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Photo of Senator Doug McCrory.

STATE SENATOR

Doug McCrory

Lifting as We Climb

Great Students at Jumoke!

This week, I joined regional public safety officials and students from Hartford's Jumoke Academy's Honors SMaRT (Science, Math and Research Technology) school on Blue Hills Avenue to unveil the K9 agility equipment that Jumoke students designed and built this year as part of their STEM-aligned enrichment curriculum. The equipment these fine students designed and built will be donated to the Hartford K9 Police Unit, thereby helping our community stay safe. Well done Jumoke!

STEM

No More Witness Tampering!

I'm proud to say that an important public safety bill that I introduced this year on behalf of a constituent of mine has passed the state Senate on a unanimous and bipartisan basis and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration, where I am confident of its passage.

VIDEO: witness tampering

My bill creates a tough new penalty for physically threatening or harming a witness in a court trial, and makes it a Class B felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison to "physically harm or threaten to physically harm" a witness or a third person who is involved in a court proceeding.

The bill would put threatening or harming a witness on par with crimes like manslaughter, rape, burglary, robbery, money laundering, and human trafficking, which are already Class B felonies punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Currently in state law, it is already a Class C felony (punishable by up to 10 years in prison) to induce a witness to testify falsely, to withhold testimony, to elude the legal summons process, or to make a witness unavailable to testify in any proceeding.

I submitted this legislation after a constituent of mine was verbally threatened, and her grandson physically assaulted, after the grandson agreed to testify at a murder trial in Hartford.

There are good people in Connecticut who make a very tough decision to testify in a criminal trial, and those people should be protected if they decide to do the right thing. I think the stepped-up penalties in this new bill will send a message to lawbreakers that we take our court process seriously, and we're not going to put up with any threats to folks who are doing the right thing.

Making My Thoughts Known

This week, I took the opportunity during a Senate debate on a bill about expanding access to Connecticut's Small Business Express loan program to make what I think is a very important point: the lack of small business loans that the state is not giving to minority businesses in some of our largest cities.

I'm more than happy to welcome new businesses and new job opportunities wherever we can get them in Connecticut. But there has to be a balance, and there has to be more attention paid to businesses of color that historically have not had the same access to business capital as some others have.

I have recently spoken about this on TV, and spoke about it again when I attended a press conference about road improvements to Albany Avenue. I want folks to know that I am dedicated to ensuring that the State of Connecticut is listening to and helping small, minority-owned businesses in our cities and towns thrive and succeed.