State Capitol Update For The Week of February 9

February 9, 2024

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Dear Friend,

This is my State Capitol update for the week of February 9.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, click on the play button to hear about the issues contained in this newsletter.

On Monday, the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS) announced a Final Decision denying Nuvance Health's application to close the maternity unit at Sharon Hospital.  This follows OHS's earlier preliminary decision (also denying the application), which was appealed by Nuvance.  You can read the OHS Final Decision here.

The decision means that the labor and delivery unit at Sharon Hospital will remain open, and that pregnant people can be assured that when they present to Sharon Hospital in labor or with an obstetrical emergency they will be treated by a trained obstetrician.  Sharon Hospital must maintain on-call pediatricians and anesthesiologists, as well as surgical facilities.  Pregnant people will not have to travel long distances to access safe, high-quality birthing services. 
The decision is a big win for the people in the Northwest Corner, and indeed for rural hospitals across the nation.  While Nuvance does have the option to appeal the decision to the Superior Court of Connecticut, I am hopeful that this will be a turning point, enabling us to move from the antagonism of a long-fought battle to protect maternity care in our rural region, to a constructive conversation about how best to achieve that for the benefit of the entire community.  There are many throughout the region who are committed to protecting access to the full range of reproductive healthcare for the long run, and I look forward to working together to achieve that goal. 

As a little bit of icing on the cake, Sharon Hospital was recently recognized as one of the top five hospitals in CT in a survey published in Newsweek, which also noted that Sharon Hospital was the only one of the top five to earn a Patient Satisfaction Award.  Congratulations to the healthcare professionals who made that possible!

The other big news for me this week is that the 2024 legislative session officially opened on Wednesday, when Governor Lamont addressed the legislature in a joint session, outlining his budget and policy proposals for the year.  From a budgetary perspective, opening day represents the official passing of the baton from the Governor to the legislature, as we now start the committee process, scheduling hearings on the Governor's proposals and our own.  There will be a lot of hearings, as always, but one option in a short session (this year) is to leave in place the two-year budget we passed last year.  That bipartisan biennium budget is one we remain proud of, with historic tax cuts and funding of priorities such as education and healthcare, while adhering to our fiscal guidelines.  I am reminding my colleagues that while we have many options open to us this year, leaving the budget as is might turn out to be a good one.  

The coming weekend is a long one in CT, as Monday is Lincoln's Birthday, and includes not only the Super Bowl but also the UConn women's basketball team game against the South Carolina Gamecocks, a major rival.  Followed pretty quickly by Valentine's Day, so there are plenty excuses to celebrate over the next week – I hope you can make use of a few of them!  
Here’s a list of today’s topics: 
  • Grant Awarded to Howling Flats Farm. Click here.
  • State Funding for the Sharon Historical Society. Click here
  • Upcoming Events. Click here
Grant Awarded to Howling Flats Farm
Howling Flats Farm in Canaan has received a grant from the CT Department of Agriculture through its CT Kids Grant. These funds are awarded to organizations with the purpose of increasing the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, allowing educators to use hands-on educational techniques to teach students about nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustaining relationships with local farmers and producers, enriching the educational experience of students, improving the health of children in the state and enhancing the state's economy.
State Funding for the Sharon Historical Society
Congratulations to the Sharon Historical Society on being awarded a grant from CT Humanities! The organization was one of 11 nonprofits chosen to receive community-strengthening capacity, planning, and implementation grants to support the cultural infrastructure which makes our state a better place to live, work, and play.
Northwest Corner Events
Region 20 Online Store Now Open

Region 20 is offering an online store for Region 20 apparel and gear. The district store is open from now until Tuesday, February 20.

Breakfast with Carnegie Hall Musicians

Students at The Hotchkiss School and Elyse Harney Real Estate invite community members to enjoy a pancake breakfast on Saturday, February 17 to benefit the Salisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service (SVAS).  The brunch will take place from 8-10 am in the school's Monahan Event Space on Rte. 112. Music lovers will want to come between 9:15-10 am for performances by student musicians who recently performed at Carnegie Hall. 
Reservations are strongly encouraged as seating is limited.  Those who make reservations will receive a free tagalong of Harney tea. Guests arriving between 8:45-9:00 am are asked to make a $15 donation; a $20 donation is requested from guests who attend the musical performances. 
To reserve your spot please register at email questions to Caroline Burchfield at
CONTACT: Caroline Kenny Burchfield

Registration is required to attend this event. Click here to register. 
ICYMI - Upcoming Events
Music in the Nave presents children's concert in Kent on February 11

On Sunday, February 11 at 3:00 pm at St. Andrew's Parish, 1 Main St. (corner of Rtes 7 & 341), in Kent, Music in the Nave presents Poulenc's "Babar," narrated by Margo Martindale.
Music in the Nave presents a classical children’s concert featuring Poulenc’s The Story of Babar
the Little Elephant, narrated by esteemed actress Margo Martindale, accompanied by pianist
Margarita Nuller. The program begins with cellist Eliot Bailen playing his Ferdinand the Bull
with daughter Julia Bailen narrating, followed by Mr. Bailen and Ms. Nuller performing Saint-
Saens's "The Swan" from Carnival of the Animals.
Adult admission is $20; tickets are available at and the door. Free admission for children under 18.

For more information, call 860-927-3486, email, or visit
Kent Memorial Library presents "A Woman I know: Female Spies, Double Identities and a New Story of the Kennedy Assassination" on February 29

Click here or the image below to register. 

It is my honor to represent our district. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any other topics you think I should know about. You can email me at or call me at (860)-240-8585. Thanks for reading, and I wish you a safe weekend.

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Maria Horn
State Representative


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