Weekly News March 19 - 25

March 24, 2017

It's hard to believe that we are approximately halfway through the legislative session! With that in mind, I thought this would be a good time to provide updates on some of the legislation I've been working on.

Today, the Public Health Committee passed HB 6695, a bill I have introduced with Sen. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) that would prohibit health care professionals from practicing conversion therapy on minors, with bipartisan support. Conversion therapy is the discredited practice of trying to change someone's sexual orientation or gender identity, and I am hopeful that we will ban the use of this dangerous practice on minors this year.

I have also introduced legislation with Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-Fairfield) that would exclude mileage and other reimbursements to legislators from our pension calculations. As many have pointed out over the years, it's not financially prudent for legislators to effectively be reimbursed twice for travel expenses. There was a public hearing for the bill today in the Appropriations Committee.

Another proposal which I have co-sponsored, SB 2, would develop a more equitable education cost sharing grant formula. I have been working on this legislation with Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), Rep. Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford/Manchester) and Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey, along with the CT School Finance Project. This bill would ensure that schools and towns get the state funding for education they deserve. The bill is expected to pass the Education Committee today, and we continue to work on it as it advances. Learn more about the CT School Finance Project here.

Several other proposals that I have co-sponsored have advanced this session, including legislation to continue CT's Two-Gen initiative, which was passed by the Human Services Committee. Measures to advance pay equity and promote small business development have received public hearings. I will continue to update you as the legislative process moves forward.

You can find a list of all the legislation I have introduced or co-sponsored this session here.

On Tuesday South Windsor approved Phase 2 of its Elementary Schools Plan by a large margin!

Coming up, South Windsor will celebrate the opening of the new Orchard Hill Elementary in August 2017 and look forward to groundbreaking events in 2019 for both Eli Terry and Philip R. Smith Elementary Schools. Congratulations to all of the parents, teachers, and community members who made this happen! A special shout out to Daria Plummer for her advocacy and organizational efforts! Learn more about the elementary schools plan here.

Today South Windsor students came to Hartford for Art at the Capitol sponsored by Sen. Tim Larson. Students presented their unique artworks to an audience in the Senate Chamber. Congratulations to all the students on this well-deserved recognition!

Students in the Senate chamber with their artwork

Sen. Tim Larson listens to a student present his artwork

Foodshare's Annual Walk Against Hunger will be held on May 7 at Liam E. McGee Memorial Park in Hartford. There will be food trucks, face painting, photo booths, music, and giveaways. Foodshare is a nonprofit organization working to end hunger in our communities. Register here!


Disney's "Aladdin Kids" will be showing at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center on Saturday, March 25 at 1 pm. Talented children age 7-15 years old from several communities in the Greater Hartford area will be performing in this production, which lasts approximately 40 minutes. A great show for children and families! More information is available here.

Click here for the town meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


A South Windsor Community Conversation: Opioid and Heroin Addiction Forum will be held on Tuesday, March 28, at 6:30-8:00pm in the Friends Room at the SW Public Library. A group of panelists, including medical professionals and law enforcement, will speak and there will be time for discussion at the end of the program. Click here for more information.

Click here for the public meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The Board of Education will meet on Monday, March 27 at 7:00 PM in the Lincoln Center Hearing Room in Town Hall. View the agenda here.

Click here for the full town calendar.


Do you own or work for a company that relies on people in computer-based occupations? Take Connecticut's Tech Talent survey to help the state identify gaps in training and retaining this workforce. The Department of Economic and Community Development's Technology Talent Fund works to ensure Connecticut companies will have the pipeline of talent that they need.

Last weekend the nonprofit organization True Colors held its annual conference at UConn for LGBTQ youth. Speakers included Comptroller Kevin Lembo, who has also been a proponent of my legislation to ban the use of conversion therapy on minors.

A new report shows that for the fifth year in a row employment has grown in Connecticut’s tourism sector! Learn more here.

Protecting our environment should not be a partisan issue. The threat of global warming is real and these severe cuts to the EPA are a risk to our state and to our nation. Read more here.

This week the Commerce Committee advanced legislation that would create a small business hotline in Connecticut to give business owners easy access to the information about business resources. Learn more about pro-business bills we're working on 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.