Legislative & Local Updates - October 2

October 2, 2023


Happy October to the 57th District! This time of year picks up, now that school is in full swing and holiday events start happening. The legislature was called into a special session to vote on a Connecticut Supreme Court nominee and election-related matters, such as moving up the state's presidential primary date. We have new laws that are effective as of October 1, and in January, the state's minimum wage will go up, based on the state's economic indicator adjustment. 

I'm so proud of Skinner Road School and the National Blue Ribbon School designation the school just received, in the Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing category.

Hoping the third time is the charm, Warehouse Point Library will try on October 14 to hold its book and bake sale. Speaking of libraries, Hall Memorial Library is offering Sunday hours again! 

There are so many events coming up over the next few months within the 57th District!

Have a great week and enjoy this warmer-than-usual October weather!







Last Tuesday, the House and Senate were called into Special Session for a number of issues, including voting on the confirmation of Nora R. Dannehy, the governor's nominee for the Connecticut Supreme Court, as well as election-related topics (such as moving the primary date up - more information on that below).

And yes, I'm a career woman and legislator, proudly representing the 57th District. But I'm a mom first. If you know, you know. 




Connecticut was lost in the forest at the end of the presidential primary season. During last week's special session, we took the bipartisan proposal and moved the state's presidential primary up by four weeks. This means the presidential primary will occur on the first Tuesday in April.

This decision was made after carefully considering the benefits it would bring to Connecticut voters. By advancing the primary date, we aim to increase our influence in the national political landscape and encourage more candidates to visit us during the 2024 campaign season.



The bipartisan support for this important bill serves as a powerful testament to our unwavering commitment to upholding democracy and ensuring that every single voice has a meaningful opportunity to be heard and valued.

As we move forward, I encourage you to stay informed about the upcoming presidential primary and actively participate in the democratic process. Your vote matters and your voice deserves to be heard. 


A number of new laws effective on October 1 were passed during the 2023 legislative session. These laws address several issue areas to improve our great state.



New laws include wrong-way driving prevention with a test program on 120 highway exit ramps that are determined high risk for wrong-way drivers, gun violence prevention, and prohibiting hand-harvesting of ecologically important horseshoe crabs or their eggs from state waters.

Additionally, we prohibited deceptive and coercive interrogation methods and implemented proper notification of inmates’ families and any associated victims of related crime(s) when they transfer from one facility to another.

These are just some of the laws, follow the link below for the full list.


New Laws Effective October 1


Your calls, emails, and testimony at public hearings during this year's legislative session had a direct influence on these new laws. Thank you for your input, and please continue sharing your views and making your voice heard during our legislative process.




Effective January 1, 2024, the state's minimum wage of $15 will increase to $15.69 as part of its first-ever economic indicator adjustment. 

This increase was made possible thanks to legislation passed in 2019, which implemented five incremental increases in the minimum wage between 2019 and 2023, followed by future adjustments that are tied to the percentage change in the federal employment cost index.

Beginning on January 1, 2024, and occurring annually each January 1, the state’s minimum wage will be adjusted according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s calculation of the employment cost index for the 12-month period ending on June 30 of the preceding year. The law requires the Connecticut Department of Labor to review this percentage change and then announce any adjustments by October 15 of each year. The minimum wage adjustments become effective on the next January 1.



Providing livable wages to the lowest-earning workers is a step in the right direction to help them make ends meet and provide for their families. This increase not only assists hard-working Connecticut families, but it can spur local economies by putting more money in people's pockets, which drives up spending power and makes it easier to pay household bills. Approximately 60% of minimum-wage earners in Connecticut are women, according to the Current Population Survey, calculated by the US. Census Bureau and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

No one should be forced to work multiple jobs just to make ends meet. I stand in strong support of this pay adjustment and the workers who will benefit from it. 



Although a slightly different lens from my neighbors with an aversion to more large-scale solar development, this op-ed gets at one of my long-standing concerns about siting and farmland preservation.... what about our food security?

You can click HERE or click the graphic below to read the op-ed.

P.S. In my professional life as a research scientist who focuses on food security and nutrition-related chronic disease prevention, Food Solutions New England is a strong ally.




Adhiti, an intern and Ellington High School student published this op-ed about our work this past session about maternal and infant health! I am so proud! Click HERE to read the article or click the graphic below. 





I'm so proud of Skinner Road School in Vernon, located right here in the 57th District! SRS has been named a 2023 National Blue Ribbon School in the category of Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing. It's one of four schools chosen in Connecticut and one of 353 nationally to receive the honor in one of two categories: Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing.

SRS serves 321 students in Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 5. More than 60% of students are students with high needs. Skinner Road is one of five elementary schools in Vernon, an Alliance District, and the second district school to be named a National Blue Ribbon School in the last five years. The school’s accountability index in 2021-2022 was 82.8, its highest ever. Since 2016-2017, they have been identified annually as a School of Distinction.

Academic growth in mathematics is particularly strong at Skinner Road School. Students with high needs, on average, met 92.7% of their mathematics growth targets. In their NBRS application, Skinner Road School highlighted the fact that they dedicated two blocks of time daily to mathematics: the Math Workshop block and an additional 25-minute block for math small groups. There is direct instruction happening for part of the workshop block through a mini-lesson. The lessons are designed to help students understand why they are learning particular skills. After the mini-lesson, students work on applying what they have learned through independent practice. Teachers use data to form flexible groups for math small group time that allows students to receive extra support, intervention, or enrichment.

Congratulations, SRS!




From the Windermere PTO: The nurses' office is in desperate need of boys' pants sizes 5 and up! Also, girls' pants sizes 5 and up! They are basically wiped out. Stretchy, sweatpants are the easiest to work with, but they will take anything offered!

Donations can be sent to school with Windermere students in a bag labeled “nurse’s office,” dropped off during normal school hours at the main office or if you are ordering online, they can be directly shipped to the following address:

Windermere School
2 Abbott Road
Ellington, CT 06029

Thank you in advance for your help!




Hall Memorial Library in Ellington is open again on Sundays! The library hours on Sundays are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.



Third try! Due to the rain again this past weekend, the book and bake sale has been postponed to October 14. Check out Warehouse Point Library's fall book and bake sale in the backyard of the library, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.




The next East Windsor PTO meeting is slated for November 9. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at East Windsor Middle School, in the cafeteria.

The PTO will be discussing upcoming events and fundraisers such as:

  • The Holiday Store
  • Fall fundraiser

The PTO will announce the winners of our Membership Drive!!!  Refreshments and childcare are available!!  Bring a friend!!

You do not need to be a PTO member to attend (only to vote on official business) but we would love for you to get your membership for just $15!

Parent volunteers are the driving force behind the PTO's efforts!  Whether you come to one meeting or all of them, volunteer at events, are a part of the PTO board, make a monetary donation, or just share an idea, the PTO appreciates and needs you!

Currently, the PTO needs a recording secretary and one more Member at Large for the board.  If you or someone you know is interested, please let the PTO know. 






On Wednesday at approximately 2:20 p.m., (back-up testing date of October 11), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be conducting a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) and Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA). 

This is a crucial part of our nation's preparedness efforts to ensure that we can effectively communicate emergency information to the public during times of crisis.

During the test, wireless phones will receive a message accompanied by a unique tone and vibrations. The message will read: "THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed." Additionally, individuals listening to the radio or watching television broadcasts will hear a one-minute test message similar to the regular monthly test. 

For more information, please click HERE to read the full press release. 




From FoodCorps Connecticut: It's CT Grown for CT Kids Week! What is this week about? It takes place the first week of October in Connecticut and aims to celebrate and support local agriculture, public education, and our community commitment to the importance of healthy nutritious meals in schools. Join us in celebrating!

For more information, click HERE




Beginning December 1, a new electric bill discount will be available if you have a financial hardship status on your Eversource electric account. Based on your household income or receipt of a public assistance benefit, you may be eligible for a 10% or 50% discount off your electric bill per month. Your discount will depend on your annual household income for all adults over 18 or receipt of a public assistance benefit for at least one household member.

You must apply for or verify the financial hardship status on your electric account before the new hardship year begins on November 1. This will prevent service shut-off and ensure that you get a discount. This verification is required annually.

Click HERE to find out how to qualify for 10% and 50% discount rates.




The federal government is once again allowing every household to order COVID-19 tests for free at COVIDtests.gov. You can place an order to receive four free COVID-19 rapid tests that will be delivered to your home.

These tests will detect the currently circulating COVID-19 variants, are intended to be used through the end of 2023, and will include clear instructions on how to verify extended expiration dates.