Two Weeks To Go, Thoughts On Anniversary Of Roe V. Wade, A Thank You To CMS

January 24, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,

With only two weeks left before the 2024 session of the Connecticut General Assembly, you’ll probably notice that the e-news is packed today. More meetings are taking place each day at the Legislative Office Building, and we are rapidly scheduling screening meetings and committee meetings. Soon, we will begin our public hearings where we hope to hear from many of you.

This week, I included some highlights and some upcoming events. There’s a free Internet Safety training for parents tomorrow that you may want to tune into. 

It’s also Poverty Awareness Month, and I highlighted the positive effects of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as these are the folks in our communities (including Avon and Canton) who are working but can use a little extra help for their families. I was proud to help pass it and continue to fight for funding for it.

As always, please reach out if I can assist you in any way. Wishing you a wonderful week,


Two Weeks to Go!
The countdown begins! Don’t forget these important resources.
Thoughts on Roe V. Wade Anniversary
Delayed and denied. The headline says it all.

We would have celebrated the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision on Monday. Unfortunately, the

Dobbs decision ended that and put millions of people's lives at risk.

A nameless 10-year-old in Ohio. Katie Scott in Texas. Eighteen women in this article (some of whom would have told you before their experience that they were pro-life).

Me? I am unapologetically pro-woman and pro-reproductive healthcare, too. Your ability to decide when to have a child or not is a mental health decision. It's an economic decision.

It is also a physical health decision. For more on the ABC News piece, please click HERE.

I was proud to stand with colleagues on Monday to reaffirm our commitment to anyone seeking reproductive healthcare in Connecticut. If there has to be a firewall, I'm proud it's on us.
Traffic Signal Replacement Plans For Avon
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is developing plans to replace existing traffic control signal equipment with new equipment to meet current CTDOT standards at 24 locations in cities across the state, including Avon.

At applicable locations, pedestrian control features (countdown pedestrian indications, accessible pushbuttons, sidewalk ramps) will be upgraded to improve accessibility and pedestrian safety. CTDOT will coordinate with the city or town during the design phase.

The intersection in Avon at Routes 44 & 10 (East Main St.) and Route 44 (Avon Mountain Rd.) at Route 10 (Waterville Rd.) and Nod Rd is set for a full traffic signal replacement.

Traffic Control Signal – Partial Replacement (upgrades to pedestrian control features, detection, and controllers only) is coming to:

  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Ensign Drive & Avon Center Office Park
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Darling Drive
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Climax Road
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Lawrence Avenue and Avon Plaza Drive
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Walmart and Town Square Drives
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Drive to Nod Brook Mall & Tri-Town Plaza
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Blockbuster/Friendly's Driveway
  • Routes 44 & 202 (W. Main St.) at Farmington Valley Mall & Dale Rd

Please note: The design plans for this project are expected to be completed in January 2026 with a tentative advertising date for construction of  April 2026. It’s important to CTDOT to ensure the public’s feedback and thoughts are heard and included. Anyone interested in requesting information on these projects may do so by contacting Gregory R. Palmer, Project Manager at (860) 594-2748 or via email at Please refer to State Project No. 0174-0471.

January is Poverty Awareness Month
Why was our EITC increase such a big deal in our fight against poverty?
By changing the rate from 30.5% to ️40%, we were able to provide an additional $44.6 million in state tax credits to the approximately 211,000 low-income filers who receive the credit. Typically, more than 95% of filers who receive this credit are families with children.

And it may surprise you to know that we do have families in District 17 receiving this tax credit.

This Week in Planning and Development 
The Continuing Committee on the State Plan of Conservation and Development held another update meeting on Tuesday with Rebecca Augur from the Office of Policy Management (OPM).

This draft plan will be completed over the next six weeks at which time we will be seeking public feedback.

The plan is critical to the future of Connecticut and serves as a living document that we can update and continue to improve. I co-chair this committee with my co-chair of Planning and Development Senator MD Rahman.

I look forward to the final product and am grateful to all of the people at OPM who have worked on the draft for months.

Planning and Development Committee Meeting, Tuesday, January 23, 2024
YW Live Lunch & Learn Thursday at Noon 
I hope you can tune into YW Live Lunch & Learn Thursday on Facebook Live from noon to 1 p.m. These events are aimed at improving the quality of life in our state and around the country.

I will be one of the panelists tomorrow and will join Patricia Russo, Executive Director of The Campaign School at Yale, and host Adrienne Cochrane the YWCA Chief Executive Officer for the Hartford Region as well as Representative Kate Farrar. I know we will most likely discuss women running for office which is a great tie-in today which is “National Run for Office Day.”

You can watch the event

Speak Up To Save Lives Campaign Underway

The state is urging anyone who witnesses unsafe driving to SPEAK UP to save lives as part of National Passenger Safety Week. The campaign runs from January 21-28.

By speaking up when you see someone speeding, impaired, or distracted, you are actively trying to help other drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and so many others.

Remember, passengers can potentially:

  • Prevent a driver from getting behind the wheel if they have had too much to drink
  • Tell driver to lower their speed

Keep driver focused by putting phone away

CLICK HERE to learn more about the weeklong campaign (January 21-28) 
In the News: CT Examiner
I did an interview recently with the Connecticut Examiner. Here I share some of my priorities as Chair of the Planning and Development Committee. Click on the image below for the read.
Canton PD Communications Center Coming Along 
Patch Via Town of Canton

I am happy to see the progress being made regarding the Canton Police Department's Communications Console/Center project. I secured bond funding for the renovations in 2022 and the project is almost complete. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished project very soon.

For a closer look, please read HERE.

Free Internet Safety Training Available on Thursday
Tweens and teens spend many hours per day online chatting and interacting with friends and people whom they may not know well and who may put them at risk. To educate parents, teachers, and others, the US Attorney’s Office, District of Connecticut, in collaboration with the Department of Children and Families, is offering - FREE OF CHARGE - online Internet Safety Training.  
This training will introduce parents, teachers, and others to Internet and cell phone applications and video game systems being used by tweens/teens that could potentially put them at risk.
Training will take place this Thursday, January 25th, from 6 – 7:30 p.m., via Zoom.  

The Zoom link can be accessed by clicking on the image below.

Baby Bonds Program Success
We’re building a brighter future for Connecticut children born into poverty. In just six months, the first-in-the-nation Connecticut Baby Bonds program has put more than 7,000 working families on a pathway to the middle class and is transforming the future of our state.
About Those Hat (in the cold) Stats... 
You may recall I sent out a graphic of Cold Weather Safety Tips last week heading into the weekend. The "Don't Forget A Hat Stat" - actually, 40 percent of your body heat escapes from your head, in particular - prompted two constituents to provide some interesting information to the contrary, basically debunking the 40-percent stat. Please click on the image below to read. 
Take Your Child to the Library Day is February 3rd
Both the Avon Free Public Library, 281 Country Club Road in Avon, and Canton Public Library, 40 Dyer Avenue, Canton, are participating in the Take Your Child to the Library Day event, which was founded by the Waterford Public Library in 2011, and now includes participation from libraries across the country. For more information about TYCLD CT, please click on the image below.
The Avon Public Library will be celebrating National Eat Ice Cream for Breakfast Day as part of its event, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in the Storytime room.

In Canton, John McDonough & his Pumpernickel Puppets are returning to the library with another delightful puppet show beginning at 2 p.m. You can register for the event by clicking on the image below.

Thank You, Canton Middle School
Recently, I had the fun opportunity of participating in Canton Middle School’s Career Day. As a parent of an eighth grader, I can tell you that I was a little nervous because any parent of a 13 or 14-year-old can tell you, this is a tough audience.
Not only did they have great questions about my job, but based on the thank you notes, there was a lot of information that hit home for them.

I appreciate all of the kind words they had about hearing me speak and I’m grateful that Canton Middle has a wonderful program like this as it’s never too early to figure out where your passion might lead you.


Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative

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