instead of spending them all.

Capitol Update 2018 (pdf)