Push For Child Tax Credit & Celebrating Women's History

March 8, 2024

My colleagues are introducing a new proposal to establish a permanent refundable child tax credit in Connecticut. I'll break down how this bill would help many families in need as the cost of living continues to rise. 

Another priority this legislative session is expanding childhood nutrition programs. As a mother of three, I understand the challenges of making sure our youth eat healthy meals. Please look below to see how our proposal would support infants, older children, and their mothers.

I am advocating to support artists this legislative session by increasing grant funding all over the state. Please keep scrolling to watch video of my testimony in which I lay out why this investment would support communities.

It's Women's History Month, and I'm proud to uplift women all over the world! Please look below to learn about Connecticut's female pioneers and what new legislation we are trying to pass to support women.

Operation Fuel received more funding and is now extending its winter program season. Keep reading to find out how much longer folks can apply for emergency energy and water assistance.

Here are the sections and topics in this week's email:
  • Push For Permanent Refundable Child Tax Credit
  • Top Priority: Childhood Nutrition Programs
  • Advocating For Artists
  • Celebrating Women's History Month
  • Operation Fuel Extends Winter Program Season
  • Pedestrian Facility Upgrades On the Way
  • Support For Veterans
  • Derby Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Hamden
  • Orange Events Calendar
  • Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
Push For Permanent Refundable Child Tax Credit
Many families are struggling to make ends meet in Connecticut, and that's why I support a new initiative that would establish a permanent refundable child tax credit in Connecticut. My colleagues and I are advocating for Senate Bill 36 and House Bill 5113, both of which aim to introduce a child tax credit that will significantly benefit our communities.

This initiative would:

  • reduce child poverty
  • support growth and stability for our families
  • strengthen our economy
  • create a fairer tax system
The need is great for a permanent child tax credit. According to the Connecticut United Way, nearly 40% of Connecticut households had income below the ALICE threshold of financial survival. Every family should be able to provide for and care for their children, and this initiative would go a long way to making that a reality.
Watch NBC Report on Child Tax Credit Proposal
Top Priority: Childhood Nutrition Programs
I am committed to promoting the health and well-being of our community’s families and children. In response to the vital need for improved childhood nutrition, we are working on crafting comprehensive legislation that ensures mothers and children who are eligible for federal benefits are enrolled in these programs with ease and confidence.
WIC (Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, Children) enrollment in Connecticut is among the lowest in the country at 46%. Not maximizing participation in this program is resulting in worse outcomes for the health and nutrition of young children.  

Child nutrition is important for many reasons including:

  • Strengthening the child's immune system
  • Providing essential vitamins and minerals
  • Enhancing brain development
  • Encouraging physical growth
  • Setting the stage for healthy eating habits for a lifetime

Healthy nutrition is also tied to preventing chronic disease, improving mental health, and helping build strong bones and teeth. 

As this priority bill moves through the legislative process, I urge you to show your support as we move forward. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the health and well-being of our youngest community members.

Advocating for Artists
Advocating for boost in grants to support local artists.

I testified in support of a proposal I created to increase grant funding by 50% for the Connecticut Artist Fellowship Program. An increase in funding would:

  • Bolster support for artists across the state including rural areas
  • Provide vital resources and opportunities
  • Enable artists to pursue their creative endeavors

Recipients of the grants are professionals across a multitude of disciplines who must demonstrate a commitment and dedication to their craft. Previous recipients have specialized in playwriting, music, visual arts, literary arts, digital media and film, design, dance, and so much more.

When our state government supports the arts, the entire community benefits. Art fairs attract visitors and pump money into the local economy. Those events can also inspire guests to get creative and perhaps start a new hobby.

Thank you to the Commerce Committee for listening to my testimony on Tuesday.

Celebrating Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month, a time dedicated to honoring the vital role women have played in American history. It’s also a time to celebrate their achievements and learn more about their contributions. This year’s theme is “Women Who Advocate for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion,” which recognizes women throughout the country who believe a positive future can only be achieved by eliminating bias and discrimination from our society.

Connecticut has a long history of female pioneers who brought progress to our state and the rest of the country. Women in our state have consistently risen to positions of leadership within the political landscape, showcasing their outstanding abilities and commitment to public service.

  • We are home to the first boarding school for women of color, which opened in 1831 in Canterbury.
  • Helen Keller was one of Connecticut’s most influential women for her fierce support and advocacy of women’s suffrage, legalization of birth control, and benefits for people with disabilities.
  • Ella T. Grasso was the first woman elected Floor Leader in the Connecticut General Assembly, first woman to chair the Democratic State Platform Committee, and the first woman in the U.S. to be elected governor. 
  • Antonia “Ann” Uccello was the first woman in Connecticut to be elected mayor of a municipality, and she was the only woman to head a major U.S. city during the Civil Rights era.
  • Today, U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro continues to break barriers.
Click Here To Read More About Women’s History in Connecticut
In our quest to honor and protect women in our state, I would like to highlight some of the work we have done and continue to champion in the legislature.
Our tireless advocacy is far from complete. We have several priorities in the 2024 legislative session that directly impact women on a daily basis.
Operation Fuel Extends Winter Program Season
Operation Fuel is extending its 2024 winter program season and accepting application until March 15 thanks to more funding. The organization offers emergency energy and water assistance in Connecticut. Operation Fuel’s grants, which go up to $500, are available for Connecticut residents who earn up to 75% State Median Income.

To apply for delivered fuel assistance, such as oil, propane, and pellets, you must provide:

  • Proof of income for the past four weeks and for every adult in the household
  • Clients with a current Connecticut Energy Assistance Program award letter may submit this as proof of income for their household
  • Forms to verify zero income, self-employment, and friends and family support are available at www.operationfuel.org/gethelp 
  • The name of your preferred delivered fuel vendor (Operation Fuel has a list of in-network vendors)

To apply for utility assistance, such as gas and electric, you must provide:

  • Proof of income for the past four weeks and for every adult in the household. Clients with a current Connecticut Energy Assistance Program award letter may submit this as proof of income for their household 
  • Your utility account information and most recent, past due bill  

If you received an award last year are eligible to apply again before March 15. Operation Fuel does not take applications in person or over the phone. To apply online or through a partner agency, please visit www.operationfuel.org/gethelp.

Pedestrian Facility Upgrades On the Way
You can expect to see crews upgrading pedestrian facilities in Orange and Woodbridge. The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) will start replacing old side street green pedestrian phasing and facilities with new ones.

The work will take place on Route 152 at Old Tavern Road in Orange and Route 69 at Lucy Street and Merritt Avenue in Woodbridge.

Route 152 (Orange Center Rd) at Old Tavern Rd in Orange

Crews will install:

  • new pedestals
  • accessible pedestrian signal pushbuttons
  • countdown pedestrian indications
  • “turning vehicles yield to pedestrian” sheet aluminum signs
  • leading pedestrian intervals where feasible

There will be road closures, but they will vary depending on each site. No lane closures will take place Monday through Friday between 6:00 A.M. - 9:00 A.M. and 3:00 P.M. - 6:00 P.M. 

The CTDOT expects to finish the project by October 13, 2024.

Route 69 at Lucy Street in
Route 69 at Merritt Avenue in Woodbridge
Support for Veterans
As the sister of three combat veterans, I am always happy to share any information that supports or promotes the success of our veterans in Connecticut. Please take a look at the event below, which helps our heroes learn how to start their own business.
The curriculum of Boots to Business|Reboot provides assistance to those interested in exploring business ownership or other self-employment opportunities. Participants learn the key steps for evaluating business concepts and providing foundational knowledge required to develop a business plan. This in-person event will take place Wednesday, March, 13 at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
Click Here To Register
Derby Events Calendar
Check out the events below, and click the button at the bottom of this section to access the community calendar.
The Connecticut Foodshare truck will make a stop at St. Mary's Church on Tuesday, March 12. Bring a bag to receive some food from 2:15 P.M. - 3:00 P.M.
This Genealogy Series presentation at Derby Neck Library will delve deeper into the sources you will encounter on your family research journey, including vital records, historical census data, and military records. Registration is required for this program on Tuesday, March 12 at 6:30 P.M. Please call the Circulation Desk at (203) 734-1492 to sign up.
Derby High School will present "Aladdin the Musical" on Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at 7:00 P.M. (doors open 30 minutes earlier). The auditorium has been buzzing with excitement for months as the Aladdin set has come to life. 

Get ready to be transported to the vibrant streets of Agrabah and be part of an unforgettable journey with the school's new theater program. Tickets are $10 per person and are available at the door on show nights.

Derby Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Hamden
Take a look and click on the fliers below to learn more about the upcoming events. Make sure to check out the button at the bottom of this section to learn about other events.
The Louis Astorino Ice Rink continues to host public skate nights every Friday from 8:15 P.M. to 10:00 P.M. Skating is $10, skate rentals are $10, and the snack bar will be open. Both cash and card will be accepted for admission and skate rentals, and only cash will be accepted for the snack bar.
Join Dr. Pat Trautman, who is celebrated as the “Wardrobe Engineer” for her prolific work in theater and film costuming. Dr. Trautman will delve into the magic of costuming. She will draw on her extensive experience from classic plays like “Our Town” to modern masterpieces such as “The Greatest Showman", and acclaimed film productions such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and the "Bridgerton" TV series. CLICK HERE to register for this free event.
More Hamden Events
Orange Events Calendar
Check out the flier and community calendar in Orange below.
Case Memorial Library is celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a tasty sweet from Monday, March 11 - Saturday, March 16. You'll need bowls, spoons, a microwave, and wax paper or a similar non-stick surface. The library will provide green candy melts, marshmallows, lollipop sticks, and special sprinkles. This take and make is available on a first come, first served basis while supplies last.
Orange Community Calendar
Upcoming Events in Woodbridge
Check out the events below and click the button under that to access the Woodbridge community calendar.
Massaro Community Farm hosts its Sustainable Nutrition Series on the farm on Saturday, March 9 at 9:30 A.M. Organizers will explore the health benefits of trees over the winter. You will also get to taste freshly harvested maple water and explore the vitamins and minerals drawn from tree needles, branches and roots. Buy your tickets here.
Click Here To Join Waitlist!
Stop by Woodbridge Town Library on Thursday, March 14 at 5:00 P.M. to watch "Oppenheimer!" Seating is first come, first served. No registration required.
Woodbridge Community Calendar