Update - March 15

March 15, 2024

In just a few short days, we'll welcome spring (after a winter that never really was). With the spring comes renewal, as flowers begin to bloom, and people come out of their own winter hibernations. I'm looking forward to the warmer days and while we're in session we don't leave early enough to see the evening light, it is nice to know the sun is setting later than 5:30 p.m. 

As spring starts next week, I look forward to seeing my constituents out and about. If you see me, please feel free to say hello, or feel free to reach out to my office if we can be of assistance.

This newsletter includes:

  • Public Hearings for the Week of March 18
  • Early Voting is Here: What You Need to Know
  • Around the LOB
  • HB 5001 Passes out of the Aging Committee
  • CT Newsjunkie Feature Article on Childcare
  • Celebrating St. Patrick's Day & Torrington Representation
  • Friendly Hands Food Bank Seeks Sponsors for May Golf Tournament
  • THS String Quartet Concert
  • Life Skills with Northwest CT Chamber of Commerce
  • Torrington Area Model Railroaders Spring Open House
  • Family Bicycle Rally
Public Hearings the Week of March 18
Here's the schedule of public hearings being held the week of March 18. Please remember that you only need to register if you wish to provide testimony. If you want to observe the hearings, you can tune in to watch the proceedings live on the committee’s YouTube channel.

You can register to testify and find more details on public hearings, including the bills that will be heard, in the CGA Bulletin. Access the Bulletin HERE

Early Voting is Here: What You Need to Know
Early voting options are now available thanks to the work of the Connecticut General Assembly last session, and later this month, voters in the state will take to the polls to vote in the 2024 presidential primary.

This legislation was made possible by a state Constitutional amendment approved by a wide majority of Connecticut voters in 2022. It will provide you - and voters across the state - with more flexibility and access to cast your vote with the confidence that your voice is heard and your civic duty is fulfilled, while avoiding large crowds and scheduling conflicts.

Anticipating that you may have questions about this new process, I hope the guide below will be helpful in providing information to answer them.

Here's what you need to know:

When is early voting?

For the April 2 presidential preference primary election, early voting will take place from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. on March 26, 27, 28, and 30. Due to Good Friday and Easter, there will be no early voting on Friday, March 29, or Sunday, March 31.

Early voting for the August 13 primary elections will take place between August 5 and August 11.

Early voting for the November 5 general election will take place between October 21 to November 3.

Is my early voting location the same as my regular voting location?

Not necessarily. Each town will have at least one early voting location, and municipalities with a population of 20,000 or more will have the opportunity to add additional locations. You can find your early voting location on your municipality's website, at MyVote.ct.gov, or by calling 860-509-6200.

Are there deadlines to be aware of?

Monday, March 25 at noon is the deadline to register with a political party to vote in the early voting period for the presidential preference primary.

Monday, April 1 at noon is the deadline for registering in person with your registrar of voters or town clerk to vote on April 2, and for unaffiliated voters to enroll in a party for in-person voting.

If you are not yet registered to vote, file your registration application with your town's registrar of voters by noon on the business day before the day you want to vote, or click here to register.

Voting is one of our country's most privileged and fundamental rights, and your participation is crucial in shaping the future. Let’s amplify the impact of our collective voice – start voting early!

Please don't hesitate to reach out to my office with any further questions on this new and exciting initiative!

Around the LOB
Public hearings continue but are getting closer to wrapping up for the session. The Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker testified before the Education Committee on Wednesday. Wednesday was a multitasking day, with hearings happening in both Education and Public Health that overlapped. See how I manage it below!
At the Human Services Committee public hearing on Thursday, we had 12 bills on the agenda and 57 people registered to speak. 
Below is a video of some of my fellow legislators celebrating women legislators during Women's History Month. Click the image to watch the video through Facebook.
HB 5001 Passes Out of Committee
HB 5001, An Act Supporting Connecticut Seniors and the Improvement of Nursing and Home-Based Care, passed out of the Aging Committee on March 12. 

HB 5001 is a large omnibus bill that addresses several elder-related issues, such as creating guidelines to protect older residents who live in assisted living facilities from financial and physical harm, providing resources to those who wish to age in their own home, and additional training to help improve the quality of care from homecare workers. It is one of five bills that Speaker Ritter designated as a legislative priority.

If passed, HB 5001 will implement several measures, such as:

  • Create a registry of all homecare workers
  • Expand training for homecare workers, specifically for dealing with harassment, abuse, and discrimination of caregivers
  • Expand training opportunities for family members taking care of the elderly
  • Expand the number of fingerprint-scanning locations to make them more accessible to job candidates
Childcare: Potential Path to Sustainable Businesses & Stronger Children
CT Newsjunkie recently featured an article that childcare has the potential to improve the lives of children and their caregivers. The article features an interview with Jessica Sager, co-founder and CEO of New Haven-based All Our Kin. 

Family childcare is a business, run by licensed providers. It often has fewer children (to meet child-teacher ratio requirements) and offers flexible options for parents who might not work a 9-5 job. 

study conducted by the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut found that for every dollar All Our Kin spends on programming, it results in $15-$20 of macroeconomic benefit. 

Sager also described why childcare outside of the home is so crucial for young children.

“We know that the earliest years are foundational for their attitudes towards learning, for their empathy, and their cognitive, executive, and social-emotional skills. These years help shape the people they become, so childcare really matters,” she said.

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day at Hartford Parade
Torrington representation at the Hartford St. Patrick's Day Parade on March 9!
Sponsorships Sought for Friendly Hands Food Bank Golf Tournament
Torrington High School String Quartet Concert
The award-winning Torrington High School String Quartet will perform their All-State program on Wednesday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m. in the THS Little Theatre. This will be the only time you can hear them perform their All-State program.

Come out and support these hard-working students from THS!

Aisley Harrison - Violin
Chloe Bayat - Violin
Emily Tacuri Penaranda - Viola and Rosangel
Baez Batista - Cello

Northwest CT Chamber of Commerce Presents: Life Skills
If you're a student in grades 8-12, consider attending this Life Skills event through the Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce on April 6 at Torrington Library. 
Torrington Area Model Railroaders Spring Open House
Family Bicycle Rally