Sen. Sampson on Eversource, July Special Session

August 31, 2020

Outside of campaigning, the summer is usually the quietest time for politics.  Not so in 2020.  This must be one of the busiest times I have witnessed.

Hopefully, you and your loved ones are safe and are recovering from Hurricane Isaiah.  What a mess!  Most everyone of us lost power for at least a few days and I know many people still cleaning up downed trees and property damage.  It took me a few hours just to chainsaw a path out of my driveway!

I spent much of those few days relaying your concerns and have been closely following the information coming to light about Eversource’s response ever since.  I am prepared to fight for answers and solutions to prevent similar situations in the future.

Frustrations are especially heightened since this power outage happened on the coattails of customers receiving July bills that included a sharp increase in the electric rate. There have been a lot of different theories about what caused the electric rate hikes, and I want to give you some background on the subject.

The “delivery charge” is so high because it reflects the cost of all of the infrastructure that is required to be installed, updated and maintained to get the electricity after it’s produced to your residence or business.

Connecticut’s rates also include provisions for purchasing required supplies of renewable energy, energy efficiency and weatherization programs, covering the cost of low income customer no shut off provisions in the law as well as subsidies for the Green “Bank” programs and DEEP’s off shore wind and solar farm procurement programs to name a few.

The main reason we are suffering is that Connecticut has, for better or worse, decided to have possibly the most aggressive clean energy schedule of any state in the country which means that we are all paying higher premiums because of restrictions and the electric producers method for producing energy. Think “green new deal” kind of stuff.

Of course, we need to protect our environment and we need to be forward thinking about clean and renewable energy sources. However, we need to do it on a schedule that is manageable and affordable for Connecticut residents, particularly seniors on fixed incomes. This has always been a priority of mine.

Unfortunately, the current governor and his predecessor along with the majority Democrats in Hartford are committed to the extreme left leaning environmental lobby who doesn’t care at all about the bottom line and has set us on a course that is really unachievable.

Over the years, I have voted against all the key bills which have caused the massive increases that we are experiencing now. I have not only campaigned against these increases, but I’ve kept my promises to work hard to prevent and reverse them.

I am hopeful the public outrage will help cause a change of course and I’ve reached out to some colleagues and experts in this area and we will be putting together a package of legislation to put us on a better path.

We also had the legislative special session at the end of July.  There were some positives like making it so COVID-19 is recognized as an appropriate and acceptable reason to vote by absentee ballot, and we also extended the access and availability of telehealth visits.

Related but not part of that new law is the issue of the mass mailing of absentee ballot applications.  A scheme that has resulted in nothing short of chaos.  Over 100,000 ballot applications were returned as undeliverable by mail.  Many recipients received erroneous, or multiple ballot applications and others didn’t receive theirs at all.  Of those that completed and returned their applications, many ballots failed to reach voters even before election day forcing them to vote in person anyway.

I hate to say that none of this was a surprise to me since I have warned against this mass mailing for months now.  During the special session, I offered an amendment that would prohibit the Secretary of State from sending out these ballot applications in the November election precisely because of these types of problems. Unfortunately, that amendment was defeated on party lines with every Democrat voting to allow the Secretary of State to continue this practice in the general election and every Republican voting no.  Few things since I have been in office have concerned me as much as this.  This is America, not a third world country, and our elections must be trusted.

The existing absentee ballot system works well and will accommodate COVID-19 without any issues.  There is simply no reason for this policy.  I will continue speaking out against this and am hopeful that it can ultimately be prevented.

Sadly, the so-called “police accountability bill” also passed.  Even after the fact, there is confusion about a major component of the bill – the removal of what is known as “qualified immunity” for police officers.  It is universally accepted that police officers that abuse their authority and engage in toxic behavior must be held accountable. I don’t know of a single person who disagrees with that statement. “Qualified immunity” applies only in cases where the officer is following the law and the department’s policies and protocols. It does not protect an officer when they are violating someone’s civil rights.  This is the repeated and incorrect claim of the proponents of the bill.  It is also the main reason I could not vote for it.

Sadly, the goal of this law is to do far more than hold bad cops accountable.  It is to remake the entire job and experience of police officers, as well as defunding the police via policy that would result in so many increased costs for towns and departments, they will have less officers serving.  This is bad policy that will end up making us less safe. You have my commitment to work to reverse it.

Finally, there was one bill where I was the lone dissenting vote in the entire state senate, and that was on HB 6003 – AN ACT CONCERNING DIABETES AND HIGH DEDUCTIBLE HEALTH PLANS, commonly referred to as the “insulin cap bill.”   I wish I had more room to discuss it here since it is emblematic of so much in politics.   Like so many bills, the title has little to do with the actual words in the bill.  It is designed for politics and not policy.

I have a long record of opposing socialized medicine, even being the leading opponent of Obamacare in our state, as well as opposing insurance mandates that have made our rates soar.  Disappointingly, our state government has been consistent in making bad choices and driving up the cost of insurance and healthcare.  This is a perfect example.

In fact, the one promise the bill does make is to RAISE all of Connecticut’s insurance premiums.

My no vote was a consistent, principled take on the issue, a perspective that you have come to know and trust through my years of service to our community.

I am in favor of reducing the cost of healthcare for everyone – and I voted no.

As always, I am at your service.  Please follow me at and reach out anytime.