Currey-ently Tracking My Tryptophan

November 21, 2023

Staying Current with Currey
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Friends and Neighbors, 

We’ve hit that time of year again when we begin to reflect on the year past while at the same time switching our focus to the year ahead. As you replay the things you had planned to do or the places you wished to go but didn’t, cut yourself some slack. You’re human and can only be in so many places and do so many things in the short 24 hours a day we’re given. And yes, those hours aren’t guaranteed. But if you do find yourself fortunate enough to give it another try, and if you do start that new day and new year as the Norwegians say, "oppe og ikke gråter" – up and not crying – you’ve already won the first battle of the day.
In the meantime, sources say nice-list negotiations are still ongoing, so regardless of where you land and what Santa already knows, I wish each of you a safe and easy holiday season. May kindness and compassion lead you into the New Year.

Take a read below yourself for news, notes and resources that I hope you find useful.

To stay informed with everything happening in Hartford, click the "At the Capitol, In District, & Beyond" link below, but also please check out the other subject links in this intro to go right to the topic in the body of this email.

You can find additional resources and information on my website. If there's something you need help with that isn't included in this email, please check my website. If you can't find what you're looking for there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

Recently, my Democrat and Republican colleagues on the Education Committee — State Senators Doug McCrory and Eric Berthel; State Representative Kathleen McCarty — penned an op-ed for CT Mirror that details the unprecedented strides toward an equitable state education funding system we have made — and that there is still more work to do.

To read the full op-ed, please click here.

While I did not author it, I also want call attention to another one in The Hartford Courant by Patricia A. Ciccone and Jo Ann Freiberg, who cover a lot of territory including the revamping of "anti-bullying" legislation in Public Act 23-167.  

School districts must now adopt the CT School Climate Policy at their Board of Education level. This change in focus obligates educators to build relationships and community and that will make it school a better place for children and adults alike.

Earlier this month, I attended a listening session with approximately 80 librarians from across Connecticut at the State Capitol. The goal of the listening session was to learn more about the challenges they have been facing in their field, with an eye toward legislation, if warranted. We discussed freedom of speech issues, challenges to books on the shelves, the role of certified media specialists, the licensing of e-books, and other issues that concern libraries. Librarians also spoke of threats and harassment they have faced and the costs of e-book licenses.

Click here to read more about it from CT Examiner.

I encourage eligible high school seniors to apply for the state’s recently launched Connecticut Automatic Admission Program. The deadline to apply for high school seniors who are graduating this spring is January 4, 2024.
The program enables graduating Connecticut high school seniors who meet identified thresholds to be automatically admitted to several participating colleges and universities by filling out one application form, which is available to them at no cost. Graduating seniors in the top 30% of their class – as identified by their individual high school counselors – are eligible.
By simplifying the admissions process and removing application fees, the goal is to make it easier for high school students to seek higher education, particularly among first-generation, low-income, and minority students.

The program is administered by Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) in partnership with the nonprofit organization Common App. This becomes the first state and nonprofit partnership on automatic admission.

The colleges and universities currently participating include:

  • Central Connecticut State University in New Britain
  • Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic
  • Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven
  • Western Connecticut State University in Danbury
  • Mitchell College in New London
  • University of Bridgeport in Bridgeport
  • University of New Haven in New Haven
  • University of St. Joseph in West Hartford
  • Goodwin University in East Hartford

For the most recent round of applications that ended in October, a total of 2,266 students applied, totaling 18,128 offers of automatic admission to participating institutions – as each student received eight offers each. In 2022, there were 1,617 applications, so the program’s applications have already surpassed first-year participation levels.

For more information on the Connecticut Automatic Admission Program, including instructions on how to apply, visit


Soon, more than half of U.S. high school students will be required to take a personal finance course before graduation.

Pennsylvania recently became the 25th state to guarantee a personal finance course for high school students. Starting in the fall of 2026, Pennsylvania schools will provide a mandatory course in personal financial literacy for students.

The momentum for financial education in schools has picked up significant steam this year. Eight states, including Connecticut, adopted policies in 2023 guaranteeing students will take a personal finance course before graduation. 

High school personal finance courses generally teach students real-world lessons about earning income, spending and savings, credit and credit scores, investing, and managing risk, among other topics. These are financial lessons for life. 

Read the Newsletter
Read the Newsletter

Please join me and my legislative colleagues for two Town Hall events in January 2024.

First, the Manchester delegation gathers on January 29, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Lincoln Center (494 Main Street) followed by the East Hartford delegation meeting on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the East Hartford Senior Center (15 Milbrook Drive).

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at or call 860-240-8790.

The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) is releasing $7.2 million in state grants that will be used to support the remediation and assessment of blighted properties in nine municipalities across Connecticut, including East Hartford. The funds will support these communities with investigating and cleaning up these properties so they can be redeveloped and put back into productive use to support economic growth.
The grants are part of DECD's Brownfield Remediation and Development Program, and East Hartford will receive $178,800 to perform various site assessments at a former industrial paper mill site at 87 Church Street. Redevelopment plans include Moxie on the Rocks constructing the country’s first hydro-powered liquor distillery accompanied with a tasting room.
As we ring in the new year, there are some laws that become effective on January 1 that were passed during the 2023 legislative session addressing key issue areas including early voting, health and mental health, and online privacy and data protection.

There will also be an increase in the minimum wage effective January 1 from $15.00 to $15.69 made possible through legislation passed in 2019, which implemented five incremental increases in the minimum wage followed by future adjustments that are tied to the percentage change in the federal employment cost index.

Although extensive, below I share some highlights, and a link to the complete list. Please feel free to share and reach out to my office if you would like more detail on any of the new laws.


Establishes a framework for early, in-person voting requiring a 14-day early voting period for general elections, a seven-day period for most primaries, and a four-day early voting period for special elections and presidential preference primaries.


Includes the creation of a Hospice Hospital at Home pilot program to provide in-home hospice care to patients through in-person visits and telehealth.


Establishes a new license category for freestanding birth centers, an Infant Mortality Relief Program to review medical records and other data on infant deaths and a midwifery working group to study and make recommendations on advancing choices for community birth care.


Makes various changes to laws on data privacy and related issues, including provisions on consumer health data, minors’ social media accounts and online services, online dating operators, and a task force on internet crimes against children.


Among many supportive measures, creates a plan to establish a Transitional Life Skills College program to support certain people with IDD who are transitioning out of high school or to independent living.


Expands eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits for post-traumatic stress injuries to all employees covered by the workers’ compensation law.

List of New Laws Effective January 1, 2024

Your calls, emails, and testimony at public hearings during the legislative session had a direct influence on these new laws. Thank you for your input, and please continue sharing your views and making your voice heard during our legislative process.


In addition to the new laws above, tax relief measures will take effect in Connecticut at the start of 2024, and among them are a state income tax reduction, an increase in a tax credit targeting the lowest-income workers, and an expansion of exemptions on certain pension and annuity earnings to benefit seniors.

These tax cuts are the result of the two-year bipartisan state budget we passed during the 2023 legislative session. In total, the three measures will reduce taxes for Connecticut taxpayers by approximately $460.3 million.

Click on the charts above to enlarge them and see your estimated reduction.


The Town of Manchester was recently awarded a Climate Leader Designation from Sustainable CT, which celebrates the Town's proactive efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change impacts.

Sustainable CT, a voluntary certification program for municipalities in Connecticut, recognizes thriving and resilient communities. As part of this grassroots effort, Sustainable CT provides a diverse set of resources and best practices that towns can adopt to earn points toward various certifications. The Climate Leader Designation is a key component of the program, highlighting municipalities actively addressing climate change challenges.

Community members and interested parties can find more information about the Town's sustainability initiatives on our Sustainable Manchester page.

If you’re interested in getting involved with promoting, recommending, and sharing ideas on the development and implementation of sustainable efforts, I encourage you to learn more about the Manchester Sustainability Commission.


The Connecticut Department of Labor (CTDOL) is urging residents to be aware of a scam targeting job seekers. Criminals are soliciting banking and other information by calling residents and claiming to be an employer registered with CTHires, the state’s job bank.

The attempts to steal personal data through this scam include callers asking for Social Security, bank account, and credit card numbers as well as telling residents they must pay a fee to have their application reviewed for employment. The agency recommends that all unemployment filers, CTHires users, and job seekers stay vigilant about this and other scams targeting residents.

If you think you may be a victim of this or other scams, please visit the CTDOL fraud watch page.

Access Health CT (AHCT) will host seven enrollment fairs in January to help Connecticut residents shop, compare, and enroll or renew their health coverage during the current Open Enrollment period. Enrollment fairs are one-day events offering customers free, in-person help from enrollment specialists. 

Open Enrollment runs through Jan. 15, 2024. Customers who enroll between now and January 15, 2024 will have coverage starting February 1, 2024.

Connecticut residents who are interested in attending the events can book an appointment online at Walk-in appointments are welcome.

The enrollment fairs will take place at the following locations and times:

  • Hamden: Thursday, January 4, 2024 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at ML Keefe Community Center, 11 Pine Street.  Register here.
  • Manchester: Saturday, January 6, 2024 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Whiton Bridge Public Library, 100 North Main Street. Register here.
  • Stratford: Sunday, January 7, 2024 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Birdseye Municipal Complex, l468 Birdseye Street. Register here.
  • Groton: Tuesday, January 9, 2024 from 5-8 p.m. at Groton Public Library, located, 52 Newtown Road. Register here.
  • Bloomfield: Wednesday, January 10, 2024 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Rehoboth Church of God, 1170 Blue Hills Avenue. Register here.
  • Milford: Saturday, January 13, 2024 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at Jonathan Law High School, 20 Lansdale Avenue. Register here.
  • Hartford: Sunday, January 14, 2024 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at The Hector J. Figueroa 32BJ Labor Center, 885 Wethersfield Avenue. Register here.

There are several additional ways to receive free assistance:

  • Online: Visit You can learn more about the different plans and find free help online using the "live chat" feature.
  • By phone: Call (855) 805-4325. Help is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Customers who are deaf or hearing impaired may use TTY at (855) 789-2428 or call with a relay operator.
  • Work with a Broker: To find a Certified Broker or Enrollment Specialist, visit

If you or your family need quality, affordable healthcare please don't miss this opportunity. Click here to learn more.


The ArrayRx program is now OPEN.

I highly encourage you to take advantage of this free program that can save Connecticut residents up to 80% off certain prescriptions at nearly all pharmacies in the state. There's no cost, age restriction or income restriction to join. To sign up, please click here.

Visit the ArrayRx web site and enter your name, your email address, birth date, home address and zip code. After signing up, you will be emailed a digital discount card.

The program is part of Public Act 23-171, An Act Protecting Patients and Prohibiting Unnecessary Health Care Costs, which I proudly supported.

For more information on ArrayRx, including a drug price lookup tool, visit

Heads up! Scam calls, typically targeting seniors, seem to be popping up again, including winning an exorbitant amount of money from Publisher's Clearing House. Help me spread the word with these reminders:
  • If you have to pay money to get money - it is a scam!
  • If it is too good to be true - reach out to a trusted source before acting. 
  • You always have time to verify - do not let them take that away from you. 
  • If they insist that you need to pay now, end the conversation.  It is ok to hang up.
For local and state resources, click the links below:

Below are a variety of resources and links to federal benefits for veterans. For more information, visit U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.


  • Toll-Free 24/7 Referral Services: 1-877-WAR-VETS (1-877-927-8387)
  • VA Suicide Prevention Hotline: 988 then Press 1 or Text 838255 


The application opportunity for low- and moderate-income families suffering from crumbling foundations to apply for additional remediation assistance is now open. U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG), the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Corporation (CFSIC), and the Northeast Connecticut Council of Governments (NECCOG) launched the new Crumbling Foundation Remediation and Restoration program to help low- and moderate-income homeowners access financial assistance to repair damages caused by crumbling foundations.

Funds will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Application Information

The Town of East Hartford will be hosting a holiday blood drive through the American Red Cross on Tuesday, December 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Community Cultural Center gymnasium. Please consider donating! Giving blood is especially important right now to ensure we can meet the needs of patients all winter long.

The American Red Cross must collect enough blood every day to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. When making your decision to donate, please consider:

  • A single blood donation can help save more than one life.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O, but all blood types are needed.
  • Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors.
  • Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, more than 1.9 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2023. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

All who come to give will get a Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last. If you have questions on eligibility or scheduling, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit

You can save time on the day by completing your pre-donation reading and health history with RapidPass® beforehand. Visit or the Blood Donor App before your appointment.


All American Waste crews will be picking up Christmas trees in East Hartford (weather-permitting) from January 2-12, 2024. Collection of the trees generally occurs on the same day as trash collection. Trees should be placed on the curb near trash bins with no plastic bags or decorations.

Should the curbside collection be delayed due to snow or unforeseen circumstances, residents are asked to leave the trees at the curb. Please do not remove them from the curb. 

Residents are also encouraged to bring their Christmas trees to the Transfer Station at 1 Ecology Drive for disposal at no charge.

For additional information, please call the East Hartford Public Works at (860) 291-7374.

For local resources, click the links below:

Through the state's Department of Labor, the American Job Center offers resources, information, and support for individuals throughout the state searching for a job. You can receive help writing a resume and attend interview technique workshops for those currently on the job hunt. For more information, click here.
The State of Connecticut is hiring! You can find a variety of seasonal, part-time, and full-time positions. There are jobs open to members of the public as well as those already employed at a state agency or organization. You can find a full list of openings here.

Click here for the Town Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the East Hartford Public Library. 

Click here for East Hartford Community Television. 


Click here for the Town Meetings and Community Events Calendar.

Click here for information on the Manchester Public Library. 

Click here for Manchester Public Television. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A full calendar of upcoming events and meetings happening at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building is available on the General Assembly website.

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