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Dear Neighbor,
 
It's been a busy week since the last e-update as you'll see below. Rep. Exum and I received the Angel Award from the Arc of CT for our work on behalf of people with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and I held a press conference with the Canton Police Department and Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz regarding the new police communications console.
 
As they say, "Check out CHET" below for a contest that can win you and your child money for their college education. While we need to address the cost of college and student loan debt, this is an exciting opportunity to help save for college.
 
It's Disability Voting Rights week. Not familiar with that? It's a great awareness week to draw attention to the need for polls to be accessible to all voters—and Election Day is only 55 days away.
Also included this week is the upcoming Veterans Stand Down Day which helps veterans connect to state services and community-based non-profits. And, additionally, we are approaching the deadline for the Renter's Rebate program for those over 65 and people with disabilities.
 
I hope you find this update informative and I look forward to communicating with you again soon.
 
Have a great week!

Eleni
Arc of CT Angel Award
On Friday, I was honored to receive the Arc of Connecticut Angel Award alongside my colleague State Rep. Tammy Exum. There's no one I would rather do this work with than Tammy and the Arc, which works to create opportunities for people with disabilities. 
Highlighting $550,000 to Replace Canton's  Communications Console
In case you missed it, the Canton Police Department received $550,000 in state funds for a new communications console. These funds will ensure our town's first responders will be able to communicate effectively with one another in an emergency. These funds were authorized by the State Bond Commission earlier this May. The existing system has become out-of-date, and this new system will allow Canton police to serve and protect our community more effectively. It will also provide support for mutual aid. This is a great investment in our community, public safety and will save Canton taxpayers money.
CHET Dream Big! Competition
Have you heard about the Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Dream Big! Competition? The program, which is offered by Connecticut's Office of the Treasurer, gives Connecticut parents and guardians the opportunity to win money toward their child's future education. This year's competition features three grand prizes of $25,000, as well as awards ranging from $500 to $7,500. 

To enter, students must submit a drawing, video, or written essay, depending on age, that answers the specific prompt assigned for their age group. The final day to submit entries is October 21, 2022. 

For more information about the Dream Big! Competition and to enter, please click the button below.
CHET Dream Big! Competition
Disability Voting Rights Week
Voting is one of our nation’s most fundamental rights and a hallmark of our democracy. It is critical that all eligible voters have equal access and opportunity to participate in our electoral process. Connecticut is committed to ensuring that the polls are accessible to all voters and that you are fully able to exercise your voting rights privately and independently. 
Do You Know Your Rights?
  • You have the right to an accessible polling place
  • Accommodations can be made if you have difficulty standing in line at the polls
  • You have the right to use a ballot marking device at the polling place
  • You have the right to vote independently and privately
  • You have the right to receive assistance if you need help casting your ballot
  • You have the right to review a sample ballot and receive instructions concerning how to operate the voting equipment before voting 
  • You can request curbside voting if you become temporarily incapacitated when you arrive at the polling place
  • You have the right to vote by absentee ballot if you have a physical disability that prevents you from voting in person on Election Day.
If your voting rights have been violated, you may file a complaint with the State Elections Enforcement Commission by calling 866-733-2463 or emailing elections@ct.gov. You may also file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Voting should be fair and accessible to all and I'm proud to support legislative initiatives to expand access to the vote.

Last year, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a resolution that will give you the opportunity to modernize our state's election rules. On November 8, 2022, voters will decide if Connecticut should allow for in-person early voting.
 
We also passed several new voting laws this year and during the 2021 session to make it easier to vote absentee. Click the buttons below to learn more.
 
If you have questions about voting absentee, head over to the Secretary of the State's website to learn more and download an application for an absentee ballot. 
2021 Acts Affecting Elections
2022 Acts Affecting Elections
CT Ranked 3rd Best State for Gen Z Workers
A recent report from GOBankingRates ranked Connecticut the third best state to live for Gen Z workers. The report analyzed median income for Gen Z workers workers who are between 16 and 24 years of age. Young workers in Connecticut earn a median annual income of $39,589, trailing behind Massachusetts and Washington. You can read more about the report and why our state is a great place for our young residents here.
Veterans Stand Down 2022
In an effort to connect military personnel and veterans to helpful state services and community-based nonprofits, the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs will hold its annual Veterans Stand Down on Friday, September 23 from 8AM to 2 PM. The one-day event will be held at five regional locations: The Connecticut Department of Transportation and local service providers will offer transportation to the event.
Download the Transportation Schedule
Additional information about the Stand Down is available here.

If you cannot make it to this event, you can find programs and resources for veterans on the DVA website.

Connecticut's veterans and active military personnel deserve our support and appreciation. From guaranteeing in-state tuition for CT veterans to creating a new local-option property tax exemption, I was proud to have voted in favor of laws that will benefit this community.

Thank you to all those who have served and continue to serve our state.
Deadline Approaching for CT's Renters' Rebate Program
Eligible residents still have time to apply for Connecticut's Renters' Rebate program. Applicants can receive up to $900 for married couples, or $700 for an individual. To receive a rebate check, residents must meet the following criteria:
  • Paid rent during 2021
  • Are 65 years or older OR disabled
  • Earn less than $38,100 (single) or $46,400 (married)
  • Receive less than $690 in state cash assistance in 2021
The deadline to apply for a rebate is October 1, 2022. Click here to download the application.

If you are an Avon resident who has questions or would like more information about the Renters' Rebate Program, please call the Assessor's Office at 860-409-4335. 

If you live in Canton and have questions about the program, please call the Senior and Social Services office at 860-693-5811.

Residents who have previously applied for this program should have received an application in the mail before April 1, 2022. If you are unsure if you have applied or have lost the application form, please call your local assessor or social services office. 
Sincerely,

Eleni Kavros DeGraw
State Representative
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