First, a word of gratitude for the dedicated community service of the hundreds of volunteer public officials – working in concert with town employees – who invested thousands of work hours these past many months preparing the town’s budget for next year. Please know those efforts are admired and appreciated by an overwhelming majority of Woodbridge residents and the entire membership of the WDTC.
With adopted budgets now at both the town and state level for the fiscal year beginning July 1, and with the town’s legislative delegation now finished with its Regular Session, it seems appropriate to hear from those who represent us in the Connecticut General Assembly.
From state Senator Jorge Cabrera: Although this was not a conventional regular legislative session, with much of our work handled over Zoom due to the pandemic, I am proud to say my colleagues and I did not allow those inconveniences to prevent us from doing the people’s business. We charged ahead and secured $1.2 million for the town of Woodbridge, passed legislation to protect workers, increased funding for schools throughout the district by $8.1 million, made college more affordable and did this all with zero tax increases, so you can keep your money in your pocket.
We also passed a groundbreaking “bottle bill” that improves solid waste management and helps reduce litter in our communities and banned PFAS in food packaging. For workers, we have ensured employees laid off due to the pandemic will be recalled if their jobs are rehiring and required employers to disclose salary wage ranges to job applicants and current employees to help close the gender wage gap.
Again, we have accomplished much, boosted funding for our towns and cities by millions and did so without raising taxes. If you would like to learn more about any laws, or have an idea for a bill, reach out to me at Jorge.firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-726-0768. It is an honor to serve the towns of Woodbridge, Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, and Naugatuck.
From state Representative Mary Welander: While not the typical experience for a new legislator, this session was still successful. We passed a budget with strong bi-partisan support without raising taxes or cutting vital services.
Additionally, three of my proposals passed through the House and the Senate. As the Vice Chair of the Children’s Committee, I made student access to mental health services a priority and I am proud to say that my School-Based Mental Health Clinic proposal was incorporated into SB 1 and has been signed into law.
I also created legislation which will provide behavioral and mental health service information to families through Board of Education websites so when trusted information is needed, parents and educators can find it quickly.
Another concept, focused on Agricultural Education Programs, will connect local farms with surrounding communities through outreach opportunities. Created in partnership with UConn Extension with the hopes of providing a new layer of exposure for our local farms (like Massaro), I am proud that this legislation passed unanimously through the House and the Senate.
Finally, during budget negotiations, I, along with others, successfully advocated for additional funds for our schools. Despite going above and beyond during the pandemic, they were scheduled to receive less state education funding due to the budget passed in 2017, but we secured even funding for the next two years.
Residents who want to be involved in local government should contact the Woodbridge Democratic Town Committee at email@example.com.