Bringing You Up To Speed on Legislative Work

April 5, 2024

Session is starting to heat up as we head into the home stretch of this short year. My work on Judiciary and General Law Committees is largely wrapped for the year with both of those committees' deadlines having passed. I was pleased to have my bill, HB 5326, regarding criteria for extensions of civil restraining orders, passed out of Judiciary and it now heads to the House floor. My final committee, Appropriations, met its last deadline this week as we grappled with the numerous additional funding requests and adjustments. Click here to read a recent article from the CT Mirror on current budget negotiations.

With my committee work largely behind me, it’s time to start reading up on the many bills passed by other committees that may make their way to the House floor. A few hot topics this year that I know are so important to Simsbury that are still being heavily debated and negotiated include housing, paid sick leave, small business, insurance, and environmental bills.

I appreciate the emails I receive from many of you regarding legislation that is important to you and invite you to reach out to me about your priorities.

We have so much more to get to in this email including an opportunity to read new books, explore amazing libraries, and potentially win a $200 gift card. The Passports to Connecticut Libraries campaign is under way! You can find the entire list of participating libraries below including one in Simsbury.

Spring is in the air, and black bears are waking up from their slumber. Please read below to see what those animals are up to in April. And don’t forget that in Simsbury that also means only using food in your bird feeders that is known to be less attractive to bears and refraining from intentionally feeding our bear population. It’s never a bad idea this time of year to carry a bear whistle while enjoying our many nature paths! 

Here are the sections in this week's email:

  • Judicial Nominees Confirmed
  • Simsbury: A Great Place To Live!
  • Mark Your Calendars for Clean Up Day - April 20
  • Put the Phone Away or Pay
  • Passports to Connecticut Libraries
  • Hometown Heroes Nominations Wanted
  • Simsbury State Champs
  • What Bears Do in April
  • Simsbury Teen Photo Challenge
  • Community Events
Judicial Nominees Confirmed
One of the greatest honors and most solemn responsibilities I have in serving as your State Representative is in my role on the Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for the screening, vetting, and referral of Judicial nominees to the General Assembly.
As residents of Connecticut, you are far more likely to need to interact with and have your life personally and potentially irrevocably altered by the Judicial Branch than any other branch of government. Few residents will have their cases continue past their experience at the Superior Court level. Whether in personal injury, medical malpractice, divorce, custody, housing or a criminal charge, it is vital that the judge hearing your case has the proper experience, knowledge, and humility for the role.
That’s why it was my honor to introduce qualified judicial nominees unanimously referred by the Judiciary Committee to the House chamber to become Judges of Superior Court.
Simsbury: A Great Place To Live!
I'm proud to say Simsbury is home to three of the best towns or villages to live in in Connecticut! Niche released its findings last month:
  • #2 Weatogue with an A+ 
  • #6 Simsbury with an A+
  • #21 West Simsbury with an A
See the Full List and Read Reviews Here
Mark Your Calendars for Clean Up Day - April 20

Join your friends and neighbors as they clean up Simsbury's neighborhoods, parks, and trails on Saturday, April 20. Stop by the Town Hall Parking Lot (933 Hopmeadow Street) at 8:30 A.M. for gloves and trash bags before heading out to clean up. You can put the trash bags in a dumpster, generously donated by Paine's Inc., at Town Hall by 11:30 A.M. Even if you don’t sign up in advance, please join us if it turns out you’re available!

Sign up For the Location That Suits You Best
Put the Phone Away or Pay
The state is reminding all drivers that when you get behind the wheel, Put the Phone Away or Pay. It’s a campaign for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. Law enforcement will step up its enforcement of distracted-driving laws through April 30.
It’s illegal to use any hand-help mobile electronic device while driving in Connecticut. In addition, 16 and 17-year-old drivers are not allowed to use a hands-free accessory. Fines start at $200, then go to $375, and $625 for a third offense.
Passports to Connecticut Libraries
Stop by your local library for an awesome campaign called Passport to Connecticut Libraries, which encourages everyone to read! Begin your journey by picking up a library passport at one of 150 participating libraries. Make sure to get it stamped before visiting other libraries and doing the same thing there. Each participant will receive a small gift at each new library. 
You can grab your passport at Simsbury Public Library on Hopmeadow Street. CLICK HERE for a full list of participating libraries.
The campaign runs from Monday, April 1 through Tuesday, April 30. The Connecticut Library Association will offer two adults and two children a $200 Visa gift card.
Hometown Heroes Nominations Wanted
The Town of Simsbury is seeking nominations for recipients of this year’s Hometown Hero Awards. Since 1986, Simsbury designates and recognizes outstanding individuals for their service to the community.

All nominees must meet the following criteria:

  • A person who is a resident, or who is active in the Simsbury community, or who lived in Simsbury during the time period that is under consideration;
  • That the acts and services which are recognized have a real and perceived benefit to the Town of Simsbury; and that
  • A nominee may not be a member of Town staff, nor a sitting elected official, or have benefited economically from his/her endeavors on behalf of the Town. Provided however that no nominee shall excluded from consideration when the qualities and activities under consideration are outside the scope of their official duties.
Click Here To Learn More & Make a Nomination
Simsbury State Champs!

Congratulations to the Simsbury High School girls’ basketball team for winning its first state championship! The Trojans beat #1 Holy Cross 55-40 in the final in the Class L championship game. Congratulations on making history! We are so proud of you! CLICK HERE to learn more!

What Bears Do in April

You will start seeing more bears waking up from their winter nap, searching for food, and discovering their surroundings this month. Experts at Bearwise say most bears are leaving their dens for good, and cubs get their first look at their new world.

Click Here to Learn What Bears Do in April
Simsbury Teen Photo Challenge

Do you want your kids to take part in a photo challenge with prizes? The Simsbury Public Library & the Simsbury Camera Club are co-sponsoring this fun contest, which is designed to get kids interested in photography!

Rules & Guidelines

CLICK HERE if you have and further questions about the photo challenge.

Community Events

Through classroom instruction, on-bike drills, and a group ride, this nine-hour class will help riders develop the knowledge and confidence to ride safely and legally on roads and multi-use trails. Topics to be covered include:

  • bicycle safety check
  • starting
  • stopping
  • shifting
  • scanning
  • proper lane/intersection positioning
  • crash avoidance techniques

Participants must bring their own bikes and helmets to Mitchell Volkswagen at 416 Hopmeadow Street. It costs $50 to take the class. CLICK HERE for more information.


Students are invited to stop by Apple Barn on Old Farms Road to decorate cookies with a Taylor Swift influence on Saturday, April 6 at 11 A.M. CLICK HERE to register.