Rep. Kavros DeGraw Appointed as House Chair of the Planning and Development Committee

December 8, 2022


For Immediate Release    

December 8, 2022

Speaker Ritter/Majority Leader Rojas announce Education, Commerce, Regulation Review and Internship chairs

Speaker of the House Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) and House Majority Leader Jason Rojas (D-East Hartford, Manchester) today announced the appointments of Rep. Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford, Manchester, South Windsor) as House Chair of the Education Committee, Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw (D-Avon, Canton) as House Chair of the Planning and Development Committee, Rep. Stephen Meskers (D-Greenwich) as House Chair of the  Commerce Committee, Rep. Lucy Dathan (Norwalk, New Canaan) as House Chair of the Regulation Review Committee and Rep. Mary Welander (D-Orange, Woodbridge, Derby) as House Chair of the Internship Committee.


Additional committee announcements are expected next week.


Education Chair Jeff Currey

Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas appointed Rep. Jeff Currey as House Chair of the Education Committee.


“Jeff has spent the past four years keeping the legislative machine running in the House - The bills were ready to be called because of his hard work.” Speaker Ritter said. “I know his attention to detail combined with his commitment to students, educators and families will serve the state well in his new role as Education Chair.”


Majority Leader Rojas said, “I’ve known Rep. Currey for decades and he has always had a passion for education and the integral role that schools play in our communities. From his days as a student, to his time on the Board of Education, and for the past eight years, Rep. Currey has been a leader on education policy. I’ve seen firsthand the level of care and detail he puts into his work. His persistent belief in putting the ‘we before the me’ will be an asset to the Education Committee as they tackle the growing challenges of our students and teachers.” 


“Our schools, our students, and our educators – teachers, paraprofessionals, and support staff – have faced unprecedented challenges in recent years. Consistently facing changing guidelines, a rapidly growing need of already strained funding and resources, and an increasing politicization of seemingly every lesson plan and activity has caused too many to leave the profession, leaving our children without integral components of their support system. As Chair of the Education Committee, I look forward to the opportunity to give our K-12 teachers and education professionals the respect and attention they deserve. Now more than ever,” said Rep. Currey. 


Rep. Currey continued, “Thank you Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas for trusting in me to lead this committee. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that the students and educators of Connecticut are provided with the resources and support needed to succeed.”


Planning and Development Committee Chair Eleni Kavros DeGraw

Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas appointed Rep. Eleni Kavros DeGraw as House Chair of the Planning and Development Committee.


“Eleni is always looking for ways to efficiently provide services - often by improving the working relationships between the state, regions and municipalities,” Speaker Ritter said. “She understands when all the players are moving in the right direction, the people of Connecticut are the winners.”


Majority Leader Rojas said, “The Planning and Development Committee is responsible for a significant portfolio of policy, requiring having cognizance of all matters relating to local governments, urban renewal, fire, sewer and metropolitan districts, home rule and planning and zoning; regional planning and economic development. While entering just her second term in the legislature Rep. Kavros DeGraw has quickly established herself as a consensus builder and thought leader on issues impacting towns big and small. She is approachable and accessible and our towns and cities will have an engaged partner as House Chair of Planning and Development.” 


“I am honored and grateful to Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas for their confidence in me and my ability to lead the Planning and Development Committee. This committee represents, in many ways, the future of our state and I look forward to working with municipal stakeholders to address their unique needs as we explore creative solutions to the challenges we face now and moving forward,” said Rep. Kavros DeGraw.


Commerce Committee Chair Stephen Meskers

Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas appointed Rep. Steve Meskers as House Chair of the Commerce Committee.


“Steve’s career in finance and overall dedication to policies that improve the state’s economy make him a great choice to lead the Commerce Committee,” Speaker Ritter said. “This committee is focused on business development and growth, two issues that Steve is passionate about.”


Majority Leader Rojas said, “I had the privilege of serving with Rep. Meskers as members of the Finance Committee and he has been focused on business climate and economic growth since becoming a member of the legislature. Supporting Connecticut’s employer community will continue to be a focus of the legislature’s work for years to come. Rep. Meskers has a proven track record as a committed and dedicated legislator, and I look forward to working with him in this new role to build upon efforts to spur job creation and economic growth.” 


“I am honored and excited to be appointed Chair of the Commerce Committee and am looking forward to working with the administration and furthering its pro-business agenda,” Rep. Meskers said. “I thank Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas for placing their confidence in me to lead this Committee.”


Regulation Review Committee Chair Lucy Dathan

Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas appointed Rep. Lucy Dathan as House Chair of the Regulation Review Committee.


“Lucy will be chairing a truly bipartisan committee - it’s evenly split,” Speaker Ritter said. “This is a committee that does not let party get in the way of policy and that is exactly how Lucy operates.”


“The Regulation Review Committee is tasked with the important role of ensuring the regulations recommended by state agencies are fair and reasonable for Connecticut’s residents – a role I believe Rep. Dathan is well suited for,” Majority Leader Rojas said. “Rep. Dathan has quickly established herself as a capable policy leader who understands governance issues and has a detailed understanding of the state budget and policy design. Her skillset is well-suited for regs review, a critically important step in the policy making process where proper implementation of the law is essential to positive and impactful laws. I’m excited to see her rise into this leadership role.”


“I am grateful to Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas for having the confidence in me to serve as House Chair of this bipartisan committee,” said Rep. Dathan. “Our best work is done when we set party lines aside and work together on behalf of all Connecticut residents. I am thrilled to take on this new role and look forward to a successful new legislative session.”


Internship Committee Chair Mary Welander

Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas appointed Rep. Mary Welander as House Chair of the Internship Committee.


“It is rare for a sophomore legislator to be a chair - but Mary’s skill and leadership are second-to-none,” Speaker Ritter said. “This committee is all about guiding students on a path of growth and learning. Mary will be an excellent chair.”


Majority Leader Rojas said, “Rep. Welander has quickly become an important voice for students at all levels of our education system. She plays a critical role in K-12 education policy and will contribute to the success of the CGA Internship program. Our internship programs offer an in-depth opportunity to closely observe and be a part of the legislative process. For many students, the experience can serve as their inspiration to work in government – or even run for public office one day. Rep. Welander is the perfect fit to ensure our internship program continues to provide a meaningful and high-quality experience.”     


“I am honored to be asked by Speaker Ritter and Majority Leader Rojas to chair this committee and lead these young adults as they learn the legislative process,” Rep. Welander said. “These students are part of the future of our democracy, and it is a privilege to be asked to work with and assist them in navigating state government, policy-making and advocacy.”


Rep. Welander continued, “I love engaging and encouraging young people in the active democratic process, and I look forward to the two-way education this role will offer, as my colleagues and I will – inherently – learn a great deal from these students about what issues are at the forefront of our future leaders’ minds.”