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May 29, 2013 —Senator Stillman discusses some adjustments to the state’s education reform package that are designed to improve the evaluation standards for teachers in our children’s schools.
Andrea L. Stillman (D-Waterford) is serving her fifth term representing residents of the 20th Senatorial District, which includes East Lyme, Montville, New London, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Salem, Waterford, and now Bozrah. She is Deputy Majority Leader of the Senate, and is the Senate Chair of the legislature’s Education Committee. Senator Stillman, as a member of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, was also appointed co-chair of the General Bonding Subcommittee. She serves on the Legislative Management Committee as well.
In January, 2013 Senator Stillman began her second term as Senate Chair of the legislature’s Education Committee. Improving the quality of public education has long been one of Senator Stillman’s major priorities, and she was a primary architect of major public education reforms in 2012.
She has worked to reform and provide resources for our vocational-technical school system. And she was appointed by the commissioner of the State Department of Education to represent our state on the New England Secondary School Consortium. NESSC is dedicated to increasing high school graduation and college enrollment rates, and to reshape educational policy by adopting 21st century learning standards.
The senator embraces the idea that 21st century secondary education should inspire in students an inclination for lifelong learning so they are prepared for, and can then adapt to the rapid rate of change and challenges we can expect going forward. She also works with knowledge and understanding that public school students of today will soon become tomorrow’s workforce in an increasingly competitive, global marketplace.
Prior to this term, as Senate Chair of the Public Safety and Security Committee, Senator Stillman earned high marks for her stewardship over public safety issues in general, as well as for her efforts in the area of fire safety and in addressing towns’ concerns within the resident state trooper program. She also held a seat on the Public Health Preparedness Advisory Committee, a group charged with ensuring state and local emergency readiness and interagency coordination.
One of Senator Stillman‘s recent initiatives resulted in a statewide ban on the legal sale of synthetic marijuana products and others that yield hallucinogenic results. Senator Stillman has also been a vocal advocate on other critical issues, including access to health care, job training, substance abuse and compulsive gambling, and environmental preservation.
In her first year in the Senate, she served as Chair of the Environment Committee. She was also appointed by the governor to serve as Co-chair of the Long Island Sound LNG Task Force. This bipartisan task force worked to quash a proposal to construct a floating liquid natural gas terminal on Long Island Sound. For this, and for her dedicated efforts to protect our shoreline, waterways, and open space, Senator Stillman has consistently received high scores from the League of Conservation Voters.
Recently, Senator Stillman championed landmark legislation through the efforts of the DUI Reform Working Group and the Speaker’s Task Force on Domestic Violence. As a member of both groups, she co-sponsored legislation to strengthen drunk driving laws and protect and support victims of domestic violence.
Senator Stillman was also a member of the Subase Coalition from its inception, and was an active participant in the battle to preserve Subase New London in Groton and protect it from closure during the federal government’s BRAC process in 2005. The Subase Coalition continues to monitor potential future BRAC proposals to protect the economic interests of Southeastern Connecticut. Senator Stillman was instrumental in the creation of the Office of Military Affairs, to ensure that the state continues to be an active partner in this initiative.
Senator Stillman’s fair and balanced approach to decision-making is well respected by her colleagues on both sides of the aisle. She was selected by the governor to serve on a special Commission on Judicial Reform, and was appointed to the Senate’s six-member Bipartisan Committee of Review, which was charged with determining whether a fellow senator should be expelled, censured, or reprimanded for admittedly criminal activity.
In 2002, she was one of only 11 female state legislators in the country selected by the Center for Women Policy Studies to attend their Foreign Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., and meet with high-ranking officials from the State Department, United Nations, human rights organizations, Doctors Without Borders and other international agencies. The Institute explored the impact of U.S. foreign policy and assistance on the health, education, economic development and well-being of women worldwide.
This experience motivated Senator Stillman to fight for new legislation that addresses the issue of sexual trafficking. She was instrumental in creating, and served as the Chair of, the legislature’s Interagency Task Force on Human Trafficking. This work further established her as a champion for women and children and earned her recognition from the U Thant Institute.
Senator Stillman is also well known for her dedicated efforts to combat compulsive gambling and to help those addicted. She has been a longtime advocate for the state’s Council on Problem Gambling, and is sought out as a panelist at forums on gambling issues.
Prior to her Senate tenure she served six terms in the House of Representatives, representing the 38th District (originally Waterford and New London; after redistricting, Waterford and Montville). She was elected Deputy Majority Leader by her colleagues in the House, and was the House Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. She was a member of the Transportation and Environment Committees, and served six years on the budget-writing Appropriations Committee.
Outside of the General Assembly, Senator Stillman serves as a member of numerous civic and community organizations, including the League of Women Voters, American Association of University Women, Lawrence and Memorial Benefactors Society, National Abortion Rights Action League, Southeastern Regional Action Council (formerly Citizens’ Task Force on Addictions), Waterford Lions Club, and Waterford Democratic Town Committee. She also currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Waterford Country School and the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board.
Before entering the state legislature, she was a long-time member of the Waterford Board of Finance and served on the Waterford Representative Town Meeting. She was assistant director of the Southeastern Connecticut Chapter of the American Red Cross, Blood Services, and chaired the Connecticut Solid Waste Management Advisory Council and the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Advisory Council.
She also has extensive experience running a small business. Until recently she and her husband owned J. Solomon Office Supply; the company had been located in New London since 1902.
Senator Stillman was born in New York City and graduated from the University of California at Northridge with a degree in Speech. She and her husband Howard are the parents of two grown children and have five grandchildren. She resides at 5 Coolidge Court in Waterford.
Senator Stillman has been recognized repeatedly for her leadership efforts in the General Assembly and the community. She has been honored by such diverse groups as the Connecticut Marine Trades Association, the Connecticut Alliance for Basic Human Needs, and the Connecticut State Firefighters Association for her efforts and advocacy on their behalf. Here are some other awards she has earned during her tenure in the legislature:
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March 14, 2013 —Senators Harp, Bye and Stillman highlight some of the important medical services that are provided to students by state’s school-based health centers.