Flood Funding

State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

Once again, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro has stepped up for the town of Stratford.

Congresswoman DeLauro has secured more than $4 million to provide flood protection measures for the Stratford Water Pollution Control Facility (WPCF). The federal funding we will receive will enable Stratford to upgrade storm water piping, as well as the storm water pump station in an effort to prevent open flows of untreated sewage that could flow due to flooding. This funding will begin Phase 1 of the Coastal Resiliency Plan.

Superstorm Sandy revealed how much our Water Treatment facility is at risk from flooding, potentially disrupting sewer lines service and devastating the Housatonic River. That cannot happen. I am grateful to Congresswoman DeLauro for recognizing how vital this is for our town and for securing these funds for us.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

 

 

Community Investment Fund

State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

Last year, we voted for the future of our communities by establishing the $875 million Community Investment Fund (CIF). This is a transformational opportunity to invest in underserved communities in Connecticut through economic development and small business, education, and infrastructure projects.

The CIF allows $175 million per year for the next five years in bonding, with the option to renew the program for an additional five years. This funding will be directed to projects proposed by eligible municipalities, community development corporations, or nonprofit organizations.

Stratford is an eligible municipality and could receive grants available through the CIF for:

·  Capital Improvement Programs: brownfield remediation, affordable housing, infrastructure, clean energy development, and home or public facility rehabilitation

·  Small Business Capital Programs: revolving or micro loan programs, gap financing, and start-up funds to establish small businesses

Applications for the fund have not yet been posted on the CIF website, but are anticipated to be by the end of the month. In the meantime, the Department of Economic & Community Development is hosting an informational webinar on June 1st from 11 a.m.-12 p.m. If you have any questions about the CIF, this will be a great opportunity to ask them.   For further information go to:

https://portal.ct.gov/communityinvestmentfund/About-The-Fund?language=en_US

We are proud to see our community recognized with the investments that can be made through the CIF. A special thank you to the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus leadership and the Speaker of the House Representative Matthew Ritter for all your hard work to create this fund.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email us:  Phil.Young@cga.ct.gov or Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Sikorsky and State Commit to Keeping Headquarters in Stratford

Bi-Partisan Bill Passed by State Representatives

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

State Representative Ben McGorty, (R)
122nd Connecticut House District

State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

In a show of support and commitment to keep Sikorsky and their jobs in the state and region State Representatives Phil Young, and Ben McGorty co-sponsored a bipartisan legislative agreement that the State of Connecticut and parent company Lockheed Martin negotiated to keep Sikorsky headquartered and building helicopters in Connecticut through 2042.

Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin will receive $50 million or $100 million in sales and use tax offsets and payroll tax credits depending on if the Pentagon awards one or two of the contracts for the new helicopter programs to Sikorsky.

The state incentives are tied to the company achieving wage, employment and capital investment targets. In addition, the global security and aerospace conglomerate agrees to maintain Sikorsky’s corporate headquarters here through 2042.

Thirty-four supply-chain companies located in Stratford, Trumbull, and Shelton will benefit from the new state deal. These supply-chain companies are the small- and medium-sized businesses that employ hundreds of highly skilled local residents in each town.

“Sikorsky is a staple of our community that continues to employ thousands of local residents in its numerous facilities around Connecticut,” Rep. McGorty said. “Not only is this deal beneficial to Sikorsky, but also to the private vendors who supply parts and the small businesses who provide their services. I am proud to ensure its future in the 122nd District and in our state.”

Sikorsky employs over 8,000 people in their Connecticut Facilities in Stratford, Bridgeport, Shelton, North Haven and Trumbull.

“I was proud to co-sponsor this bill which will serve Connecticut residents and businesses for the next two decades,” noted Rep. Phil Young

Read HB 5505 Here:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05505&which_year=2022

Tax Breaks

State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

After months of negotiation and hearing input from residents across our state, we are happy to pass along great news. We are poised to vote early next week on a state budget, which provides historic tax relief for parents, retirees, workers, and property owners.

The budget proposal we unveiled today offers Connecticut taxpayers like you and our neighbors $600 million in tax cuts. $600 MILLION!

Our budget plan Cuts Your Taxes by:
•    Cutting state income taxes for retirees
•    Lowering property taxes on homes and cars
•    Extending tax cuts for workers in low-paying jobs (EITC)
•    Creating a state tax credit for childcare
•    Extending the 25-cent gas tax cut until December
•    Establishes state child tax credit worth $250 per child

As we approach a vote on this historic tax relief package, I will update you in the coming days on the spending side of the budget where we make groundbreaking investments in children’s mental health, increase funding in juvenile justice and anti-crime programs, leverage new federal funding for important programs, and invest in childcare, education, and our workforce.

Sincerely,
Phil Young and Joe Gresko

Food Insecurity

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

We often don’t think about food insecurity impacting our college students, but the truth is that many students face challenges in providing nutritional, affordable meals for themselves. Remote learning during the pandemic presented additional challenges.

The added stress of food insecurity can significantly affect a student’s success in pursuing higher education, which can lead to lower academic performance, depression, poor physical health, and low retention.

Today the House passed HB 5301 which works to identify the nutritional needs of students and establish strategies to combat food insecurity at our colleges and universities.

Under this bill, public colleges and universities in Connecticut will conduct a survey and collect data to evaluate programs and services that address the needs of food insecure students. The bill also identifies programs offered by colleges that meet federal criteria to expand access to the food-assistance SNAP program to full-time students.

Programs and services that can help:
•            Lower cost food or meals plans
•            Provide additional swipes on meal plan
•            Provide financial assistance
•            With access to campus food pantries
•            Help with access to fruit and vegetable incentive program

At a time with high inflation and rising costs of everyday items, I am proud to support this legislation that will help so many in need.

This bill next heads to the senate for consideration.

Sincerely,

Phil Young

Connecticut General Assembly Fire and EMS Caucus

State Representative Ben McGorty (R)
122nd District
Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The Connecticut General Assembly Fire and EMS Caucus will hold a virtual meeting this Monday, April 25, 2022, beginning at 10:30 a.m. to discuss legislation impacting the Fire and EMS communities. Members of these communities are encouraged to participate and contribute.

This event is free and open to the public. Follow the link below to be directly connected.

CTGenAssembly.com/FireEMS

Please do not hesitate to reach me regarding any state issues.

Rep. Ben McGorty

ben.mcgorty@housegop.ct.gov

 

 

A Pox on Both Parties?

An August primary … and a November election?
Get ready for Early Voting?

Ask the Registrar

Your place to get questions answered about voting and local elections in Stratford
By James Simon
Democratic Registrar

Q: I read that more people are registering as Unaffiliated because they are unhappy with both major political parties. How about in Stratford?

I looked at town residents who registered to vote between Jan. 1, 2022 and April 19, 2022. Aside from minor parties, 39.5% chose to register as Democrats, 12.5% as Republicans, and 47.9% as Unaffiliated. Those percentages are generally consistent with past party breakdowns in town.

I often hear complaints that the system is rigged in favor of the two major political parties. In Connecticut, we do see some voters registering with the Green Party and Working Families Party … Communist Party USA and Veterans Party of America … Compassionate Conservatives and Labor and Libertarian parties. And of course – I’m not making this up – the Satanist Party.

But not in big numbers.

Q: The Democrats and Republicans are getting ready for their state conventions May 6-7 to pick candidates for the November election. So will there have to also be a primary election?

Primary elections are likely on August 9th. At their conventions, the two major parties will endorse candidates for the Legislature and for state-level offices like Governor. The current state Treasurer, Comptroller, and Secretary of State are not running for reelection, prompting increased interest in those positions. Any candidate who does not win their party’s nomination can collect signatures and try to force a primary in August.

The November 8th ballot also will include the election for U.S. Senate (incumbent Democrat Richard Blumenthal is seeking another term) and town Judge of Probate.

Q: Most states allow Early Voting in elections. Why doesn’t Connecticut?

You will soon have a say in the issue. The November 2022 ballot will include a proposed amendment to the state Constitution that would allow the Legislature to introduce early in-person voting. Thirty-nine other states already allow it.

The proposal does not specify any details such as how many days — or weeks — such early voting would be allowed; it leaves that up to the Legislature to decide.

Q: Didn’t Connecticut residents already reject Early Voting?

Connecticut residents in 2014 voted 52%-48% against a constitutional amendment that would have authorized the state legislature to 1) allow early voting in the state, and 2) remove the current restrictions on absentee voting.

The 2022 question would authorize in-person early voting, but not an expansion of absentee voting; the absentee voting issue may be on the 2024 ballot.

At a recent conference of the Connecticut Registrars of Voters, many said they worried about the logistics of early voting. Would a bigger budget be needed to staff the polls for multiple days? Others noted that most states already allow such voting and it has been a major success in states like Oregon and Colorado, which have worked out many of the logistical issues.

Q: Are those white Ballot Drop Boxes going to be used again for absentee ballots?

The Secretary of State’s office sent a memo to Town Clerks and Registrars this week, detailing how the boxes are to be placed and made accessible. The state legislature passed a law mandating that the boxes be made permanent for use in all primaries, general elections, and referenda.

More Questions? Please send them to registrar Jim Simon: jsimon@townofstratford.com. This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford. (Vol. 2, No. 4; April 2022)

Earth Day is Everyday

State Representative Joe Gresko (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

Friday April 22nt was about celebrating and protecting the Earth, which is something I’m honored to focus on everyday as House Chair of the Environment Committee. The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest In Our Planet” because climate change is not only an environmental issue but an increasingly economic one as well.

Locally, I was happy to play a part in investing in our corner of the planet by helping to secure a $37,000 grant earlier this year to replant trees in neighborhoods throughout our town. A green future is a prosperous one. EARTHDAY.ORG offers 52 ways to invest in the planet.

There are also a number of climate-focused bills before the General Assembly this session that would invest in Connecticut’s environment and economy.

HB 5327, An Act Concerning Energy Storage Systems And Electric Distribution System Reliability: HB 5327 passed 141-0 in the House last week, and it helps build out the in-state energy storage industry and encourage future investments, greatly benefitting Connecticut ratepayers. Eversource and United Illuminating will maximize the value of any completed energy storage system through its participation in wholesale electricity and capacity markets. Any net revenues from such participation will be credited to ratepayers to offset the cost of the completed system.

SB 4, An Act Concerning The Connecticut Clean Air Act: SB 4 would expand the Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) and make electric bikes eligible for CHEAPR rebates. It would also require state and regional organizations to mitigate the carbon emissions impact of new projects with carbon-reducing projects, including installing electric vehicle charging stations, bikeways and multi-use paths and improving public transit.

SB 10, An Act Concerning Climate Change Mitigation: SB 10 cements a commitment for Connecticut to transition to a zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040. Clean, zero-carbon electricity is the future of the economy. SB10 offers planning, policies and funding foundations to achieve this goal. Additionally, it would provide businesses with needed certainty for long-term planning and help bring good-paying clean energy jobs to Connecticut.

SB 214, An Act Concerning The Sale Of Electric Vehicles In The State: 38% of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions emanate from the transportation sector. More electric vehicles on the roads will decrease emissions and make for cleaner air. SB 214 would allow electric vehicle manufacturers like Telsa to conduct direct-to-consumer sales and bypass the antiquated requirement that auto manufacturers sell their vehicles through the franchise dealership model.

Bold, decisive action is needed — and not just on Earth Day — but every day.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

State Representative Phil Young (D)

120th Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to focus attention on the prevalence of sexual assault in our communities, uplift the voices of survivors and commit ourselves to putting an end to sexual violence.

Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a bill that focused specifically on protecting sexual assault victims on college campuses. HB 6374 requires Connecticut colleges to conduct a sexual assault misconduct survey every two years and establishes a Council on Sexual Misconduct Climate Assessments to assist higher education institutions in collecting this information.

This year, we are advocating for the passage of HB 5472An Act Concerning Sexual Assault, and the Absence of Consent.

This bill updates statutory language to define “consent” for purposes of sexual assault and clarifies that sexual intercourse without consent is a crime. HB 5472 was voted out of the Judiciary Committee and will be sent to the floor for debate and consideration.

The Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence launched their annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaign. This year’s theme is healing through community.

Visit endsexualviolencect.org to find out how you can get involved in building survivor communities that provide solace, connection, and prevent further violence.

If you or someone you love needs support, call or text their 24-hour hotline:
1-888-999-5545 for English, 1-888-565-8332 para Español.

I hope you will join me this month in honoring the resilience of survivors as we work towards building safer communities.

Sincerely,

Phil Young

Tax Free Shopping Starts on Sunday

State Representative Phil Young (D)
120th Connecticut House District
&
State Representative Joe Gresko, (D)
121st Connecticut House District

Dear Neighbor,

To put money back into Connecticut residents’ pockets, we recently passed legislation to suspend our state’s gas tax and offer free bus service through June 30. The bill also created an additional Sales Tax Free Week happening this Sunday, April 10th through Saturday, April 16th. If your kids are home on spring vacation, this is a great opportunity to save on their spring and summer wardrobe.

During this one-week sales tax holiday, retail purchases of most clothing and footwear items under $100 will be exempt from Connecticut’s sales tax.

Many retailers in Connecticut offer additional clothing and footwear discounts during Sales Tax Free Week, resulting in even more savings for shoppers.

You can learn more about Connecticut’s Sales Tax Free Week, including a list of tax-exempt items, on the Department of Revenue website:
https://portal.ct.gov/DRS/Sales-Tax/Examples-of-Clothing-and-Footwear-That-are-Exempt-During-Sales-Tax-Free-Week

We hope this law alleviates some of the financial pressure on consumers’ wallets, and we hope to deliver more relief this session. The legislature’s Appropriations and Finance Committees are expected to announce their state budget proposals this week. Keep an eye out for updates about what these proposals could mean for consumers like you and the tax relief they may offer.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov. or Phil.Young@cga.ct.gov.