A New Challenge: Addressing
Our Transportation Needs
Earlier this month, I was named Senate chair of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee—an important post full of new challenges.
From our aging infrastructure to developing mass transit initiatives to capitalizing on the potential inherent in our ports, transportation is about more than just roads. It touches every aspect of our economy. Without transit, accessibility and the ability to move goods, services and people in a cost-effective manner, we cannot move our state forward.
Our budget deficit poses the same problems for our transportation priorities that it poses for other significant programs. Over the next two years, I’m looking forward to working toward creative solutions that will lead to positive economic development as well as greater transit options for people across the state of Connecticut.
While this new opportunity does mean that I will no longer serve as chair of the Select Committee on Veterans’ Affairs— a post I have held for the last four years—I greatly enjoyed my service on that panel, and I plan to continue working on issues that impact our veterans, active duty military personnel and military families.
Energy Assistance, Conservation
Can Help with Winter Costs
With record snowfalls and record cold, winter is upon us in full-force this year. If you need assistance with heating your home this year, the State of Connecticut does have programs available to help. The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, or CEAP, and the Contingency Heating Assistance Program, or CHAP, can help offset costs and pay for weatherization for those who qualify. Both programs operate through the state Department of Social Services.
Assistance also may be available for income-eligible residents through Operation Fuel. For more information about energy assistance programs, call the state Infoline at 2-1-1.
Year-round, you can save money on your energy costs by ensuring that your home is energy-efficient. Many home weatherization products—like Energy Star-rated insulation, calking, doors, furnaces, windows, water heaters and programmable thermostats—are all exempt from the state sales tax, as are compact fluorescent light bulbs.
And, the state’s Weatherization Residential Assistance Partnership, or WRAP, helps income-eligible customers make their home more energy efficient. For more information, contact my office or call 1-800-388-9727.
For more information on these and other money-saving opportunities that can help lower your energy costs, please visit the Senate Democrats’ Energy Assistance guide.
License Expiration Grace Period
in Effect for Military Members Serving Out-of-State
Members of our Armed Forces who are stationed overseas no longer have to worry about the status of their driver’s license upon their return to Connecticut.
A new law allows the driver’s license of a service member who is on active duty and serving outside the state to remain valid beyond its expiration date. After their return to Connecticut or their honorable separation from the service, servicemen and women will now be given an additional 30-day period to execute their license renewal.
This is just one small thing we can do to help ease the burden on those who choose to serve and their families. It makes little sense for those who give so much to have to worry about the expiration date on their license while serving abroad.