Newsletter 6/18/21

June 24, 2021

I hope you and your family are having a great first week of summer!

On Wednesday the House held a special session to vote on cannabis legalization. Please read below to learn more about this bill.

Below you will find information on the following:

  • Live from the Legislature
  • Legislative Recap Community Conversation POSTPONED
  • Cannabis Legalization 
  • Mobile Vaccination Clinic 
  • Anna Reynolds Renovation Funds
  • State Budget Overview for Newington
  • Newington Community Champion Award 
  • Veterans Advisory Committee 
Unfortunately, I had a bad fall last week resulting in two arm injuries. However, I am proud to say that this has not impacted by legislative duties-- I can still vote by clicking the "yes" or "no" button. This means I still have not missed a single vote while serving Newington! 

Please see my Live video from this Wednesday linked below. 


This past Wednesday, the House held a special session to vote on a couple pieces of key legislation. Due to this unanticipated session, the Legislative Session Recap Conversation will be postponed to a later date. Please keep an eye out for the next Community Conversation date.

The legalization of recreational cannabis bill was passed by the House this Wednesday. This is the launch of a strict, well-regulated policy for the adult-use of cannabis.

Here are some of the details:

  • Connecticut will join 16 states and Washington, D.C. in legalizing adult cannabis use.
  • Possession will be legal as of July 1, 2021 for adults 21+ 
  • Retail sales are expected to begin around summer 2022.
  • Any individual 21+ will be permitted to grow up to six cannabis plants (three mature, three immature) in their home beginning July 1, 2023.
  • The bill also aims to right the wrong of our past, and help those most disproportionately harmed by the "war on drugs". Equity drives this legislation. The War on Drugs has devastated communities, mainly communities of color.
  • We will ensure revenue and policies in this bill are dedicated to righting wrongs through funding, criminal justice reforms and economic opportunities.
The Department of Transportation has announced that the Department of Public Health will be conducting a mobile COVID vaccination clinic at the DOT Training Center parking lot in Newington on Tuesday June 15, 2021 through Monday June 21, 2021

The COVID vaccination clinic will be open to the public, daily from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and no appointment is necessary.  A traffic pattern will be setup each day to help guide the public to the clinic location and then back onto the Berlin Turnpike. 

The Anna Reynolds Elementary School renovation project has received $20 million through the state budget. 

After hearing from hundreds of students, parents, teachers, and community leaders, I am very excited that Anna Reynolds is receiving the funding it deserves. Renovation of Anna Reynolds is long overdue and crucial to the academic success of our students. This re-construction will provide a productive learning environment for generations to come. Furthermore, this renovation will benefit the neighborhood and entire town of Newington as a recreational resource. By investing our school system, we are investing in the future of our community. Many thanks to the countless advocates who took the time to meet with me and town leaders to ensure Anna Reynolds gets the funding it needs.

This session, we passed a budget that significantly increases state funding to Newington. Our community will receive over $18 million dollars each year to assist with school funding, town services, and lower property taxes. This is a 13% increase for FY 22 and a 15% increase for FY 23 from FY 21; for a total increase of $4.6 million over the next two years. 

Our 2022-2023 Biennium budget:

  • Rejects tax hikes on gasoline, insurance policies and large Connecticut home properties
  • Includes tax relief for restaurants and allows certain businesses to keep 13.6% of the 7.35% sales tax they collect on sales of meals and beverages for FY 22
  • Expands state income tax exemptions for seniors on social security and pensions
  • Increases the state's earned income tax credit to 30.5% of the federal credit
  • Eliminates the admissions tax as of July 1, 2021
  • Maintains our historic balance in the state's $3.5 billion Rainy-Day Fund
  • Increases town aid and fairly funds Education Cost Sharing (ECS) 
  • Expands healthcare for 40,000 residents and families
  • Supports small businesses and minority-owned businesses
  • Expands workforce training so that we can get people back to work
  • Fully funds debt-free community college
  • Includes relief for arts, culture and tourism

In addition, we listened to many of you and provided increased funding for hospitals and local health departments in response to COVID-19. We included additional resources to those on the frontlines of the pandemic including nursing homes, prisons, schools and nonprofit providers. We are also delivering the necessary tools for state agencies to safely reopen and serve our residents.

As we recover emotionally and financially from the pandemic, adopt a balanced state budget, and move forward with a wide variety of accomplishments this session, I am optimistic that Connecticut is coming back stronger than ever before.


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