State Capitol Update for the week of April 11th

April 11, 2022

Dear Friend,

This is my State Capitol update for the week of April 4th.

If you prefer to watch rather than read, click here.

We are now in the final weeks of our regular legislative session, which ends on May 4.  We had a long session in the House on Wednesday, and began settling into the routines of getting bills out on the floor, debated, and passed. In the background, final budget negotiations are going on between the legislative committees responsible for proposing and passing the budget (Appropriations and Finance) and the Governor’s office.  This year we are fortunate that most of the difficult debate centers on which kinds of tax cuts we are able to propose, especially given our budget limitations which constrain any changes to both spending and revenue.  
Earlier this week, I held a forum with a talented and experienced group of panelists on the Future of Farming.  While the topic is more suited to a weeklong seminar than to an hour-long video, we touched on many topics that will then become their own conversations.  I’m grateful to all the panelists, including Amanda Freund (Freund’s Farm in East Canaan), Allen Cockerline (Whippoorwill Farm in Salisbury), Janna Siller (Adamah Farm Director in Falls Village), Dan Carr (Outreach Coordinator at Berkshire Agricultural Ventures), Samuel King (Blue Earth Compost),
Chelsea Gazillo (New England Policy Manager and Working Lands Alliance Director at American Farmland Trust), and Joan Nichols (Executive Director of Connecticut Farm Bureau). 
If you missed the event, you can watch it here:
In session yesterday, we passed a number of bills that will now move onto the Senate, including HB 5269, which would make the option for towns to hold remote meetings permanent, and HB 5142, which will require producers of pressurized gas cylinders to work with transfer stations and big box stores to ensure these cylinders are safely returned and recycled. (See section below for more bill summaries from this week.)
And a big thank you to CCADV, and particularly to Women’s Support Services Executive Director Betsey Mauro, who last week honored me (and some fantastic people throughout the state) for my work on domestic violence.  It was great to be together with so many people doing the work to eliminate intimate partner violence here and everywhere.


And a big thank you to CCADV, and particularly to Women’s Support Services Executive Director Betsey Mauro, who last week honored me (and some fantastic people throughout the state) for my work on domestic violence.  It was great to be together with so many people doing the work to eliminate intimate partner violence here and everywhere.
I wish you all a wonderful weekend, that may include Passover or Easter celebrations, and the opportunity to feel the emergence of spring. 

Here’s a list of today’s topics:

  • COVID-19 Weekly Update. Click Here
  • Summary of bills passed this week. Click Here
  • Litchfield County Center for Housing Opportunity (LCCHO). Click Here
  • Northwest Corner Gives application now available. Click Here
  • April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.Click Here
  • Governor signs legislation expanding eligibility for absentee ballots. Click Here
  • Food Waste Diversion presentation on April 19. Click Here
  • Providing information to Connecticut residents. Click Here

For several additional graphs and tables containing more data, including a list of cases in every municipality, visit and click the link that is labeled, “Data Tracker.”

Summary of bills passed this week
School faculty and teachers play a key role in identifying potential signs of abuse. Passed by the House, HB 5243 will work to ensure that these critical reporters have the tools necessary to not only identify but put a stop to abuse by establishing bystander training and appropriate interaction with children training.


HB 5327 helps to build out the in-state energy storage industry and encourage future investments, greatly benefitting Connecticut ratepayers.


HB 5206 ensures that housing authorities provide contact information and a clear description of their rights to empower tenants in all situations.


For underbanked communities, having access to low-cost bank accounts is essential for residents to gain financial freedom and build a more solid fiscal future. With the House passage of HB 5216, state-chartered banks would have to offer checking accounts that offer lower deposit requirements, minimal fees, and no overdrafts.

In response to the pandemic our world went more digital than ever before, and while there were some struggles, we found that offering public meetings both in person and virtually offered increased flexibility and accessibility. With the passage of HB 5269, the House just approved the ability to allow for a permanent option to the remote meetings that have helped so many residents more easily access their elected officials.  

Our state's nonprofits have helped to guide many of our communities through the past couple years – providing critically needed support even as their own staffing levels and resources were strained. As those same nonprofits work to ensure they can meet the still increasing needs of our communities, the House just took steps to ensure that nonprofit charitable property tax exemptions are protected.


Senior Citizens remain a vulnerable population, with many regularly relying on meal delivery services. The House just passed HB 5231 to collect important information to ensure we are providing nutritional resources to those who need it.

Pressurized gas cylinders can pose a serious safety hazard when not disposed of properly. With the House Passage of HB 5142, the companies that produce these cylinders will work with transfer stations and big box stores to ensure these cylinders are safely returned and recycled.

Litchfield County Center for Housing Opportunity (LCCHO)
On Friday I attended an event in Norfolk organized by the Litchfield County Center for Housing Opportunity (LCCHO), attended by CT Housing Commissioner Seila Mosquera-Bruno as well as many local and state housing advocates.  The presentation focused on current housing initiatives that the state has supported, and the pipeline of project that will be looking for state support.  Commissioner Mosquera-Bruno particularly noted how organized this group was in terms of presenting good information to the state in prioritizing these projects.

LCCHO facilitates a coordinated, regional response to address housing affordability in Litchfield County, aligning delivering critical resources, data, and technical assistance to municipalities and nonprofit housing organizations including:

  • Community engagement, education, and advocacy
  • Capacity building support
  • Housing plan implementation assistance
  • Collective impact approach

You can sign up to receive news from LCCHO by going to their website,

Northwest Corner Gives application now available
The application is now available for Northwest Corner Gives, the Community Foundation's crowdfunding grant round.


The application is now available for Northwest Corner Gives, the Community Foundation's crowdfunding grant round. The 
Community Foundation has committed resources to fund a dollar-for-dollar match up to 100% of all grant campaign goals. This match opportunity will be available from July 1st through July 29th, 2022. 
In support of participating grantees, the Community Foundation will publicize Northwest Corner Gives campaigns through local print and social media, and share all campaigns with Community Foundation donors and fundholders.
Additionally, we will also provide sample e-blasts and social media materials for grantees to share with their donors and supporters. 
Grantees will be encouraged to create a short engaging video (no more than 2 minutes) describing why their grant campaign goal is important to their organization and to those they serve. The video will be posted with your campaign. 
Gift Matching and Funding 
Approved campaigns will be uploaded to Northwest Corner Gives by June 30, 2022. Campaigns will remain active on Northwest Corner Gives until the end of the crowdfunding period, midnight on July 29th, 2022.
Gifts will be matched dollar-for-dollar on July 15th 2022, and at the conclusion of the program on July 30th. Matching grant payments will be processed by August 20th 2022.
Eligibility and Focus
• programs that advance public health and safety recommendations or that provide more equitable access to services and/or supports, with a preference for those related to childhood physical, cognitive, and emotional wellbeing
• programs or equipment designed to serve clients remotely, or that promote long-term staff health, safety and wellness along with other demonstrable COVID-19 driven needs and opportunities
• operational support/capacity building
• construction/renovation projects in very limited circumstances consistent with the above
Application Review Process
All applications will be reviewed by the Community Foundation Northwest Corner Gives Committee by May 20th. 
Consistent with our normal review process, the amount of the approved application may be less than the amount you requested.
Application Deadline: April 30, 2022


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to focus attention on the prevalence of sexual assault in our communities, uplift the voices of survivors and commit ourselves to putting an end to sexual violence.


Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill which focused specifically on protecting sexual assault victims on college campuses. HB 6374 requires Connecticut colleges to conduct a sexual assault misconduct survey every two years and establishes a Council on Sexual Misconduct Climate Assessments to assist higher education institutions in collecting this information.


This year, we are advocating for the passage of HB 5472, An Act Concerning Sexual Assault and the Absence of Consent. This bill updates statutory language to define "consent" for purposes of sexual assault and clarifies that sexual intercourse without consent is a crime. HB 5472 was voted out of the Judiciary Committee and will be sent to the floor for debate and consideration. 

The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence launched their annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign. This year’s theme is healing through community. Visit to find out how you can get involved in building survivor communities that provide solace, connection, and prevent further violence.


If you or someone you love needs support, call or text their 24-hour hotline:

1-888-999-5545 for English,1-888-568-8332 para Español.


I hope you will join me this month in honoring the resilience of survivors as we work towards building safer communities.

Governor signs legislation expanding eligibility for absentee ballots

This week Governor Lamont signed legislation (Public Act 22-2) expanding two of the six statutory reasons under which voters in Connecticut can qualify for an absentee ballot during an election, primary, or referendum by allowing out-of-town commuters and caretakers of those who are ill or have a disability to vote by absentee ballot.
The legislation removes more restrictive language on these qualifications from state statutes and better aligns state laws with the standard that is set in the state constitution.
The legislation was approved in the House by a vote of 126 to 16 and in the Senate by a vote of 30 to 4. It takes effect immediately.


Food Waste Diversion presentation on April 19

Please register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Providing information to Connecticut residents
For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, residents are encouraged to visit Residents can also subscribe to text message alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
Individuals who have general questions that are not answered on the website can call 2-1-1 for assistance. The hotline is available 24 hours a day and has multilingual assistance. Anyone who is out-of-state or requires a toll-free number can connect to Connecticut 2-1-1 by dialing 1-800-203-1234. This is intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms are strongly urged to contact their medical provider.
It is my honor to represent our district. I look forward to hearing from you about the issues raised in this newsletter, or any other topics you think I should know about. You can email me at or call me at (860)-240-8585. Thanks for reading, and I wish you a safe weekend.