Senate Majority Leader
Chair: Executive & Legislative Nominations
Vice-Chair: Legislative Management
Senator Bob Duff represents the 25th Senatorial District, which includes Norwalk and Darien. Reelected to the State Senate in 2014, he was chosen by his senate colleagues in 2015 to serve as Majority Leader. He is also Chair of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Vice Chair of the Legislative Management Committee.
Since joining the legislature, Bob has been a tireless advocate for job creation in Connecticut. He played a leading role in championing landmark jobs legislation passed in 2011 and expanded upon in 2012. As part of this legislation, Connecticut created the Small Business Express Program which provides loans and grants to small business to spur business growth and promote job creation. The legislation also created the Subsidized Training and Employment Program (STEP-Up) to offer wage and training subsidies to employers that hire an unemployed jobseeker. The program helps connect those looking for work with small businesses that want to expand their workforce.
Bob has earned a reputation as a consumer advocate. As Chair of the legislature’s Banking Committee, Bob worked to safeguard Connecticut homeowners from the ravages of predatory lending by creating a package of assistance programs and reforms to reduce the number of home foreclosures in the state. Bob’s consumer advocacy continued as he went on to Chair the Energy and Technology Committee. As Chair, Bob championed two pieces of major energy legislation which taken together implement a new Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Connecticut, restructuring state support for renewable sources of electricity to provide for cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy for consumers and businesses.
Bob’s leadership has also resulted in increased protections for electric consumers, including reforms that empower customers to make informed choices with re-designed bills and more information when shopping. He led passage of an “Electric Supplier Consumers’ Bill of Rights” to address consumer complaints about spiking prices, deceptive practices and a lack of disclosure about rates and contract terms in Connecticut’s electric supplier market. The law creates greater transparency and increased protections for residential consumers by requiring electricity suppliers to provide very clear and specific information about how much is being charged for electricity.
Bob also passed consumer protection legislation to combat price gouging for services in the aftermath of extreme weather events, has been a constant watchdog for residents and small businesses against egregious electric rate increases, and has fought to hold Metro-North accountable to commuters.
Bob has been honored for his advocacy by numerous groups. His recent honors include:
New England Clean Energy Council “Clean Energy Champion”
Public Housing Resident Network “Outstanding Elected Official” Award
Connecticut Association for Community Action “Community Action Senate Leader of the Year”
Perfect “100” score from The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters
Naramake Elementary School Family Resource Center “Legislator of the Year”
Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance “Children’s Champion”
Connecticut Water Works Association “Legislator of the Year”
Connecticut Farm Bureau Association “Legislative Award”
Connecticut Restaurant Association “Friend of the Industry” Award
Throughout his legislative career, Bob has also been honored by the Norwalk YMCA, The Workplace Inc., AARP of Connecticut, the Lockwood-Matthews Mansion Museum, the Save Cranbury Association, the Side-by-Side Charter School, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.
In September 2004, Bob was one of only 35 legislators nationwide accepted into the Fleming Leadership Institute. Just two years later, Bob was one of only two state legislators chosen to participate in the Emerging Leaders’ Conference, sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation. In 2012, Bob was selected as one of fifteen rising leaders from across the country to join the NewDEAL, a recently launched national network that is committed to highlighting innovative ideas from state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives.
Bob has long been a fierce advocate for his district, helping secure funding for construction of the long-awaited Wall Street Place mixed-use development in Norwalk, the Music Theatre of Connecticut’s new theatre, repairs to the Walk Bridge, and renovations to the Globe Theater and Maritime Aquarium.
Bob’s Norwalk family ties go back five generations. His passion for public service began at the age of eight. That’s when Bob voiced his concerns for the future of Duffy Field to then-mayor William Collins. We still have our Duffy Field, now renamed Veteran’s Park.
After attending Norwalk Public Schools, Bob moved to Virginia to earn his degree in political science from Lynchburg College. There, Bob honed his political skills as a student senator, campus leader and intern for U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd (D-CT). Once back in Norwalk he eagerly took a position as a substitute teacher from 1993 to 1995.
In May 2010, Bob returned to Lynchburg College to deliver the commencement address to the graduating class. During the ceremonies, Bob was awarded the degree of Doctorate of Humane Letters from his alma mater.
Prior to his election to the Senate, Bob represented the people of Norwalk’s 137th Assembly District for three years. Bob is a real estate professional with William Pitt Sotheby’s International Realty. He’s helped people buy and sell property for 19 years in the Norwalk office.
Bob, his wife, Tracey, and their two sons live on Toilsome Avenue in Norwalk.