Robots, Coffee, and Democracy

May 16, 2023

It’s been quite busy as the legislative session intensifies at the State Capitol. The House of Representatives is in session often, debating and voting on bills to help improve our state. Behind the scenes, we are working hard to finalize bill language, build consensus to advance important proposals, and craft a budget that will serve as the state budget for the next two years.

I also am proud to share that after much planning and coordination, this week I hosted a Student Manufacturers Fair here at the capitol.  I’ll share much more about that special day below. I also want to highlight that my monthly community coffee events are scheduled for next week! It’s a busy time of year with the legislature and it makes connecting with you all so very important, to hear your thoughts as we work to craft and vote on bills.

As always, if there's something you need assistance with or want to speak with me about, please don't hesitate to reply to this email or reach out to me at


Connect students to resources and opportunities!

I am so proud to have co-hosted the Student  Manufacturer Fair at the State Capitol! It was a particular joy to have the students from Emmett O’Brien Technical High School and Derby High School attending this event.

Students from all over the state learned more about the opportunities in the manufacturing industry, experienced hands-on exhibits, and received valuable information about a variety of training programs.

Everyone got to see some exciting robotics team battles!

Students from Derby High School and Emmett O'Brien Technical High School were exposed to leaders in manufacturin

One of the highlights for the students of Derby High and Emmett O'Brien was seeing the opening of session as well as being recognized and welcomed in the House Chamber.

Together, we are showing a whole new generation the amazing and innovative career opportunities in this swiftly growing sector in Connecticut.


Please stop by for an in-person Community Coffee Event tonight from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Copper City Bar & Grill, 82-84 Main Street, Ansonia and Friday, May 19 from 8 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. in the back room of the Valley Diner, 636 New Haven Avenue, Derby.

These are always engaging conversations and intentionally held in a relaxed, welcoming location. Please join the conversation and share your thoughts, ask questions, and provide feedback on state policies currently under consideration by the legislature. I hope to see you soon!


The house is in full swing here at the Capitol, and many bills are being considered and voted on.  While these bills have passed the House, they must next be debated and voted on by the Senate before they can be signed into law by the Governor. Below you can find some highlights.

In November, the people of Connecticut voted overwhelmingly in favor of implementing Early Voting in the State of Connecticut. House Bill 5004 is in response to that vote, implementing what you approved with a state constitutional change. We join 47 other states who already have Early Voting, catching us up with the rest of the country and modernizing our state's elections.

House Bill 6688 improves protections for Connecticut residents going through eviction, 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.

HB 6689 encourages retention and expansion of our healthcare workforce through student loan refinancing for certain healthcare professionals. The Nursing and Mental Health Care Professionals Loan Subsidy Program will mean lower interest rates for those staffing critical shortage areas in highly needed fields.  

HB 6819 affirms our commitment to Connecticut mothers and their easy access to lactation healthcare. It requires the Department of Public Health 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.

HB 6678 ensures that nursing home organizations statewide are more transparent about their finances with the public and the state. Transparency is an important step towards meaningful elder care reform.

HB 6354 establishes a green jobs corps program to support the growing volume of jobs in this burgeoning industry and to meet Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. The bill includes several provisions to accomplish those job training goals and a strategy to market and recruit individuals, especially from underrepresented populations.


Are you over 18, unemployed or under-employed, and looking for a stable, good-paying career? APPLY NOW to get into the upcoming round of FREE manufacturing classes starting May 15 right here in the 104th!

This program readies you to compete for the thousands of good-paying manufacturing jobs available now, and sets you on a career path with many opportunities for advancement. Modern manufacturing is technical, innovative, and constantly evolving. Don’t miss this opportunity and don’t wait. This is a great program!

It's being offered through a partnership with The WorkPlaceHousatonic Community College, and the Connecticut Department of Labor. This concept was part of the first legislation I authored and passed when becoming your Representative. Through the cooperation of key stakeholders, we now have this highly successful program available in our community, setting our residents on a path to more job stability. It’s a great program, so be sure to enroll if you’re seeking career advancement, or share it with someone you know who is looking to make serious career moves!


We had a packed house for Women-Owned Business Day at the Capitol, presented by Women's Business Development Council (WBDC)! It’s an honor to be on the host committee, bringing dynamic business owners from across the state together for this unique event. Thank you for all who joined!

My amazing sister Wynonna was on hand with her company, Luscious & Co, which was named the best hair salon in Connecticut by CT Magazine and The Knot. I gave Wynonna a tour of the people’s house and let her sit in my seat!

I was a featured panelist at the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Legislative Forum. Smart strategies to spur economic revitalization of our region and state are an important focus of my work, which is why I’ve chosen to serve on the Commerce Committee and the Higher Education & Employment Advancement Committee throughout my time in the legislature, pushing for proposals that advance our goals. I’m proud to have been tapped by leadership to Vice Chair each of these committees, last term and present, respectively. We’re taking meaningful steps for our community and state. Thank you to the Chamber for hosting this engaging event for the regional business community!

Much love to the organizers, chefs, volunteers and attendees of TEAM, Inc.’s Men Who Cook fundraiser! What an amazing show of community support for a nonprofit that does so much for our residents! There was tremendous love in the room. Well done everyone!

I joined my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for the CT General Assembly’s Second Annual Kickball Classic. There were plenty of smiles and laughs while raising money for charity.
Proceeds are going to two great causes - the Q Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, in memory of State Rep. Quentin "Q" Williams, who died in a tragic car crash at the start of the 2023 legislative session, and the Sarah Foundation, in memory of former State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda.

To learn more about the Q Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, click HERE.

To learn more about the Sarah Foundation, click HERE.


Let’s do some spring cleaning and help out Ansonia Youth Cheer! The fundraiser is happening now through May 27. Organizers are hoping to raise $1,000.


Our dear friend, Diane Stroman, is a role model to everyone in our community. She has been helping others for decades through countless professional roles, nonprofits, churches, and civic organizations. You may know her as the retired Vice President of Team, Inc., through her work as a youth mentor in the Ansonia School System, or through her work serving on the Elderly Services Commission, Juvenile Review Board, and numerous other boards including the Valley United Way, Valley Boys & Girls Club, Julian A. Taylor Scholarship Committee, and much more. She has touched countless lives, and now she needs our help.

Diane recently announced she is in kidney failure and needs a kidney transplant as soon as possible. She has launched a social media campaign to help identify potential donors.
If you, or anyone you know, would like to be considered a donor, please CLICK HERE or call 866-925-3897 at Yale-New Haven Health. Signing up took 30 seconds. Please consider offering the gift of life for such a pillar of our community!