Weekly News April 30 - May 6

May 5, 2017

It's been another busy week in Hartford and I'm pleased to say that I have great news to share!

On Tuesday the House passed legislation I introduced with Sen. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) to ban the discredited practice of conversion therapy.

From CT News Junkie

Conversion therapy refers to a range of practices intended to change a minor's sexual orientation or gender identity. HB 6695 bans health care providers from practicing conversion therapy and also prohibits any individual from practicing conversion therapy for compensation.

Conversion therapy is a dangerous practice that can have lasting mental health consequences. The nation's leading health care organizations have rejected conversion therapy as a legitimate practice.

LGBTQ youth don’t need to be changed or ‘fixed’ – what they need is our acceptance and support. Tuesday's bipartisan vote sends a strong message about Connecticut’s values. I’m proud to be able to say that the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth is not a partisan issue in our state. You can watch a video of my speech in support of the bill on the House floor below.

We don’t achieve great things in Hartford alone, so I'd like to thank the 100+ co-sponsors, including all the House and Senate Republican and Democratic leaders, for their support. Also, an emphatic thank you goes out to the coalition of advocates, especially those at the CT Equality Coalition, for the calls, emails and face-to-face meetings they had encouraging our colleagues to sign on and ultimately support this important legislation.

We also passed HB 5584 this week, which would establish a state-wide small business hotline where businesses will be able to get the guidance they are looking for on state programs and funding opportunities – all from a live staff member. The hotline will provide information on starting and fostering small companies, and other services including networking opportunities and financial assistance resources.

The bill passed with bipartisan support and has received the support of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), the state’s largest business organization, with thousands of member companies, small and large, representing a diverse range of industries from every part of the state.

Both of these bills will now go to the Senate, where I hope they will act on them quickly.

On Tuesday evening I attended the Eugene Policelli Service Awards in South Windsor and presented citations to the awardees. The Policelli Awards were established by the South Windsor Board of Education to recognize the volunteerism and to honor the memory of Dr. Eugene Policelli and his service to the Town of South Windsor. Dr. Policelli served on the SW Board of Education from 1985 to 1998.

Each year up to three adults and three students may be selected for the award. The candidates are those who have made a difference in the South Windsor community and beyond through their exemplary volunteer service.

Congratulations to the awardees: Emily Appleton, Lindsey Cartier, Sandra Jeski, and Daniel Rezende!

Me, Rep. Tom Delnicki, Mayor Carolyn Mirek and Sen. Tim Larson (far right) with the awardees

On Wednesday I met with owners and employees from Gengras and Hoffman auto dealerships in East Hartford to discuss HB 7097, which would allow the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles to issue a new or used car dealer's license to an electric vehicle manufacturer. Under current CT law, car manufactures must sell their vehicles through a dealership.

Tolls: CT vs. Surrounding States

With the ongoing discussions regarding the state budget deficit, I’d like to hear your feedback regarding revenues from tolls. All of Connecticut's neighboring states have tolls roads which bring in millions of dollars in revenue a year, while drivers from other states pay nothing to use our roads. Click here to take a quick survey on tolls.

Congressman John Larson is holding a community discussion on Tuesday, May 9th from 8:30 to 10 AM at Goodwin College in East Hartford regarding construction of a large-scale tunnel project which would replace a significant area of Hartford's highway system. Learn more and register here.


East Hartford is being featured in WFSB - Channel 3 Eyewitness News's 20 Towns in Twenty Days series in a segment airing TONIGHT, May 5 at 5 pm and 5:30 pm. WFSB is hosting a watch party at Mickey’s Oceanic Grill, and will be broadcasting live from the event. The segment will showcase the beauty of East Hartford and the many amenities and opportunities our community offers.

Click here for the town meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The free all-day dog festival, Paws in the Park, takes place on Saturday, May 6 from 9:30am to 3:00 pm at Nevers Park. There will be dog contests, dog demonstrations, food, kids' activities such as a Moon Bounce and spin art, and photo opportunities.The event benefits the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation, South Windsor Bark Park and T.R.A.C.S (Tyler Regional Animal Care Shelter). For more information, visit www.swjaycees.org/paws.php.

Click here for the public meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The 8th Annual Taste of Manchester will be Tuesday, May 9th from 5:30 to 9:00 pm. Local restaurants and businesses participate to provide a sampling of their menu items. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Manchester Dog Owners Group.

Click here for the full town calendar.


Connecticut residents and visitors can discover vineyards throughout the state by participating in the Passport to Connecticut Farm Wineries program – the state’s annual promotion offering incentives to visitors who support the local businesses.

To participate, guests can obtain a booklet at any of the state’s 37 farm wineries. Each time they visit a new winery during the season, they should bring the passport with them and have it stamped. Once they have obtained at least 16 stamps, they can enter to win a number of prizes. A complete listing of Connecticut’s wineries and additional information is available at www.passporttoctfarmwine.com.

I was proud to vote in support of HB 7161, which requires greater disclosure of the fees charged under retirement plans. Hidden fees can eat up a significant portion of a middle-class family’s retirement savings. The bill now heads to the Senate, where I hope they will take action quickly. See the bill information here.

If you own a manufacturing company and are interested in talking to Connecticut technical high school students about career pathways in the industry please join us at the Student - Manufacturer Connection Fair on Monday, May 22 at the State Capitol. Contact Rep. Linehans’s office to RSVP. Learn more here.

This is how we move our state forward: by fostering smart partnerships with businesses and giving them the tools and resources they need to grow. Electric Boat's workforce has surpassed 15,000 employees - and more hires are planned.The training programs available at Connecticut’s technical high schools and community colleges play a crucial role in preparing our workforce to fill these highly-skilled positions. Read more here.

Additionally, the federal government's spending bill is expected to provide additional funding for work at Electric Boat, Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney. Learn more here.

Good news for the housing sector: home sales across Connecticut went up in March. In 2016, Connecticut home sales reached their highest level in nine years. Last month’s numbers make me optimistic that this trend will continue. Read more here.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A full calendar of all events happening at the Capitol next week, including public hearings, is available on the General Assembly website.

You can find the agenda for public hearings on the calendar by clicking on the calendar item and following the link to the committee page. For instructions on how to testify at a public hearing, please click here.