Currey-ently finalizing our budget proposal

April 21, 2023
When the Chairwomen of the Appropriations Committee bang the gavel down at 5pm today, it will signal the completion of not only our committee’s work, but all committees, and mark the moment when fellow Chairs and Ranking Members will find themselves in even more rooms, zooms, and calls as we negotiate and ready final versions of proposals for full debates in both the House and the Senate. This includes, arguably the most important pieces of legislation: our spending and revenue packages for the upcoming biennium.
After weeks of holding public hearings and subcommittee meetings, the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding and Appropriations Committees met this week to discuss, debate, and ultimately pass our revised budget proposals. While we appreciate the work of the administration and the proposals they initially provided, the legislative branch has now demonstrated through our revenue and spending bills what we see as priorities and how we may collectively keep CT on a path of success. This is not to say either proposal is perfect or fully addresses the many needs of our schools, municipalities, or non-profits. Instead, it simply gives us a new starting point for negotiations with the executive branch and those dependent upon the state to uphold its many obligations to CT’s residents.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding the budgetary proposals, or any piece of legislation for that matter, please do not hesitate to reach out. We’ve got six and half weeks until that final gavel comes down on June 7th, so let your voice be heard.
In the meantime, I hope you all have an easy weekend ahead

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.

In the opening of this e-blast, I noted the state having many obligations to the residents throughout CT. Some are set out in documents much older than any of us and others are based on morals and what some see as simply being the right thing to do. I argue that ensuring our children have a high-quality learning experience is both.

Our state constitution clearly notes that we must provide “free public elementary and secondary schools…” To achieve this, we must ensure we are fully funding all of Connecticut’s public schools. In the budget we approved – on a bipartisan vote – out of the Appropriations Committee, $150 million for education funding reform tied to HB 5003: An Act Concerning Education Funding in Connecticut, the Education Committee's priority bill this session. And while the entire amount needed to fully fund our public schools in Fiscal Year 25 was not included, this additional investment in our educators and students is something we have not seen in decades and is a new starting point for ongoing negotiations with the Governor and his team.

This past season of RuPaul's Drag Race, I was asked to give a shout-out to the four Connecticut Queens who represented our State in the national reality competition. I was honored to join Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz, Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, Rep. Marcus Brown and Rep. Dominique Johnson to share our pride for West Hartford's Amethyst, Hartford's Robin Fierce, Ansonia's Loosey LaDuca and Jax, who grew up in Darien.

Thank you for representing our state and for showcasing your charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent. And for reminding everyone that freedom of expression is a human right!

You can watch the video by clicking the image below:

In 2016, Governor Malloy declared April 4 Safe Havens Awareness Day in Connecticut. It is important to promote awareness of this law - passed in 2001 - as it reminds birth parents that an alternative solution to their situation exists. Safe Haven ultimately provides refuge for unwanted children within 30 days of giving birth.

In a recently published CT Mirror article, it was reported that since the law passed, 52 babies have been relinquished to Connecticut hospitals.

To learn more about the Safe Haven Law, and to find Safe Havens throughout the state, please click the button below:

Learn More About Safe Havens
April is Autism Acceptance Month. This year's theme, “Celebrate Differences,” aims to herald the acceptance of individuals beyond the spectrum.

Formerly known as Autism Awareness Month, in 2021 the Autism Society of America changed it to Autism Acceptance Month to promote receptivity and inclusivity.

Autism is a complex developmental condition stemming from differences in a person's brain structure and neurotransmitters affecting individuals' verbal and non-verbal communication. Currently, 1 in 54 children is diagnosed with autism every year.

Things to remember about autism:

  •     Autism is a disorder, not a disease
  •     People with autism need our support and not our judgment
  •     It is likely you have met someone with autism, even if you think you haven't
  •     Everyone on the autism spectrum is different, and there are many subtypes
  •     Children with autistic characteristics are generally diagnosed by age four
  •     Diagnosis rates may be increasing, but there are now better ways to monitor and assess symptoms

To learn more about autism and state resources, click the button below:

State Resources
Learn to be the best advocate you can be for your child. Be informed and take advantage of resources and services that are available to you in your community. Come and hear personal impact stories from individuals with autism and from parents of autistic children who understand your day-to-day challenges and successes and will motivate you to be your child's best advocate!

The event will take place on Friday, April 28, from 10AM – 12PM in room 310 in the State Capitol.

For more information, contact Denise Drummond by clicking the button below:

Contact Denise
The bipartisan kickball caucus is hosting the 2nd Annual CGA Kickball Tournament on Monday, May 1 at 4:30PM - gates open at 3:30PM - at the Dunkin Donuts Park. This event is open to the public and tickets are $10.

Last year, CTFoodshare was the beneficiary of the proceeds from the $10 tickets. This year, the caucus is honoring Rep. Noreen Kokoruda, with donations to the Sarah Foundation and honoring Rep. Quentin “Q” Williams with donations to the Q Fund at the Middlesex Community Foundation. They are also asking that people bring a non-perishable food item to the stadium to donate to CTFoodshare.


Don’t have the ”My East Hartford” app on your phone?

Prefer not to use the Town’s website to report Quality of Life issues to the Town for action?

There is another option.

The Town of East Hartford’s Quality of Life phone line: (860) 291-7765

  • It’s confidential and the Town will transcribe the information you leave into the Q-Alert tracking system and the correct department will follow up on the complaint
    • Please note that general complaints like “there are cars parked on the lawn” are not actionable unless we have the exact street location
  • When you leave a message, please be specific as to the issue, the exact location, and any other pertinent information that will help
Starting Monday, May 1, a portion of Brewer Street in East Hartford will be closed through November 2023. The road will reopen prior to Thanksgiving.

The closure is limited to the section of Brewer Street between Mill Road and Glenn Road/Contractors Road, but motorists should seek alternate routes if using Brewer Street as a through road.

The primary detour for through-traffic will be Maple Street, using Forbes Street and Main Street/High Street. Local traffic can access properties to the east of the closure (east of Glenn Road/Contractors Road) and west of the closure (west of Mill Road). An emergency access (temporary road) will be in place for Fire Department vehicles housed at Fire House No. 5, to the east of the closure.

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 1,067,713 +376
All PCR/NAAT Tests 16,460,695 +12,145
Test Positivity (pos/all PCR/NAAT) -- 3.1%
Patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19 89 -2
COVID-19-Associated Deaths 12,302 0
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 15,952 213 245,786 3.6%
Manchester  14,535 208 241,188 2.2%
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:
Attention all HUSKY Health Members, expect a notice this year that either:
  1. Your HUSKY Health coverage has been renewed automatically
  2. Information is needed to check if you are still eligible
    • If DSS needs more information, a renewal form will be included & the due date will be listed on your notice
Please click the image above, or click here to learn more about your eligibility.
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.

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community.

Throughout the month, Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) encourages schools to plan special events to honor military children and have administrators and principals incorporate this month's themes into their everyday duties and responsibilities.

If you would like to learn more and access resources, please 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!


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.
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.
The Town of East Hartford invites residents, businesses and community members to join Mayor Mike’s team for a Community Cleanup Day on Saturday, April 29 from 10AM - 1PM. Volunteers are asked to gather at Alumni Park at 1021 Main Street where they will meet with staff to be assigned spring cleanup tasks for the day.
After the cleanup, all participants will be invited for lunch at Alumni Park. Please register by 4:30PM today!

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!

If you're going to be in Manchester for Earth Day, check out Rebuilding Together Manchester for upcoming events.

The Town of East Hartford is hosting a number of Spring Cleaning Events for Earth Day that will take place over the next few weeks. Click here to see what's happening in the community.
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.

The Department of Children & Families (DCF), in partnership with the Department of Public Health (DPH), recently shared a helpful info-graphic reminding families of simple ways to stay safe throughout the summer. Make sure you are taking the proper precautions to protect your loved ones this summer.

To access a number of other summer safety resources, please visit the DPH webpage by clicking here.


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.

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.