State Senator Will Haskell Photo Credit: Ridgefield Democratic Town Committee
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Cher, who presented her with a VH1 Trailblazer Award.
Legislation introduced by Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan of Bethel is designed to bring new state protections for the LGBTQ community. Photo Credit: Provided

Politics Around CT: Haskell Town Hall, Pelosi Stumps In Capitol, LGBTQ Legislation Passes

Will Haskell, the youngest-ever Senator elected to the Statehouse, is holding a Town Hall meeting on Monday, June 17, at the Wilton Library. 

Haskell announced that his "community conversation" will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Wilton Library, 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton. The meeting happens to be 11 days before Haskell's 23rd birthday.

The Westport Democrat, who represents the 26th District, announced his candidacy during his senior year of college at Georgetown. He ran on a platform of restoring tolls to highways, paid family leave and tougher gun control laws. 

Tolls may have to wait for a special session, while the state legislature approved laws addressing the other two issues.

Senate Bill 1 created paid family and medical leave. A trio of House bills placing tougher controls on storing guns and banning so-called "ghost guns" also passed the Senate.

Haskell is a graduate of Staples High School. He was part of a "blue wave," helping Democrats make their first state legislative gains in 10 years, smashing an 18-18 tie in the state Senate. There are now 22 Democrats and 14 Republican senators.

House Speaker Raises Money In Hartford

U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will be the keynote speaker for the Connecticut Democratic Party's annual fundraising dinner.

The California congresswoman will appear June 21 at the John Bailey Dinner at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. 

General admission tickets cost $200 for the evening event, named after the late party chairman. Tickets for a VIP reception with Pelosi cost $1,000. General tickets for young Democrats, age 36 and under, cost $125.

Organizers say the dinner will focus on women in leadership. Former State Democratic Party Chairwomen Nancy DiNardo, the first woman to hold that position, will receive the party's highest honor, the 2019 William A. O'Neill Award for leadership.

LGBTQ Health Bill Approved

Rep. Raghib Allie-Brennan, a Democrat from Bethel, introduced House Bill 7359 , An Act Concerning a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Health and Human Services Network. The bill passed this month with overwhelming support, and was included in the two-year budget, according to an aide to Allie-Brennan.

The legislation is intended to build a healthier and safer environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer persons by establishing a health and human services network to help address their unique needs.

Allie-Brennan said, “We heard from advocates who work on the frontlines with LGBTQ youth. They emphasized the urgent need to prioritize and protect this community that experiences homelessness, food insecurity, and health risks at greater rates that most other Connecticut residents.”

The Triangle Community Center reports that 23 percent of Connecticut’s homeless youth population is LGBTQ, compared to 4 percent of the entire state population. The state's LGTBQ population averages annual incomes of less than $24,000. Meanwhile, FBI data shows that 15 percent of all hate crimes in the state victimized LGBTQ people.

“Similar networks exist in New York and California, and Connecticut has a unique opportunity to join these states with these groundbreaking initiatives.” Allie-Brennan said.

Please email government or political news from your town, preferably with a local photo, to jcraig@dailyvoice.com