Your Input Needed on New Transportation Plan 2050

February 27, 2023

It’s been another busy week at the Capitol, and I’ve been hard at work advocating for our community and our future. I take this work very seriously and work with great care and heart to advance policies that will positively impact Ansonia, Derby, and every resident in the 104th. As we work through the legislative process, if you have questions or feedback on any bill or policy issue, please be in touch.  I like hearing from you.

The Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments (NVCOG) recently released a draft of our region’s long term transportation plan. The plan, called NVision50, outlines the goals for transportation in the region between now and 2050 and lays out strategies to achieve this vision. 

You are welcome to provide your feedback from today through March 17. A virtual town hall-style meeting will be held on March 9 from 3 pm -7 pm. You can also comment by email at or by calling NVCOG’s office at (203) 757-0535.

Derby Public Library is celebrating Black History Month by honoring the generations of African Americans who have made a significant impact on our community, many of whom overcame adversity as well. There are many inspiring figures to learn about who have contributed much to society.

The Library has a wide array of printed and digital resources available including books from renowned authors such as Toni Morrison, Alex Haley, Alice Walker, and Booker T. Washington.

Starting on April 1, the COVID-19 public health emergency protection will be coming to an end. This means changes to certain federal programs that were expanded during the emergency. Medicaid enrollees who were continuously covered will again have to provide proof of eligibility to continue getting benefits.

If you get your healthcare through HUSKY or DSS, you have not had to do your annual redetermination since March 2020. But starting in April, you will have to prove your eligibility once every year. In addition, you will need to provide identification, address, and proof of income. 

The Department of Social Services Field Offices are open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8 am - 4:30 pm. Click here for more information.

In addition, extra SNAP benefits have come to an end. Since April 2020, some individuals and families received an extra SNAP payment on their EBT cards in the middle of each month. According to the Department of Social Services, it does not have control over when those benefits end since they are tied to federal legislation.

SNAP redetermination happens every six months. You will once again have to provide identification, your address, proof of income, and your social security information.

All households that are eligible for SNAP benefits will receive one payment starting in March. Those funds will arrive in the first three days of the month depending on the last name. Those in the program will receive their normal monthly benefit.

Households can now check their EBT balance in real-time by visiting www.mydss.ct.govOn MyDSS, you can also update DSS with any case changes, complete renewals, view documents, or verify case status from a computer or mobile device.
To learn more as well as where to obtain resources for families dealing with the ending of the extra SNAP benefits, visit:

I am committed to helping everyone who needs assistance. My colleagues are continuing discussions on the termination of some of these expanded services.

It’s been a busy week with committee meetings, bill screenings, public hearings, and testifying on a wide array of bills. From bills to hold banks accountable for excessive fees to fully funding our schools, more resources for firefighters to tax cuts for seniors, and so much more. It’s been a busy week of weighing in on policy. 
I serve as Vice Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, and on the Commerce, General Law, and Screening Committees as well. A myriad of bills came before us for public hearing, from how to address workforce shortages to issues on college campuses, regulation of various industries, strategies to promote economic growth, cut red tape, and spur prosperity, and so much more. 
I also had a serious discussion with this greyhound rescue prior to a public hearing last week. She wanted me to know she’s for a ban on dog racing. Her mom shared with us the conditions race dogs are kept in and the injuries that occur from racing. 42 states have a ban on dog racing, many enacted over the past decade. Two and four-legged advocates came to encourage legislators to make CT state #43 to enact a ban.
And it’s always great to see folks from the 104th in the Legislative Office Building! Last Tuesday, Eric from Derby came up to testify on a bill he’s particularly passionate about. Thank you, Eric for taking an active role in the democratic process!
Back home in the 104th, I also volunteer with Master's Table Community Meals, which provides free meals to those in need! I’ve been volunteering with great ladies like these for the past four years or so. 

Meals are offered in the basement of Assumption Church in Ansonia, and the next giveaway is this Sunday at 3:30pm. We’re on hand until 5pm or the food runs out (often earlier). If you or someone you know could use a free meal, come by. The volunteers are always happy to see our guests.

This month is Teen Dating Violence Awareness, a time to spotlight the dangers and warning signs of dating violence to help protect our youth.  

Data shows 26% of high school students in Connecticut have experienced verbally or emotionally abusive relationships. 9% have experienced physical abuse, and 11% have experienced sexual abuse. At the same time, 82% of parents nationwide are not aware that teen dating violence is an issue and 58% cannot correctly identify all the warning signs of dating violence.

Healthy relationships are built on trust, independence, honesty, and kindness. Teaching our youth to value and seek out healthy relationships is of paramount importance not only to their physical and emotional wellbeing, but also to their development.

All adolescents can experience dating violence. However, young women and trans and gender non-conforming youth are at a disproportionality higher risk of experiencing this kind of abuse.

We must continue educating parents, guardians, community leaders, and friends on understanding what constitutes dating violence, and what we can do to protect our young people against this kind of abuse. 

  • Click here to learn more about dating violence early warnings.  
  • Click here for ten signs of a healthy relationship. 
  • Click here to access more information and resources on dating violence in LGBTQ+ relationships. 

If you believe your teen or one of their friends is in danger – help is available. Individuals and families can contact CT Safe Connect from anywhere 24 hours a day, 365 days per year, to receive a thorough assessment of needs, emotional support, safety planning and options. Contact them by calling or texting (888) 774-2900, send a confidential email to or use their web chat. All services are confidential, safe, free, and voluntary.     

Find more information and useful resources on this issue below. 
Interval House offers a large range of resources on teen dating violence. Resources are available in both English and Spanish. has a large range of resources covering teen dating violence and domestic abuse, as well as relevant legislation.
Click here to read President Joe Biden's proclamation on Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month.

A round of applause to the Derby Centennial Lions Club and The Seymour Lions Club. Head Start kids at Team, Inc are picking out their favorite pajamas from your donations! Thank you for bringing smiles to these little ones’ faces. ❤
A special thank you to the Valley YMCA and for their free food distribution. Last week, volunteers served fresh produce, dairy, fruit and bread to more than 180 families!