State Senator Art Linares is serving his third term representing the 33rd Senate District, which encompasses the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland, and Westbrook.
A Westbrook resident, Sen. Linares is Co-Chairman of the Higher Education and Employment Committee, which oversees all legislation related to the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Office of Higher Education. The committee also presides over bills impacting any post-secondary education institutions, job training institutions and programs, apprenticeship training programs, and adult job training programs offered to the public by any state agency or funded in any way by the state. Sen. Linares hopes to use his position on this committee to work toward making higher education affordable for all state residents.
An Assistant Senate Republican Majority Leader, Sen. Linares also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Commerce Committee, and is a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, and the Transportation Committee. He intends to work through these committees to pass legislation that will create a more business-friendly climate in the state, stabilize the state budget, and reduce state spending.
He has previously served on the Commerce Committee and the Banks Committee.
In 2016, Sen. Linares was honored to be named a Children’s Champion by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance for his leadership on issues related to the state’s young children. He also was named Latino Citizen of the Year in 2015.
Sen. Linares has been a true fighter when it comes to pension reform. He has been instrumental in pushing for pension reform that includes new hires enrolling in a 401k-like plan, and teachers being asked to contribute more to their retirement.
Sen. Linares was also instrumental in passing the state’s first spending cap, volatility cap and bonding cap, which are important measures for a fiscally healthy state, with debt kept under control.
Sen. Linares is proud of legislation he helped pass to increase the Manufacturing Apprenticeship Tax Credit and his work to pass legislation that would reduce regulations on small businesses.
Sen. Linares’ values stem from his family’s history. The grandson of Cuban exiles, he grew up in a household headed by parents who were both small business owners. Sen. Linares was inspired by his parents’ successful businesses to start his own business out of the basement when he was 19 years old.
Sen. Linares co-founded Greenskies, a successful, Middletown-based, commercial solar energy company, which employed over 40 workers. The company was named one of the best places to work in Connecticut in the Hartford Courant’s 2016 Top Workplaces list and was the 2015 Solar Power World and SEIA Top Solar Contractor of the Year. It also received the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Technology Business of the Year award and in 2016, Sen. Linares was named by Hartford Business Journal as one of the 40 Under 40 outstanding young professionals in the state. Greenskies was recently sold last year.
Sen. Linares first became involved in politics as a volunteer for U.S. Senator Marco Rubio in Washington D.C. After gaining hands-on experience in public service by helping Senator Rubio’s constituents, he was inspired to find a way to serve the people of Connecticut.
Sen. Linares attended Westbrook public schools and graduated from the Sykes College of Business at the University of Tampa in Florida, where he majored in entrepreneurship, developing his own company as he earned a college degree.
Senator Linares is married to State Representative Caroline Simmons – (D) of Stamford.