Updates from State Rep. Jack Fazzino - January 24, 2023

January 24, 2023

This month, I was sworn in for my first term at the State Capitol representing the 83rd District, which covers parts of Cheshire, Meriden, and my hometown of Berlin. 

I am humbled that I get to represent the residents of the 83rd District because this community is my home, and there isn't anything I wouldn't do for it. I will take a constituent-centered approach to represent you because that's the most important thing when you're elected to office. I was elected to represent everybody, and I understand and embrace that.
During the 2023 Legislative Session, which is underway, I will serve as Vice Chair of the Commerce Committee and as a member of the General Law and Public Safety and Security Committees. I was also appointed as an Assistant Majority Leader.
My committee assignments are inspiring, including working to grow Connecticut's economy as Vice Chair of the Commerce Committee. I look forward to building consensus through teamwork and collaboration while working closely with diverse individuals who may share different values, perspectives and lived experiences.

Throughout the session, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance to you or your family. Email me at Jack.Fazzino@cga.ct.gov or call me at 860-240-8486. I will also post updates and resources on my Official Facebook page.

It’s an honor to serve as your State Representative and I look forward to hearing from you about ways we can improve the 83rd District and Connecticut.

Below is my first weekly update. I appreciate you taking the time to read it!

37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Albert Owens Scholarship Breakfast
“If not us, who? If not now, when?”

This was Dr. King’s message that keynote speaker Brandon McGee delivered to us at the 37th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Albert Owens Scholarship Breakfast at Francis T. Maloney High School in Meriden. 

Traditions like these are important opportunities convene and commemorate all that unifies us as a community — compassion, perseverance, and a desire to act urgently and speak out for things that matter to us. 

Thank you to Ms. Rhudean Raye for keeping this tradition alive for nearly four decades. Thank you to our many city, federal, and state leaders for spending time with us this morning to celebrate, especially State Representative Hilda Santiago for serving as our emcee and Brandon McGee for his inspiring words. 

A special congratulations to our 18 Meriden students who were School Essay Winners in the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest — we are all very proud of you!

Combatting Rising Heating Costs
With winter upon us, and the cost of home heating bills rising, I wanted to be sure that you were aware of the initiatives being taken to improve energy affordability and reliability in our state.
To help Connecticut families now, we are utilizing federal and state dollars to increase energy assistance. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) will allow all participating households that heat with deliverable fuels, such as home heating oil, to receive an additional crisis assistance benefit worth $430 this winter season.
Coupled with the existing basic benefit and crisis assistance benefits, the additional benefit means those families can now access up to $2,320 per household to help pay their heating bills.

Households interested in seeking assistance through CEAP should apply online at ct.gov/heatinghelp or contact their local community action agency. Additional assistance is available by calling 2-1-1. Those seeking assistance from Operation Fuel should visit operationfuel.org.
To better prepare for the future and reduce costs, we are also taking the necessary steps to adopt long-term strategies that will:

  • Build a cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable energy supply by investing in offshore wind, hydropower, nuclear power, and other renewable resources.
  • Build energy efficiency and electrification programs that are not just increasing decarbonization and reliability but are creating good jobs.
  • Capitalize on historic federal funding opportunities to maximize our investments.

These are just a few actions we are taking now, but throughout this legislative session, I will continue to ensure that we are prioritizing efforts to reduce the rising cost of energy.

WBDC Equity Match Grant Program Applications Open
The Women's Business Development Council (WBDC) is excited to announce the next round of our Equity Match Grant Program is now open! The deadline to apply is February 28.

The program offers grants of up to $10,000 to women-owned businesses in Connecticut that have been in business for two or more years and have revenues between $25,000 and $2 million. Since the program launched in late 2020, we have distributed 167 grants totaling over $1.5 million to women-owned businesses in Connecticut. For additional information and more details on the program, please visit ctwbdc.org/equity-match-grant-program.

Free Tax Preparation Help
The Berlin-Peck Memorial Library and the Berlin Senior Center have free tax preparation help for low- and middle-income taxpayers.

Library officials said special attention will be given to senior citizens and the program is by appointment only.

To schedule an appointment either at the library or the senior center, click HERE

This year's appointments will be on Tuesdays at the Library and Thursdays at the Senior Center starting February 14 and ending April 11. Appointments are required and quickly fill up.