State Capitol Update from Rep. Fortier

May 5, 2023

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Dear Neighbor,

I hope you are well.

It's been a busy week for me and my colleagues in the legislature, but I wanted to catch you up on what I've been up to and share with you a legislative update.

As always, if you have any questions about policy or the legislative process, never hesitate to reach out! I can always be reached by email.

Have a good day!

Legislative Coffee Hour
Please join me for coffee next Wednesday, May 10, at Parkside Cafe on North Main Street. I look forward to meeting constituents to discuss legislative updates and issues that are important to you.
Legislation Passed in the House This Week
Connecticut voters asked the legislature for more voting options through a constitutional amendment on early voting that they overwhelmingly approved, and we are answering the call. 

This week, the House of Representatives approved

H.B. 5004, a measure that will allow early voting in our state beginning in 2024.

This legislation modernizes the state's elections and allows for more convenience and fairness in the process, reflecting the realities of hectic modern-day life.

Eligible voters will be able to cast their ballots in person ahead of Election Day for both regular and special elections, as well as primaries.

Passage of this bill in the House is a step towards improving access to the ballot box for all eligible Connecticut voters.

I look forward to the next step – debate in the Senate.

ICYMI: We passed a number of bills this week. Learn more about them below:

HB6689: Makes a career in health care a realistic option for more CT students. The Nursing and Mental Health Care Professionals Loan Subsidy Program will mean lower interest rates for students looking to go into health and mental health care.

HB6632: Opens previously closed avenues for local housing authorities housing units. On to the Senate for consideration.

HB6819: Requires the DPH to provide a full list of international board-certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs) in the state on their website and will establish a taskforce to study licensure.

HB6587: This bill creates a task force to develop a plan that utilizes Medicaid funding to support health-related social needs like diaper insecurity, food insecurity, and housing instability. The task force will also seek federal approval for services, and report how the proposed coverage will impact current recommendations.

HB6479: Contains a key provision to maximize federal funds designated for state and municipal climate change resiliency projects, including coastal resiliency projects.

HB6480: Eel Grass is an important component of seagrass meadows that improve water quality and protect from erosion. This bill establishes a working group on the restoration of eel grass.

 HB5575: A necessary measure to ensure the humane treatment of animals in municipal animal shelters. We set municipal regulations establishing guidelines that maintain the health and safety of both the animals and the individuals working in the facilities.

HB6481: Prohibits the release of helium and lighter-than-air balloons, which are a hazard to wildlife and add to plastic pollution.

HB6615: Repeals the statutes authorizing dog racing and dog tracks. This will make it illegal to race greyhounds in Connecticut.

HB6569: Bans marriage under the age of 18.

 A workforce training plan for green jobs is essential to support Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. HB 6354 includes several provisions to accomplish those goals and a strategy to market and recruit individuals, especially from underrepresented populations.
Increasing Accountability Among
Utility Companies
The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) unanimously voted to begin a search for consultants to monitor the performance of the state's two electric distribution companies - Eversource and United Illuminating. This is an important step toward eventually shifting to performance-based regulation for the companies.
The framework for these changes was created in the wake of Eversource and UI's poor and slow response to issues caused by Tropical Storm Isaias in 2020. In response, the Connecticut General Assembly passed the "Take Back Our Grid Act," a robust bill that established standards that utility companies must meet, penalties if those standards are not met, and metrics for determining progress.
Additionally, PURA also announced that it has extended the utility shutoff moratorium for gas and electric service disconnections for residential financial hardship customers until October 31, 2023.
These changes will help hold the state's utilities accountable, protect vulnerable communities and ensures that the ratepayers are the priority moving forward.
Please feel free to contact me at the Capitol at 1-800-842-8267 or by email at if you have any questions or concerns.


Mary Fortier


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