Dear Neighbors,

I am pleased to share with you this update on the recently concluded legislative session. Each year, our goal is to forge a path for a stronger Connecticut, and the 2017 session was no different. We worked to pass legislation that improves the lives of working families, encourages economic growth, and makes critical investments in the future of our children, as well as our state.

I am committed to fighting for you and building a solid Connecticut for future generations. The policies we passed support our small businesses, spur workforce development and ensure that we are making Connecticut more affordable for our young people, families and our seniors. Although the regular session has concluded, I will continue to work to keep Connecticut a great place to live, work, and raise a family. This year I worked with the delegation to support funding through the state Department of Housing for The McLevy Square development in downtown Bridgeport. This project promises to be a flagship facility in Bridgeport and will provide a boost to our local economy. It will be a showpiece for a vibrant downtown that will attract people to work, live and invest in our city.

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.

Best wishes,

Pretrial Justice Reform

Under our current system of pretrial detention, low risk offenders are routinely held in jail simply because they cannot afford bail. At the same time, more dangerous offenders are released because they can afford to pay. Under this legislation, 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

Responding to Hate Crimes

Responding to recent incidents of intimidation and bigotry, this law allows certain hate-crime offenders to be placed in community programs aimed at addressing their intolerance, and creates a statewide Hate Crimes Advisory Council. It also imposes minimum fines for certain hate crimes, including cross burning and desecration of property and toughens the penalties for targeting and desecrating a house of worship. This sends a message that we will not accept crimes motivated by hate. It is important that we practice the values we believe and this legislation will bring us one step closer to accomplishing that goal. PA 17-111

Investing in Our Technical Schools

This session we passed legislation that would establish 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

Providing More Tools for Small Business Owners

Running a small business is hard work. We must give entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to succeed. This bill creates a statewide information hotline which will provide prospective and existing small business owners with customized advice, education, and network resources in one place. PA 17-158

Tackling CT’s Opioid Epidemic

Addressing the opioid epidemic was a top priority this session. More people will fall victim to drug overdoses than from car accidents and gun violence combined. We passed new legislation that increases the ease in which people can dispose of unused prescriptions and establishes a marketing campaign on the opioid crisis and availability of overdose-reversal drugs like Narcan. It sets up a real-time online clearinghouse to identify available detox/recovery beds and other treatment programs and increases insurance coverage for detox programs. In addition it increases data sharing between state agencies regarding opioid abuse. This fight is ongoing and I’m proud to be working to mitigate the effects of this epidemic. PA 17-131

Capitol Update 2017 (pdf)