Staying Connected This Legislative Session, Tackling Discrimination, and Expanding Paid Sick Leave

February 7, 2024

The legislative session starts tomorrow, and I want to make sure you are updated on important bills and events taking place at the Capitol. Keep scrolling to learn how you can stay informed and engaged in 2024!

Two legal experts, who deal with discrimination cases and are trying to promote equity and equality, joined my weekly radio show. Please read below to learn who they are.

It was a pleasure to co-host an environmental panel in Windham with a dedicated group of activists. I'll break down what we discussed and look below for video of the big event!

Finally, my colleagues and I are working on legislation to expand paid sick leave to all workers in our state. I'll dig deeper into how the proposal works and why it's so important to families in need.

Here are the sections in today's email:

  • Stay Connected This Legislative Session!
  • Let's Talk About It: Tackling Discrimination
  • Forum on the Environment
  • Expanding Paid Sick Leave
Stay Connected This Legislative Session!
With the legislative session starting tomorrow, Wednesday, February 7th, I am committed to keeping you informed and engaged in the democratic process.
The resources below will help you stay updated on crucial developments, events, proposed policies, and key discussions as they happen in Hartford. I urge you to please follow along and get involved.

Here's how you can stay connected and actively participate:  

  • The non-partisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) recently released the 2024 Major Issues Report. This comprehensive document highlights and summarizes key issues the legislature could take up during the upcoming session. 
  • You can view the Connecticut General Assembly's upcoming events by checking out its schedule on the CGA official website
  • Follow CT-N for live coverage of committee meetings, as well as House and Senate floor debates. 
  • You can register to monitor any bill's journey as it goes through the legislative process. By signing up, you can enter the bill number and receive real-time updates. Stay informed with email notifications whenever there's a change in the bill's progress. 
  • Visit this website for information on how to testify on a bill at a public hearing.

Together, we can make a positive impact and ensure that our community's needs are represented.  

Let's Talk About It: Tackling Discrimination
My co-host Dennis O’Brien and I sat down with two experts to discuss how they treat discrimination on my weekly affairs program “Let’s Talk About It.” Cheryl Sharp, the Deputy Executive Director of the Human Rights and Opportunities Commission, broke down how her office offers legal assistance for Connecticut residents who have faced discrimination. Sharp provided an example of a case dealing with workplace discrimination.

We also spoke with Ana Maria Mitchell, who works on Sharp's commission, to discuss her role in community outreach in English and Spanish. Her role is vital, especially in Windham, because we are home to many non-English native speakers. Mitchell dug deeper into her work as the community outreach coordinator for the Connecticut Racial Profiling Prohibition Project, which includes traveling to communities and sharing traffic stop data from police agencies where racial profiling can be an issue. Mitchell speaks to community members in both English and Spanish to educate them on the stats and listens to their day-to-day concerns. The goal is to break barriers, so the community believes police treat everyone fairly and impartially.

Both Sharp and Mitchell shared their real life work experience to show they are trying to ensure equality and equity for everyone in the state. Please click on the video below to listen to the entire show.

Forum on the Environment

My colleague Rep. Gregg Haddad and I co-hosted a fantastic panel on the environment to discuss the challenges and possible solutions for a greener Connecticut. We had a wonderful conversation on a number of topics. I sincerely thank everyone who presented their great work and the attendees for coming out, listening, and asking great questions!

I provided a background on electric vehicle legislation dating back to 2004.
Some of the important topics that we discussed were:
  • sustainability
  • electric vehicles
  • improving air quality
  • waste management (recycling and trash disposal)
  • fuel cells
  • plastic bag ban
Click Here To Watch the Entire Forum on the Environment
Expanding Paid Sick Leave
I joined legislators from the House and Senate to support the push for universal paid sick leave, a benefit out of reach for many low and minimum wage workers in the state of Connecticut. Businesses with fewer than 50 workers are currently exempt from requirements to offer paid sick days. If the Connecticut General Assembly approves the bill, all workers will be able to earn up paid sick time regardless of the size of the company they work for.
This proposal is important because everyone deserves to take time off if they are sick or a family member requires their care. This is not only an issue for the workforce but also pertains to public health. I will work diligently with my colleagues in hopes of passing this legislation in 2024.