Touring a Local Business
I recently had the pleasure of touring Empire Industries on Olcott Street, a 70-year-old family-owned pipe hanger business, to talk with management there about their incredible success over the past year and what the state can do to keep them economically vibrant.
In the past year Empire has hired more than a dozen new employees, purchased new machinery, arranged for manufacturing internships with two area community colleges, and secured state tax credits for new hires.
In short, Empire Industries is the poster child for everything good about Connecticut manufacturing today.
I have listened to the CEOs of mid-sized local manufacturers like Empire, and that is why I am committed to expanding Connecticut’s existing small business grant and loan program to manufacturers employing 50-100 people.
By the time you read this, the legislature should have met in special session to accomplish this expansion of state business assistance. It’s just one more way I am committed to growing and retaining local jobs.
Free Park Passes for
We can never give enough thanks to the military men and women who have sacrificed so much—sometimes life or limb—for our freedom. However, now we can offer our disabled veterans a small token of our appreciation for their service: a free lifetime pass to state parks.
I voted last year for a bill that established the free lifetime parks pass for military veterans with a service-related disability. Passes are available from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection at the agency’s headquarters in Hartford and at various parks and field offices throughout the state.
To get a pass, veterans must provide a photocopy of their current Connecticut driver’s license or other legal proof of residency, and a copy of their Veterans Administration (VA) Card or VA benefits letter indicating the service-connected disability. DEEP also offers the Charter Oak Pass, a free lifetime state parks pass for Connecticut seniors 65 and older.
Use this link to the DEEP website to find locations to obtain a Disabled Veterans Pass or Charter Oak Pass.
Online Voter Registration
Now State Law
In a move that will make democracy in Connecticut more accessible to all, new voter reform legislation that I voted for was recently signed into law by Governor Malloy.
The new law also allows online voter registration, a move that will make the registration process more convenient and efficient. While other states across the country consider measures that would suppress voter rights, Connecticut is focused on the opposite: making democracy more accessible to all.
The new law establishes an online system for entering new voter registration applications and changes to existing registrations. For Election Day registration, the applicant must fill out a voter registration form, swear an oath, and provide the same information required by current law.