House Passes Childcare Affordability, Nutrition, and Climate Bills

May 4, 2024
Time is running out as my colleagues and I try to pass as many good bills as possible before the end of the legislative session next week. The House of Representatives has spent the entire week in session, and we will do so next week before our midnight deadline on Wednesday, May 8.

We approved a proposal that would keep families healthy while supporting local farmers. Please keep scrolling to learn how the bill improves nutrition for women and children.

The House also gave the green light to a measure that protects our environment. Please read below to find out how the bill encourages businesses to go green as our state works on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

And we passed a bill I co-sponsored that aims to improve access and affordability of early childhood care and education in Connecticut. How does this plan work? I'll have the answer.

These are the sections in today's email:

  • Child & Family Nutrition Bill Clears House
  • House Passes Comprehensive Climate Bill
  • Supporting Childcare Affordability and Early Education Access
  • Hartford Day at the Capitol
Child & Family Nutrition Bill Clears House

The House demonstrated its commitment to the health and well-being of our families and children by unanimously passing House Bill 5003. This comprehensive legislation, which I cosponsored, ensures mothers and children, who are eligible for federal benefits, are enrolled in nutrition programs with ease and confidence.

This bill aims to reduce barriers to participating in WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children). WIC enrollment in Connecticut is among the lowest in the country at only 46%. We need to maximize participation to improve the health and nutrition of young children. 

This bill has several goals including:

  • keeping local families healthy by making it easier for Connecticut agencies to enroll children and parents who qualify into federal nutrition assistance programs
  • promoting outreach and information to access these federal programs that Connecticut underutilizes
  • supporting local farmers by encouraging their participation in these programs at farmers’ markets

Healthy children are less likely to develop nutrition-related chronic diseases, at a lower risk of cavities/tooth decay, have improved mental health, and improved participation in other social service programs.

The bill now moves to the Senate, which must act before the end of the legislative session.

House Passes Comprehensive Climate Bill

Connecticut is committed to mitigating the climate crisis. The first step is acknowledging there is a crisis.

This week, I joined my Democratic colleagues and voted to pass one of our top legislative priorities this session, HB 5004, also referred to as the 2024 Connecticut Climate Protection Act. Protecting the environment and working to combat the effects of climate change should be a shared priority because the act of doing nothing is far-reaching and touches every aspect of life on Earth.

This bill, which I also co-sponsored:

  • Updates the state's Global Warming Solutions Act to make our greenhouse gas emissions targets more in line with other states in the region
  • Creates incentives for businesses and municipalities that engage in clean economy sectors or engage in environmentally sustainable projects
  • Plans for transition to clean economy, workforce training and long-term policy implementation
  • Supports and expands nature-based solutions, such as preserving marshlands and forests

We can make a difference in the quality of life for future generations of Connecticut residents. The time to start making necessary changes is now.

The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Supporting Childcare Affordability 
and Early Education Access
The House approved a bill that I co-sponsored that will make childcare and early childhood education more affordable and accessible. The need for this legislation is great because Connecticut has one of the highest costs of childcare in the country.

House Bill 5002 supports working parents by:

  • creating the “Early Childhood Care and Education Fund,” that may only be utilized for childcare and early childhood education programs
  • establishing the Early Childhood Care and Education Fund Advisory Commission that will report on the health of the Fund and annually update recommendations on how to best expend the resources of the Fund to the General Assembly
  • investing in teachers and assistant teachers in state-funded school readiness programs and state-funded childcare programs
  • requiring a study on the availability of space in state-owned properties that may be used for early childhood care and education programs

These are sound investments in our state’s future and will go a long way toward helping parents earn a living and provide for their children’s education.

The bill now goes to the Senate for its consideration. 

Hartford Day at the Capitol

We celebrated everything we love about the Capital City at Hartford Day! Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz, House Speaker Matt Ritter, and the entire Hartford delegation touted our amazing city! I took a bite out of an amazing dish and loved every second of it.

Please watch the video below to see all the wonderful businesses that stopped by the Capitol and showcased their diverse skills.