Weekly News May 21 - 27

May 26, 2017

It's been another busy week in Hartford and I have a lot of news to share!

As we near the end of the legislative session, my colleagues and I continue to push for the passage of legislation to help homeowners and towns affected by crumbling concrete foundations. We discussed legislation before the General Assembly at a press conference on Monday.

Speaking at the press conference along with Rep. Delnicki (R-South Windsor), Sen. Guglielmo (R-35) and local officials, next to a map of towns affected by crumbling foundations

Our interest is to bring a comprehensive piece of legislation that combines several different proposals come before the House for a vote. We need to provide tangible relief for homeowners. While this may not be easy in our current fiscal situation, the consequences of failing to act would be felt statewide. Read more in this article by the Hartford Courant.

With Mayor of South Windsor Carolyn Mirek and Rep. Tom Delnicki

This week the Senate passed legislation I introduced to strengthen CT's Safe Haven Program. The Safe Haven Law allows anyone to leave a newborn baby (30 days old or younger) at a CT hospital with no questions asked. Now, with the passage in both chambers, it will be sent to the Governor for his final consideration and hopeful signature.

House Bill 7121 strengthens protections for the individuals caring for Safe Haven babies. It's in the best interest of the child for an adoption process to proceed quickly, and this bill helps facilitate the process of foster parents adopting the child. CT’s Safe Haven Law has saved 27 infants from abandonment and near certain death, and this bill will help ensure its continued success.

Additionally, in light of the recent incidents in both Danbury, where a newborn was abandoned, and Harwinton, where a newborn's body was found in a reservoir, I have pushed to revive legislation this session requiring that the Safe Haven Law be embedded in high school health curriculum. I am pleased to say that we are in the final stages of drafting a bipartisan amendment that will accomplish this and will not cost the school districts anything to implement.

To learn more about the Safe Haven Law, read Governor Malloy's press release encouraging greater public awareness.

Also this week, the Appropriations Committee passed a bill I introduced to refine the state's Two-Generational Initiative. Connecticut was one of the first states in the nation to pass legislation creating a two generational approach to policy and programs to bolster school and work success for adults and their children, concurrently.

Cities and towns were invited to create plans that looked at school readiness and school success for the children and workforce readiness and workforce success for the parents. East Hartford has been a part of this opportunity, and I hope the program can continue to provide our state with systemic changes to better serve our low-income families and put them on a path to self-sufficiency. The bill now goes to the Senate for their consideration.

On Wednesday I attended the Arc Legislative Reception at the Capitol, where staff and advocates from all over the state shared their stories and encouraged legislators to continue the state’s support of these important organizations. Thank you to the team from the Manchester Arc (MARC) for participating in this event. Learn more about them here.

>The Arc is Connecticut’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Arc providers and self-advocates support full lives and full inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. More information is available on their website.

With Arc clients and advocates at the Capitol

Also at the Capitol on Wednesday was the Beardsley Zoo, who brought some of their animals with them! It was great to meet with the zoo staff who care for the animals. In addition to their work protecting wildlife, the Zoo is a strong driver of tourism in Southern Connecticut. Learn more about the Zoo here.

Making friends at the Capitol

With a Beardsley Zoo zookeeper and one of their residents

Congratulations to the East Hartford High School boys volleyball team, who won their 3rd straight division championship on Thursday!

Congratulations to the East Hartford and Manchester High School track and field teams for their big wins at the Journal Inquirer Invitational Meet!The East Hartford boys team won the Large School Division title and the Manchester boys team placed second. The Manchester girls team won the Large School Division title. Read more here.

The Hartford, CT March for Science took place on April 22, 2017 alongside satellite events in cities around the world in order to celebrate science and to demand evidence-based policy-making in government legislation. The group successfully raised funding to offer three one-time college scholarships for students. Click here to learn how to apply.

Check out this Fox 61 News story put together by South Windsor student Gabriella Silva on Hockey Players for Kids! FOX61 Student News gives Connecticut middle and high school students the opportunity to capture, edit and publish original content under the guidance of industry professionals.


There will be a Memorial Day Remembrance & Celebration this evening at 6 PM at East Hartford High School honoring veterans. Veterans will be honored through songs and performances.

On Saturday, May 27th from 7 to 9 PM there will be a Memorial Day Concert at Great River Park. Learn more here.

On Sunday, May 28th from 6 to 7:30 PM there will be a Veteran's Memorial Remembrance Ceremony at Bicentennial Park (Corner of Forbes Street and Scotland Road). The ceremony will honor East Hartford's fallen military heroes.

Click here for the town meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The Memorial Day Parade is on Monday, May 29th. Traffic and parking information is available here.

Click here for the public meetings calendar.

Click here for the community events calendar.


The Memorial Day Parade steps off from the Army & Navy Club (1090 Main Street) on Monday, May 29th at 9:30 AM. Learn more here.

You can view a list of all the bills passed by the House so far this session here.


The 2017 Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge was launched on May 19 at the Connecticut State Library in Hartford. Governor Malloy stressed the importance of reading during the summer and recognized the top-performing schools from the 2016 Summer Reading Challenge. Learn about this year's Summer Reading Challenge here.

The I-84 Hartford Project Spring newsletter is out. Read it here for updates on the project.

Nevada has joined Connecticut in banning the discredited practice of conversion therapy on minors, raising the total number of states to enact such legislation to nine. Read more in this NY Times article.

All children should have the opportunity to succeed. A new report shows that there are persistent disparities in educational outcomes among Connecticut students. We can do much more to provide opportunities and address the huge inequities we see today. Read more here.

This newly released survey found the lowest total homeless population in Connecticut recorded since the survey began in 2007. This substantial drop in chronic homelessness is a direct result of the collaboration across state government, nonprofits, and federal resources to coordinate our efforts and target our resources to the most vulnerable people experiencing long-term homelessness. Read more here.

Nearly all of the state’s manufacturers – 99 percent – expect to add jobs in the next three years, and more than 13,000 jobs will need to be filled by 2018 alone to meet growing demand. Manufacturers will be looking to hire various workers, including entry-level production, engineers, and welders. I have heard the concerns of manufactures from around the state about finding qualified candidates. That’s why I am supporting several pieces of legislation aimed at better aligning our technical schools with the skills employers are looking for. Learn more here.

It's prime season for door-to-door salespeople. Many are reputable, but for some their only goal is to get your signature on a contract as quickly as possible. Click here to learn about potential scams.

I'm proud to announce that a resolution to permit early voting passed the House. Currently, the Connecticut Constitution requires voters to appear in person on Election Day, but because of work hours or family obligations, some voters cannot get to the polls. This bill would allow voters flexibility and ensure that every resident who wants to vote has the time to do so. Learn more here.

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A full calendar of all events happening at the Capitol next week, including public hearings, is available on the General Assembly website.

You can find the agenda for public hearings on the calendar by clicking on the calendar item and following the link to the committee page. For instructions on how to testify at a public hearing, please click here.