Highlights of the 2017 legislative session

June 22, 2017

Small businesses, a clean environment, and first-rate schools are the fundamental building blocks of any successful municipality. This legislative session, the Hamden delegation and I worked hard to strengthen the town’s greatest assets. We passed legislation that puts Hamden and Connecticut residents first and further supports businesses – both large and small.

Lending a helping hand to small businesses
It’s vital that we give entrepreneurs the tools and resources they need to succeed. This session, we passed House Bill 5584 which will create a statewide information hotline providing prospective and existing small business owners with customized advice, education, and network resources. Small businesses are the heart of Hamden’s economy – this legislation will help create a sustainable future for our business owners.

Greater oversight of economic investments
We all want to see businesses grow and create new jobs in Connecticut, but we also need to make sure that the state’s investments and financial assistance programs are meeting our goals. To provide more transparency and oversight, we approved HB 7316, which will expand legislative review of economic development programs, including programs administered by agencies other than the Department of Economic and Community Development.

Establishing technical schools as independent agencies
While we continue to invest in our economy, it is imperative that we advance our workforce. This session, we passed legislation that will make the state’s vocational-technical school system an independent agency beginning on July 1, 2019. Currently, the Connecticut Technical High School System and its 17 schools operate under the state Department of Education. Through this, schools like Hamden’s Eli Whitney Technical High School will be able to adopt a more focused approach to advance the institution’s mission.

Continuing to protect our trees
As we continue to focus on our local workforce and economy, we also need to preserve Hamden’s natural assets to maintain the town’s vibrancy. Legislation that I helped pass will require utility companies that are conducting vegetation management to provide further detailed advance notice to municipal tree wardens before conducting tree removal on local property. HB 6356 will also create consistency across the state by clarifying the required public notice concerning tree removal on town property.

I was proud to support these pieces of legislation that I believe will make Hamden an even better place to live, work and raise a family.