Session Recap Postponed

June 14, 2021
This coming Wednesday, the House is holding a special session to vote on a couple pieces of key legislation. Due to this unanticipated session, the legislative session recap conversation will be postponed to a later date. Please keep an eye out for the next Community Conversation date.

Due to this postponement, I have provided a few legislative highlights below.

While the 2021 legislative session faced unprecedented challenges and obstacles, I brought the concerns of our community to Hartford and advocated for legislation that will directly benefit Newington. 
The virtual platform of this year's session, although a learning curve, increased accessibility and participation throughout the legislative process. Many of you spoke or submitted testimony during public hearings, followed the budget from its initial drafts to the House floor, and even increased your communications with me to ensure your voices were heard. As we adjourned last week, I am proud to say my legislative colleagues and I worked hard to pass a number of necessary pieces of legislation that our community will benefit from.
Below are some of the bills passed this session that will help our community:
  • Car Break-ins– SB 1093 and HB 6505 take steps against the recent rise in car thefts by:
    • Making it a crime to entice a minor into committing a crime as we’ve continuously heard that adults are recruiting minors to steal cars for them.
    • Requiring the Judicial Branch to study ways to decrease time between a child’s arrest and court appearance, as well as ways to reduce juvenile recidivism. 
      • It is essential to make sure minors face consequences, or are given the necessary services, in order to reduce these types of crime.
    • Ordering the Judicial Branch to collect data on juvenile detentions and report to the General Assembly so we can get at the root of the problem and end these crimes in our communities.
  • Education Funding– Included in the 2-year budget:
    • We kept our commitment to funding our town's schools, ensuring predictability for our community.
    • Our budget honors the formula for state grants, which guarantees our town will not receive less than we were granted the year before.
  • Tax Relief for Seniors– HB 6458 provides increased eligibility for property tax relief by:
    • Authorizing municipalities to lower the age of eligibility for property tax relief for senior citizens.
      • The property tax burden has become a financial hardship for some members of the aging community. This will ease the potential hardships for some of the aging community.
  • Red Flag Law – HB 6355 works to temporarily remove firearms from those deemed by a court to be a danger:
    • This bill bolsters our current statute also known as the "Red Flag Law," which has fallen behind the curve since its initial enaction in 1999.
    • This law, also known as a Risk Warrant or a Risk Protection Order, established a legal procedure for the temporary removal of firearms from a person who may pose a danger to themselves or others.
      • The bill will also ensure individuals whose firearms are removed cannot acquire additional firearms or ammunition and requires individuals to apply to have the order revoked.
      • It is a life-saving bill that will only help our state mitigate gun violence.
  • Domestic Violence– SB 1091 makes various changes in the laws relating to domestic violence, civil restraining orders, family violence, assistance programs, and certain crimes by:
    • Introducing a working definition of coercive control into Connecticut Law to protect partners and children.
      • This helps courts recognize that intimate partner violence and abuse doesn’t always look like a bruise or a broken arm.
      • Allows victims subject to coercive control by a family or household member to be eligible for civil restraining orders.
    • Establishing additional protections for tenants who are protected by certain orders of protection.
      • Requires a landlord to change a dwelling unit’s locks upon the tenant’s request or allow the tenant to do so within a certain time period.

While this is just a short list of highlighted bills passed – they will all make great impacts for our town. To see the full list of bills passed by the House this session click here.
Although the legislative session has come to a close, I want to encourage you to stay connected to the legislative process in the future. I am always available to help, so please feel free to contact me at any time with your thoughts, suggestions, questions, or concerns.