Fielding questions from residents of all ages, U.S. Senator Chris Murphy spoke to a room of more than 100 people in St. Stephen's North Hall Friday morning.

The senator was in Ridgefield attending a pancake breakfast, and opened the discussion talking about an array of national issues, including spending, opioids, and gun legislation.

"Given all the massive dysfunction today in the White House and in Washington, I do want to underscore the importance of our ability to pass a two-year spending plan for the country which will avoid the shutdowns and debt defaults that we've always been perilously close to or in the middle of over the last five years," Sen. Murphy said. "Both of them drew widespread bi-partisan support which belies the reputation of Congress as a place of which everybody retreats to their corners."

During his opening 15-minute remarks, Sen. Murphy recognized a pair of Ridgefield students — Scotland third graders Ruby Labozzo Weiner and Ridgefield High School sophomore Lane Murdock — for their individual efforts in town.

Murdock founded the National School Walkout movement that will see tens of thousands of students across the country demonstrate in protest against gun violence Friday, April 20.

Labozzo Weiner took a plant that is mainly found in Puerto Rico and used it to create a new way to hold soda containers together.

"The idea was to do something great for the environment by taking all that plastic out of the world, and to do something good for Puerto Rico by bringing jobs to the island," Sen. Murphy said. "It really is one of the better ideas I've ever heard of."

After speaking to the crowd, Sen. Murphy opened the room up for questions and answered more than 15 of them over the next hour.

The topics ranged from Connecticut's budget deficit to transportation costs (and potential taxes) to entitlement reform and health care.

Sen. Murphy also touched on immigration, national parks, and gender equality.

Below is a group of videos that highlight his opening points:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UniPiBRUyDY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CminlmWmgcM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUG56MJ7gs4