Currey-ently stuck in the Capitol

May 5, 2023
How is it possibly May?! With less than five weeks until that final gavel comes down on Sine Die (my high school Latin teacher would love that “latin moment”), we are working to finish the peoples’ business and adjourn without delay. Negotiations continue on the budget and legislative language continues to be tweaked. I continue to work closely with Sen. McCrory, co-chair of the Education Committee, the State Department of Education, educators, advocates, and families to ensure our legislation is helping to strengthen CT’s education system while supporting and respecting those on the front lines. Our legislative proposals will likely begin to be debated the week after next. Feel free to listen in on ours and any other debates in the House or Senate through the CT-N’s live streams and on demand options.
As we work through our committee’s priorities and continue to debate all others’, please continue to reach out and share your support and concerns. We don’t do any of this together and your voice is what matters.
Have an easy weekend.
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 Roadshow made a Monday morning pit-stop in Bethel to visit students, educators, and even a hometown friend, Melissa Nicole. We visited R.M.T Johnson Elementary, Berry Elementary School, and Bethel Middle School. It was a springtime delight to get to see the scope of all the school has to offer both in and out of the classroom, even outside of the school itself. I want to thank State Representative Raghib Allie-Brennan for hosting me on the tour in his district. I also want to offer a special thank you to Superintendent, Dr. Christine Carver, and Director of Special Education Services, Christine Sipala, for showing off your award-winning schools.
And then to end the week, I ventured out to Ansonia Middle School to tour their facility and hear from educators and administrators about their needs. I want to thank Representative Kara Rochelle for joining me on the tour, and thank Superintendent Dr. Joseph DiBacco and his team for giving us some insight and outlook on how Ansonia Middle School can offer students vital experiential learning skills.
Last week, I had the privilege of joining NBC Connecticut for an episode of Face the Facts! Mike Hydeck and I broke down HB 5003 – a Speaker, Majority Leader, and Education Committee priority – which restructures how we look at the state’s ECS funding formula, and how we fund all public schools in the state.

Every public school student in Connecticut should have access to the same, high-quality education, so I will continue to work with my colleagues and the Governor’s office to ensure we stay true to our State’s Constitution, which clearly notes that we must provide “free public elementary and secondary schools…” Also, State Representative Maria Horn, Chair of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee joined him afterward to reinforce the need to keep education and its funding a priority!

Watch Face the Facts
On Tuesday, my Republican colleagues in the House released their budget proposal. While there are portions of the proposal where we may disagree, I do want to recognize and celebrate the portion of the House Republican’s Budget Proposal that chooses to continue the Education Committee’s commitment to ensure that all Connecticut public school students have access to a fully-funded, high-quality learning experience. You can read my full comment in the CT Insider article by clicking the button below.
Read the Article
Check out this month's East Hartford Public School's highlights by clicking here.
Check out this month's OneManchester highlights by clicking here.

Connecticut voters asked the legislature for more voting options through a constitutional amendment on early voting that they overwhelmingly approved, and we are answering the call. 

Last night, the House of Representatives approved H.B. 5004, a measure that will allow early voting in our state beginning in 2024.

This legislation modernizes the state's elections and allows for more convenience and fairness in the process, reflecting the realities of hectic modern-day life.

Eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots in person ahead of Election Day for both regular and special elections, as well as primaries.

Passage of this bill in the House is a step towards improving access to the ballot box for all eligible Connecticut voters.

Bills Passed During Session
April 27 Session:
  • HB 6354 - A workforce training plan for green jobs is essential to support Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. This bill includes several provisions to accomplish those goals and a strategy to market and recruit individuals, especially from underrepresented populations
  • HB 6678 - Ensuing that nursing home organizations statewide are more transparent about their financial situation. Transparency is an important first step towards meaningful elder care reform
  • HB 6484 - Taking a vital step to protect the decimated Horseshoe crab population

May 3 Session:

  • We passed HB 5575, a necessary measure to ensure the humane treatment of animals in municipal animal shelters. We set municipal regulations establishing guidelines that maintain the health and safety of both the animals and the individuals working in the facilities
  • The House approved An Act Establishing A Working Group On The Restoration Of Eel Grass. Eel Grass is an important component of seagrass meadows that improve water quality and protect from erosion
  • HB 6479 contains a key provision to maximize federal funds designated for state and municipal climate change resiliency projects, including coastal resiliency projects
  • Adverse social conditions are often an impediment to accessing indispensable health-related social needs like diaper insecurity, food insecurity, and housing instability. HB 6587 creates a task force to develop a plan that utilizes Medicaid funding to support these health-related social needs, seek federal approval for services, and report how the proposed coverage will impact current recommendations
  • The House proved our commitment to all CT mothers having access to specialized lactation healthcare. HB 6819 will require the DPH to provide a full list of international board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) in the state on their website and will establish a taskforce to study licensure
  • The House approved HB 6632 which opens previously closed avenues for local housing authorities housing units. On to the Senate for consideration
  • The House approved HB 6689 to make a career in health care a realistic option for more CT students. The Nursing and Mental Health Care Professionals Loan Subsidy Program will mean lower interest rates for students looking to go into health and mental health care
  • Celebratory balloons are a hazard to wildlife and add to plastic pollution. That's why the House passed An Act Concerning The Intentional Release Of Certain Balloons
  • The House has taken a step towards animal welfare by repealing the statutes authorizing dog racing and dog tracks. HB 6615 will make it illegal to race greyhounds in Connecticut
  • We approved HB 6569. The bill protects children by banning marriage under the age of 18
  • HB 6573 - Taking a step forward to make buildings more parent- and child-friendly, An Act Concerning Access to Diaper Changing Tables in Public Buildings, would add a changing table requirement for new public buildings in the next first draft revision to the State Building Code
  • HB 5232 - Promotes responsible gambling at higher education institutions by protecting students from targeted gambling advertisements and bans institutions from profiting from any direct gambling soliciting

May 4 Session:

  • The House passed HB 6688, which improves protections for CT residents going through eviction. The bipartisan bill expands green subsidies to heat pumps and geothermal heating, improves CHFA subsidies for home ownership and affordable housing opportunities, and establishes a working group to find ways to increase financing opportunities for mobile manufactured homes.
  • We approved HB 6831 to allow for 24-hour response for prescription drugs for certain mental health conditions
  • HB 6752 - Allowing the CT Department of Banking to issue regulations regarding cryptocurrencies and protects CT residents from scams related to cryptocurrency kiosks
On Monday, a portion of Brewer Street in East Hartford was closed and will remain closed through November 2023. The road will reopen prior to Thanksgiving.

The closure is limited to the section of Brewer Street between Mill Road and Glenn Road/Contractors Road, but motorists should seek alternate routes if using Brewer Street as a through road.

The primary detour for through-traffic will be Maple Street, using Forbes Street and Main Street/High Street. Local traffic can access properties to the east of the closure (east of Glenn Road/Contractors Road) and west of the closure (west of Mill Road). An emergency access (temporary road) will be in place for Fire Department vehicles housed at Fire House No. 5, to the east of the closure.

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) unanimously voted to begin a search for consultants to monitor the performance of the state's two electric distribution companies - Eversource and United Illuminating. This is an important step toward eventually shifting to performance-based regulation for the companies.
The framework for these changes was created in the wake of Eversource and UI's poor and slow response to issues caused by Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020. In response, the Connecticut General Assembly passed the "Take Back Our Grid Act," a robust bill that established standards that utility companies must meet, penalties if those standards are not met, and metrics for determining progress.

Additionally, PURA also announced that it has extended the utility shutoff moratorium for gas and electric service disconnections for residential financial hardship customers until October 31, 2023.
These changes will help hold the state's utilities accountable, protect vulnerable communities and ensures that the ratepayers are the priority moving forward.

The Town of East Hartford has partnered with EnviroShred to host a paper-shredding event on Saturday, May 20 from 8 AM - 12PM at 22 Prestige Park Circle. This is your opportunity to bring any documentation to be shredded for FREE. Limit of three boxes/bags per person. EnviroShred will also accept toner and ink cartridges for recycling.

Additionally, the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) will host its spring Hazardous Waste Collection Day in East Hartford at the MDC East Hartford Water Pollution Control Authority, located at 65 Pitkin Street on Saturday, May 20 from 8AM - 1PM. This is your opportunity to dispose of hazardous waste that cannot be put in trash receptacles.

Accepted Items: acids, adhesives, antifreeze, batteries, brake fluid, cleaning solvents, epoxy products, items containing mercury, paint, petroleum products (gasoline, kerosene, fuel oil), and pesticides, fungicides, insecticides and herbicides.

Not Accepted Items: ammunition (including gunpowder), biohazards, car batteries, or tires.
For a complete list of all items please click here or call MDC at 860-278-3809.

Greater Hartford Legal Aid (GHLA) staff will be on site at Raymond Library (840 Main St., East Hartford) providing information about GHLA services on Fridays for Open Hours from 9 AM – 1 PM beginning today.
No appointment necessary, drop-ins welcome.
For up-to-date schedule information, please click here.
Library Calendar
Summer is just around the corner – and I am ready for some sunlight. Both East Hartford & Manchester have a “guide” to help you navigate all of their wonderful programs and events! Please click the buttons below to access the adjacent guides and note that for *Manchester specifically* registration began May 3!
East Hartford Guide
Manchester Guide

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 1,068,589 +301
All PCR/NAAT Tests 16,484,769 +9,118
Test Positivity (pos/all PCR/NAAT) -- 3.3%
Patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 61 -17
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 12,338 +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 15,962 213 245,898  
Manchester  14,559 208 241,626 1.37%
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.

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:
Attention all HUSKY Health Members, expect a notice this year that either:
  1. Your HUSKY Health coverage has been renewed automatically
  2. Information is needed to check if you are still eligible
    • If DSS needs more information, a renewal form will be included & the due date will be listed on your notice
Please click the image above, or click here to learn more about your eligibility.
East Hartford Social Services began accepting applications for the 2023 Renters Rebate Program starting April 1 and through October 1. The program provides elderly and disabled renters with a refund check, based on the amount of rent and utilities they paid in 2022.

Who is eligible?

East Hartford residents who are 65 years of age or older or disabled, who are 18 years old or older by 12/31/22.

What is the income level?

The 2022 qualifying income (including all Social Security benefits) must not exceed an income of $40,300 for a single individual or $49,100 for a married couple. If you receive state cash assistance, have to be LESS than $690 total for the year 2022.
You need a copy of your Social Security card.

What income information for all 12 months of the year 2022 is needed?

If you are age 65 and over, you might need:  

  • the Social Security Income for 2022 (form 1099) & or the SSI form if applicable;
  • a Copy of Income Tax Return with all schedules, if filed;
  • a copy of the 1099 forms for pensions, dividends, interest, stocks & bonds, etc.
  • a W-2’s form from employment
  • copy of the Veterans Disability or Railroad Retirement

If you are disabled and under 65 years old, you might need:

  • the BPQY or Benefit Verification Form from Social Security showing the date when the disability began & proof of the Social Security Income, if applicable               
  • other forms listed above, if applicable

Which paid bills for 2022 are needed?

  • Rent receipts for all 12 months of the year 2022 or ledger from your landlord.
  • Utility bills you paid in 2022 (heat, gas, electric, only). Telephone, cable, medical bills or UniteCT rent, or utility payments CAN NOT BE INCLUDED.

When Can I Apply?

On April 1st,  2023 through October 1, 2023.

How to apply?

  1. If you file last year, please look for an application in the mail, sign the application, add all required documents and send them back by mail.
  2. You can also print the application from here, sign and send via fax to 860-291-7304 with all documents. You can also drop the application and copy of the documents in the drop box in front of the Community Cultural Center- 50 Chapman Place, EH, CT 06108.
  3. If you live in one of the housing complexes of the town, Social Workers will be at your housing building at a determined and announced date and time. You bring your paperwork and complete the application there.
  4. You can also set up an in-person appointment by calling 860-291-7248, during business hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You must bring all your documents. 

If you have any questions, please call 860-291-7248.

If you are in need of behavioral health services provided by MSP, please contact the anonymous call line: 1 (866) 251-2913.

East Hartford's Community Clean-Up Day was rescheduled to tomorrow. If you registered to help, please check your Group Letter and adjacent arrival location.

East Hartford Commission on Culture and Fine Arts invites all to take FREE dance lessons!
The program is open to 15 individuals ages 7 and up, and all abilities and experience levels are welcome! Classes will be held on Saturdays from 11-11:45 AM at First Congregational Church of East Hartford, located at 837 Main Street. April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27 and June 3. Register online.

The Public Works – Sanitation Department is excited to host another Community Clean Up and Shred Event at the Transfer Station on Saturday, May 6.

Drop by the team crafternoon on Tuesday, May 9 from 6PM - 9PM at the Manchester Public Library for chill, fun, and free crafts.

Call (860) 645-0821 for more info or email

Looking for a career in the business or manufacturing field?

Network with multiple employers at the Goodwin University Annual Spring Career Fair on May 17!

Click here to get your free ticket.


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 (May 5, 12, &26). For more information, click here.

CCAT will host the 2nd Annual Metal 3D Printing Forum: Reshaping Advanced Products, MRO and Supply Chains with Additive Manufacturing at our Advanced Technology Center in East Hartford, Connecticut. Join them from 8AM - 2PM on May 24.
Beginning May 21, Hartford will host free yoga in the park! Please check the schedule above for times and locations.

For more information check out Yoga In Our City’s website,

On Monday, May 8, the Wickham Memorial Library will launch open hours:
  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 10 AM - 5 PM
  • Tuesday, Thursday: 1 PM - 8 PM

To learn more, click here.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation Summer Camps will open Monday, June 19th, 2023 and will run 7 consecutive weeks, ending on Friday, August 4th. Camps are open to East Hartford residents only and serve children and teens entering grades 1 – 9 and participants with special needs ages 6 – 21.

Camps will be held at the same park locations. However, the inclement weather locations are not on site this summer due to school construction. Inclement weather days will be determined the day prior and camps will be held at the offsite designated location. Parents and caregivers will be notified directly.

  • Little Rec’ers Camp for children entering grades 1- 2 will be located at Goodwin Park/ Goldstar Pool, *Pitkin School during inclement weather days.
  • Fun Days Camp for children entering grades 3 – 4 will be located at Gorman Park / Lord Pool, *Silver Lane School during inclement weather days.
  • Explorers Camp for children entering grades 5 – 6 will be located at McAuliffe Park / Drennan Pool, *East Hartford Middle School during inclement weather days.
  • Teen Camp for teens entering grades 7 – 9 will be located at Hockanum Park/ Terry Pool,

* ECLC School Gym during inclement weather days.

  • Camp Sunburst for participants with special needs ages 6 - 21 will be located at McAuliffe Park, Drennan Pool, * Wickham Library during inclement weather days.

For more information about camp, join a Virtual Camp Open House on Tuesday, May 16th at 6:30pm, hosted via Zoom by the East Hartford Public Library. To register, click here for the library’s online events calendar, or call the library at 860-290-4330.

Registration for camps opens Wednesday, May 17th.

The Department of Children & Families (DCF), in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH), recently shared a helpful info-graphic reminding families of simple ways to stay safe throughout the summer. Make sure you are taking the proper precautions to protect your loved ones this summer.

To access a number of other summer safety resources, please visit the DPH webpage by clicking here.

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 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.
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.