January 2024 Wrap Up

February 8, 2024

The 2024 legislative session began on February 7. It will be a busy time of activity, as committees meet to contemplate bills, hold public hearings to get input from constituents like you, and ultimately bring certain legislation before the General Assembly.

While things will be moving fast, it would be great to hear your ideas and concerns as they relate to our work this session. Many of the ideas legislators bring forth are born out of concerns or input from constituents in their communities. I truly believe that the legislative process only works when we all participate. I am honored to be your voice in Hartford, made all the better by your input and feedback.

I will be sure to stay in communication over the next several months, sharing with you the progress of legislation I am both intimately working on, and ideas being put forth throughout the various legislative committees. If you ever have questions or would be interested in testifying, please don't hesitate to reach out. There are so many ways to be involved in this process.

As always, if my office can be of help to you, please do not hesitate to reach out. You can reach me at 860-240-8585 or by email at moira.rader@cga.ct.gov.

With gratitude,
Representative Moira Rader
School Meals for All Press Conference

From the first day I was sworn in as a legislator, I wanted to do something impactful for our students. I saw the positive impact that free school meals had on our students during and after the pandemic. I knew it was important that we find a way to keep this integral part of their school day in place. Last year, along with several of my legislative colleagues, we advocated for funding to provide free school breakfast for every child in Connecticut. We were also able to fund free lunches for those students previously receiving reduced-cost meals. The participation in our schools has been tremendous and the feedback has been nothing short of wonderful. Now it’s our job to keep the momentum going. I’m so proud to introduce legislation to keep this funding in place for the next school year, along with the support of over 40 co-introducing legislators (and counting). There are a whole host of reasons why a child may struggle in school. But hunger should never be one of them.

My remarks at the School Meals for All press conference on January 24.
Resources to Keep You Connected During the 2024 Legislative Session
With the legislative session underway, I am committed to keeping you informed and engaged in the process.

The resources below will help you stay updated on crucial developments, events, proposed policies, and key discussions as they happen in Hartford. I encourage you to follow along and reach out with any questions.

Here's how you can stay connected and actively participate:  
  • The non-partisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) recently released the 2024 Major Issues Report. This comprehensive document highlights and summarizes key issues the legislature could take up during the upcoming session. 
  • You can view the Connecticut General Assembly's upcoming events by checking out its schedule on the CGA official website
  • Follow CT-N for live coverage of committee meetings, as well as House and Senate floor debates. 
  • You can register to monitor any bill's journey as it goes through the legislative process. By signing up, you can enter the bill number and receive real-time updates. Stay informed with email notifications whenever there's a change in the bill's progress. 
  • Visit this website for information on how to testify on a bill at a public hearing.

Together, we can make a positive impact and ensure that our community's needs are represented. 

Legislative Process 101
Not familiar with state politics? Don’t be intimidated - let’s break down the process in just 6 steps.
Connecticut Launches New Jobs Portal
Connecticut has launched its new jobs portal, jobs.ct.gov, which is aimed at assisting state residents — and those seeking to move here — in the process of finding a job.

Jobs.ct.gov joins health.ct.gov and business.ct.gov as the next service category in Connecticut's ongoing journey toward an all-digital state government that streamlines and improves access to services and resources.

Some of the resources available through jobs.ct.gov include:

  • Powerful job search tools
  • Job search tips and personal help
  • Free and low-cost training, certificate, and classroom programs
  • Resources to help employers hire, train, and retain employees

All of the resources are Connecticut-specific and focus on connecting job seekers with a variety of employment and workforce development opportunities.

The strong and steady statewide economy continues to add jobs, but employers in some industries still face workforce shortages, and jobs.ct.gov will be a valuable resource to them. This portal also importantly provides employers with information to reach greater numbers of skilled jobseekers from diverse backgrounds, which is critical to a more equitable Connecticut economy.
A Milestone for Baby Bonds 
Recently, Governor Lamont and Treasurer Erick Russell announced that 7,810 children across Connecticut have been born automatically eligible for the Connecticut Baby Bonds program since it launched on July 1, 2023.

Connecticut is the first state in the nation to fund and implement a baby bonds program aimed at building a brighter future for children born into poverty. Children whose birth is covered by HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program, are automatically enrolled in the program and will have $3,200 invested on their behalf. Those investments, which are managed by the Office of the Treasurer, will grow over time and can be used when the participant is between the ages of 18 and 30 for specific purposes intended to help build individual wealth. These include purchasing a home in Connecticut, starting or investing in a Connecticut business, paying for education or job training, and saving for retirement.

Since its launch, children eligible for Connecticut Baby Bonds have been born in 165 of the state’s 169 towns and cities. Over a full year, it is anticipated that eligible participants will be born in every municipality.

Food System Capacity Building Grant Application Process Open
The CT Department of Agriculture has announced a new grant around food systems.  Eligible applicants include local food policy councils and/or food working groups, agricultural producers, food pantries, and farmers’ markets.

The Connecticut Department of Agriculture will be hosting a Food System Capacity Building Grant Webinar on February 8, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Applications are due by March 6.

Guilford High School Music Department Presents: "Songs of Stage & Screen"
Suicide Prevention Training (QPR) for Adults
Branford Parks & Recreation & Board of Recreation Present "AEDs in the Parks"
The Branford Board of Recreation, in conjunction with the Bradford Parks and Recreation Department staff, is pleased to announce the unveiling of Automated External Defibrillators at its parks and recreational areas. 

The Parks and Recreation Department has worked alongside key stakeholders, sports organizers, and residents Judy Barron and AJ Pace, in the placement of these lifesaving devices throughout town.  

Attendees are asked to wear red to the event to raise awareness of heart disease in women.