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2013 District News
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Senator Osten and child sex abuse prevention advocate Erin Merryn discuss Connecticut’s version of Erin’s Law.
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State Senator Cathy Osten was elected in November, 2012 to representing the residents of the 19th state Senatorial District communities of Columbia, Franklin, Hebron, Lebanon, Ledyard, Lisbon, Marlborough, Montville, Norwich and Sprague.
Cathy is Senate Chairman of the legislature’s Labor & Public Employees Committee, Vice-Chairman of the Planning & Development Committee, and a member of the Public Safety & Security and Veterans committees.
Cathy’s public policy priorities for 2013 include adding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of medical illnesses covered under Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation law; increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage; and creating a state version of “Erin’s Law,” which requires that children be educated in schools on sexual abuse in a child-friendly manner, for the purpose of informing and protecting them from sexual abuse.
A 1973 graduate of the Norwich Free Academy, Cathy heeded America’s call for volunteers during the Vietnam era by enlisting in the United States Army. After several months in the U.S., she shipped out to Japan as a translator-interpreter in Chinese Mandarin. After four years of active duty, Sergeant Osten returned to the United States, taking up residence in Norwich and attending Mohegan Community College before beginning her career with the state Department of Corrections.
Cathy served in the Correction Department for more than two decades, first as a corrections officer and then as a lieutenant. For 21 years, Cathy experienced first-hand the issues surrounding Connecticut’s prison system, public employees, pension disputes and women’s rights in the workplace. In 2003, following a string of harassment cases against women which stemmed from inside the Connecticut prison system, Cathy joined with other female corrections officers to protest the treatment of women in the workplace. Bringing this fight to the State Capitol, Cathy was able to hold the Correction Department accountable for pervasive sexual harassment.
Understanding the need for more progress in the workplace, Cathy also began working toward the passage of new laws to allow corrections supervisors the right to organize. She was successful, and as president of the Correction Supervisors’ Council of CSEA/SEIU Cathy worked tirelessly to directly represent more than 600 professionals in the Corrections Department.
Cathy is also an experienced public official; her passionate commitment to her community led her to stand up for the people in public office as Sprague’s first-ever female selectman. Throughout her five-year tenure, she withstood the pressure to raise taxes and yet was able to increase services to residents. In 2011, Cathy was appointed by Governor Malloy to the Two Storm Panel, giving small-town issues statewide attention by highlighting necessary changes by both the utility companies and the state in responding to recent emergencies.
Cathy’s continuous outreach to seniors, her fight for the middle class and her desire for open government and environmental integrity continually demonstrate that her focus is on improving her community. As the proud mother of one, grandmother of four and neighbor to thousands, Cathy sees her advocacy as a personal endeavor to improve the lives of all, one community at a time.
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
Find all of Senator Osten’s videos on YouTube.
March 26, 2014 —Senator Osten supports increasing Connecticut’s minimum wage as a way to help provide working families with the necessities they need to survive.
March 17, 2014 —Advocates applaud Senator Osten’s support for new legislation to expand support services for families affected by Dyslexia.
November 25, 2013 —Senator Osten visited Marlborough Plastics to see how financial assistance from the Small Business Express program has helped to keep the family-owned manufacturer competitive and create local jobs.
October 7, 2013 —Senator Osten tours New England Glass and Mirror in Norwich to learn how the company was able to increase its workforce from 15 to 20 employees with help from the STEP-Up jobs program.