Simms - Weekly Update - May 16th

May 16, 2024

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Dear Neighbors,

I hope this correspondence finds you well. This week's newsletter topics include:

  • HB5005, An Act To Expand Paid Sick Days In The State
  • Recently-Released Food Insecurity Data For Connecticut
  • In Our Community
  • It's Mental Health Awareness Week
  • An AAPI Caucus In Connecticut
  • AANHPI Heritage Month Highlight: Joseph Pierce 

Warm regards,


HB5005, An Act To Expand Paid Sick Days In The State
 A condensed look at what HB5005 does:
  • Builds on the 2011 law expanding CT's paid sick days program to private sector employees of small businesses
  • Employees will accrue 1 hour of work for every 30 hours worked. Employees won't be able to use paid sick time until they have been employed for 120+ days
  • Eliminates employees having to choose between their health, taking care of family incidents, and showing up for work
  • Paid sick days will be phased in to make it easier for small businesses

Phase in schedule:
2025: 25+ Employees
2026: 11+ Employees
2027: 1+ Employees

  • Supports making bookkeeping easier for employers. Exempts employers who already provide 40 hours of PTO to employees annually

For a complete list of bills that passed this session, please click HERE.

Recently-Released Food Insecurity Data for Connecticut 

Feeding America’s annual Map the Meal Gap report and the full report are here. There, you will find some uncomfortable numbers from Map the Meal Gap about Connecticut, including:  

  • 468,150 people in CT are food insecure, a 23% increase or around 90,000 additional people
  • 1 in 8 Connecticut residents are food insecure, compared to 1 in 10 last year 
  • 1 in 6 children in Connecticut are food insecure 
  • 1 in 4 Black persons in Connecticut are food insecure 
  • 1 in 4 Hispanic persons in Connecticut is food insecure 
  • 1 in 11 White non-Hispanic persons in Connecticut is food insecure 
HB 5011, An Act Concerning Funding For Nutrition Assistance, included a $10 million ask to add to the Connecticut Nutrition Assistance Program (CT-NAP) this session to deal with the problem but it was never even called for a hearing. Based on these numbers, food insecurity must be a top priority, if not the top priority next session.
In Our Community
Open Doors is the only program in Norwalk offering hot meals every day to those in need. Please consider donating food to the Kitchen at Open Doors if you can. You can click on the image below to learn more. 
It's Mental Health Awareness Week
Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. live with a mental illness? This Mental Health Awareness Week (May 13-19), I am highlighting some common mental health conditions, resources, and tips on how to help those struggling.
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, call or text the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 9-8-8. This is a 24/7 free and confidential support line for people in distress which can offer prevention and crisis resources for people and their families/friends.
An AAPI Caucus in Connecticut
This month, lawmakers launched a bipartisan Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Issues Legislative Caucus within the Connecticut General Assembly. The caucus is open to AAPI legislators or whose spouses are AAPI.
AANHPI Heritage Month Highlight: Joseph Pierce

Connecticut formed its first Black regiments following the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. These included soldiers born in Asia and the Pacific islands, like Corporal Joseph Pierce, who grew up on a farm in Berlin, CT.  Learn more about other AANHPI soldiers from Connecticut Infantries HERE.

As always, feel free to call me at 1-800-842-8267 or email me at if you have any questions or concerns. Also, please like my official Facebook Page for regular updates.


Travis Simms
State Representative


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