Matt Blumenthal (D)

CT House, District 147

Democrat,
State Representative, Stamford & Darien. Vice Chair, Judiciary Committee. Member, Education Committee. Member, Government Administration & Elections Committee. Trial lawyer. Former U.S. Marine Infantry Officer. Board Member, Boys & Girls Club of Stamford. Judge Advocate, Springdale VFW (Post 9617).

I wholeheartedly support amending the Connecticut Constitution to permit early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. In fact, I was a leader in expanding access to absentee voting this year, co-leading a letter to leadership urging a special session to pass a law expanding absentee voting (more than 75 of my colleagues joined it). I strongly supported the resolution for a Constitutional Amendment to allow early voting we passed in 2019. I will continue to fight to ensure voting is safe, easy, and secure for every eligible voter in our state.
Yes. In the wake of Tropical Storm Isaias and Eversource's unsatisfactorily explained and ill-timed rate hikes, I called for fundamental reform to strengthen oversight over and regulation of our utility companies. That's why I am proud that we passed the Take Back Our Grid Act during our September special session. The Take Back Our Grid Act makes a number of important reforms to ensure increased accountability from our public utilities. The Act moves us to a system of performance-based rates, rather than the guaranteed-profits regime that previously existed. It will require reimbursements for spoiled food, medicine, and lost power for outages of more than 96 hours attributable to insufficient preparedness. Mandate minimum line-crew staffing levels to ensure that utilities are not caught so egregiously unprepared for future storms. It will tie a portion of executive pay to utility performance for its ratepayers. It also strengthens and increases PURA's oversight of utilities, and creates systems for increased regional cooperation to augment competition between utility companies and reduce their monopoly power.

This bill doesn’t fix everything. But it represents an important step forward. Based on the PURA and Attorney General investigation, we will fight for additional measures to hold Eversource — and all utilities — accountable this coming regular session. I believe it is high time for systemic reform to put ratepayers first, and I will continue fighting for it in the January session.
I have continuously fought for resources for Stamford, and will continue to do so. Along with my colleagues, I helped secure a $500,000 grant to renovate part of Stamford High School. I have pushed to increase Education Cost-Sharing funding for the Stamford Public Schools, fought against cuts, and will continue to fight for bonding, school-construction funding, and other resources to help the SPS recover from the mold issues it has faced. In doing so, I will work closely with my fellow members of the Stamford delegation: we are most powerful when we work together as a team.
Yes. One of the few welcome features of legislating during the pandemic has been the increased opportunities for remote participation. This is especially true of public hearings. Stamford residents are generally at a tremendous disadvantage when they seek to participate in state government: it's an hour-and-a-half drive just to get there. This inconvenience means that Stamford residents are seldom able to testify on important bills up in Hartford. I will push to continue remote participation in public hearings even after Covid-19. In addition, I think the General Assembly should conduct hearings around the state, visiting different communities, rather than always conducting them in Hartford.

On Covid-19: I believe government’s most sacred obligation is the safety of the people. Connecticut’s careful, science-based policies have made it a model for the nation, keeping our infection rate low and more than 95% of our economy open. I will continue to push for policies, like mask wearing and social distancing, that are based on the best medical science and public-health expertise — and put the safety of our residents first. I will continue to work to ensure there is adequate PPE and testing for all who require it. Over the course of the pandemic, I have helped numerous constituents obtain unemployment benefits and other assistance. In addition to assisting individual constituents, I will continue to fight for additional aid to families and small businesses to help them weather the downturn.