Legislative Priorities From Groton Town Council, Stay Connected During Session

January 27, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

We're closing in on the start of the 2024 legislative session on February 7th. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your kind responses regarding the weekly newsletter. The goal is to keep them informative, resourceful, and community-centric. 

I look forward to seeing you next week for a pre-session town hall in New London where I will be joined by fellow state representatives Christine Conley and Anthony Nolan.

In this week's newsletter, we touch on the following topics: 

  • Discussing Groton Legislative Priorities with the Town Council
  • A pre-session town hall reminder
  • No special session on EVs
  • Staying connected this legislative session
  • Repairs coming to Mystic Bridge February 5-6
  • Notice of Review for the Groton Stormwater Management Plan
  • January is Poverty Awareness Month
  •  A reminder about the launch of a new jobseekers portal
  • Community Events and Notices
  • Holocaust Remembrance Day, Saturday


What's Our Rep Been Up To?
This week I joined fellow legislators at the Office of the Connecticut State Treasurer for a comprehensive update on a myriad of topics pertaining to its fiduciary responsibilities.

A big thank you to my friend State

Treasurer Erick Russell for today’s insightful presentation!

This was also very special because I got to reconnect with so many former colleagues I worked with at the agency a few years ago. I enjoyed catching up with many old friends who play key roles in managing our state’s finances.

As a member of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and its bonding subcommittees, I valued the in-depth briefing and was impressed by the progress his office making in its six divisions. Here are some key takeaways that resonated with me:

  • Our pension funds saw an 8.5% return, adding a cool $1.1 billion! The focus on diversifying pension investments to ensure long-term stability and growth is paying off. This is critical for securing the future of our retirees and public employees.
  • Our state is firmly committed to responsible debt management. Last year, we achieved a historic high cash position and snagged credit rating upgrades, lowering borrowing costs for crucial infrastructure and capital projects.
  •  OTT is focused on returning unclaimed property to its rightful owners and modernizing the technology it uses to to reunite people with their lost assets. The office turned over more than $1 billion in funds to 73,000 rightful owners in our state!
  • The landmark CT Baby Bonds program led by the Treasurer received vital funding, aiming to break the cycle of poverty and create opportunities for every child by deploying this first-in-the-nation initiative!
  • The OTT-administered CHET program also welcomed 17,838 new accounts, helping families plan for college.
I appreciate Treasurer Russell’s approach to addressing Connecticut’s fiscal challenges and the opportunity to learn more about important work done by his great team. 
I graduated from ISAAC - Interdistrict School for Arts and Communication at this church. We held our all-school assemblies regularly there. Its steeple defined the city’s skyline for centuries. I am devastated to see the First Congregational Church in the City of New London, collapse.

The before...

...and the after 
This is a tough one for Southeastern CT.

Thank you to our area first responders including the 

City of Groton Firefighters Union for their swift response.

Per the CT Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Urban Search and Rescue (USAR), Connecticut Task Force 1 (CT-TF1) continues to work alongside state and local officials in New London at the scene of the church collapse. Specially trained @CT_STATE_POLICE  K9 units who work with USAR continue to search the rubble.

To read more from the New London Day, please click HERE. To watch some drone footage of the area, please click HERE

While New London is no longer part of the 41st District, the Whaling City has long been Groton’s sister city and we stand with our neighbor in this time of grief.
We support you and are praying for you!

This week, the Mystic River Historical Society shared a history brief on the First Congregational Church:

Discussing Groton Legislative Priorities With the Town Council
I, along with State Representative Chris Conley, and Senator Heather Somers met with the Groton Town Council on Tuesday to hear Council member's requests for Groton before our session beginning on February 7th.
Councilors discussed their goals and priorities, and we identified areas of collaboration on:  increased PILOT funding, funding resilience infrastructure, expanding Shoreline East, housing, and environmental quality measures such as tackling nips pollution.

You can watch the meeting below.

Reminder: Pre-Session Legislative Town Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 31!
I wanted to send another reminder about the upcoming pre-session, legislative town hall at the Public Library of New London on Wednesday, January 31, from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

I will be joined by fellow state representatives Christine Conley and Anthony Nolan.

I hope to see you there!

No Special Session on EVs, But...
As you've probably heard, a special session regarding Electric Vehicles ahead of the start of the 2024 legislative session on February 7th, has been canceled. I, along with members of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, met with Governor Lamont, Department of Transportation Commissioner Garrett T. Eucalitto, and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes this week on the subject.
While we will not be taking up the California Clean Car standards and electric vehicle measures in a special session, I am in strong support of tackling the issue during the 2024 legislative session. You can read more about it in CT Mirror HERE.
Stay Connected This Legislative Session
With the legislative session just around the corner, kicking off on Wednesday, February 7th, I am committed to keeping you informed and engaged in the democratic process. 

The resources below will help you stay updated on crucial developments, events, proposed policies, and key discussions as they happen in Hartford. I urge you to please follow along and get involved.

Here's how you can stay connected and actively participate:  

  • The non-partisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) recently released the 2024 Major Issues Report. This comprehensive document highlights and summarizes key issues the legislature could take up during the upcoming session. 
  • You can view the Connecticut General Assembly's upcoming events by checking out their schedule on the CGA official website
  • Follow CT-N for live coverage of committee meetings, as well as House and Senate floor debates. 
  • You can register to monitor any bill's journey as it goes through the legislative process. By signing up, you can enter the bill number and receive real-time updates. Stay informed with email notifications whenever there's a change in the bill's progress. 
  • Visit this website for information on how to testify on a bill at a public hearing.
  • Together, we can make a positive impact and ensure that our community's needs are represented. 
Heads Up: Repairs to Mystic Bridge Set for Feb. 5 - 6

Repairs need to be made on the Mystic Bridge from the night of February 5 through the morning of February 6. Motorists can expect a full closure and detour for the bridge on Route 1.

The Mystic Drawbridge will be closed to traffic. Detour signs will be set up on the West side to direct traffic to Allyn Street and I-95 northbound.

On the East side, cars will be detoured onto Route 27 Denison Ave to I-95 southbound. The night work schedule for this project is from 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m., Monday – Tuesday.

IDD Informational Forum Tuesday February 13th

The Intellectual or Development Disability (IDD) Caucus invites you to join an informational forum for those who would like to learn more or who have questions regarding what the IDD Caucus entails.

The informational forum will be held on Tuesday, February 13th, in room 1E at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford, at 10 a.m.

Representatives from The ARC CT will be joining to share their experiences, advocate for their goals, and answer any questions.  This will be a great refresher for those seasoned members and an awesome opportunity for newer members or those looking to get involved to receive in-depth knowledge about the caucus. We hope that you are able to join!

Notice of Review: Groton Stormwater Management Plan
An Annual Report summarizing the progress made in implementing the Stormwater Management Plan during 2023 will be available for the 30-day public review period beginning February 15, 2024.

The City of Groton is soliciting questions and comments from the public which will end on March 18, 2024. For more information, please click on the image below.

Mystic Chefs Named Finalists for Prestigious Beard Awards 
Renee, the executive chef for The Port of Call, is a national semifinalist for Outstanding Chef while David, executive chef at The Shipwright's Daughter, is a semifinalist for the Best Chef in the Northeast (Renee was a finalist in the same category last year).

Renee and David are among 20 semifinalists in their categories. Finalists will be announced on April 3, and winners will be revealed during a ceremony in Chicago on June 10. The James Beard Awards are among the biggest in the culinary world. 

You can read more about it along with Renee and David's story

Earlier this year, I joined Office of Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz & Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, Stonington First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough, and Suzie Flores of Stonington Kelp Co. to enjoy a tasting prepared by Chef Standridge with kelp from Stonington Kelp  Co. to celebrate New England Kelp Harvest Week!
The Shipwright's Daughters, Oyster Club, and Shipwright's Daughter’s dedication to sustainable farming and cuisine demonstrates why we are the Sea-to-Table Capital of CT!
Monday: Mystic Seaport Virtual Event on Minorities in Aquaculture 
A virtual conversation with Imani Black, shellfish aqua culturist and founder of Minorities in Aquaculture on Monday, January 29th, at 1:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Discover her graduate research on the Chesapeake Bay's cultural preservation through an ecological anthropology lens at UMCES Horn Point Laboratory. This free conversation requires Zoom registration. Please click on the picture below to secure your spot.

January is Poverty Awareness Month
Why was our EITC increase such a big deal in our fight against poverty?
By changing the rate from 30.5% to 40%, we were able to provide an additional $44.6 million in state tax credits to the approximately 211,000 low-income filers who receive the credit. Typically, more than 95% of filers who receive this credit are families with children.
Reminder: CT Has Launched a Portal for Jobseekers
Connecticut's new jobs portal, jobs.ct.gov, is aimed at assisting state residents — and those seeking to move here — in finding a job. 

Jobs.ct.gov joins health.ct.gov and business.ct.gov as the next service category in Connecticut's ongoing journey toward an all-digital state government that streamlines and improves access to services and resources. Some of the resources available through jobs.ct.gov include:
  • Powerful job search tools
  • Job search tips and personal help
  • Free and low-cost training, certificate, and classroom programs
  • Resources to help employers hire, train, and retain employees

All of the resources are Connecticut-specific and focus on connecting job seekers with a myriad of employment and workforce development opportunities.

The strong and steady statewide economy continues to add jobs, but employers in some industries still face workforce shortages, and jobs.ct.gov will be a valuable resource to them.

This portal also importantly provides employers with information to reach greater numbers of skilled jobseekers from diverse backgrounds, which is critical to a more equitable Connecticut economy.

Community Events and Notices
Saturday: Holocaust Remembrance Day
On the anniversary of Auschwitz in 1945, we remember the millions of victims of the Holocaust…the genocide of 6 million Jews, and the millions of other victims of Nazi atrocities.

Do not hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or concerns you may have at Aundre.Bumgardner@cga.ct.gov or 1-800-842-8267.


Aundré Bumgardner
State Representative


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