Weekly Update 4-26

April 26, 2024

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Friends and Neighbors,

I hope you're having a good week. We're moving right along as the 2024 session winds down. We have passed several bills in the House, including a big one that expands paid six days in the state. I include all we've done so far this session in this newsletter. There are also more lighter moments captured as well. I hope you enjoy this week's edition of the newsletter!

Have a great weekend,

No one should have to choose between missing an important family event, going in to work sick and exposing others, or taking a mental health day when needed.

House Bill 5005, An Act Expanding Paid Sick Days In The State, allows for the accrual of paid leave, up to 40 hours each year, for those working at least 120 days annually. Businesses that already offer paid time off are exempt.

There has been a cultural change in the workplace since the pandemic and we don't want our coworkers showing up to work sick. This legislation promotes better public health outcomes while allowing workers to care for themselves or a sick loved one without adding financial strain.

And we listened to businesses, the measure will be phased in for employers with 25 employees or more in 2025, 11 or more in 2026, and 1 or more in 2027. Again, businesses that are already offering at least 40 hours of paid time off each year are exempt from this law. This bill now goes to the Senate for consideration where it must be voted on before the 2024 legislative session ends on Wednesday, May 8th at midnight.

More Bills Passed in the House This Session
The 2024 session ends on May 8th, and we have a lot of work to do, and we will. Here's a look at some of what we've passed in the House so far:

HB 5146 - Requires financial institutions to provide certain financial records to the Commissioner of Social Services or any person deputized by said commissioner within twenty calendar days; and provides that certain actions taken concerning such financial records shall not constitute a class C misdemeanor.

HB 5149 - Allows beer manufacturer permittees to sell and deliver kegs of beer at locations in this state that are within a five-mile radius of their permit premises, package store permittees to provide fee-based spirits tastings, and Connecticut craft cafe permittees to sell additional alcoholic beverages manufactured in this state.
HB 5237 - Requires student surveys as part of the evaluation of private career schools during the process for renewal of a certificate of authorization.
HB 5257 - Provides that the owner or keeper of a dog shall be jointly and severally liable for any dog causing damage to the person or property of another person.
HB 5288 - Aligns state law with federal law concerning service animals, and within available appropriations, makes available through the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities educational materials concerning service animals, emotional support animals, and therapy animals.
HB 5308 - Allows an absentee ballot applicant, who is a patient in a nursing home within six days immediately preceding the close of the polls at an election, primary, or referendum, to designate someone to deliver an absentee ballot to such applicant.

HB 5317 -  Requires a study concerning the funding for and effectiveness of the Community Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Program.
HB 5343 - Establishes a Connecticut prepaid college tuition program, procedures related to such program, and a related account.

HB 5379 - Promotes efficiencies in the duties undertaken by state marshals, the State Marshal Commission, and the State Marshal Advisory Board.
HB 5381 - Clarifies under which circumstances an officer shall not pause body-worn recording equipment.
HB 5466 -  Permits the prosecution of an elections-related crime during the period prescribed by the statute of limitations, or the period ending six months after the date of the referral by the State Elections Enforcement Commission of a complaint, statement, or evidence concerning such crime, whichever period ends later.
HR 14 - Proposes approval of an agreement between the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, Local 6950.
HR 15 - Proposes approval of an agreement between the State of Connecticut and the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC).

For a complete list of bills we've passed this session, please click

Celebrating The Tuskegee Airmen
We celebrated Tuskegee Airmen Day at the Capitol Thursday morning. The event was hosted by State Reps Tammy Exum (D-West Hartford/Avon) and Tami Zawistowski (R-East Granby/Suffield/Windsor Locks). The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black military airmen group in American history. They completed their training in Tuskegee, Ala., and traveled to Europe and North America to fight in the 332nd fighter group and and 447th Bombardment group of the United States Air Force.

You can read more about them and their mighty accomplishments


Reps Exum and Zawistowski co-sponsored HB5409, An Act Designating Various Days and Weeks, which would recognize April 26th as Tuskegee Airmen Day annually in Connecticut. This was the date chosen to celebrate because it coincided with the final combat mission flown by the 332nd fighter group. The purpose of the bill would not only recognize the historical significance of the Tuskegee Airmen but to serve as an educational reminder about the role of the airmen in the context of the Civil Rights movement and standing up to forms of injustice. 

It was Rep. Exum's husband Earl, who passed away unexpectedly recently, that spearheaded the effort to give "The Tuskegee Airmen: Their Untold Stories" a place within the

New England Air Museum. Earl Exum was a chairman at Pratt & Whitney.
Cigar Caucus Meets Up
During a break in session, a few cigar connoisseurs got together to indulge.
Earth Day Festival In Norwalk on Saturday
Norwalk Children's Business Fair at West Rocks Middle School Saturday
3rd Annual Norwalk for Mental Health: Walk + Wellness Fair
This is a fun event! This year, there will be 47 agencies offering fun and resources at the 8 Dimensions Wellness Fair, including activities for all ages. The free event takes place on Saturday, May 4th. Please see the flyer below for more details.

As always, feel free to call me at 1-800-842-8267 or email me at Travis.Simms@cga.ct.gov 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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