Legislative & Local Updates for the 149th District for the Week Ending May 5, 2023

May 8, 2023
Dear Neighbor,

We are in the final few weeks of this legislative session and that means we’re starting to vote on bills on the House Floor.
This week, some of the bills we passed in the House include:

  • Early voting. We voted to implement early voting. The bill will offer 14 days of early voting to the residents of Connecticut. I was proud to vote in favor of this important bill which honors the voters of Connecticut who overwhelmingly voted in favor of early voting, and I’m happy that Connecticut will finally join the 46 other states that offer early voting.
  • Climate change action. We approved an act to establish a Green Jobs Corps Program that will help communities address the impacts of climate change and reduce carbon emissions, and recruit individuals to work in green jobs. We also voted to authorize the Treasurer to invest funds on behalf of municipalities that establish Coastal Resiliency Reserve Funds, and to require DEEP to maximize the state's receipt of federal funds for climate resiliency projects undertaken by the state and municipalities.
  • Workforce development. We created a loan subsidy program for nursing and mental health care professionals which will go a long way in addressing the workforce shortage in these fields. 
  • Elder care. We passed the Nursing Home Transparency act to require nursing home organizations to report their costs more openly and to disclose their ownership structure to reveal potential conflicts of interest. 
  • Help for new mothers. We committed to providing CT mothers access to lactation consultants and creating a task force to study Medicaid coverage of health-related social needs like diaper and food insecurity and housing instability.
  • Conservation. We voted to protect the declining population of horseshoe crabs since these creatures are known to possess important ecological and medical functions and to restore eel grass on the state’s shoreline.

In the Appropriations Committee, we voted many bills out of committee. Some of the bills that I’ve been following and that I was pleased to vote for were: 

  • Providing workers’ compensation for certain cancers in firefighters (SB 937);
  • An act addressing gun violence (HB 6667); 
  • Banning the use of certain rodenticides, and neonicotinoids for agricultural use (SB 962 and SB 963);
  • Enhancing the environmental and public health considerations made under the state's environmental justice statute (SB 1147);
  • An act concerning association health plans and establishing a task force to study stop-loss insurance (HB 6710).

I look forward to seeing these bills come to the floor of the General Assembly for a vote.


On May 4, the Democrats' "freshmen class" of the legislature met for a photo outside the House Chamber. (L-R, front row): Derell Wilson, Aundré Bumgartner, me, Moira Raider, Sarah Keitt, Anabel Figueroa, Marcus Brown. (L-R, middle row) Mary Fortier, Hector Arzeno, Farley Santos, Jack Fazzino, Dominque Johnson, and Keith Denning (L-R, back row) Chris Poulos, James Sánchez, Fred Gee, Melissa Osborne, Kadeem Roberts, and Kevin Brown.
Video Update: May is Mental Health Month
Immigrant Day at the Capitol
Last week, I participated in the Connecticut Immigrant & Refugee Coalition’s (CIRC) 23rd Annual Connecticut Immigrant Day Ceremony, sponsored by the Connecticut General Assembly’s Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity, and Opportunity (CWCSEO).
I was honored to be recognized at the event. When I first moved to the US at the age of 8, all I cared about was losing my accent so people wouldn’t know I was a foreigner. I went back to France for high school but always knew I’d return to the US one day. I never imagined I’d become a state legislator. I salute all the immigrants in our community. I thank you for the hard work, creativity, and love of country that you bring, and I am honored to be your representative at the Connecticut State Capitol. 

Photo courtesy: CT Immigrant & Refugee Coalition (CIRC)

YWCA Stand Against Racism
Last week, I attended the YWCA Greenwich’s annual Stand Against Racism. It was inspiring to hear about the great work high school students are doing in our community to build on our society’s ideals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Second Annual CGA Kickball Classic 
It wasn't the outcome we had hoped for, but we had fun! The Democrats (Majority Rules) and Republicans (Red Stampede) squared off on May 1 at Dunkin Park in the name of charity, raising money for the Q Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and the Sarah Foundation, in memory of Q Williams and Noreen Kokoruda. 

The Republicans held onto their title for the second year, winning 7-1.

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.

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.
Tour the Globe at the Ferguson

Explore the rich cultural traditions of the diverse communities in Stamford at WorldFest 2023. The city's mosaic of ethnic heritage will be celebrated during an afternoon of dance and musical performances and cuisine that represents the cultures of Spain, Poland, Ukraine, Haiti, India, and various countries in Latin America.

Open to all ages. No registration is required.

Presented in partnership with En Vivo con Maricarmen, the Mayor’s Multicultural Council, and La Cabaña Restaurant, Stamford.

Byram Park Clean Up Day
Bridge Maintenance I-95 Stamford

The Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced a bridge maintenance project will be performed on I-95 Southbound in Stamford.

The project consists of asphalt joint installation and is scheduled to occur from the evening of Sunday, May 7, 2023, to the morning of Thursday, August 31, 2023.
No work will be performed from 6 a.m. Friday May 26, 2023, until 8 p.m. Tuesday May 30, 2023, due to the Memorial Day Holiday.
No work will be performed from 6 a.m. Friday, June 30, 2023, until 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, 2023, due to the Independence Day Holiday.

The work is included in the Department of Transportation’s 2023 bridge maintenance program to support state forces with bridge repairs and is being performed by Dynamic Surface Applications.
Motorists can expect lane closures on I-95 Southbound in Stamford between Exit 9 (US-1 East Main Street) and Exit 6 (Grenhart Road) in Stamford.  Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.  (Sunday evenings through Thursday mornings).
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.