Weekly Update August 25

August 25, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,

Earlier this summer, I had the honor of attending the bill signing for Public Act 23-44AN ACT CONCERNING THE MINIMUM AGE TO BE ELIGIBLE TO MARRY. This law prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from receiving a marriage license. I was proud to support this legislation in the House and am thrilled that it has been signed into law. 

Click here to read an article about how this bill came to fruition. 

Delivering for Higher Education

We have made significant strides in supporting higher education and ensuring a brighter future with opportunities, support, and financial relief for our students.

During the 2023 legislative session, we allocated over $135 million more for higher education in our biennial state budget than initially proposed. We did this in order to support initiatives that reflect our commitment to addressing the challenges faced by students and graduates. 

Some of this year's priorities include PA 23-204, which expanded our debt-free community college program to incorporate subsidies for returning students and established a student loan forgiveness program that offers up to $20,000 in debt forgiveness for individuals who meet certain criteria and volunteer at a local nonprofit.

We also streamlined the eligibility requirements for the Roberta Willis Scholarship and enabled the program to notify students of their scholarship awards earlier in the year, so they’ll have full knowledge of their financial aid before choosing which school to attend in the fall.

Additionally, we passed several other measures to support higher education, such as: 

  • Lower state-backed loan refinancing rates for nurses (PA 23-60)
  • Prohibiting colleges and universities from withholding transcripts due to outstanding debt (PA 23-14)
  • Providing student loan subsidies for paraeducators, school counselors, police officers, and EMS personnel (PA 23-70

I will continue working with my colleagues to find opportunities that will provide those interested in obtaining a college degree with the necessary tools to help them achieve their goals. 

Operation Fuel Applications Are Now Open
Do you need help paying utility bills? Operation Fuel provides emergency energy and utility assistance to households in Connecticut that are facing financial crisis. Applications for energy assistance are now open through November 10th, 2023!💡

🔌You can learn more at operationfuel.org/gethelp

Public Education Funding
We worked hard to deliver a budget that adheres to our fiscal guardrails while still providing hundreds of millions in more funding to our local schools. Here are some of the historic investments we made in public education.
Back To School Social Media Safety
The first day of school will be here before you know it! I wanted to remind parents of a simple safety tip when posting that back-to-school photo.

While I know this photo trend is fun to take and look back on, keeping your child's personal information at a minimum is important. By sharing your child's school, grade, teacher, interests, etc. you are giving predators unique information about your child and where they can find them.

Here are some reminders of what not to post:
❌ Teacher's Name
❌ School Name
❌ Interests
❌ Age
❌ Weight
❌ Height

Wishing you and your families a happy, healthy and safe school year!

Pension Costs
These reforms to the pension system will save the 106 participating cities and towns about $740 million over the next 30 years!  
Tick Safety
It's tick season! ⚠️

As Connecticut scientists warn of new tick species, it is more important than ever to take preventative measures. Here are some tips to share with your friends and family!


Michelle Cook

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