Legislative & Local Updates - April 6th

April 6, 2023
It's been another busy few weeks up here at the Capitol!

First, I want to congratulate my alma mater on winning a fifth NCAA National Championship! Congratulations, Huskies!

We are in the midst of three special religious holidays - Passover, Easter, and Ramadan. If you celebrate, I wish you a happy and peaceful holiday.

I'm happy to report that Ellington has received $3.7 million for upgrades to air filtration systems at Center School, Ellington Middle School, and Ellington High School. Vernon and East Windsor will be receiving arts grants as well. 

I have plenty more information to share with you below. Have a great weekend, everyone! 

CONGRATULATIONS to UConn's Men's Basketball Team on the FIFTH National Championship Monday night in Houston! I'm proud of my alma mater!

To celebrate the team, there will be a parade on Saturday, April 8, in Hartford. The parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will step off from the State Capitol building at the intersection of Trinity Street and Elm Street. From there, it will proceed north on Trinity Street, go through the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Arch, turn right (east) onto Jewell Street, turn left (north) onto Trumbull Street, and end at the intersection of Asylum Street and Trumbull Street.

A rally will begin at approximately 12 p.m. and will be held outside of the main entrance of the XL Center on Trumbull Street, where the players, coaches, and other guests will be invited to give speeches.

To everyone celebrating - Happy Passover, Easter, and Ramadan!


I want to honor my friend and predecessor, Ted Graziani, as he joined Veterans Affairs Commissioner Thomas Saadi and honored Vietnam veterans on March 30. When Ted was a state representative, he authored HB 5352 establishing March 30 as Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Day in Connecticut. 2023 marks the 50th anniversary since American troops left Vietnam.  

If you'd like to watch the ceremony, click the photo below - it will bring you to the CT-N coverage.

Here's the latest Patch article regarding what we're doing in Hartford to help alleviate the high costs of electricity.  I'm proud that the bills I supported have merged with SB 7.


Please join Representative Brown and me as we hold an important discussion concerning two bills that can help the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) community. The hour-long event will take place at Ellington High School on Monday, April 17, from 6-7 p.m. We hope you'll join us.
I'm proud to announce that Ellington Public Schools will be receiving $3.7 million for upgrades to air filtration systems in several of the schools. It's part of a larger $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.

Here is a list of the schools that will be receiving state grant funding:
  • Center School - $671,000
  • Ellington Middle School - $1,003,062.50
  • Ellington High School - $2,030,875.00

These funds do not cover the entire cost of the project, but the money will help make the air filtration system upgrades a reality. I'm proud to have voted to approve this program in last year's budget.

Congratulations to the Vernon Community Arts Center (Arts Center East) and East Windsor Arts and Culture Commission for receiving grants dedicated to the arts. 

Vernon received almost $16,000 between General Operating Support for Theaters and Performing Groups and Supporting Arts funds, and East Windsor received $1,000 in Supporting Arts funds. 

The General Operating Support for Theaters and Performing Groups program provides general operating support grants to Connecticut-based theaters and performing groups whose primary purpose is to present the performing arts to the general public. These funds support organizations as they pursue their mission.

The Supporting Arts grant program provides general operating support to help Connecticut’s arts organizations and municipal arts departments cover programmatic costs associated with their mission-related work. This type of grant is flexible and gives the grantee the ability to use the funds where they are most needed.


As a member of the Moderate Caucus, I'm proud to co-sponsor the Student-Manufacturer Connection Fair.

On May 10, students from across the state will be bussed to the Capitol to meet with manufacturers, advanced manufacturers, and trades to learn about these high-tech careers. Over 500 students who are directly interested in the industry come through every year and enjoy hands-on experiences, learn about the industry, and many have even secured pre-apprenticeships through DOL, and summer jobs with local companies. Some have even stayed with those companies for long-term, full-time employment after high school.

The Student-Manufacturer Connection Fair started in 2017, in an effort to assemble STEM students in one place to meet local manufacturers and help stock the workforce pipeline. 

The registration date for manufacturers to take part is April 10 and the school registration deadline is April 26. 

If your business would like to participate, please reply as soon as you can to let us know. The ideal businesses are those in manufacturing, the trades, aerospace, tech, and engineering. The most exciting booths have something hands-on for students; we are happy to talk through any ideas. If you are interested or need more information before committing, you must reach out to Julianna.Goldfluss@cga.ct.gov.

During Climate Action Week, I was pleased to attend an event in Somers, where Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, DEEP Deputy Commissioner Mason Trumble, and state agencies announced grant recipients receiving nearly $7 million in funding through the Climate Smart Agriculture and Forestry Grant program to implement climate smart practices.

One (of several) sources of great pride in the last budget were our historic investments in agriculture and farmland preservation. I consider this work just a start!

The announcement was made at Grower Direct Farms, Inc. in Somers, a subrecipient of the Connecticut Greenhouse Growers Association award totaling $1.75 million to reduce water consumption across six greenhouse operations in Connecticut.

On Friday, members of the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health met with Senator Chris Murphy and advocates to discuss Connecticut's priorities for the Farm Bill. 

I'm always happy for the chance to lend my expertise as a food insecurity and nutrition researcher to policy at the state and federal levels.

The meeting was hosted at Connecticut Foodshare. 

Recently, the CT Department of Health noted that fewer than 1 in 10 children and adults eat the recommended daily amount of vegetables. Good nutrition is essential in keeping current and future generations of Americans healthy across their lifespan. Learn how to add more vegetables to your diet: https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/vegetables

This is exactly why we need an updated Farm Bill 2023 that addresses food as not just a means for full bellies but also as a key to health and wellness.

And this is why I'm working so hard to champion CT Food as Medicine

I'm proud to be sponsoring this event later this month at the Capitol.



The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced that guiderail upgrades will be performed on Route 19 and Route 140 in Stafford and on Route 140 in Ellington.
This work was scheduled to begin on Tuesday, April 4, by Atlas Fence Co.  
Motorists can expect lane closures on Route 19 and Route 140 in Stafford and Route 140 in Ellington. Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for installing this guiderail is 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving in this vicinity. No work will be performed around any scheduled holidays.



A message from the CT Department of Agriculture: Support local growers and celebrate the arrival of spring with gorgeous flowers grown right here in our state! From vibrant tulips to fragrant daffodils, Connecticut has a wide variety of blooms that are perfect for your Easter table or as a gift for loved ones.
Not only will you be supporting local businesses and reducing your carbon footprint by choosing flowers grown close to home, but you'll also be getting the freshest and most vibrant blooms available.

So this Easter, make a choice that benefits both you and your community. Choose CTGrown flowers and enjoy the beauty of the season in the most sustainable way possible.

Earth Day happens this month and that's as good a reason as any to spend some time picking up a little litter.

I did this in the few blocks between my house and my daughter's school and it was easy.
If you pick up litter with your kids, I recommend exercising some caution - wearing gloves, using a tool if you can, and if they're too little to know if something is safe or not to touch, have them be your "spotter," to point out litter when you see it.

My husband was/is an Eagle Scout and picking up trash seems ingrained. I remember him doing this even as a young couple walking through campus at UConn. But imagine... If we all did just a little, how much more beautiful we could make our community!