Do Your Job: Ride the Train Back to Reality and Get to Work

July 18, 2017

By: State Senator Heather Somers

Earlier this week shoreline residents received great news that the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) had pulled their proposal to build a high-speed railroad through our peaceful, quiet shoreline communities.

From the start, the creation of a new bypass was met with strong, local opposition. I even recall a small neighborhood meeting at the Pawcatuck Fire Department to discuss the proposed bypass, 20 people were expected to attend and upwards of 150 residents showed up, thankfully the department was able to move one of the engines out so we could fit everyone.

My point here is the withdrawal of the bypass proposal clearly demonstrates what can happen when the people of Southeastern Connecticut speak loud, speak clearly and most of all, speak out.

In fact, one of the most effective ways to enact change is through grassroots advocacy. One of the most influential reasons we were able to topple the bypass rail line was because everyday people, just like you and me, picked up the phone, wrote an email or crafted letters demanding that this project come to a screeching halt.

At the end of the day it is the everyday people, the hard-working families trying to make ends meet, the new and established business owners down the street, local municipalities and those who are the most vulnerable who are feeling the strain of a no-budget Connecticut the most.

That is why I urge you today to demonstrate the same advocacy used to stop the rail bypass and demand a Connecticut budget. Pick up the phone, plea that your legislators come back from vacation, come back to Hartford and get to work and offer their constituents a balanced, line-by-line budget that is ready to be voted on. We cannot sit idly by and watch as families, businesses, non-profits and those most vulnerable suffer at the hands of absent lawmakers.

It is no longer disappointing that we are budget-less, it is unacceptable and the citizens of Connecticut deserve much better.

In Connecticut we are facing a real, true crisis and in an effort to sound the hypothetical gong – I plead with you today and ask once again for your support in fighting the inaction and inability to fulfill their jobs of being legislators! No budget is a disservice to all the people of Connecticut.

Unlike some of my fellow lawmakers I take that responsibility very seriously. That is why I am proud to stand with my Senate Republican colleagues who have had a budget, that unlike the governor’s budget, unlike many caucuses’ budgets, is fully balanced and ready to be voted on. In fact it has been ready and available for months.

If lawmakers are unhappy with portions of our budget, make amendments, debate it, but instead there has been a continuous refusal to even have it discussed. Meanwhile the opponents of the Senate Republican Budget continue to criticize without offering a line-by-line, balanced budget of their own.

 Read our detailed budget plan at

Southeastern Connecticut residents, you can make a difference.

Call your legislator, call the governor and demand a balanced budget and tell your legislators to ride the train back to reality and get to work.