By SHERIDAN ROY
Southington’s state representatives have been given their committee assignments for the 2019-2021 session and are swinging into action. Opening day of the legislative session was Jan. 9.
There are four House of Representative members who represent Southington and one Senator. Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-30), Gale Mastrofrancesco (R-80), John Fusco (R-81) and Liz Linehan (D-102) sit in the House of Representatives, and Sen. Rob Sampson (R-16) sits in the senate.
Sen. Sampson announced he has been appointed to serve on the Senate Republican leadership team, and will serve on three committees: he will be a ranking member of the government administration and elections committee, a member of the judiciary committee, and the finance, revenue and bonding committee.
Aresimowicz, whose district serves Southington and Berlin, is speaker of the house, so he does not sit on any committees. He is in charge of assigning the House Democratic members to the various committees, according to his senior legislative communications advisor.
Rep. Mastrofrancesco’s district includes a portion of both Southington and Wolcott. New to the House, she has been assigned to three legislative committees: appropriations, human services, and government administration and elections.
“I look forward to diving into the work associated with these committees, which manage topics at the forefront of issues that impact so many residents—from our state’s finances to government’s relationship with our most vulnerable residents,” said Mastrofrancesco in a press release.
The budget-writing appropriations committee handles all matters related to the budgets of the state agencies. The human services committee works on issues tied to the state’s department of social services, and the government administration and elections committee works on administrative services, the office of state ethics, elections regulations and state government functions.
“Committee work is the engine of our legislative process,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides in a press release. “It’s when citizens can have their say on issues important to them, and it’s when legislators like Gale can make the most difference for the people they serve as bill concepts take shape and are debated.”
Mastrofrancesco also announced she has joined the Connecticut General Assembly Conservative Caucus.
Fusco’s district covers the largest portion of Southington out of the four. Fusco only serves the town of Southington, while the other districts include portions of neighboring towns.
He will serve on three legislative committees, including continuing his service on the aging committee and public safety committee. This year, he was added to the commerce committee.
Rep. Linehan’s district includes Southington, Cheshire and Wallingford. This session, she has been named the chair of the committee on children, a committee of which she has served on as a member in recent years.
“My focus will be keeping our kids safe, happy and healthy,” said Linehan. “One main objective will be improving oversight of DCF-run facilities and enhance communication and transparency with families to protect our most vulnerable children in state care. I’ll also be introducing legislation to protect our kids from predators, work to keep kids healthy at school and in sports, and more.”
Linehan was also newly assigned to the education committee this term, and will continue her work to help veterans as a member of the committee on veterans affairs.
“As always, I am available to all my constituents, and am just a phone call or email away,” she said. “I encourage anyone to contact me with any questions, concerns, issues, or ideas for legislation.”
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Roy, email her at SRoy@SouthingtonObserver.com.