• A Positive Session!

    June 4, 2024
    Hartford Capitol. Public Domain.

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    As I reflect on my time in the legislature—serving in both the House and Senate Chambers—I am proud to share the remarkable achievements of this legislative session.

    This session, I was entrusted to be a key part of our leadership and significantly contribute to our caucus strategy negotiations.

    Despite being in the minority, our team stood tall, demonstrating resilience and determination. This year, our efforts made a significant impact, shaping good bills and blocking harmful ones.

    Here are a few key bills I helped over the finish line:

    Improving Unclaimed Property Retrieval (S.B. 393)

    Each year, I championed improvements to the process for retrieving unclaimed property held by the State Treasurer. Our persistence paid off, and progress is evident.

    Honoring Vietnam War Veterans Exposed to Agent Orange (S.J. 6)

    I introduced legislation to recognize and honor veterans from our community who were exposed to Agent Orange was an honor. Their dedication to our country deserves our utmost gratitude.

    Strengthening Election Integrity (H.B. 5498)

    While I proudly co-sponsored this bill, more work remains. I offered five meaningful amendments on the Senate floor to enhance its effectiveness, but unfortunately, they were rejected by the majority.

    Curbing Foreign Political Spending (S.B. 253)

    I am pleased to have introduced and passed legislation preventing foreign interference in Connecticut’s elections through political contributions or expenditures.

    Supporting Connecticut Seniors and Improving Care (H.B. 5001)

    A resounding victory for our seniors, this bill enhances nursing and home-based care services. By supporting HB5001, we ensure quality care for Connecticut’s elderly population.

    Safeguarding Water Resources (H.B. 5355)

    Our commitment to environmental stewardship led us to examine water protection in the Upper Farmington River Valley. This law ensures these precious resources remain safeguarded for generations.

    Property Tax Exemption for Disabled Veterans (H.B. 5491)

    Veterans with service-connected permanent and total disability ratings deserve our utmost respect. This policy creates a mechanism to ease their financial burden—a small token of gratitude for their sacrifices.

    Addressing PFAS in Products (S.B. 292)

    This bill prevents the harmful “forever” chemical PFAS from further damaging our environment and citizens’ health.

    Enhancing Government Accountability (S.B. 259, 260, 261)

    As Ranking Member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee, I lead the way on transparency and oversight. These bills focus on improving our state ethics requirements.

    Expanding Telehealth Services (H.B. 5198)

    HB5198 allows for the expanded use of telehealth services while providing necessary patient protections.

    Even more important than passing good policy is blocking harmful legislation from becoming law. Being in the minority requires strategic prioritization of bills and a keen awareness of the varying degrees of positive vs. problematic bills. Leveraging the Senate’s tradition of unlimited debate, I engaged in lengthy discussions on harmful legislation. In some cases, our efforts resulted in legitimate and favorable compromise. In other cases, I am proud to have helped to block bad ideas:

    The “Green Monster”

    This is a massive climate-focused bill aimed to revive failed ideas like carbon taxes and gas-powered vehicle bans. We all wish to protect the environment long into the future, but this proposal was simply extreme.

    S.J. 4: Constitutional Amendment for Late-Term Abortions & Gender Surgery

    This proposal sought to redefine “sex” and “gender” in Connecticut’s constitution, conflating abortion rights with transgender rights and would have enshrined protections for late-term abortions and gender reassignment surgery in our state constitution. People can differ over the question of abortion, but this was an extreme policy focused on abortion protections late in a pregnancy close to birth.

    “No-Fault” Evictions

    As the ranking member of the Housing Committee, I opposed a proposal interfering in private rental agreements. Inserting the state government into housing provider-tenant relationships continues to harm our housing stock.

    DEI

    One proposal this year was to create Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) Directors in every state agency with power on par with Commissioners themselves. Not only would this have cost taxpayers millions, but it would also have injected race & gender-based decision making into our state government in a huge way. I believe people should be judged on merit, not superficial appearances.

    Statewide Zoning

    Majority Democrats at the Capitol have been hot on overriding local zoning laws in our communities. I am proud to protect our well-run local governments from state led mismanagement.

    We also successfully prevented further erosion of civil liberties and constitutional protections this session. Rather than simply saying no, I proposed amendments to many pieces of legislation throughout this session. My goal is to make every bill in committee, or on the senate floor, the best version possible, working towards common sense and a final bill we all could be comfortable with.

    I will continue standing for our guiding American principles. Connecticut’s seniors, veterans, and residents deserve nothing less.

    For ongoing updates, feel free to contact me at www.senatorsampson.com or follow me on social media @sampsonforct.

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    Author

    Rob Sampson

    State Senator Rob Sampson represents Connecticut’s 16th State Senate District of Cheshire, Prospect, Southington, Waterbury and Wolcott.

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