With the regular legislative session over, a couple of long time state lawmakers from the Greater Danbury area have said good-bye to life at the state capital. Among the retiring lawmakers is Republican Clark Chapin of the 30th Senate District. During the final day in session on Wednesday, Chapin's fellow Senators went around the circle and spoke highly of his four years of service in that chamber. Prior to that, Chapin served 12 years in the House representing New Milford.
Senate President Martin Looney, a Democrat, says Chapin was a valuable ally who supported good policy that crossed partisan lines, and always worked to do the best thing for the state and its residents. He noted that Chapin had a distinguished career in local politics prior to being elected to the General Assembly. He was a member of the advisory board of a community culinary school, Friends of the Sullivan Farm advisory board, a coach with youth baseball and softball, and former Vice President of New Milford Youth Baseball and Softball.
Looney says Chapin is someone who is closely connected to the fabric of his community and has earned several awards for his work in Hartford.
Wilton Senator Toni Boucher remarked that she got to know Chapin when they both served in the House. She says what makes the long hours work is the personal relationships formed among one another. Boucher recalled that while he always is stoic, he is actually deeply caring and has a soft heart. She thanked him for all of his work over the last nearly two decades.
Danbury Senator Michael McLachlan also delivered comments on Chapin's retirement, calling him "his friend to the North". Chapin represents a district on Candlewood Lake's Eastern shore while McLachlan's district lies to the West. McLachlan remarked that Chapin has done a fine job for the residents of Western Connecticut.
Senator Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown, said that Chapin taught him lessons while he was campaigning even before being elected to the House. When they were then in the House, he learned from Chapin about understanding the implications of the bills being enacted and having a high standard of service. He said working on legislation with Chapin was like a test of knowledge and preparation, noting that he expected best from his colleagues.
Several other state Senators commended Chapin for his work for the environment. He was the ranking member of the Environment Committee. But Senator Mae Flexor also highlighted Chapin's work to combat domestic violence.