Need Help Paying Your Energy Bill?

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

Dear Neighbor,

As we continue to pursue more long-term solutions to reduce rising costs of energy, I wanted to make you aware of an upcoming outreach event to help resident’s access critical financial assistance from United Illuminating (UI) and Southern Connecticut Gas (SCG), through the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP), the Community Renewal Team (CRT) and Operation Fuel.

Speak one-on-one with representatives from the above groups on Wednesday, January 25th from 4 P.M.-7 P.M. at the East Side Senior Center (268 Putnam St, Bridgeport, CT) to discuss hardship and assistance programs you may qualify for.

If you are unable to attend the event and would like to learn more about programs available, click here for UI https://www.uinet.com/account/waystopay/help-with-bill

and here for SCG. https://www.soconngas.com/account/waystopay/help-with-bill

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Reducing Electric Bills

State Senator Kevin Kelly (R)
21st Senatorial District

State Representative Laura Dancho (R)
120th Connecticut House District

I’m writing to let you know that this week, I joined my House and Senate Republican colleagues in offering a comprehensive package of policy proposals to reduce the cost of electric bills and make energy more affordable over the long term.

These policies will immediately reduce energy costs for families by over $362 million per year, saving the average household $210 next year. In the long run, our plan will drive down costs by even more while implementing important ratepayer protections.

action on this issue is imperative. Connecticut electric rates are among the nation’s most expensive, squeezing household and business budgets.

Our path to energy affordability:

Moving charges resulting from public policy decisions from ratepayer bills to the state budget. (Estimated savings: $362 million annually.)

Bringing all clean energy sources into the state’s green energy strategy by adding nuclear power and all sources of hydro power to the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard program.

Improving the Standard Service Procurement process by examining the differing ways CT’s large utilities, small municipal owned utilities, and other states all procure power.

Restoring independence to utility rate regulators by separating the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Giving PURA more discretion and flexibility in decoupling to protect ratepayers.

Establishing utility rate case oversight to ensure that resolutions of rate cases and settlements are made in the best interest of ratepayers and not for other political considerations.

https://www.cthousegop.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Energy_Affordability_SRO_HRO_Upload.pdf

As always, please never hesitate to reach out to me at Laura.Dancho@housegop.ct.gov with questions, ideas, and your concerns about this or any other state issues.

State Representative Laura Dancho (R)

120th Connecticut House District

Contact Information

Dear friends and neighbors,

It has been so exciting to be in Hartford for my first legislative committee meetings last week! As we move forward together, I want to bring you more direct access to the legislative process and my personal updates through the resources found below.

The best way to reach out to me is via email at Laura.Dancho@housegop.ct.gov or by my office phone at 860-240-8700.

This email list is a great way to stay updated about state issues, legislative changes, bill votes, and even Stratford events! I encourage you to remain on this email list and encourage others to go to RepDancho.com to see my official press releases and

Next, I have unveiled my official Facebook page which can be viewed and followed for more frequent updates by clicking https://www.facebook.com/RepDancho

Finally, if emails aren’t your thing, I recommend you to sign-up for our text updates which will be critical for the most immediate updates especially as we head into debating issues on the floor of the House Chamber and as we get closer to finalizing this year’s state budget. To subscribe to our texts, please click the button below:

Subscribe to Text Updates:  https://app.myswitchboard.com/sb/optin/nlydi6pteevDHywDJ5xqOzhsJQ

Once again, thank you to all who came out to vote this November! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be your voice in Hartford, and I encourage each of you to send me your thoughts, questions, and concerns using the resources above so that together, we can establish a united voice that encompasses the unique and diverse interests of the 120th Assembly District in Stratford, CT. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Sincerely,

RepDancho.com ▫️ (860) 240-8700 ▫️ Laura.Dancho@housegop.ct.gov

Energy Assistance

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

Dear Neighbor,

With the coldest days of winter upon us, and the cost of home heating bills rising, I wanted to be sure that you were aware of the initiatives being taken to improve energy affordability and reliability in our state.

To help Connecticut families now, we are utilizing federal and state dollars to increase energy assistance. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) will allow all participating households that heat with deliverable fuels, such as home heating oil, to receive an additional crisis assistance benefit worth $430 this winter season.

Coupled with the existing basic benefit and crisis assistance benefits, the additional benefit means those families can now access up to $2,320 per household to help pay their heating bills.

Households interested in seeking assistance through CEAP should apply online at ct.gov/heatinghelp or contact their local community action agency. Additional assistance is available by calling 2-1-1. Those seeking assistance from Operation Fuel should visit operationfuel.org.

To better prepare for the future and reduce costs, we are also taking the necessary steps to adopt long-term strategies that will:

  • Build a cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable energy supply by investing in offshore wind, hydropower, nuclear power, and other renewable resources.
  • Build energy efficiency and electrification programs that are not just increasing decarbonization and reliability but are creating good jobs.
  • Capitalize on historic federal funding opportunities to maximize our investments.

These are just a few actions we are taking now, but throughout this legislative session, I will continue to ensure that we are prioritizing efforts to reduce the rising cost of energy.

Residents should never have to make the difficult decision between staying warm and putting food on the table.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

State Representative Laura Dancho (R)

120th District

Dear friends and neighbors,

Welcome to our first Email Newsletter!

I am pleased to announce that we are back in-person as I was officially sworn in at the opening-day ceremonies of the 2023 Legislative Session! Additionally, each member of the General Assembly also received their legislative committee assignments and ranking member appointments.

This Legislative Session, I will be serving on the Transportation Committee, Environment Committee, and Finance Committee. On these committees, representatives are responsible for actively participating in committee meetings where they will be able to directly influence the legislative process concerning these political topics.

I truly appreciate the support I received in November to become Stratford’s new voice at the state level. I look forward to being an open source for experience, bipartisanship, and leadership for new members on both sides of the aisle. This new session is our blank canvas. Now is the time to collaborate and develop long-term solutions for the most pressing issues affecting the hardworking residents and families of Stratford and our state.

The 2023 Legislative Session will continue until June 7th, 2023, and resources for how to track bills, follow the legislative process, and mark vote tallies can all be found at the General Assembly’s website: www.cga.ct.gov.

As always, please never hesitate to reach out to me regarding this or any other state issues. Follow me on Facebook below for additional updates and at my website RepDancho.com.

RepDancho.com ▫️ (860) 240-8700 ▫️ Laura.Dancho@housegop.ct.gov

Stratford State Lawmakers Take Office

The inauguration of Governor Lamont was one part of a busy day in Hartford in which the 2023 legislative session gets underway. After calling the session to order around 10 a.m., state lawmakers  have until June 7 to conduct their annual business, doing everything from approving appointments to passing laws to crafting a state budget for the next two years.

In an address to the House and Senate Gov. Lamont hinted at potential legislative proposals that touched on housing, electric rate hikes and more while also boldly declaring the state’s “permanent fiscal crisis.”  “It’s over. It’s over,” he said. “It’s over as long as we maintain the same fiscal discipline that served us so well over the last four years. After many years of unfilled promises, now is the time to enact a meaningful middle-class tax cut. That’s a reduction in tax rates, which the state can afford and makes your life more affordable.”

Legislators are now set to get to work, with a few dozen bills of the expected 2,000-3,000 already submitted. Democrats hold a 96-53 lead in the House, with two members of the majority party stepping down on the first day of the session. Former state Rep. Dan Fox is believed to be a potential nomination as a judge in state Superior Court while Edwin Vargas of Hartford resigned as he seeks a job in the state university system.

The Connecticut Senate began it’s proceedings Wednesday morning with Stratford’s Sen. Kevin Kelly, R- Stratford, being elected for the Republican minority leadership.

State Representative Joe Gresko, (D) was sworn in to represent the 121st Connecticut House District.

Stratford Councilwoman Kaitlyn Shake, State Representative Joe Gresko, Maxwell Dulin, Kathleen Callahan, Chairwoman Stratford Democratic Party

Newly elected State Representative Laura Dancho (R) for the120th Connecticut House District was sworn in along side State Representative Ben McGorty, (R), 122nd Connecticut House District.

How to Fight Utility Hikes

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

Dear Neighbor,

As the natural gas supply shortage continues to affect the globe and the country, United Illuminating (UI) announced that they are doubling their rates effective January 1, 2023. This unwelcome news comes as UI collects record profits, passing the cost burden onto us.

The severe service rate increases will impact thousands of Connecticut families who have already faced numerous challenges over the last few years and now may not have the resources they need to keep their heat and lights on throughout the winter months.

This is unacceptable.

My legislative colleagues and I have been hard at work finding solutions, both long- and short-term, to ensure every family in Connecticut has access to affordable utilities:

How you can save now:

Last month, the Governor announced the launch of the collaborative short-term Customer Relief Plan, a $120/year credit towards your electricity bill, for all UI customers, which can offer a savings of $10/month on your utility bill.

https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/News/Press-Releases/2022/11-2022/Governor-Lamont-State-Officials-Work-With-Utilities-to-Advance-a-Short-term-Customer-Relief-Plan

Energize CT is a publicly funded resource where you can secure lower rates for a minimum of 4 months from third-party suppliers and learn how to make your home energy efficient to lower consumption.

During the November special session, we increased funding for Operation Fuel, an energy assistance resource for qualifying low-income families, which has an assistance program that began December 19th.

During the November special session, we also approved an additional $30 million boost in funding for the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which you can apply for here through May 31, 2023.

Additional energy assistance is available by contacting Human Services Department, community action agency, or me directly.

In addition to these resources, House Democratic Leadership has formed a bipartisan commission with industry-experienced representation to evaluate alternative energy programs and legislative proposals that we can raise to protect families from severe rate hikes like this in the future.

The work we are committed to:

  • Greater investment in other sources of clean energy to remain committed to Connecticut’s environmental goals while making our state’s utilities affordable for all.
  • More regional options for energy supply to lower delivery costs.
  • Sufficient transparency on rate increases offering greater review and public input.
  • Research states with regulated markets and lower consumer costs to draft similar legislative proposals.

I understand that the soaring energy prices continue to affect working families, which is why my colleagues and I remain committed to working on solutions that will provide resources and assistance to ease the cost burden on you. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me on how we can better offer aid to working families, and if you need help applying for any of the energy assistance programs listed above, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

Joseph P. Gresko

Plan Development: DOT Traffic Signal Project in Stratford

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

Dear Neighbor,

The Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced a plan for installations and revisions at the following traffic control signals in Stratford:

Traffic Control Signal – Partial Replacement (all equipment expect support structures) on Route 113 (Lordship Blvd.) at:

  • Honeyspot Road
  • Honeyspot Road Ext
  • Access Road
  • Surf Avenue
  • Garfield Avenue
  • Long Beach Boulevard

 

Traffic Control Signal – Minor Revisions (upgrade controller and GPS unit) on Route 113 (Lordship Blvd.) at:

  • Eagles Next Road
  • DOT Maintenance Garage
  • Watson Boulevard

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at the Capitol at 860-842-0363 or email me at Joseph.Gresko@cga.ct.gov.

How To Follow State Laws and Lawmakers

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

Dear Neighbor,

Happy New Year to you and your family! As the year ends, I want to take a moment to reflect on the past year and be thankful for the support of the community near and far. Cheers to another great year, as I wish much happiness, health and wealth to you all.

Once we ring in the New Year, the Connecticut General Assembly will quickly get back into business. The 2023 legislative session is set to begin on Wednesday, January 4th. Every legislative session and committee meeting will be streamed live on CT-N.

In addition to watching session and public hearings, there are numerous ways for you to stay engaged in our state’s democracy. Below are just some of the resources available to you as the 2023 legislative session gets underway:

  • Visit the CGA website to view a daily schedule of events, access committee information, find your State Senator or State Representative, and more.

https://cga.ct.gov/?utm_source=Regis&utm_campaign=9a0dcb64cf-

  • Read the Bulletin to find out when committees are meeting, how to provide public hearing testimony, and more.

https://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/Clerkdoclist.asp?house=X&doc_type=bul&utm_source=Regis&utm_campaign=9a0dcb64cf-

  • Register for the CGA’s Bill Tracking system, here, to follow any bill as it moves through the legislative process. You will receive notifications when the bill’s status changes.

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/cgabilltracking.asp

  • For information on how to testify on a bill that is up for a public hearing, follow this link.

https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/Content/YourVoice.asp?utm_

  • Access the CGA’s Citizen’s Guide, here, for more on how you can become part of the process

https://cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/citizen.asp?utm_source

  • Are you curious about how your tax dollars are spent? The State Comptroller’s OpenConnecticut web portal allows residents to track state government spending in real time.

https://www.osc.ct.gov/openCT.html

Your concerns and opinions are fundamental to the legislative process. Please continue to reach out to me to share your thoughts, ideas, and questions.

Sincerely,  Phil Young

New Laws for the New Year

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

Dear Neighbor,

As we prepare to ring in the new year and welcome the start of 2023, a number of laws passed will take effect when the clock strikes midnight on January 1st!

These laws mark the tireless work put in by my colleagues and me throughout the 2021 and 2022 Legislative Sessions to address your concerns and make necessary changes in Hartford.

Here are a few of the laws taking effect January 1st:

Addressing the Kid’s Mental Health Crisis:

Comprehensive legislation to address the immediate, intermediate, and long-term needs of the children’s mental and behavioral health system in Connecticut by:

Enhancing the Behavioral Health Workforce

Supporting School-Based Mental Health Services

Expanding Mental Health Treatment Facilities Across the State

Supporting Existing Services

Increasing Access Through Insurance Coverage

The provisions were included in PA 22-47 – Passed in 2022

The Bottle Bill:

Will expand the types of bottles and cans accepted in the 5-cent return program to now include:

Teas

Hard Seltzers

Ciders

Energy Drinks

Coffee

This provision was included in PA 21-58 – Passed in 2021 – which makes tiered adjustments to the state’s bottle redemption program through January 2024

Banning a Harmful Pesticide:

Will prohibit Connecticut golf courses from using the pesticide Chlorpyrifos to control foliage and soil-borne insect pests.

Implements a civil penalty of up to $2,500 for any found in violation.

These provisions were included in PA 22-142 – Passed in 2022

Lead Poisoning Safety:

Will take a tiered approach strengthening Connecticut’s lead poisoning testing standards to align with federal standards and will lower the threshold for youth testing levels that trigger parental notification or home inspection

The Governor’s Office reported that in 2020, over 1,000 Connecticut Children tested at high enough lead levels to trigger the federal standard for a home inspection.  These provisions were included in PA 22-49 – Passed in 2022 – and will incrementally lower the qualifying testing levels through January 2025.

Breast & Ovarian Cancer Screening Coverage:

Certain commercial health insurance policies will be required to cover:

Mammograms

Ultrasounds

MRIs for breast screenings

Breast biopsies

Certain prophylactic mastectomies

Breast reconstruction surgery

BRCA 1 and 2 testing

Ovarian cancer screenings

These provisions were included in PA 22-90 – Passed in 2022 – which expanded required insurance coverage from previous legislative efforts

These are just a few of the laws and provisions going into effect when we celebrate the new year.

Laws Taking Effect January 1

As you look over the new laws taking effect in 2023, I want to remind you that there is always an opportunity to have your voice heard, especially with the upcoming General Session convening on January 4th. Please make sure to stay active in the legislative processes and let me know what you would like to see in both our community and throughout Connecticut.

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.