Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

January 23, 2020

Senator Anwar Joins Looney, Duff, Senate Democrats To Announce “A Smart & Responsible Connecticut” Agenda

Bill proposals aim to strengthen our economy, economic competitiveness, and education system

Today, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) joined Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney (D-New Haven), Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), and other members of the Senate Democratic caucus announced “A Smart & Responsible Connecticut,” the third of four legislative agendas for the 2020 legislative session from Senate Democrats. The series of bills outlined the policy proposals from Senate Democrats aim to strengthen our economy, economic competitiveness, and education system.

Sen. Anwar discussed the caucus effort to support new housing opportunities and solutions, working to support vulnerable members of the community. One such approach would be creating new housing opportunity zones to incentivize the construction or rehabilitation of residential units, providing more accessible housing in towns and cities needing it.

“Housing is the most important piece of the puzzle for the well-being of individuals and families,” said Sen. Anwar. “If we can fix that component, it will give strength to towns, and the state as a whole. Solutions can be divided into three broad categories, the first being how we prevent homelessness. A homeless individual becomes homeless because of a number of different pathways. We have a responsibility to strengthen ways to prevent homelessness. It’s well-studied and recognized that if we invest in the right places, we can reduce the risk of homelessness. Additionally, early identification and management can help. Our programs help, but we do not allocate proper resources to be responsive to people in homelessness situations or those at risk. We need to put resources behind them to make them more effective. We’ve created a network but we need to strengthen it. We also need to build homes and provide opportunities for that – housing opportunity zones will work to help that, allowing us to have the right amount of homes to address our communities’ needs. The return on interest in providing homes in our communities is almost at the return of providing education. We need to work with that.

Additional legislative proposals in the “A Smart & Responsible Connecticut” agenda discussed today included:


Housing Solutions for Connecticut
To provide for the creation of housing opportunity zones within which certain incentives are available for new construction or substantial rehabilitation of residential units.

21st Century Jobs
To expand existing and establish new incentives for large and small businesses that hire new employees under new and expanded criteria such as unemployed, low income, veterans, or disabled. To support small businesses through cutting unnecessary regulations and red tape.

Legalization, Taxation and Regulation of the Retail Sale and Recreational Use of Cannabis
To legalize, tax and regulate the retail sale, personal growth and recreational use of cannabis by individuals twenty-one years of age or older.


Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder Education in Schools
To provide that the teacher in-service training programs include the warning signs of mental illness, substance-use disorder and suicidal behavior in youth. To also provide mental health awareness to students in grades 6-12.

Mental Health on College Campuses
To enact the recommendations of The Taskforce on Mental Health on College Campuses.

Revamping Behavioral Suspensions
To protect students by curbing school suspensions and finding alternative behavioral solutions.

Financial Literacy in Schools
To require financial literacy instruction for pupils enrolled in grades sixth through eighth and require that a school district incorporate financial literacy instruction to pupils enrolled in those grades.

Mandating FAFSA Completion
To require the completion of the FAFSA for Connecticut high school students to increase the number of students who qualify for and receive federal financial support for college.

Read background information on the proposed legislation here.