HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The first day as a newly-elected legislator in the General Assembly was full of pomp and circumstance in Hartford.
The day included a speech by the Governor Ned Lamont, and attendance by three new members of the House who won their special elections only a few weeks ago. Despite those new members, the balance of power is the same in CT’s General Assembly.
For all of these new lawmakers, winning in an election has inspired them to take on public service and do right by the people.
The Governor’s ‘State of the State’ address reflected that attitude: “Optimism is contagious! optimism is contagious!”
Rep. Brian Farnan (R-Fairfield) told News 8 that the opening day speeches often are “about bipartisanship and coming together, so I hope we can take that attitude into session.”
Farnan spent some of the day strategizing with staff. His constituents gave him a mission to help try and reign in spending and work on getting the economy moving in Connecticut.
Another freshman congressman, Rep. Brian Smith (D-Colchester), was elected to a district in eastern Connecticut which covers many towns. He’s ready to roll up his sleeves, especially after all the work involved in a campaign: “It’s exciting and gratifying to be chosen by the voters to be here.”
The last of the three special election winners, Rep. Harry Arora (R-Greenwich) is pushing the concept of getting private donors to help students pay for higher education. His new role isn’t lost on the Republican lawmaker: “It’s a 24/7 job where we got to get things done.”
With all of the chaos of the day, one of the biggest things lawmakers struggled with was finding their parking space. Representative Smith joked that his wife helped him because it was difficult to navigate the Capitol complex.