In-Person Newington Town Hall, College Corps Job Opportunities, Legislation Passed This Week

May 14, 2021
As legislative session days become more frequent, our schedules here at the capitol become more unpredictable. For this reason, I will be changing Facebook Fridays into Live From The Legislature. Each week, I will go live on Facebook to provide an update on the legislation we are passing. Please see my Live video from this Tuesday linked below in the newsletter. 

Below you will find information on the following:

  • In-Person Newington Town Hall
  • College Corps Job Opportunities 
  • Legislation Passed This Week
  • Vaccine Update
  • Emergency Broadband Benefit
  • Newington Children's Theatre Company Virtual 5K
  • Turco Talk Time 
  • COVID-19 Update
  • Live from the Legislature
  • Veterans Advisory Committee 
As vaccination rates throughout Connecticut increase, I will be holding May's Newington Town Hall in-person! 

Please join me Monday, May 17th from 5:30-7:00pm at the Gabezo at Mill Pond Park. 

Bring a few questions, a lawn chair, and your mask. I look forward to seeing you in-person. 
Governor Ned Lamont has announced that applications are now being accepted for the recently created Connecticut College Corps, which aims to recruit college students interested in working at summer enrichment programs as part of the governor’s plan to provide K-12 students and families with engaging enrichment and learning experiences in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the initiative, the state will partner with local colleges and universities to recruit 500 higher education students to participate in summer programs for children. Participants will receive training on social-emotional health, equity, diversity, and academic training to support the summer programs.

All Corps members who complete the program requirements will receive a $4,500 stipend.

The applications deadline is May 21, 2021.

The House was in session this Tuesday and Wednesday to pass several pieces of important legislation. Below I have provided highlights on several bills that passed.

HB 6626: Health Care For Breast Cancer Detection 
HB 6626 increases access to early detection of breast cancer, which will save lives and money by reducing the need for late stage treatments. Below is a video of my testimony in support of this legislation. 

HB: 6626

HB 6110: Vaping Products Online Sales
Obtaining e-cigarettes and vaping products online is often way too easy for our younger residents – exposing our youth to a harmful and addictive practice. HB 6110 is common sense legislation that would require online sellers of electronic nicotine delivery systems and vapor products to require ID and to ensure that the name on ID matches the name on the method of payment. 

HB 6657: Human Trafficking
Even after the abuse ends, survivors of human trafficking often continue to bear the burden of a criminal record for acts they were forced to do, hindering their ability to rebuild their lives. HB 6657 makes critical changes to existing law by giving trafficking survivors the opportunity to clear all criminal records related to their trafficking. Survivors deserve justice. 

HB 6633: Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
This pandemic, and its subsequent economic crisis, has only further demonstrated that Connecticut must create pathways that not only kick start our recovery but facilitate an economy in which our businesses and families can thrive. HB 6633 is a comprehensive plan that creates a more resilient unemployment insurance trust fund that can endure future recessions.

SB 753: End to Prison Gerrymandering
SB 753 puts an end to prison gerrymandering, a practice where incarcerated Connecticut residents are counted as residents of the towns where they are jailed. This practice has harmed incarcerated individuals and the communities they come from while unfairly benefiting the communities with prisons. A free and fair voting system is the foundation of our democracy, and the passage of this legislation upholds that belief.  

HB 6477: Volunteer Fire Department Safety 
The safety of our first responders should always be a top priority. HB 6477 ensures that volunteer fire departments and ambulance companies are subject to the same safety regulations as career professionals, allowing CONN-OSHA to protect all first responders. 

HB 6602: Third Party Deliveries
COVID-19 has increased our reliance on third party delivery sources, and this increase has exposed some possible concerns with those delivery sources. HB 6602 makes clarifications to ensure small, local restaurants have a voice and their brand is protected by ensuring third party delivery sources cannot falsely suggest a relationship with a restaurant or take orders without first obtaining the restaurant’s written consent.

HB 6355: Red Flag Law
We have a duty to protect our residents from gun violence. The temporary removal of firearms from a person who may pose a threat to themselves or others plays a critical role in preventing unnecessary gun deaths. With the passage of HB 6355, the House has moved to bolster current statute to protect and save lives and avoid tragedies before they happen.  

HB 6380: Disclosure of Salary Wages
Women continue to earn less than their male counterparts in the workplace and face a significant disadvantage in salary negotiations. With the passage of HB 6380, the state is one step closer to achieving an end to the gender wage gap and providing equal opportunity for fair negotiations through offering salary range transparency for vacant positions. 

HJ 58: Absentee Ballot Voting
COVID-19 exposed the rigidity of Connecticut's voting system. Offering no-excuse absentee voting would move the state out of its steady habits and give voters a convenient way to cast their vote making elections more accessible. The House passed HJ 58 by a simple majority. The CT General Assembly will take this issue up again in 2023. If successful, voters will have the opportunity in 2024 to decide if they'd like to see no-excuse absentee voting in Connecticut's future. 

HB 6665: Race-based Deed Restrictions
Race-based deed restrictions and the declaration of race upon an application for a marriage license remain a lingering reminder of the historical wrongs of our past. These covenants resulted in the racial segregation and economic isolation that plague our society and moral conscience today – and it's time to remove them from our state. With the passage of HB 6665, we take a step towards removing two relics of systemic racism and move towards a more equitable future.

HB 6531: Right to Counsel in Eviction Proceedings 
Did you know that in Connecticut, less than 7% of tenants have legal representation in eviction cases? In contrast, 80% of landlords do. At a moment when so much is at stake, tenants need support navigating the highly technical and fast-moving pace of eviction cases. HB 6531 provides tenants with fairness and equity by guaranteeing they can obtain legal representation. If passed, CT will be the 2nd state to enact this legislation to protect tenants.

HB 5656:  State Food is Pizza
It's time to recognize the contribution of pizza to the state's cuisine and economy – HB 5656 just made its way through the House chamber to designate pizza as the official food of the state. 

With summer just around the corner, Governor Lamont announced great news for the children and families of Connecticut. Connecticut residents ages 12 through 15 are now eligible to receive the Pfizer vaccine. 
Parents and guardians of eligible children can schedule an appointment through the state portal, or visit a walk-in clinic at one of the many locations across the state. When viewing the walk-in clinic schedule, please note which vaccine will be administered as children ages 12-15 are only eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.
The Governor and State Public Health Commissioner are working to set up vaccination sites at local schools and youth programs across Connecticut to increase accessibility to as many children as possible. 
With 170,000 children newly eligible, this is an exciting step towards the safe re-opening of our state!
The FCC has initiated a new program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) to help households struggling to pay for internet service during the pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, and virtual classrooms.

What is EBB?

The EBB will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers.

This benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Who is Eligible?

A household is eligible if one member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:  

  • Qualify for the Lifeline program
  • Receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision, or did so in the 2019-2020 school year 
  • Receive a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year 
  • Experience a substantial loss of income since February 29, 2020 and the household had a total income in 2020 below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers 
  • Meet the eligibility criteria for a participating providers' existing low-income or COVID-19 program 

How to Sign-up:

As of this Wednesday, May 12, eligible households will be able to enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll online, or through their current approved provider. Click the button below to apply and to learn more. 

Please also check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit


Join me in Newington Children's Theatre Company for their first ever virtual 5k! Join the theatre from May 14-16, 2021 in a run, walk, cycle, or dance for 3.1 miles! Participants receive a medal, NCTC race shirt, digital bib and a digital finisher's certificate. 100% of the net proceeds will be used to keep the curtain raised on CT's longest running children's theatre. I hope to see you there!

Register Here
On this Turco Talk Time, I join Newington resident Sam Sharma to discuss reform of the MDC— the source of our drinking water supply in Connecticut. Listen in to learn more. 
MDC Reform
Click Here for COVID Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Specific Updates for Newington


Total Cases Total Confirmed Cases Probable Cases Number of Tests Total Deaths
2,699 2,541 158 19,074 100
As the legislative session days become more frequent, our schedules here at the capitol become more unpredictable. For this reason, I will be changing Facebook Fridays into Live From The Legislature. Each week, I will go live on Facebook to provide an update on the legislation we are passing. 

Please see my Live video from this Tuesday linked below. 

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