Gun Bill, Bird Protection, and Lower Eversource Prices

May 26, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

We were back in session on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday as we debated and voted on bills at the Capitol. We are tackling as many proposals as we can before our June 7 deadline, and there are many ideas on the table.

Please read below to see what bills we passed this week, when your Eversource bill will become more affordable, when to expect delays for bridge repairs on I-95, which camp received state funding, and much more!

Time is running out to pass meaningful legislation and a state budget. The House of Representatives has been in session three times this week with a clear goal in mind: make Connecticut a better place to live. Read below to see some of the highlights from this past week:
We are committed to protecting our marine ecosystems. I am proud to co-sponsor HB 6813, which ensures the safety of seabirds and shorebirds by establishing a protection program, including designated protection areas.
These birds have migrated to our shores each spring long before we have, and it is up to us to ensure that their habitat is protected.

I saw a few piping plover pairs and American oystercatchers foraging for food and nesting earlier this month when I visited Bluff Point State Park in Groton. We must do all that we can to give these species a fighting chance of survival.

HB 6667, which I am proud to co-sponsor, is the most comprehensive update to Connecticut's gun violence statutes since the historic reforms we passed after the Sandy Hook tragedy.

While Connecticut remains one of the safest states in the nation because of our previous legislative action, it does not make us immune to the continuing epidemic of gun violence. HB 6667 is a step toward making Connecticut even safer.

We have seen states around the nation recklessly retreat from sensible gun regulations, but Connecticut continues to lead and stand strong in the push to make our communities safer. I want to thank Gov. Ned Lamont for his leadership on this bill in addition to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and the Judiciary Committee for their work on it.

The bill now moves to the Senate for its consideration.

I co-sponsored and testified on HB 5917, which implements the recommendations of the Vision Zero Council to make roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike. This bill addresses the spike in roadway fatalities in our state.
HB 6755 establishes a working group to develop a plan for an advanced manufacturing technology center in the state and to maximize the economic, educational, and workforce benefits provided.
Education is a top priority. HB 6880 makes critical revisions to our education laws that support parents, teachers, families, and most importantly, our students.
HB 5441 is a bipartisan effort that improves the state's workforce pipeline by including an extension of the existing teacher loan subsidy program for more educators in Alliance Districts.
HB 6486, which I co-sponsored, establishes a statewide stewardship program for discarded tires and ensures access to tire collection while promoting recycling efforts and holding producers accountable.
HB 5628 has bipartisan support and allows us to study hydropower as a clean and renewable energy alternative that our state could potentially utilize.

HB 6768 takes another step to protect reproductive rights in our state by ensuring access to emergency contraceptives at pharmacies. The bill gives pharmacists the ability to prescribe medications and medical devices to patients. It also protects pharmacies from prosecution from states whose laws do not allow such activity.

I testified in support of an earlier version of the bill before the Public Health Committee that raised this very concept for a public hearing.

I was proud to join The CT Coalition for Climate Action’s Day of Action press conference with Vice Chair State Representative Christine Palm, Rep. Brandon Chafee, and many of my colleagues. The coalition includes CTLCV - Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, Save the Sound, Connecticut Chapter Sierra Club, and other environmental advocacy organizations.
Together, we have the opportunity to champion the cause of environmental justice, protect our communities, and embrace the transformative power of a comprehensive Decarbonization Roadmap.
Awesome night at the Noank Community Support Services Roaring Twenties Gala! We heard some powerful, moving testimonies on the impact that this organization has made in our community. Thank you to organizers and my good friend Portia Bordelon from the Groton Town Council for working hard to make this event a success for a great cause!
Meet Tatiana the billy goat! This one-month-old cutie stopped by the Capitol last Thursday to promote our state farms.

Eversource customers are about to get a major break on their utility bill. The company has filed new and lower standard service rates for residential customers starting July 1. Make sure to check your rates during that time frame!

Eversource and United Illuminating (UI) file to change rates twice a year. The cost of natural gas, which provides the fuel for most of the heat and electricity across Connecticut and New England, is subject to continued market volatility and international factors like Russia's invasion of Ukraine. As a result, present bills were pushed as much as $80 higher on average since the beginning of the year through June 30.

While dropping electricity rates is positive news, the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) also recently took a significant step toward additional accountability for Eversource and UI by implementing performance-based regulation (PBR) starting in 2024. Connecticut is one of the first states in the country to establish such a system, which was part of the “Take Back Our Grid Act” we passed in October 2020.

PBR has the potential to align regulatory tools since there are certain goals Eversource and UI will be expected to achieve, including fulfillment of public policies, empowering customers, and providing reasonable, equitable and affordable rates as opposed to roller coaster increases and decreases.

Two bridges on I-95 in Groton will be getting some much-needed fixes and that means you can expect some delays starting on Wednesday. Take a look at the maps below to see where you will see work zones.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will be repairing Bridge #02514A on I-95 South in Groton. Here's what else you need to know:
  • Right lane will be closed from Route 184 on-ramp in Groton to Exit 83 in New London
  • Work will take place Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Delays will occur from Wednesday – August 31
  • Work suspended on Juneteenth and Independence Day
CTDOT crews will be conducting concrete and steel repairs on Bridge #03328 on I-95 North in Groton. Here’s what you need to know:
  • Various lanes closed from the Exit 86 off-ramp to the Route 349 on-ramp
  • Work will take place Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
  • Delays will occur from Wednesday – July 14
  • No work on June 19 and July 4

The S.T.E.P.S. program in Groton is receiving $100,000 in state funds over the next two summers to provide learning opportunities to help teenage girls. The money comes from the Connecticut Summer Enrichment Program, which is designed to connect students whose education was compromised during the pandemic. CLICK HERE to learn more.

S.T.E.P.S. stands for Striving Toward Empowered Personal Success. It’s a non-profit designed to empower middle and high school girls in Groton succeed through training, intervention, and mentoring.  Organizers say S.T.E.P.S provides a safe place for young women to talk things over with an objective female mentor.


Connecticut just received an upgraded credit rating from the Kroll Bond Rating Agency, which means that our General Obligation bond credit rating was upgraded from AA (stable) to AA+ (stable), just one step below the highest credit rating possible!

This news is an excellent testament to the success of the bipartisan fiscal guardrails and budgeting disciplines we have in place.

Our state has received an improved credit rating before.

Just last year, Standard & Poor’s (S&P) upgraded Connecticut's credit rating from A+ (positive) to AA- (stable). In 2021, all four major credit rating agencies upgraded Connecticut's credit rating, including Moody's. S&P, Fitch and Kroll.

Our credit upgrade allows us to maintain a strong financial standing and strengthens our appeal to those looking to make investments here.

Groton Utilities and Aquarion Water are conducting their water main flushing and testing programs. All Groton Utilities customers should expect intermittent intervals of water discoloration during the water main flushing process. House of flushing are from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm, Monday through Friday. That work is expected to completed by June 16 (weather permitting).
Do not hesitate to contact me with any thoughts or concerns you may have at or 1-800-842-8267.

Aundré Bumgardner

State Representative

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