State Capitol Update For The Week of January 26

January 26, 2024

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Dear Friend,

This is my State Capitol update for the week of January 26.

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

Last night I attended the Litchfield County Farm Bureau Annual Winter Dinner.  The food alone is a draw (thank you to Theresa Freund!), and the meeting is always a great opportunity to catch up with farmers of all types from throughout the region, agriscience educators, and students from regional Future Farmers of America (FFA) and 4-H programs.  My table alone included Cricket Jacquier and his son Colby, from Laurelbrook Dairy Farm in East Canaan, and Brian and Stacie Lynch, who breed and raise Percheron draft horses in Goshen. The dinner’s main event is the Farm Bureau presentation of their legislative priorities for the year.  As I went into the dinner having already met with the Farm Bureau, local dairy farmers, and farm wineries about those issues, it was possible to have a deeper conversation about next steps.  I plan to hold hearings in the Finance Committee on a couple of those proposals (including an investment tax credit and exemptions for farm machinery), so I hope many of those at that dinner (especially the always impressive FFA students) will participate in those hearings. 
There was also a strong healthcare theme forming over the last week.  On one day alone, I started off at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington for a legislative presentation that touched on a variety of continuing and new initiatives there, all of which were picked up in later meetings on reproductive rights, ambulance costs and how that affects first responders, gun violence and interventions to prevent it, and maternal health.  The final meeting was a Maternal Health Roundtable convened by Comptroller Sean Scanlon, bringing together 27 experts and advocates for maternal health throughout the state, including our own Lydia Moore and Jill Drew representing Save Sharon Hospital, a nonprofit advocating to preserve services at Sharon Hospital.  It was an information-packed meeting, which created two solid pages of challenges and potential solutions in my notebook, and a series of follow-on meetings.
There were also many meetings with executive branch agencies and, now that I think about it, nearly every other state-wide elected official, including the Treasurer, the Comptroller, the Attorney General’s office, and (next week) the Secretary of State, as we work together to formulate the upcoming legislative agenda for the Finance Committee. 
I wanted to draw your attention to one item the Treasurer highlighted, which is the significant efforts they have put into improving the unclaimed property program.  The primary aim of that program is to reunite rightful owners with their unclaimed property, such as savings or checking accounts, un-cashed checks, or proceeds from life insurance policies.  When business entities lose contact with a customer for a period of three to five years, they remit that property to the Office of the Treasurer.  In the past, that reunification process has been very onerous, but the Treasurer has now made it significantly simpler.  Check it out to see if you have anything listed.
Finally, a few local congratulations.  Happy 50th birthday to the Norfolk Library Associates, who held an event on a stereotypically snowy Norfolk night, celebrating their history and the huge variety of events that have been held at that library over the years.  It’s a beautiful space and welcoming space and they have much to be proud of!
Congratulations to Stephanie Ingrassia of Washington, who was one of nine CT Arts Heroes honored this week.  Stephanie founded Spring Hill Vineyards with her husband Tim in 2006.  Evolving from a modest wine-tasting venue, Spring Hill Vineyards became home to the Spring Hill Arts Gathering (SHAG), a 4-day festival dedicated to nature, creativity and collaboration.  She also graciously opens her property to the community as a center for community celebrations throughout the year.  If you’ve never been, I encourage you to check it out. 
And, next week, the Secretary of State will be awarding Falls Village one of four Democracy Cups for having the highest voter turnout during the 2023 municipal election.  This is the first time that Canaan has won the trophy! The cup will be awarded on Tuesday, January 30 at 1:00 pm at Falls Village/Canaan Town Hall – stop by!
Here’s a list of today’s topics: 
  • CT Department of Aging and Disability Services Unit on Aging Want To Hear From You. Click here.
  • CT Department of Transportation Updates. Click here.
  • CT Partnership in Parks Initiative. Click here
  • Upcoming Events. Click here
CT Department of Aging and Disability Services Unit on Aging Want To Hear From You
The Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services’ State Unit on Aging (SUA) is updating the strategic plan around services for aging people in Connecticut, with an emphasis on supports funded by Older Americans Act dollars. To ensure the plan includes priorities important to residents, they have set up several community conversations across Connecticut. Join them for one of these in-person or virtual discussions to hear about the plan, and to provide feedback about supports and services and how to improve the quality of life for residents. Northwest Corner residents can participate in person or virtually. See below for additional details:
Sullivan Senior Center located at
88 East Albert Street, Torrington, CT 06790
on Monday February 26, 2024
from 1:00 to 3:00PM
Monday, March 11, 2024
from 1:00 to 3:00PM.
You must register for this event by typing the URL into your browser field or clicking on this link:
Connecticut Department of Transportation Updates
Traffic Control Signal and Pedestrian Control Feature Upgrades
CTDOT is developing plans to replace existing traffic control signal equipment with new equipment to meet current CTDOT standards at 24 locations across the state. The town of Kent will be included in the round of updates at Route 7 (Main St.) at Route 341 (Maple St.). The construction isn't scheduled to take place until April 206, but CTDOT is now accepting feedback from the public regarding the plans in these early stages. Anyone interested in requesting information on these projects may do so by contacting Gregory R. Palmer, Project Manager at (860) 594-2748 or via email at Please refer to State Project No. 0174-0471.
Tree Removal along Route 361 in Sharon
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) announced a tree removal project for safety improvements that will take place along Route 361 in Sharon on Thursday, February 1, 2024, with a rain date of February 8. The project consists of the removal of hazardous trees along Route 361 at 60 Millerton Road in Sharon.
Motorists can expect a road closure on Route 361 from King Hill Road to Sharon Valley Road. The detour will be King Hill Road and Sharon Valley Road. The normal work schedule for this project is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving in this area.
DEEP – CT Partnerships in Parks Initiative
DEEP is seeking to build upon successful partnerships in Connecticut State Parks – such as the Essex Steam Train, Farmington River Tubing, and Mohawk Mountain Ski Area – by inviting businesses, non-profits, and other private sector stakeholders to submit concepts to an RFI, which is intentionally broad to encourage innovative, creative concepts that meet the following goals:
  • Elevate outdoor recreation and visitor experience
  • Expand tourism destinations
  • Provide equitable and sustainable access to the outdoors

If you are interested in participating in the conversation you can attend the upcoming webinar or submit written comments. For a more details you can review the public notice here.
Link to public webinar:
Tuesday, February 6, 2024, 10:00 - 11:00 AM EST. Please register in advance here.
Written comments:
Submit written comments to by Friday, February 16, 2024, at 11:59 PM EST. Please include “Parks RFI Comment” in the subject line. After this deadline, DEEP will post the comments to its website.

Northwest Corner Events
ICYMI - Upcoming Events
Call for Exhibit Applications

The Judy Black Memorial Park and Gardens is calling all artists! If you are interested in showing your work at their location, they are currently accepting applications to exhibit for the 2025 calendar year. The application deadline is January 31, 2024. For questions or more information email If you are ready to apply you can follow this link.

Optime Pastor – Shepherd, Maker of Good Virtue

The Crescendo Vocal Ensemble and instrumentalists will present a concert of early motets on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 3 pm at Trinity Church, Lakeville, CT (parking through Dugway Rd. entrance). A brief reception with the performers will be offered after the concert. Please visit Crescendo’s website: for online ticket purchases, more details, and other season concerts, or call 860.435.4866. Tickets will also be sold at the door 45 minutes before the performance. A limited number of tickets is offered to community members for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Request your free ticket by sending an email to

Salisbury’s Jumpfest is February 2, 3 and 4.
You may think the rains erased all the snow around here, given all the brown outside our windows now.  But it's white over at Satre Hill in Salisbury thanks to their state-of-the-art snow guns.

If you have never seen ski jumping live, you have never truly witnessed the sport. Standing amidst the ringing cowbells, with crowds cheering on their favorites, hearing skis slapping against the landing hill as these brave jumpers soar up to 200 feet through the air at speeds up to 50 miles an hour, is something you must experience.
And don’t miss the Human Dog Sled Race.  We only know of a half dozen places or so in the country crazy enough to host it- Dartmouth, NH; Lowell, MA; Michigan Tech U.; Lake Okoboji, Iowa; Lake Geneva, Wisconsin….and Salisbury, CT.

Proceeds from Jumpfest fund SWSA youth skiing programs.
Please check for program changes and schedule updates.

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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