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Photo of Senator Ed Gomes.

STATE SENATOR

Ed Gomes

FIGHTING FOR OUR COMMUNITY

My End of Year Recap

It's been a busy year working as your state senator. As we say goodbye to 2017, I wanted to send you an End of Year Recap from my office.

I've been fighting for our community for decades. This year was no different and I don't plan on backing down any time soon. I am working with my colleagues to make policies that will move our state forward and protect families and workers.

As your State Senator, I'm focused on:

  • Making Connecticut affordable for seniors
  • Fighting back against bills attacking working people
  • Supporting economic growth for our community
  • Protecting our immigrant community
  • Demanding equal access to funding for #AffordtoDream students
  • Funding education programs and our schools

This is just the beginning of what I am fighting for as your legislative voice in the Senate. If you have any ideas, questions, or concerns, please call or send me a note via email or social media. Your input is very valuable in assisting me in making sure that Bridgeport and Stratford continue to be communities where people choose to live, work, and raise families.

Senator Gomes with students
 

Legislative Wrap Up

Many of the critical issues I have worked on this year are the direct result of conversations that I've had with residents just like you. Here are some of the issues I worked on in 2017.

Fighting for Workers' Rights
I fought back against dozens of bills that attack the rights of teachers, firefighters and other public sector employees.

Jobs for Our Young People
I met with trade union workers and high school students during Career Fair Day at Bullard-Havens Technical High School in Bridgeport.

Senator Gomes with Bridgeport women

Reforming Prison Practices
I visited "Inside the Box," a replica solitary confinement cell. While there, I reflected on my personal experience as a teenager serving time in the Cheshire prison, some of which was spent inside a solitary confinement cell. This year, I supported a new law to reduce the use of solitary confinement in our prisons.

Investing in Bioscience Jobs
I worked with a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers to coordinate efforts across the state to prepare our workforce and position Connecticut as a national leader in biomedical research. We are locked in a global competition to create good-paying jobs and support high-growth industries. With our talented, hardworking and highly educated workforce, Connecticut possesses all of the ingredients to capitalize on the exponential growth that is set to occur in precision medicine and biomedical research.

Saving "Care 4 Kids"
I supported the reopening of Connecticut's "Care 4 Kids" program which helps low-income families pay for child care costs. Funding this program helps keep parents at work and their children in good care.

Protecting Our Immigrant Community
I joined over 100 community members to call on the Bridgeport City Council to take a stance against Donald Trump's crackdown on undocumented immigrants by declaring Bridgeport a Sanctuary City.

Senator Gomes at immigration rights rally.

Standing Up for Women's Health
With the continued threat to women's health care at the national level, I passed legislation that allows legislators to address any federal funding cuts to these programs within 90 days. Connecticut needs to protect women's health now more than ever.

Raising the Minimum Wage
I supported a bill to raise the minimum wage incrementally to $15 an hour. For parents trying to make ends meet and for single moms working two or three jobs just to provide basic necessities for their children, there may be no more important, pressing issue than earning a fair, adequate and "livable" wage. I will continue to fight for $15 until it becomes law.

Prioritizing Students & Education
I fought to maintain a strong level of local education funding by reversing devastating cuts proposed by the governor. We also defended college scholarships for low- and middle-income students and preserved funding for UConn, Housatonic Community College, and the rest of the Connecticut State University system.

Combating Hate Crimes
The recent, alarming surge in hate crimes must be met with a strong and clear response. That's why I was proud to join my Democratic colleagues to strengthen Connecticut's hate crime laws, making them the strongest in the nation. It was extremely important that we acted quickly to send a strong message and renounce hate in all its forms.

Legalizing Marijuana in Connecticut
I gathered a group of panelists on both sides of the issue at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport for a community forum on the legalization and regulation of recreational marijuana.

Senator Gomes at marijuana forum.

Thermal Loop for Bridgeport
The bipartisan $41.3 billion state budget passed this year moves the City of Bridgeport closer to becoming a national leader in renewable energy by establishing a state pilot program for the development and construction of a combined heat and power facility that will provide waste heat for a thermal heating loop in downtown Bridgeport.
 

The Year of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement

The bipartisan budget draws upon the best ideas from Democrats and Republicans. We worked together as a team for the greater good of Connecticut.

Protects Taxpayers & Businesses
The budget does NOT raise income tax rates, sales tax rates, or business tax rates.

Preserves Social Safety Net
The budget funds programs for people with disabilities, provides mental health grants to our private providers and protects funds for addiction services. The budget also funds critical programs like family resource centers, Care 4 Kids, and the earned income tax credit.

Cutting Taxes for Seniors
The budget cuts taxes for seniors by eliminating all tax on Social Security and pension income for single filers with an income below $75,000 and joint filers below $100,000 by 2019. Providing seniors with increased financial security will help them remain in their homes and continue to support the local economy.

Invests in Our Economy
The budget invests in the innovation economy through competitive grants for our cities and supports our local manufacturers and job-training programs. In addition, the budget invests in new and growing small businesses while focusing on building our emerging bioscience and green energy industries.

Prioritizes Students & Education
The budget maintains a strong level of local education funding by reversing devastating cuts proposed by the governor. It also protects college scholarships for low- and middle-income students.
 


Happy Holidays.

I wish good health and happiness for you and your family in this holiday season and in the coming year. As always, I am humbled and honored to work for you and represent you in Hartford. Please don't hesitate to contact me and let me know what is important to you, and what you would like me to focus on at the Capitol in 2018.