Weekly Eblast - July 30

July 30, 2021
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Dear Neighbor, 

On Wednesday, Mayor LeClerc, the East Hartford Town Council, Police Chief Samson, Youth Services Program Director Marc Bassos, and the East Hartford state legislative delegation held a community conversation regarding strengthening public safety in East Hartford. I was pleased to see a mix of familiar and new faces in the crowd. The work of meaningful policy change starts at events such as this, where the community is able to voice their opinions, recommendations, and frustrations--but it does not end here. As we continue to work on this issue at all levels of government, make sure to follow my State Representative Facebook page and look for future emails with updates.
As we continue to work to support families and local businesses recover financially from the COVID-pandemic, this Sunday marks two important events: the minimum wage is going up by $1/hour and, for the week of August 1st through August 7th, restaurants will be able to keep the sales tax they collect on meals. The increase in the minimum wage was part of a bill we passed two years ago that gradually increases the minimum wage to $15/hour by June 2023. This bill is already providing working families with much needed income, and generating economic activity in our state. This year, in an effort to support our restaurant industry, we are allowing every restaurant to pick one of three potential weeks where they can retain the sales tax they generate – this will provide some additional financial cushion to one of our largest industries. The first of these three potential weeks, starts Sunday. Together, these two policies will continue the economic growth we have seen so far in 2021 and support workers and entrepreneurs.
In this email you'll find updates on district resources and news. Please click the links below to read the section that corresponds with the highlighted headline.

A NOTE: If you're having trouble clicking through the following links, open this email in a browser, use a computer or scroll through this email to the relevant section. 

The topics covered are as follows:

On Legislative Business
On Community Resources 
State Surplus may be Larger than Expected
Our just-passed, two-year state budget anticipates an unprecedented $2.3 billion surplus – but now, with updated data available, that surplus is likely going to be even larger. While we wait to see just how large the surplus is, we do know that General Fund revenues for the last fiscal year (which closed on June 30) are a little over $20.3 billion, which is $274 million more than we anticipated in mid-May. This is just further confirmation that our fiscal policies are working, and Connecticut is on the path towards a sustainable and solid future..
I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?
The CT Mirror: Unprecedented surplus in new CT budget may be even larger than legislators thought
Hartford Courant: Fat budget surplus may be even larger than Connecticut legislators expected. Wall Street earnings fuel tax revenue surge.
Governor Nominates Dr. Manisha Juthani as DPH Commissioner
On Monday, Governor Ned Lamont announced that he has nominated Dr. Manisha Juthani to serve as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Public Health. Dr. Juthani is an infectious diseases physician at Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, where she specializes in the diagnosis, management, and prevention of infections in older adults. Her most recent area of interest is at the interface of infectious diseases and palliative care, including the role of antibiotics at the end of life.
Dr. Juthani will succeed Dr. Deidre Gifford as head of the state’s public health agency. Over the past 14 months, Dr. Gifford has helped the state navigate the pandemic serving as not only the head of DPH but commissioner of the Department of Social Services. During Monday's press conference, Lamont announced that Dr. Gifford will now take on the additional duty of serving as Senior Advisor to the Governor for Health and Human Services.
I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?
Press Release: Governor Lamont Nominates Dr. Manisha Juthani as Public Health Commissioner
The CT Mirror: Manisha Juthani is Lamont’s nominee to lead CT Department of Public Health
Westfair Communications: Dr. Manisha Juthani poised to become CT’s first Indian-American commissioner
Expansion of CT's "Red Flag" Law Signed into Law
On Tuesday, the Governor, joined by the Connecticut State Police, legislators, and advocates, celebrated the signing of legislation which would expand Connecticut's "Red Flag" Law. First signed into law in 1999, the state's "Red Flag" law – the first in the country – was enacted following the devastating mass shooting at the Connecticut Lottery. Also known as a "Risk Warrant" or a "Risk Protection Order", the law establishes a process for the temporary removal of firearms from a person considered to be a threat to themselves or others. This update to the law:
  • Prohibits individuals subject to an order from acquiring firearms or ammunition.
  • Requires a finding from a judge that a person no longer poses an imminent threat of danger to themselves or others before their firearms are returned.
  • Allows family, household members and medical professionals to petition the court to do an investigation into the health of the individual.
I would like to know, what do you think of this issue?
CT Post: Connecticut looks to use Medicaid funds to address gun crime
NBC News: Lamont Signs Gun Violence Prevention Measures into Law
Today in CT History: The Greatest Rock Concert that Never Was
Following the mega concert at Woodstock in 1969, the owners of Powder Ridge Ski Resort in Middlefield, Connecticut organized a similar assembly in 1970. Some of the biggest names in rock during that time were expected to play over a 3-day concert. An estimated 25 acts and 50,000 attendees were expected to come. However, due to expected chaos, fear, and property destruction, local residents took to the local planning and zoning committee in Middlebury to file a legal injunction. Despite police roadblocks and a power cut-off, nearly 30,000 concert-goers trekked to Power Ridge unknowing of the cancellation, or in spite of the cancellation-- remaining for the weekend. Local news described the location as a wild scene of hard partying. Triage centers with volunteer doctors were set up. At the end of the weekend, none of the headliners appeared to perform due to the court order, and many concert-goers remained to clean the area of the greatest rock concert that never was.

Learn more about the Power Ridge Ski Resort Concert of 1970 and other interesting CT history facts by clicking here.
Olympics Update: CT Resident takes Bronze Medal & More Updates on Team USA's CT Connections
Connecticut is center stage at the Olympics! 50 athletes on Team USA have ties to Connecticut – 5 of which are current residents. Here's the latest on how they are doing:
  • Ridgefield native Kieran Smith won his first Olympic medal, bronze, during the men’s 400 free final.
  • Old Saybrook’s Alexis Sablone placed eighth out of 20 skaters with a score of 11.77 in the women’s street prelim. In the final, Sablone the oldest competitor in the event at age 34, finished fourth with a score of 13.57.
  • Former Uconn Huskies Sue Bird, Breanna Stewart, Diana Taurasi, and Tina Charles, and the Team USA women's basketball team defeated Nigeria, 81-72 in the opening game.
  • Former Stratford Brakette Cat Osterman and the Team USA softball team took silver in the Gold-Medal game against Japan, Team USA was defeated 2-0.
  • Team USA women's soccer, featuring goalkeeper, Stratford’s Alyssa Naeher beat the Neatherlands, 2-2 with a penalty shootout during the women’s tournament quarterfinals.
  • Old Lyme natives Austin Hack and Liam Corrigan and Team USA rowing finished 4th, just shy of an Olympic medal, during the final heat of the men’s eight competition.
  • The Team USA 3x3 women's basketball team – featuring former UConn Husky, Stefanie Dolson won the first ever women's gold medal again Russian Olympic Committee in a match ending 18-15. 
  • Former Yale athlete Kristi Wagner, along with partner Gevvie Stone earned 5th in the women’s double sculls final.
  • Connecticut College 2011 alumna Maggie Shea and Team USA teammate Stephanie Roble finished day four of the five-day competition of the women’s 49er FX sailing event in 6th place with 62 points.
Click here to track how local athletes are doing in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and click here to find a guide to each of the 2021 Olympic athletes with ties to Connecticut.
Access Health CT Special Enrollment Period Deadline is August 15
It is not too late to get a quality, affordable health insurance plan through Access Health Connecticut (AHCT), but time is running out. The American Rescue Plan Special Enrollment Period ends August 15!
The American Rescue Plan has virtually eliminated, or vastly reduced monthly payments (premiums) for many people with low and moderate incomes and has saved Connecticut residents more than $4.5 million to date.
This financial help is offered only through Access Health CT and benefits many, including those with somewhat higher incomes who can face high premiums. If you need coverage please don't hesitate to reach out.
Access Health CT will continue to offer free help: 
  • Online: AccessHealthCT.com (Live chat: click “Live Chat” icon) 
    • Phone: 1-855-805-4325, Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
    • If you are deaf or hearing impaired, you may use the TTY at 1-855-789-2428 or contact us with a relay operator
    • Extended Call Center Hours for close of the Special Enrollment Period: Sat., August 14 and Sun., August 15 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • With Enrollment Specialists in the community
  • In-person help at either of AHCT’s Navigator partner locations*: 
COVID-19 Updates & Upcoming Vaccine Clinics
The start of school and fall sports is right around the corner! Make in-person learning a priority this school year by ensuring that children aged 12 and over follow CDC recommendations, and get the vaccine! To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment for your child, call the East Hartford Health Department at (860) 291-7324, and for Manchester, call (860) 647-5235.
The CT DPH Mobile Vaccination Team is coming to the neighborhood on Saturday, July 31, 1PM – 5PM at Charity Seventh Day Adventist Church (1535 Forbes Street). The pop-up clinic is open to all Connecticut residents 12 and over (all minors must be accompanied by an adult), no appointment or insurance required. Gift cards will be available for all eligible first dose recipients upon vaccination!
For more information on receiving the COVID-19 vaccine or to locate an appointment near you, click here. Those without access to the internet can call the Connecticut’s Vaccine Appointment Assist Line, available seven days a week from 8 AM to 8 PM, at 877-918-2224.
Get rewarded for doing your part to support the public health of our communities! All summer, CT is offering so many opportunities to get rewarded for getting the vaccine – check it out: Check it out: "Make a Splash, Get Vaxxed," "CT Food On Us," and "CT Fun on Us."
For East Hartford-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here. And, for Manchester-based COVID-19 updates and resources, click here.
Cruisin' on Main Street is back for its 20th Anniversary on Sunday, August 1. Get ready for a fun-filled day of beautiful vintage vehicles, special activities, displays, music and delicious food arrayed along Downtown Manchester's historic Main Street. Show Car registration opens at 8AM and the show opens to the public at 10AM-3PM. All cars, trucks, sports cars and street rods 1987 and prior are welcome. There is a registration fee of $10, the first 700 cars receive dash plaques. Spectators are FREE! For more information, click here.
In the event of inclement weather, rain dates are Sunday, August 8 and Sunday, August 15.
Join Historian Carolyn Ivanoff at Manchester Public Library at 7PM on Monday, August 2 to discuss Derby, CT resident, Ebenezer D. Bassett, the United States' first African American ambassador and diplomat. This is a free program, no registration required. For more information, click here.
Manchester Public Library's Walking Book Club will be meeting up on Thursday, August 5 to discuss “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig – two discussion time slots will be available at 1PM and 6:30PM. Attendees will enjoy a socially distanced two-mile walk starting in the Mary Cheney Library Building and stopping for discussion, masks will be required. This is a free program, but registration is required, and slots are limited. For more information or to register, please call Jenn Bartlett at (860) 645-0821 or click here.
This week's Sounds of Summer concert series on Thursday, July 29, 6PM – 8PM at Great River Park (301 East River Drive) is bringing you Reggae Fusion group, Sound Pipers.
Concerts will be cancelled in the event of inclement weather, cancellations will be posted on the Town of East Hartford website and Facebook page. Any cancelled concert will attempt to be rescheduled. 
The Town of East Hartford and the East Hartford Police Department will be joining communities nationwide for National Night Out – America's Night Out Against Crime on Tuesday, August 3. Events will begin at 1PM and take place throughout the town. Residents throughout East Hartford are invited to join neighbors and police for a traveling “block party’ that will take place for 90 minutes at the following East Hartford locations:
1PM: Gorman Park on May Road
3PM: Hockanum Park on High Street
5PM: Martin Park on Burnside Avenue
7PM: Labor Field on Woodlawn Circle
For more information about East Hartford's National Night Out, click here.
East Hartford American Job Center at Goodwin College will be hosting an on-site recruitment for an open Bakery Team Member (Job ID #311087) position at Bakery on Main on Wednesday, August 11, 10AM – 12PM. For more information visit www.CTHires.com. Click on "Find a Job" then, "Job Number Search" tab. Enter the "Job Order Number" (the ID give above) then click "Search."

If you are interested in attending this recruitment event, you must be a registered user of CTHires. If you are not registered, please visit www.CTHires.com to register as an Individual prior to the event. Masks are required to attend.
My office is always open if you or your family are in need of assistance. Please do not hesitate to contact me by email at Jason.Rojas@cga.ct.gov or by phone at 860-240-8541.


Jason Rojas

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