May 3rd Update

May 4, 2024

We're in the final stretch of the 2024 legislative session. We've been in session every day this week and we've passed quite a bit of legislation (you can find examples of it below). Every day has been busy up here, including time spent on the dais, but I did get to greet the Hartford Yard Goats mascot Chompers, who was here celebrating Hartford Day. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend.

This newsletter includes:

  • Legislative Updates
  • CT Early Childhood Alliance Advocacy Day
  • Princess Tea Party on Sunday
  • Blood Drive at Torrington Library
  • Statewide Transportation Investment Program (STIP) Meeting on May 15
  • Warner Theatre Moonlight Flight Gala
  • Alzheimer's Walk
  • Street Fair Celebrating Erik Estrada & the "Divine Renovation" Premiere
Supporting Our Seniors
As the elderly population steadily grows, there is an urgency to provide resources and assistance to this community.  During Monday's session, we took a significant step to achieving that goal by passing HB 5001, a top priority for House Democrats this session. 
HB 5001, which passed with bipartisan support, protects and prioritizes elderly residents in our state. This bill: 
  • Makes it easier for seniors to age in place
  • Creates a nursing home database, providing consumers with an easy and reliable way to compare locations around the state
  • Establishes incentives to encourage nursing homes to improve care

I am glad to support a bill that gives seniors the attention and resources that they deserve. The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

Early Childhood Care & Education Bill Passes House Unanimously
High-quality and affordable early childhood care and education contribute to a robust economy and help ensure the success of families and future generations.

Connecticut has one of the highest costs of childcare in the country. It's why we crafted and passed a bill in the House to make childcare and early childhood education more affordable and accessible.

HB 5002:
  • Creates the “Early Childhood Care and Education Fund,” to be used for childcare and early childhood education programs
  • Establishes the Early Childhood Care and Education Fund Advisory Commission that will report on the health of the Fund and annually update recommendations on how to best use its resources
  • Invests in teachers and assistant teachers in state-funded school readiness programs and state-funded childcare programs
  • Requires a study on the availability of space in state-owned properties that may be used for early childhood care and education programs

These are sound investments in our state’s future and will go a long way toward helping parents earn a living and provide for their children’s care and education.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Child & Family Nutrition Bill Passes House Unanimously
I'm committed to the health and well-being of our community’s families and children by joining my colleagues in the House of Representatives to unanimously pass HB 5003. This comprehensive legislation ensures mothers and children who are eligible for federal benefits, such as WIC, are enrolled in these programs with ease and confidence. This bill aims to reduce barriers to participation in WIC.

WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children) enrollment in Connecticut is among the lowest enrollment rates in the country at 46%. Not maximizing participation in this program is resulting in worse outcomes for the health and nutrition of young children. 

This bill:
  • Keeps Connecticut families healthy: It allows Connecticut agencies to more easily enroll children and parents who qualify into federal nutrition assistance programs to keep our families healthy.
  • Promotes outreach and information to access these federal programs that Connecticut underutilizes.
  • Promotes Connecticut farmers by supporting them to participate in these programs at farmers markets. 

When we grow healthy children, they are less likely to develop nutrition-related chronic diseases, they are at a lower risk of cavities/tooth decay, they have improved mental health, and they have improved participation in other social service programs. In general, children are better off when their families participate in WIC.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Supporting Our Disabled Veterans
Veterans put their lives on the line for our country and, as a small way to say “thank you for your service,” the House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would support Veterans who have been disabled during service.

HB 5491 establishes a property tax exemption for veterans who have a service-connected permanent and total disability rating as determined by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. The exemption will be used for a home that is a primary residence, but if a qualified veteran does not own a home, the exemption will apply to a single motor vehicle that they own.

In Connecticut, we have 1,209 veterans who are totally and permanently disabled as a result of their service. These brave men and women have spent their lives fighting to protect our freedoms. It is our turn to support them when they come home with disabilities to ensure they live with dignity and without fear of losing their home.

The bill will now go to the Senate for consideration. This year’s session ends on May 8.

Around the Capitol & LOB
Below are just some of the bills we passed this week in the House:

HB 5491 - Establishes a property tax exemption for veterans who have a service-connected permanent and total disability
HB 5408 – Supports CT businesses by requiring executive branch state agencies to purchase a certain percentage of procured print or digital advertising from in-state commercial or nonprofit news publishers
HB 5458 - Maximizes efforts to aid housing insecure and homeless persons
HB 5198 – Protects healthcare patients and providers by expanding telehealth provisions adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic until June 30, 2027
HB 5320 - Improves hospital financial policies
HB 5365 - Enhances the Human Services Career Pipeline program
HB 5455 – Improves the efficiency of the Department of Social Services in making eligibility determinations for medical assistance and responding to requests for information or assistance
HB 5300 - Authorizes the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to consider certain businesses that do not have their principal business operations in Connecticut to be eligible businesses under the invest CT fund program.
HB 5398 - Requires a study of the use of communication systems by public safety personnel and the sharing of private information
HB 5175 - Provides that purple painted property borders serve as a warning to trespassers
HB 5487 - Makes various revisions relating to the processing of claims filed with the Office of the Claims Commissioner
HB 5239 - Expands the Collegiate Awareness and Preparation program
HB 5142 - Requires the Department of Banking to study and submit a report concerning banking issues in the state

SB 132 - Prohibits the issuance of new licenses for dog racing by the Department of Consumer Protection
HB 5196 - Expands the podiatric scope of practice
HB 5434 - Authorizes the Community and Economic Development Fund to expand business scope
HB 5222 - Establishes a no-wake-zone on the Pawcatuck River
SB 293 - Requires a waste characterization study and needs assessment and increases certain transportation weight limits for vehicles hauling solid waste
HB 5272- An Act Concerning The Expiration Of Certain Land Use Approvals And The New Home Construction Guaranty Fund
HB 5500 - Revises juror compensation, ignition interlock devices, the Department of Correction, judicial retirement salaries, and criminal law and procedure
HB 5279 - Expands eligibility for families of firefighters and police officers who die in the line of duty to receive benefits.
HB 5399 - Protects victims of sexual assault by improving the training and responsibilities of first responders and the Office of Victim Services.
SB 396 - Implements task force recommendations for the elderly nutrition program.
HB 5422 - Strengthens the response to hate and bias crimes.
HB 5004 - Protecting the environment and mitigating the climate crisis.
HB 5226 - Protecting our environment: Establishes a state stewardship program to manage the collection and recycling of certain batteries.
HB 5280 - State law enforcement will join the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN) databank making firearms easier to track.
HB 5430 - Requires a study on migraine treatment for women and veterans, who disproportionately are affected by migraine disorders.
HB 5200 - Improves access to healthcare for disabled people
HB 5436 - Makes it easier to become a teacher in Connecticut
SB 395- Prohibits Connecticut healthcare entities from reporting medical debt to credit agencies
HB 5182 - Makes technical revisions to the education and early childhood statutes.
HB 5199 - Establishes a task force to study the shortage of athletic trainers in the state.
HB 5227 - To require the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to release liens within a certain period of time when such lien has been satisfied.
HB 5283 - To classify parole officers as peace officers.
HB 5330 - Implements the recommendations of the Department of Transportation concerning certain environmental hearings, the Office of the State Traffic Administration, bicycle traffic, traffic authorities, variable speed limits, public transportation, motorcycle helmets and reckless driving.
HB 5437 - Creates the Educator Professional Development Mandate Review Advisory Council, which will advise on the costs and effects of mandates related to educator professional development and in-service training.
SB 222 - Expands Paid Family Medical Leave to include employees who work at businesses that operate on federally recognized tribal land.
Thursday, the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance held its annual advocacy at the Capitol, in support of House Bill 5002, An Act Concerning Early Childhood Care and Education," a priority bill for the caucus. The organization also came to continue to call for action on early childhood care and education priorities.

HB 5002 seeks to establish:
(1) the Early Childhood Care and Education Fund and advisory commission and specify funding for said fund,
(2) a Tri-Share Child Care Matching Program in New London County, and
(3) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2025, a wage supplement and childcare program enhancement grant program. 

(UPDATE: The bill passed Friday evening. It's now heading to the Senate.)

We had a robust turnout for a Mental Health and Wellness Fair at the State Capitol on Thursday. We also had a visit from one of the Hartford Yard Goats mascots "Chompers" during Hartford Day, also on Thursday. 
Princess Tea Party on May 5
You're invited to an afternoon tea party with the princesses! Join Cinderella, Snow White, Moana, Belle, Alice in Wonderland, Elsa, and more, on May 5 at The Nutmeg Fudge Company. For tickets and more information, click HERE.
Torrington Library Blood Drive, May 9
Did you miss the April blood drive at the library? You can sign up for the next one on May 9 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Click HERE to make your appointment, or find the blood drive through the Blood Donor App.

Statewide Transportation Investment Program Meeting on May 15
Two hybrid public meetings will be held on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) on May 15, in person at the CTDOT in Newington or by Zoom. Registration is required. Visit for more information or to register to attend the meeting via Zoom. 
Warner Theatre Moonlight Flight 2024 Gala
The Warner Theatre's 2024 Gala, "Moonlight Flight," will take place May 18, 5 p.m., at the Carole and Ray Neag Performing Arts Center. The event will include a cocktail and hors d'oeuvre reception, an open bar and dinner, and auctions and entertainment. 

For tickets or sponsorship information, contact Kayle Crowley at

Sponsorship for Friendly Hands Food Bank Golf Tournament Available
Alzheimer's Walk in Torrington
Street Fair Celebrating Erik Estrada & the "Divine Renovation" Premiere