Reps. Ferguson & Duff Visit Abbott Tech, Learn about Program


DANBURY- State Reps. Michael Ferguson (R-138) and Will Duff (R-2) spent the morning of March 14th touring Henry Abbott Technical High and learning about the programs at the school.

Abbott Tech has over 600 students from 18 different towns. The school has undergone major renovations to create new, state-of-the-art shop facilities, computer labs and classrooms.

Both Reps. Duff and Ferguson mentioned how there are bill proposals in the pipeline this legislative session to promote manufacturing jobs in our state including establishing public-private partnerships for apprenticeship programs.

The legislators visited Abbott Tech with the new Superintendent of the Connecticut Technical Education and Career System (CTECS) Jeff Wihbey, as part of his Superintendent Entry Plan. The superintendent and state representatives conducted classroom visits and meets with Abbott Tech’s principal, Stacy Butkus, students, teachers and staff.

While visiting with Abbott Tech officials, the administration mentioned to the two legislators that one of their big issues is how difficult it is to hire teachers and staff in a timely manner due to the slow and bloated state bureaucracy. Both lawmakers agreed that it should be a priority of state government to streamline this process to make it easier, and align with what traditional public school districts procedures are.

Abbott Tech offers a comprehensive high school and Career Technical Education in 12 occupational careers. Each graduate receives a high school diploma and a certificate in their chosen trade. In addition, Abbott Tech serves adult education students in various apprentice and extension courses.



Rep. Ferguson: AP Courses Have Great Value


HARTFORD- State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) last week testified in the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on a bill to address the current challenges regarding High School Advanced Placement (AP) courses and the emphasis these courses are given in our public higher education institutions.

The legislation as drafted, S.B. 354, An Act Concerning the Acceptance of Advanced Placement Course Credit at Public Institutions of Higher Education would require public institutions of higher education to accept and award college credit for advanced placement course examination scores of four or greater.

“This proposal is a good first step in addressing some of the challenges around Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The bill will require a higher education institution to “accept and award credit in the appropriate course offering to any student who scores a 4 or 5 on an advanced placement examination,” said Rep. Ferguson. “This will help to bring consistency within our public higher education institutions, and gives students the comfort of knowing that this will be consistent across the board no matter which public state school they attend.”

Rep. Ferguson added, “I see additional areas where further conversations can be had involving AP courses.  CollegeBoard, a college preparation organization which runs AP courses, has reports showing the transfer policies at each of our state colleges.  However, this information needs to become more well-known and publicized for students and their families while in high school. The lack of coordination and consistency among Connecticut higher education institutions is a worry for many school districts. I still believe that a state university system should at least be compatible regarding AP courses and the grades which are accepted at each university”

According to the Education Commission of the States, an organization which tracks education policies across the fifty states, Connecticut does not require collaboration on AP between K-12 and higher education systems.

Rep. Ferguson noted that at Danbury High School, 45% of juniors and seniors take at least one AP course, and 30% of those students qualify for free or reduced lunch.  CollegeBoard currently has 38 AP courses, 24 of which are offered at Danbury High School, meaning that students seeking to earn various types of degrees would have the possibility of completing nearly a full year of credits prior to entering college making college more affordable for students.

Ferguson recommended that we should, at the very least, develop a state task force to see what the AP policies of schools across the state, as well as develop ways to bring more consistency.

“At the end of the day, this is about creating a universal standard among Connecticut’s public colleges so that every student has a chance to prosper, regardless of which public state school they choose to attend,” said Rep. Ferguson.

The bill now awaits further action in the Higher Education committee. Their committee deadline is March 20th.


State Rep. Michael Ferguson Announces Tolls Public Hearing


Because the issues of transportation and the possibility of tolls coming back to Connecticut are critical to our communities, I am writing to let you know that the Transportation Committee will be holding an important public hearing on Wednesday March 14th, at 10:30 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford with the major topic being tolls.

I am a member of the Transportation committee and will be in attendance at Wednesday’s important public hearing. Transportation is such an essential issue for the residents of Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield. I want to make sure your voice is heard.

A few of the bills on the public hearing agenda are proposals to bring electronic tolls to our state. Click to view the list of bills.

I encourage you to let your voice be heard. This is your chance to let the Transportation committee know your thoughts on implementing electronic tolls on all major highways, including I-95, I-91, I-84, I-395, I-691, as well as Route 2, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8 and Route 15.

You can testify in-person at the hearing. (Click here for a guide for testifying at hearings and here for driving directions to the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building).

You can also email testimony on any of the bills at  Your comments can be as brief as you like, but there is no limit on the length of written testimony. Just include your name and town, include the subject of the bill in the subject line of the email, and copy my office at

If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact my office at (800) 842-1423, or email me at You can also follow my legislative activity on my website at  or my Facebook page at



State Rep. Ferguson & Sen. McLachlan Applaud DOT Commissioner, Commuters for Productive Multi-Town Community Forum


DANBURY–On Tuesday night, State Representative Michael Ferguson (R-Danbury), and Senator Michael McLachlan (R-Danbury) were joined by area drivers, bus and train commuters, all having a chance to voice their frustrations with the conditions of Connecticut’s transportation system, proposed fare hikes and offer ideas for improvements at a forum with the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation (DOT) James Redeker.

The forum was organized by a bipartisan group of legislators from the Route 7 corridor who are concerned that in the last few months, the state DOT has proposed raising rail and bus fares 21.28 percent over the next 3 years, significantly reducing rail service on the Danbury and Waterbury Lines. Additionally, the governor has cancelled over $4 billion in transportation projects state-wide and introduced a proposal to bring tolls back to the state, raise the gas tax 7 cents over 4 years and implement a new ‘tire tax’.

The forum was held in the Council Chambers at Danbury City Hall.

“I want to thank everyone who came out for the forum. We heard from many people about different facets of transportation from bus fares to tolls,” said Rep. Michael Ferguson. “I have seen ‘NO’ public groundswell in the greater Danbury region for bringing back tolls. Once you unpeel the onion and talk details of tolls, people find out how negatively it will impact their family budgets.”

Sen. McLachlan said, “I hope Commissioner Redeker was listening to all the people who took the time to attend this forum and share the enormous negative impact the administration’s proposals will have on businesses, commuters, and the entire community. The Connecticut economy is suffering from the already high taxes and fees imposed by Governor Malloy’s administration. Reduced schedules, increased fares, tolls, an increase in the gas tax, and all the other ways that have been proposed to suck more money out of taxpayers’ pockets; these will further cripple the economy and drive even more businesses and residents out of state.”

Sen. McLachlan and Rep. Ferguson said they will work for other solutions to the state’s transportation problems.

Rep. Ferguson serves the communities of Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield. 

Sen. McLachlan represents the communities of Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, and Sherman. 



Rep. Michael Ferguson Looks to Honor CT Reservists & National Guardsmen


HARTFORD- State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) today submitted testimony in support of his proposal to expand eligibility of state benefits to armed forces reservists and members of the Connecticut National Guard who served during a period of war to receive state veterans’ benefits.

The legislation, SB 287, An Act Expanding Eligibility for Certain Veterans Benefits expands eligibility for certain veterans benefits to certain individuals discharged or released from the service, not active service, in the armed forces, separated early from wartime service as a result of injuries incurred or aggravated in the line of duty, and who have not resided continuously in the state for at least two years.

The bill received a public hearing in the legislature’s Veterans Affairs committee on March 6th and awaits a vote by the full committee.

According to Rep. Ferguson, there are several constituents in the 138th Assembly District who would be positively affected by this legislation.

“Passage of this bill will provide important recognition for the devoted American patriots who have shown their dedication to serve our country,” said Rep. Ferguson. “Additionally, this change in law may help to encourage membership in the Connecticut National Guard and drive more members of the community to join the reserves.”

A few veterans, who testified at public hearing, describe the men and women who have served our country and our state as being selfless and having exemplary manner and are very deserving of the maximum support that Connecticut can provide them.