April Community Champion Award Recipient, In-Person Newington Town Hall & Legislation Passed Through The House 

May 7, 2021
Below you will find information on the following:
  • April Community Champion Award Recipient 
  • In-Person Newington Town Hall
  • Legislation Passed Through The House 
  • Newington Children's Theatre Company Virtual 5K
  • Teacher and Nurse Appreciation
  • Turco Talk Time 
  • COVID-19 Update
  • Vaccine Update
  • Facebook Live Friday
  • Veterans Advisory Committee Meeting 
I am very excited to announced Amy Perrotti as the April Newington Community Champion! Amy Perrotti was nominated in recognition of her hard work towards the Renovate Anna Reynolds Elementary School Referendum.
I'm grateful for Amy’s dedication to the youth and community of Newington. The Anna Reynolds Elementary renovation project is crucial to uplifting Newington’s infrastructure and ensuring our children have the best resources possible. This would not have been possible without Amy’s consistent advocacy. 
Amy's nomination read, “Amy was instrumental in the success of the Renovate Anna Reynolds referendum. She helped organize the effort for the signs by distributing and ordering them through the AR PTO along with her co-chair. She helped spread the word on Facebook and keep everyone informed on the Renovate Anna Reynolds group. Amy recruited and scheduled volunteers as well as participated in poll-standing. She was a strong advocate throughout all phases of the Anna Reynolds Renovation effort.”
In addition to town funding championed by Amy, the Anna Reynolds Elementary School renovation project will also receive over $20 million in state funding through HB 6617, An Act Concerning Authorization of State Grant Commitments For School Building Projects. 

To nominate next month’s community champion, please email me at gary.turco@cga.ct.gov with the Newington resident's name, the reason for nomination and the nominee’s contact information.

As vaccination rates throughout Connecticut increase, I will be holding May's Newington Town Hall in-person! 

Please join me Monday, May 17th from 5:30-7:00pm at the Gabezo at Mill Pond Park. 

Bring a few questions, a lawn chair, and your mask. I look forward to seeing you in-person. 
The House was in session this Tuesday and Thursday to pass several pieces of important legislation. Below I have provided highlights on several bills that passed, each with bipartisan support. 

HB 5895: Student Loan Debt 
Connecticut has one of the highest averages of student loan debt in the nation; yet we are one of the only states without a state support program for our graduates. Many young people are living paycheck to paycheck with the cost of their loan debt making milestones like buying a house, achieving an advanced degree, affording a family, and so much more seem like impossibilities.

As Vice Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, I am proud to announce the passage of H.B. 5895 from the House today. This bill will establish a task force to study the amount of student loan debt of students and graduates in the state in order to create an effective program that addresses this issue.

Please listen to the video below to hear my testimony in support of HB 5895.

HB 5895: Student Loan Debt
HB 6590: Domestic Violence
Sexual orientation, gender identity, or being a survivor of domestic violence survivor should not be a hinderance to accessing insurance, but Connecticut currently does not offer protections against discrimination for these groups. HB 6590 removes a current barrier to accessing this basic need and offers necessary protections to guarantee complete equity and inclusivity. https://bit.ly/3b3uxIE

HB 6384: Invasive Species
Invasive species can cause significant damage to Connecticut's lakes, ponds, and rivers – threatening the water quality and existing aquatic plant life. HB 6384 provides transparency and additional funding to support needed efforts for combatting this growing problem in our state's waters. https://bit.ly/3aZCq1G

HB 6105: Birth Certificates for Adult Adoptees
Birth certificates can hold the key to who we are – for many adoptees, that clarity has been missing. With the passage of HB 6105, the House has taken a step towards allowing adoptees 18 and over an understanding of their families' history. https://bit.ly/3ejKCvO

HB 5592: Redefining "Veteran"
HB 5592 ensures LGBTQ+ veterans with less-than-honorable discharge status solely due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression receive the benefits they are completely entitled to. No member of our military should face unnecessary barriers to obtaining the benefits they've earned serving our country.

HB 6229: College Food Insecurity
Too many of our low-income college students are facing food insecurity, negatively impacting their ability to thrive and succeed in the classroom. HB 6229 implements best practices to address the severe need and increase access to ensure our students have the basics needed to achieve success.

HJ 59: Early Voting 
Voting is the foundation of democracy, but Connecticut's outdated and restrictive voting laws have left too many behind. Early voting offers a safe, flexible and convenient way to vote. With the passage of HJ 59, the House h
as taken the first step towards a constitutional question on allowing in-person early voting appearing on the 2022 general election ballot. 


Join me in Newington Children's Theatre Company for their first ever virtual 5k! Join the theatre from May 14-16, 2021 in a run, walk, cycle, or dance for 3.1 miles! Participants receive a medal, NCTC race shirt, digital bib and a digital finisher's certificate. 100% of the net proceeds will be used to keep the curtain raised on CT's longest running children's theatre. I hope to see you there!

Register Here
To our amazing Connecticut educators, your commitment to your students and community is so inspiring. Over the past year, you have maneuvered through continuous obstacles, adapted gracefully and came up with innovative ways to keep learning possible and fun for your students. Teacher Appreciation Week may only be seven days of the year, but your endless work does not go unnoticed. Thank you for all you do.
Over the past year, nurses have gone through the unimaginable. They have fought for us, cared for us and our loved ones, been a hand to hold, and even said goodbye for us. They are heroes today and every day. Please join me in thanking the nurses in our community.
For Nurse Appreciation Day, I join Newington advocate, Pat Lang, in a Turco Talk Time to highlight a few pieces of legislation regarding issues in nursing homes. It is critical that we provide our nurses with the support they deserve.

A few of the issues these bills will tackle include professional care requirements for staff, Medicaid payments for direct patient care and payment incentives to work in a single nursing home, rather than part-time in multiple nursing homes. Please listen below to learn more!

Nursing Homes
Click Here for COVID Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Specific Updates for Newington


Total Cases Total Confirmed Cases Probable Cases Number of Tests Total Deaths
2,681 2,524 157 18,895 100

Connecticut has become the first state in the nation to fully vaccinate more than 50% of all adults over the age of 18. Approximately 69% of all adults in the state have received at least one dose.

All Connecticut residents over the age of 16 are currently eligible to receive the vaccines. To locate a vaccination clinic, visit ct.gov/covidvaccine.

Join me today at 9:00a.m. for my weekly Facebook Live update. Please email me via gary.turco@cga.ct.gov with any questions you would like me to address.
If you are a Newington veteran, the family member of a Newington veteran, or anyone interested in helping veterans in Newington, and across CT, then please join the Newington Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee. This is an opportunity to ensure the voices of veterans and active service members are heard throughout the legislative process. Members of this committee will help inform decisions made at the state capitol and will also learn about the legislative process, bill tracking and more.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please sign-up through the link below, or email me at Gary.Turco@cga.ct.gov

Click Here to Sign up