Saturday, Jan. 23rd, 10am-noon -- I, most of my Board colleagues, and about 30 city residents heard from New Haven's delegation of State Senators & Representatives (7 of the 8). They convened this forum to brief Alders and attendees on the workings of State government and provide an update on current issues and the budget. It was truly informative, with Senator Looney opening the session providing a summary of the legislative organization and the budgeting process. Senator Harp shared background on the important Appropriations committee which she chairs. Representative Staples discussed the Finance committee which he chairs. Representative Dillon (Ward 25 resident) spoke about her passion and advocacy for Public Health. Rep. Candelaria gave examples of the work he does as a member of the Regulation and Revue Committee, the Commerce Committee and as chair of the Higher Education Committee. Rep. Walker, who also organized the forum, took the opportunity to invite the Alders and public to testify at public budget hearings or any public hearings up in Hartford. A Guide to Testifying at Public Hearings was available. Rep. Holder-Winfield, in the interest of time, asked Rep. Walker to open the floor to questions.
Several questions were raised including: efforts to avoid "silo thinking," current efforts for jobs creation, red-light camera legislation, and the public financing of elections. The members of the delegation all helped field these questions.
The following useful documents can be linked to or shared electronically: "This is your General Assembly," 2010 Legislative Calendar, "Guide to Testifying at Public Hearings," CT Gen. Assembly FAQs, and "2009 Major Acts"
If anyone would like to hear more or receive the above docs, please contact me.