Currey-ently working on the State Budget

April 6, 2023
Ahead of the holiday weekend, the legislature continues to hop along through our 2023 session with only our two “money committees” – Appropriations and Finance Committees – remaining to complete their regular work prior to set deadlines. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, those responsible for developing the state’s spending package, we continue to meet with state agencies, advocates, and others who seek financial investments in various programs, people, and places. And as we craft our proposed budget, often referred to as the moral document that outlines our priorities, please remain engaged with me and your respective legislators to ensure your voice, support, and/or concern is heard. If you don’t know who your legislators are, please click here and follow up with an email or call.

Also, to help keep you looped in, check out our Connecticut General Assembly homepage that includes a weekly schedule of events. You’ll start to see more Appropriation and Finance public hearings and committee meetings as well as any other business inside the Legislative Office Building and State Capitol.

I hope you all have an easy weekend,

Jeff Currey
To stay up-to-date with everything happening in Hartford, click the "At the Capitol, In District, & Beyond" link below, but also please check out the other subject links in this intro to go right to the topic in the body of this email.

You can find additional resources and information on my website. If there's something you need help with that isn't included in this email, please check my website. If you can't find what you're looking for there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

The education road show continues! Since the last eblast, I had the opportunity to visit:
  • John Wallace Middle School (Newington)
  • Guilford High School (Guilford)
  • Bridge Academy (Bridgeport)

Thank you to State Representatives Gary Turco, Kate Farrar and Moira Rader for helping to organize these stops and tours in their communities. I also want to thank the Connecticut Charter School Association, specifically Alijah Walker and Mydinaisa Lee - students of Bridge Academy - for the phenomenal tour throughout their school. As I've said in weeks past, visiting these schools is integral in making better, more informed decisions in the Education Committee and in the General Assembly. It also is a great way to catch a great show! The Guilford High School production of "Little Shop of Horrors" was a professional scale masterpiece that both Rep. Cristin McCarthy Vahey (Fairfield, Bridgeport) and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Earlier this week, CREC Discovery Academy hosted the Commissioner of Education and members of the Education Committee to hear from a panel of students and parents on their experiences at the Academy. Having the opportunity to speak directly with those most impacted by what we do here in the legislature truly aides in the work we do under the dome in Hartford.

Thank you to everyone, including Greg Florio, CREC Executive Director, who helped to organize our visit and tour at their Wethersfield location.

On Wednesday, the bipartisan Women's Caucus met to highlight their priorities as we head into crunch time in session. Education Committee Vice Chair, Representative Jenn Leeper (Fairfield), highlighted HB 5003: An Act Concerning Education Funding in Connecticut.

This bill, proposed by the Speaker, Majority Leader, and me, looks to update our disjointed and confusing funding formulas to ensure public schools throughout the state receive the resources they deserved and are owed to provide a quality education to all of Connecticut's public school students. I encourage you to watch her speak about the bill, which is our Committee priority this year and voted unanimously out of committee, in the video below.

Last week, the Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity hosted, “Right to Read: Implementation and District Transformation” a forum which provided updates on the progress of implementation of legislation requiring districts to adopt practices aligned with the science of reading. The Education Committee voted out legislation to update and provide additional support for districts who may be unsuccessful in acquiring a waiver from the State Department of Education.

Thank you to everyone who participated and provided helpful input on the implementation of the Right to Read program. Please feel free to watch the forum by clicking the button below.

Right to Read Forum

On March 14, the Community Investment Fund Board voted to approve a $7.5 million project request for the Town of Manchester to make upgrades and improvements to Downtown and Main St. Earlier today, the State Bond Commission voted to approve the allocation of those funds!

Improving the safety of our roads and sidewalks makes our Town accessible for everyone. I am grateful to see this investment for improved safety being made in the heart of the community and excited for residents and visitors to walk, bike and drive on Main Street, knowing the only thing they need to worry about is what shops or restaurants they are going to visit. Thank you to Town Manager, Stephen Stephanou, and his entire team for their work in getting this project over the financial finish line.

Learn more about the project and funding on my webpage.

I’m proud to announce that East Hartford Public Schools will be receiving $151,137 for upgrades to its air filtration system as a part of the $56 million statewide investment to improve heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for public schools.
The grants are being awarded through the HVAC Indoor Air Quality Grants Program for Public Schools, a newly established state program that is administered by the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services.

Langford Elementary School, right here in the heart of the 11th District will receive $74,860 and Sunset Middle School will receive $76,277 to facilitate improvements and upgrades to heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; East Hartford will supply remaining project costs. The funds can be used for replacing, upgrading or repairing boilers and other heating/ventilation components; replacing controls and technology systems for HVAC operations; installing or upgrading air conditioning or ventilation systems; or other work approved by the Department of Administrative Services.

To learn more, please visit my webpage.

On April 1, a number of resources that offered vital assistance to our most vulnerable community members, during and post-COVID, came to an end or ended expanded eligibility.
  • Free Bus Services in Connecticut
    • Bus fares for all buses and ADA paratransit in Connecticut have returned
    • Federal restrictions prevent the state from extending this benefit for more than a year
  • SNAP Bump Payments and Automatic Determination
    • Families will no longer receive the additional pandemic-related payment in the middle of the month
    • Redeterminations restarted and will occur every 6 months
    • DSS does not have any control over when these benefits end because funding was provided under federal legislation
  • HUSKY Continuous Coverage
    • Medicaid enrollees will again have to provide proof of eligibility annually

If you, or a loved one were utilizing any of these resources and are now experiencing a disruption in vital care, please contact me by clicking the button below. My office and I will work to provide additional resources that may be able to offer you necessary assistance.

Contact Me
Last week, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee voted on a piece of legislation, introduced by Governor Lamont, that builds upon past efforts to provide additional gun control in the hopes of preventing senseless acts of gun violence.

House Bill 6667, An Act Addressing Gun Violence proposes to:

  • Close loopholes in the state’s assault weapons ban
  • Strengthen penalties related to the state’s ban on large-capacity magazines to make that ban enforceable
  • Increase the age to purchase all firearms to 21
  • Ban the open carrying of firearms in public, while continuing to allow concealed carry with a permit except in particular locations
  • Limit handgun purchases to one per month to discourage straw purchases
  • Update the state’s ban on unregistered “ghost guns” to stop their illegal flow
  • Require a 10-day waiting period before purchasing a firearm
  • Increase education requirements for firearm licenses
  • Require safe storage regardless of who lives at a given residence
  • Improve the design safety standards for semiautomatic handguns
  • Make commission of a family violence crime or being a fugitive an automatic disqualifier for holding a pistol permit
  • Prohibit carrying a loaded long gun in a vehicle
  • Require trigger locks for all firearm purchases

For a fact sheet on the bill, click the button below:

HB 6667 Fact Sheet
Town Offices in both East Hartford and Manchester will be closed tomorrow, April 7, in observance of Good Friday.

East Hartford

  • Trash will be collected according to the regular schedule with no delays - put your bins out


  • Trash will be collected according to the regular schedule with no delays - put your bins out
  • Manchester Public Libraries will observe regular hours over the Easter weekend
While the Town of East Hartford completed its annual budget process - you can watch it here - on March 13, the Town of Manchester will hold its special meeting next week to adopt the budget. Please find more information below.
The Town of Manchester will hold a special meeting to adopt the budget on Tuesday, April 11 at 7PM. All meetings will be conducted in-person at the Lincoln Center Hearing Room and can be watched live on Silk City TVFacebook Live, or Cox Channel 16.
To view the recommended budget and the adjacent presentation, click here.
CRCOG’s Capitol Region East Coast Greenway (ECG) Study is exploring alternatives to close off-road gaps in the ECG route through the Capitol Region.

A public workshop will be held on April 11 from 4PM - 7PM at Raymond Library.

Brief presentations on the initiative will be held at 4:30PM and 6:00PM. The same presentation will be given for both times, so please attend the time most convenient to you!

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and I want to share some resources available to you in our community. If you need help, you can call (888) 999-5545 anytime to speak with a certified sexual assault crisis counselor in English. Dial (888) 568-8332 to speak with an expert in Spanish.
You can also contact any of the member sexual assault crisis programs in our state by clicking here and scrolling down to the “Need Help” section. These non-profit organizations provide free, confidential service in a safe, caring environment.

This year's theme for Sexual Assault Awareness Month is “Drawing Connections: Prevention Demands Equity.” The campaign calls on all individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions to change ourselves and the systems surrounding us to build racial equity and respect. Click here for more information.

Early spring is the time of year when black bear activity increases, following the winter denning season. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is reminding residents to do their part to not teach bears bad behaviors, by taking simple steps that will reduce the likelihood of encounters and potential conflicts with bears.

These steps are critically important because human-bear conflicts continue to rise and become more severe: in Connecticut in 2022, two humans were attacked by bears, and bears entered people’s homes 67 times, far surpassing the previous record of 45. These numbers are a sharp contrast to seven years ago, when bears entered homes less than ten times annually.

Make Your Place a No-Bear-Food-Zone 

Everyone can be a good neighbor and take steps to reduce encounters and potential conflicts with bears. The most important step is to remove food attractants, such as bird seed and unsecured garbage: 

  1. NEVER feed bears. 
  2. Take down, clean, and put away bird feeders by late March, or even earlier during mild weather. Store the feeders until late fall and clean up spilled seed from the ground. Store any unused bird seed and suet in a location not accessible to bears, such as a closed garage. Do not store bird seed in screened porches or sheds where bears will be able to rip screens or break through windows to access the seed. 
  3. Store garbage in secure, airtight containers inside a garage or other enclosed storage area. Adding ammonia to trash cans and bags will reduce odors that attract bears. Periodically clean garbage cans with ammonia to reduce residual odor. Put garbage for pickup outside the morning of collection and not the night before. 
  4. Do not store recyclables in a porch or screened sunroom as bears can smell these items and will rip screens to get at them. 
  5. Keep barbecue grills clean. Store grills inside a garage or shed. 
  6. Supervise dogs at all times when outside. Keep dogs on a short leash when walking and hiking. A roaming dog might be perceived as a threat to a bear or its cubs. (Dogs are required to be on a leash when visiting State Parks, State Forests, and Wildlife Management Areas. Check dog and leash regulations for town properties, land trusts, and other public properties before heading to those areas.) 
  7. Do not leave pet food outdoors or feed pets outside.
  8. Use electric fencing to protect chickens, other livestock, beehives, agricultural crops, and berry bushes.
  9. Avoid placing meat scraps or sweet foods, such as fruit and fruit peels, in compost piles.

For more information, feel free to visit DEEP's “Living with Black Bears” webpage.

We continue to ask that our friends, family, and neighbors consider using all the tools within their reach to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Information for testing, vaccine clinics, and those who are homebound and need assistance are noted below. We must be in this together.
Overall Summary Cumulative
(except for hospital census)
Past 7 days
Positive PCR/NAAT Tests 1,066,489 +507
All PCR/NAAT Tests 16,431,288 +14,215
Test Positivity (pos/all PCR/NAAT) -- 3.57%
Patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 111 -1
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 12,297 +4
Click Here for COVID-19 Data Updates
Click Here for Governor Lamont's Updates
Click Here for Information on Getting Vaccinated
Specific Updates for Our Community
Town Total Cases Total Deaths Number of Tests Percent Positivity Past 7 Days (NAAT) 
East Hartford 15,919 213 245,426 7.14%
Manchester  14,511 207 240,847 3.88%
Children ages 5 through 11 can now receive the updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccine. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the new boosters for this age group and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention approved the authorization last week. The updated boosters will be available from pediatricians, hospitals/health networks, DPH mobile clinics, and pharmacies. Residents can visit to locate a provider near them. 

Vaccines continue to be effective tools in protecting residents from severe COVID-19 infections. To get vaccinated or your booster, please click here to locate vaccination sites in our community.

Information about getting vaccinated, including how to make an appointment and a list of clinics, is available on Connecticut's Vaccine Portal, here.

If you need assistance finding transportation to and from a vaccine appointment, you can find transportation resources here.

If you're a homebound resident, you can receive your COVID-19 shot at home. Complete the state Department of Public Health's Homebound Intake Form to get the appointment process started.

Flu season is upon us and a yearly flu vaccine can help protect against serious illness. After getting the vaccine, it will take about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that can protect you from the flu. To get a flu shot, check with your healthcare provider or call your local health department. You can also visit to find a location near you that is administering flu shots. For more information, please click here.

For additional state and local resources, click the links below:
East Hartford Social Services began accepting applications for the 2023 Renters Rebate Program starting April 1 and through October 1. The program provides elderly and disabled renters with a refund check, based on the amount of rent and utilities they paid in 2022.

Who is eligible?

East Hartford residents who are 65 years of age or older or disabled, who are 18 years old or older by 12/31/22.

What is the income level?

The 2022 qualifying income (including all Social Security benefits) must not exceed an income of $40,300 for a single individual or $49,100 for a married couple. If you receive state cash assistance, have to be LESS than $690 total for the year 2022.
You need a copy of your Social Security card.

What income information for all 12 months of the year 2022 is needed?

If you are age 65 and over, you might need:  

  • the Social Security Income for 2022 (form 1099) & or the SSI form if applicable;
  • a Copy of Income Tax Return with all schedules, if filed;
  • a copy of the 1099 forms for pensions, dividends, interest, stocks & bonds, etc.
  • a W-2’s form from employment
  • copy of the Veterans Disability or Railroad Retirement

If you are disabled and under 65 years old, you might need:

  • the BPQY or Benefit Verification Form from Social Security showing the date when the disability began & proof of the Social Security Income, if applicable               
  • other forms listed above, if applicable

Which paid bills for 2022 are needed?

  • Rent receipts for all 12 months of the year 2022 or ledger from your landlord.
  • Utility bills you paid in 2022 (heat, gas, electric, only). Telephone, cable, medical bills or UniteCT rent, or utility payments CAN NOT BE INCLUDED.

When Can I Apply?

On April 1st,  2023 through October 1, 2023.

How to apply?

  1. If you file last year, please look for an application in the mail, sign the application, add all required documents and send them back by mail.
  2. You can also print the application from here, sign and send via fax to 860-291-7304 with all documents. You can also drop the application and copy of the documents in the drop box in front of the Community Cultural Center- 50 Chapman Place, EH, CT 06108.
  3. If you live in one of the housing complexes of the town, Social Workers will be at your housing building at a determined and announced date and time. You bring your paperwork and complete the application there.
  4. You can also set up an in-person appointment by calling 860-291-7248, during business hours of 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. You must bring all your documents. 

If you have any questions, please call 860-291-7248.

Looking for help this tax season? The AARP Tax Aide Program will be available to residents now through Friday, April 15 at the East Hartford Senior Center. Appointments can be made during Senior Center hours of operation, 8:30AM-4:30PM Monday through Friday. Call (860) 291-7460 to set up an appointment.
Assistance will also be available for elderly, persons with disabilities, and veterans needing guidance on available exemption programs. Representatives from the East Hartford Assessor's Office will be at the East Hartford Senior Center every Wednesday, 9AM-3:30PM to accommodate walk-ins and appointments for the senior, totally disabled and veteran program exemptions.

Please bring proof of income to include a filed 2022 tax return, if required to file, and the 1099 form from Social Security. For details regarding eligibility and documentation requirements, please visit the Assessor Exemption Programs webpage. And for more information on the available assistance program, click here.

In Manchester, AARP volunteers will be available will be available at the Senior Center by appointment only now through Thursday, April 14. Appointments available now through April 14 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 1PM-3PM. Call (860) 647-6024 to set-up a time.
For more information on available resources, East Hartford residents can click here and Manchester residents can click here.

Interested in what the Connecticut Army National Guard has to offer? Want to test it out before enlisting? Now's the perfect time to try it out!

One day to see what the Connecticut Army National Guard is all about.

If you or someone you know is interested you can click the image above to sign up to see what its like for one day!

For Veterans Seeking Employment or Training
The Connecticut Department of Labor works with partners throughout the state to provide high-quality, meaningful job services for veterans. Veterans receive priority assistance at American Job Centers, so make sure to identify yourself when
you check in. 

For Employers Seeking to Hire Veterans

There are many reasons to hire veterans and resources available to help companies bring veterans into their workforce. Explore resources for hiring veterans.


East Hartford Commission on Culture and Fine Arts invites all to take FREE dance lessons!
The program is open to 15 individuals ages 7 and up, and all abilities and experience levels are welcome! Classes will be held on Saturdays from 11-11:45 AM at First Congregational Church of East Hartford, located at 837 Main Street. April 29, May 6, May 13, May 20, May 27 and June 3. Register online.
The Little Theatre of Manchester presents, "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time". From March 31 — April 16, 2023:
  • Fridays & Saturdays at 7:30 PM
  • Sundays at 2:00 PM

A murder mystery like no other, this novel features Christopher Boone, a 15 year-old who suffers from Asperger's syndrome. When he finds a neighbor’s dog murdered, he sets out on a journey which will turn his whole world upside down. For tickets visit or call 860-647-9824.

Join the Manchester Public Library for a fun afternoon of board games! Learn to play Amerigo, Magic Maze, Ricochet Robots, Gartenbau, Age of Steam, and more! No need to bring any games with you; they'll provide them all. Free program for adults; light refreshments to be served. Tell me more about Silk City Board Game Group- April 2023.
Alternate Tuesdays at Squire Village, (1st parking lot off of Imperial Drive #78) 48 Spencer Street, from 09:00 AM - 09:30 AM. Please arrive early to be in line for 9am as the truck leaves promptly at 9:30am. Open to the public; Bring a sturdy grocery bag!
Do you have a business card? How about a website? Are you looking for help? At Drop-in Digital Navigation hours, the East Hartford Public Library will work with small business owners to develop the technology skills you need to make your business technology work as hard as you do. Business owners at every stage of development are encouraged to attend. Drop-in hours will be offered on Fridays from 10:30AM-12:30PM (April 14 & 27; and May 5, 12, &26). For more information, click here.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is now accepting registrations for our fun-filled April Break Camp for students in grades 1-6.
Camp will be held Monday, April 10th through Friday, April 14th from 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. 
Participants may register for the whole week or just for a day or two; the fee is just $20 per day for East Hartford residents.
Daily camp activities include crafts, a variety of indoor/outdoor games, and time to play and socialize with friends. 
Camp is held at the Goodwin Elementary School Gymnasium, 1235 Forbes St. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.
Participants should dress seasonally appropriately for outside play. Please pack snacks, lunch and a water bottle. You can register here.
For more information, please call the Parks and Recreation Department at 860-291-7160.

East Hartford Greater Together Community Fund Advisory Committee is now accepting applications for committee members.

The purpose of the Greater Together Community Fund is to support the East Hartford community in taking ownership around the needs in their town that will be most beneficial or have the greatest impact on town residents. The Community Fund also strives to encourage broad and inclusive civic engagement, as well as to anchor the Hartford Foundation in each town.

Individuals who are interested in applying can click here to find more information or to fill out the Google Form.

The deadline for applications is April 28. After the application period is closed, the committee will schedule interviews for potential members.

Please contact the East Hartford Advisory Committee at with any questions.

Registration is still open for OAKC Together We Tee! This program is offered to local Black and Brown youth of all genders ages 9-12 and their parent/guardian to introduce kids to the game of golf. The Manchester Country club will be providing all participants with lessons by golf professionals, fee waivers, and equipment. The program is limited to 10 participants, so register today by clicking here.
If you have questions or would like additional information, call Senior Recreation Specialist Calvin Harris at (860) 647-3088 or Recreation Supervisor Taylor McBride at (860) 647-6039.


Congressman John Larson seeks a Staff Assistant for his East Hartford, office. 

Responsibilities Include:

  • Managing the front office
  • Welcoming office visitors
  • Supervising interns
  • Organizing incoming mail and phone messages
  • Providing general administrative support to the office
  • Other duties as assigned

The position requires strong written and oral communication skills, attention to detail, along with the ability to work collaboratively in a team environment. While not required, fluency in Spanish is a plus.

Salary is commensurate with experience. The benefits package includes health, dental, and vision insurance, retirement benefits, transit or parking benefits, 18 days of paid vacation, and 12 weeks of paid FMLA. Student loan repayment is also available.

The office is an equal opportunity employer and encourages women, minorities, and LGBTQ candidates to apply. Please submit resume, cover letter, one short writing sample (one page max), and two references to with “District Staff Assistant – [your last name]” in the subject line. Please send all materials in ONE PDF. No calls or drop-ins, please. The deadline to apply is April 16, 2023 with applications considered on a rolling basis.

Join the Manchester Police Department team to ensure the safety of the community. Click here or the image below to learn more and apply.
East Hartford Parks and Recreation is now accepting applications for Summer 2023 employment opportunities at their five outdoor aquatic facilities.

Lifeguard applicants must be at least 15 years old and have current certification in American Red Cross Lifeguarding or be able to successfully complete a course prior to the start of the summer season. Lifeguards are assigned to one of the town’s pools, and typically work a varied schedule including nights and weekends. The starting rate for a certified lifeguard this summer will be $15.50 per hour. Apply here: Lifeguard Job Application.

Not yet certified? There are two upcoming lifeguarding courses. The first course will be held on Thursdays and Saturdays from April 20 through May 13, and the second course will be Mondays through Fridays May 10 through May 26. Click here for more information and to register.

Calling the young people in our community – it's not too early to be thinking about summer employment or learning opportunities! Gain valuable work experience and get paid this summer by signing up for the Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP).
SYELP connects youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer. Applications are open now! Sign up by clicking here.
Through the state's Department of Labor, the American Job Center offers resources, information, and support for individuals throughout the state searching for a job. You can receive help writing a resume and attend interview technique workshops for those currently on the job hunt. For more information, click here.
The State of Connecticut is hiring! You can find a variety of seasonal, part-time, and full-time positions. There are jobs open to members of the public as well as those already employed at a state agency or organization. You can find a full list of openings here.

Click here for the Town Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the East Hartford Public Library. 

Click here for East Hartford Community Television. 

Click here for this month's East Hartford Pride Newsletter


Click here for the Town Meetings and Community Events Calendar.

Click here for information on the Manchester Public Library. 

Click here for Manchester Public Television.