Siting Reform, Local Events, and more

May 10, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

Happy Friday! I wanted to start off by saying happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms out there. Motherhood isn't something easily summarized but it is all consuming, challenging, rewarding, and transformative. I hope everyone who mothers has a beautiful and peaceful day this Sunday.

At midnight on Wednesday, we officially concluded our 2024 legislative session. It was an honor and a privilege to be back at that Capitol representing the 132nd District, and I thank you all so much for the faith you put in me to fight for you. 

The end of session is always a whirlwind as we are all working fiercely to get our priority bills called in both chambers, negotiating, compromising, and working as hard as we can for the betterment of our constituents, communities, and state. While we had some major victories (Siting Council reform and halting the Racial Imbalance implementation chief among them), we are had some heartbreaks (the Senate never brought forward our environment legislation or my lactation consultant licensure bill). While this is devastating in the moment, we will continue to fight for these things next session.

I may still be recovering from the hectic finish to our session, but want to give you a few more updates on what the legislature accomplished, along with some local events for you to check out.

You can click the links below to navigate between sections.

Siting Council Reform Goes to the Governor's Desk!
To start off, I'm thrilled to update you that the Senate passed HB 5507, which takes bold action to reform the Siting Council. Some of these reforms include:
  • Improve public notice to the municipality and abutters
  • Municipalities will have automatic intervenor status
  • The applicants will need to submit more robust and transparent financial analysis for their proposal and also for alternatives
  • Make independent experts available to the Siting Council when evaluating applications
  • Allow municipalities to recoup their legal fees if they win their appeal
  • Enforce penalties on utilities for failing to meet the requirements

With passage in both the House and the Senate, the bill now moves to the governor's desk to be signed into law.

Bipartisan Spending Stabilization Plan Passes
For the first time in a very long time, we did not reopen the budget for adjustments in this short session, as is typically done. Our fiscal guradrails that we adopted last year did not leave any room below the spending cap for movement. What we did pass is a bipartisan spending stabilization plan that will ensure our two-year state budget's historic tax cuts are protected, as is the education funding we implemented last year, and we invest in the priorities that matter to you.
Remember, the two-year budget includes:
  • The Largest Income Tax Cut in State History
  • Investments in Public Education
  • New supports for the IDD community
  • Expansion of Debt-Free Community College
  • A Strong and Vibrant Safety Net of Programs

We used remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide support to some important priorities such as

  • Higher Education - $160 million
  • Early Childcare - $21.8 million
  • Mental Health - $24 million
  • Nonprofits - $50 million

All that and we are putting more than a billion dollars into the state's Rainy Day Fund and paying down pension debt.

I am proud to report that Connecticut is set up to succeed financially in the present as well as the future. 

Legislative Wrap Up Event
It was a short session, but that does not mean it wasn't jam-packed with legislation! And I would love to tell you all about it. I hope you'll join me, State Representatives Sarah Keitt and Cristin McCarthy Vahey, and State Senator Tony Hwang tomorrow, May 11 from 10am-noon at the Board of Education Conference Room (601 Kings Hwy, Fairfield) for a legislative wrap up sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Fairfield!

We will talk about what the legislature accomplished this year, our plans for next session, and most importantly, listen to you about the issues that matter most. I hope to see you there!

Fairfield CARES Community Meeting
Fairfield CARES's Annual Community Meeting will be Monday, May 20 from 7-8:30pm at 755 Melville Ave, Fairfield.

This year's speaker is Michelle Icard, an international-recognized, author, speaker, and educator, author of "8 Setbacks That Can Make a Child a Success" and "Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen." Icard brings relief and practical solutions to schools and community organizations around the world seeking to ease the uncertainty of adolescent development for both kids and parents.

The community meeting this year looks to be an insightful and engaging event, and I hope you'll check it out! You can read more about the event and register for it here.

Inaugural Chalk Art Festival
The merchants of Greenfield Hill Commons will hold their inaugural Chalk Art Festival Sunday, June 2 from noon-4pm at 75 Hillside Road. The event will feature a great day of art, community, vendors, music, food, crafts on the green, and fun!

All proceeds will go to the Friends of the Fairfield Public Library. You can read more about this great event here!

I'm committed to ensuring your voice is heard. Please don't hesitate to call my office at (860) 240-8585 or email me if there's anything I can do for you. Be sure to follow @LeeperForFairfield on Facebook and Instagram to stay up-to-date on everything I'm doing at the Capitol.


Jennifer Leeper
State Representative


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