Connecticut’s senators, Christopher Murphy and Richard Blumenthal, have introduced legislation that would create five-year grant programs to fund partnerships between schools and community-based organizations, intended to bolster everything from prenatal care and early education to college and career readiness programs.

The Promise Neighborhoods Authorization Act of 2015, S. 516, was co-sponsored by Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., and Patty Murray, D-Wash.

—Click here to receive email updates from DC NEWS JUNKIE!

“High-quality education and strong networks of support are instrumental to a child’s developmental and long-term success,” Murphy said in a release.

“This legislation will ensure that the children, families, and communities of Connecticut and America are provided with the resources and support needed to excel,” Blumenthal said. “Every child, no matter where they live, deserves support to ensure they succeed academically and developmentally.”

Larson, Esty Discuss College Affordability

Congress is not in session this week, but U.S. Rep. John Larson, D-1st District, and U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, will continue a series of forums on college affordability and student debt with an event Thursday at Central Connecticut State University

A similar forum was held at the University of Connecticut last month

According to a release issued by Larson and Esty, there is about $1.2 trillion worth of student loan debt in the United States owed by about 40 million individual borrowers. “Costs of higher education continue to rise, while the total amount of student loan debt now exceeds total credit card debt across the country,” the release said.

Bill Would Equalize Gas Tax

Last week, Larson and U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, introduced the LNG Excise Tax Equalization Act of 2015, H.R. 905, to make the excise tax on liquefied natural gas the same as that on diesel.

Because it currently takes 70 percent more liquid natural gas to produce the same amount of energy as diesel fuel, natural gas is taxed at a rate 70 percent higher than diesel. The measure introduced by Larson last week would make the tax level equal.

“Utilizing natural gas is critical to our energy independence, but current federal tax policy discourages investment in vehicles that run on this American fuel source,” Larson said in a release. “This common sense, bipartisan legislation levels the playing field for LNG trucks, further empowering companies to harness the benefits of clean, affordable, and domestic natural gas.”

Jordan Fenster is an award-winning freelance journalist. He lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.

*    *    *    *    *

EDITOR’S NOTE: Introducing CTNewsJunkie’s latest offering – a once or twice weekly update on Connecticut’s congressional delegates and what they have been up to at the nation’s Capitol.

We are launching this feature in conjunction with our installation of new software from, which provides a database of information on bills and lawmakers from around the country, and the option to register with VoteTocracy to vote “yes” or “no” on bills your delegates are considering.

Just float your mouse over the highlighted words below, and windows will pop up to provide you with more information. VoteTocracy is free for you to use. Just follow instructions to register and let your voice be heard. Click here for more info on VoteTocracy. We hope you enjoy this new feature!