New Funds for 114th District & Stew Leonard's to Orange?

May 10, 2024

The legislative session has come to an end, and it has been an honor serving you in the 114th District. It is such a privilege to work alongside all my legislative colleagues, staffers, advocates, lobbyists, and the general public to make our great state that much better.

I am grateful for your feedback and advocacy because without hearing from you, we cannot make better statewide policy. Please keep coming forward with ideas so my colleagues and I can be more informed and do a better job representing you. 

We passed a statewide spending plan about 24 hours ahead of our final deadline. I'll break down how it supports our district.

Mark your calendars! You are invited to join me for a community conversation in Derby next week. Please read below to see when and where you can meet me, ask questions, and learn about what we passed during the legislative session.

Stew Leonard's is eyeing a new location in Connecticut, and Orange is a potential landing spot! Keep scrolling to find out where the grocery store is looking to expand.

A beloved Hamden firefighter is enjoying his first days in retirement. Please look below to see some of the best pictures from his send-off and his amazing career.

Here are the sections in this week's email:

  • Bipartisan Spending Stabilization Plan Passes
  • Firefighters' Quick Response to Crash in Orange
  • Beloved Hamden Firefighter's Retirement 
  • Join Me for a Community Conversation in Derby
  • Hamden Road Closure
  • I-95 Reopens in Norwalk 
  • "Work, Live, Ride" Bill Discussion
  • Stew Leonard's Coming to Orange?
  • Apply To March in Memorial Day Parades!
  • Derby Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Hamden
  • Orange Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
Bipartisan Spending Stabilization Plan Passes
I'm proud to say we passed a bipartisan spending stabilization plan that will ensure our two-year state budget's historic tax cuts are protected, and we invest in the priorities that matter to you. 

Remember, the two-year budget includes:

  • The Largest Income Tax Cut in State History
  • Investments in Public Education
  • New supports for the IDD community
  • Expansion of Debt-Free Community College
  • A Strong and Vibrant Safety Net of Programs

We used remaining federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to provide support to some important priorities such as:

  • Higher Education - $160 million
  • Early Childcare - $21.8 million
  • Mental Health - $24 million
  • Nonprofits - $50 million
I also helped secure $50,000 for the Orange Volunteer Fire Department. Our firefighters are responding to an alarming number of traumatic events, and these resources will help them continue to keep our community safe. 

We are also putting more than a billion dollars into the state's Rainy Day Fund and paying down pension debt.

I am proud to report that Connecticut is set up to succeed financially in the present as well as the future.

Firefighters' Quick Response to Crash in Orange
Seven people were hurt in a crash on Derby Avenue last Friday in Orange. Police say a driver had a medical emergency and crashed into the back of a car that was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Racebrook Road. All seven victims are expected to survive.

I would like to thank the brave members of the Orange Volunteer Fire Department for their quick response to this emergency. The team swiftly helped four victims within nine minutes. They’re actions certainly made a huge difference.

Beloved Hamden Firefighter's Retirement
Congratulations to Lieutenant Jay McCarthy on his retirement after 23 years of service to the Hamden Fire Department. Friends, family, colleagues, and retirees gave Lieutenant “J-Mac” a proper send-off on his final shift last week. Enjoy a healthy retirement!
Join Me for a Community Conversation in Derby
Please join me to get a breakdown of our legislative triumphs at my Community Office Hours on Tuesday, May 14 in Derby. I will meet with constituents at Harcourt Wood Memorial Library at 6:30 P.M. We will dig deeper into the bills that matter to you.

You are encouraged to stop by, ask questions, provide feedback, and share any ideas on future legislation that would benefit the people of the 114th District. I do my best work when I have direct and passionate conversations with you. I look forward to seeing you in Derby!

Click Here To Register
Hamden Road Closure
Still Hill Road in Hamden will be shut down today, Friday, May 10, for “Bike and Roll to School Day.” Students from West Woods School will ride their bikes or walk to class and back home.
As you can see in the map above, Still Hill Road will be closed for a one-mile stretch from West Todd Street to Johnson Road from 3:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M. 

Students and families will be returning home from West Woods School on their bikes or by walking. Great to see the kids get some fresh air and exercise!

I-95 Reopens in Norwalk
I-95 in Norwalk is open once again after crews demolished an overpass that was damaged in a fiery crash. It took less than 80 hours for the Connecticut Department on Transportation (CTDOT) to completely reopen the highway.

After tearing down the Fairfield Avenue Bridge, crews removed tons of concrete, steel, and debris from the roadway, swept the road, milled, paved, and restriped pavement markings. I want to thank our dedicated CTDOT workers for their invaluable service to our state. 

I am beyond impressed by the response from local and state police, fire departments, contractors as well as their attention to detail from the demolition to environmental cleanup. Just take a look at the pictures below. CTDOT crews and contractors accomplished all that in about 24 hours over the weekend. Great job!

CTDOT engineers worked through the weekend to develop preliminary replacement plans of the Fairfield Avenue Bridge. They’re expected to complete those initial designs within the next two weeks.

The feds approved $3 million in emergency relief funds to Connecticut to help offset the costs with rebuilding the Fairfield Avenue Bridge over I-95. 
"Work, Live, Ride" Bill Discussion
Before the House passed the so-called “Work, Live, Ride” bill last week, I rose to get clarification on the transit-oriented measure. House Bill 5390 aims to create more affordable housing within walking distance of trains and buses.

Under the measure, municipalities would receive state funds if they commit to creating a plan for developments where 30% of the units are deemed affordable. If a municipality elects not to create a transit-oriented district, it will not lose access to discretionary infrastructure funding.
Please watch the clip below to learn more.

Rep. Kavros Degraw answers my questions about House Bill 5390.
Stew Leonard's Coming to Orange?
I welcome the exciting news that Stew Leonard's may open a brand-new grocery store in Orange! The Connecticut-based company is considering setting up shop at the former Christmas Tree Shops location within Colonial Commons at 200 Indian River Road in Orange.
Several businesses are still there, but there is no doubt that adding a grocery store with a company of Stew Leonard's stature would make a huge difference in terms of adding jobs and attracting people to our community. I will bring you any updates as soon as they come in!
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.

Orange's Memorial Day parade is happening after the conclusion of a ceremony at 10:30 A.M. on Sunday, May 26 at the gazebo at High Plains Community Center.

CLICK HERE to take part in the 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 Wednesday, May 15 at 6 P.M. for the exclusive world premiere of "The Valley Washups," a heartwarming comedic documentary about the triumphs and tragedies of a hapless local softball team.
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.
Please register for this special event by Wednesday, May 12. Print out the flier, cut the bottom part, fill out the registration form, and send it to the address listed.
More Hamden Events
Orange Events Calendar
Check out the flier and community calendar in Orange below.
Case Memorial Library is inviting you to make your own recycled glow stick fireflies from Monday, May 13 - Saturday, May 18Participants need to bring their own bottle, scissors, glue, and makers. Registration is not required. First come, first served.
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.
This class at Massero Community Farm will dive deeply into growing nutrient dense food with tips on remineralizing your soil, how much to water, pest resistance and more at 11 A.M. on Saturday, May 11. We'll also spend time outside transplanting seedlings.

Remember to dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes because a portion of the classes are outside on the farm. Classes are never canceled but may be rescheduled in the event of heavy rain.

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!
Art On Display: May 9 through May 29
Hoos Family Art Gallery, 360 Amity Road, Woodbridge
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 here to RSVP.
Woodbridge Community Calendar