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Michael D'Agostino

D

Assistant Majority Whip, Connecticut State House of Representatives (2017 - Present)

Connecticut State House, District 91 (2013 - Present)

Quick Facts
Personal Details

Personal

Full Name:

Michael C. D'Agostino

Gender:

Male

Family:

Wife: Kate

Home City:

Hamden, CT

Education

Graduated, University of Virginia

JD, School of Law, University of Virginia, 1996

Political Experience

Representative, Connecticut State House of Representatives, District 91, 2013-present

Candidate, Connecticut State House of Representatives, District 91, 2018

Assistant Majority Whip, Connecticut State House of Representatives, 2017-2018

Current Legislative Committees

Member, Executive and Legislative Nominations

Co-Chair, General Law

Member, Planning and Development

Former Committees/Caucuses

Former Member, Commerce Committee, Connecticut State House of Representatives

Former Member, Education Committee, Connecticut State House of Representatives

Professional Experience

Attorney, Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Limited Liability Partnership, present

Partner, Bingham McCutchen, Limited Liability Partnership

Commissioner, Hamden Police, 1998-1999

Religious, Civic, and other Memberships

Member, Board of Directors, Connecticut Appleseed

Board Member/Regional Director, Connecticut Association Boards of Education

Chair/Member, Hamden Board of Education, 1999-2013

Chair, Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, 2013

Member, Farmington Canal Commission, 1996-1998

Additional Information

Father's Name:

Julius J. D'Agostino

Father's Occupation:

Superintendent of the Hamden Public School System

Reason for Seeking Public Office:

Lawyer

Lawyer

Articles

Issue Position: Our Teachers

Oct. 18, 2012

In Hamden and elsewhere, teachers struggle with ever-changing regulations and instructional strategies, transient student populations and shrinking funding. More recent is the debate regarding education reform, which has too often devolved into anti-teacher rhetoric that undermines morale and discourages future teachers from entering the profession. The tenure debate also distracts attention from other issues impacting public education, such as the need for expanding early childhood education and the diversion of public school funding to special interests. As Board chair in Hamden, I have taken a different approach to these issues. I communicate regularly with our union leadership, not just at contract renewal time. Our Board works hard to reduce out-of-classroom burdens while increasing planning time and in-the-classroom resources. We also work together with our staff to create innovative solutions that improve student achievement. Most importantly, we respect each other. While we may not always agree on every issue, we understand that we are all working, together, toward the same goals. My approach is also informed by personal circumstances. I am a Hamden High graduate. My father, Julius D'Agostino, is a retired school superintendent. My mother, Catherine, retired as an English teacher in North Branford and now serves as the co-chair of the ARTC's Legislative Lobbying Committee. As such, she makes sure that I stay on top of issues such as the effort to reduce state contributions to the Teachers' Health Fund with the resulting increases to be born by retired teachers, many of whom worked before the Enhancement Act and have modest pensions. Indeed, we must also not forget our retired teachers. I will fight any efforts that jeopardize the Teacher's Retirement Account and Health Fund. Many people do not realize that the only security our teachers have for decades of public service is the retirement account that they pay into each year and which the state guarantees. Public school teachers do not have private 401K savings as teachers, nor do they receive social security for the time worked as teachers. The retirement fund can be the only income the family of a retired teacher receives. Incredibly, even if the spouse of a retired teacher is eligible to receive social security benefits based on years of hard work, federal law actually reduces, or in some cases eliminates, those benefits simply because his or her spouse receives separate benefits as a retired teacher. While a State representative cannot change this unfair and inequitable federal law, I pledge to advocate actively for its repeal with our Congressional delegation.

Issue Position: Traffic Calming

Oct. 18, 2012

Traffic calming measures are changes to roadway configuration designed to deter unsafe driving behaviors, specifically speeding, while improving safety for bicyclists, pedestrians, and other non-motorized users of our streets. Throughout Hamden, residents have voiced concerns about local traffic speeds that endanger the pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly culture that we have worked to establish with assets like the Farmington Canal Greenway. As State Representative, I will make support for the effective implementation of traffic calming solutions one of my top priorities. In many ways, Connecticut lags behind other progressive areas of the country in selecting and using traffic calming devices to protect our residential neighborhoods. The days of using stop signs and traffic signals exclusively to control speed are behind us; we have better information today on the psychology of drivers, and this information can help us deploy better solutions, such as including installing pedestrian crossing signs and traffic dividers in the street. But we can do more. The State should support and encourage other cooperative community measures, such as roadway narrowing or the use of elongated speed humps that force motor vehicle traffic to slow down without negatively impacting snow plowing or emergency response. Driver education, through signage, sharrows and other means, and enforcement of posted speed limits are also important to improving the quality of life in our neighborhoods. I look forward to working with Hamden's civic associations and individual residents to achieve effective results for the district.

Issue Position: Environmental and Energy Conservation

Oct. 18, 2012

Citizens in Hamden have been leaders in environmental and efficiency issues. I am proud of the role I have been able to play in institutionalizing these considerations as part of public policy, from moving ahead with a fuel cell at Hamden High School to recycling education and implementation in our elementary schools. At Ridge Hill School in Hamden, for example, many parents have begun recycling because their children -- having been introduced to it in school -- bring that lesson home. And every ton of waste that goes toward recycling as opposed to disposal saves money while also helping the environment. I will continue support for such initiatives as your representative. For example, the State can and should encourage energy retrofits in our public buildings, incentivize addition of hybrid vehicles to the city/town fleets and State buses, implement energy efficiency standards for new buildings and preserve valuable open space (like Johnson's Pond and the "Gravel Pit" in Hamden). As your representative, I would also support municipal efforts to make changes in electricity procurement that can save hundreds of thousands of dollars, and negotiate trash contracts that encourage more recycling. We must also invest in regional transit opportunities. The State is now considering, for example, the New Haven-Hartford-Springfield commuter rail line, to give more transit options to people commuting within that corridor. Anyone who commutes to Hartford, as I do every day, knows what a benefit this will be, both in terms of reduced traffic, lower emissions and energy cost savings. Not only will transit solutions like this serve the direct needs of our district, but they will also help us court the right kinds of economic development that will serve to reduce the tax burden on all taxpayers, residential and commercial alike. We have to remember that targeted investments and smart environmental policy lead to cost savings, cost savings that occur year after year.