CT State Building Trades and Union of Operating Engineers Endorsement

Senator Kevin Kelly (R) 21st Senate District

Senator Kevin Kelly, who is running for reelection to represent the 21st Senate District, has earned the endorsement of the hardworking men and women of the Connecticut State Building Trades Council and the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 478.

“I am honored to receive the endorsement of thousands of Connecticut workers who build our state and contribute so much to our communities, economy, and quality of life,” said Senator Kevin Kelly. “First and foremost, thank you to Connecticut’s workers in the construction industry and building trades for all you do to build and grow our state for the better. I am committed to making sure your voices are heard and working together on policies to grow jobs and enhance workforce development to better connect people with opportunity and long term, good-paying careers. Thank you to our workers who are the foundation of our state in so many ways. The economic stability of our families hinges on good relationships between workers, job creators, and the state legislature. I look forward to continuing our good work together to best support quality jobs and all our families,” said Kelly.

“Senator Kelly, we fully appreciate your hard work and effort that you have continuously do every day being an effective voice throughout Connecticut, and without qualification endorse you for re-election,” said Garry Gyenizs, Business Manager International Union of Operating Engineers Local 478. “We are formally endorsing you as the candidate as one who best represents Connecticut’s Construction Industry and who will provide a voice for our members who reside in Connecticut’s 21st Senate District. Local 478 has always been committed to supporting candidates who share our vision of Building a Better Connecticut by ensuring that heavy construction workers around the State earn wages and benefits that reflect the skills and professionalism that we put forth every day.”

“On behalf of the over 30,000 hardworking men and women of the Connecticut State Building Trades Council, it is my privilege to inform you that the CSBTC has endorsed your campaign of the General Assembly,” Keith R. Brothers, President CT State Building Trades wrote to Senator Kelly. “Our members will be working hard to get you elected and we hope the support leads you to victory.”

Sen. Kelly is an advocate for workforce development support across Connecticut. He has been recognized by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association for a 100 percent pro-jobs voting record on key bills identified as critical to the state’s job creators, workforce, affordability, and overall economic growth. Earlier this year he joined his Senate Republican colleagues in proposing a Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut a comprehensive workforce development plan which includes additional ways we can further our efforts to help every person find their pathway to a career. The Better Way to a Prosperous Connecticut plan includes establishing a pipeline to work, pathways to careers, reviving job fairs and vocational program recruitment, career opportunities for veterans, revising occupational licensing, and establishing a Buy CT to Build CT program to support defense industry jobs, among many proposals.

Senator Kelly, a lifelong resident of Stratford, currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader in the state Senate and works as an elder law attorney as the owner of Kevin Kelly & Associates, PC; a Stratford law firm. As a state Senator, Kevin Kelly has championed historic bipartisan legislation to enhance children’s mental health care, promote public safety, enhance health care access, create fiscal stability, and strengthen the state’s elder abuse laws. Prior to working in private practice, Kevin Kelly worked as an investigator for the Department of Social Services for over 13 years. He and his wife Cindy live in Stratford and have four children and seven grandchildren.

State Approves $1.6 million Funding Request for Flood Reduction Work

Bruce Brook Upgrades Approved

State Democrat Lawmakers Push for Funding

The Town of Stratford won state approval of its $1.6 million funding request for flood reduction work along Bruce Brook.  The approval of the town’s grant project was made by the board of directors of the state’s new Community Investment Fund (CIF) – a group led by top lawmakers including State Representative Joe Gresko and State Representative Phil Young.

Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to sign off on the approved projects within 60 days, according to House Speaker and CIF Co-Chair Matt Ritter (D-Hartford).

The grant will be used to improve pipes, culverts and concrete channels of Bruce Brook in the area of Boston Avenue and Bowe Avenue, in order to reduce the frequency and severity of flooding that affects numerous streets in that neighborhood. This specific project is part of a larger, multi-phased project from Boston Avenue to the south end of Bruce Avenue that the Town is undertaking in response to storm water flooding. The town plans to request more grant funding from the CIF for the additional phases of the project.

“We have been working hard to develop plans to reduce flooding in neighborhoods along Bruce Brook, and this funding will help us construct this project without needing to raise taxes to pay for it,” Hoydick said. “I am grateful to the state legislature’s new Community Investment Fund directors and Governor Lamont for recognizing the importance of this project for our residents, and my compliments to Town Engineer John Casey who is leading the development of the project.”

Stratford’s project was one of only 26 approved for funding from 183 applications submitted by municipalities around the state. Total approved funding in this first round is $76 million. The CIF has a mandate to approve up to $875 million in projects and grants over a five-year period.

“This is phase one of a multi-year project and I thank Speaker Ritter for keeping Stratford a priority over the next five years to completion. This project funding is of particular importance as we deal with sea level rise and resiliency.” According to Rep. Gresko

CIF was established in the 2021 biennial state budget to create new economic development opportunities in underserved communities. Over the next five years, CIF will provide a total of up to $875 million to support small businesses, education, housing, and infrastructure projects in eligible municipalities as well as community development corporations and nonprofits that serve these communities. Each year, the CIF board may approve up to $175 million.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Stratford Receives Grant to Combat Bruce Creek Flooding

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

Dear Neighbor,

During Tuesday’s meeting of the Community Investment Fund 2030 (CIF) Board, the Town of Stratford was approved to receive a $160,000 state grant to mitigate flooding along Bruce Brook.

The funding provided by CIF will allow Stratford to replace pipes, culverts, and concrete channels of Bruce Brook – specifically in the areas of Boston Avenue and Bowe Avenue. Additionally, the project will focus on improving environmental factors by cleaning the channel of debris and reducing bacteria levels.

This is phase one of a multi-year project and I thank Speaker Ritter for keeping Stratford a priority over the next five years to completion. This project funding is of particular importance as we deal with sea level rise and resiliency.

CIF was established in the 2021 biennial state budget to create new economic development opportunities in underserved communities. Over the next five years, CIF will provide a total of up to $875 million to support small businesses, education, housing, and infrastructure projects in eligible municipalities as well as community development corporations and nonprofits that serve these communities. Each year, the CIF board may approve up to $175 million.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the CIF Board approved applications totaling $76,477,835. Of the 183 applications submitted, only 26 were approved. Those funds must now be approved by Governor Ned Lamont and the State Bond Commission.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

New Month — New Laws Effective on October 1st

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

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

Dear Neighbor,

This weekend, several new laws in Connecticut will go into effect on October 1. These laws are a result of my colleagues’ hard work during the 2022 session. Below are just some of the laws that will take effect and what they mean for you.

Establishing Juneteenth as a State Holiday

Public Act 22-128 designates June 19, known as Juneteenth Independence Day, a legal state holiday.

Juvenile Justice Reforms & Firearm Background Checks

To respond to pandemic-related crime, the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act 22-115. Provisions taking effect will streamline juvenile arrest and delinquency proceedings; create more intensive responses to juveniles with serious repeated charges, focusing on motor vehicle thefts; and the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) will notify local law enforcement if a resident fails a background check when trying to purchase a firearm.

Addressing Children’s Mental Health Concerns

Public Act 22-47 is a transformative piece of legislation that takes steps to bolster Connecticut’s children is mental and behavioral health system and improve the delivery and accessibility of services. Parts of this law will take effect to increase the number of qualified health care providers by permitting out-of-state providers to apply for edited licensure in Connecticut; create a statewide emergency service telecommunications plan addressing mental health, behavioral health, or substance use disorder needs; and expand Connecticut’s emergency response team.

Connecticut Clean Air Act

Public Act 22-25 takes steps to cut transportation-related emissions, improve air quality, and realize a greener, more sustainable state for all. Parts of the law will go into effect:

electrifying state vehicles; establishing the “right to charge” allowing renters to request electric charging stations at their residences; transitioning to zero-emission school buses; prohibiting planned community associations from adopting rules that would prevent unit homeowners from installing solar panels

Fair Rent Commission Act

Public Act 22-30 requires municipalities with populations of at least 25,000 to establish a fair rent commission, where they conduct studies and investigations, hold hearings, receive rent complaints, and intervene in matters between tenants and landlords.

Timely Reporting by the Police of a Death

In light of an investigation of Bridgeport police officers who failed to properly notify the next of kin of two women who died in December 2021 and similar incidents across our state, the Connecticut General Assembly passed Public Act 22-61 to require the timely reporting of a death to the next of kin. Police officers will have 24 hours after identifying a victim to report the death. Failure to report a death as required will trigger an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General.

Written Consent from Patients Receiving Intimate Examinations and the Development of Endometriosis Data and Biorepository Program

Public Act 22-33 requires hospitals and outpatient surgical facilities to obtain a patient’s express written consent to an “intimate examination.” The law also requires UConn Health Center to develop a plan to establish an endometriosis data and biorepository program.

 

Click the address below to view the full list of laws taking effect on October 1st.

https://cga.ct.gov/asp/content/aeauto.asp?utm_source=Test&utm_campaign=dc42d955d6

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 800-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Joseph P. Gresko

 

 

 

Pension Pay Down

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

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

Dear Neighbor,

Connecticut continues to make sound financial decisions that will strengthen our state long term.

State Comptroller Natalie Braswell announced that her office will transfer $3.1 billion into the rainy-day fund. This move triggers a statutory mandate that requires a one-time, special payment of $2.8 billion to be made toward the state’s unfunded pension liabilities.

This payment, which will be allocated into several pension funds later this year, could save Connecticut taxpayers approximately $6 billion over the next 25 years.

Connecticut was able to build its rainy-day fund through years of deliberate and careful policy. We can now celebrate the benefits of those decisions as we make investments that will not only benefit residents now, but for the foreseeable future.

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.

Democrat Response to Republican Home Heating Petition

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

“This is unfortunate politicizing of a program that has always existed in the interest of our most vulnerable population.

I encourage my Republican colleagues to contact their Federal GOP representation and ask for the restoration of the full amount of LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) funding, as our Connecticut Congressional members have asked.

There is still time for the federal government to come up with the additional funding before benefits start being paid in November.   If that federal funding is recouped, problem solved.   If not, the state General Assembly could address the issue in a special legislative session in December or at the beginning of the 2023 General Assembly session.”

State Republican’s Petition for Special Session on Home Heating

State Senator Kevin Kelly R 21st District
House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora

Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) and House Republican Leader Vincent Candelora (R-North Branford) have submitted petitions to the Secretary of the State’s Office calling for a special session to restore home heating oil assistance slashed by Washington to seniors and low income families, as well as expand relief to middle class families.

Lawmakers can petition for a special session by gaining 50 percent plus 1 of members in both the House of Representative and the Senate.

Sen. Kelly, Rep. Candelora, and CT Republican lawmakers have been advocating restoring assistance to seniors and families who face significant cuts to home heating relief through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) because of Washington cutting state assistance. They have sought to increase assistance, calling for a special session in June, offering a committee level amendment to restore funding, and now petitioning for a special session.

“Washington’s dysfunction has failed CT seniors and our most vulnerable residents. Inflation is creating new hardships for middle class families unlike anything we’ve seen before. Good government works to solve these problems, not wait for people to feel the cold creeping into their homes before taking action,” said Sen. Kelly and Rep. Candelora.

“Connecticut has the funds to provide relief to not only restore funding slashed by Washington for seniors and the most vulnerable, but also to expand relief to middle-class families facing historic challenges. Thus far, CT Democrats have rejected our calls for relief and action. Although they refused to act on the Legislative Committee level, we can still get this over the finish line if lawmakers join together to call a special session to put money back in the pockets of our overtaxed and overburdened working- and middle-class families. We urge our colleagues to join us in signing these petitions so that we can take action before a crisis hits,” said Kelly and Candelora.

What happens if lawmakers do nothing?
• The heating assistance program will face a 40% cut
• The poorest families in CT will see their home heating oil assistance reduced by nearly $3,000 compared to the aid they received last year – at a time when home heating oil prices are skyrocketing.
• A senior with just $2270/month in total income will have their benefit cut from $3075 to only $730 in fuel authorizations. That is not even a tank of oil at the current prices.
• In utility-heated households the lowest income households will get $415 less toward their utility heat bill this season.

What happens if the legislature goes into special session?
• CT Republicans have a plan to restore home heating assistance to all qualifying families and seniors.
• The Republican proposal also will establish a new $330 benefit for every working- and middle-class family earning between 61%-120% of state median income. Are you a family of four earning $150,000 or less? Then this plan means relief for you too.

***If you are in need of winter energy assistance, you can apply for help online, by phone, by email, by mail, or in person at your local Community Action Agency (CAA). Click to learn how to apply: https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/Economic-Security/Winter-Heating-Assistance/Energy-Assistance—Winter-Heating/How-To-Apply ***

Senator Kevin Kelly Earns Connecticut Fraternal Order of Police Endorsement

State Senator Kevin Kelly R 21st District

Senator Kevin Kelly, who is running for reelection to represent the 21st Senate District, has earned the endorsement of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police.

“I first must thank the brave men and women who work hard every day to make our communities safe. Thank you for putting others before yourself and helping us all during our greatest times of need,” said Sen. Kevin Kelly. “Everyone deserves to live in a state where you and your family feel safe. Safe walking down the street, driving in their car, or sleeping in their homes. I know far too many who do not feel safe today, and Connecticut must do more to not only respond to crime by addressing the symptoms, but to address the root causes of crime. I’ve worked with law enforcement, youth advocates, community leaders, and public defenders to develop a holistic approach to address crime, justice, and opportunity. I will continue to fight for solutions that not only ensure law enforcement and our justice system have the tools they need to keep all people safe, but that also strive to end the cycle of juvenile injustice and a lack of opportunity that pushes people, especially young people, towards crime.”

Sen. Kelly was informed of his endorsement in a letter from Det. Sgt. John Krupinsky, President of the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police.

“It is with great honor that the Connecticut State Fraternal Order of Police announces that it has endorsed you for this upcoming election. There is no doubt that you will put the best interests of Law Enforcement and your constituents first,” wrote Det. Sgt John Krupinsky. “I believe you are the best candidate to move the safety and security of this state forward.”

Sen. Kelly has developed and advocated for comprehensive solutions to improve Connecticut’s crime response, support law enforcement, and remove barriers to intervention services, as well as policies to address the root causes of crime including issues related to trauma, education, housing and jobs.

Senator Kelly, a lifelong resident of Stratford, currently serves as the Senate Minority Leader in the state Senate and works as an elder law attorney as the owner of Kevin Kelly & Associates, PC; a Stratford law firm. As a state Senator, Kevin Kelly has championed historic bipartisan legislation to enhance children’s mental health care, promote public safety, enhance health care access, create fiscal stability, and strengthen the state’s elder abuse laws. Prior to working in private practice, Kevin Kelly worked as an investigator for the Department of Social Services for over 13 years. He and his wife Cindy live in Stratford and have four children and seven grandchildren.

Early voting in Connecticut? Early lawn signs? Penalty for not voting?

Ask The Registrar

Your place for answers about voting and local elections in Stratford.

By Registrar of Voters James Simon (D)

Q. I read there is a ballot question in November that would allow early voting in Connecticut, as they have in so many other states. How early? How would it work?

46 of the 50 states allow in-person voting before Election Day. If the question is approved, the Legislature would then decide on the details. One system used in some states calls for a single, central polling location that is open for several days before the official election date. If approved, a revised system might be in place in Connecticut for the November 2024 presidential election.

In addition to the ballot question, voters in November will decide on candidates for Governor, all the state constitutional offices like Secretary of State, U.S. Senate, state legislature, and the town’s Judge of Probate.

Q. Why are the political lawn signs up so early this year in Stratford?

Stratford has non-binding guidelines — not a law – that limits such signs to 30 days before an election. This year, candidates from both parties had lawn signs up by Labor Day, which is more than 60 days out.

Political scientists are skeptical that the signs make much of a difference in the outcome of an election. But, candidates and their campaign workers love the increased visibility the signs can bring, and the signs can do a good job of alerting voters about a low-profile primary or general election.

Q. I changed my last name after getting married, and now I am afraid I am registered to vote under two names. What should I do?

You can call our office (number below) or check for yourself at https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx?fbclid=IwAR1yUL06V2ci3TmhQDbOL-b0tv4nOnowc38XOINlE6L33A3aJ5ifObNeX3k

We routinely discover and remove dozens of maiden names, avoiding duplication.

It’s not against the law to be registered twice; it’s only a crime if you try to vote twice in the same election. But we try to keep records as up to date as possible.

Q. You sent me a letter saying you changed my street address. Why? I didn’t tell you to change it.

More than a dozen Stratford registered voters signed petitions recently to help minor party candidates get on the ballot, and the voters provided a different address than their legal voting address. By doing so, they legally changed their voting address. After making the change, we do send out a letter and ask the voter to contact us if there is any problem with the new address.

In most cases, people have moved across town and forgotten to tell us. It can make a big difference if you have moved to a new neighborhood with a different polling place, different Town Council member, or different state legislator.

Q. What happens if I don’t vote?

That is your choice. But under state law, we reclassify you from being an Active voter to Inactive if you fail to vote in two consecutive federal elections (over four years). You would then have to fill out a form at your polling place to reactivate yourself if you want to cast a ballot.

After eight years of no voting, you are moved to “Off” status; you can reregister at any time.

More Questions? Please Send Them To Registrar Jim Simon; jsimon@townofstratford.com. Telephone contact: 203-385-4049

This is not an official publication of the Town of Stratford.
• Register to Vote; change your name, address and/or Party affiliation: https://voterregistration.ct.gov/OLVR
• Look up and see if you are already registered: https://portaldir.ct.gov/sots/LookUp.aspx?fbclid=IwAR1yUL06V2ci3TmhQDbOL-b0tv4nOnowc38XOINlE6L33A3aJ5ifObNeX3k
• Our ROV website for additional information: http://www.townofstratford.com/content/39832/39846/39935/default.aspx

State Reps Honor Hispanic Heritage Month

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

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

Dear Neighbor,

From September 15 to October 15 we observe Hispanic Heritage Month to celebrate, recognize, and feature the countless achievements of the many Hispanic Americans who have positively impacted and enriched our communities.

Their rich culture has influenced the entertainment industry, sports, fashion, food, politics, education, science, and more with an enormous worldwide economic impact.

The legislature adopted the inclusion of Latino studies in our public high school curriculum beginning in the fall of 2022. I believe the curriculum will add an integral part of American history to student studies.

Please join us in recognizing the successes, challenges, and stories of Hispanic Americans this month and their invaluable contributions to our culture.

As always, please feel free to reach out to us at the Capitol at 800-842-8267 or email us at

Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Phil.Young@cga.ct.gov