Opening Day Remarks – 2023 Legislative Session

January 5, 2023


To my colleagues around this circle, welcome. Congratulations to our returning state senators, and our new senators. And to the people of Connecticut who have entrusted us to represent your voices in this building, thank you for the honor. It is a blessing to serve.


Those who serve in this chamber make up a body that is the people’s voice. We are a government of the people, by the people and for the people. A uniquely Connecticut concept upon which our state and nation was built. And within our government, it is the legislature that has the honor and responsibility to represent all people.


Everyone in this chamber, on both sides of the aisle, got involved in public service because we all want to make our state a better place.


As we enter this legislative session, there are many important issues that we must address together. We must make our state more affordable — when it comes to everything from energy to health care. We must work to ensure everyone has opportunity. Opportunity for education and skills training. Opportunity for a good paying job that can support individuals and their families. Opportunity for a happy, healthy, prosperous life in our state. In everything that we do, may we all continue being led by our call to service.


As we stand here around this circle, I remember swearing in our new senators two years ago, standing outside in the cold. It is a sight for sore eyes to see us gathered inside today and a sight I hope to continue to see as we work to do the people’s work with transparency and sunlight, which means enabling the public access to this building — the people’s house.


While we are not out in the cold today, I would be remiss if I didn’t also acknowledge that far too many CT residents are still struggling with the cold today. We are facing a home heating crisis as energy costs climb and as Washington slashed funding for the most vulnerable. We have the ability to help the most vulnerable – and our working and middle class families – during these unprecedented times. And we must work to do exactly that.


For far too many families, 2022 was a year that had significant challenges. Record breaking inflation strained family budgets and made it increasingly difficult to afford to care for a family. We saw shortages of vital necessities, like formula and children’s medication.


Through it all I have been amazed by the resiliency of our families, and compelled to continue to advocate for a better future for our state and great nation.


Whenever I think of what it means to me to stand here in this chamber with all of you around this circle, I think of the works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.:


“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.”


May we all serve with grace and love in the year ahead.


We have challenges ahead. We will face them together, and we will push for a better way to reach solutions that help all people.