Newsletter 6/4/21

June 3, 2021

I hope you and your family took time to honor those who gave everything to fight for our freedom this past weekend. 

There are only 5 more days in the legislative session for the House to pass bills. As we enter the home stretch of session, please look out for my newsletters with information on legislation passed, and tune into Facebook for my Live from the Legislature updates. 

Below you will find information on the following:

  • May Community Champion Award
  • Legislation Passed This Week
  • Legislation Addresses Online Harassment
  • Bottle Bill
  • Newington Children's Theatre Company Improv Show
  • Youth Employment Program 
  • COVID-19 Update
  • Newington Community Champion Award 
  • Live from the Legislature
  • Veterans Advisory Committee 
I am very excited to announce Dave Tedeschi as the May Community Champion Award Winner!

He is a tireless advocate in the fight against human trafficking, and as the former president of the Newington Rotary Club, he led several initiatives to end trafficking. Dave championed the "Stop the Traffik" initiative in Newington, as well as the "Red X Day" at the state Capitol to raise awareness of these horrific crimes.  

Below are a couple snippets of the nominations I received for Dave: 

"David Tedeschi has worked tirelessly to bring awareness and education to the Public about one of the most serious problems that is pervasive in our Nation: human trafficking. In fact, it is a problem existing right here in Newington, especially along the motels on the Berlin Turnpike...Dave also involved the local Rotary Club in the collection of hundreds of back-to-school backpacks for students. Another project spearheaded by Dave was to raise $12,000.00 to build a handicap-accessible pavilion at Churchill Park. Anyone who meets Dave will be touched by his sincere motivation to bring to light the tragedy of human trafficking, one of the most devastating problems in the Nation."

"Three years ago, at the urging of our then incoming club President, Dave Tededschi, we embarked on a Stop the Traffik initiative to promote an awareness and to educate our community and surroundings communities about the horrific presence of human trafficking, especially the sexual exploitation of children. Under Dave’s leadership then, and his now even greater passion to combat this crime in our state, Rotarians continue their efforts to support and join with the many governmental, non-governmental, law enforcement agencies and even the legislature itself to find ways to help victims and survivors."

Thank you so much for your dedication to this important work Dave.

This week the House was in session Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday to pass several pieces of important legislation. Below I have provided highlights on several bills that passed.
HB 5027: This bill will create a first-time homebuyer savings account program and establish a tax deduction for contributions to first-time homebuyer savings accounts. Please listen to my remarks in support of this bill to learn more.
HB 5027
HB 6402: This bill contains many provisions to help improve our state’s higher educational system, including increased access to mental health resources. These resources are more important now than ever with the negative effects on mental health caused by the pandemic. Please listen to my testimony below to learn more.
HB 6402
SB 186:With summer nearly here, high schoolers looking for work could get hired at our state's amusement parks. Today, the House voted to pass SB 186, which would permit individuals 16 years old to operate rides at amusement parks under the supervision of a qualified adult. 
SB 925: Lions, elephants, leopards, and giraffes! Trophy hunting threatens several African species with an extinction crisis. SB 925 would help discourage the import and trade of any "big six" African species.
HB 5027: Buying a house in Connecticut can be expensive, especially for first-time homebuyers. HB 5027 would help make the cost of buying a home more affordable by allowing individuals to open savings accounts dedicated to paying for a down payment. 
HB 6372:Under current law, residents who are already struggling financially and have less than $1,000 in their bank accounts or who receive wages directly deposited into their account must file for an exemption and provide documentation to protect their wages and other income from being subject to a debt collector. HB 6372 provides peace of mind for these residents by automatically protecting eligible funds from debt collectors. 
SB 891:For people facing tough times, our state’s Foreclosure Mediation Program has helped them stay in their homes. However, this program is scheduled to sunset in June 2023. SB 891 will extend this vital program for another 6 years until June 2029 to help homeowners reach settlements and keep their homes.
SB 89: Many people purchase travel insurance to help protect against trip cancellation for unforeseen circumstances, however, many policies do not offer protection if an insured person’s spouse, child, dependent relative residing in the policyholder’s household, or travel companion dies by suicide. The loss of a loved one by suicide is devastating, and SB 89, or Sean’s Bill, would require travel insurers to cover suicide, helping to protect families and combat the stigma of mental illness.
SB 999: Investing in the in-state clean technology workforce is a critical component to combatting climate change in the years to come. SB 999 will create continuity standards across the renewable energy industry resulting in several good paying jobs for Connecticut residents. 
HB 6402: The landscape of college sports athletics has shifted greatly over the last several decades – resulting in a need to modernize the standards for student athletes, especially when it comes to cashing in on their fame. Through the passage of HB 6402, Connecticut will move to join other states around the country to allow student athletes to profit off their name, image, and likeness offering a significant recruiting advantage to our college sports programs. 
SB 1: Structural and systemic racism has a significant impact on the social determinants of health, leading to vast health disparities in our state. Among other impactful measures included in the omnibus bill to support accessible health care, SB 1 includes a provision to declare racism a public health crisis and assemble a panel to study the effects of racism on our health care system. 
Yesterday, the House of Representatives sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that takes steps to address online harassment.
Incidents of stalking, harassment, bias and hate have increased with the use of technology and SB 989 takes that into consideration.This bill includes several provisions aimed at combatting online harassment including:
  • Expanding what constitutes second degree stalking and second-degree harassment
  • Expanding 1st degree stalking to include situations in which a person intentionally directs the conduct another person based on their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability,
  • Allowing individuals to bring a civil action against their harassers for disclosing personally identifiable information. 

One in four Americans have experienced online hate and harassment and the targets are often individuals from marginalized communities. Loved ones of those killed in mass shootings, including the parents of those children killed in the Sandy Hook attack, have also been subjected to online harassment. 
I was proud to stand with my colleagues to pass this vital piece of legislation to curb the rise in online harassment and empower victims. 
Hate, whatever form it takes, has no place in our state. 

Yesterday, the House of Representatives took action on modernizing Connecticut's bottle deposit program to encourage residents to recycle and keep our beautiful parks, beaches and streets clean.

Connecticut's original bottle bill was enacted in 1978 and was one of the most progressive anti-litter laws of its time. While the program worked extremely well in its early years, the law has since become outdated and return rates have dropped below 50%. 

S.B. 1037, An Act Concerning Solid Waste Management, includes a number of provisions aimed at updating the bottle deposit program and increasing redemption, such as:

  • Increases the redemption rate on beverage containers from 5 to 10 cents starting January 2024 
  • Requires certain retailers that sell beverage containers captured by the bottle program to have two reverse vending machines outside of their stores starting in October 2021
  • Updates the types of beverage containers captured by the bottle program, such as containers for teas, juices, hard ciders, and hard seltzers 
  • Allocates $5 million through the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) to create a grant program for new redemption centers in urban areas
  • Creates a nickel surcharge on nip bottles, which are a major source of litter in towns across the state, at the point of sale. The money will be redistributed to Connecticut towns and cities to use to reduce waste and litter.

I am proud to support this legislation because it is a common-sense modernization of the bottle deposit program that will go a long way towards cleaning up our communities, reducing waste, and providing people in cities and towns across Connecticut with greater access to redemption facilities.

The Newington Children's Theatre Company is teaming up with SeaTea Comedy Theater to present "Whose Laugh Is It Anyway?," a family-friendly improv show at Bushnell Park in Hartford, Saturday, June 12, at 4 pm (rain date Sunday, June 13, at 4 pm).

The event will take place on the pavilion side near the Capitol Building (free parking along the park perimeter). Bring your blanket or chair and get ready to laugh! Group tickets (up to five) are $35 ($10 each additional ticket). Limited front row VIP group tickets are $50. Tickets available through Venmo (NC-TC) or by check (NCTC, 136 Day Street, Newington, CT 06111) Email for more info.


The Governor announced that additional youths this year will be able to benefit from the expansion of the Connecticut Youth Employment Program, which provides year-round employment opportunities for youths across Connecticut with community-based agencies. The additional $2 million will bring its total investment to $7.7 million and will be spent to support the program with services like transportation, food support, and other items that will decrease barriers to participation.

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
2,711 2,552 159 19,379 100
Since the legislative session days have become more frequent, I have replaced Facebook Friday Updates with Live From The Legislature Updates. 

Please see my Live video from this Wednesday linked below. 

As well as my Live video from Thursday linked below. 

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. Please continue to send in your nominations for the Monthly Newington Community Champion Award.

This monthly award aims to acknowledge Newington residents who are advocating and contributing towards positive change in the community.

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

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