Currey-ently seeking sleep

March 24, 2023
I just returned to my office after chairing our last Education Committee meeting of the 2023 legislative session. I’ll have much more to say when I’ve been able to take a breath, and share all of the great, bipartisan work we did to set the priorities for education as we move into the rest of session while setting ourselves up for debates in both the House and the Senate.

In the meantime, enjoy this edition of Currey-ently and have an easy weekend.


Jeff Currey
To stay up-to-date with everything happening in Hartford, click the "At the Capitol, In District, & Beyond" link below, but also please check out the other subject links in this intro to go right to the topic in the body of this email.

You can find additional resources and information on my website. If there's something you need help with that isn't included in this email, please check my website. If you can't find what you're looking for there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

The education road show continues! Recently, I visited:
  • Joel Barlow High School (Redding)
  • Wilby High School (Waterbury)
  • North End Middle School (Waterbury)

Thank you to State Representatives Larry Butler, Ron Napoli, Anne Hughes and Chris Poulos - who teaches Spanish at Barlow -  for helping to organize these stops in their communities. Visiting these schools and interacting with students, educators and administrators one-on-one helps to better inform the decisions we’re making on the Education Committee and in the General Assembly.

I also want to highlight a fun "trailer" we will call it, that the students of Wilby High School made entirely on their own after my visit. Please click the button below to watch the video on my Facebook page. To clarify in advance, I did not borrow Marine 1.

Wilby High School "Trailer"
The Education Committee held two meetings over the last two weeks to vote bills out to either the floor of their adjacent chamber - House or Senate - or to another Committee that shares oversight on the legislation.
  • If the bill was voted “joint favorably” out of the committee and to “the floor,” it will then be reviewed by the screening committee of either the House or Senate to decide how best to proceed or if it requires a referral to another committee of cognizance.
  • If the bill is voted “joint favorably” out to another committee or there is a “change of reference,” it requires that committee to consider taking further action.

The Committee's priority bill this year is HB 5003: An Act Concerning Education Funding in Connecticut. This bill deals with the ECS formula and ensures that schools throughout the state receive the funding they need to provide a quality education to all of Connecticut's students.

I encourage you to watch a portion, or all of the discussion on this important legislation in the video below.

I am excited, and pleased to announce that one of our very own CT Educators, a Stratford teacher, was inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame!

The surprise of a lifetime propelled Kristen Record, a Stratford physics teacher and Connecticut’s 2011 Teacher of the Year, into yet another exclusive group of exceptional educators. Record is one of only five educators selected for induction into the National Teachers Hall of Fame class of 2023, the 31st class inducted into the program. Since the inaugural induction ceremonies in 1992, 150 educators have been inducted into the National Teachers Hall of Fame.

Record was nominated by Education Committee member, state Representative Chris Poulos, a 2022 National Teachers Hall of Fame inductee and 2007 Connecticut Teacher of the Year. Record is the sixth Connecticut teacher to be inducted into the national program.

The formal induction ceremonies will be held in Washington, D.C. in May and in Emporia, Kansas in June. Congratulations!

The East Hartford Board of Education appointed Mr. Thomas Anderson, a graduate of East Hartford Public Schools, its new Superintendent of Schools this week.

Mr. Anderson has spent many years in leadership roles in various states as an Assistant/Instructional Superintendent, principal of schools and Executive Director and Founding Principal.

I want to offer a special congratulations to Mr. Thomas, and look forward to working with you to continue growing the impact of our schools in the community!

On March 14, the Community Investment Fund Board awarded $7.5 million to Manchester to make upgrades and improvements to Downtown and Main St. Improving the safety of our roads and sidewalks makes our Town accessible for everyone. I am grateful to see this investment for improved safety being made in the heart of the community and excited for residents and visitors to walk, bike and drive on Main Street, knowing the only thing they need to worry about is what shops or restaurants they are going to visit. Thank you to Town Manager, Stephen Stephanou, and his entire team for their work in getting this project over the financial finish line.

Learn more about the project and funding on my webpage.

The Town of East Hartford has begun the process of awarding funds to local eligible businesses who applied to the Small Business Assistance Program in 2022.
Last year, the East Hartford Town Council allocated $3,849,919 of ARPA funds to help local businesses recover from the pandemic. As part of the ARPA-funded program, local businesses were able to apply for up to $125,000 to hire new employees, expand infrastructure, purchase equipment or renovate their façade. East Hartford received 106 applications from local businesses.  Following a review of the applications to determine eligibility and prioritize needs, approved businesses are beginning to receive reimbursements for qualified expenses.
Among the awarded East Hartford businesses so far are:
  • C-Town; grocery store; $125,000 for façade renovations and expansion of the building
  • Hair Obsessions LLC; salon; $18,000 for new equipment, renovations and hiring
  • Perfect Poundcakes; bakery; $70,000 for new baking and display equipment and a purchase of a bakery trailer
  • Aqua Laundry; laundromat; $40,000 for new machines and signage
  • Cream Time; restaurant; $71,335 for kitchen equipment, façade work and improvements to the building, including ADA component
  • Fruitful Mixology; distillery; $125,000 for purchase of production equipment
  • DR & F Contracting LLC; trucking company; $93,750 for purchase of a tractor trailer
  • Main Hardware; retailer; $93,750 for façade renovations
  • Amped Up Electric; electrician; $47,950 for a new van and equipment
  • Dave’s Service Center; automotive; $110,071 for a new wrecker truck
  • Loop Services/Safe Roof Cleaning; roof cleaning service; $112,724 for purchase of vehicles
  • Square Peg Commissary; kitchen for local restaurant chain; $62,500 for new equipment and expansion in new location
  • Big Z CT Cleaners; dry cleaner; $55,000 for new equipment
  • JJ Sullivan Contracting ; construction; $1,250 for hiring staff                                                                                                            
  • MegOwen LLC dba Decco Manufacturing; specialty hardware fabricator; $25,000 for new equipment
  • SI Main St EH LLC/Advance Auto Parts Plaza; retail plaza; $31,250 for façade renovations
  • United Steel; steel fabricator; $125,000 for advanced machinery
  • VRSim; virtual reality developer; $31,250 for new equipment and expansion in new location                         

The East Hartford Development Department team continues to review received applications and allocate the remaining funds to eligible businesses.

As you likely know, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass a baby bonds program into law in 2021. The program will invest funds on behalf of each baby born into poverty in the state, supplying capital for wealth-building purposes once they reach adulthood.
Babies born starting July 1, 2023, will be eligible for baby bonds. However, funding to begin investments has not yet been secured.

Although funding is not yet in place, State Treasurer Erick Russell's office is ready to begin investing and designating shares the minute the program becomes effective on July 1, 2023.

  • The trust documents, which will create a charitable trust within my office and serve as the investment vehicle for the funds, are prepared and ready to be signed
  • The process to receive the number of births paid for by HUSKY, which is necessary to determine the pro rata share of the trust for each beneficiary, is already in place through state law
  • The Treasurer's office has been working collaboratively with stakeholders across the executive branch to ensure there is a process to verify eligibility when beneficiaries begin to make their claims 18 years from now
While the Town of East Hartford completed its annual budget process - you can watch it here - on March 13, the Town of Manchester will hold one more workshop ahead of budget adoption. Please find more information below.
Manchester's final budget workshop will be held next week:
  • Tuesday, March 28 at 5:30PM – Budget Workshop #7 (as needed)

Following the final workshop, the Town will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, March 28 at 7PM, and a special meeting to adopt the budget on Tuesday, April 11 at 7PM. All meetings will be conducted in-person at the Lincoln Center Hearing Room and can be watched live on Silk City TVFacebook Live, or Cox Channel 16.
For more information, click here.

The Connecticut Department of Social Services (DSS) recently announced that they will extend the coverage period for households receiving energy assistance through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) to March 31.

Thanks to the work of our Congressional delegation, Connecticut was able to secure additional federal funding for the program to provide this extension to the deadline.

Households that heat their homes with deliverable fuels such as home heating oil, propane, or kerosene will now have until March 31 to submit requests to their fuel providers for deliveries and receive assistance under CEAP for those deliveries. Approved CEAP households should contact their fuel providers before the end of March to request delivery.

For more information on qualifications, and how to apply, please click the buttons below

Apply for CEAP
Learn More About CEAP
Recently released enrollment data for the 2022-23 school year reveal significant increases in the learning needs of Connecticut's public school students.

Despite a slight drop in the state's overall student count and nearly half of school districts experiencing enrollment declines, the overwhelming majority of Connecticut's districts are now serving more students who are eligible for free or reduced-price meals, more English Learner students, and more students with disabilities.

The increases not only result in record numbers of students with higher learning needs being educated by the state's public schools, but they come at a time when students are still recovering from the effects of the pandemic on their learning and mental health, and districts are facing a severe fiscal cliff as federal COVID-relief funding expires next year.

These factors will continue to pose challenges for educators, and impact students' academic experiences, unless adequate resources are provided to help support students and respond to growing learning needs.

This is why there must be a sense of urgency to pass House Bill 5003 and work with the members of the Special Education Task Force so that we may build upon our state’s efforts to address and provide for various increases throughout all our state’s school districts.

  • Total state enrollment declined by 102 and is now 513,513 students
    • 52% of districts (and 64% of Alliance Districts) experienced an increase in enrollment. The average increase was 2.5%
    • Districts with a decline in enrollment saw an average decrease of 3%
    • Number of students in grades K-5 point to further enrollment declines over the next several years
  • Number of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch increased by nearly 9,500 (or 4.5%) to roughly 217,900 students
    • This is the second-largest increase (by total number and percentage) in past 10 years
    • 66% of districts saw an increase in students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, with the average increase being 14%
    • Over 42% of Connecticut students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch — the third-highest percentage in state history
  • Number of English Learner students increased by over 4,500 (or 10.1%) to nearly 50,000 students
    • This is the largest increase by total number, and the second-largest increase by percentage, over the past 10 years
    • 61% of districts had an increase in the number of English Learner students, with the average increase being 26%
    • The largest increases (by percentage) in English Learner students were concentrated in districts classified as being in mid-sized cities or rural communities
    • 1 in 10 Connecticut students is an English Learner and the state now educates more English Learner students than at any point in its history
  • Number of students requiring special education services increased by over 2,500 (or 3%) to 88,100 students
    • This is the second-largest increase (by total number of students) in the past 10 years
    • 70% of districts experienced an increase in the number of students with disabilities
    • More than 17% of public school students require special education services
    • Connecticut now educates more students with disabilities than at any point in state history

We continue to ask that our friends, family, and neighbors consider using all the tools within their reach to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Information for testing, vaccine clinics, and those who are homebound and need assistance are noted below. We must be in this together.
Overall Summary Cumulative
(except for hospital census)
Past 7 days
Positive PCR/NAAT Tests 1,064,623 +673
All PCR/NAAT Tests 16,394,878 +16,054
Test Positivity (pos/all PCR/NAAT) -- 4.19%
Patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 119 -37
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 12,270 +12
Click Here for COVID-19 Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Click Here for Information on Getting Vaccinated
Specific Updates for Our Community
Town Total Cases Total Deaths Number of Tests Percent Positivity Past 7 Days (NAAT) 
East Hartford 15,880 213 245,087 3.61%
Manchester  14,478 206 240,521 5%
Children ages 5 through 11 can now receive the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the new boosters for this age group and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved the authorization last week. The updated boosters will be available from pediatricians, hospitals/health networks, DPH mobile clinics, and pharmacies. Residents can visit to locate a provider near them. 

Vaccines continue to be effective tools in protecting residents from severe COVID-19 infections. To get vaccinated or your booster, please click here to locate vaccination sites in our community.

Below is an upcoming vaccine clinic happening in our community:

  • Tuesday, March 28
    • Raymond Library, 840 Main St, East Hartford, 3PM-7PM, for ages 6 months and up

Information about getting vaccinated, including how to make an appointment and a list of clinics, is available on Connecticut's Vaccine Portal, here.

If you need assistance finding transportation to and from a vaccine appointment, you can find transportation resources here.

If you're a homebound resident, you can receive your COVID-19 shot at home. Complete the state Department of Public Health's Homebound Intake Form to get the appointment process started.

Flu season is upon us and a yearly flu vaccine can help protect against serious illness. After getting the vaccine, it will take about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that can protect you from the flu. To get a flu shot, check with your healthcare provider or call your local health department. You can also visit to find a location near you that is administering flu shots. For more information, please click here.

For additional state and local resources, click the links below:
Looking for help this tax season? The AARP Tax Aide Program will be available to residents now through Friday, April 15 at the East Hartford Senior Center. Appointments can be made during Senior Center hours of operation, 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. Call (860) 291-7460 to set up an appointment.
Assistance will also be available for elderly, persons with disabilities, and veterans needing guidance on available exemption programs. Representatives from the East Hartford Assessor's Office will be at the East Hartford Senior Center every Wednesday, 9AM-3:30PM to accommodate walk-ins and appointments for the senior, totally disabled and veteran program exemptions.
Please bring proof of income to include a filed 2022 tax return, if required to file, and the 1099 form from Social Security. For details regarding eligibility and documentation requirements, please visit the Assessor Exemption Programs webpage. And for more information on the available assistance program, click here.
In Manchester, AARP volunteers will be available will be available at the Senior Center by appointment only now through Thursday, April 14. Appointments available now through April 14 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1PM-3PM. Call (860) 647-6024 to set-up a time.
For more information on available resources, East Hartford residents can click here and East Hartford residents can click here.
With all of the tax filing resources shared above, I urge you to be mindful of potential scams. The IRS produces a list of "dirty dozen" tax scams. While these scams can occur year-round, they tend to increase during this time of the year. It’s wise to stay on top of the latest list of common issues—and take some simple steps to stay safe from them.
A great way to protect yourself is to do additional research on anything that seems suspicious. Do not click on an email or a link to an unfamiliar website. Never give out any personal information — especially your Social Security Number — to someone claiming to represent the IRS over the phone or online. When in doubt, visit for additional guidance.

On Thursday, March 30, at 11AM, the Department of Veterans Affairs will host a Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Ceremony at the Gold Star Families Memorial Auditorium in Rocky Hill. I hope you will be able to join the ceremony honoring the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam Veterans.

Please click the graphic above to RSVP.

For Veterans Seeking Employment or Training
The Connecticut Department of Labor works with partners throughout the state to provide high-quality, meaningful job services for veterans. Veterans receive priority assistance at American Job Centers, so make sure to identify yourself when
you check in. 

For Employers Seeking to Hire Veterans

There are many reasons to hire veterans and resources available to help companies bring veterans into their workforce. Explore resources for hiring veterans.


The Town of East Hartford is collaborating with UConn Health, My People Community Services, Trinity Health of New England, and other community partners to host a “Men’s Health is Community Health” event on Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 PM at the Community Cultural Center - the event is free to the public.
Join a fun afternoon of board games on Saturday, March 25, 2023 | 12:00 PM - 04:30 PM! Learn to play modern classics this month: Catan, Carcassonne, Red Dragon Inn, Puerto Rico 1897, and more! No need to bring any games with you; we'll provide them all. Free program for adults; light refreshments to be served. Tell me more about Silk City Board Game Group- March 2023
Free game night for ages six and up on Monday, March 27, 2023 | 06:00 PM - 08:00 PM at the Whiton Branch Library. Learn some new games, play some old favorites, spend time with family and friends, and unplug. Board game guru Jenn will be on hand to teach new games. Light refreshments to be served. Tell me more about Family Game Night
Alternate Tuesdays at Squire Village, (1st parking lot off of Imperial Drive #78) 48 Spencer Street, from 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM. Please arrive early to be in line for 9am as the truck leaves promptly at 9:30am. Open to the public; Bring a sturdy grocery bag!

East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department’s Annual Egg Hunt at McAuliffe Park is now on Sunday, March 26 at 1PM. There will be thousands of pieces of chocolates and stuffed plastic eggs for children ages 10 and younger (and their accompanying parent/guardian).
This is a free event for East Hartford residents. Each child should bring their own bag or basket to collect eggs and candy. Please dress appropriately for the weather. For more information, click here.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) recently announced they are releasing $11.5 million from its share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to continue its highly successful Summer Enrichment Program in summer 2023 and summer 2024.

The governor proposed the creation of the program in 2021 in an effort to connect students whose education may have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic to high-quality enrichment opportunities when they are out of school during the summer months, including at summer camps, childcare centers, and other similar programs, with a priority for those in communities that were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. The state continued the program in 2022. With the release of this additional funding for 2023 and 2024, Connecticut will have dedicated $32 million in federal COVID-19 relief funding over four years for students’ summer enrichment programming. Since its creation, the program has provided funding to more than 400 organizations in Connecticut that offer summer learning opportunities.

Applications from organizations that want to participate in the program in 2023 and 2024 are now being accepted by the State Department of Education. To apply, click here. Applications must be submitted no later than April 3, 2023.

Similar to the prior two years, the program will award funding to the most competitive summer programs. For 2023 and 2024, applicants can apply for either two expansion grants (up to $50,000 each, for a maximum of $100,000) or two innovation grants (up to $150,000 each, for a maximum of $300,000) per program site. Camps must use the funds to expand the number of students served, subsidize enrollment costs by providing scholarships, or provide transportation for program participants.


East Hartford Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Committee is now accepting applications for committee members.

The purpose of the Greater Together Community Fund is to support the East Hartford community in taking ownership around the needs in their town that will be most beneficial or have the greatest impact on town residents. The Community Fund also strives to encourage broad and inclusive civic engagement, as well as to anchor the Hartford Foundation in each town.

Individuals who are interested in applying can click here to find more information or to fill out the Google Form.

The deadline for applications is April 28. After the application period is closed, the committee will schedule interviews for potential members.

Please contact the East Hartford Advisory Committee at with any questions.

Registration is still open for OAKC Together We Tee! This program is offered to local Black and Brown youth of all genders ages 9-12 and their parent/guardian to introduce kids to the game of golf. The Manchester Country club will be providing all participants with lessons by golf professionals, fee waivers, and equipment. The program is limited to 10 participants, so register today by clicking here.
If you have questions or would like additional information, call Senior Recreation Specialist Calvin Harris at (860) 647-3088 or Recreation Supervisor Taylor McBride at (860) 647-6039.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is now accepting applications for Summer 2023 employment opportunities at their five outdoor aquatic facilities.

Lifeguard applicants must be at least 15 years old and have current certification in American Red Cross Lifeguarding or be able to successfully complete a course prior to the start of the summer season. Lifeguards are assigned to one of the town’s pools, and typically work a varied schedule including nights and weekends. The starting rate for a certified lifeguard this summer will be $15.50 per hour. Apply here: Lifeguard Job Application.

Not yet certified? There are two upcoming lifeguarding courses. The first course will be held on Thursdays and Saturdays from April 20 through May 13, and the second course will be Mondays through Fridays May 10 through May 26. Click here for more information and to register.

Calling the young people in our community – it's not too early to be thinking about summer employment or learning opportunities! Gain valuable work experience and get paid this summer by signing up for the Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP).
SYELP connects youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer. Applications are open now! Sign up by clicking here.
Do you have a business card? How about a website? Are you looking for help? At Drop-in Digital Navigation hours, the East Hartford Public Library will work with small business owners to develop the technology skills you need to make your business technology work as hard as you do. Business owners at every stage of development are encouraged to attend. Drop-in hours will be offered on Fridays from 10:30AM-12:30PM (March 24, & 31; April 14 & 27; and May 5, 12, &26). For more information, click here.
Reminder that the application deadline is quickly approaching to participate in the Access Health CT Broker Academy Program! The Broker Academy provides free training for selected students to become licensed brokers and covers the cost of their licensing exam. You can learn more by visiting the Broker Academy's website or check to see if you are qualified.
To apply for the program, candidates must meet the following requirements:
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older
  • Show proof of GED, High School/College Diploma
  • 1-3 letters of professional references
  • Personal Statement: Why you would be a good fit for this program
  • Demonstrated history of community involvement or service, communication skills, and customer service skills (resume)
  • Qualified applicants will be interviewed by Access Health CT to determine acceptance into the Academy. Application deadline is March 31, 2023.

If you have questions or require additional information, click here or email

Through the state's Department of Labor, the American Job Center offers resources, information, and support for individuals throughout the state searching for a job. You can receive help writing a resume and attend interview technique workshops for those currently on the job hunt. For more information, click here.
The State of Connecticut is hiring! You can find a variety of seasonal, part-time, and full-time positions. There are jobs open to members of the public as well as those already employed at a state agency or organization. You can find a full list of openings here.

Click here for the Town Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the East Hartford Public Library. 

Click here for East Hartford Community Television. 

Click here for this month's East Hartford Pride Newsletter


Click here for the Town Meetings and Community Events Calendar.

Click here for information on the Manchester Public Library. 

Click here for Manchester Public Television.