May 20, 2022
I hope you and your family are healthy and safe. I am constantly working to provide you with critical updates and important news as it develops, over social media, and by email.

This week's update includes information regarding the latest COVID19 surge from the Town of West Hartford, the baby formula shortage and resources that are available in Connecticut for those in need as well as the details on child tax payment applications becoming available June 1.

I received an award from The Village for Families Thursday for which I am so humbled and appreciative. Bugbee Elementary School fifth-graders paid us a visit. The West Hartford Farmers' Market is open!




(WEST HARTFORD, CONN., May 19, 2022) – West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District reminds residents to take personal precautions during the present COVID surge and use free resources to stay safe.

COVID-19 cases in West Hartford have doubled between 5/4/22 and 5/11/22. According to Megan Westcott, Health District Epidemiologist, over the last 7 days (5/12/22 to 5/18/22), West Hartford has recorded 323 new cases. The average daily case rate of COVID-19 per 100,000 people for the Town of West Hartford is currently 60.9, classifying the town as having high community transmission levels (defined as 15+ cases per 100,000 residents per day).

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) currently classifies all eight counties in Connecticut at high community transmission, with a case rate of 372.7 per 100,000 population over the last 7 days and a positivity rate of 13.8%.

Six of eight counties in Connecticut, including Hartford County, have high community levels of COVID-19 (differing from community transmission which utilizes case count data), determined by CDC utilizing data on COVID-19 hospital admissions and the percentage of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients.

In accordance with Connecticut Department of Public Health and Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD, the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District recommends wearing a mask in public indoor settings and in crowded outdoor settings when having close interactions with people outside of your household. DPH also recommends staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and getting tested if you have symptoms.

West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District holds weekly COVID vaccination clinics by appointment at its Bloomfield offices located at 580 Cottage Grove Road, Suite 100. The Moderna vaccine is administered on Wednesdays, 9AM to 12PM, and the Pfizer vaccine on Thursdays, 9AM to 2:30PM. Call 860-561-7900 to schedule your appointment.

The Health District also offers free rapid antigen COVID Test Kits to West Hartford and Bloomfield residents while supplies last.

State Department of Public Health holds free walk-in PCR COVID testing at its Hartford location on the corner of Albany Ave. & Woodland Street, (1161 Albany Ave.) on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, 3:30pm-6:30pm and Saturday, 12pm-3pm.

If you test positive or have close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, the CDC has a tool to help determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19. Visit

Baby Formula Shortage and Available Resources

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is utilizing numerous options to assist families across the state access baby formula during the nationwide shortage.

The formula shortage started last fall due to supply chain issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It was exacerbated in February when Abbott recalled powdered formula manufactured in its Michigan plant and temporarily shuttered it.

Abbott is allowing the Connecticut WIC program to offer 80 comparable formulas while the company’s products are not available.

DPH has been working closely with local agency staff to help families find retailers that have in-stock formula, or even switch the participant's benefits package when needed. DPH also has been working directly with manufacturers to order emergency formula. 

Other suggestions and resources include:

  • Check smaller stores or pharmacies for availability. During the formula shortage, it may help to visit stores more frequently and buy formula as it becomes available
  • If you can afford it, buy formula online until store availability improves. Purchase from well-recognized distributors and pharmacies
  • Use caution when purchasing formula from individual or private sellers. You can report price gouging and scams to the CT Office of the Attorney General, HERE, or to local police
  • Check social media groups that are dedicated to infant feeding and formula. Members may have ideas on where to find formula. Always check with your pediatrician regarding any provided advice
  • It is unsafe to add more water to formula, make homemade infant formula, or use regular cow’s milk, or other milk substitutes to feed infants. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends feeding infants iron-fortified infant formula during the first year of life when breastmilk is unavailable
  • WIC families can contact their local WIC office with questions. If you are unable to reach your local WIC office by phone you can send an email. Find local WIC office phone numbers and emails by clicking HERE. You can also reach out to or 1-800-741-2142 for assistance 
  • Call 2-1-1 or visit to locate community organizations that provide emergency formula
  • Connecticut participates with Mother’s Milk Bank Northeast, which sends most of its donated breast milk to neonatal care units across the state. It’s also available for purchase. Please visit to learn about it
  • The US Department of Health & Human Services has additional resources for families to use. Click HERE for more information

While these resources will not solve the formula shortage, I hope they’ll be helpful during these challenging times.

Child Tax Payments Applications Open June 1

Applications for the Child Tax Payments, which were included among the historic $600 million in tax cuts in our 2022 state budget, will open June 1, 2022.

Any Connecticut resident who claimed at least one dependent child under the age of 18 on their 2021 federal income tax return may be eligible to receive a maximum payment of $250 per child (for up to three children) with the following income guidelines (higher incomes may be eligible for a reduced rebate)

Anyone who is interested in seeking a payment must apply to the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services with applications closing on July 31, 2022 - recipients will receive funds beginning in late August.
Information on the 2022 CT Child Tax Payments
The Department of Revenue Services is in the process of reaching out to eligible households and I encourage you to share this information with any parents that may qualify.
YW Live "Lunch & Learn" Event on Facebook May 26th
I hope you can join me for a YW Live event entitled "Lunch & Learn" on Thursday May, 26th from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. I'll be talking about my career and HB 5001, An Act Concerning Children's Mental Health, of which I championed and was a lead sponsor. You can watch the event by clicking here or the image below.
Priority: Protecting the Environment

Prior to the start of the 2022 legislative session, House Democrats pledged to support policies and bills that would help cut our carbon footprint, increase our reliance on clean energy sources, and protect the health of Connecticut residents.

I'm happy to report that two of these bills - SB 10 and SB 176 - have officially been signed into law!

SB 10, AN ACT CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION requires Connecticut to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions produced by the state's electric grid by January 1, 2040. After the transportation sector, our electric grid (essentially, how energy is supplied and consumed) is the second highest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the state. This law seeks to change that by giving utility companies and suppliers the necessary push to find cleaner, zero-carbon ways to provide consumers with energy.

SB 176, AN ACT CONCERNING CLEAN ENERGY TARIFF PROGRAMS looks to increase commercial reliance on rooftop solar energy by modifying existing energy caps involving shared clean energy facilities and expanding the Non-Residential Energy Solutions (NRES) and the Shared Cleaner Energy Facilities (SCEF) programs.

While more remains to be done, these new laws represent significant steps forward for Connecticut in increasing our reliance on clean energy sources and protecting our environment for ourselves and for future generations.

Click below to watch the press conference and bill signing ceremony for SB 10 and SB 176.

Thank You Village for Families & Children!

Thank you to the Village For Families & Children. I am humbled and honored to be recognized as a "2022 Champion for Children." I was very proud to champion HB 5001, An Act Concerning Children's Mental Health, and work with Speaker Ritter on this very important piece of legislation. Please see the press release below.

Speaker Ritter/Rep. Exum Receive Accolades for Children's Mental Health Bill

Speaker of the House Matt Ritter (D-Hartford) and State Rep. Tammy Exum (D-West Hartford) have been named “2022 Champions for Children” by The Village for Families & Children in Hartford Thursday.

Speaker Ritter and Rep. Exum were recognized for their work to develop and pass historic children's mental health legislation (HB 5001).

“I am humbled to receive this award from the Village. Emergency rooms and caregivers across the state were overwhelmed by the demand for mental health care during the pandemic. We made generational investments in children's mental health care that will help children across the state and ensure providers have the tools they need," Speaker Ritter said.

“I am truly honored to be the recipient of this award,” said Rep. Exum. “It is particularly humbling given the dedicated work of The Village for Families and Children. I believe that the legislation that we crafted, with investments in short term, intermediate and long-term needs, will both improve outcomes and save lives.”

HB 5001, An Act Concerning Children's Mental Health, is a transformative piece of legislation that responds directly to the youth mental health crisis, which has been exacerbated by the impacts of the pandemic, presenting itself in the form of increased rates of depression, suicide and self-harm among adolescents.
In short, this legislation addresses these issues immediately and long term by:

  • Enhancing the Behavioral Health Workforce
  • Supporting School-Based Mental Health Services
  • Expanding Mental Health Treatment Facilities Across the State
  • Supporting Existing Services
  • Increasing Access Through Insurance Coverage

Since 2001, The Village has been honoring leaders in the community who make a difference in the lives of vulnerable children with their Champion for Children awards.

Speaking at CBIA's "When Women Lead" Event
I'd like to thank the Connecticut Business and Industry Association for inviting me to participate in their "When Women Lead" event at the Aqua Turf in Southington Thursday.   
From left to right are: WBDC founder and CEO Fran Pastore, Sen. Christine Cohen  and fellow State Rep. Tammy, Rep. Nuccio.
Sen. Heather Somers is on my left.
Taking Applications: CT Summer at the Museum Grants

CT Humanities is once again partnering with the CT Office of the Arts to administer the CT Summer at the Museum Initiative.

The Department of Economic and Community Development, in partnership with the Office of the Governor, Connecticut State Department of Education, Office of Early Childhood and Connecticut Humanities, is delivering these financially accessible summer enrichment opportunities to families and children of all ages using funding provided through ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act).

The grants are being made available to CT Museums to facilitate free admission for all CT children aged 18 and under and one adult caregiver between July 1, 2022 and September 5, 2022.

For more information including important dates, guidelines and application, please click on the image below.

Bugbee Elementary Tours the Capitol
It was so nice to be a part of the Bugbee Elementary fifth graders tour of the Capitol and Legislative Office Building in Hartford. They were pretty excited and so was I. We're in the House Chamber in the photos below.
Happy EMS Week!
Did you know that only 11 states deem EMS an “essential service,” unlike fire and police. I am proud to say that Connecticut is one of those states. To all EMTs in our state, many of which are volunteers, we tip our hats to you - YOU ARE ESSENTIAL! 
West Hartford Farmers' Market: Up and Running 

The West Hartford Farmers' Market, located on the corner of LaSalle and Arapahoe in West Hartford Center, will be open every Saturday through Dec.17 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fresh bread, micro greens, jams, jellies, cheese, milk, eggs, pork, chicken, and more will be available. Getting fresh food and supporting local vendors is a great way to spend a Saturday! I hope you will support the West Hartford Farmers' Market.