Shore Line East Expansion Study and Lowering Your Prescription Drug Costs

September 22, 2023

It has been a busy week in our district and up at the State Capitol. Let's start in Groton, where residents learned and asked about a study that could potentially expand Shore Line East over the Thames River.

I was also in Hartford to talk about the need to help working families that are struggling to pay their bills. A new report finds that 552,710 households in our state are facing financial hardship.

At the same time, Connecticut is about to take a transformative step toward making prescription drugs more affordable for everyone. Please read below to learn more.

Click on any of these links to jump to that section of this newsletter:

What's Our Rep Been Up To?
We had a great turnout from Groton, Mystic, and Stonington residents as they listened to the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) present findings from the Eastern CT Corridor and Transit Feasibility Study, which includes:
  • $243 million proposal to extend Shore Line East from New London to Westerly, Rhode Island with four train stations in Groton, Mystic, Stonington, and Westerly
  • 12 roundtrips per day, Monday – Friday
  • Northbound trips would take 24 minutes, southbound trips would take 22 minutes
  • New operating plan with scheduled timings between New London and New Haven

The CTDOT estimates the Shore Line East extension would bring 159,300 new riders per year by 2035.

A big thank you to local residents who came prepared with thoughtful questions and suggestions as we hope to extend Shore Line East over the Thames River!
I was proud my colleagues State Representative Anthony Nolan, State Representative Christine Conley, State Senator Heather Somers, and Rhode Island State Senator Victoria Gu were advocating for connecting our neighboring communities via commuter rail!
Discussing the presentation with State Representative Anthony Nolan and Rhode Island State Senator Victoria Gu.
Learn More About the Study
I joined the United Way of Connecticut and its President and CEO Lisa Tepper Bates as they unveiled its 2023 ALICE Report, which concludes that financial hardship continues to grow in Connecticut including in Groton. According to the report, 40% of households in Groton are either at or below the threshold for their basic needs or ‘survival budget.’

For those unfamiliar with the acronym, ALICE stands for Asset-Limited, Income-Constrained, and Employed. Although the percentage of ALICE households varies from town to town with the statewide average at 39%, policymakers must pay attention to this data and take steps to create a path to financial stability for these families.

CLICK HERE to listen to my remarks at Tuesday's press conference.

I encourage everyone to learn more about the ALICE Report and how it can help us to better understand the challenges facing working families in Groton and across Connecticut. Together, we can make a difference.

Channel 3's Chief Capitol Reporter Susan Raff spoke to single moms who are struggling to make ends meet. CLICK HERE to watch the emotional story.


I enjoyed visiting Masonicare at Mystic alongside Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, Senator Heather Somers, and First Selectwoman Danielle Chesebrough.

I spoke with our valued residents about a resource that was launched in June 2021: the Elder Justice Hotline. This tool, created in partnership with the Elder Justice Coalition, serves as a lifeline for Connecticut's elderly citizens and their families, providing them with an easy way to voice their concerns or connect with vital resources.

The Office of the Attorney General staffs the hotline (1-860-808-5555) Monday through Friday from 8 A.M. - 5 P.M. While it does not serve as an investigative authority, the hotline receives reports of abuse and refers them to the Department of Social Services Elderly Protective Services Unit.

Congratulations to Jacob & Madison Culler. Jake has made an amazing contribution to our community through his art including this beautiful mural. I also want to give Outer Light Brewing Company shout out for hosting an incredible community event!
My wife Kayla and I joined the Alliance for the Mystic River Watershed for the Honor the River and Paddle Culture event in the Mystic River and Mystic Seaport Museum! Can’t beat a kayaking experience that comes with an educational opportunity and gathering with members of the Mashantucket Pequots at the Seaport!
It was great to support our local vendors and businesses while seeing friends and neighbors at the The Fifth Annual Stonington Borough Art Walk and Annual Garlic Festival at the Old Mistick Village.
Lowering Your Prescription Drug Costs

On October 2, all Connecticut residents will be eligible to sign up for ArrayRx, a prescription drug discount card program that provides up to 80% off certain prescriptions at nearly all pharmacies in the state.

You need a valid physical Connecticut address and an email address to enroll. A digital card will be provided after registering.

The program is part of Public Act 23-171, An Act Protecting Patients and Prohibiting Unnecessary Health Care Costs, which I proudly supported.

I highly encourage you to take advantage of this great opportunity. Residents should never have to worry about accessing the lifesaving care they need, and this free program is a massive leap forward. I'm thrilled ArrayRx is coming to Connecticut, and I will continue the fight to lower healthcare costs for all.
Learn about the ArrayRx
Stonington Intersection Safety Evaluation

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is evaluating and recalculating yellow and red change intervals at more than a dozen municipally owned traffic control signals including one in Stonington at Coogan Boulevard and Clara Drive.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, the yellow change interval is the length of time that yellow light is displayed following a green light. Research shows that when yellow change intervals are well timed, they can reduce the amount of drivers running red lights and improve safety on the roads.

The design plans for this project are expected to be completed in April 2024 with a tentative advertising date of June 2024.

Tree & Vegetation Removal Project on Route 1 in Stonington
Crews have begun removing trees and vegetation on Route 1 in Stonington. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) is performing the work from 8 A.M. – 3 P.M. Monday through Friday through Friday, October 13.
According to the CTDOT, drivers can expect right-lane and shoulder closures on both sides of Route 1 from Mason's Island Road to Buzzi Memorials in Stonington. Make sure to slow down in the work zone.
Road Work on I-95 North in Groton & Stonington

There will be temporary lane shifts and ramp closures along I-95 northbound between exits 91 and 92 this month in Groton, Stonington, and North Stonington. The work allow crews to reconstruct the right shoulder. Message boards will let drivers know when lane shifts and ramp closures are ahead.

The $38.25 million project is expected to be completed in November 2024.

2023 National Blue Ribbon School in Groton
A huge congratulations goes out to Marine Science Magnet High School (MSMHS) in Groton for being named a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School! This prestigious award is given annually to select schools across the nation for demonstrating overall high achievement or success in closing achievement gaps.
MSMHS demonstrates consistently strong performance based on the Next Generation Accountability System. In 2021-2022, the school earned 86.6% of all possible points across all available indicators leading to School of Distinction status for the fourth consecutive year. 98.5% of Grade 9 students were on-track to an on-time graduation at the end of 2021-2022, and the 4-year graduation rate for the same year was 100%.
Click Here To Learn More
Groton Schools World Language Program
Groton Public Schools has rolled out the expansion of its World Language programs to all five of its elementary schools. All 4th and 5th graders are being introduced to both French and Spanish and will have a full semester of each language taught by our world language teachers. The goal is to cultivate a love and curiosity for language as they eventually rise into middle and high school.
City of Groton Officers Recognized
Three officers in the City of Groton Police Department were recognized for getting drugs off the street. Officers Jean-Philip Precourt, Reginald Stanford and Nicholas Cardelle received unit citations for their professionalism, composure, and investigative skills in arresting a suspect.
Upcoming Community Events
Yeissonn Villamar will perform a free concert at 6:00 P.M. at La Grua Center on Friday, September 22 in Stonington. Bring a blanket or lawn chair!