Rep. Foster- Updates From the Capitol

April 18, 2022

The 2022 session is well underway. There is so much work to be done and because so much of it is out of view of the public, I thought I would include in my weekly e-blasts all the great things I am proud to work on.

Just like in the off session, I spend most of my waking hours advocating for the people of Ellington and East Windsor. I am spending nearly 60 hours a week in public hearings alone so you may see some delay in response time.

As I'm sure many of you are aware, our community was hit by a rash of catalytic converters thefts. I wanted to take a moment to discuss legislation that the General Assembly has worked on to address the larger issue of car theft.  


Since the start of the pandemic, there has been conversations surrounding the in car thefts. In response, my colleagues and I consulted  law enforcement officials and implemented immediate changes during the off-session, including:
  1. providing judges additional information when evaluating whether to approve a police officer's request to detain a child suspected of crime;
  2. implementing next-business-day arraignments for offenses involving a gun and car thefts; and
  3. funding regional car theft task forces across the state.

Thankfully, preliminary figures presented by the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy indicate a 4% to 6% decrease in the number of reported auto thefts in 2021 compared to 2020. Auto thefts are down 77% from their high in 1991. You can read more about those findings here.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, Connecticut saw its lowest rate in property crime on record, with a 35% decrease in property crime occurring from 2010 to 2019 and Connecticut has a crime rate is 32% lower than the national average (Data linked here). That shows that the measures the legislature has taken in relation to juvenile crime, and rooted in prevention, had been working.

Similarly, the reforms the state has implemented over the past two decades have resulted in us experiencing the 4th lowest rate of violent crime in the country. You can learn more about the state of crime in CT from the FBI Crime Data Explorer

H.B. 5417 & S.B. 256

Two pieces of legislation that have been crafted are H.B. 5417, An Act Concerning Juvenile Justice and Services and Firearms Background Checks and S.B. 256, An Act Concerning the Purchase or Receipt of Catalytic Converters by Motor Vehicle Recyclers, Scrap Metal Processors and Junk Dealers. 

H.B. 5417  is an all encompassing bill, but there is one portion that is relevant to the issue in our community. This bill will  increase funding to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) to expand Regional Police Task Forces devoted to motor vehicle crimesIt would also appropriates money for regional crime reduction strategies.

S.B. 256 would  impose restrictions and require recordkeeping by motor vehicle recyclers, scrap metal processors and junk dealers when purchasing catalytic converters. This would help codify and strengthen efforts to curbing catalytic converter theft.

I understand that catalytic converter thefts and car break-ins are detrimental and upsetting. As a legislator, I am looking at the big picture. I am talking talking to the experts and law enforcement to try to make sure that all I do legislatively is responsive and supportive to our community. 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Here are some things I am always working on to benefit the district: 

  • Email and phone calls to follow up on local issues
  • Keep in touch with municipal CEOs to collaborate!
  • Sharing funding announcements with local orgs who might not see things I get
  • Stay in touch with local PDs
  • Stay in touch with local school admin
  • Meeting with constituents about local issues and asks
  • Planning / organizing outreach events and office hours to keep open and transparent office

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to focus attention on the prevalence of sexual assault in our communities, uplift the voices of survivors and commit ourselves to putting an end to sexual violence.

Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill which focused specifically on protecting sexual assault victims on college campuses. HB 6374 requires Connecticut colleges to conduct a sexual assault misconduct survey every two years and establishes a Council on Sexual Misconduct Climate Assessments to assist higher education institutions in collecting this information.

This year, we are advocating for the passage of HB 5472An Act Concerning Sexual Assault, and the Absence of Consent. This bill updates statutory language to define "consent" for purposes of sexual assault and clarifies that sexual intercourse without consent is a crime. HB 5472 was voted out of the Judiciary Committee and will be sent to the floor for debate and consideration.

The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence launched their annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign. This year’s theme is healing through community. Visit to find out how you can get involved in building survivor communities that provide solace, connection, and prevent further violence.

If you or someone you love needs support, call or text their 24-hour hotline:
1-888-999-5545 for English,1-888-565-8332 para Español.

I hope you will join me this month in honoring the resilience of survivors as we work towards building safer communities.

Other Events  

National Volunteer Month

It's National Volunteer Month and we're a very generous and giving community.

I've heard from families making lists together of jobs they can do together!

I've heard from teachers with classrooms making art or letters for troops, nursing homes and people in the Ukraine.
I want to hear from you, we've got a month ahead of us! What are your plans!! Here is how my family volunteered this week. 

  • We shopped for the Crystal Lake Food Pantry 
  • We helped clean up the Hockanum River Trail

Farm Restoration

Do you have privately or publicly owned land that you would like to bring into agricultural production for human food, animal feed, or livestock grazing? Apply for the Farmland Restoration Grant (FLRG) to receive matching funds (up to $20,000) to restore and improve land with prime and important farmland soils.

Applications are due by April 12. Details at

Internship Opportunities

Spring Break is next week! I have an opportunity for high school Juniors and Seniors, looking for an internship.
My office has opportunities for you to get experience in ways that will give back to our community!

I am looking for students with strong written communication skills and attention to detail.

These projects will be completed during your one-week spring break and can be done remotely or in-person or in combination.

If you are interested, please send me an email -

Student Athlete Day

April 6 was Student Athlete Day.

Being a student athlete is tough work, and it shapes who you are as a person. Research shows a child's involvement in sport helps them to improve their social interaction, increase their confidence, and improve their listening skills and health. Participation in sport is linked to higher grades, lower dropout rate, reduced truancy and lower crime rates. Shoutout to all the student athletes in this district who are working so hard!

When I was in high school, I was a 3 season athlete, In the fall I swam, in the winter I ran indoor track and in the spring I did track. I did summer swimming programs from elementary school through high school.

Positive sporting experiences (and gym/PE) can set out kids up for a lifetime of enjoying fitness.

Library Worker Appreciation Day

April 5 was Library Worker Appreciation Day!! Say thanks to Ashley, Sue and all Ellington and East Windsor's fantastic librarians!!

East Windsor Town Budget Process

Click here is the Budget Workshop Meeting information.
Click here for the last meetings minutes.

Ellington Town Budget Meetings

The Town of Ellington will hold a public hearing on April 12th , where interested citizens can comment on and ask questions of the proposed budget.

The Board of Finance will then have the opportunity to go through each line item and make changes at their Budget Deliberations meetings scheduled for April 14th and 20th.

Finally, the Annual Town Budget Meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 10th. One of two conclusions to this meeting will occur: either a vote of electors/citizens qualified to vote in Town Meetings will be taken to approve the proposed FY 2022-2023 Town Budget, or the meeting will be adjourned to Referendum to address this item.

Any questions on the Town's proposed budget can be directed to the Finance Office at 860-870-3115. Additional information on the proposed 2022-2023 budget can be found on their website

American Rescue Plan Task Force

The Town of Ellington is looking for ideas on how to spend funds allocated from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).

Click here to access the form to submit your ideas. 

The deadline to submit ideas for the use of these funds is 4:00 pm on Thursday, April 21st. 

The next meeting of the American Rescue Plan Task Force is scheduled for April 28, 2022 at 2:00 pm in the Nicholas J. DiCorleto, Jr. Meeting Hall. 

Please visit the Town of Ellington website with any additional questions. 

North Central District Health Department

The North Central District Health Department will soon be offering weekly office hours for those looking to do the following:

1. Planning to open a food establishment, hair and/or nail salon or barber shop;
2. Considering the purchase of an existing food establishment or salon; or
3. A residential building addition, deck, shed or swimming pool.