Currey-ently Reflecting on a Productive Legislative Session

June 30, 2023
Staying Current with Currey
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Friends and Neighbors, 

The 2023 Legislative Session is complete and replete with legislation that will make an impact on peoples' lives presently and in the future.

We passed a biennial state budget — in an overwhelmingly bipartisan fashion — that makes historic increases in Connecticut K-12 public education funding to the tune of $435 million, provides a cut to the state income tax, improves the criminal justice system, and invests in our residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
As the House Chair of the Education Committee, I worked hand-in-hand with partners in the Senate and the other side of the aisle to pass some of the most meaningful policies that support our students, our educators, and our families who depend on our systems to support and uplift the next generation of leaders. We accelerated the funding to our traditional public schools through our Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, increased funding for the Excess Cost grant for students with extraordinary special education needs and capped tuition payments for districts who have seen a steady increase in money leaving local districts that are most in need.

Additionally, we approved $250 million in state bonding for municipal school construction program and added $150 million in each of the next two fiscal years to help communities to improve air quality in schools.
While money and buildings do not solve the problems that persist with an unsustainable system – one that relies heavily on local property taxes – it does allow our districts to see another day as we work together to shape what education will look like and what that will mean to the residents of Connecticut.
The legislature did move the needle on so much more outside of the education world, so I hope you take some time to read on. As you do, please know that your voice decidedly mattered to the process. Don’t stop using it now. We’ll be back in February 2024, so keep the questions, concerns, and ideas coming!

Have an easy week.

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.


During the last two weeks of session, the House passed several pieces of education legislation (rhyme intended) that will make a difference to students and parents alike.

PA 23-150 incorporates a few proposals heard and passed through the Education Committee this session including early childhood and special education, career and technical education, standardized testing and a Multilingual Learner Bill of Rights to protect the rights of children whose native language is not English and requiring local boards of education to provide translation services for meetings upon request.

PA 23-160 also combines elements from a few bills and includes provisions such as the Connecticut Boards of Education convening a Mandates Review Task Force to review and make recommendations concerning the repeal of or amendment to any mandates that are overly burdensome to the Education Committee, so we can develop a biennial review process to ensure we continue evaluating these mandates. The bill also includes in-service training for educators and school support staff on seizures, so they can intervene immediately to facilitate proper care, which makes our school spaces safer. 

PA 23-159 moves the kindergarten start date to be in line with the rest of the country so that our students have the best chance of being ready for school. Now, students would need to turn 5 by September 1 in order to enroll. It also creates more professional development opportunities for paraeducators and requires at least one paraeducator to be added to each school district's professional development and education committee. Additionally, it expands the alternate route to certification program and requiring the Office of Higher Education to hire a full-time employee to administer the program, increasing opportunities for diverse prospective educators.

Finally, PA 23-167 promotes transparency in school districts and helps foster equitable educational experiences for school communities by reevaluating disciplinary measures, conducting opt-in social climate surveys, and setting guidelines for training and documentation with local school boards.


Thank you for trusting me to represent you. It is an honor to serve you. For a full list of all the bills passed by the House and Senate this session and signed into law, click here. You can also watch a recap of the session below.
On June 1, we raised the Pride flag over the Capitol in commemoration and recognition of the contributions of generations of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer rights activists who paved the way for dignity, equality, and greater visibility for the LGBTQ+ community, and those who perpetuate that legacy today.

As Pride Month officially ends at midnight tonight, please continue, 365/24/7, to spend time leading with love, care, and compassion. The alternatives are simply too exhausting.

A number of new laws that my colleagues and I worked on during the 2023 legislative session to implement meaningful change in our state will take effect in Connecticut on July 1. Please see below for some highlights. 
Early Voting
Connecticut was one of the few states in the country that did not allow early voting that provides voters with options to accommodate busy and hectic schedules. Effective July 1 and applying to elections and primaries that occur on or after January 1, 2024, voters will have 14 days of early voting for general elections, seven days of early voting for most primaries, and four days of early voting for special elections and presidential preference primaries.  
Voting Rights Act
Our state has some of the most restrictive voting laws in the country. This new law prohibits intimidation, deception, or obstruction related to voting and allows aggrieved parties to seek remedies in court.
Debt-Free Community College Eligibility Changes
The law extends eligibility for the state’s debt-free community college program to returning students by removing requirements that a qualifying student must be a first-time enrollee at a community-technical college and awards must be applied during a student’s first 48 consecutive months, thus allowing returning students to receive the award if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
Baby Bonds
Under the law, $3,200 would be placed in a trust on behalf of each baby born into HUSKY, the state’s Medicaid program, starting July 1. Those investments would grow over time and recipients could access that money between the ages of 18-30.
Endometriosis Data and Biorepository Program
Endometriosis is an underdiagnosed condition. For those suffering from this condition, endometrial-like tissue grows outside the uterus with nearby reproductive organs often affected. The law requires UConn Health Center to develop an endometriosis data and biorepository program to enable and promote research on early detection and ways to manage the condition in adolescents and adults.
Menstrual Products
Certain public agencies will start providing free menstrual products including public colleges and universities, homeless and domestic violence shelters that receive state aid. 
New Laws July 1
Your calls, emails, and testimony at public hearings during this year's legislative session had a direct influence on these new laws. Thank you for your input and please continue expressing your views and making your voice heard during our legislative process.
Connecticut Summer at the Museum – the popular state program that enables Connecticut children to receive free admission at dozens of museums across the state during the summer months – is returning for 2023 with more than 120 museums statewide participating, including Lutz Children's Museum in Manchester.
Under the program, Connecticut children ages 18 and under – plus one accompanying adult – can receive free admission to any of the participating museums, including historic house museums, historic sites, historical societies, art museums, children’s museums, science centers, special-interest museums, natural history museums, university museums, arboretums/botanical gardens, and zoos.
The 2023 program begins on Saturday and concludes on Monday, September 4. The full list of participating museums is available at

Anyone taking advantage of this program is encouraged to share their experiences on social media using the program hashtag #CTSummerMuseums.

Just in time for your summer adventures! 

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has launched its eBike Incentive Program, made possible by passage of the Clean Air Act in 2022, where state residents can get a rebate on their purchase. 

An additional $1,000 voucher will also be available to Connecticut residents that meet any of the following criteria:

  • Must reside in an Environmental Justice (EJ) community or Distressed Municipality
  • Participate in a state or federal income qualifying program
  • Have an income less than 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL)

You can find more information at or scan the QR code above.

Happy Fourth of July, everyone! Have a fun and safe Independence Day! 

Below are some tips and important statistics to keep in mind while you're celebrating this weekend.

On Wednesday, July 19 from 6-8 p.m., I will host virtual office hours to recap the 2023 Legislative Session.

Feel free to Zoom in for two minutes or two hours. Click HERE to register.  

Summer is here – and I am out from under the Golden Dome of the Capitol and ready to safely bask in the sun. Both East Hartford and 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


The summer travel season is underway and the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) is reminding travelers to make sure they are up to date with measles vaccination. Measles is rare in the United States and cases are often connected to international travel. Declines in measles vaccination rates globally during the COVID-19 pandemic have increased the risk of larger measles outbreaks worldwide, including in the United States.

DPH recommends all international travelers consult their healthcare provider several weeks prior to departure to make sure they are up to date on all recommended vaccines, including the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine (MMR). The MMR vaccine is a two-dose series with at least 28 days between the first and second dose. Individuals are considered fully protected 14 days after their second dose, so plan to be fully vaccinated two weeks before leaving. Not all adults may have received two doses, as the recommendation for a second dose was implemented in the 1990s.

There may be additional vaccine recommendations depending on the destination and planned activities. Please check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Global Measles Travel Health Notice for additional travel health advice, including where measles outbreaks have been reported.

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.
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 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.
Effective July 1, the East Hartford Public Library (EHPL) will go fine free, joining with public libraries across the country in a movement to reduce barriers to library access.

What does this mean for borrowers? 

  • Library items will still have due dates. Please bring your books and movies back on time so that other residents may enjoy them.
  • We will continue to charge replacement fees for lost and damaged items.
  • A bill for the replacement cost of overdue items will be generated automatically once an item is four weeks overdue. However, as soon as you return the item, the bill will be canceled, and no fines will remain on your card.
  • We will remove old late fees from your account. Have EHPL fines blocking your card? Check in with us, and we'll remove them. 
  • Please note that our fine-free status only applies to East Hartford items. If you check out an item belonging to another library (example: item borrowed through a system hold) at EHPL, you'll be charged fines based on the policy of the loaning library. 

EHPL has not charged late fees since March 2020 as a temporary pandemic response, so nothing will change about our current practices: we're just making it official.

Come see us at the library! Visit us at Raymond Library (840 Main Street) or Wickham Memorial Library (656 Burnside Avenue) during library open hours to browse our excellent collections. We have something for everyone at East Hartford Public Library.

The 2023 East Hartford Farmers Market will be held Tuesdays beginning July 11 from 3-6 p.m. at Raymond Library on 840 Main Street. Celebrate Connecticut-grown fruits, vegetables and locally produced foods, as well connect with others in our community.

Farmers and vendors that produce eligible foods sold at the East Hartford market are able to accept Women, Infants and Children (WIC) as well as Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) benefits. Residents interested in applying for the SFMNP program can contact East Hartford Social Services at (860) 291-7248. WIC clients will be receiving electronic benefits cards by mail with instructions for using the funds at participating markets.

East Hartford market organizers are in the process of applying to accept supplemental nutrition assistance program (SNAP) benefits. Updates will be announced as we obtain SNAP market approval and establish how residents can utilize SNAP benefits to purchase eligible foods at our farmers’ market.

The East Hartford Farmers’ Market is asking for residents and organizations to help fight hunger and food insecurity experienced by residents of our community. Donations will help residents that rely on food pantry assistance to purchase fresh produce. Available funds will also be used to provide additional support for SNAP, WIC and senior market nutrition program recipients.

Sponsors will be recognized at the market and through the Town's communication channels.  Show your shared commitment to health programs that support East Hartford quality of life. For more information, view the EH Market Partner Information.        

The market is interested in adding more vendors to serve the community. If you are a farmer or market vendor that produces honey, milk, eggs, or other foods, or locally produced crafts, please complete the vendor application using the links listed below. Market organizers will review completed applications and notify vendors whether your application is accepted. Vendors are advised to review the East Hartford market guidelines. Click the links below for further information:


Manchester's James 'Dutch' Fogarty Independence Day Celebration is a free event on Saturday, July 8 from 4-9:45 p.m. at the Manchester Band Shell on 60 Bidwell Street that brings families, friends and loved ones together to celebrate our independence with food, fun, music and fireworks! 

Tickets for the Chicken BBQ are now on sale at Town Hall Customer Service, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The $15 ticket includes half chicken, coleslaw, roll, baked potato, watermelon, beverage. BBQ is from 5:30-7 p.m. Ticket sales location is 41 Center Street. Call (860) 647-5235 for more information.

East Hartford Parks and Recreation's five outdoor pools are open! The beautiful pools are a popular destination for East Hartford as well as residents from surrounding communities, and the facilities will once again open to non-residents this summer. 
East Hartford’s outdoor pools are:
  • Terry Pool – located in Hockanum Park at 320 High Street. A 50-meter pool with a diving board, high dive, and a ramp for accessible entry.  Olympic size!
  • Martin Pool – located in Martin Park at 307 Burnside Avenue. A historic rectangular pool dating back to 1938, with a separate fenced wading pool. 
  • Drennan Pool – located in McAuliffe Park at 30 Remington Road. A rectangular pool with a ramp for accessible entry.
  • Lord Pool – located in Gorman Park at 258 May Road. A large pool with a ramp for accessible entry, water slide, and a separate fenced wading pool.
  • Goldstar Pool – located in Goodwin Park at 1235 Forbes Street. A family-friendly pool with a gently sloped depth and a mushroom water sprinkler feature, the perfect pool for younger children learning to be independent in the water. 

For pool hours and facility rules, please visit this page.
Admission is free for East Hartford residents, with proof of residency required for all adults and children ages 7 and up. Acceptable forms of ID for adults ages 16 and older are a CT Driver’s License or a state issued ID card. Acceptable forms of ID for children ages 7-15 are a 2021-2022 East Hartford Public Schools ID or a Parks and Recreation Youth Photo ID card, which is available for children ages 7-15 at the Parks and Recreation Department. The fee for a Youth Photo ID card is $6 and it is valid for three years.  The Youth Photo ID application form is available on the Parks and Recreation webpage here. Anyone ages 7 and older, who does not have proof of residency, will be charged the non-resident daily rate, which is $5 per person. 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. Our summer camp programs also utilize our pools during the mornings and afternoons.
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.

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 upcoming events and meetings happening at the State Capitol and Legislative Office Building is available on the General Assembly website.

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