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Durham Lawmakers Host ‘Let’s Taco Bout It’ Event

Posted on January 30, 2019 by admin


The free event that took place on Wednesday, January 16 at The Whole Enchilada, located on 370 Main Street in Durham allowed individuals from Durham and the surrounding area to receive a legislative update from State Reps. Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Noreen Kokoruda (R-101).

The lawmakers were available to address local concerns from constituents, to answer questions, to discuss the 2019 legislative session as well as current happenings at the Capitol. Other topics addressed during this event included the upcoming budget, potential cuts and taxes, and constituents’ concerns about Connecticut being unaffordable to live in.

Local officials Laura Francis, Durham First Selectwoman and Chuck Stengel from the Durham Board of Finance were in attendance along with CT DDS Families First.

Tacos, snacks and beverages were supplied by Reps. Candelora and Kokoruda and also Sen. Fasano for the nearly 40 attendees ranging in age from 14-85.

Those who could not attend may contact Reps. Candelora and Kokoruda at 800-842-1423 or by email at or

Reps. Candelora, Kokoruda Co-Host “Know the Risks” Press Conference

Posted on January 23, 2019 by admin


HARTFORD – State Representatives Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Noreen Kokoruda co-hosted a “Know the Risks” press conference along with the Connecticut Chapter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (CT SAM), Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals (CAPP), students, advocates, law enforcement, health professionals, and local officials to discuss the implications and health risks associated with legalizing retail marijuana in Connecticut.

Recent findings were discussed by a number of speakers, many of whom highlighted how states that have already legalized marijuana now lead the nation in teen use. Experts from both urban and suburban areas mentioned the following points:

  • States that have legalized marijuana lead the U.S. in teen use (Source:
  • Kids who are dependent on marijuana are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin (Source: Centers for Disease Control)
  • Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past and comes in many youth-friendly forms (Source: Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
  • Neurological risks for youth and adults under age 25 (Source: World Health Organization)
  • Connecticut existing marijuana laws do not contribute to mass incarceration (Source:
  • Colorado marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 48 percent following legalization (Source: The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, p. 13)
  • When all costs are considered, there will be no revenue windfall (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Economic Trends in Tobacco, March 3, 2017)

Within the Connecticut General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session, the topic of legalizing marijuana will continue to be a divided debate with advocates on both sides.

“Countless reputable studies have concluded that marijuana is addictive and harmful, regardless of claims made by the marijuana industry trying to refute this,” said Rep. Candelora. “Simply put, legalizing marijuana is a money grab that would increase our state’s disposable income, but would do so at the expense of our children and the health of our citizens. We should never make decisions without considering the risks associated with them, and in this case the risks are grave, and must be avoided at all costs. ”

“Collecting tax revenue from legalizing retail marijuana is simply not worth the negative repercussions of doing so, many experts and researchers have verified these claims,” Rep. Kokoruda added. “This is not a decision we can make lightly, especially when states that have already legalized retail marijuana are now experiencing the blow back of this decision.”

CT SAM, an affiliate chapter to the National SAM organization, works to educate citizens on the science of marijuana and to promote health-first, smart policies and attitudes that decrease marijuana use and its consequences. CAPP is the Connecticut affiliate of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy.

For more information visit:

Reps. Candelora and Kokoruda can be reached by phone at 800-842-1423 or by email at and

For a link to the full press conference click here.

Rep. Candelora represents the 86th District communities of Durham, Guilford, North Branford and Wallingford.

Rep. Kokoruda represents the 101st District communities of Durham and Madison.

Kokoruda Prepares for 2019 Legislative Session, Named Deputy Republican Leader At Large

Posted on January 16, 2019 by admin


State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) recently received new committee assignments for her fifth two-year term serving the people of Madison and Durham.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides has chosen Rep. Noreen Kokoruda to serve in her 2019-2021 leadership team as Deputy Republican Leader At Large, which provides for a stronger voice at the legislative bargaining table and gives her leadership responsibilities on the House Floor during floor debate.

Rep. Kokoruda was reappointed to the legislature’s Appropriations, Education and Children Committees and will also serve on the Planning and Development and Legislative Management Committees.

“I am honored to be the voice of the 101st District in the Capitol” said Rep. Kokoruda. “There will undoubtedly be many obstacles to tackle this legislative session, but I am ready and eager to dedicate myself to working on all the challenges that may arise within my committees.”

“Rep. Kokoruda offers incredible insight in crafting policy for her district and entire state. I’m honored for her to serve as my deputy. In difficult political times she is the leader within the House that brings people together and resolves critical issues for our state,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.

The General Assembly convened on January 9th, for a five-month session ending at midnight on June 5th. In odd-numbered years, or long sessions, legislators must vote on a biennial state budget, which they must pass before they adjourn.

Rep. Kokoruda can be reached at  or 800-842-1423. Constituents can follow her legislative activity throughout the session by logging on to her website at and following her on Facebook at