Legislative Update March 1, 2023

April 27, 2023

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On January 4th, I was officially sworn in as State Representative for the 98th district. It was an incredibly moving day, one I shared with my family and new legislative colleagues. I am truly humbled and excited to be representing your voice in the General Assembly. Please know I will work diligently during this legislative session and beyond to bring your voice to Hartford. Together, we can advocate to ensure our communities thrive and our citizens are empowered to live full, healthy, and enriching lives.
As a new legislator, it is important to participate in the committee process. For the 2023 legislative session, I am a member of the Education, Environment, and Public Health committees. In committee, we've already been hard at work this session reviewing bill proposals, considering concepts to develop as a committee and holding public hearings to consider the varied perspectives of our constituents and fellow legislators. It has been wonderful to see several constituents testifying on proposed legislation! We've also begun voting bills out of committee, moving them ahead for consideration of the full General Assembly. Together we have already achieved some great work and I look forward to continued, productive collaborations with my colleagues and constituents in the months ahead.
Much of what gets proposed, debated, and voted on in the House and Senate begins with ideas shared by residents with their respective legislator. That is why I encourage you to participate in the legislative process by making your voice heard. There are many ways to get involved such as testifying on legislation or submitting testimony that comes before the various committees. You can also call or email me to share your opinion on a particular issue or specific bill of interest. The legislative process only works when community members like you engage in the conversation and advocate for legislation you believe will make a positive impact on our district and state.
My greatest priority will always be to my constituents. Thank you so much for giving me the tremendous privilege of being your State Representative. It is an honor that I cherish and serves to inspire me every day.
 With gratitude,

With gratitude,

Beyond committee work, I have been actively involved in advocating for issues that I support and speak to the hopes of you, my constituents. While in Hartford this session, I have shared my vocal support for various causes and pieces of legislation. I have worked with my colleagues in support of topics such as: universal free meals in our public schools, protecting reproductive freedoms, additional supports for our educators, improved funding for our schools, equity initiatives for women and girls, growing our healthcare workforce and addressing the issues of food waste in Connecticut. I've also testified before various committees to advocate for the needs of our children, educational improvements and environmental initiatives that will have a direct impact on our communities. I look forward to continued work on affordable housing and healthcare, expanding educational and workforce opportunities and supporting a budget that speaks to the needs of our citizens with innovative, long-lasting investments that ease financial hardship and support our communities.
On February 9th, we in the General Assembly voted to extend a number of budgetary protections known as "fiscal guardrails," as well as approve funding for two important school programs. Originally put in place in 2017, the "fiscal guardrails" have been critical to allowing us to cut taxes, invest in families and the economy, pay down debt, and save for the future. This includes: cutting over $650 million in taxes, paying down billions in pension debt, Investing in preschool education and children's mental health programs and record savings deposited in our "Rainy-Day" reserve fund.
That same legislation also invested in Connecticut's students. By utilizing $60 million of federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, we are able to ensure every child in Connecticut can access free school lunches for the remainder of the school year. Equitable access to proper nutrition in school is necessary to supporting a child's ability to learn and thrive. This was something I have been advocating for from my first day in the legislature, so I am thrilled to see this pass.
In the district, I've been busy connecting with many of our nonprofit organizations to better understand the challenges they face and how I can best support them. These organizations are a vital part of our district, providing for the needs of our neighbors, ensuring our families are thriving and supporting our children's educational, emotional and social needs. They are the glue that often binds us together as a community.
This past month I had the opportunity to visit the Community Dining Room in Branford. Founded in 1985, the Community Dining Room is a private, not-for-profit organization providing meals, support, and companionship to shoreline community members. Their mission is to see a well-nourished community, promote public awareness around hunger and isolation, and help guests with their needs through referrals and fellowship. The Branford Dining Room runs many amazing programs, including family nights, resource nights, a mobile pantry (partnering with Connecticut Foodshare) and summer community meals on the Branford green. There are many opportunities to participate in their fun and creative gatherings, as well as fundraising efforts in support of their important work. To learn more, please visit their website; www.communitydiningroom.org
Recently, I had the good fortune to sit down with members of Guilford D.A.Y. (Developmental Assets for Youth), a wonderful community coalition of volunteers working to reduce high risk behaviors of our youth by providing them with opportunities, skills and values needed to become healthy, caring and responsible adults. Guilford D.A.Y. works to bring our community together to build a healthier environment for our youth by ensuring they feel valued, providing them positive role models, offering impactful programming, and ultimately encouraging positive choices that reduce drug and alcohol use. Among their initiatives is Guilford High School’s T.E.A.M. (Teens Educate Advocate Motivate), a youth coalition dedicated to promoting healthy choices with resources and support our students need to thrive. Guilford D.A.Y. is a valued partner in our community, as we all work together to support our children and their success.  Building a stronger community begins with supporting our youth. To learn more about this wonderful coalition, please visit their website; www.itsworthitguilford.org.
I've also been spending a lot of time in district meeting with constituents to discuss their concerns and see how I can best support their needs. If you ever have any questions or concerns, you can always reach out to my office. You can also reach me at moira.rader@cga.ct.gov or by phone at 860-240-8585. You can also follow me on social media at the links below.
It's been a busy first few months as a state legislator, but I couldn't be happier to be hard at work in representation of this amazing district. Thank you!


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