Jack Hennessy was first elected to the Connecticut General Assembly in 2004 to represent the 127th District, the North End of Bridgeport. Hennessy serves as Deputy Speaker of the House, and serves on the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee and Public Health Committee.
In these roles, Hennessy looks forward to working on new legislation that will bring more resources to the City of Bridgeport, specifically a bill to help the University of Bridgeport’s School of Naturopathic Medicine become a national leader. Additionally he will continue efforts to pass legislation to allow the state to open a competitive process to issue gaming licenses. Last year, the house passed this bill, however it died in the Senate. The Bridgeport Delegation will continue to focus on this issue during the 2019 session to bring new revenues to the city.
Since being elected, Hennessy has fought for property tax relief, the creation of a universal health care system, and protection of the Long Island Sound. Hennessy previously lead the Economic Development sub-group of the Smart Growth Working Group and was a member of the Continuing Legislative Committee on State Planning and Development. He continues to work toward easing congestion on the highways, attract businesses, smart growth and mass transit.
Hennessy was the key sponsor of the landmark Environmental Justice Bill. This legislation has allowed urban communities, such as Bridgeport, to have their voices heard on the siting of noxious polluting facilities. Hennessy has been fighting to bring flood control to the Ox Brook Stream in the North End of Bridgeport and succeeded in funding a project in Rogers Park to establish a flood retention earthen dam. Hennessy has also fought for the protection of urban forests, such as Veterans Memorial Park.
He has also been a strong advocate for Connecticut veterans and was the longest serving Chair in the history of the Committee on Veterans Affairs with eight years. Under his leadership, consequential initiatives for veterans became law.
Hennessy headed an effort to examine using military occupational specialty training to satisfy the training requirements for some state licenses. This led to the signing of Executive Order No. 36 on Sept. 23, 2013 by former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, which helped expand the extent relevant military experience was recognized by state licensing policies to ease the transition of military jobs into state licenses and college credits.
Hennessy also increased protections against those who stole valor, expanded tax exemptions, and fully exempted military retirement pay from the state income tax.
He ushered in legislation that prevented any person who served in the Armed Forces residing in the State of Connecticut from being discriminated against based on their race, religion, national origin, skin color, sexual orientation or gender identity. He also worked to support veteran-owned small businesses.
Hennessy steadfastly defended the Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines Fund from attempts to divert the monies from helping veterans towards the state’s fiscal woes, and fought to restore full funding for military funeral honors after the program was reduced in Governor Malloy’s budget.
As chair, the Department of Defense has twice commended Hennessy for his efforts on passing legislation that beneficially impacts the quality of life of service members and their families.
Lastly, after many years of effort, Hennessy was instrumental in passing legislation that honored Medal of Honor Recipients Robert Nett and Lee Hartell by naming the CT National Guard’s two main camps after them.
Born in Norwalk, Jack has lived in Bridgeport for the past 32 years.
Hennessy earned a Bachelor's degree from Boston College with a major in English Literature. He also served in the U.S. Army as a Sergeant in the 1st Ranger Battalion, 75th Infantry Regiment. He recently retired after 32 years of working at FedEx as a truck driver. He graduated from the CT Center of Massage Therapy (CCMT) in 1996 and worked as a Licensed Massage Therapist and as a Reiki Master.
With his newfound free-time, Hennessy will continue to work hard for his constituents, the City of Bridgeport and the State of Connecticut.
Jack and his wife, Lindy, have been happily married for 37 years and raised three beautiful children in Bridgeport.