Dear Friends and Neighbors,

After many long hours, legislative leaders came to an agreement on a new state budget. The budget protects critical programs and important services to our community. Below are some of the key provisions:

  • Funding for childcare programs in both years of the budget
  • Funding for the Department of Developmental Services
  • Funding for public library services
  • A more progressive approach to how we handle juvenile offenders

I voted in favor of the budget to avoid further drastic cuts to our local schools, social service programs and municipal state grants. It is clear there is much more work ahead in the coming months. While funding is in place for critical programs in West Haven and New Haven, my colleagues and I must focus on getting the state on the right path.

I want to send everyone my best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season. Always remember that I work for you and welcome hearing from you regarding your needs and concerns.

With Warm Regards,


Legislation

Stronger Protections for Working, Pregnant Women

I voted to approve a bill requiring that employers make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers. Allowing a pregnant woman to sit while working or take more frequent breaks is important to safeguard the health of both the mother and baby. These protections also benefit employers by reducing turnover and workers’ compensation costs while maintaining employee productivity and morale.

Juvenile Offenders

It’s important to recognize the circumstances behind a juvenile committing a delinquent act. New legislation gives the courts the option of placing a child offender in a residential facility that includes access to services. In addition, the Department of Children and Families must report recommendations to the legislature regarding ways to address a juvenile’s mental, emotional and behavioral needs. We want to keep these young people out of the criminal justice system and on a path to being good citizens.

Higher Education User Fees

I co-sponsored legislation intended to allow municipalities to impose annual user fees on public and private institutions of higher education located within their borders. The bill makes sense because students who attend these schools are receiving services such as police, fire, EMS and utilities. The state’s PILOT program (payment in lieu of taxes) partially reimburses cities and towns for these services, but it’s not enough to cover the costs incurred. The user fee would be based on the number of full-time students residing on campus and would go a long way in offsetting the cost of these vital services. Unfortunately the bill did not pass this session, but I will continue to fight to get this legislation passed and signed into law.


Development & Construction

West Haven High School

I am pleased that the renovation and reconstruction of West Haven High School is moving forward. When this project is complete the city will essentially have a new, state-of-the-art facility. WHS will be a benefit to our students, faculty and administration and our community as a whole. Also, the state will reimburse the city for more than 75% of eligible costs keeping the impact on local taxpayers to a minimum.

The Atwood

West Haven is now home to a great new development – The Atwood – a more than 90,000 square foot mixed-use apartment and commercial building on the Boston Post Road.  I am honored to have been part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 17th.  The Atwood is a long-awaited start to the broader University Commons project which will add two more buildings to the center of Allingtown. Two additional phases are in the works.

The Haven

Construction crews have been preparing the site of a high-end shopping center that will encompass sections of Main and Elm streets and First Avenue. The developer says The Haven will be a waterfront, luxury retail center generation $2 million in property tax to the city, $15 million in sales tax for the state, a total of 1,200 full-time and part-time jobs, plus 800 construction jobs.

Yale New Haven Health Services

After the failure of at least two development plans, a prime piece of property was recently sold in West Haven. Yale New Haven Health Services LLC acquired 117 acres – the largest piece of available land in New Haven County – for $8 million. The buyer is planning a warehouse facility that will distribute medical and health care supplies between New York and Rhode Island.

Stewart’s All American

West Haven will soon be home to Connecticut’s first Stewart’s All American restaurant! Just off I-95 on Sawmill Road, Stewart’s will offer good, old-fashioned milk shakes, ice cream sodas, burgers, hot dogs and fries. Stewart’s is expected to open in early 2018.

Captain’s Galley Demolished

Once a local landmark, Captain’s Galley closed in 2010. The property, deteriorating and an eyesore, was taken down recently making way for new development on a prime location. Stay tuned!


Capitol Update 2017 (pdf)