Supporting the Elderly and Energy Assistance Extension

March 11, 2024

One big priority this legislative session is expanding childhood nutrition programs. As a mother, I understand the challenges of making sure our youth eat healthy meals. Please look below to see how our proposal would support infants, older children, and their mothers.

Operation Fuel received more funding and is now extending its winter program season. Keep reading to find out how much longer folks can apply for emergency energy and water assistance.

The state unveiled an exciting, new plan that could speed up the cleanup of polluted properties around Connecticut. Please keep scrolling to learn how this proposal could unlock tremendous economic value in Windham.

And, you don't want to miss my weekly radio show where we talked about supporting the elderly in our state. Find out what bill priorities would help our senior citizens.

Here are the sections in today's email:

  • Let's Talk About It: Supporting The Elderly
  • Top Priority: Childhood Nutrition Programs
  • Operation Fuel Extends Winter Program Season
  • Proposal May Lead To More Cleanup of Polluted Properties
Let's Talk About It: Supporting The Elderly
I sat down with two of my colleagues in the House to discuss how we can help seniors in Connecticut on my weekly radio show “Let’s Talk About It.” Rep. Jane Garibay and Rep. Anne Hughes outlined the rise of elderly exploitation, abuse, and neglect in our state and around the country. They also broke down some of the Aging Committee’s priorities.
Both of these leaders believe there needs to be a better plan in place once a hospital discharges an elderly patient. They propose a bill giving patients a choice in their post-hospital plan to ensure that elderly care is emphasized.
The Aging Committee also wants to raise awareness about the state’s oversight of elderly care and the low staffing at certain facilities such as nursing homes and other healthcare services. The staffing shortages have contributed to the committee’s advocacy for the development of nurse training programs in high school and community colleges.
Click the video below to hear more about the Aging Committee’s goals for the 2024 legislative session.
Rep. Garibay & Rep. Hughes of the Aging Committee joined our show!
Top Priority: Childhood Nutrition Programs
I am committed to promoting the health and well-being of our community’s families and children. In response to the vital need for improved childhood nutrition, we are working on crafting comprehensive legislation that ensures mothers and children who are eligible for federal benefits are enrolled in these programs with ease and confidence.
WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children) enrollment in Connecticut is among the lowest in the country at 46%. Not maximizing participation in this program is resulting in worse outcomes for the health and nutrition of young children.  

Child nutrition is important for many reasons including:

  • Strengthening the child's immune system
  • Providing essential vitamins and minerals
  • Enhancing brain development
  • Encouraging physical growth
  • Setting the stage for healthy eating habits for a lifetime

Healthy nutrition is also tied to preventing chronic disease, improving mental health, and helping build strong bones and teeth. 

As this priority bill moves through the legislative process, I urge you to show your support as we move forward. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of our youngest community members. 

Operation Fuel Extends Winter Program Season
Operation Fuel is extending its 2024 winter program season and accepting applications until March 15 thanks to more funding. The organization offers emergency energy and water assistance in Connecticut. Operation Fuel’s grants, which go up to $500, are available for Connecticut residents who earn up to 75% State Median Income.

To apply for delivered fuel assistance, such as oil, propane, and pellets, you must provide:

  • Proof of income for the past four weeks and for every adult in the household
  • Clients with a current Connecticut Energy Assistance Program award letter may submit this as proof of income for their household
  • Forms to verify zero income, self-employment, and friends and family support are available at 
  • The name of your preferred delivered fuel vendor (Operation Fuel has a list of in-network vendors)

To apply for utility assistance, such as gas and electric, you must provide:

  • Proof of income for the past four weeks and for every adult in the household. Clients with a current Connecticut Energy Assistance Program award letter may submit this as proof of income for their household 
  • Your utility account information and most recent, past due bill  

If you received an award last year are eligible to apply again before March 15. Operation Fuel does not take applications in person or over the phone. To apply online or through a partner agency, please visit

Proposal May Lead To More
Cleanup of Polluted Properties
A new state proposal to get rid of barriers on redeveloping blighted properties could bring new life and economic development to Windham and the rest of the state. Governor Ned Lamont as well as economic and environmental leaders spoke about the new regulations last week. 
The state is developing release-based cleanup regulations that will cut red tape and support the remediation and redevelopment of thousands of vacant and polluted properties. These new rules would overhaul of the Transfer Act, which is the state’s framework governing the cleanup of contaminated sites.

If the state adopts these new regulations, it promises to lead to faster cleanups that will address longstanding pollution and convert blighted properties back to productive use. This could unlock an incredible amount of revitalization to our community. 

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