Weekly News Jan. 15-21

January 21, 2017

The 2017 legislative session is in full swing, and I have a lot of news to share!

This morning I attended a program hosted by Hartford area non-profits called Entry to Exit that discussed how the Greater Hartford Coordinated Access Network (CAN) is working to end homelessness. I met with homeless service providers and learned about the great progress being made to help individuals and families facing homelessness.

In February 2016, Connecticut was recognized as the second state to end homelessness among all veterans. Now, Connecticut has reached another major milestone by ensuring that all chronically homeless individuals are matched to appropriate housing.

Recently, Connecticut received a $6.6 million federal grant to end youth homelessness by 2020. The funding will be used to create new and innovative housing with support services for young people. Connecticut has made incredible progress in this area, and ending homelessness is within our reach.

To learn more about CT’s Coordinated Access Network, please visit:http://cceh.org/work/coordinated-access/

On Tuesday I attended the CT River Valley Chamber of Commerce’s legislative breakfast at Goodwin College sponsored by AT&T. This gave business and education leaders an opportunity to hear firsthand what to expect in the 2017 Session from Glastonbury and East Hartford state legislators.

From left to right: Me; Rep Tweedie; Rep Rojas; John Emra, President AT&T CT; Abby Jewett, Director External and Legislative Affairs, AT&T; Rep Genga; Mary Ellen Dombrowski, Chamber President; Rep Srinivasan; Mark Scheinberg, President Goodwin College

The mission of the Chamber is to promote the business community, the overall economic climate and an enhanced quality of life in Glastonbury & East Hartford. You can learn more about them on their website.

I also met with friends and advocates from the Chrysalis Center to discuss the upcoming session, specifically how it relates to services within the Human Services area. The Chrysalis Center is a non-profit organization based in Hartford that provides social services and develops affordable housing.

They help people living in poverty who struggle with mental illness, substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, release from incarceration and homelessness. It’s important that we, as legislators, hear from concerned residents about the places and programs that may be impacted during this budget season.

Friends and advocates from the Chrysalis Center visiting the Legislative Office Building

On Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting with some folks from HARC at the Legislative Office Building. Based in Hartford, HARC provides services to people and families with intellectual and related disabilities. HARC’s annual “Have a HARC Day” will be held at the Legislative Office Building on Tuesday, February 14 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. To learn about how you can help advocate, please click here.

Friends and advocates from HARC visiting the Legislative Office Building

From left to right: Rep. Arconti, Sen. Linares, Rep. Siegrist, Rep. Feguson, me, and Reps. Albis, Davis, Scanlon, Stafstrom, Szredinski, Boyd, Simmons, and Carney by the Nathan Hale statue. Caucus members not pictured here: Reps. Conley, Dimassa, Elliot, Lesser, Luxenberg, McGee, Ritter, Rosario, and Soto.

CT’s Young Legislator’s Caucus held its first meeting of the 2017 Session Thursday, where I proudly seconded the nomination for Representative David Arconti (D- Danbury) for co-chair. I’d like to thank Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Branford) for his leadership over the last two years and look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle during our term.

As previously mentioned in a number of updates, Connecticut is a leader in applying the "Two-Generational Practice" (Two-Gen) in social services to help children and parents succeed. The Two-Gen approach is about intentionally working with the parent and child together so that the child is ready for school success and the parents are ready to succeed in jobs that pay family-sustaining wages.

As we continue to work with our designated sites, including those here in the Greater Hartford region, we strive to make connections to caregivers and families in an effort to provide the tools necessary to advocate for a 2Gen model throughout our state. To that end, the first-ever Two-Gen Parent Academy is being held Saturday, February 4 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Legislative Office Building at 300 Capital Ave, Hartford.

This free event is for parents in the Greater Hartford Region who want to find and keep better jobs and help their children succeed in school. Workshops will range from nuts-and-bolts issues such as how to turn a good idea into a thriving small business, to public speaking skills, to topics as wide-reaching as building self-esteem. More information is available here.

An attorney from Greater Hartford Legal Aid will be available to answer your legal questions on Friday, January 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Raymond Library on 840 Main Street. This is a free service. View the library calendar here.

Click here to view the community events calendar. To view the town meetings calendar, click here.

There will be an Economic Development Commission special meeting on Wednesday, January 25 at 6 p.m. in the Madden Room at Town Hall.

Click here to view the community events calendar. To view the town meetings calendar,click here.

Our Companions Animal Rescue holds their January Meet & Greet with adoptable pets on
Saturday, January 21 from 10am – 12 p.m. at the Our Companions Valerie Freedman Program Center. The center is located at 34 C Sanrico Drive in Manchester.

There will be a Board of Education meeting on Monday, January 23 at the Lincoln Center on 494 Main Street.

To view the entire calendar of town events, click here.

In The News

Increased production at Pratt & Whitney has been a boon to the state's aerospace suppliers. And with growing demand comes a need for more workers. We need to continue to support efforts to educate Connecticut’s students about manufacturing, from middle school through college, so that manufacturers will be able to find skilled workers in Connecticut.

Connecticut's House leadership has introduced a package of 10 bills that will encourage job growth, make Connecticut more affordable for our seniors, and keep our young graduates living and working in Connecticut. I'm proud to support these efforts to move Connecticut forward. You can read more in the Hartford Business Journal here and find a full list of the bills here.

Upcoming General Assembly Meetings and Events

Appropriations Committee Public Hearing on topic of Juan F. settlement
LOB Room 2E, 10 a.m.

Appropriations Committee Public Hearing on topic of SEBAC pension agreement
LOB Room 2E, 10 a.m.

Education Committee: The School Construction Project Priority List Review Committee Meeting
LOB Room 2D, 10:30 a.m.

CT Women's Council: Capitol Happenings, CAP Room 310, 5:30 p.m.

To view the full list of CGA meetings, please click here.