Spring Into Action: Your Updates Are Blooming!

March 22, 2024

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Dear Neighbor,
As your representative, I'm committed to keeping you informed about the important work we are doing in our community and beyond. In this email, you will find the following:
  • Spring Blossoms & Branford Bliss
  • Legally Blonde The Musical
  • Read Across America 
  • Agriculture Day at the Capitol
  • Testifying Before the Energy and Technology Committee
  • Committee on Children Press Conference
  • Protecting and Prioritizing Seniors
  • USDA Pest Alert
  • Alliance for Prevention & Wellness Suggestion Box
  • Festival of Colors
Spring Blossoms & Branford Bliss
My daffodils made an appearance on the first official day of spring, and for that, I was grateful. We’ve had such a mild winter I also noted that my lawn looks like it will need a cutting soon. Spring is my favorite time of the year as I prefer the sun and warmth it brings. The hotter, the better! 
I was out and about in Branford this weekend, enjoying lunch with my daughter and husband at Kamana. I also picked up a needed pair of good sneakers at Marathon Sports. It was nice to see so many families and four-legged friends gathering on the green to enjoy the sunshine. We are indeed fortunate to have such a lovely town green.  
Legally Blonde The Musical
My son and I also attended the production of Legally Blonde The Musical at Branford High School. The talent showcased by the students was truly impressive, highlighting the tremendous effort they put into the performance. 
Congratulations to all the performers, tech staff, and volunteers for putting on an outstanding show. Your hard work and passion made this run unforgettable! 

Read Across America 

My annual visit to Branford Public Schools during Read Across America brought me to Tisko Elementary School. The students had many questions for me and were interested in a law that would provide a longer recess time. I was pleased to inform them that legislation has been passed allowing schools the flexibility to provide additional recess time. I encouraged them to share this idea with Principal O'Conner. 

Thanks to the United Way of Greater New Haven for continuing to organize this event each year and providing donated books for the classroom library!


Agriculture Day at the Capitol

This week in Hartford, I had the pleasure of attending my favorite event of the year - Agriculture Day. This annual gathering brings together agricultural programs from across the state to the capitol in order to promote and celebrate the industry. It's an exciting day where students from various agricultural schools engage with vendors and interact with legislators.

One particular interaction that stood out to me was with Julia, a bright student from Branford, and her friend Amira from Lyman Hall High School. Both students are part of the Regional Agricultural Science and Technology Education Center, which provides incredible opportunities in the fields of science and agriculture.


Testifying Before the Energy and Technology Committee

Recently, I had the opportunity to testify before the Energy and Technology Committee in support of House Bill 5446. This bill establishes a legislative solution to provide a sustainable financial approach to support the state's community access television operations the Public, Educational, and Governmental Programming (PEG) with an Educational Technology Investment Account Grant Program. 

This important piece of legislation is crucial not just for the continuation of our PEG operations but for the health and vitality of our community. By securing a sustainable financial future for PEG, we are investing in our community's access to information, education, and civic engagement. I firmly believe this bill represents a significant step forward in achieving these goals. 


Committee on Children Press Conference

In the Fall of 2023, the Committee on Children held a hearing after the Office of the Child Advocate investigated a Harwinton STAR (Short-Term Assessment & Respite) home and submitted a report with shortcomings and recommendations. We recognized that the model of intervention and treatment was not adequately serving children. 

 In response to those findings, our committee held a press conference last week announcing significant changes within DCF and the STAR Program, now renamed STARR (Specialized Trauma-Informed Treatment Assessment and Reunification), reflecting a shift to a more intensive trauma-based approach to care, including adding staff and reducing the number of kids at the group homes. The state also plans to establish two new intensive transitional treatment centers and prioritize children from the group homes for certain residential care. You can read more about this by clicking here.


Protecting and Prioritizing Seniors

The Aging Committee has approved HB 5001, an omnibus bill that would enhance support and assistance for our beloved seniors. The proposal is a top priority for the House, and I'm pleased to see it advancing through the legislative process. 

Issues impacting seniors are often ignored. Our elderly residents need support and access to resources that will provide them with the best quality of life possible. HB 5001 does this by: 

  • Requiring additional training of home care workers 
  • Creating a more efficient process for accessing Medicaid
  • Expanding the Office of Long-Term Care Ombudsman

Click here to read an article that explores additional details of the bill.  

Our aging population faces a growing list of challenges that are not isolated incidents. As our society gets older, these issues will only become more pronounced. HB 5001 not only acknowledges these complexities but also paves the way for crucial improvements. This legislation will ensure that our seniors will age gracefully. Next stop, the House floor! 


USDA Pest Alert

I wanted to share with you one of the interesting displays from the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Southern New England has several invasive species. I’ve highlighted a few below, however more information can be found at the USDA website by clicking here

You can find information about the Spotted Lanternfly here and follow this link for details on the Box Tree Moth.


Alliance for Prevention & Wellness Suggestion Box

The Alliance for Prevention and Wellness (APW) and your Local Prevention Council are collecting anonymous data on substance use and mental health trends in Branford. Your input shapes data-driven public health strategies to best serve our communities.

You can share your experiences by answering the questions provided monthly. For March-April, you can answer the APW prompt, "How harmful is it to use nicotine vapes under age 21?" on paper or by scanning the QR code above. For questions, please email Nicole Mason. 


Festival of Colors

Experience the magic of colors, music, and community at the Festival of Colors on Sunday, March 24th from 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM

This free event, sponsored by the Society of Nepalese in America, will take place on the Branford Green and promises unforgettable memories! 

I hope you find this information valuable and informative.  As always, if I can be of any assistance, please don't hesitate to email me directly or call my office at (860) 240-8585.

Robin Comey
State Representative

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