Legislative & Local Updates - March 24

March 24, 2023
Recently I have received a lot of concerns about new solar construction in both East Windsor and Ellington. Many are concerned with the location of the new sites and are similarly worried about the noise potential. While I am in support of renewable energy, these issues are valid and rightfully causing concern.

As the vice-chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, I have been advocating for smart solar construction, which includes shifting solar construction from farmlands to roofs and Brownfields. While last year I championed a bill that raised the amount of solar to go on roofs, this session I am continuing my efforts to take pressure off farmland. One opportunity for you to support this shift is to testify at DEEP's March 29 hearing linked below. We need to make it clear to DEEP that there are plenty of solar located on farmlands and they should divert solar initiatives to rooftops, Brownfields, parking lots, and tracts of land along the highway.

I am in favor of increasing the role of municipalities in green energy construction, as referenced in my testimony on HB 6293, an act concerning solar farms. My work with the Planning and Development committee on HB 6293 seeks to establish a new regulation that once a town has sited 50 MW of solar that all future decisions revert to local control. I have included two PDFs from the Office of Legislative Research concerning energy construction titled, "OLR Report on Sitting Council DEEP" and "OLR Municipalities and Utility Infrastructure 2022". These explain the state governing bodies that regulate energy projects like solar. The real authority over these projects lies with the Connecticut Siting Council who consults municipalities at their discretion.

Lastly, I am leading the charge to raise the caps which states can pay for farmland preservation by co-sponsoring HB 5580. This farmland is privately owned, and when the state seeks to curtail farm use, they must safeguard the farmer's financial interests. Increasing grant money for farmland preservation supports all concerned parties: it improves the environment, restores the farmland, and protects the farmer's fiscal future.

As your state representative, I am always listening, and I hear your concerns about green energy in our district. It is my hope to continue supporting Connecticut's commitment to sustainable energy while advocating for the best interests of our towns. Public participation on this and other topics inform my actions, please contact my office with any concerns that you may have.

Link to DEEP March 29 meeting information:



Link to Connecticut Siting Council updates on Middle Road project:


Click the button below to be taken to a folder with more information regarding bills, testimony, and more.

Click for More Information


Recently, I spoke with Vincent Gabrielle, CT Insider's Topics Reporter, on ground geothermal systems. My interest in geothermal - and making it affordable - came about when I started looking into the option at my own home. To read more about it and the legislation proposed, click HERE


Ag Day is a highly anticipated day up here at the Capitol. It's a day for the state's farms to showcase their produce and wares and for legislators and visitors at the Capitol to learn more about our state's vast agricultural history. 

During Ag Day this year, Governor Lamont held a press conference with Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, where they highlighted nearly $5 million in investments in the statewide feeding program partnerships, providing Connecticut grown food to the state's residents.

I was happy to attend and speak at the press conference.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, nearly $5 million in funds have been distributed in collaboration with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture to support emergency feeding programs, address food insecurity through the procurement of Connecticut Grown foods, and support programming that enables residents of all ages to have equitable access to locally grown foods.

More than $2.2 million in funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has been distributed to organizations committed to helping Connecticut families obtain access to Connecticut Grown food through established programs such as:

  • Farmers Market Nutrition Program for WIC and senior participants
  • SNAP
  • Full Shelves from EndHungerCT!

Funds were also used to launch:

  • Connecticut Grown 4 Connecticut Kids Grant program, increasing the availability of local foods in child nutrition programs, implement hands-on techniques for nutrition and farm-to-school connections, sustain relationships with local farmers, and improve the health of children in the state.

$2.7 million in funds through the USDA Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative Agreement Program (LFPA) was disbursed to eight entities. Among these is Connecticut Foodshare for the purchase of Connecticut Grown food directly from Connecticut farmers, including small and socially underserved producers, to promote fresh, local farm product distribution.

Efforts to continue supporting equitable access to locally grown foods continue to be bolstered through an additional $3.5 million in funding through LFPA and a more user-friendly Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program scheduled to roll out in July 2023 just in time for the summer farmers’ market season.

As your state representative and a nutrition expert, the updated Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) coming this summer is welcome news. This program is good for farmers, food security, and the health of Connecticut families participating in the program.

Also during Ag Day festivities, it was a treat to honor Seth Bahler of Ellington's Oakridge Farms as Connecticut's Outstanding Young Farmer of 2023!

Seth is the fifth generation of the Bahler Family owning and operating Oakridge Dairy, today the largest dairy farm in Connecticut. He became CEO in 2013 at just 24 years old and had his sights set on ambitious goals for the farm operation founded in the 1890s – including growing the herd and expanding crop acreage.

One of the first large undertakings was the construction of a modern facility incorporating efficiencies and automation while ensuring the design would be the best for cows, employees, and the environment. Construction began in 2016 and was completed in 2017, including a 72-cow rotary parlor milking 426 cows per hour and cows living in an attached, climate-controlled barn complete with energy efficient pumps, lighting, and fans and more than 750 solar panels on the roof offsetting 25% of the yearly electrical usage. Today the farm milks 2,600 cows three times a day in the parlor.

Oakridge Dairy also tapped into a growing direct to consumer market of online ordering and delivery with the start of The Modern Milkman in 2018 as a way to connect with the community and diversify their revenue stream. Deliveries began in 2019 and currently serves more than 3,000 customers throughout Hartford and Tolland counties with their own glass bottled milk along with a variety of other local foods including dairy products, baked goods, eggs, and more from over 30 local vendors.

Seth serves as Chairman of the Connecticut Milk Promotion Board and has previously served as Second Vice President of Connecticut Farm Bureau Association Board of Directors.

Congratulations, Seth!

This is great news for East Windsor!

On March 14, the Community Investment Fund 2030 approved $4 million to extend the public water line along Windsorville Road and Old Ellington Road to provide safe and reliable drinking water to 31 residences with contaminated wells, as well as the East Windsor Housing Authority's Park Hill complex of 84 units. The extension of the water line will also provide the necessary infrastructure for the Housing Authority to implement a second phase and develop 123 new, affordable units of housing. It also makes fire suppression possible in existing units.

As your state representative, I worked hard with House leadership to ensure this project was a priority. It's a good strategic investment in town. The 31 homes along Windsorville Road and Old Ellington Road, and the residents living in the Park Hill complex, should have access to safe and reliable drinking water, and with this project's completion, that will happen. No one should have to question whether or not their water is safe to consume.

East Windsor First Selectman Jason Bowsza noted that the funding will address a long-standing public safety concern. The Park Hill community, home to low-income seniors and residents with disabilities, isn’t currently serviced by fire hydrants. Extension of a public water line into that neighborhood will prevent a potential disaster in the event of a fire, will bring peace of mind to the residents there, and will provide safe drinking water to a vulnerable population. 

CIF is a statewide program authorized in Section 32-285a of the Connecticut General Statutes. The fund awards up to $175 million each fiscal year. It is awarded across two or more application periods per year.

CIF fosters economic development in historically underserved communities across the state.

To learn more about CIF, visit https://portal.ct.gov/communityinvestmentfund?language=en_US

On March 20, State Reps. Jane Garibay, Tom Delnicki & I honored Geissler’s Supermarket as they celebrate 100 years of serving our communities.

Geissler's has been an asset to the community, employing generations of citizens. Their continued success over the years as a small family-owned business in an industry with many large chain competitors is worthy of recognition.

Geissler’s has six locations, including East Windsor, South Windsor, and Windsor.


On March 20, I proudly supported Senate Bill 986, as it was voted out of the Public Health Committe. This bill is designed to improve maternal and infant outcomes in our state. As a mom, as a scientist, and as a legislator, I believe that many portions of this bill will be transformative for maternal and infant outcomes. This bill creates a licensure category for birthing centers, which act as a safe, accredited, and licensed place for women to deliver their babies with medical professionals.

This bill includes an infant mortality review panel. My goal, as a legislator, and as a mom, is to make sure that Connecticut can move towards a March of Dimes A rating during my time in the legislature. There is no reason why CT should be receiving a C. We can do better for mom, for babies, and for Connecticut families. My daughter's start included a NICU stay, and I believe in my heart of hearts that we can do better to avoid tragic losses, to avoid NICU stays for little ones and to improve health outcomes for moms. I have too many friends with horrific birth stories. I know too many people who have experienced loss. We can do better, and it is my hope that this provision will help.

This bill creates a doula advisory committee which will designate training requirements for use of the term Certified Doula which will be regulated by the state DPH. Similarly, this bill establishes a working group for standards around midwifery.

And lastly, perhaps most importantly, this bill establishes a Universal Newborn Nurse Home Visiting Program. These programs improve both maternal and infant outcomes by offering Moms and their babies critical support at a critical time period.

As a mom, scientist, and legislator, there are few times I have more enthusiastically voted yes for a bill. I will remain a stalwart supporter of moms and babies in everything that I do here in this legislature and this bill is one big step.


Some tips for #NationalNutritionMonth!

Focus on the environment when meal planning! For example, you can shop locally and choose foods with minimal packaging.

A good way to focus on sustainability is by starting a container or backyard garden to grow food at home! Tips on how to get started: sm.eatright.org/contnrgarden

Eat with the environment in mind by getting creative with plant-based recipes and trying new foods! A few healthful vegetarian meal ideas: sm.eatright.org/vegmealideas

 An RDN can help people of all ages get the nutrition guidance they need by developing a safe, realistic eating plan and providing creative meal planning strategies to help you stay motivated.

To help save money and reduce food waste, plan your meals and snacks and make a grocery list before heading to the store! More tips for shopping healthy on a budget: sm.eatright.org/shopbudget

Preparing food at home can be good for you and the environment! Enjoy meals with friends and family and add some variety by trying new flavors and foods from around the world: sm.eatright.org/globalbrkfst




The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) has started rehabilitation of Bridge No. 00454, I-91, over the Connecticut River, Amtrak, Route 159, and South Water Street between Exits 42 and 44.

In order to initiate bridge repair work, the contractor will close the right lane and perform a minor shift for the remaining three lanes over the Connecticut River along I-91 northbound and southbound, creating a work zone behind barrier along the right side of the Dexter Coffin Bridge. This project consists of rehabilitation of Bridge #00454, steel repairs within the superstructure and existing girders using cover plates and Ultra High-Performance Concrete, bearing replacement, joint replacement, deck repairs and new pavement. 

DOT Project No. 0165-0509 was awarded to Rotha Contracting Company, Inc of Avon, CT at a cost of $24,230,000.00 on November 9, 2022, and is scheduled to be completed on November 18, 2024.  This project is administered by the Office of Construction – District 1 in Rocky Hill.


Motorists can expect traffic operation impacts/lane closures on the following Roadways, U.S. I-91 Northbound and Southbound, Exits 42 and 44, Route 159 (South Main Street) in Windsor Locks, and South Water Street in East Windsor, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. & 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. & 6 a.m.


No detours are currently anticipated at this time.

This a free workshop for parents. Childcare will be available. The presentation will last approximately one hour, with a question-and-answer session to follow. To register, click HERE


Tax filing season is here. As you prepare to file, I urge you to be mindful of potential scams. The IRS produces a list of "dirty dozen" tax scams.  While these scams can occur year-round, they tend to increase during this time of the year. It’s wise to stay on top of the latest list of common issues - and take some simple steps to stay safe from them.
A great way to protect yourself is to do additional research on anything that seems suspicious. Do not click on an email or a link to an unfamiliar website. Never give out any personal information - especially your Social Security Number - to someone claiming to represent the IRS over the phone or online. When in doubt, visit IRS.gov for additional guidance.
Filing taxes can be a stressful process. Avoiding these scams can prevent an even larger headache. The deadline to file is April 18.