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Photo of Senator Carlo Leone.

STATE SENATOR

Carlo Leone

Integrity & Collaboration

A Bright Future for UConn and Stamford

I recently spoke at the opening of the new UConn Stamford Campus residence hall on Washington Street, which will soon welcome more than 550 freshman to its downtown campus--a 50 percent increase over last year.

The new dormitory is a public-private partnership between UConn and a private developer to help students afford to study and live in downtown Stamford as they would on any other college campus, simultaneously allowing students to enjoy city amenities and regional business internship opportunities.

Senator Leone at UConn Stamford.

We've been working on this project as far back as 2005, when Governor Malloy was mayor of Stamford. Now, with the help of new leadership at UConn and a continuing commitment from state and local officials, we have accomplished our goal of providing a wonderful new downtown residence hall for our UConn students.

Stamford has long been seen as Connecticut's business capital, and rightfully so. Now we're on the map as an educational destination for UConn, which is one of the Top 20 public universities in America. I couldn't be happier for the students who will be able to not only study here in Stamford, but enjoy all out city has to offer as well. It's a great day for the region and for Connecticut's future.
 

Back-to-School Savings: Tax-Free Week Runs Through Saturday!

The new school year for most children begins in less than a week, and that means back-to-school shopping.

So once again, for the 17th year in a row, many items of clothing and footwear that cost less than $100 can be purchased without paying any Connecticut sales tax during “Sales Tax-Free Week” began this past Sunday and runs through this Saturday, August 26.

Tax-free Week.

During Sales Tax-Free Week, most individual items of clothing and footwear priced under $100 are exempt from Connecticut’s sales tax. For items costing $100 or more, the sales tax is calculated on the full purchase price.

Connecticut is one of just 16 states in America that offers its residents a tax-free holiday for back-to-school clothing and footwear purchases. According to the National Retail Association, the average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spends about $600 on back-to-school shopping. That means Connecticut families will save about $4.1 million during this sales tax holiday week.

And there are no limits on how many items you can buy, as long as each individual item is priced less than $100.

I hope you’ll make some time to take advantage of these tax savings for your back-to-school needs!
 

Hurricane Preparedness

storm photo.

Hurricane season in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea runs from June 1 to November 30, with peak hurricanes occurring from mid-August (i.e., right now!) through late October.

Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have already predicted that the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season will be “extremely active” with the possibility of 14 to 19 named storms and 2-5 major hurricanes—the most since 2010.

Connecticut has a long history of deadly and damaging hurricanes, most of which arrived between mid-August and late September. “The Great Hurricane” of 1944 arrived on September 14 with 109-mph winds and 11 inches of rain. Hurricane Carol arrived on August 31, 1954 with winds up to 100 mph and a huge storm surge. Hurricanes Connie and Diane hit back-to-back in mid-August 1955. Hurricane Gloria arrived September 28, 1985 as a Category 3 hurricane. Hurricane Irene (actually just a tropical storm by the time it hit Connecticut) arrived in late August 2011 and knocked out power to 750,000 state residents.

What can you do to protect your life and property from such storms?

  • Review your insurance policy.
  • Learn locations of official shelters.
  • Frequently listen to radio, TV or NOAA Weather Radio for official bulletins on the storm’s progress.
  • Fuel and service your family vehicles.
  • Ensure you have extra cash on hand.
  • Buy food that will keep, and store drinking water.
  • Prepare to cover all windows and doors with shutters or other shielding materials.
  • Check batteries and stock up on first aid supplies and medications.
  • Bring in lightweight, outdoor objects such as garbage cans, garden tools, toys and lawn furniture.
  • Trim trees and shrubbery so branches don’t fly into your home.
  • Clear clogged rain gutters and downspouts.
  • Decide where to move your boat.
  • Determine safe evacuation routes inland.
  • Notify neighbors and a family member outside the area of your evacuation plans.
  • Take pets with you if possible, but remember, most public shelters do not allow pets other than those used by people with disabilities.

For more information, download NOAA's preparedness guide for tropical cyclones.