State Rep. Peggy Sayers appointed deputy speaker of the House

By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Windsor, Windsor Locks - posted Wed., Feb. 13, 2013
State Rep. Peggy Sayers (D-60) was appointed as deputy speaker of the House on Jan. 9. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

State Rep. Peggy Sayers (D-60), has been appointed by Speaker of the House-designate Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden) to serve in the key position of deputy speaker of the House of Representatives. Sayers was appointed on Jan. 7 alongside six other Democrats.

"I am excited to have Rep. Sayers join my leadership team as we begin work on the many challenges facing our state," said Sharkey. "Peggy will serve our caucus well in her new position and will bring a strong work ethic to the speaker's office.”

When the speaker of the House is absent from the chamber, Sayers’ main duty is to preside over the House of Representatives, recognizing all members wanting to speak to the chamber, putting all questions to vote and directing legislation to the proper committee. Sayers said she is happy to be a part of the leadership team for the Democrats and said her role extends beyond standing in for the speaker.

As deputy speaker she will be part of a leadership team that conducts the final screening before a bill goes in front of the House, making sure the bill's wording coincides with the bill's goals, while also fixing ambiguous language and unclear objectives. Sayers said that the opportunity to look at legislation before it makes its way to the chambers will be beneficial to the people she serves, because it will allow her to have greater input on the bill as it pertains to the best interest of her district. She noted that having the ear of the speaker will allow her to work closely to accomplish her main goals and quickly respond when issues arise affecting her district.

“I look forward to working closely with Speaker Sharkey this legislative session,” Sayers said. "I am honored to be appointed deputy speaker. I plan on keeping our state on the path of economic recovery, while protecting those that are most vulnerable."

Sayers, in her seventh term serving the 60th House district consisting of Windsor Locks and part of Windsor, will also work on the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, the Transportation Committee and the Public Health Committee. Sayers said there have been a lot of initiatives around transportation over the past few years and believes that this is "the year to make sure a lot of it gets implemented, moves forward and doesn’t stall along the way." Sayers believes that transportation is the key to economic recovery in the north central Connecticut area and hopes that through the influx of transportation in the area, the economy will develop.

“I know the economy is not doing well and the jobs picture today does not look well, but I think going forward we are going to see that begin to change,” Sayers said. “It has moved so slowly up to now, but we are really and truly on the threshold of seeing those changes.”

The main piece of legislation she has worked on is the creation of a commuter rail line between New Haven, Conn., and Springfield, Mass. Access to the rail line is currently provided by Amtrak, which requires advanced reservation and ticket purchase for all trips.

Sayers hopes the implementation of the New Haven-Hartford- Springfield Rail Program will allow easier accessibility for people to travel to work, allowing them to be less car-centric while also bringing in businesses to towns with rail stops. Under the current proposal, rail stops in Sayers’ area in Windsor and Windsor Locks would be part of the commuter line.

Other transportation-centered ideas she hopes to implement include sidewalks on Route 75 in Windsor Locks, bus shelters at bus stops on Route 75 and bus pull-ins on Day Hill Road. She said that the incoming transportation creates an exciting time to be a part of the area.

“It doesn’t matter what position I have up there; what’s really important is that I am here to represent my constituents,” Sayers said. “Without them I wouldn’t be here, so they are very important to me.”

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