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Photo of Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr..

STATE SENATOR

Ted Kennedy, Jr.

Listening to You

Honoring Our Veterans on Flag Day

This week, in honor of National Flag Day, I joined Representative Scanlon to present a flag of the United States of America that has been flown over the State Capitol to Guilford VFW Post 7666. We were joined by the Post’s commanding officers and held a small ceremony, after which the flag was raised and flew over the VFW Post. Flag Day is held on June 14 each year, commemorating the adoption of the flag of the United States of America. This year marks the 240th anniversary of our flag being adopted.

flag

Creating Jobs and Expanding Bioscience with Smart State Investments

I led passage of a bill in the Senate that will improve Connecticut’s ability to make targeted investments aimed at encouraging growth and job creation in bioscience and precision medicine. Special Act 17-2 calls for metrics to be developed by a private vendor that will help the state measure the impact of its investments. These metrics will be used by Connecticut Innovations to vet bioscience proposals. The bill was signed into law by the governor June 9, 2017, after receiving unanimous, bipartisan support in the Senate and passing the House of Representatives 132-17.

VIDEO: EOS

A 2015 economic competitiveness diagnostic of Connecticut found that the state has great assets and economic drivers in research and development, bioscience, and health data. In response to those findings, I and my colleagues in the legislature have worked with stakeholders to develop and pass legislation encouraging further development in these areas. As this industry grows, it is critical that the state know how to best target its financial support in order to ensure maximum job growth and economic impact. Once implemented, Senate Bill 962 will give the state a more accurate picture of industry trends, allowing the Department of Economic and Community Development and its other partners to better target state resources.

Preventing the “Surprise Cutting” of Municipal Trees

One of the final bills I brought to the floor in the 2017 legislative session aims to ensure that the public is properly notified of any plans to remove trees from municipal property. This bill was requested by a number of my constituents, and I'm happy to say it received bipartisan approval in the state Senate. This bill has also passed the House of Representatives and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.

Connecticut’s trees make this state such a beautiful place to live, and the decision to cut them down should not be made lightly. HB 6356 will prohibit cities, towns and utility companies from cutting down trees located on municipal property without prior public notice. Utility companies would also be required to make a formal written request to the city or town for permission to cut down a tree, even if the tree is located in a “utility protection zone” located on municipal property. The bill contains some important common-sense exceptions, such as when a tree poses an immediate hazard or endangers power lines. HB 6356 has gained the support of many municipal leaders, including the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), which submitted testimony in support of the bill.