Mike Lawlor serves as State Representative of the 99th Connecticut General Assembly District, which is located within the Town of East Haven.
In the legislature, Mike serves as co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a position he has held since 1995, and is also a member of the Government Administration & Elections and Transportation Committees.
In addition to his role in the legislature, he is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven, where he has taught since 1995.
Mike was raised and has lived his entire life in East Haven, aside from time spent seeking higher education. He attended the town's public schools and graduated from East Haven High School. He was co-captain of the EHHS football team and was elected vice president of his senior class.
Mike's father Bob retired in 1994 after 41 years of teaching the fifth grade at Tuttle School. His mom Eileen retired in 1995 after spending her career working as payroll clerk for the East Haven Board of Education. His brother Kevin is State's Attorney for the Judicial District of Ansonia-Milford, and his other brother Scott is a business executive in West Hartford.
Following his graduation from EHHS, Mike attended the University of Connecticut where he graduated in 1979 as an Honors Scholar in Slavic and Eastern European Studies. He then went to the University of London and earned a Masters Degree in Soviet Area Studies in 1981. Mike then attended the George Washington University School of Law, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 1983. In 1982 he received a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to study economic reform in Hungary.
After graduating from law school, Mike was appointed by the State of Connecticut Criminal Justice Commission to serve as a prosecutor in the State Attorney's Office in New Haven. He worked as a prosecutor for the state until his election to the legislature in 1986.
In his role as co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Mike played a key role in writing and advocating for two amendments to the constitution of the State of Connecticut. The first established explicit rights for victims of crime within the state’s criminal justice system, and the second eliminated the patronage-ridden and corrupt county sheriff system.
He has been a leader in enacting a number of workable gun control laws, rewriting and toughening the state's domestic violence laws to protect women and children, reforming and strengthening the juvenile justice system, addressing racial disparities in the criminal justice system, passing laws ending discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, and addressing recidivism and prison overcrowding.
Mike played a key role in creating Connecticut’s sex offender registry and continues to advocate for improvements to the registry to provide more information about offenders and make it easier to use. He has also been an advocate for victims of child sexual abuse who have recently come forward after years of silent suffering.
Prior to his position with the Judiciary Committee, he served as co-chairman of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, where he played a major role in the reform of Connecticut's workers compensation system.
In 2004, Mike was appointed by the Speaker of the House to serve on the 10-member bipartisan Select Committee of Inquiry, which held hearings to consider the possible impeachment of Governor John G. Rowland, who at the time was accused of a number of corruption allegations. The governor resigned on June 30, 2004 as the committee was concluding its hearings.
During the 2005 session of the legislature, Mike was one of the leaders in enacting Connecticut's civil union law, providing full state legal recognition to same-sex couples who wish to be treated as married couples under the state's law. Connecticut was the first state in the country to enact a civil union or same-sex marriage law without a court order to do so.
Mike is active in both the National Conference of State Legislators and the Council of State Governments. He served as chairman of the Criminal Justice/Mental Health Consensus Project, is an associate with the State Sentencing and Corrections Program at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City, and is a member of U.S. Department of Justice’s Center for Sex Offender Management National Resource.
He served on the national drafting team for the Interstate Compact for Adult Offender Supervision and the Interstate Compact for Juvenile Probation and Parole, and also served as a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice in the establishment of an adult probation system in Bulgaria.
Mike has been a featured speaker at numerous national criminal justice conferences and has been honored for his legislative service by the Connecticut Coalition of Police and Corrections Officers and by the Connecticut Police Chief's Association. The New Haven County Order of Centurions, an Italian-American Police organization, honored Mike for his many years of support for those in law enforcement. In 2005, the Greater Bridgeport NAACP presented him with the "Drum Major for Justice" Award.
In 2007, the students at the Henry C. Lee College of Forensic Science and Criminal Justice at the University of New Haven honored Mike with the "Professor of the Year" award.
Information from: Mike Lawlor's official Website http://www.housedems.ct.gov/Lawlor/index.asp