Submitted by Joe O’Leary.
(May 13, 2022) — State Senator Norm Needleman this week received unanimous, enthusiastic support for re-election to a third term in the Connecticut State Senate, representing the 33rd District. Sen. Needleman, who serves as Senate Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee and has prominently led efforts to provide strong oversight of Connecticut’s utility companies in his Senate tenure, seeks to continue a track record of consumer advocacy and common-sense legislation in the legislature.
“When I first ran for the Senate, I did so because I wanted to help the people of our state get what they deserve,” said Sen. Needleman. “They needed a common-sense advocate in the Senate. Every decision I make, I try to think of what best serves the greater good. I’m proud of the accomplishments we’ve made in Hartford in the last four years, but there’s still work left to be done. Our businesses, our residents and our environment need to be protected. I’m hopeful I can continue to do whatever I can to help them.”
Sen. Needleman was originally elected to the State Senate in 2018 and won re-election in 2020. In his time leading the Energy & Technology Committee, Sen. Needleman spearheaded the “Take Back Our Grid Act,” which holds utility companies accountable. The legislation, passed after utilities left residents in the dark for days after multiple significant storms, requires the companies to provide reimbursements and credits for extended power outages after serious weather events. As Chair, he also led passage of legislation adding 2,000 megawatt hours of wind power, 1,000 megawatt hours of battery storage and a dramatic increase to the number of solar resources authorized to be built in the state, bringing Connecticut much closer to its goal of generating all electricity from renewable resources in the future.
Additionally, Sen. Needleman helped pass a bi-partisan two-year budget investing in education, municipal aid and focusing on Connecticut’s future, and an adjustment to that budget supplying Connecticut with $600 million in tax cuts, among the biggest in Connecticut history; supported workforce pipeline training that spurred regional manufacturing job growth twice the national average, aiding employment, businesses and the economy; and protected Connecticut’s environment by voting to expand recycling programs and banning the use of PFAS “forever chemicals” in several industries, among many other successes.
During the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sen. Needleman took the responsibilities of his positions seriously. As a State Senator, First Selectman and business owner, he worked tirelessly to remain focused on constituent services and supporting those in need. Long nights spent arranging for business and financial relief for those struggling, getting resources like masks and supplies to the public, and working to promote and support the vaccination campaign that blunted the worst of the virus were pivotal in aiding his region during devastating waves.
In addition to his work as State Senator, Sen. Needleman also serves as First Selectman of Essex, currently in his sixth term in the role, and is founder and CEO of Tower Laboratories in Essex, the largest producer of effervescent products in the United States.