Currey-ently Winding and Working Toward June 7

May 26, 2023
Friends and Neighbors, 

There are less than two weeks remaining in the legislative session, which seems equals parts amazing and daunting given the scale of what is left to accomplish, including the passage of the state budget. Following a brief break from the building, but not from our phones or emails, we will reconvene on Tuesday with the finish line in sight.

If you’re in need of some easy, sometimes even entertaining listening, albeit wonky at times (it's true LOL), feel free to tune in to the debates colleagues and I will be having on bills before the House or Senate through the CT-N’s live streams and on-demand options.
Before we resume the people’s business, though, please be sure to take some time this weekend to honor the U.S. military personnel who died in service for our country. It is through their sacrifices that we are able to do your work here under the dome in Hartford in a manner that allows for the difference of opinions and the ability to voice those, typically in a respectful manner. We’ve included below a few ceremonies that are taking place in our communities.
In the meantime, please continue to reach out and share your support and concerns as we make our way toward June 7. No lawmaker or our teams does this work alone. Your voice decidedly matters to the process.

Have an easy weekend.

To stay up-to-date with everything happening in Hartford, click the "At the Capitol, In District, & Beyond" link below, but also please check out the other subject links in this intro to go right to the topic in the body of this email.

You can find additional resources and information on my website. If there's something you need help with that isn't included in this email, please check my website. If you can't find what you're looking for there, please don't hesitate to reach out to me.

This Tuesday, I led passage of HB 6880 in the House of Representatives, which was priority legislation from the Education Committee because it positively affects so many different areas.

HB 6880 includes among its provisions:

  • Moves start date for kindergarten to those who turn 5 years old before September 1
  • Requires play-based learning in pre-K and kindergarten and allows it in grades 1 through 5
  • Limits edTPA to an accountability measure, not a way to deny initial educator certificates
  • Requires exit surveys for teachers who leave voluntarily to help develop ways to additionally address teacher retention
  • Expands the Teacher Advisory Council to give teachers more representation
  • Creates more professional development opportunities for paraeducators, and allows paraeducators greater involvement in the PPT process
  • Expands the alternate route to certification program and requires the Office of Higher Education to hire a full-time employee to administer the program
  • Addresses certain teacher shortage areas by extending the special education endorsement for grades 1-12 to pre-K and kindergarten and allowing superintendents to permit a teacher certified for grades 1-6 to teach an additional year of kindergarten
  • Overhauls teacher evaluation process to address the whole teacher and whole student, no longer reducing teachers to a tiered rating system or reducing student growth to purely academic performance

HB 6880 makes vital revisions to our education laws that support parents, teachers, families and most importantly, our students.

Check out this month's East Hartford Public School's highlights by clicking here.
Check out the latest edition of OneManchester by clicking here.

Bills of Note Passed During Session
May 9 Session:
HB 6699: The evolving cannabis market needs evolving regulations. That's why we approved this bill.
 HB 6614: This is pro-consumer legislation. Gas stations that offer cash discounts should offer the same discount if you pay with a debit card. 
HB 6638: We modernized and improved consistency in the state's discrimination statutes.
HB 6642: Schools need help keeping kids safe and navigating federal Title IX. 
HB 6877: Strengthens the process and execution of risk protection orders (RPOs) to keep weapons out of the hands of those at imminent risk of injuring themselves or someone else.

May 10 Session:
HB 6823: Putting elections in the hands of the Constitutional office that manages elections makes sense. This bill designates the Secretary of the State as the state official responsible for certifying presidential electors.
HB 6891: A small but mighty change for taxpayers to allow charge card, debit card or electronic payment of municipal taxes or penalties.
HJ No. 34: From 1647 to 1697, several individuals in Connecticut, primarily women, were hanged for suspicions of witchcraft. Similar to the Salem trials, the accusations against the victims were often unfounded and based in misogyny.  This recognizes the trauma caused by the witchcraft trials in the colonial courts and absolve those accused and convicted of "witchcraft" and "familiarities with the devil."
HJ No. 1: Connecticut’s restrictive voting system is codified in the state constitution. This vote was to get a resolution to amend the constitution to allow no-excuse absentee ballots on the ballot in 2024.
HB 6672: Endometriosis is an under-studied disease impacting 1-in-10 women in the state.  The House passed this bill to create the Endometriosis Data and Biorepository Program and associated endometriosis research lab.
HB 6590: This bill makes it easier for families to get access to the childcare they need.

May 16 Session:
HB 6892: Putting teeth in municipal blight laws to increase the tools towns have to deal with abandoned, blighted and unsafe properties.
HB 6918: Chambers of Commerce and business leaders cheered when we passed groundbreaking clean slate legislation, and this bill we passed mainly addressed technical issues to get this policy moving forward.
 HB 6775: Expands protections for seniors by increasing the number of mandated reporters for suspected abuse, neglect, exploitation or when a senior needs protective services.
 HB 6872: Will ensure election officials and presidential electors do their duty as prescribed by law.

May 17 Session:
 HB 5314: Attention consumers! Businesses will no longer be able to charge your credit card, debit card, or third-party payment account without your consent for automatic renewal or continuous services.
HB 6746: Sadly, wrong-way crashes and deaths have been on the rise in our state. We took action to help reduce incidents and minimize fatalities.
HB 5902: Food allergies can be life-threatening. This bill establishes standards that restaurants must follow to ensure customers alert staff about their allergies. It also requires informational posters to be displayed in restaurants to ensure increased safety and awareness.
 HB 6561: Protecting our children is the most important part of youth athletic competition, and this bill creates a task force that will study safety measures for all sports.
 HB 6077: Connecticut has a rich history of remarkable stories, and this bill establishes a process to add additional statues outside the Capitol that reflect the diversity, character, and accomplishments of the state.

May 18 Session:
 HB 6677: Families who are tasked with taking care of loved ones need a lifeline. This bill will require the Department of Social Services to develop a plan that will increase the number of residents eligible to receive adult day services.
HB 6898: This bill requires the Attorney General’s Office to submit a report on the settlement agreement with Juul Labs. In April, Juul Labs agreed to a $462 million settlement between six states, including Connecticut, for their role in marketing addictive nicotine products to teens.     
HB 6820: Health care providers shouldn’t face out-of-state repercussions for doing what’s legal in Connecticut. This bill protects Connecticut providers performing safe and legal reproductive health care services to those who need it.

May 23 Session:
HB 5917: Connecticut has recently seen an increase in roadway fatalities. Implementing the recommendations of the Vision Zero Council will make the roads safer for drivers and pedestrians alike.
HB 6755: Advanced manufacturing is our future, and this bill 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 to the state.
HB 5441: A bipartisan effort that improves the state’s workforce pipeline, including the extension of the existing teacher loan subsidy program for teachers in Alliance Districts, to paraeducators and school counselors.
 HB 6880: Education is a top priority for us. This bill makes vital revisions to our education laws that support parents, teachers, families and most importantly, our students.

May 24 Session:
 HB 6486: The House took another step toward sustainability. This bill establishes a statewide stewardship program for discarded tires and ensures access to tire collection while promoting recycling efforts and holding producers accountable.
 HB 5628: Hydropower is a clean and renewable energy alternative that our state could potentially utilize. That’s why we passed this bill to study it.
 HB 6768: We’re taking another step to protect reproductive rights in our state by ensuring access to emergency contraceptives at pharmacies. This bill will give 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.

May 25 Session:
HB 6813: We are committed to protecting our marine ecosystems. This bill ensures the safety of seabirds and shorebirds by establishing a protection program, including designated protection areas.

The House will next be in session on May 30-31, June 1-3 and June 5-7.
Watch Live on CT-N
Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), Connecticut's two electric distribution companies (EDCs), have filed new and lower standard service rates for residential customers from July 1 through December 31 with the Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), and the average bills are expected to decrease significantly from current levels.

Eversource and UI file to change rates twice annually, with the rates going into effect on January 1 and July 1 of each 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 2023 and running through June 30.

While dropping electricity rates is positive news, 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.

Connecticut’s implementation of PBR signals a commitment to dually improving utility performance and customer outcomes. It is not an attempt to hurt the utilities. PBR will show residents, however, that the utilities will keep their best interests in mind within a specific operating framework.

Connecticut's minimum wage will increase from the current rate of $14 per hour to $15 per hour beginning Thursday, June 1.
The change is the result of legislation signed into law four years ago that schedules several gradual increases in the minimum wage to occur over a five-year period.
No one should work a full-time job and live in poverty. This gradual increase has helped uplift individuals and families, especially people of color and working mothers. 
Ultimately, beginning on January 1, 2024, that same law requires the minimum wage to become indexed to the employment cost index, which is calculated by the U.S. Department of Labor, and for the first time in Connecticut the rate will grow according to economic indicators.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) is excited to announce their new one-stop-shop landing webpage, which streamlines your access to critical resources and care!
If you click here, you can explore the new – easy to navigate – portal, which can redirect you to a corresponding care page, provide self-service access to required forms, and answer your outstanding questions in our updated FAQs section.
DSS remains committed to increasing accessibility to resources and is excited to offer this new user-friendly portal as the first step to making many more necessary updates to their website.
Summer is just around the corner – and I am ready for some sunlight. Both East Hartford & Manchester have a “guide” to help you navigate all of their wonderful programs and events! Please click the buttons below to access the adjacent guides.
East Hartford Guide
Manchester Guide

Flu season is upon us and a yearly flu vaccine can help protect against serious illness. After getting the vaccine, it will take about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies that can protect you from the flu. To get a flu shot, check with your healthcare provider or call your local health department. You can also visit to find a location near you that is administering flu shots. For more information, please click here.

For additional state and local resources, click the links below:
Attention all HUSKY Health Members, expect a notice this year that either:
  1. Your HUSKY Health coverage has been renewed automatically
  2. Information is needed to check if you are still eligible
    • If DSS needs more information, a renewal form will be included & the due date will be listed on your notice
Please click here to learn more about your eligibility.
East Hartford Social Services began accepting applications for the 2023 Renters Rebate Program starting April 1 and through October 1. The program provides elderly and disabled renters with a refund check, based on the amount of rent and utilities they paid in 2022.

Who is eligible?

East Hartford residents who are 65 years of age or older or disabled, who are 18 years old or older by December 31, 2022.

What is the income level?

The 2022 qualifying income (including all Social Security benefits) must not exceed an income of $40,300 for a single individual or $49,100 for a married couple. If you receive state cash assistance, have to be LESS than $690 total for the year 2022.
You need a copy of your Social Security card.

What income information for all 12 months of the year 2022 is needed?

If you are age 65 and over, you might need:  

  • the Social Security Income for 2022 (form 1099) & or the SSI form if applicable;
  • a Copy of Income Tax Return with all schedules, if filed;
  • a copy of the 1099 forms for pensions, dividends, interest, stocks & bonds, etc.
  • a W-2’s form from employment
  • copy of the Veterans Disability or Railroad Retirement

If you are disabled and under 65 years old, you might need:

  • the BPQY or Benefit Verification Form from Social Security showing the date when the disability began & proof of the Social Security Income, if applicable               
  • other forms listed above, if applicable

Which paid bills for 2022 are needed?

  • Rent receipts for all 12 months of the year 2022 or ledger from your landlord.
  • Utility bills you paid in 2022 (heat, gas, electric, only). Telephone, cable, medical bills or UniteCT rent, or utility payments CAN NOT BE INCLUDED.

When Can I Apply?

April 1 through October 1.

How to apply?

  1. If you file last year, please look for an application in the mail, sign the application, add all required documents and send them back by mail.
  2. You can also print the application from here, sign and send via fax to 860-291-7304 with all documents. You can also drop the application and copy of the documents in the drop box in front of the Community Cultural Center- 50 Chapman Place, EH, CT 06108.
  3. If you live in one of the housing complexes of the town, Social Workers will be at your housing building at a determined and announced date and time. You bring your paperwork and complete the application there.
  4. You can also set up an in-person appointment by calling (860) 291-7248, during business hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. You must bring all your documents. 

If you have any questions, please call (860) 291-7248.

If you are in need of behavioral health services provided by the Military Support Program (MSP), please contact the anonymous call line at (866) 251-2913.

East Hartford’s Memorial Day parade and series of events will take place Monday at 10 a.m.  Parking at Goodwin University, 211 Riverside Drive.

The event will consist of three parts, including a parade, program at the Fallen Star Memorial and celebration of East Hartford. The parade will begin promptly at 10 a.m., proceeding from 9 Riverside Drive to the Fallen Star Memorial located at Goodwin University.

The annual Manchester Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday at 9:30 a.m.  The parade route will begin at the Army and Navy Club, 1090 Main Street, then east on East Center Street, and then west at Nate Agostinelli Veterans Memorial Park, and will conclude at the Center Memorial Park for a Memorial Day Program to honor our fallen veterans.

In the event the parade is cancelled due to inclement weather, the Center Memorial Park Program will be held indoors at The Salvation Army, 661 Main Street at 11 a.m. (no masks required).

East Hartford Parks and Recreation is once again offering discount tickets to Lake Compounce amusement park, valid for any day in the 2023 operating season. 
There are a limited number of discount tickets available for $32.50 each. These are any day tickets and go for $49.99 (youth) and $59.99 (adult) at Lake Compounce. Tickets must be purchased at the Parks and Recreation office located at 50 Chapman Place, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Lake Compounce is now cashless and accepts only electronic payments such as debit cards, credit cards and mobile payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay. Guests will have free access to multiple easy-to-use Cash-to-Card Kiosks located throughout the park. Parking is an additional fee, payable on the day of your visit.  The parking fee is not included in the ticket price. Tickets are non-refundable and cannot be replaced if lost, damaged or for any other reason.  For more information, please call East Hartford Parks and Recreation at (860) 291-7160.

Summer reading is for everyone! The East Hartford Public Library has a summer reading incentive program with prizes for adults, teens, school-aged children and preschoolers. New this year, we'll have incentives and prizes for toddlers and babies, too! Registration begins June 7 when participants can start logging their reading into our mobile-friendly online system. The library summer reading program also counts towards the Governor’s Summer Reading challenge, a project of the Connecticut State Library and the CT Department of Education. 

Preschoolers, school-aged children, and teens will earn a prize just for signing up! To earn points on ReadSquared, children and teens can set a reading goal and log book titles they've read.  Prizes aren’t just for the kids! Our adult summer reading has prizes, too. New this summer, we'll also be launching our "1,000 Books Before Kindergarten" program for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. This is a year-round program to help promote early literacy skills in our youngest patrons. Register and receive prizes for hitting milestones along the way to reading 1,000 books together. 

To register for summer reading, visit and click on the “Summer Reading” menu item on the left side of our website. Click on the link for the relevant program: preschool, children’s, teen, or adult. We’re using ReadSquared software again this summer, which can also be downloaded as an app to easily log activity wherever you are this summer. The ReadSquared app is available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. The 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program also uses ReadSquared, just choose which program you'd like when you sign-up.

Children registered for Parks & Recreation camp will be registered at the camp. Parents/caregivers will receive a confirmation notice of registration at the e-mail they provided to Parks & Recreation including log-in information and instructions for how to participate.  

Celebrate the start of summer with us at our Summer Reading Kick-Off Party on June 7 from 5:30-7 p.m. Join us on the front lawn of the Raymond Library to register in-person for summer reading, meet community partners and enjoy a performance! In the event of rain or inclement weather, the event will be held indoors. Not sure what to read? The Children's Department will host a "Book Tasting" event from June 8-16. School-aged children are invited to stop by and sample different books to find what you like best. We'll have mysteries, historical fiction, fantasy, nonfiction, biography, and more!

Preschoolers, school-aged children, and teens can join us during our programs throughout the summer for opportunities to log more books towards your goal, such as Book Buddies, Summer Stories, Pajama Storytime, and more! For all of our upcoming summer events, visit our calendar online at For detailed program information, visit our website and click on “events calendar.” This summer, we have programs for all ages. For our outdoor programs, register for a reminder, and to be notified in the event of weather-related cancelations.  

To register for summer reading and programs for all ages, visit or call at (860) 290-4330. 

East Hartford Mayor Mike Walsh invites you to join East Hartford Parks and Recreation Department in celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Connecticut Trails Day on June 4 at the East Hartford Nature Park.  There will be guided or self-guided hikes through the park from 10-11:30 a.m. The “Nature Park” is located at 340 Long Hill Street in East Hartford adjacent to the East Hartford Golf Course. The 46-acre passive recreation wooded area contains a series for trails through the park.  The last two winters the East Hartford Parks Division have been improving the town trails. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore the adventurous Trail. Local businesses, organizations, scout groups, sports teams and families are encouraged to participate.
The Town of East Hartford in collaboration with East Hartford Public Library, East Hartford Parks and Recreation, the Committee on Culture and Fine Arts and the East Hartford Black Caucus invite you to attend the town’s second annual Juneteenth Celebration. Juneteenth, officially known as Juneteenth National Independence Day, is also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, and Black Independence Day, is a federal and state holiday commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans.

The event will take place on Saturday, June 17 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the East Hartford Town Green, 1047 Main Street. Admission is FREE.

In case of inclement weather, the event will be Sunday, June 18 from 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. For more information, please call Parks and Recreation at (860) 291-7160 or visit


East Hartford Parks and Recreation will be offering swim lessons and other outdoor pool programming for the 2023 summer season and planning is now underway!
East Hartford Outdoor Aquatic Facilities will open for the season in mid-June. Aquatics programming will be offered at the outdoor pools this year, including group, private and semi-private swim lessons, adult lap swim and senior swim. Summer camp programs also utilize our pools during the mornings and afternoons.
Semi-Private Swim Lessons will be held at Drennan Pool Monday and Wednesday evenings beginning Monday, June 19. Semi-private lessons are available as a two-week session (four lessons) for $59 for residents and $69 for non-residents. As Semi-private lessons are limited, residents and non-residents are permitted to sign up for a maximum of two sessions. 
Private Swim Lessons: Private lessons are available as a two-week session (four lessons) for $100 for residents and $110 for non-residents. Private lessons are limited, residents and non-residents are permitted to sign up for a maximum of two sessions.  Please check our website for the schedule of private lessons.
Group Swim Lessons will be held in the mornings at Goldstar Pool, afternoons at Lord Pool and in the evenings at Drennan Pool and Goldstar Pool.  Group Swim Lessons will begin on Monday, June 26 and are held Monday through Thursday evenings for two weeks, for a total of eight classes. If more than one class in the session is cancelled due to inclement weather, a Friday make-up class may be scheduled. Group swim lessons are $40 for the session for residents and $50 for non-residents.
Swim Lesson Registration for residents will begin on May 31 at 9 a.m. and for non-residents June 6 at 9 a.m. Registration for swim lessons is accepted online at
Birthday Party Pool Rentals are available for residents at Goldstar and Lord pools on Saturdays and Sundays beginning June 24. The fee is $140 and includes exclusive use of the pool with 2 lifeguards for up to 15 children (ages 14 and under). We will begin accepting registration for birthday parties on Wednesday, May 31 at 9 a.m. Registration for birthday party rentals is accepted online at
For more information on our pools, swim lessons, birthday party rentals or other aquatic programs, please call Parks and Recreation at (860) 291-7160 or visit

The Manchester Recreation Division is committed to increasing public awareness around swimming lessons and swim safety and ensuring access to programs and facilities for all residents.

The Recreation Division takes pride in ensuring the Manchester community has the skills and knowledge to stay safe in and around water. We thrive on making sure we offer an array of sustainable lessons for ages 0-99. Drowning is the second-leading cause of accidental death for children under the age of 14 in the United States. Research has shown that formal swimming lessons reduces the risk of childhood drowning by 88%. Swim lessons are life-saving resources, critical to public health and well-being.

The Recreation Division feels strongly that spreading the word about water safety and offering learn to swim activities is fundamental to a thriving community by: 

  • Providing access to learn to swim opportunities and water- based programming for those who can’t swim or won’t swim.
  • Increasing excitement around swimming and aquatic opportunities for those who can swim or are skilled swimmers.
  • Educating about the importance of learning to swim as a life-saving measure as well as a life-long leisure and wellness activity.

We hope to see you at the pools this summer engaging in a learn to swim program. Please click here for more information.


The East Hartford High School Lady Hornets are coming to a park near you for the 2023 “Run the Town” FREE Basketball Clinic Series!

During the month of June, the Lady Hornets will visit various outdoor parks in collaboration with the East Hartford Parks and Recreation to provide a series of free youth (Ages 5- 17) basketball clinics.

All East Hartford residents are welcome and encouraged to attend as many clinics as possible. We ask that you please bring your own basketball and water bottle if you are able to. Most importantly bring a positive attitude and be ready to RUN IT with the Lady Hornets!

If you have any questions about the program, contact Coach Myette (860) 622-5323.

In the case of inclement weather there will be no program. Monitor the parks and recreation website and @EHParks on Facebook.

Calling the young people in our community – it's not too early to be thinking about summer employment or learning opportunities! Gain valuable work experience and get paid this summer by signing up for the Summer Youth Employment and Learning Program (SYELP).
SYELP connects youth between the ages of 14 and 24 with career exploration opportunities and paid work experience each summer. Applications are open now! Sign up by clicking here.
Through the state's Department of Labor, the American Job Center offers resources, information, and support for individuals throughout the state searching for a job. You can receive help writing a resume and attend interview technique workshops for those currently on the job hunt. For more information, click here.
The State of Connecticut is hiring! You can find a variety of seasonal, part-time, and full-time positions. There are jobs open to members of the public as well as those already employed at a state agency or organization. You can find a full list of openings here.

Click here for the Town Meetings calendar.

Click here for the Community Events calendar.

Click here for information on the East Hartford Public Library. 

Click here for East Hartford Community Television. 


Click here for the Town Meetings and Community Events Calendar.

Click here for information on the Manchester Public Library. 

Click here for Manchester Public Television. 

Upcoming Meetings and Events

A full calendar of all events happening at the Capitol next week, including public hearings, is available on the General Assembly website

You can find the agenda for public hearings on the calendar by clicking on the calendar item and following the link to the committee page. For instructions on how to testify at a public hearing, please click here.

You can view a list of all the bills passed by the House this session here.

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