Legislative Wins for Firefighters, Municipalities, and the Public

May 10, 2024

The legislative session has come to an end, and there were some key victories and notable defeats, which I will discuss below. It was an honor to serve you, the 146th district, and the state for a sixth session in Hartford. 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.

We all have so much work to do to improve the daily lives of the people of Connecticut on issues affecting social justice, affordable housing, food access, healthcare, education, labor, the environment, and so much more.

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.

The Connecticut General Assembly had notable legislative successes in the final days of session. We passed a bill expanding a ban on dangerous chemicals in products, which directly affects our amazing firefighters. Both chambers also approved a bill returning local control and public input in zoning. I'll break down why both of those issues are so important.

Tribal leaders raised awareness about the disproportionate amount of missing and murdered Native Americans in the U.S. Keep scrolling to learn how new proposed legislation would have recognized this unfathomable loss.

Here are the sections of today's email:

  • Bill Expanding Ban on Dangerous Chemicals Passes
  • Bill Returning Local Control Over Zoning Approved
  • Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day
  • A Call to Action for Haiti
Bill Expanding Ban on Dangerous Chemicals Passes

On Tuesday, the House unanimously passed Senate Bill 292, which bans the use of hazardous forever chemicals (PFAs) in certain applications such as in household products and textiles. The measure would ban the sale of products containing PFAs in more than a dozen product categories over the next four years.

This proposal, which I co-sponsored, also ensures that our brave firefighters’ turnout gear, which is personal protective equipment, will eventually be free of PFAs. The man-made chemicals have been linked to cancer, organ damage, and other debilitating conditions.

Starting on January 1, 2026, the bill requires anyone selling turnout gear that contains PFAs to let the buyer know ahead of time and explain why the chemicals are in the product.

Two years later, any turnout gear or outdoor apparel for severe wet conditions being manufactured, sold, or offered to be sold in Connecticut will be banned if it contains intentionally added PFAs.

Our firefighters deserve to be protected from these carcinogens while they save lives. I would like to thank my colleagues in both the House and Senate for getting this bill past the finish line. It now heads to the governor’s desk.

Bill Returning Local Control Over Zoning Approved
The House and Senate unanimously passed a bill returning some local control over zoning to our municipalities. Senate Bill 333, which I am proud to have co-sponsored, ensures that decisions are made as close to our local communities as possible. It’s clear that cities and towns should determine their own futures with public input over zoning and development on public land.
As a legislator, it is my first duty to serve the public, and last year’s removal of the public process on eminent domain was overly egregious. I am thrilled that we unanimously voted to repeal that legislative proposal, which was hidden in our implementer last year.
Senate Bill 333 now moves to the governor’s desk for his signature.
Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day
We were honored to host our tribal nations at the Capitol as they raised awareness about the alarming amount of missing and murdered indigenous people in our country. Connecticut’s proud tribes gathered at the Capitol to discuss and share the disturbing rates of violence against Native Americans
Organizers displayed red dresses in the Capitol to represent the hundreds of indigenous women who are murdered or go missing every year in the U.S. and Canada.
We advocated for a bipartisan bill to designate May 5 as “Red Dress Day” in Connecticut to commemorate missing or murdered indigenous people. The measure passed the House but didn't come up for a vote in the Senate. We will continue to push for this legislation moving forward.
A Call to Action for Haiti
I was pleased to stand with several of my colleagues in support of the Haitian community, who visited the Capitol seeking greater visibility and representation. Their perspectives, experiences, and contributions enrich our collective dialogue and strengthen the fabric of our democracy. 
The local Haitian community is hoping Connecticut can be a leader in fighting for equitable funding from the federal government. The group is calling for $600 million, which would be crucial in providing immediate relief and long-term solutions to address the root causes of Haiti's challenges.
The funding would support education, healthcare, infrastructure, and economic development in Haiti. By investing in these areas, it can create a foundation for lasting change and help break the cycle of poverty and vulnerability that has plagued the nation for far too long.