State senators and representatives were sworn in on Wednesday as the 2023 session gets underway.
By Ronni Newton
West Hartford’s legislative delegation was sworn in on Wednesday morning in ceremonies held at a state Capitol complex that has fully reopened to the public for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
State Sen. Derek Slap of West Hartford begins his third term – his second full term – representing the 5th Senate District which includes West Hartford, Burlington, Farmington, and Bloomfield. He was unopposed in his election in November 2022.
“It is an honor and privilege to be sworn in for my third term representing our wonderful communities,” Slap said in a statement Wednesday. “There is much work left to do to support Connecticut families, workers and businesses. As Senate Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, I’ll keep focused on important issues like improving college affordability and access in higher education and strengthening our workforce pipeline. As Senate Vice Chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, I’m also committed to helping craft a bill allowing early voting in Connecticut.”
Slap will serve as Senate chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, vice chair of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, and as a member of the Aging, Appropriations, and Public Health Committees.
Representing West Hartford on the House side, incumbents Jillian Gilchrest, Tammy Exum, and Kate Farrar were sworn in and represent the 18th, 19th, and 20th House Districts respectively.
Gilchrest serves as House Chair of the Human Services Committee, co-chairs the Legislature’s Reproductive Rights Caucus, and serves on the Appropriations, Public Health and Judiciary Committees.
Exum has been named House Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and is a Deputy Majority Leader.
Farrar has been named a Deputy Majority Leader of the House, and is also vice chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
State Rep. Bobby Gibson (D-15th) of Bloomfield was also sworn in Wednesday, and following redistricting now represents a small sliver of the northeast section of West Hartford.
A small slice of the southeast corner of West Hartford is now part of the 6th House District, but Edwin Vargas of Hartford, who was re-elected to that seat without opposition in November 2022, did not take the oath of office on Wednesday. He will be taking a teaching job at a state university and his seat will be filled by a special election this winter.
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