Stafstrom named powerful committee chairman
Bridgeport state Rep. Steve Stafstrom will head the powerful judiciary committee, which has a hand in nearly every new law considered by the legislature.
Stafstrom made the announcement Wednesday night in a Facebook post.
“I look forward to all that we can accomplish in 2019, including increasing access to justice, continuing to reform our criminal-justice system, strengthening our gun laws, standing up for our most-vulnerable and making our courts more user and business-friendly,” he wrote.
He will co-chair the committee alongside Sen. Gary Winfield, who represents New Haven.
Stafstrom, a Bridgport-based civil litigation attorney, will bring the bulk of the legal experience to the team, as Winfield, a union employee and former electrical construction manager, is not a lawyer. Without a Republican co-chairman after the previous two-year 18-18 tie in the Senate, Democrats will have a freer hand to push legislation.
Stafstrom, who was first elected in a 2015 special election, has previously served as vice chairman of the committee, and played a leading role in passing new laws that combat human trafficking through stronger penalties, training and awareness; and increasing transparency in law enforcement.
He has said he would like to strengthen the state’s gun laws, including laws that would require unloaded guns to be stored in a locker or made safe with a trigger lock. He also worked on failed legislation that would have required open-carry permit holders to show their permit when requested by a police officer.
Stafstrom has also been an advocate for property tax reform, education accessibility, and improving economic development in the state’s cities.
Stafstrom, who attended public schools in Orange, completed his undergraduate degree at Fairfield University and earned his J.D. from the Saint Louis University School of Law.