Rep. Kennedy February Editorial: “My Legislative Goals: 2024 Session”

Posted on January 31, 2024


Dear Friends and Neighbors,

The 2024 Legislative Session is here, so what can we expect? Beginning on Feb. 7 and ending on May 8, this shorter session is ramping up to address resident concerns on electric vehicles, affordability, public safety and education, to name a few.

The big picture is that this session will primarily include bills and regulations that fall within the parameters of the state budget agreement, passed last June. That means any new bills or funding adjustments cannot exceed the limits of the budget for fiscal year 2024-2025.

My session goals are simple: support our police and first responders, reform juvenile justice policy, invest in our nonprofits, incentivize quality education and teacher retention and promote safer road and driving initiatives.

At home, stories of crime continue to populate our headlines. With a sharp rise in juvenile crime statewide and the existing limits the police accountability bill has placed on our law enforcement officers, there are only two responsible steps forward. First, enact policy that once again holds all criminals accountable, cracking down on repeat offenders. Second, eliminate unnecessary barriers on the investigative duties of our police, supporting those who protect, serve and support our communities.

Our first responders represent the backbone of our community, whether it’s police, fire or EMTs. Far too often, larger municipalities attract newly trained officers from our local staff, making it harder for our towns to operate their emergency services. That’s why I will be supporting new retention initiatives that motivate our local emergency staff to stay local, assuring a safe and more responsive community at home.

Concerning nonprofits, Milford and Orange have been home to many reliable and successful nonprofit organizations that serve us and our surrounding communities in a variety of ways. Last year, I supported the state budget’s one-time 2.5 percent bonus for certain nonprofits; however, I am continuing my support in extending this bonus for the upcoming fiscal year.

Although our budget agreement invested a dynamic $150 million in education funding, there is still more work to be done. Recently, constituents have contacted me with policy concerns about kindergarten age requirements and where our towns fall under state reading level expectations, leaving local parents and educators with more questions than solutions. I will work with my colleagues to revisit the Right to Read Act and kindergarten age regulations to protect already successful students and districts from more unfunded education mandates.

Finally, as ranking member of the Transportation Committee, my passion is to make Connecticut safer for all drivers, whether on the road or at home. Catalytic converter, tire and vehicle thefts have become more common throughout our state, not to mention intoxicated and wrong-way driving and street takeovers. By eliminating current limits on our law enforcement, bolstering criminal penalties and encouraging more police recruitment and retention programs, we can confidently secure our roads, communities and state.

Don’t forget: you also play a role in the legislative process and there are multiple ways to participate. Follow my Facebook page @StateRepKennedy and subscribe to my brief email updates at to receive information on public hearings, proposed bills and how you can share your voice.

As always, never hesitate to reach out to me with your questions, ideas and concerns about any state issue by emailing me at or by calling me at 860-240-8700. Together, we can make Connecticut a more affordable, safe, and prosperous state.