Weekly News March 26 - April 1

March 31, 2017

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

It's been another busy week in Hartford!

Work in committees is starting to wind down, as many committees have already passed their deadline to move bills out of committee and onto the House or Senate. My focus is now on finishing up work in the Judiciary Committee and making final recommendations from our Appropriations Sub-Committee to the Appropriations Committee leadership for continued debate and discussion. Please be sure to monitor any bills that you have an interest in and continue to reach out with any questions and/or concerns.

Tuesday, April 4 is Safe Havens Awareness Day.

Since its passage in 2000, Connecticut’s Safe Havens law has saved 27 infants from abandonment and near certain death.

The law allows anyone to drop off a newborn baby (30 days old or younger) at any hospital emergency room in Connecticut. The person dropping off the baby will remain anonymous, and the police will not be called.

By providing parents in distress a blame-free option, the law prevents infant abandonment and neonaticide. Young women with no support or resources who have just given birth are particularly vulnerable to committing an act of desperation.

Sadly, the recent tragic discovery of an infant's body in a reservoir in Harwinton has shined a spotlight on why we need greater awareness of the law. While it did not move forward this session, I have introduced legislation that would include information about the Safe Havens law in high school health class curriculum. This would be a simple way to increase awareness among a target group - young people - and I hope that we can continue conversation on this proposal in the future.

You can read more about the Safe Havens law and efforts to promote it here.

On Wednesday I met with folks from the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) who were at the Capitol for their lobby day, including my friend Karen O’Connell, former president of the East Hartford teachers’ union.

In my office with Karen

On Thursday I joined fellow legislators in attending a presentation at the Department of Transportation in Newington on the state's Transportation Fund. We continue to work toward solutions to financing our state's infrastructure.

We also discussed a new resource available through the DOT, CT Travel Smart. This is a traveler information service that gives you free live traffic reports and commuter service information to help improve your commute and keep you informed before leaving the house and while on the go.

Today I presented Bella, my legislative intern, with a citation recognizing her work. Bella is a student at Trinity College and one of many interns who put in countless hours of work here at the Capitol!

Bella aspires to double major in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Hispanic Studies. She has chosen this combination out of a passion for advocating on behalf of Latino/Hispanic rights. Bella one day hopes to represent the Dominican Republic in the United Nations. She was a tremendous asset to my office and assisted members of our team whenever called upon. I wish her the best of luck in all her future endeavors and know this is not the last we’ll see of her!


The East Hartford Town Council will be meeting on Tuesday, April 4, between 7:30 and 10:30 PM at the East Hartford Town Hall. View the agenda here.

Parks & Recreation and the East Hartford High School Student Council present the Bunny Breakfast and Egg Hunt. This wonderful event for children ages 10 and younger will be held on Saturday, April 8 between 9:30 and 11:30 am. Tickets are required and are available in the main office of East Hartford High School. Learn more here.

Click here for the town meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The South Windsor Town Council will be holding its regular meeting on Monday, April 3 at 7:00 PM. View the meeting agenda here.

Additionally, the Council will be holding a Special Work Session on Wednesday, April 5 at 6:00 PM, with a half hour included for public participation.

The Easter Bunny is hopping his way to the South Windsor Fire Department (1175 Ellington Road) on Saturday, April 8 from 8am-12pm to make one of his final public appearances before the big day. In addition to a free picture with the Easter Bunny, there will be face painting, kids’ crafts and more. The event is sponsored by the South Windsor Jaycees. For more information, please click here or send an email to community@swjaycees.org.

Click here for the public meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


A blood drive hosted by the American Red Cross will be held on Thursday, April 6 at 1:30 PM at the North United Methodist Church, 300 Parker St. Walk-ins are welcome, or click here to make an appointment online.

Peter Rabbit is making an appearance at the Mary Cheney Library on Saturday, April 8 at 10:30 am to take photos and make crafts. Call 860-645-0577 for more information.

Click here for the full town calendar.


The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced the weekend closure of the I-84 Connector from the Founder’s Bridge (Route 2 East) to I-84 Eastbound on the weekend of April 1 to work on bridge reconstruction. For ramp closure and detour information, click here.

Colt will be adding 100 jobs over the next five years! Colt’s Manufacturing Company is purchasing its West Hartford headquarters and manufacturing facility and making new investments to expand operations and grow jobs in Connecticut. Learn more here.

Innovation is a principal driver of U.S. economic growth. In 2016, the U.S. spent an estimated $514 billion on research and development — more than any other country in the world – and Connecticut was one of the most innovative states in the nation. Read more here.

Keep an eye out for a scam about work-from-home job offers. If something seems too good to be true it probably is! Learn more here.

The tourism industry represents an increasingly important part of the state’s economy. I am working with a range of local organizations to bring in more visitors. Learn more here.

CTfastrak has provided more than 5 million passenger rides since it opened in March of 2015. Now we are seeing new mixed-used developments popping up all along the route, bringing life to neighborhoods that were previously unoccupied. 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.