House Passes Paid Sick Leave & Support for Nonprofits

April 26, 2024

My colleagues are debating and voting on bills at a rapid pace as we approach our legislative deadline. This week, the House approved expanded paid sick leave to cover all workers. Constituents have asked me many questions about this legislation. Please read below to get a full breakdown of what this proposal accomplishes.

Thousands of advocates for nonprofits stopped by the Capitol urging legislators to provide more funding. I'll show you which local nonprofit I met with in Hartford.

Millions of federal dollars are coming in for solar projects that will support low-income residents. Please read below to find out how this investment will benefit our communities in the present and future.

Saturday is National Drug Take Back Day, and it's an opportunity to get rid of your unwanted prescription medications. I'll break down where you can dispose of those drugs in a safe manner in our district.

And, you don't want to miss what a newly restored church in Woodbridge looks like now. Keep scrolling to see some of the best pictures of that artwork!

Here are the sections in this week's email:

  • House Passes Paid Sick Leave
  • Support for Nonprofits
  • Funding for Solar Energy
  • Wrong-Way Detection Technology Installed in Derby
  • National Drug Takeback Day
  • In The News
  • New Police Officers in Orange
  • Church Restoration Unveiled
  • Passports to Connecticut Libraries
  • Apply To March in Memorial Day Parades!
  • Derby Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Hamden
  • Orange Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
House Passes Paid Sick Leave
This week, the House of Representatives held a lengthy debate about HB 5005, which would create a phased-in approach to earned paid sick leave. There were a few different proposals coming from the governor's office and various caucuses that resulted in a common-sense compromise that took the feedback from the business community and from seasonal employers (like summer camps).
Since the pandemic it has been made very clear that we don't want our co-workers showing up to work sick. We also recognize that money is very tight for a lot of people and families. This legislation promotes better public health outcomes while allowing workers to care for themselves or a sick loved one without adding additional financial strain. 
I spoke with leadership of the Labor Committee as well as caucus leadership and shared the frustrations that had been expressed to me about the administrative side of this policy. If the bill requires employers to provide paid sick time, the state should provide a uniform way to track it that is more user friendly and doesn't add any additional burdens of paperwork or time tracking. I will continue to work toward making this policy better for all parties. 

Here are some quick facts about what passed the House:

  • The measure will be phased in over three years; 2025 for employers with 25 or more employees, 2026 for 11 or more employees, and 2027 for 1 or more employees
  • To be eligible you must work a minimum of 120 business days per year (this exempts seasonal agricultural workers and summer camp employees)
  • Employers who already offer 40 hours or more of paid time off per year are exempt
  • For every 30 hours worked the employee earns 1 hour of compensated time off
  • Employees can only accrue a maximum of 40 hours paid sick leave per year
Questions that were addressed:

Q: Are both part-time and full-time employees eligible? 

A: Yes. The formula for earned time is the same.
Q: Let's say someone is hired, works for 118 days, is let go from the company, but then re-hired later that year. Does the accrual time start over or does the employee pick up where they left off?

A: The time starts over. If an employee works for any time less than 120 business days, they are not eligible and must begin earning the time off from the beginning even if hired back by the same company.
Q: I already offer my employees more than a full week off. Do I need to do more? 

A: No. Any employer who provides their employees 40 hours or more off is exempt from this policy.
Q: I work as a server in a restaurant and earned tips are a big part of my take-home pay. If I am sick and can't come to work, can I switch shifts with someone or am I required to only take the time accrued based on my hourly wage?

A: You can switch shifts. Tipped workers are not required to take the time off. Shifts can be adjusted to keep employees home when sick but not have a major part of their income lost.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. 

Support for Nonprofits
More than 1,800 nonprofit supporters rallied at the Capitol on Wednesday to push for more funding. Approximately a dozen clients from BHcare travelled from the Valley to send the same message. It is critical to hear their perspectives, and I appreciate the time they shared with us.
BHcare is a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic. It provides a comprehensive and integrated system of care, with wrap-around services for adults, children, and families struggling with mental health, substance use, domestic violence, and other health-risk behaviors.
Nonprofits help by focusing on different causes, like helping people in need, protecting the environment, or supporting education. They use donations and volunteers to do things like providing food and shelter, offering education programs, advocating for change, and more. I fully support their push for more funding and will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to aid these vital organizations.

Funding for Solar Energy
Connecticut received a $62.5 million grant to expand solar energy in low-income communities. The money is part of the Solar for All initiative and comes from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The federal grant fuels Project SunBridge, which will reach thousands of Connecticut households, primarily in multi-family affordable housing units. Project SunBridge aims to achieve a minimum household energy savings of 20% and will further the state's goal of a zero-carbon electric sector by 2040.

Utilizing solar energy in the most disadvantaged areas is the next step to reduce pollution and assist families’ financial needs. This funding will lower energy bills while providing clean and renewable energy. 
Click Here To Learn More
Wrong-Way Detection Technology Installed in Derby
Crews installed wrong-way detection technology this week on Route 8 southbound at exit 15 in Derby. This work is in response to a rise in deadly wrong-way crashes across our state. The technology includes enhanced warnings signs, flashing lights, and immediate warnings to Connecticut State Police when drivers are going the wrong way.
National Drug Take Back Day

Members of the Orange Police Department and CERT will collect your unwanted prescription medications on Saturday which is National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. The event will take place from 10 A.M. - 2 P.M. at High Plains Community Center.

The goal is to provide the public with a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

In The News
New Police Officers in Orange
You're looking at the two newest members of the Orange Police Department!  Zachary Royka attended Western Connecticut State University where he studied Justice and Law Administration. He has also been enlisted in the CT Army National Guard since 2018.

Diana Wnuk is graduate of Eastern Connecticut State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Sociology, while playing basketball all four years. Diana is also fluent in Polish.

Thank you for your service and we wish them a long and safe police career!

Church Restoration Unveiled
Sunday morning, I had the pleasure of attending a lovely service at First Church of Christ in Woodbridge for the rededication of the sanctuary after crews completed its stunning restoration.
While it’s difficult to see with the naked eye, what appears to be molding is actually intricate painting. I am honored to have supported the state preservation grant process for such a work of art.
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. 

There are several locations where you can grab your passport in the 114th district:

  • Derby Public Library on Elizabeth Street in Derby
  • Miller Memorial Library on Dixwell Avenue in Hamden
  • Brundage Community Branch Library on Circular Avenue in Hamden
  • Whitneyville Branch Library on Carleton Street in Hamden
  • Woodbridge Town Library on Newton Road in Woodbridge

CLICK HERE for a full list of participating libraries.

The campaign runs through Tuesday, April 30. The Connecticut Library Association will offer two adults and two children a $200 Visa gift card

Apply To March in Memorial Day Parades!
The Towns of Hamden and Orange are accepting applications to march in their respective Memorial Day Parades.

CLICK HERE if you would like to participate in the Hamden parade. You have until Friday, May 10 to apply.

CLICK HERE to take part in Orange's parade! If you have any questions or need more information, please email the Parade Committee at

Derby Events Calendar
Check out the events below, and click the button at the bottom of this section to access the community calendar.
Stop by Derby Neck Library on Sunday, April 28 at 3 P.M. for a lesson in custom stamp making! Participants will design and carve their own unique rubber stamp for scrapbooking, print-making, and greeting card decoration. CLICK HERE to reserve your spot!
Derby Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Hamden
Take a look at the fliers below to learn more about upcoming events. Make sure to click on the button at the bottom of this section.
Guitarist Hiroya Tsukamoto will perform on Sunday, April 28 at 3 P.M. at Best Video Film & Cultural Center. The show is called  "A Journey Through Strings and Stories." Tickets are $15 and 15% of the event’s proceeds will go to the Sleeping Giant Park Association. The BVCoffee Bar will be open for beer, wine, and other drinks.
More Hamden Events
Orange Events Calendar
Check out the flier and community calendar in Orange below.
This event offers residents a convenient and responsible way to dispose of various household items while promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness. In addition, to show support for the community, residents may bring non-perishable food items for donation to local food pantries.

CLICK HERE for more information including a new and secure method being offered to dispose of electronic devices.

Orange Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
Check out the events below, and access the Woodbridge community calendar by clicking on the button at the bottom.
Drop off your houseplants any time the Woodbridge Town Library is open including Saturday. Then, visit the plant swap table in front of the library.
Check out a vibrant celebration of young talent at ART IN BLOOM: Southern CT Hebrew Academy 5th-8th Grade Girls Art Show in the Hoos Family Gallery!
🗓️ Opening Reception: Thursday, May 9 | 7:30 P.M.
Hoos Family Art Gallery, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge
Art On Display: May 9 through May 29
Step into the vibrant world of young artists as they unveil their artwork! From classical themes to modern expressions, witness 40 students' incredible journey with gouache and oil paint over six months. Click on the link to RSVP:
Woodbridge Community Calendar