State Budget Update, Transportation and Climate Initiative Program, & Restaurant Revitalization Fund 

April 22, 2021
Below you will find information on the following:
  • State Budget Update
  • Transportation and Climate Initiative Program
  • Restaurant Revitalization Fund 
  • Town of Newington 150th Anniversary
  • Earth Day
  • Turco Talk Time 
  • COVID-19 Update
  • Newington Community Champion Award
  • Newington Youth Essay Contest
  • Veterans Advisory Committee Meeting 
As a member of the Appropriations Committee, I have been advocating for Newington within the state budget; which we finalized Wednesday. This proposed budget will form the basis for budget negotiations between legislative leaders, Governor Lamont and the executive branch. According to this budget proposal, Newington will see a 10% increase in state funding in FY 2022 for $1,599,269 and FY 2023 for $1,958,356.

This budget includes funding for Connecticut's towns, schools, nonprofits as well as social safety net programs and addresses social equity concerns without exceeding the state spending cap or tapping into the $3.5 billion Rainy Day Fund.

A few highlights from this bill include:
  • Debt-free community college
  • More money toward education 
  • Declaring racism as public health crisis 
  • Office for pandemic preparedness 
  • Mental illness resources
  • Support for nursing homes

The existing pandemic, which we are on our way out of, has crippled not only our state, but also our nation. Connecticut residents have had to work hard and make sacrifices over the past year, but it’s because of this dedication that our state is poised for recovery.
This proposal, without a doubt, demonstrates the vital role that state government can and must play in the lives of its residents when public health and safety, as well as racial equity are on the line.  It also addresses systemic inequities that have plagued Connecticut communities for decades by removing archaic obstacles and reinvesting in the communities we call home.
The budget still needs to be finalized in negotiations with the Governor and passed by the full House and Senate. However, these changes are very positive, and I will be advocating for this funding to remain in the final version. 
Brighter and stronger days are ahead, as we continue to work together for a better Connecticut.

On April 29th at 6:00p.m. I will co-host a panel discussion with Rep. Morrin Bello on the TCI-Program. We will be joined by DEEP Commissioner, Katie Dykes, and DOT Dep. Commissioner, Garrett Eucalitto, to break down fact vs. fiction about the program.

Please join us on FaceBook Live on or on Zoom.

Yesterday was Earth Day! In honor of Earth Day, I would like to highlight the upcycling contest held by Newington's Environmental Quality Commission. 

 What ways can town residents, businesses, and non-profits create a useable product from unwanted items or take an existing product in a new direction to make it more valuable?

Upcycling reduces waste and improves the efficiency of resources. Google “Upcycled items” to get inspirational ideas, even if you aren't entering the contest. Click here for the entry form and additional details. 

Upcycling Contest

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released details on the application and eligibility requirements for the $28.6 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The funding – included in the American Rescue Plan and run by the SBA – will assist the hardest-hit restaurants with the funds they need to meet payroll, purchase COVID-related supplies, and recover industry jobs lost during the pandemic.

The application requirements, eligibility, and a program guide are now available in English and Spanish.
Application- English
Application- Spanish
All eligible businesses are encouraged to apply, but during the first 21 days, priority will be given to businesses owned by women, veterans and socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.

This Saturday, April 24,2021, the Town of Newington is celebrating its 150th Anniversary!

To celebrate the town will hold a History Walk/drive from 12pm-4pm featuring seven properties with historical significance, all near the town center:

1. Kellogg-Eddy House and Museum. Home to the Newington Historical Society. President Jim Late and former president Linda Crawford will don period costume and conduct tours of the newly established Farm Museum, which can be viewed from outside and inside and contains the rescued Holt Dairy Farm wagon and the newly acquired Eddy Farm wagon. They will discuss the history of the Historical Society.

2. Lucy Robbins Welles Library- Library staff will assemble a Story Walk highlighting library history. The Friends of the Library will also provide a presentation.

3. Mill Pond Falls- Lifelong resident Joseph DeMers will portray a sawmill operator from 1677, when pipe-staves were an early industry.

4. Original Firehouse Number 1- Saved from destruction in 1996 by dedicated volunteers. Recently retired Chief Chris Schroeder and volunteers will display antique fire trucks and fire department history.

5. Church of Christ, Congregational- Nancy Crawford, Jonathan Tinkham, and Jim Mulrooney, wearing period costumes, will represent 18th and 19th century figures from the congregation’s long history. The congregation will celebrate their 300th anniversary in 2022.

6. 944 Main Street, a stately home facing the town green, with a rich history dating back to the 1720s. Two interpreters( Jeri Nagel and Dennis Morgan) will recount centuries of history of this property.

7. 646 Main Street - a lovely Victorian Italianate house that was built by John Kirkham for his bride when he returned to Newington from the 1849 California Gold Rush. Town Councilor Dave Nagel will portray John Kirkham. The home is owned by Flo and Jack Guite and has been featured on Historical house tours for past anniversaries.

In this Turco Talk Time, I speak with John Trister about recreation cannabis. To learn more about HB 6377, which aims to require labor peace agreements for the cannabis industry and to ensure a modern and equitable cannabis workforce, please tune in below.
HB- 6377
Click Here for COVID Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Specific Updates for Our Community
Town Total Cases Total Deaths Number of Tests Total Confirmed Cases
Newington 2,637 152 18,322 2,485

The monthly Newington Community Champion Award honors local advocates in our community. This award aims to acknowledge Newington residents who are advocating and contributing towards positive change in the community.
There will be one award given each month. In order to nominate a Newington friend or neighbor, please email with the following information:  

  • Newington Resident's Name 
  • Reason for Nomination 
  • Nominee Contact Information 

Every year, and particularly this year, our community witnesses countless advocates fighting for positive change. These advocates come in all shapes and sizes from leaders of non-profit organizations, to students creating initiatives within our community. I think it is important for us to take the time to thank and honor these everyday champions for all that they do.

Prior to nomination, please ensure that my communications team has the winner’s consent to publicize their hard work through a graphic to be shared in my weekly Friday newsletter, and on social media.


The General Assembly’s Newington Youth Essay Contest have been selected! Many thanks to all our contestants for applying. Each essay I receieved held great ideas for the future of our community. I am very hopeful for our society with these students as future leaders! I am very proud to represent our Newington youth. 

The elementary school essay winner is Grace Trevethan for her piece, "Grace's Law: Stop Littering!". Please see a quote from her essay below:

"We should keep parks in Newington clean and healthy for everyone to enjoy!  This will help improve our community.  If we fine people more money or make them clean up trash then maybe they will learn and they won’t litter again.

            The law will also make sure there are lots of recycling bins and trash cans at parks so people have a place to put their trash. We could put signs up about why littering is bad for animals and the environment. We could say no littering and tell them about the new law."  

The middle school essay winner is Eden Duplin for her piece, "Creating Change". Please see a quote from her essay below:

"My idea to better improve social equality, is to create education and training programs, focusing on disadvantaged communities. The success of these programs will remove the word disadvantaged, and make the opportunities available to everyone equal.

If the state creates financial literacy programs that start to teach youth how to manage money at a young age, it will continue to help them understand how to navigate striving in our economy.

It is important to pair this program with skills and career oriented courses. This will empower people to get better jobs, and hopefully allow some to start their own businesses. A community only truly changes when it begins to take ownership of the businesses serving it."

Join me today at 9:00a.m. for my weekly Facebook Live update. Please email me via with any questions you would like me to address.
If you are a Newington veteran, the family member of a Newington veteran, or anyone interested in helping veterans in Newington, and across CT, then please join the Newington Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee. This is an opportunity to ensure the voices of veterans and active service members are heard throughout the legislative process. Members of this committee will help inform decisions made at the state capitol and will also learn about the legislative process, bill tracking and more.

If you are interested in joining the committee, please sign-up through the link below, or email me at

Click Here to Sign up