Weekly News March 5 - 11

March 10, 2017

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

On Monday I held a press conference along with LGBTQ advocates in support of legislation I've introduced with Sen. Beth Bye to ban health care professionals from practicing conversion therapy on minors in Connecticut - House Bill 6695, An Act Concerning The Protection Of Youth From Conversion Therapy.

Speaking at the press conference alongside legislators and LGBTQ advocates

Conversion therapy is the damaging and discredited practice of trying to change an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity, and it can have lasting negative mental health consequences. LGBTQ advocates from the CT Coalition for Equality, House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, and Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff all spoke in support of the bill. You can watch video of my remarks and Rep. Ritter's here.

On Tuesday I testified in favor of the bill at the Public Health Committee public hearing. I was honored that Comptroller Kevin Lembo also testified in support of this legislation.

With Comptroller Kevin Lembo in the Legislative Office Building

You can read my testimony here. Protecting our LGBTQ youth is a cause that's incredibly important to me, and I hope that with broad bipartisan support (over 70 co-sponsors and counting), including the Democratic and Republican leaders in the House, this legislation will be passed by the General Assembly this session.

On Wednesday the House was in session, and it was also International Women's Day. International Women's Day commemorates the women's rights movements. Myself and many other legislators wore red to show our support for gender equity.

In red with Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey

While we have come a long way, there is still work to be done to remove barriers to women’s social and economic advancement. I'm proud to support legislation this session that would require employers to provide equal pay to employees doing the same job, House Bill 5591. I will continue to do all I can to champion gender equity in Connecticut.

Secretary of the State Denise Merrill speaks in front of the Prudence Crandall statue

On Wednesday I attended the annual recognition ceremony of Connecticut State Heroine Prudence Crandall held by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. This year, the ceremony was also a memorial for Rep. Betty Boukus, a great legislator and dear friend to many who passed away last year. Rep. Boukus led the charge to commission the Prudence Crandall statue in the Capitol.

At the ceremony with Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey

In 1995, students from New Canaan proposed naming Prudence Crandall Connecticut’s state heroine. Soon after, students in Bristol came up with the idea of erecting a statue in her honor. Rep. Boukus took on the cause of commissioning the statue, which was unveiled in 2008.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that the the Route 2 Westbound, East Hartford Exit Ramp to Governor Street will be closed starting on Monday, March 13 so that work to replace the bridge can begin.

The bridge will be closed until its anticipated completion in November 2017. The work is being conducted as part of the on-going $22 million bridge replacement and rehabilitation project within the Route 2 / I-84 Interchange. Information on detours and lane closures is available here.

Capitol Information and Tours - the group operated by the League of Women Voters of Connecticut Education Fund, Inc. that provides tours to Capitol visitors - is now accepting applications for one paid summer intern tour guide position. Applicants must have completed at least one year of college. Click here for the job description and find the application here.

Applications may be returned to the LOB west entrance tour desk or Room 101 of the Capitol. The application deadline is March 31st. Interviews will be conducted in early April, and hiring will be decided in May.


The East Hartford Town Council will be holding a special meeting on Tuesday, March 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Council Chamber. The Council will adopt the town’s budget and fix the mill rate. More information is available here.

Click here for the town meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The South Windsor Youth and Family Services Department will be holding their Baby Steps Program on Tuesday, March 14th between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m. New mothers are encouraged to attend with children up to 10 months old. Children can play while the Parent Educator will provide helpful tips on raising young children. RSVP to Kelly McKenney at 860-648-6361 EXT. 320 or Kelly.Mckenney@southwindsor.org.

Click here for the public meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


Manchester Travel Basketball is sponsoring a basketball game between the Manchester Police Department and the Manchester Fire Department. The game will be held at Clarke Arena, Manchester High School on Thursday, March 16th. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are $5.00, Seniors (60 and over) $3.00, and children under 6 are free! Proceeds will benefit Manchester Travel Basketball and various organizations in the Manchester community. More information is available here.

Click here for the full town calendar.


The demand for products made in Connecticut extends well beyond state and national borders. Internationally, Connecticut is recognized as a leader in aerospace technologies. That sector accounted for some $6.7 billion in exports in 2015, the most recent year for which export data is available. Read more here.

For Consumer Protection Week, here are some tips from the CT Business Bureau to protect your money from scammers:

  1. Shred sensitive documents
  2. Organize important paperwork
  3. Don’t use the same password for more than one account
  4. Enable two-step verification for accounts

You can find more information on the state Department of Consumer Protection and the Better Business Bureau website.

I am happy to see 40 percent of Connecticut business leaders expect improved conditions for their firms, up from 26 percent the previous quarter. This survey by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association is a good reflection of the way Connecticut’s economy is trending.

By simply taking the question "What are you making now?" off of job applications, women could come closer to earning what men do for the same jobs. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in support of legislation to do just this. Learn more here.

Love where you work? Then nominate your employer for the annual Top Workplaces survey. The deadline is March 17th. Learn 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.