Legislative & Local Updates for the 149th District for the Week Ending April 21, 2023

April 24, 2023
Dear Neighbor,

After weeks of holding public hearings, the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and the Appropriations Committee met to pass their revised budget proposals. I serve on the Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations budget that we voted on on Tuesday was the result of extensive discussions with government agencies and the public, as we sought to pass a fiscally responsible and compassionate budget that continues to provide historic tax relief. 
Next the two committees will negotiate with each other and the governor to craft the final budget. The budget bill then goes before the House and Senate, where each chamber must pass the same version of the budget in order for the bill to move to the governor's desk. The legislature’s final budget must then be signed into law by the governor before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. There will be more information coming in the weeks ahead, so stay tuned.
I remain committed to ensuring that we maintain a balanced and fiscally responsible budget that also addresses the pressing priorities in our state.

Video Update: Let's Talk About Protecting Wildlife in CT
Book Bans and the Role of Public Libraries
Last week, I had the opportunity to participate in a conversation about book bans at the Ferguson Library. It’s disturbing to learn that there has been a two-fold increase in efforts to ban books throughout the country. Books and literature are starting points for ideas and innovation. Our public libraries are places of equal opportunity where people can learn and challenge their thinking. When we ban books, we limit knowledge, creativity, and dialogue.
Sister City Announcement with Ukraine

In the past 2 weeks, I had the pleasure of joining Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons, Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, and other members of the Stamford and Greenwich delegations in announcing sister city relationships with Kramatorsk and Izyum in Ukraine. 
Both of these cities are in Eastern Ukraine, in a region that borders Russia and that has come under heavy fire. Yet, throughout the war, people in both of these cities have shown tremendous strength and perseverance in the face of adversity, and they are committed to rebuilding their city and their lives.
Our cities share many similarities, including diversity of populations. Like the people of Kramatorsk and Izyum, we are a community of hardworking, determined, and caring individuals. By establishing this partnership, we will be sending the people of Kramatorsk and Izyum a message of hope and let them know that they are not alone in their struggle and the people of Greenwich and Stamford stand with them in their quest for peace and justice.

Kickball Classic: Putting Politics Aside and Raising Money for Two Great Causes 
Members of Connecticut's General Assembly - from both sides of the aisle - are coming together outside of their offices and chambers, in the spirit of bipartisanship, for some fun and good causes.

The CT General Assembly will be holding its Second Annual Kickball Classic on Monday, May 1, 4:30 p.m. (gates open at 3:30) at Dunkin' Park in Hartford, home of the Yard Goats. 

The admission price is $10, and proceeds will go to two great causes - the Q Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, in memory of State Rep. Quentin "Q" Williams, who died in a tragic car crash at the start of the 2023 legislative session, and the Sarah Foundation, in memory of former State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda. 

The event is open to the public and we welcome you to come cheer on your favorite team and support two great causes as we honor two great legislators who left us far too soon. Please consider bringing a non-perishable food item to donate to CT Foodshare, too.

To purchase tickets online, click HERE (there is a $2.25 fee for online purchases), or purchase at the gate. 

To learn more about the Q Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, click HERE.

To learn more about the Sarah Foundation, click HERE.

Good News from Eversource
According to Eversource, we can expect lower energy rates this summer. The next electric supply rate change for Eversource electric customers in Connecticut takes place July 1.The proposal will be submitted to regulators in May. 

In Connecticut, the Standard Service rate changes twice a year - January 1 and July 1. 

Eversource encourages customers to enroll in one of its payment plans or assistance programs if they need help with their energy bill, and the energy company also offers energy efficiency solutions to help customers use less energy and better manage costs. Regular webinars are hosted to provide customers with more information about protection from service disconnection, programs to reduce unpaid balances with affordable monthly payments, extended payment plans and no-cost energy efficiency programs that can help lower energy usage.

Customers can learn more information about the various programs available to help and view a recording of a past webinar at Eversource.com/billhelp.

Live Like Luke Clean-Up Day on April 22
Celebrate Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day and volunteer to beautify Mianus River Park on Saturday, April 22. The Town of Greenwich Parks and Recreation Foundation will hold an Earth Day Clean Up and Beatification of Mianus River Park on Saturday, April 22, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m.

Smashing the Stigma Around Mental Illness:
Hope Day
Stand Against Racism