Weekly News May 7 - 13

May 12, 2017

It's been another busy week in Hartford and I have exciting news to share!

Previously in the House, we passed legislation I introduced along with Sen. Beth Bye (D-West Hartford) to ban the practice of conversion therapy in Connecticut. On Wednesday, the Senate also passed this bill and it was quickly signed into law by Governor Malloy!

A photo I snapped as Governor Malloy signed the bill into law, with Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman looking on!

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. This law is an important step forward in ensuring all of Connecticut's LGBTQ youth feel accepted and supported.

Thanks once again to all of the legislators and advocates who made this happen!

The voting board lit up in green for a unanimous vote on HB 5442

This week the House unanimously passed legislation intended to prevent forced child marriages.

HB 5442, An Act Concerning The Legal Age To Marry In This State, bans anyone from marrying under the age of 16, and requires 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain parental consent and the approval of a Probate Court judge.

Connecticut currently has no minimum age beneath which a child cannot marry. 16- and 17-year-olds can marry with parental consent and children 15 and under can marry with judicial approval and parental consent.

Many of us in the legislature were shocked to learn that there was no minimum age to marry in Connecticut, and it was clear this oversight needed to be corrected. This bill protects our children by helping ensure no minor is forced into a marriage against their will.

We also passed HB 5077 to curb the opioid abuse epidemic by allowing pharmacies to accept and dispose of unused drugs. Up to 50 pharmacies may establish such a program in the first year, with up to an additional 50 being added each year after. Leftover opioid prescriptions are dangerous because they can fall into the wrong hands, being sold on the street or otherwise abused. Encouraging their safe disposal can help prevent abuse and addiction.

You can view a list of all the bills passed by the House so far this session here.

Rep. Tom Delnicki (R-South Windsor), CT Humane Society Director and former State Rep. Annie Hornish, and me

On Saturday I met with Humane Society Supporters at the South Windsor Library to discuss issues concerning animal welfare. Thanks to everyone who came out to chat! You can learn more about the CT Humane Society here.


The 5th Annual Wellness Fair will be held tomorrow, May 13 at the East Hartford Community Cultural Center from 10 AM to 2 PM. The event will include free health screenings, educational materials, healthy products, fitness and cooking demonstrations, and more. Learn more here.

Click here for the town meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The regular Town Council meeting will be held on Monday, May 15th at 7:00 PM. You can find the agenda here.

Click here for the public meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The Silk City Board Game Group, hosted by the Manchester Public Library, will meet on Saturday May 13 from 12 to 4:30PM. Over 100 games will be available to play. The event will be in the library's Howroyd Program room, and light refreshments will be served. Click here to learn more.

Click here for the full town calendar.


The New England Carousel Museum in Bristol is promoting its new event offerings, including drawing classes, evening lectures, Princess Teas, and Mardi Gras parties. This Museum displays an array of antique wooden carousel pieces and has a working carousel. Learn more about the Museum here.

I'm happy to announce that the world renowned Connecticut-based Jackson Laboratory has partnered with the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System to better prepare students for careers in bioscience and biotechnology. Connecticut is home to many well know companies and growing startups working in the bioscience field. The effort, called a "Genomics Workforce Institute," is intended to promote professional development, faculty collaboration, training for students, curriculum development and access to potential employers. This collaboration will keep students in Connecticut with well-paid, high-skilled jobs. Learn more here.

I remain committed to the Citizens’ Election Program and clean elections. Cutting this program could lead to outside shadow groups gaining the upper hand over ordinary citizens in state elections. Learn more here.

The state's abundance of large health insurers, healthcare providers, and research institutions puts us in a prime position to become a hub of health-tech innovation. Several organizations are proposing to create a "digital-health" incubator in Hartford that would give researchers and startups a place to experiment and test their technology or ideas. 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.