Rep. Ackert and American Legion Collecting Weathered U.S. Flags for Retirement

Posted on May 14, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative  Tim Ackert (R-8) in conjunction with the American Legion Post #52 encourages residents to ‘Retire Your Worn American Flags’ at five drop off locations within the 8th District. Flags will be collected until Wednesday, June 13th. The U.S. Flag Code specifies that old American flags no longer in service must be properly disposed.

The drop-off locations include:
Columbia Town Hall, 323 Route 87.
Coventry Town Hall, 1712 Main Street.
Booth & Dimock Memorial Library (Coventry), 1134 Main Street.
Tolland Fire Station 140, 64 Crystal Lake Road.
Tolland Fire Station 240, 3 Rhodes Road.

A Flag Retirement Ceremony will be held on Flag Day, Thursday, June 14th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 138 Snake Hill Road, Coventry.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact his office at 800-842-1423 or Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov.

State Reps. Ackert and Green Vote ‘Yes’ On Compromised Budget

Posted on May 10, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) and Robin Green (R-Marlborough) joined their fellow House Republican and Democrat colleagues in supporting the compromised budget SB-543, brought forth Wednesday night.

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle voted overwhelmingly 142-8 in favor of the compromise, which does not include tax increases, tolls, or many of the other items proposed during the shortened session.

This budget proposal provides $16 million in additional funding for the Retired Teachers’ Health Care Fund, fully restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program to 211%, restores funding for programs that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and provides $2 million to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. All municipal aid and ECS funding also remain whole in 2019.

“Although it is at the final hour of the legislative session we have worked together to vote out a compromised bipartisan budget,” Rep. Ackert said. “This agreement completes the work we were sent here to do this year and I’m glad that we could get this done for the people of Connecticut.”

“I am proud that we were able to work together in assuring this budget was completed by the end of this legislative session,” Rep. Green said. “It is nice to see Republicans and Democrats working alongside one another to move Connecticut forward in a positive way.”

In addition, Republicans were able to negotiate a hiring freeze on new state employees saving the state $7 million. Vo-Ag Students will receive an additional $12.5 million in support, set aside $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services, and provides almost $30 million more to the Special Transportation Fund. It also prevents Governor Malloy’s increases to bus and train fairs that were expected to take place on July 1st and also includes language that would prevent his ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did after last year’s bipartisan agreement.

This compromise prevents the governor from running the state via executive order and subjecting municipalities to severe cuts that would have come as a result. Once adopted, the budget would take effect on July 1. This bill now heads off to the governor’s desk for his signature.
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Rep. Ackert Works to Protect Community Colleges

Posted on May 9, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD— State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) along with his fellow lawmakers introduced a strike-amendment today to mitigate campus closings that have been threatened by the Board of Regents for Higher Education since the recent rejection of the community college merger plan by a regional oversight commission.

“I have been a proud supporter of both our Community Colleges and State Colleges for more than a decade. From 2007 until 2010, I had the privilege of being appointed by former Governor M. Jodi Rell to serve as a Community Colleges Trustee,” Rep. Ackert said. “Our current legislation does not permit the legislature to weigh in on the closing of a college so I believe that the legislative body should have some say in whether or not a campus closes because of the residual impact it has on those thousands of students who attend the school, but potentially hundreds of other jobs.”

The community college consolidation plan—put together by Mark Ojakian, President of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities—would merge all 12 state community colleges into one accredited body, decrease over 200 positions and cut over $23 million by 2022.

It was rejected in April by the New England Association of Schools and College’s Higher Education Commission. After that decision, officials said that colleges will have to review tuition rates, and look into closing one or two campuses.

The 2018 Legislative Session adjourns tonight at midnight.

Rep. Ackert Implores Fellow House Members to Support Crumbling Foundations Bill

Posted on May 7, 2018 by jpheasant


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Click Image to Watch Video:

“If you drive around my neighborhoods and see the financial and mental effects this has had on people it’s absolutely devastating,” Rep. Ackert said.

Rep. Ackert Talks About the Growing Costs of Insurance

Posted on May 3, 2018 by jpheasant


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Click the image to watch the video:

Rep. Ackert Wants to Ensure Solar Jobs Stay in Connecticut

Posted on April 30, 2018 by jpheasant


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Photo: State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) speaks to a crowd of solar employees and supporters who gathered at the Capitol this week to rally for the importance of strengthening Senate Bill 9, An Act Concerning Connecticut’s Energy Future.

“I want to thank the solar industry for weighing in on the legislation affecting their jobs and businesses,” Rep. Ackert said. “We in the legislature need to get it right regarding the deployment of renewable energy from all sources. Solar jobs are here now and we need to keep them here.”

Rep. Ackert Supports Bill to Restore Funding for CT Veterans

Posted on April 26, 2018 by jpheasant


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Photo: (L-R): State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8), State Representative & House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114), David Yaccarino (R-87), and Bill Simanski (R-62). The lawmakers joined fellow veterans at the Capitol this week to show their support for SB-289, that would seek to restore $2 million in funding to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA).

“I stand in full support of my fellow veterans,” Rep. Ackert said. “From those who fought in some of our earliest battles to today’s conflicts, I will continue to support properly funding our veterans and facilities they utilize like the Connecticut Veterans Home and Hospital in Rocky Hill. We as a legislative body should not attempt to balance our budgetary problems on the backs of those men and women who have already been asked to sacrifice so much.”

Rep. Ackert Joins Ceremony to Welcome New Citizens

Posted on April 18, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined local municipal leaders, town employees, family members, and friends at the Rockville Public library to celebrate and welcome men and women from across the globe as part of a naturalization ceremony.

The event welcomed 28 men and women from 17 different countries of origin. Some of the countries include Belize, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, People’s Republic of China, India, Poland, Portugal, Spain, and Thailand.

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Rep. Ackert Joins Vernon Seniors in Welcoming New Center

Posted on April 9, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) spent a few hours Monday surrounded by his fellow lawmakers, local municipal leaders, and area residents as part of a tour and grand opening ceremony of a new Senior Center location in Vernon.

The Vernon Senior Center will provide a wide array of services such as trips, holiday parties, picnics, blood pressure screenings, and income tax assistance to area residents ages 55 and older. The 14,000 ft2 facility also features a billiards room, fitness center, library, medical rooms, creative art room, café, auditorium, conference room, and four multi-purpose rooms.

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Rep. Ackert Celebrates ‘Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day’

Posted on March 29, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined alongside fellow lawmakers, the Connecticut Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and Vietnam Veterans to celebrate “Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.” The annual event is designed to commemorate and honor the return home of the members of the armed forces who served in Vietnam.

“As an Air Force veteran who began his service right after the Vietnam era had ended, I want to thank those that have paved the way to provide today’s veterans and those from years past with the recognition they so willingly deserve,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am proud to live in and represent a district that stands behind our service men and women and understands the sacrifices they have made and continue to make in order to keep this country safe.”

Vietnam Veterans Day commemorates the sacrifices of Vietnam veterans and their families and is part of a national effort to recognize the men and women who were denied a proper welcome upon returning home more than 40 years ago.

In 2010, the state legislature proclaimed March 30 of every year as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day “to commemorate and honor the return home of the members of the armed forces who served in Vietnam.”

Rep. Ackert Continues Fight to Provide Relief for Families with Crumbling Foundations

Posted on March 28, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8), who has long fought on behalf of homeowners in their quest to receive some type of assistance, testified in front of the Judiciary Committee in support of the continued work being done by the legislature to help those affected by crumbling foundations.

Representative Ackert, who was joined by Tim Heim, President of the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements¬ spoke to committee members to offer his assistance with the recently introduced SB-518, An Act Concerning Additional Assistance for Homeowners with Crumbling Concrete Foundations.

“This issue has paralyzed many homeowners throughout my district,” Rep. Ackert said. “Rather than being encouraged by contractors working on new developments, I’m witnessing 20 to 30 year-old houses being lifted so that their foundations can be replaced. People’s life savings are disappearing, town budgets are being destroyed, and individuals’ lives are essentially being financially ruined.”

In last October’s approved bipartisan budget, legislators authorized $20 million in bonding over a four year period to help support crumbling foundations.

State Representative Tim Ackert testifies alongside Tim Heim during a Judiciary Committee meeting.

Rep. Ackert Welcomes Another Business to Coventry Village

Posted on February 28, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined local municipal leaders, family, and friends for a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome Preserved Antiques to the Coventry village.

According to owner Melissa Tremblay, the goal of her store is to offer accessible and affordable merchandise that appeals to a vast array of shoppers from the novice collector to the more experienced ones.

As a first-time business owner, Tremblay said she felt the need to make a change in her life and decided to do something she was passionate about. Tremblay visited the area as a young kid and said she chose the village because she loved the area.

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Rep. Ackert Participates in ‘Family Hearing Day’

Posted on February 26, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined his colleagues and members of the Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Caucus as part of Family Hearing Day.

The event now in its 5th year is designed to not only provide lawmakers with the opportunity to hear first-hand from members of the IDD community, but also the challenges and comments their care givers, parents and advocates face from across the state.

“It is one of our responsibilities as state representatives to ensure the vital services the IDD community require are protected,” Rep. Ackert said.

‘Family Hearing Day’ was created specifically for legislators to listen to parents concerns about their children’s’ future living needs, enlighten them on the critical lack of funding for support services, the seemingly endless wait lists for care and a myriad of other issues families face when accessing DDS supports and services.

This will be Rep. Ackert’s fourth year serving on the first-in-the-nation state legislative Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities caucus, which was formed in 2015.

State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) listens to testimony from various residents on Family Hearing Day, an annual event designed to bring together lawmakers and members of the IDD community.

State Reps. Ackert and Dubitsky Stand Up Against Domestic Violence

Posted on February 16, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – In conjunction with February being Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and Rep. Doug Dubitsky (R-47) stood alongside their fellow male lawmakers in a show of support and unity against domestic violence in a press conference sponsored by Interval House’s, Men Make a Difference, Men Against Domestic Violence group.

“I’d like to commend all of the groups involved who are working toward the reduction and elimination of all types of domestic violence,” Rep. Ackert said. “In order to ensure that violent behaviors aren’t accepted in our society all of us need to be engaged as to what is going on and it starts with raising children in environments where violent or abusive behaviors aren’t tolerated.”

“Domestic violence is something all members of our community should work to prevent. As men, we have a unique opportunity to help boys understand what is expected of them in our society and what types of conduct will not be tolerated. That message must be heard early in a young man’s life and reinforced as he grows into a man,” Rep. Dubitsky said.

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Rep. Ackert Votes to Restore MSP Funding

Posted on January 8, 2018 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and his colleagues voted Monday to restore $53.9 million dollars in Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) funding that was previously removed in the bipartisan budget.

MSP is an income-based program, which provides supplemental financial assistance to more than 113,000 seniors and disabled individuals around the state to help cover items such as Medicare co-insurance, deductibles, and premiums. Connecticut was one of five states whose income eligibility limits exceeded the federal minimum level. Legislators in adopting the budget in October reduced the eligibility to the federal minimum, consequently reducing or eliminating coverage for many of the program’s thousands of participants.

In order to reach the almost $54 million dollars, lawmakers needed to readdress many agreed upon aspects of the bipartisan budget that were not enacted by Governor Malloy. Some of these savings included the consolidations of multiple human resource functions into the Department of Administration Services, reductions to managers and consultants, and eliminate the carry forward from FY18 to FY19.

“This is just one of many fixes that this legislature needs to work on,” Rep. Ackert said. “We need to put a stop to the mentality that Connecticut is in recovery mode and be truly realistic about where we are financially. As we approach the start of the 2018 session, our legislative focus needs to be how we get back to the basics and doing what government is supposed to do.”

Late last year, The Department of Social Services (DSS) announced that it would delay implementation of eligibility reductions to the state’s MSP program two months (until March 1, 2018), while it conducted a review of coverage alternatives.

Realizing almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified and another 27,000 would have their coverage reduced, members from both the House and Senate of the Connecticut General Assembly petitioned the Secretary of the State to call them back into special session in order to restore the previous cut.

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Rep. Ackert represents the 8th District covering the towns of Coventry, Columbia, Tolland, and Vernon

Rep. Ackert Congratulates Inducted Veterans in CT Hall of Fame

Posted on December 12, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) recently welcomed Chet Morgan and Ben Cooper, two new members inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame.

The Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame seeks to recognize men and women who have made countless contributions to society after their service.

“As a veteran myself, it was an honor to have had an opportunity to congratulate both Chet Morgan and Ben Cooper not only for their enlisted service but also to the dedication to their communities long after their military service had ended,” Rep. Ackert said.

Chet Morgan a former state representative of the 56th district, served his country for 20 years as a member of the Army National Guard. Benjamin Cooper served as a combat medic in the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds during World War II.

An executive committee chaired by the Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs and comprised of the Adjutant General of the Connecticut National Guard, selects eligible veterans with ties to Connecticut, who have served their country honorably.

Morgan and Cooper joined eight other veterans inducted into the Hall of Fame class of 2017. Since 2005, more than 100 veterans have been inducted into the veterans hall of fame. The names of those inducted will be included on the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame Plaque located in the State Legislative Office Building.


State Rep. Tim Ackert shakes hands with 2017 inductee Chet Morgan, a retired member of the Army National Guard.


State Rep. Tim Ackert talks with Ben Cooper, an Army combat medic who served during World War II.

Rep. Ackert to Ring the Bell for the Salvation Army

Posted on December 4, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) will be participating in The Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign by ringing bells on Wednesday, December 13th from 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at Highland Park Market on the Boston Turnpike in Coventry.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 13th
TIME: 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
WHERE: Highland Park Market, 1721 Boston Turnpike, Coventry
WHY: State legislators will join fellow volunteers ringing bells to raise money for the Salvation Army this holiday season.

The public is invited to support the cause and monetary donations of any size are appreciated. The Salvation Army provides food, clothing, comfort and care to local residents as well as 128 other countries around the globe.

If you are unable to stop by during the bell ringing but still wish to donate to the Salvation Army text CTREP to 71777 and donate directly to the House and Senate Republicans’ Red Kettle.

All proceeds will be donated directly to The Salvation Army.

Rep. Ackert Welcomes The Rusty Relic Antiques and Primitives

Posted on December 1, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) along with local municipal leaders, town board members, family, and friends for a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome The Rusty Relic Antiques and Primitives, an antique store and gift shop.

Representative Ackert presented store owners with a legislative citation to officially commemorate the occasion and said that with the influx of new business and renovations happening in the downtown area that it will prompt residents from all across the state to shop and eat.

“Coventry has a new destination point and it’s the village,” Rep. Ackert said.

Owners Jamie Stearns and her husband Jason Beausoleil were already on Main Street for approximately six months before relocating down the road, but did so because the new space offered them a more expansive area for inventory and a much closer proximity to the village downtown.

“I’d like to congratulate Rusty Relic for their investment into the village and our community and I look forward to their continued success for many years to come,” Rep. Ackert said.

The shop is located at 1265 Main Street on Route 31 across from Bidwell Tavern in Coventry.

 Photo caption: State Representative Tim Ackert and store owners Jamie Stearns and her husband Jason Beausoleil prepare to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of their business The Rusty Relic Antiques and Primitives, an antique store and gift shop in Coventry.

Rep. Ackert Achieves 100% Voting Record For 6th Straight Year

Posted on November 28, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) has earned a one hundred percent voting record for all roll call votes taken on the floor of the House of Representatives during the 2017 Regular Session. The House Clerk’s Office released the data on members’ votes.

“In order for me to fully represent the district and be your voice in the legislature, it is extremely vital to be fully committed and doing so means being there 100% of the time,” Rep. Ackert said.

This is the sixth consecutive year Rep. Ackert received a one-hundred-percent voting record according to the House Clerk’s office.

Rep. Ackert represents the towns of Columbia, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon in the General Assembly. He is also a member of the legislature’s Commerce, Higher Education, and Insurance & Real Estate Committees.

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February.

Rep. Ackert “Veterans Are Our Superheroes”

Posted on November 9, 2017 by jpheasant


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COVENTRY – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined his fellow veterans, municipal leaders, members of local law enforcement, and Senate colleague at Coventry’s Annual Veterans Day Ceremony held at the Senior Center.

As the featured speaker, Rep. Ackert paid tribute to the many veterans who have served our country here and abroad and for those who have paid the ultimate price, likening them to superheroes due to their fearless bravery and dedication to keeping this country safe.

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Bipartisan Budget Agreement Reached, Bill Now Heads to The Governor

Posted on October 26, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) voted on behalf of a bipartisan budget for the state’s 2018-2019 biennium. Passage of September’s bipartisan budget helped set the stage for this agreement which will put a stop to the massive educational and municipal cuts that would have continued to take place through the governor’s executive order.

“Ensuring that something for those being affected by crumbling foundations was included within this budget was imperative for me,” Rep. Ackert said. “This budget will finally stabilize our communities and stop the uncertainty they have been under for several months.”

This budget agreement has worked to avert Governor Malloy’s cuts to many critical social service programs and protects funding for Care4Kids, CT Home care for the elderly, and firefighter training schools.

Moving forward, state employee union contracts will now require votes by the House and Senate before any contract can become law.

“Many pieces that have been included within this budget are things that I have been fighting for since I took office,” Rep. Ackert said. “The inclusion of a spending cap, phasing out of the social security tax and estate tax are significantly going to help residents of this state moving forward.”

The bipartisan budget which has passed both the House and Senate does not include increases to the sales or income tax, a cell phone surcharge tax, restaurant tax, taxing second homes, or shifting 1/3 of teacher’s pensions onto local municipalities, or the reintroduction of tolls.

The budget passed 126-23 and will now move onto the governor’s desk for his signature.

Rep. Ackert Celebrates Grand Opening of Umami Japanese Restaurant

Posted on October 19, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined other local dignitaries, residents, and the Chen family at the grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration of the Umami Japanese Restaurant in Vernon.

“I am pleased to welcome the Chen owned family restaurant to Vernon,” Rep. Ackert said. “It is wonderful to see all of the work they have done to transform this once unoccupied location into a beautiful restaurant with delicious food.”

The former Rockville Friendly’s location at 172 Union Street will feature authentic Japanese cuisine including an expansive sushi menu, various noodle dishes, and desserts. The restaurant will also feature a full sushi bar where patrons can sit in front of their chefs and watch as they individually prepare their sushi rolls.

Before the ribbon cutting, Rep. Ackert and Rockville Mayor Daniel Champagne presented owner Paul Chen with a legislative citation to commemorate the occasion.

State Rep. Tim Ackert and Rockville Mayor Daniel Champagne present Paul Chen, owner at Umami Japanese Restaurant with a legislative citation for the grand opening of their family business.

Rep. Ackert Applauds Efforts to Bring Essential Services to Veterans

Posted on September 28, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined his fellow lawmakers in a show of support for our veterans during the 22nd annual “Stand Down” event held at the Department of Veterans Affairs in Rocky Hill.

The event hosted by the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs provides an opportunity for all veterans to receive a wide variety of federal, state and local services. Some of the services offered during this event include veterans benefits, medical, dental, recovery services, mental health, housing, employment, and education.

“These men and women have selflessly, honorably, and bravely served this great country of ours and events such as this one allow us to say thank you for your service,” Rep. Ackert said. “As a veteran myself, ensuring all branches of our military are taken care of is extremely important to me and I was honored to have had an opportunity to attend this event.”

The state’s Department of Veterans’ Affairs was the event’s lead sponsor, also working with state, federal and private agencies such as the U.S. Social Security Administration, the state’s Social Services and Judicial departments and the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Events like these are vital for not only providing our veterans with the necessary services they require but also letting those individuals who may not be aware of their existence,” Rep. Ackert said.

Rep. Ackert Welcomes a New Business to Coventry

Posted on August 25, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined municipal leaders and residents at the grand opening and ribbon cutting celebration for Elm Human Performance, LLC.

Elm Human Performance is an alternative and holistic health service specializing in massage therapy and reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation that promotes healing.

“I am extremely happy to welcome Jennifer Wendry and her business to downtown Coventry,” Rep. Ackert. “This location holds a special place in my heart as it is where I first started my business many years ago.”

After the ribbon cutting, Rep. Ackert presented Jennifer with a legislative citation to commemorate the occasion.

“Local business owners like Elm Human Performance are essential pieces of our community and state,” Rep. Ackert said. “We as a legislative body must continue to do all that we can to help promote their continued growth along with the development of future businesses within the state.”

Elm Human Performance, LLC, is located at 1199 Main Street, Coventry.


State Representative Tim Ackert and Jennifer Wendry prepare to cut the ribbon at the grand opening of her business Elm Human Performance, LLC, a massage therapy facility in Coventry.

State Representative Tim Ackert represents the 8th General Assembly district towns of Coventry, Columbia, Tolland, and Vernon.

Local Program Rewards Children Who Read 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten

Posted on August 7, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) in conjunction with John Elsesser, Coventry Town Manager, and the Booth and Dimock Library, presented several local children with certificates for completing a book reading challenge.

In order to complete the program, young children were required to read 1,000 books before they began Kindergarten. Throughout the process, those involved would receive various milestone acknowledgements from the library. Parents helped them log their books, either on paper or through the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten mobile app.

For every 100 books, children could bring their journal into the Children’s Department and receive a sticker along with having a picture taken and displayed on their wall of fame.

“This program allowed students to get involved in reading at an early age and truly hit the ground running as they prepare to enter kindergarten,” Rep. Ackert said. “To have completed this challenge is quite an impressive feat and I’d like to congratulate both the children and their parents for putting in a tremendous amount of time in order to accomplish this goal.”


Photo: State Representative Tim Ackert and John Elsesser, Coventry Town Manager congratulate a student who has recently completed the 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program.

Community Event Strengthens Neighborhood Relationships

Posted on August 2, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined his fellow state colleagues in support of National Night Out (NNO), an event designed to bring members of the community together with local law enforcement to help promote neighborhood relationships among everyone involved.

“It takes a special kind of person to put on a uniform for the main reason of helping and protecting people,” Rep. Ackert said. “Whether that is a member of the military, EMT’s, police, fire department, or doctors and nurses, these men and women dedicate their lives to keeping us safe, they are the true definition of heroes.”

The first Tuesday in August has become a 30 year tradition for residents of Rockville thanks to the sponsorship and organization by the Rockville Community Alliance (RCA) and the Vernon Police Department.

Participants in NNO included members from social service agencies, churches, service-oriented businesses and other local volunteer groups working together to interact with members of the community in order to build relationships.


State Representative Tim Ackert, a guest speaker at the event, gives thanks to the local organizers of the event and first responders for their hard work in making this year’s National Night Out a success.

2nd Friday in December is Named ‘PJ Day’

Posted on July 11, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – A bill co-sponsored by State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) that promoted wearing pajamas in support of children who are battling cancer has been signed into law.

Earlier this year, Rep. Ackert and Nick Wesoloskie, a young student from Coventry Grammar School testified on behalf of SB-1002, An Act Designating Various Days, Weeks, Months and State Symbols and Naming a State Office Complex in order to raise awareness for all of those children being treated and cared for in hospitals across the state.

“While we continue to work on the fiscal issues facing the state, I am extremely pleased when we are able to pass legislation like this along the way.” Rep. Ackert said.

Wesoloskie’s sister Charlotte was treated at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center when she was only three weeks old and in order to give back and support other patients at CCMC, he came up with the idea of wearing pajamas. Challenging his classmates to do the same, Wesoloskie was able to start something that just continues to grow.

Since its inception in 2011 and with the assistance of more than 100 schools, 53 Dunkin Donuts locations, local business partners, and CCMC staff, the event has raised more than $89,000 in 2016 for the Cancer Care Center at CCMC.

According to CCMC in order to participate you will need the following:

  • Receive permission from your school to host PJ Day with a suggested donation of $1 or more.
  • Send notices home and advertise at your school.
  • Designate a staff member to collect donations.

You can also register online at pjday.kintera.org, or by calling 860.837.5737

Crumbling Foundations Update: Agreement Extension Made to Prevent Stone from Becker Quarry

Posted on June 22, 2017 by jpheasant


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An agreement between the State of Connecticut and the Becker Construction Company has been made to extend the prohibition of stone aggregate from being sold or produced from the Becker Quarry until June 30, 2018.

Becker Quarry has been identified as a hot spot for pyrrhotite, the mineral that causes concrete foundations to crumble.

“While I am happy to see this extension as it does halt any new homes from being affected, I would prefer a much stronger agreement put into place,” Rep. Ackert said. “I would personally like to see this quarry permanently shut down.”

To see the full agreement click on the letter below.

Crumbling Foundations Issue to Be Addressed During Special Session

Posted on June 7, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – Today, on behalf of those residents who have been affected by crumbling foundations, Republicans called an amendment on the resolution that would authorize the General Assembly to include the issue as part of the items to be considered during a special session.

The House Majority Leader Matthew Ritter (D – Hartford) quickly assured Republican legislators that the House would be taking the crumbling foundation issue up during the special session as part of the budget implementation and bond authorization processes.

After receiving this assurance from the Majority Leader during the debate on the amendment it was withdrawn as the bipartisan group will continue working to provide relief for this tragedy.

Thousands of homeowners in Eastern Connecticut may be impacted by the crumbling foundation issue. The price tag to replace a crumbling foundation is upwards of $150,000, with little to no coverage from most insurance companies.

“By withdrawing this amendment, we have taken the promise given to us by Rep. Ritter in good faith that we will continue to have discussions on the best ways to mitigate this issue,” Rep. Ackert said.

Throughout this legislative session, Rep. Ackert has spent countless hours talking with families and businesses that have been affected by crumbling foundations in order to ensure they get the relief they need.

“This issue has been a massive concern of mine throughout this session and I aim to keep those promises I’ve made to these individuals throughout the year,” he said.

“This collective body will continue to work together in order to come up with a resolution that best serves the people of Connecticut,” Rep. Ackert said.

In total, 19 pieces of legislation were introduced by lawmakers this session pertaining to crumbling foundations.

I-95 and I-84 Tolls Study

Posted on June 7, 2017 by jpheasant


Toll Study (I-84 and I-95)

Posted on June 7, 2017 by jpheasant


Rep. Ackert Supports Bill to Provide Tax Credit for Food Donations

Posted on May 30, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – A bill co-sponsored by State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) that would provide a tax credit for food or other commodities donated to a qualified organization has unanimously passed through the House.

The legislation would authorize a tax credit for an individual or corporation who produced and donated fruits, vegetables, dairy, eggs, poultry, and meat in the income year to the Department of Revenue Services (DRS), recognized food banks or emergency feeding organizations in Connecticut. The credit equals 15% of the market value for the items up to $5,000, whichever is less.

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State Lawmakers Strive to Resolve Crumbling Foundations

Posted on May 22, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8), Tom Delnicki (R-14), and State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) joined their fellow lawmakers and The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) to discuss current legislation that would address residents crumbling foundations.

Per the legislation, SB-806, An Act Establishing the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Program and Assisting Homeowners with Crumbling Foundations, would provide assistance to those homeowners of residential buildings who have been affected by a faulty foundation. The program would aid in the repair or replacement of such dwelling by offering $150,000 or $75% of the cost to remediate the issue.

The bill would seek to add a $12 surcharge on each homeowner’s insurance policy, renter’s insurance policy, or a master policy. Lawmakers estimate that approximately $11.8 million worth of revenue would be generated and deposited into a newly created Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund to assist with the remediation process. This fee is scheduled to sunset in 2025.

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State Rep. Ackert to Host Vernon Coffee Hours

Posted on May 4, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) will host Coffee Hours on Thursday, May 18th in Vernon, where constituents will have an opportunity to have a face-to-face discussion with the representative on all matters affecting the district.

This event will take place at Rein’s Deli, 435 Hartford Turnpike, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:0 a.m.

For more information, please contact State Representative Tim Ackert’s State Capitol office at 800-842-1423 or email him at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov.

Citation Presented to 100 Year-Old Resident for 30 Years of Service

Posted on March 24, 2017 by jpheasant


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State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35), State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8), and Deputy Secretary Scott Bates presented Nancy Tatano with two separate citations for her 30 years of service as a member of the Republican Registrar of Voters in Stamford Connecticut. Tatano’s family are residents of Tolland were also on-hand during the presentation.

State Rep. Ackert and State Sen. Guglielmo Celebrate Rein’s Deli’s 45th Anniversary

Posted on March 24, 2017 by jpheasant


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VERNON, Conn. – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) today celebrated the 45th anniversary of Rein’s New York Style Deli with local patrons in Vernon.

Founded in 1972, Rein’s Deli was the answer to the search for a good corned beef sandwich by Bob Rein, who with his wife Betty and brother Bernie, brought authentic New York Style Jewish deli to New England. That tradition is still alive today as they celebrated their 45th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, Rein’s will be donating all of their sales from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to first responders in Vernon.

“We just finished some major renovations here in honor of our 45th anniversary,” said Assistant General Manager, Russell DeBella. “We are looking forward to the next 45 years.”

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State Rep. Tim Ackert Advocates For Childhood Cancer Awareness

Posted on March 21, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) testified in front of the Government Administration and Elections Committee on behalf of a bill that would promote wearing pajamas in support of children who are battling cancer.

The legislation, SB-1002, An Act Designating Various Days, Weeks, Months and State Symbols and Naming a State Office Complex, would seek to proclaim the second Friday in December to be ‘PJ Day’
in order to raise awareness of all of those children being treated and cared for in hospitals across the state.

“It has been an honor to have been involved with this wonderful fundraiser,” Rep. Ackert said. “Nick was only in second grade when he came up with this idea, so it just goes to show you that you can make a positive impact at any age.”

Eager to give back for the lifesaving care his then three week old sister Charlotte received at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Nick Wesoloskie, a young student from Coventry Grammar School challenged his classmates to wear their pajamas in honor of patients at CCMC who had to wear them for prolonged periods of time while fighting cancer or other serious illnesses.

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Legislative Leaders Pleased with Committee’s Decision on Crumbling Foundations Bill

Posted on March 17, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- Homeowners whose foundations have been compromised by faulty concrete received some additional good news Friday, as House and Senate members from both sides of the aisle held a joint press conference to discuss recent legislation centered on crumbling foundations.

Per the legislation, SB-806, An Act Allowing Municipalities to Establish a Grant Program to Replace or Repair Concrete Foundations, would establish a grant program to those homeowners of residential buildings for the repairs or replacement of faulty foundations. Additionally, a written evaluation from a professional engineer must be obtained and submitted to the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP).

“This bill is a collaborative effort to move us towards a resolution on this issue. It’s also an important bill because it is aimed at helping these homeowners fix their foundations and it is a huge start in the right direction,” said Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8).

Earlier this week members of the Public Safety and Security Committee voted in favor of moving SB-806 out of committee in order for a full debate among the membership to take place.

Representative Ackert applauded the decision to move the proposal out of the committee process and onto future discussions.

“This is a first step in a solution to fixing those homes that have been affected by defective concrete in their foundations,” Rep. Ackert said. “I will continue to work on behalf of those residents to get this bill passed and signed by the governor. I will not leave this session without providing these residents with some piece of legislation that helps fix this situation.”

Some provisions to the current bill include the following:

• Requires insurance companies to pay the Insurance Commissioner $12 per year for each homeowner and renter insurance policies to then be deposited into the Crumbling Foundations Assistance Fund. The funds collected will be used to assist with the remediation process. This fee is scheduled to sunset in 2025.
• Enables CRCOG to enter into a contract with the CT Housing Finance Authority to develop and implement a long-term low interest loan program.
• Enables municipalities to bond funds for remediation and abatement of crumbling foundations.
• Requires the State Building Inspector to waive education fees for any municipality that waives its application fee for a building permit to repair or replace a concrete foundation that has deteriorated due to pyrrhotite.

Many homes within these communities have been built using pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide material which has led to foundations falling apart. It is estimated that there are more than 30 municipalities in Connecticut which have been directly affected as a result of crumbling foundations.

“Homeowners living with a crumbling foundation are one step closer to receiving real relief,” said Rep. Sam Belsito (R-53). “The state can no longer kick this issue down the road. We need to act this session to pass a bill that provides relief and this bill will help accomplish that.”

“This is the first piece of legislation that actually deals with remediation, despite the fact it is coming about a year late. I look forward to rolling my sleeves up, and getting to work with my legislative colleagues to create a better solution for this issue,” said Rep. Kurt Vail (R-52).

“I am delighted to see that there is bipartisan support to help the people affected by the crumbling foundations problem,” said State Representative Tom Delnicki (R-14). “Senate Bill 806 that passed from the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee is a good first step to help resolve this very critical issue, and I am glad that we are having this conversation and taking some action.”

“I am glad that something is being done legislatively to combat this issue,” said Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-31). “We need to engage all stakeholders from individuals to municipalities, insurance companies, banks, and the federal government. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has turned down our pleas for help twice, but we will continue to reach out. This problem is a slow moving hurricane that needs better help to implement a solution. We pay our federal taxes; I strongly believe it’s time our state gets our due aid.”

It is estimated that the cost for remediation can vary anywhere between $150,000 and $250,000 with the only known fix, to date, is to re-pour the foundation.

The bill will now move onto the State Senate for further debate.

State Rep. Ackert Watches Platform to Employment Students Come Full Circle

Posted on March 10, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORDState Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) celebrated with graduates from the Platform to Employment program during a ceremony held at the state’s capitol to recognize their recent achievement.

More than 30 men and women from the P2E program were in attendance as Representative Ackert and other state representatives congratulated all of the students on their completion of the program and ongoing efforts to get back into the workforce.

On graduation day, Rep. Ackert emphasized three words: courage, faith, and commitment.
“I commend your courage in taking the first step, and knowing that you need additional resources in order to get re-employed. Your faith in the program and the career coaches they offer provide the necessary tools to succeed and the commitment to stick it out in order achieve this recognition,” Rep. Ackert said.

Rep. Ackert was in attendance when this group initially began their journey and was there in the end to congratulate them on its completion.

“As recent graduates, your job is to now make the most of the things you have learned through this program and successfully get back into the workforce,” he said. “My job as a legislator is to make sure that all of your hard work results in finding a job here in Connecticut.”

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Rep. Ackert Addresses Constituents Concerns During Vernon Office Hours

Posted on March 1, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) met with Vernon residents to discuss current legislative issues and to provide answers to other local and statewide concerns.

During the meeting, Rep. Ackert detailed recent changes to the State Senate and House of Representatives, his new committee assignments, along with other hot topics being discussed within the legislature.

Rep. Ackert stressed the importance of these sit down meetings with residents of the communities he serves.

“It is extremely important to listen to my constituents and to hear about the issues that impact them the most, the ones they are most passionate about,” he said.

The state of Connecticut’s economy and its uncertain future was one of most talked about items of the evening.

“Connecticut is in the worst fiscal state in modern history and we aren’t currently generating enough revenue to control the spending,” he said. “We rely so heavily on income taxes in the state of Connecticut.”

Vernon residents also reiterated their growing frustrations with the governor’s proposed budget and how taking on 1/3 of teacher’s pensions if adopted will affect them financially.

“It is time to build a budget together that moves Connecticut forward,” Ackert said. “We need to take a closer look at things and determine what it takes to keep retirees here, keep businesses here, and keep young people here. We need to find the balance between quality of life and affordability.”

CRCOG and State Lawmakers Join Forces in the Fight to Provide Relief for Crumbling Foundation Homeowners

Posted on February 28, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD – Elected officials from both sides of the aisle in conjunction with The Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) Ad-Hoc Working Committee on Crumbling Foundations hosted a joint press conference to discuss current legislation centered on crumbling foundations.

On Tuesday, legislators and municipal leaders from around the state highlighted bills from the more than 20 proposed this session between the House and Senate directly related the crumbling foundations issue.

Here are the six proposals related the crumbling foundations issue which received a public hearing today in the General Assembly:

  • SB-905, AN ACT CONCERNING FAILING CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS
  • HB-7175, AN ACT REQUIRING THE TESTING OF CONCRETE AGGREGATE FOR THE PRESENCE OF PYRRHOTITE
  • SB-881, AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY OF POTENTIAL METHODS OF PROVIDING RELIEF TO HOMEOWNERS WITH CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS
  • HB-7160, AN ACT CONCERNING A STUDY OF A LOAN GUARANTEE FUND FOR CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS
  • SB-794, AN ACT ASSISTING HOMEOWNERS WITH CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS
  • SB-806, AN ACT ALLOWING MUNICIPALITIES TO ESTABLISH A GRANT PROGRAM TO REPLACE OR REPAIR CONCRETE FOUNDATIONS

For a full video of the press release click here.

Many homes within these communities have been built using pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide material which has led to foundations falling apart. It is estimated that there are more than 30 municipalities and 500 homes in Connecticut which have been directly affected as a result of crumbling foundations. According to CRCOG, the only remediation to these homeowners is re-pouring those foundations. The cost to do so can range anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000.

“On behalf of the homeowners, neighbors and towns regarding the failing foundations, the time to act is now,” Rep. Ackert said. “This problem is now everyone’s problem. Even those homes that aren’t faced with crumbling foundations are still directly impacted. Due to shrinking grand lists, neighboring property values are also suffering significantly. The psychological and physical health of those affected is lessening their quality of life,” he continued.

“We need to find a remedy that provides relief to homeowners without forcing the burden on to our local municipalities or solely on our state,” said Rep. Davis. “My colleagues on both sides of the aisle understand that we have a serious situation on our hands, and I remain hopeful that we will be able to find common ground between all the stakeholders who are being impacted by this awful situation.”

“The problem of crumbling concrete foundations is nothing more than a slow moving hurricane,” said Senator Tony Guglielmo. “This problem is devastating Northeastern Connecticut and will have a wide sweeping impact on the entire state. I urge my fellow legislators to support measures that will begin to help these families that are literally losing their homes due to no fault on their part.”

“We look forward to working with the legislature to create comprehensive legislation that provides immediate relief to those suffering from crumbling foundations. To make this successful all levels of government and the insurance companies have to come together and recognize that the time to act is now. The economic stability of our communities along with the financial and mental health of our residents hangs in the balance,” Tolland Town Manager Steve Werbner said.

“Now is the time to address the issue of crumbling concrete foundations through meaningful legislative action.  This problem is not going to go away and if ignored will greatly affect the economic stability of the entire state and continue to financially and emotionally devastate families in 37 towns in Connecticut.   Now is the time for all levels of government, insurance companies and the banking industry to work together to provide immediate relief for those homeowners facing this problem,” Somers First Selectman Lisa Pellegrini said.

Rep. Ackert to Host Office Hours in Vernon

Posted on February 21, 2017 by jpheasant


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VERNON – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) will host Office Hours on February 21st in Vernon, where constituents can have an opportunity to discuss all current legislative matters affecting the district.

The event will take place at the Lake Street School, 201 Lake Street, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

For more information, please contact State Rep. Tim Ackert’s State Capitol office at 800-842-1423 or email him at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov

Rep. Ackert to Host Office Hours in Vernon

Posted on February 16, 2017 by jpheasant


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VERNON – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) will host Office Hours on February 21st in Vernon, where constituents can have an opportunity to discuss all current legislative matters affecting the district.

The event will take place at the Lake Street School, 201 Lake Street, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact State Rep. Tim Ackert’s State Capitol office at 800-842-1423 or email him at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov.

Rep. Ackert Proposes Bill to Impose Greater Supervision for Teens Living in Group Homes

Posted on February 7, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD –State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) has introduced legislation this session that would require the implementation of more safety and supervision standards in Connecticut group homes.

The legislation, HB-6099, An Act Concerning the Operation of Group Homes Maintained by the Department of Children and Families, would require group homes to adhere to a defined set of rules in order to promote safety and prevent teenagers from engaging in dangerous or possibly criminal activities.

During his testimony in front of the Committee on Children, Ackert said “Connecticut’s group homes must have clearly defined rules, just as there are in any other home, and these rules must be enforced without leniency.” “If the organization responsible for implementing proper oversight proves to be unable to enforce these rules, then it would be deemed necessary to transfer oversight of the group home to another organization.”

Rep. Ackert also recommends the bill include language for the following items:
• The establishment and distribution of hotline contact information for neighbors to log complaints
• Allowing for public input and the opportunity to gather information regarding local group homes
• Specifying age requirements and the personal needs of all residents
• A means to provide notice to neighbors of missing group home residents, outstanding warrants, etc.
• A loss of license or penalty for the managing organization after a certain number of incidents

This proposal is in response to incidents that had occurred where several teens were found breaking into neighboring vehicles and stealing items inside along with residents witnessing individuals doing drugs in the area. The bill now awaits further committee action.

State Rep. Tim Ackert Announces Public Hearings for Tuesday February 7th

Posted on February 6, 2017 by jpheasant


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Good afternoon friends,

Your input is important to me as your State Representative. During this part of the legislative session there are many public hearings regarding proposed bills.

I encourage you to check http://www.cga.ct.gov/ and click on the “Bulletin” to track what items you might be interested in. If you do decide to write a letter in support of or opposition to a proposed bill, please copy me so I can be aware of your opinions.

Here are some of my bills scheduled for public hearings tomorrow that may be of interest to you and our community.

HB- 6099 An Act Concerning The Operation Of Group Homes Maintained By The Department Of Children And Families

HB-5317 An Act Requiring Elderly Housing To Have An Automated, Handicapped-Accessible Door to Common Facilities and Community Rooms

HB-6435 An Act Prohibiting Health Insurers And Other Entities From Charging Disabled Veterans For Certain Out-Of-Pocket Expenses

The full public hearing agendas are hyperlinked to each bill proposal. For the rules in submitting written testimony please click this link. Each committee has different rules and deadlines.

If you plan to testify make sure your remarks are clear and concise. Written testimony should be turned in before the hearing begins. It will then become part of the permanent legislative record.

Click Here for a guide for testifying at hearings.

Click Here for driving directions to the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building.

If you have additional questions, please contact my office at

Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov.

I hope this is helpful,

State Representative Tim Ackert Take Vote Against Governor’s Flawed Pension Agreement

Posted on February 2, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (D-8) voted against the pension funding agreement brokered by Governor Dannel Malloy and union leaders on Wednesday.

“I am in support of paying down the indebtedness of our pension obligations, and unfortunately, this does not accomplish this,” said Rep. Ackert. “Over the next two years, we actually reduce the contributions to our retirement account. This is not the financial fix that the state residents are asking for and needs.”

The Governor’s refinancing scheme will cost less over the first half of the agreement, but in the second half, costs remain significantly higher compared to the state’s current schedule of contributions. In the end, taxpayers will be spending $11 billion more over the life of the agreement.

Republican legislators released two actuarial analyses that provided steps the state of Connecticut can take to reform pension plans. These structural changes in the Reason Foundation report include:

  • adopting a defined contribution retirement plan for new hires
  •  increasing employee pension contributions to 4%, and capping cost of living adjustments to 2% – which would save the state approximately $100 million annually

Pew Charitable Trusts confirmed that if the state found $200 million in savings and sent that money back into the pension fund, it would cut seven years off the length of the refinancing, thereby saving taxpayers billions in future payments.

The scheme only put a dent in the next biennial budget cycle, only reducing the state’s deficit over the next two years from $3.81 billion to $3.47 billion.

Later in the day, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman voted in favor of the pension agreement in the evenly split State Senate that broke a party line 17-17 vote, clearing it for passage in the legislature.

 

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Lawmakers Discuss Crumbling Foundation Proposals

Posted on January 31, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- Area legislators joined local elected officials and homeowners impacted by the crumbling foundation issue at the legislative office building in Hartford on Tuesday morning. This bipartisan press conference focused on crumbling foundation legislation introduced this session.

Last year, a bipartisan working group, comprised of lawmakers whose communities are being impacted by the crumbling foundation issue, united to brainstorm ideas on how to tackle the issue. The working group introduced, H.B. 6478, An Act Concerning Failing Concrete Foundations, which would:

  • prohibit the use of pyrrhotite in concrete aggregate intended for use in foundations
  • require the installation of curtain drains along concrete foundations in high water table areas
  • require that concrete removed from failed foundations is properly disposed of
  • establish a one-hundred-dollar surcharge on residential and commercial insurance policies
  • assess annually for a period of not more than seven years
  • establish a fund out of which a homeowner may receive up to seventy-five thousand dollars for the remediation of such homeowner’s failing concrete foundation
  • waive the state building fee associated with the 10 remediation of failing concrete foundations

In total, 19 pieces of legislation have been introduced by lawmakers this session pertaining to crumbling foundations. For a full list of the bills submitted by Republican and Democrat lawmakers click here.

“This is not a localized issue, it is a state of Connecticut issue and we are all going to share in fixing this problem,” said Rep. Ackert (R-8). “From insurance companies, to the banks, to property owners, the federal government, state of Connecticut, and municipalities, we are all going to need to invest in this so that the issue gets fixed.”

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Rep. Ackert Addresses Residents’ Concerns During Coventry Town Hall

Posted on January 26, 2017 by jpheasant


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HARTFORD- State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) met with Coventry residents to discuss issues currently being identified within the legislature and to provide answers to their local and statewide concerns.

During Tuesday night’s Town Hall meeting, Rep. Ackert detailed recent changes to the State Senate and House of Representatives, the new committee assignments, and upcoming bill proposals.

“My job is to represent everyone in my district regardless of their political affiliation,” Ackert said. “For those who couldn’t attend please don’t hesitate to contact me.”

The topic of Connecticut’s economy and uncertain future was the most talked about item of the evening. “I am also extremely concerned with the potential reduction in state funding to the towns which will have the potential to increase property taxes,” he said. “This is something I have been working against since I took office.”

“The problem I have with our state budget is that we continue to overestimate our state revenue projections and therefore it never meets the state plan for spending. It’s time to go back to the drawing board and craft a budget that we can have available funds for and can afford,” Rep. Ackert said.

Rep. Tim Ackert

Coventry residents also reiterated their growing concerns with the current social security format for educators, IRA pensions, and ongoing Crumbling Foundations. Many homes within the community have been built using pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide material which has led to foundations falling apart. According to Ackert, the Crumbling Foundations issue many homes in Coventry are experiencing could carry a hefty price tag ranging anywhere from four to ten billion dollars to fix those affected.

“There are foundations falling apart in homes that shouldn’t have this issue, and most people don’t know if they even have this problem to begin with because they can’t afford the $2,000 to $4,000 needed to have their homes tested,” he continued.

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State Rep. Tim Ackert to Host Town Hall Meeting in Coventry

Posted on January 23, 2017 by jpheasant


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State Rep. Tim Ackert to Host Town Hall Meeting in Coventry

COVENTRY – State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting in Coventry to discuss the issues that may shape the upcoming session, legislative initiatives you support or oppose, and any other issues that are important to you.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 24 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
WHERE: Council Chambers Town Hall Annex, 1712 Main Street, Coventry

If you have any questions, or are unable to attend but would still like to connect with Rep. Ackert, please call 860-842-1423, or email Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov for more information.

Please check www.repackert.com for any cancellations prior to the scheduled meeting date.

Rep. Ackert Takes Oath of Office to Begin Session

Posted on January 5, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Takes Oath of Office to Begin Session

HARTFORD– State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined his fellow colleagues on Wednesday for the opening day of the 2017 Legislative Session.  Rep. Ackert enters his fourth term serving the 8th General Assembly District, which covers Columbia, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon.

“I am ready to get back to work on behalf of my constituents,” said Rep. Ackert. “Reckless budget decisions continue under the current administration. Municipalities and our school districts are being hit hard by the governor, and this will only cause property taxes to skyrocket. I encourage the governor and the majority party to have us in the room this session to help get Connecticut firing on all cylinders.”

The governor’s budget remarks to the General Assembly this week indicated that towns and cities would once again be a target for cuts.

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Severe Cold Weather Alert!

Posted on December 15, 2016 by admin


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Our region and the State of Connecticut will experience single-digit temperatures for the first time this winter, which has triggered the Governor to activate the state’s severe cold weather protocol.

Anyone who needs shelter should call the United Way 2-1-1 helpline. The United Way 2-1-1 website also provides local, state, and federal information and resources including a list of warming centers and homeless drop-in centers.

Click here for a list of warming centers that are open throughout the state. If there is not a warming center listed in your town/city, please note that libraries, senior centers, and other public locations are good places to keep warm or seek shelter.

Cold weather also poses risks for your pets. Please don’t leave your pets outside for an extended period of time.

For more winter safety tips click here.

Rep. Ackert Visits Gunther Farm

Posted on December 12, 2016 by admin


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dsc_0945sizedRep. Ackert Visits Gunther Farm

TOLLAND/VERNON– The Tolland County Agricultural Center (TAC) gave State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) a guided tour of the recently acquired 130-year-old Gunther Farm in Tolland and Vernon this week to present their plans for the open space.

“The acquisition of Gunther Farm is not only great for our communities but will be a great resource for the state of Connecticut and the current organizations and residents that make use of the land already operated by the Tolland County Agricultural Center,” said Rep. Ackert the Ranking Member of the Energy and Technology Committee.

In 2013, the Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT) on behalf TAC was notified through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) that DEEP’s Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program and the Farm and Ranchland Protection Program at NRCS would cover 100% of the funding, $700,000, to protect the land from development and keep it as open space.

This summer, TAC finalized the deal when they acquired the land for $1 from the CFT. TAC plans on creating four additional trials for outdoor activities and plans to start an Incubator Farm Program. Incubator Farm Programs are beginning to spread throughout the country and give residents access to land, capital, and credit and opportunities to learn how to farm.

“I encourage residents to take advantage of the beautiful farm land and the new trails that will hopefully be open next year,” added Rep. Ackert. “I am also excited to see the implementation of an Incubator Farm Program which will provide people interested in farming the necessary resources to learn how to farm. This program will be a win-win opportunity for everyone involved.”

A number of different organizations utilize the open space land operated and protected by TAC including, the University of Connecticut, North Central Conservation District, Eastern Connecticut RC&D, and the Tolland County 4-H Fair Association.

TAC has been in operation for over fifty years, providing the community with an environment for agricultural production education, ecological landscape education, and leadership education.

Photo Caption- Pictured L to R- Floyd Palmer, president of TAC, State Rep. Tim Ackert, and Ross Person manager of TAC

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Coventry Public Library to Receive Grant for High Speed Information Connection

Posted on December 7, 2016 by admin


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Coventry Public Library to Receive Grant for High Speed Information Connection

HARTFORD- State Rep. Tim Ackert received wonderful news from the Connecticut State Library Board this week that the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library in Coventry will receive $40,800 to install a high-speed fiber to the Connecticut Education Network (CEN).

“Expanding high-speed internet access to the Coventry public library will give our residents and the staff the ability to utilize the internet to its greatest potential,” said Rep. Ackert, the Ranking Member of the Energy and Technology Committee. “We need to continue to remove barriers of technology throughout the state and providing these funds to local communities is a step in the right direction.” 

The grant was allocated to Coventry as a result of the state legislature’s approval of a larger $3.6 million grant-in-aid package for high-speed internet connections to libraries supporting CEN, back in the 2015 legislative session. In May of this year, the State Bond Commission authorized the funds to be allocated to 90 various libraries across the state.

According to the Library Board, Connecticut’s public libraries serve as critical gateways to information inside and outside of the community. Libraries provide access to research and other networks online. As reliance upon libraries to provide broadband telecommunication services increases, it is essential to have universal high-speed connectivity available.

The connection at the Booth & Dimock Memorial Library is expected to be completed in early 2017.

 

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Bill Ideas? Submit Here

Posted on November 28, 2016 by admin


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draft-bill

Dear Neighbors,

The 2017 Legislative Session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins January 4th for a five-month period that ends June 7th. Over the next couple of weeks, I will be submitting legislation that will help improve our state and make it more competitive.

I ask and encourage you to help me in this process by providing your ideas and solutions that will help the state of Connecticut. Please submit your bill proposals to me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov.

I also want to provide you with some useful information and resources that will help you draft your proposals.

How a Bill Becomes a Law (Click Here)

Office of Legislative Research (Click Here)

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out to me directly at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

Sincerely,

State Representative Tim Ackert

 

Wishing You a Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on November 22, 2016 by admin


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thanksgiving

Dear Neighbors,

I would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving. There is much for us to give thanks for this season. I encourage you to remember our abundance and those that may not have as much, and especially give thanks to our incredible veterans who provide the blanket of freedom we enjoy.

smallbusWe should also remember to shop locally this holiday season. This Saturday, November 28th, marks the sixth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support local businesses. Last year, 95 million people took advantage of this day and went out to shop at small businesses throughout the country. I hope you take the time to support our local mom and pop shops this year. Click here to find participating businesses in our area.

As always, if you have any questions our concerns, please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

Sincerely,

State Representative Tim Ackert

 

Hello world!

Posted on November 15, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Calls for Real Budget Numbers

Posted on October 18, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Calls for Real Budget Numbers

HARTFORD – State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) today joined his Republican colleagues in the House and Senate and called on Governor Malloy’s budget office to explain why conflicting budget information was presented to administration officials and the public.

“The current administration should be held accountable for not providing the real budget numbers to the general assembly and the Comptroller’s office,” said Rep. Ackert. “Why is the current administration reporting different budget totals to the Comptroller’s office then the Office of Fiscal Analysis? The residents and small business owners in my district deserve to know the truth about our state’s fiscal woes. The goal for all of us should be to address our state’s perpetual fiscal crisis, but it seems that the majority party and the Governor want to hide the truth from the public instead of addressing our fiscal problems.”

After a request from Republican leaders earlier in the summer, the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) said the current fiscal year deficit is projected to be about $78 million. Despite those figures, a CT Mirror story reported state agency heads were told of an impending deficit while Comptroller Lembo was told the budget was in balance.

During the press conference, the House and Senate Republicans also called on the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue & Bonding committees to hold an informational hearing so officials from the governor’s budget office have the opportunity to explain the discrepancies in their budget numbers as compared to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

The 2017-2018 legislative session begins at noon on Wednesday, January 4.

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Stand Down 2016

Posted on September 22, 2016 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

This is just a reminder to all veterans, and those who may know a veteran, that the Department of Connecticut Veterans Affairs is hosting a Stand Down event tomorrow, September 23, from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., to provide access to much-needed services.

At this event, more than 90 agencies and organizations will be participating in providing veterans with services that include (among others):

  • Recovery-based mental health and addiction services
  • Medical screenings
  • State and federal benefit information
  • Legal assistance
  • Motor vehicle assistance
  • Employment and education representation

When: Friday, September 23, 2016

from 7:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Where: 287 West St, Rocky Hill, CT

If needed, free transportation to the event can be provided by the CT Department of Transportation.

To pre-register, please call (860) 616-3803 or visit https://www.facebook.com/events/210877042643050/ for more information.

 

Rep. Ackert Praised DMHAS for funding Local Mental Health & Substance Treatment Agency

Posted on September 19, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Praised DMHAS for funding Local Mental Health & Substance Treatment Agency

 VERNON– State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) applauded the decision of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to award $149,849 in grant funding to The Village for Families & Children in Vernon to help them curb underage drinking and prescription drug abuse. 

“I am appreciative of The Village for taking a proactive role in preventing underage drinking and prescription drug use,” said Rep. Ackert. “Our local communities are facing an opioid addiction crisis and it is imperative that we increase funding to organizations looking to eradicate this epidemic.”

The funding comes from a grant awarded to the state by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The Village will receive training and technical assistance from existing state resources to strengthen their prevention services by implementing SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework.

According to The Village, they help families overcome challenges by increasing community support and services for food, clothing, shelter, mental health and/or substance abuse treatment and other services.

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Rep. Ackert Recognized by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance

Posted on September 14, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Recognized by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance

VERNON- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) received the 2016 Children’s Champions Award from the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance yesterday surrounded by superintendents, principals, teachers and students from Coventry and Vernon. This marks the third year in a row that Rep. Ackert has received this award.

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Rep. Ackert with Merrill Gay, Executive Director of the CT Early Childhood Alliance

“Working to increase educational resources for our students and teachers is a top priority of mine in Hartford,” said Rep. Ackert, a member of the legislature’s Education Committee. “The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a great partner and advocate for children throughout the state and our local communities. I look forward to continuing our work on behalf of our children next legislative session.”

Rep. Ackert worked with the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance this year to pass legislation improving early childhood education, nutrition and safety.

“As a member of the Education Committee, Tim voted in favor of bills that were important to us in the early childhood world. He’s always been accessible at the Capitol and he maintains strong ties to the Coventry and Vernon early childhood communities,” added Merrill Gay, Executive Director of the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

The Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance is a statewide organization founded in 2002 and works with lawmakers to shape policy for children ages birth to eight.

 

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Public Servants Serve Lunch to Tolland Seniors

Posted on August 31, 2016 by admin


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Public Servants Serve Lunch to Tolland Seniors

TOLLAND- State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Sam Belsito (R-53) joined seniors last week at the Tolland Senior Center for lunch and to have a conversation about the state of Connecticut.IMG_0899edit

“I enjoyed having lunch and discussing the major issues impacting seniors in the State of Connecticut,” said Rep. Ackert. “The bottom line is seniors don’t want to leave this beautiful state, but they are being forced out due to over-taxation. By reducing taxes and energy costs we can make Connecticut a more attractive place to retire.”

The representatives provided the seniors with a copy of the Acts Affecting Seniors report produced by the Office of Legislative Research. The topics in the report include acts affecting elder abuse, senior housing, insurance coverage, long-term care, prescription drugs, taxes, and other issues pertaining to seniors.

“I always have a wonderful time visiting my friends at the Tolland Senior Center,” stated Rep. Belsito. “It is important to keep our seniors notified about the new laws that will have an impact on them and their families. I will continue to work to make Connecticut a more affordable place for our seniors.”

For more information about legislation that passed this session please visit, www.cga.ct.gov. If you need to contact Reps. Ackert or Belsito, they can be reached at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or Sam.Belsito@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

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School Bus Safety

Posted on August 30, 2016 by admin


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With school beginning this week, I wanted to remind all drivers to be extra cautious on our public roadways.

With thousands of our district’s children being transported to and from school either by bus or a parent each day, please remember that when school is in session, drivers should use EXTRA caution. The following are safety tips for motorists, parents, and children.

Here are some tips for motorists:

• State law prohibits passing a school bus with its lights flashing. Some school buses are equipped with cameras to record passing drivers.
• Observe the no-passing law and expect the unexpected when traveling near school buses in school driveways.
• Watch for children traveling to school when driving in neighborhoods with school zones.
• Drive slowly. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Watch for children playing and gathering near school bus stops.

There are also some safety tips for parents and children:

• Be waiting at your bus stop 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick up.
• Wait 10 feet back from the road and wear clothing with colors that are easily spotted by motorists.
• Always wait for the bus driver’s head nod before boarding the bus or crossing the street.  They’re watching out for you! If you can’t see the driver, then the driver can’t see you.  Make visual contact!
• If you drop something in the road, leave it. If it’s important, make sure the bus driver knows you’re about to bend down and possibly disappear from his/her sight.
• If an important item ends up under the bus, do not retrieve it unless the driver gives you permission to do so.
• Board the bus and quickly find a seat.
• Try to avoid distracting the bus driver for anything other than an emergency.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

 

CT Sales Tax-Free Week, August 21-27

Posted on August 19, 2016 by admin


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With the start of school just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of “Tax-Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 21st through Saturday, August 27th.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Additionally, new and used college textbooks are exempt from the state 6.35% sales tax for students who present a valid college ID at the time of purchase. 

Since sales tax is calculated after the use of any coupons or discounts, if the final price is less than $100, the sale is exempt from taxes. Clothing or footwear under $100 put on layaway is also tax-free.

Please note: This benefit has been substantially reduced from previous years and will only apply to clothing and footwear that costs less than $100.

Tax-Free Week was first enacted in 2000 and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities: football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wetsuits, helmets and headbands, etc. Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a full list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

Rep. Ackert Goes Behind the Badge

Posted on August 12, 2016 by admin


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Coventry-Vernon – The Coventry and Vernon Police Departments opened their doors this month to State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) to give him a better understanding of the daily lives of police officers.

“I want to thank the Coventry and Vernon Police Departments for their hospitality,” said Rep. Ackert. “These brave men and wDSC_0135edit omen in blue are dedicated public servants who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities. The insight and knowledge that I received will give me a better understanding of legislation that impacts law enforcement officers.”

Rep. Ackert went on two ride-alongs with officers Russ Iger (Coventry) and Jamie Grzegorek (Vernon). Each ride-along lasted four hours during the late shift from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Both officers gave Rep. Ackert a tour of their police departments before hitting the road. Rep. Ackert learned how the officers booked inmates using an automated finger identification system, and how evidence is handled during an investigation.IMG_0759edit

In Vernon, Rep. Ackert had the opportunity to meet K9 Officer Thor and his partner Officer Bryan Sembersky. Officers Grzegorek and Sembersky had Rep. Ackert participate in training exercises with K9 Officer Thor. The training included testing Thor’s ability to detect drugs and track the scent of an individual fleeing the police.

Rep. Ackert said the amount of training that goes into training K9 Officer Thor is truly impressive, and the residents of Vernon should sleep safe knowing that Thor and Officer Sembersky are protecting their community.

“The police officers that are serving our communities are there to protect you and your families,” said Rep. Ackert. “I saw first-hand their dedication to protecting our citizens from individuals looking to break the laws that are in place.”

If you have any questions or need to contact the Coventry or Vernon Police Departments please call (860) 742-7331 (Coventry) or (860) 872-9126 (Vernon).

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Hydrilla Treatment-Coventry Lake 8/10 & 8/11

Posted on August 5, 2016 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will be applying a pesticide treatment against the invasive Hydrilla on a portion of Coventry Lake in Coventry from August 10th to the 11th.The location of the treatment area is shown on the map below. 

 

 

On August 10th and 11th, the area within and for a distance of 500-feet beyond the treatment area will be closed to all uses, including swimming, boating, fishing and irrigation. Additionally, use of the lake water in the same area for livestock watering and direct drinking/domestic use will be restricted for 14 full days after the treatment (until August 27th). The CT DEEP boat ramp will remain open. Prior to the treatment, the shoreline will be posted with signs in accordance with DEEP requirements.

 As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov and (860) 240-8700.

 

 

Public Hearings: Insurance Rate Hikes

Posted on August 2, 2016 by admin


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The Connecticut Insurance Department (CID) will be conducting public hearings this week to give consumers the opportunity to express their concerns about proposals to increase insurance rates from Anthem, ConnectiCare, and Aetna.

Insurance companies must go before CID to request a rate change, and then CID has the authority to reject or modify the rate change request.

If you believe these rate increases will have a negative impact on you and your families please attend the public hearings this week. Your voice can make a difference.

PUBLIC HEARING INFO

 August 3rd at 9:00 a.m. – Anthem Health Plans Hearing

August 4th at 9:00 a.m. – ConnectiCare Insurance Company

August 4th at 1:00 p.m. – Aetna Insurance Company of CT

Location: Insurance Department, 153 Market Street, 7th Floor Hearing Room, Hartford. There is validated parking for visitors using the Morgan Street Garage.

Those who cannot attend the hearing may also submit written testimony at www.ct.gov/cid or by mail at P.O. Box 816, Hartford, 06142-0816.

 As always if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

 

Rep. Ackert Achieves 100% Voting Record Again

Posted on July 27, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Achieves 100% Voting Record Again

HARTFORD- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) logged a one-hundred-percent voting record during the 2016 legislative session, according to documents released by the House Clerk’s office this week.

“I am dedicated to being the people’s voice for the 8th General Assembly District in Hartford,” said Rep. Ackert. “Missing a session day is not acceptable for my constituents. Their concerns need to be addressed, and their questions need to be answered. I will continue to be accessible and a proactive state representative for all.”  

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Rep. Ackert was one of forty-nine members of the one hundred and fifty-one member House of Representatives to record a one-hundred-percent voting record.

This is the fifth consecutive year Rep. Ackert received a one-hundred-percent voting record according to the House Clerk’s office.

Rep. Ackert is the ranking member of the legislature’s Energy and Technology committee. He also serves on the Higher Education and Education committees.

Anyone with questions or concerns is encouraged to reach out to Rep. Ackert at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Rep. Ackert Helps Local Residents Understand their Electricity Bills

Posted on July 7, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Helps Local Residents Understand their Electricity Bills

COVENTRY/COLUMBIA – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) held two informative workshops in Coventry and Columbia last month to provide residents with the opportunity to learn more about lowering their electricity bills.

IMG_0261sized3Understanding the generation rate process can be confusing and frustrating at times, but state agencies provide resources to help residents save time and money,” said Rep. Ackert. “As the ranking member of the legislature’s Energy and Technology committee, I will continue to work with suppliers and consumers to simplify residents’ electricity bills.”

Representatives from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and Eversource gave a detailed presentation about navigating the Energize Connecticut website, www.energizect.com. The website gives residents the tools to compare electricity rates from suppliers licensed by PURA. In addition, they walked residents through the process of understanding their electricity bills and the difference between choosing a standard service and a third-party service.

Electric distribution companies, Eversource and United Illuminating (UI), provide a standard service plan to residents who do not choose a third-party supplier. Standard service is a fixed price that only changes twice per year— July 1 and January 1.IMG_0312sized2

The Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) recently announced, starting July 1 the new standard service generation rates will decrease from 9.555 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 6.606 cents/kWh.

Rep. Ackert also explained that a bill passed by the General Assembly last year will prevent suppliers from offering or imposing variable rate contracts on residential customers. As a result, suppliers must offer fixed-rate contracts to their new customers. Residents can check if they are on a variable rate contract entered into prior to that date and switch to standard service or another supplier without penalty or additional fee.

In April, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) awarded Rep. Ackert with the AARP Legislative Achievement Award for spearheading legislation to ban variable rate contracts.

Residents are encouraged to contact Rep. Ackert with any questions they may have about lowering their electricity bill at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

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New Laws Taking Effect on July 1

Posted on July 1, 2016 by admin


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A number of new laws passed during the 2016 Legislative Session will take effect tomorrow, July 1. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community.

Here are a couple of major bills taking effect today:

The State Budget (PA 15-244)

The new state budget will take effect today. To take a look at the FY2017 budget click here.

Crumbling Foundations (PA 16-45) 

I supported legislation this year to help address the crumbling foundation issue impacting hundreds of homeowners in Eastern Connecticut. The law includes three important measures to help current homeowners and protect future homeowners from this crisis.

  • Requires documentation when a concrete foundation is installed on or after October 1, 2016.
  • Allows owners of buildings affected by deteriorating foundations to request a reassessment of their property to reflect the current value.
  • Orders the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection to submit a report to the General Assembly on the possible cause or causes of failing concrete foundations.

This week, we received information from the Attorney General’s Office that a potential new program is currently being negotiated with the state’s insurers to provide financial assistance to homeowners living with a crumbling foundation. I will continue to keep you updated on this new program if, and when, more information is available.

Opioid Prescription Limits (PA 16-43)

In an effort to combat the opioid addiction epidemic facing Connecticut, we passed legislation which puts a seven-day cap on the initial prescription of opioid drugs. The bill also requires municipalities to train all first responders on the use of Narcan, a drug used to reverse an opioid overdose.

Entrepreneur Learner’s Permit (SA 16-1)

This bill assists first-time entrepreneurs in certain business sectors by reimbursing them for state fees associated with forming a business.

For a full list of bills taking effect today click here. More recently passed laws will take effect on October 1, 2016, and January 1,2017 as well.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

 

DMV Issues Continue…

Posted on June 27, 2016 by admin


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Last week, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced it will resume charging late fees for overdue emissions testing. DMV temporarily stopped issuing late fees in August 2015 when it installed a new computer system. Approximately 200,000 residents will receive a late fee notice.

The late fee could be due to:

The vehicle owner not having an emissions test on their vehicle.

The vehicle owner having the test more than 30 days past the due date.

The vehicle failed an emissions test and was not retested within 60 days.

If you think you owe an emissions test late fee, you can check by visiting ct.gov/dmv/payemissions. Please wait for your bill before attempting to make a payment.

If you are not aware, this is not the first time the new computer system has caused delays for Connecticut residents. The administration’s failure to properly understand the computer system before rolling it out to the general public continues to waste a significant amount of your tax dollars.

In an effort to provide DMV services to the public in the most convenient and efficient way possible, I proposed legislation to fix the late fee notification process. The bill, H.B. 5944, would require the DMV to mail the emissions notification with the registration renewal. This process would have saved the state time and money and the vehicle owner an unwanted late fee.

I will continue to propose and support common sense legislation to fix the ongoing problems with DMV.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

 

Rep. Ackert: 2016 Major Public Acts

Posted on June 17, 2016 by admin


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Many important and consequential pieces of legislation were debated and passed by the General Assembly throughout the 2016 Legislative Session.

To read a summary of the 2016 Major Public Acts passed during the legislative session, please click here.

In order to better understand this legislation, the non-partisan Office of Legislative Research has also released summaries of new laws affecting different issue areas. Each summary indicates the public act (PA) number and effective date. Some of the issue areas include:

Acts Affecting Seniors

Acts Affecting People with Disabilities

Acts Affecting Children

Acts Affecting Firefighters and Fire Marshals

Acts Affecting Energy & Utilities

Acts Affecting Veterans and the Military

Major legislation from the 2016 May and June special sessions, which included the budget and bond acts, as well as acts affecting economic development, taxes, and social services, will be published separately in a forthcoming report.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

I hope this information is helpful.

Rep. Ackert Commemorates Flag Day by Properly Retiring Flags at Annual American Legion Ceremony

Posted on June 15, 2016 by admin


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DSC_2045sizedRep. Ackert Commemorates Flag Day by Properly Retiring Flags at Annual American Legion Ceremony

COVENTRY- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined forces with the American Legion Post 52, the Knights of Columbus 4313, and the Boy Scouts to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Flag Day by properly retiring worn-out flags yesterday at the Knight of Columbus Hall.

Over the past month, Rep. Ackert has collected over a hundred flags during his Annual Flag-Collection Drives in Columbia and Coventry.

DSC_1989sized“The flags that were retired today carry the sounds of battle, dedication, courage, patriotism, sacrifice, and victory. They carry the sounds of freedom and they carry the sound of a bugle blowing taps for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom,” said Rep. Ackert, an Air Force Veteran. “Perhaps, of all the special occasions we celebrate each year, Flag Day, June 14th, stands out among the most important.  We’re not just honoring a flag, we are honoring our country, our government, and the way of life it represents.”

American Legion Commander Manny Rodrigues and the Boy Scouts led the ceremony by reciting the pledge of allegiance, properly folding the flags, and then respectfully retiring the flags.

The Second Continental Congress adopted the first American flag on July 14, 1777, and President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 to be Flag Day in 1916. National Flag Day was then established by an Act of Congress in August 1949.

If you were unable to donate your worn-out flags, please contact American Legion Commander Manny Rodrigues at (860) 541-1840 or MarineVeteran@Charter.net.

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Rep. Ackert Looks to Help Residents Reduce Electricity Bills

Posted on June 8, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD- With summer months approaching, temperatures beginning to soar, and home electricity costs are a concern, State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) has decided to host an informational workshop for constituents to learn more about reducing their electricity bills. The event will be held on Tuesday, June 21, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. inside the lecture hall at Coventry High School.

 A rate specialist from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and an Eversource representative will be on hand to guide residents through the process.

Coventry

Tuesday, June 21

6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Coventry High School- Lecture Hall

78 Ripley Hill Road, Coventry

 

 Please bring a copy of your electric bill to check your current generation rate.

 For questions about the event please contact Rep. Ackert at (860) 240-8700 or Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov.

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WATCH: Rep. Ackert/CTMirror/AARP Google Hangout on choosing an electric supplier

Posted on June 8, 2016 by admin


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I joined the CT Mirror and AARP yesterday for a Goggle Hangout to discuss electricity rates in Connecticut. Click on the photo below to watch the full conversation.

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Electricity Rates Drop to 6.6 cents on July 1st

Posted on June 7, 2016 by admin


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In the last week or two, you may have received offers from licensed electricity suppliers to sign up for electricity rates between 7 and 9.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This number may seem low, but starting July 1st the United Illuminating Company (UI) and Eversource will be dropping their rate to 6.6 cents per kWh.

Please be aware that you have two options when deciding to purchase electricity. The first option is to use the Standard Service provided by UI and Eversource. Under option number one, the Standard Service rates change on July 1st and January 1st, and the Standard Service rates are announced about seven weeks before the rates are effective: May 10th and November 10th. The second option you can choose from is to use a licensed supplier to provide your electricity, which may lower your cost.

You can compare Standard Service Generation rates to offers from licensed suppliers on Connecticut’s official Rate Board. Click here to access the Rate Board.

I will also be hosting two informative workshops about lowering your electric bill in Coventry and Columbia with representatives from the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and Eversource. Please bring a copy of your electric bill to check your current generation rate.

Coventry 

Tuesday, June 21

6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

Coventry High School- Lecture Hall

Columbia 

Thursday, June 23

1:00 to 2:00 p.m.

Beckish Senior Center

 

As your State Representative and the Ranking Member of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee, I will continue to work with PURA and licensed suppliers to reduce your energy cost.

If you have any questions please contact me at (860) 240-8700 or Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.com.

Memorial Day Weekend

Posted on May 28, 2016 by admin


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Memorial Day is a time to remember those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms. Over the weekend, I will be marching in a number of parades in the 8th District. I hope you will join me at the following parades to honor the fallen:

Columbia Memorial Day Parade

The Columbia Memorial Day Program starts at 9:00 a.m. at the Town Green on Monday, May 30th.

Coventry Memorial Day Parade

The Coventry Memorial Day Parade starts at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, May 30th, from Robertson School at Cross Street, and proceeds to the Veterans Green for a brief service and continues down Lake Street to Main and ends at Bradbury Lane.

Tolland Memorial Day Parade

The Town of Tolland will hold its 25th Annual Memorial Day Parade and Service on Sunday, May 29th at 1:00 p.m. Parade units will line up at noon in the Preschool of the Arts/Tolland Senior Center parking lot on Route 74. Held rain or shine, the parade will step off at 1:00 p.m. and travel along the historic Tolland Green, turn right at Town Hall onto Old Post Road and end at the Tolland Intermediate School. The route is 7/10s of a mile. A solemn ceremony will follow on the school lawn.

Vernon Memorial Day Parade

The 2016 Vernon Memorial Day Parade is scheduled for Monday, May 30. The parade, sponsored by the local American Legion post and the Vernon Parks and Recreation Department, is slated to step off at 10:00 a.m. from Northeast School. Following the ceremony at Grove Hill, the parade will continue to Central Park via Grove Street, turn left at the intersection of Grove and East Main Street and arrive at Central Park at about 11:00 a.m. A closing ceremony will take place in Central Park to honor fallen veterans and all those who have served the United States in all branches of the military.

Flag Day

I will also be hosting a flag collection with the American Legion Post #52 and Knights of Columbus Council 4313 for residents to properly retire their worn American flags.

 

Columbia Town Hall

323 Route 87, Columbia

Coventry Town Hall

1712 Main St., Coventry

The Booth and Dimock Library

1134 Main St., Coventry

The collected flags will be retired during a ceremony on Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall,138 Snake Hill Road, Coventry.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at: Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860)-240-8700.

Have a safe weekend,

State Representative Tim Ackert 

2nd Annual Veterans Reception

Posted on May 24, 2016 by admin


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On Friday, May 27th, the Stone Acres Therapeutic Riding Center in Columbia, CT is hosting their 2nd Annual Veterans Reception from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.

The open house provides families with the opportunity to tour Newberry Farm and learn more about the benefits of therapeutic riding.

Therapeutic riding is a proven method of treating post-traumatic stress disorder and rehabbing physical disabilities.

If you are unable to attend, but have questions or would like more information please contact me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Rep. Ackert Teaches Seniors about State Government

Posted on May 23, 2016 by admin


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VERNON- State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) on Thursday participated as a guest lecturer for a class on state government sponsored by the Center for Learning in Retirement (CLIR) held at the Vernon Cottage on the University of Connecticut Mansfield Depot Campus.

“Understanding the legislative process gives you knowledge about the issues facing our state,” explained Rep. Ackert. “As a small business owner I had to learn quickly about the complexities of state government, and I learn something new every day. Yes, the process can be frustrating at times, but helping constituents with a problem is a very rewarding feeling.”

Rep. Ackert gave a PowerPoint presentation outlining the legislative process on how a bill becomes a law. In addition, he discussed the budgetary process and the limited role the minority party plays when constructing a budget. The group of seniors also asked questions relating to taxes and how to get involved in the legislative process.

“I encourage everyone to visit the Capitol to see first-hand the legislative process,” added Rep. Ackert. “It’s never too late in life to get involved and to advocate for or against an issue you are passionate about.”

CLIR provides meaningful and serious intellectual activities for retirees and other adults from all walks of life, conducted in an informal and relaxed atmosphere. There are no academic requirements.

For more information or to become a member of CLIP, please visit clir.uconn.edu.

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Rep. Ackert Announces Annual Flag Collection

Posted on May 10, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Announces Annual Flag Collection

COVENTRY – In honor of Flag Day, State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8), in cooperation with American Legion Post #52 and Knights of Columbus Council 4313, is hosting a flag collection for residents to retire their worn American flags at locations in Columbia and Coventry.

AckertFlag

WHEN: May 16 – June 13, 2016

 WHERE:

Columbia Town Hall

323 Route 87, Columbia

 Coventry Town Hall

1712 Main St., Coventry

 The Booth and Dimock Library

1134 Main St., Coventry

The U.S. Flag Code specifies that old American flags no longer in service must be properly disposed. Rep. Ackert encourages all constituents to come by and drop off flags to be honorably retired.

Collected flags will be retired during a ceremony on Flag Day, Tuesday, June 14th from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 138 Snake Hill Road, Coventry.

The event is free and open to the public.

If you have any questions please contact Rep. Ackert at: Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Rep. Ackert to Host Coffee Hours

Posted on May 6, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert to Host Coffee Hours

HARTFORDState Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) will be hosting coffee hours in Columbia, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon to answer questions about the 2016 Legislative Session, which ended on Wednesday, May 4th.

Coffee Hours(CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE PHOTO)

  • Vernon- Wednesday, May 18th from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. at Between Rounds, 243 Hartford Turnpike.
  • Columbia- Saturday, May 21st from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Dunkin Donuts, 221 Willimantic Road.
  • Tolland- Wednesday, June 1st from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. at Dunkin Donuts, 65 Merrow Road.
  • Coventry- Saturday, June 11th from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at Dunkin Donuts, 3516 Main Street.

For questions about the events, please contact Catherine Morrow at 860-240-8700 or Catherine.Morrow@cga.ct.gov.  ###

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Rep. Ackert Applauds the Passage of Legislation to Support Dyslexic Students

Posted on May 4, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert  Applauds the Passage of Legislation to Support Dyslexic Students

Bill ensures reading and language arts consultants are trained to teach dyslexic students

HARTFORDState Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) fully supported a bill on Tuesday designed to help children struggling with reading skills due to dyslexia.

“Making sure students with dyslexia receive a top-notch education starts with teachers who understand their disabilities,” said Rep. Ackert. “Having teachers understand indicators of dyslexia in their students will give every student the ability to thrive in the classroom.”

Under the legislation, SB 317, An Act Concerning Dyslexia, requires educators seeking endorsement as a remedial reading specialist or language arts to be equipped to engage and educate students with dyslexia.

Following the passage of this legislation, teachers will need to complete a reading and language diagnosis, and a remediation program of study. Educators will receive instruction, including supervised practicum hours, on the diagnosis and remediation of dyslexia, aligned with evidenced-based structured literacy interventions that have been proven to help these students.

Dyslexia is defined as a learning disability that affects reading, specifically spelling and word recognition. In addition, dyslexia is a neurobiological disorder and is often inconsistent with a student’s other cognitive abilities. It is estimated that 15-20 percent of children struggle with this learning disability.

The bill passed unanimously in the House of Representatives and Senate, it now goes to the governor for his signature.

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WATCH: Rep. Ackert Praises the Passage of Crumbling Foundation Bill

Posted on April 30, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Praises the Passage of Crumbling Foundation Bill

HARTFORD– State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) praised the passage of legislation yesterday aimed at addressing the crumbling foundation issue impacting hundreds of homeowners in Eastern Connecticut.

In the past year, hundreds of residents living within a thirty-mile radius of Stafford Springs, Connecticut, came forth with a major issue: their basement foundations were crumbling beneath them. The likely cause of the destruction was faulty concrete that was supplied in the early 1980’s through the late 1990’s and possibly into the 2000’s.

The bill, House Bill 5180, An Act Concerning Concrete Foundations and Septic Tanks, confronts the crumbling foundation issue head-on by including three important measures:IMG_0050ackert

Click on the Image to Watch Rep. Ackert Discuss H.B. 5180

  • Requires documentation when a concrete foundation is installed on or after October 1, 2016. The applicant for a certificate of occupancy must provide the name of the individual or company that supplied the concrete, and the name of the individual or company that installed it. Copies of this documentation must be held by the building official in town for at least 50 years.

 

  • Allows owners of buildings affected by a crumbling foundation to request a reassessment of their property upon obtaining a written evaluation from a professional and licensed engineer stating that the foundation of the building was made with defective concrete. The assessor must then inspect the property and adjust the assessment to reflect the current value.

 

  • Requires the Commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection to submit a report to the General Assembly on the possible cause or causes of failing concrete foundations by January 1st, 2017.     The governor’s response to the letter urged homeowners living with a crumbling foundation to report their problem to DCP. Approximately 582 homeowners need to come forward with this problem to be considered for a disaster grant from FEME. Unfortunately at this time it appears that no federal or state funding is available for homeowners. H.B. 5180 now heads to the State Senate for action there. The legislative session adjourns at midnight on May 4th.

“Today’s bill equips future homeowners with the necessary documentation to protect themselves from not being able to find a solution for a faulty concrete mix,” said Rep. Ackert. “We are just beginning the process of resolving this situation, and I will make sure that homeowners going through this difficult situation have their voices heard.” 

The Department of Consumer Protection, working in coordination with the Attorney General’s Office, launched an investigation into the matter. The goal of the investigation is to determine if grounds exist to initiate legal action under the Connecticut Unfair Trade Practices Act. The state has hired a civil engineer to test core samples of concrete from crumbling foundations. DCP expects to share the preliminary results from the testing by the end of spring 2016.

In March, leaders of the of the Planning and Development Committee wrote to Governor Malloy urging him to make a request to President Barack Obama to declare this situation a major disaster under the Stafford Act.  By receiving a major disaster declaration, Connecticut would be eligible for Individual Assistance based on the number of homes affected and the severity of the damage.  They also wrote to Senators Richard Blumenthal & Christopher Murphy and Congressman Joseph Courtney (CT-2) requesting  their assistance in identifying any federal programs that may be available for the State of Connecticut or homeowners to assist them in recovering from these crumbling foundations.

The governor’s response to the letter urged homeowners living with a crumbling foundation to report their problem to DCP. Approximately 582 homeowners need to come forward with this problem to be considered for a disaster grant from FEMA. Unfortunately at this time it appears that no federal or state funding is available for homeowners.

H.B. 5180 now heads to the State Senate for action there. The legislative session adjourns at midnight on May 4th.

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Ackert, Case Welcome Special Olympics World Games Qualifiers

Posted on April 28, 2016 by admin


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Hartford – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Jay Case (R-63) welcomed four accomplished athletes to the Capitol on Thursday morning who have qualified to compete in the Special Olympics World Games 2017 in Austria.

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State Representatives Tim Ackert and Claire Janowski with Special Olympic Athlete Stacey Shorts

“I am proud that these four talented athletes will be representing Connecticut and the United States at the Special Olympic Games,” said Rep. Ackert. “I hope the athletes have fun and enjoy this great experience. We added four more Connecticut residents to the list of people we can call heroes today.”

“These athletes have worked extremely hard on their individual sport in order to qualify for World Games,” explained Rep. Case. “I am proud to have welcomed them to the Capitol to recognize their achievement. I wish them the best of luck in Austria, and after meeting the athletes I am confident they will be courageous in their efforts.”

The athletes recognizing included Stacey Shorts, snow shoeing, Natasha De Elye Cole, cross country skiing, Rebecca Lamoin, alpine skiing, and Scott Grupe, alpine skiing. Each was presented with a legislative citation as well as a State of Connecticut pin to trade with other athletes who are competing at the international competition.

IMG_9590ackert1The first Special Olympics International Summer Games took place back in 1968, featuring athletes from only two countries. Today Special Olympics reaches 4.2 million athletes nationwide in roughly 170 different countries throughout the world.

The athletes from Connecticut will be training hard until the World Games, which are scheduled to take place in March of 2017.

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Reps. Ackert and Belsito Encourage the Use of Technology in the Classroom

Posted on April 28, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD- State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Sam Belsito (R-53) encouraged students from their district to explore the creative use of new technologies during the 19th Annual Connecticut Educators Computer Association (CECA) Technology Exposition at the State Capitol today.

“The more we can introduce our students to new technologies in the classroom the better,” said Rep. Ackert, Ranking Member of the Energy & Technology Committee. “The innovations taking place right in our backyard are truly amazing. These bright students will one day change the world.”

“Encouraging technology use at an early age will help prepare our students for the future,” added Rep. Belsito. “It’s wonderful to see the passion, hard-work, and dedication from our students to create devices and apps that will make life easier for all of us.”

Students from Coventry, Tolland and Vernon joined their peers from around the state to show off their innovations and to discuss the rapid changing technology environment with policymakers.

An energetic group of six-grade students from Capt. Nathan Hale Middle School in Coventry became involved in printing, assembling, and testing 3D printed prosthetic hands for children across the globe. The project has created six hands thus far for distribution to those children in need.

The bright third-graders from Northeast School in Vernon were able to create a workable tablet app, Puppet Pals, which gives students the ability to share, collaborate, and produce a fully-scripted fairytale stories.

A Tolland High School student, Madalyn Reagan, has produced an Android app to help consumers purchase all kinds of products easier. The app, 5 Corners, allows shoppers to scan or search for products, and then compare prices. In addition, there is a discount calculator function, that gives consumers a final price with any coupons they may have.

Tolland Intermediate School also had a group of third-graders participating in the expo to show-off their iPad app, Chatterkids, which gives students the ability to construct thirty-second video or audio clips on various subjects, and then decorate their recordings within the app.

Since 1980, CECA has had the opportunity to share the best practices of technology use in the classroom to stimulate creativity, promote student achievement and expand our ability to impact others globally.

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Area Legislators Pass Legislation to Help Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Posted on April 26, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD- In an effort to combat the growing opioid epidemic, State Representatives Christopher Davis (R-57), Tim Ackert (R-8), Sam Belsito (R-53), and Bill Aman (R-14) voted in favor of bi-partisan legislation aimed at reducing addictions to opioid medications and heroin.

“We are starting to address the opioid epidemic, but more work still needs to be done to prevent another family from having to bury a loved one,” added Rep. Ackert. “I will continue to advocate for policies that help eliminate this growing crisis.”

“Nearly everyone in our state knows of someone who has suffered a loss due to an overdose from heroin and other opioids,” said Rep. Davis. “Usually a person gets addicted to medication prescribed to them to help alleviate pain or steals a friend’s or family member’s excess medication. Today’s legislation will help reduce the possibility of someone abusing opioid medication, in hopes of helping prevent the heroin and opioid tragedies that occur too often across our region.”

“This piece of legislation will help prevent opioid abuse and help save lives from this disease. Yet, we need to make sure people who are in jail for selling this deadly narcotic serve out their time,” said Rep. Belsito. “Moving forward we need to put in place heavy penalties on those who sell opioid medication or heroin illegally.”

“Over-supplying someone opioids leads to an excess supply sitting around the house, and this could create a potential problem down the road if these dangerous drugs get into the wrong person’s hands,” Rep. Aman said. “Limiting opioid prescriptions is a common-sense solution to help end this growing epidemic.”

The legislation that was approved yesterday, House Bill 5053, An Act Increasing Access to Overdose Reversal Drugs, will help address the opioid epidemic running rampant through the state by:

  • Requiring municipalities to update their existing emergency medical services plans to ensure that the emergency responder likely to the first person on the scene of an emergency call is equipped with and prepared to administer the overdose reversal drug naloxone and has been appropriately trained to do so
  • Closing a gap in current liability language related to a licensed healthcare professional who administers an opioid antagonist
  • Prohibiting commercial health carriers from requiring prior authorization for coverage of naloxone
  • Requiring the Alcohol and Drug Policy Council’s state plan to include, by January 1, 2017, a goal of reducing the number of opioid-induced deaths in the state

In addition, the bill limits the prescribing of opioid drugs by: 

  • Prohibiting, for adult patients, an initial prescription of opioid drugs for longer than seven days
  • Prohibiting, for minor patients, any prescriptions of opioid drugs for longer than seven days and requiring the prescriber to discuss the risks associated with the drug with the patient and, if present, the custodial parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of the patient
  • Allowing, for both adult and minor patients, a prescriber to give more than a seven-day supply of opioid drugs if, in the prescriber’s professional medical judgment, the acute or chronic pain condition requires it and requires the prescriber to note such condition in the medical record
  • Making several changes to the state’s electronic prescription monitoring program to help facilitate prescriber and pharmacist compliance

Last year, 723 people died as a result of a drug overdose which is double the amount from 2012. Of this amount, 415 were related to heroin, which represents a 27 percent increase from 2014.

The bill now moves to the State Senate for final legislative approval.

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Republican Budget Proposal Closes 2017 Deficit of $935.7 Million

Posted on April 25, 2016 by admin


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Republican Budget Proposal Closes 2017 Deficit of $935.7 Million

Restores Funding for Social Services, Education & Hospitals; Provides Municipal Mandate Relief

HARTFORD– The House and Senate Republicans released a fiscally sound budget proposal today, the Pathway to Sustainability, which closes the state’s projected $935.7 million budget shortfall. The GOP five year framework, restores core social services, protects local town education funding, and implements long-term structural changes to the state budget.

Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8), the Ranking Member of the Energy & Technology Committee, added, “We were able to bring forth a solid budget plan today that protects municipalities and educational funding- without tax increases. The Republican plan will eliminate the never-ending budget deficits plaguing the State of Connecticut.”

On March 29th, the Republicans agreed to a deficit mitigation package to close this year’s $220 million deficit. Now the Office of Fiscal Analysis is projecting that the State of Connecticut is facing a budget shortfall of $ 935.7 million, starting July 1st.

Throughout the past year, the majority party has failed to agree with Republican proposals to make long-term changes to the budgeting process such as mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding, and numerous other approaches detailed in the official document.

The GOP plan balances the 2017 budget and results in a $1 billion surplus by 2021. A full line-by-line and detailed summary of the plan can be found on our website, www.fiveyearbudget.com.

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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted on April 20, 2016 by admin


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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means for disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential abuse of medications.

Prescribed medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, putting public safety at risk as the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses from these drugs are rising.

 

Pharmaceutical drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs when taken without a prescription or doctor supervision. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained – largely by teenagers – from the home medicine cabinets of family and friends. In addition, disposing of unused medicines by flushing them down the toilet, or simply throwing them in the trash can pose health serious and environmental hazards. Improperly disposed medications can be retrieved and illegally sold, or contaminate our local water supply.

To participate in this Take-Back Day, you can bring your expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or year-round in the case of some police departments)t o our district’s collection sites:

Vernon Police Department

725 Hartford TPKE, Vernon, CT

Coventry Police Department

1585 Main Street, Coventry, CT

The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps; only pills or patches.

This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. If you are unable to make it to one of the local drop offs on April 30, please call the DEA Office of Diversion Control at 1-800-882-9539.

The DEA also advises you to dispose of old prescriptions by taking the following steps:

1. Take the meds out of their bottles

2. Mix them with something “unappealing” like used kitty litter or coffee grounds

3. Seal them in a bag or disposable container, and throw it away

The proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be a steward of our community.

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to contact me at Tim.Ackert@hosuegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

 

 

Rep. Ackert Talks ‘Cradle to Career’ Educational Programs with Early Childhood Councils

Posted on April 19, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD- Last week, State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) talked about the importance of early childhood education programs during a panel discussion at the State Capitol for an advocacy day hosted by Local Early Childhood Councils (LECC) from around the state.

“It’s proven that starting education at an early age will greatly improve the long-term success of our students,” said Rep. Ackert, a member of the legislature’s Education Committee. “Making strong investments in education will help our students succeed in their education and in life.”

The policymakers and early education advocates on the panel all agreed on the same thing, LECC’s provide important programs to their local communities that pave the way for a successful life for our children. LECC’s are collaborative groups charged with policy and program planning, system development, cross-sector engagement, leadership, public accountability, and resource allocation for children and families within the community.

“I will be strong advocate against proposals to cut education funding,” added Rep. Ackert. “Instead of putting our budget woes on the backs of children we should take a look at long-term structural policy changes.”

This year, LECC’s are fighting to maintain funding for early childhood programs that serve children throughout the state such as the Office of Early Childhood, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Children and Families, Husky, Care4Kids and Birth to 3.

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Reps. Ackert and Davis Applaud the Passage of Legislation that Supports the Agricultural Industry in Connecticut

Posted on April 14, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD– State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8), Ranking Member of the Energy & Technology Committee, and his colleague on the committee Christopher Davis (R-57) praised the passage of legislation that will help support the state’s agricultural industry on Wednesday.

“This legislation evens the playing field when it comes to purchasing electricity in the state,” said Rep. Ackert. “The agricultural industry will now be free from the restraints of purchasing electricity and be able to enter into contacts that will benefit their bottom-line.”

House Bill 5242, An Act Concerning Agricultural Virtual Net Metering, gives farmers the ability to include leasing and entering into a long-term contract as two options when considering virtual net-metering for their farms. This bill puts municipalities, the state, and farmers all on the same playing field when it comes to developing renewable energy projects.

“We are starting to make a strong commitment in this state to produce clean and renewable energy,” added Rep. Davis. “Encouraging farmers to produce long-term sustainable energy will greatly benefit our local and state economies, and create a path towards a new way of farming.”

Local farmers around the state are starting to realize the benefits of renewable energy such as solar and wind. Oakridge Dairy Farm, one of Connecticut’s largest producers of milk, is currently installing hundreds of solar panels at their Ellington location. The farm will eventually create enough renewable energy to power the entire facility.

The bill now moves to the State Senate for final legislative approval.

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Rep. Ackert Receives Legislative Achievement Award from AARP

Posted on April 1, 2016 by admin


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COLUMBIA– The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) praised State Representative Tim Ackert’s (R-8) commitment to protecting energy consumers as they awarded him the AARP Legislative Achievement Award on Tuesday at the Columbia Senior Center.

“I am honored to be chosen by AARP for this award, but plenty of work still needs to be done for our seniors,” said Rep. Ackert. “We should be creating policies that benefit all residents, young and old, and that give every resident in Connecticut the opportunity to grow, raise a family and retire in this beautiful state. I consider AARP an essential partner in developing policies that will help get us there.”

AARP Advocacy Director John Erlingheuser applauded Rep. Ackert’s hard work as the ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee to pass legislation last year that eliminated variable electric rate contracts.

“Rep. Ackert spearheaded legislation to eliminate bad-billing practices within the state. He set the tone nationally for regulated markets,” said Erlingheuser on behalf of AARP.

Rep. Ackert decided after receiving complaints from constituents about variable electric rates that something had to be done to address their concerns. Residents throughout the state were signing up for electric rate plans that promised an initial low-rate but eventually the plans would roll-over to a variable rate plan, which was unfair to the consumer. Ackert was able to pass a bill with bipartisan support, which made Connecticut the first state in the country to ban variable contracts.

“I am proud of the work we will able to accomplish last session when both parties came together to solve this problem affecting residential electric consumers,” added Rep. Ackert.

AARP Connecticut hosts nearly 600,000 members and advocates on behalf of residents age 50 and above.

(Pictured: Marie Hakmiller, State Rep. Tim Ackert, Jean Caron, and John Erlingheuser- AARP)

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Rep. Ackert Announces the State’s Investment in Coventry’s Early Childhood Center

Posted on March 24, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert Announces the State’s Investment in Coventry’s Early Childhood Center

HARTFORD– State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) was pleased with the decision of the state’s Bond Commission today for granting Coventry’s School District $75,000 for necessary repairs, improvements and upgrades to the Coventry Early Childhood Center.

 “Today’s investment will give Coventry the ability to provide teachers and students a clean and safe learning environment that will unlock our children’s greatest potential and create a long-term path toward a successful life,” said Rep. Ackert. “I am proud that we are making smart investments that will benefit our local communities for years to come.”

 According to the Bond Commission, funds are distributed from the Smart Start Competitive Grant Program to assist school districts with design and construction for renovations and improvements including technology and equipment to create additional early childhood classrooms.

 The capital improvements being made by the school district include installing two handicapped accessible bathrooms, a water fountain and sink, an interactive white board with a projector and a play space that will be age-appropriate. With the grant, the school will move forward with their plan to start constructing a new entrance to accommodate families with young children, which will be equipped with a buzzer system to prevent unwanted entrance during school hours.

 Smart Start was established during the 2014 legislative session with the goal of expanding preschool statewide in public schools that already exist within towns and cities. 

 State Rep. Tim Ackert represents the 8th House District, comprised of Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, and Vernon

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Crumbling Foundation Update

Posted on March 23, 2016 by admin


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I wanted to provide you with an update on the crumbling foundation issue that has affected hundreds of homes across Ashford, Tolland, Willington and other neighboring communities in North Central Connecticut.

Last week, the Planning and Development Committee passed legislation that will help homeowners that encounter problems with their concrete foundations. House Bill 5180, An Act Concerning the Documentation of Concrete Foundation Applications, will prevent this situation from happening in the future and gives current homeowners the ability to have their home reassessed.

In addition, the P&D Committee wrote a letter to Governor Malloy urging him to make a request to President Barack Obama to declare this situation a major disaster under the Stafford Act.  By receiving a major disaster declaration, Connecticut would be eligible for Individual Assistance based on the number of homes affected and the severity of the damage.  The legislators also wrote to Senators Richard Blumenthal & Christopher Murphy and Congressman Joseph Courtney (CT-2) requesting  their assistance in identifying any federal programs that may be available for the State of Connecticut or homeowners to assist them in recovering from these crumbling foundations.

In order to receive federal assistance the state must obtain approximately 2,000 formal complaints. Therefore, if you feel as though your home has been affected by faultily concrete please fill out a formal complaint form.

When you start filling out your complaint form, it’s important to have as much information as possible about your home. You may also wish to include pictures, or other evidence from your foundation to show the issues you may have.

Additionally, you can contact the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) directly if you have specific questions about what may qualify as a crumbling foundation by e-mailing dcp.concrete@ct.gov.

The Insurance Department is also a resource you can contact with insurance related questions or complaints specific to your policy. Residents are encouraged to email individual insurance related questions to cid.ca@ct.gov, or call the Insurance Department at 800-203-3447.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact to me at Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

Reps. Ackert and Srinivasan Ignite Conversation on Increasing the Age to Purchase Tobacco Products from 18 to 21

Posted on March 18, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD- Today, State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Dr. Prasad Srinivasan (R-31) stood hand-in-hand with the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and their colleagues in the General Assembly to call for increasing the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

Reps. Ackert & Srinivasan said Connecticut should put the health of children first and join the state of Hawaii in passing legislation to raise the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21. Other states around the country, such as California, New York, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, are currently considering legislation that would curb smoking among adolescent youth. Currently, 135 local municipalities in nine states, including New York City, Boston, Cleveland, and both Kansas Cities, have also raised the tobacco sale age to 21, with numerous cities and towns across America joining the fight daily.

Since 1999, the state of Connecticut has received $2 billion from the Tobacco Settlement Fund. Yet, the General Assembly has disbursed only $28 million of the money between 2003 and 2015. Thus, only 1.4% of the Tobacco Settlement money has been earmarked for education and smoking prevention programs, which is supposed to be the intent of the fund.

“For years, the state of Connecticut has decided to raid the Tobacco Settlement Fund to balance the budget instead of using the money to educate our children about the dangers of smoking, and it’s time for someone to stand up and say enough is enough,” said Rep. Ackert. “We should be taking a two-step approach to eliminate the use of tobacco among our young adults. First, we need to use existing funds for prevention, and second, we need to increase the legal age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.”

In a recent report released by the Institute of Medicine they found that 98 percent of people who ever smoked tried their first cigarette before they were 25 years old. Furthermore, the study says changing the age could prevent 249,000 premature deaths and lead to 45,000 fewer deaths from lung cancer.

“Raising the smoking age to 21 is a public health issue, not a revenue issue or partisan one,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “We cannot be hesitant in taking this critical step to protect the lives of Connecticut’s youths.”

The current bill proposal before the legislature’s Public Health Committee, S.B. 290, An Act Concerning the Sale and Purchase of Tobacco Products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products and Signage Concerning the Use of Such Products and Systems, has received bipartisan support in the House and Senate and is awaiting further action.

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Reps. Ackert and Srinivasan Press Conference: Increasing the Age to Purchase Tobacco Products from 18 to 21

Posted on March 15, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD– State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Prasad Srinivasan (R-31) will be holding a press conference on Friday, March 18th at 10:00 a.m. to encourage their colleagues to pass Senate Bill 290- An Act Concerning the Sale and Purchase of Tobacco Products Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products and Signage Concerning the Use of Such Products and Systems– which will increase the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

 In June 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the country to increase the age from 18 to 21 to purchase tobacco products and other states around the country are now looking to pass similar measures to reduce tobacco use among our youth and young adults. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, www.tobaccofreekids.org, at least 135 local municipalities in nine states, including New York City, Boston, Cleveland, and both Kansas Cities, have also raised the tobacco sale age to 21.

WHO:

State Representative Tim Ackert (R- 8)

State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-31)

Jim Williams- Government Relations Director- American Heart/American Stroke Association

WHAT:

Press Conference on Senate Bill 290- An Act Concerning the Sale and Purchase of Tobacco Products Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products and Signage Concerning the Use of Such Products and Systems Senate.

WHEN:

Friday, March 18th – 10:00am

WHERE:

Room 1A of the Legislative Office Building (LOB)

300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT

WHY:

To urge their colleagues to pass legislation that will increase the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.

 For more information please contact Spencer Rubin at Spencer.Rubin@cga.ct.gov or (860) 240-8745.

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Opioid Treatment Hotline

Posted on March 11, 2016 by admin


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The Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services launched a new toll-free number -1-800-563-4086- to help connect residents seeking treatment services for an opioid addiction to local walk-in assessment centers.

Walk-in centers across the state are always available to provide an evaluation or referral, and encourage those in need of treatment to reach out when they feel they are ready to do so. Individual courses of treatment and services will be planned according to specific needs and eligibilities. Centers work directly with patients and insurance companies to determine what works best for them, and resolve any challenges that may stand in the way of them and their treatment.

For a list of walk-in assessment centers and their hours, please visit the DMHAS website at www.ct.gov/dmhas/walkins.

Reps. Ackert and Belsito Address Constituents’ Questions and Concerns at Town Hall Meeting

Posted on March 11, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD– Last Week, State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Sam Belsito (R-53) hosted a Town Hall Meeting to address constituents’ questions and concerns about the 2016 Legislative Session.

“This session we are working on legislation that will have an affect on the town of Tolland and the surrounding communities we represent, and it is necessary for us to seek out the suggestions and concerns of our constituents,” said Rep. Ackert. “Residents that have a concern or suggestion about legislation please feel free to reach out so we can work together to move Connecticut in the right direction.”

“I think the two biggest concerns facing our constituents this legislative session include the state’s projected deficit, and the crumbling foundation issue impacting hundreds of residents throughout our districts,” said Rep. Belsito. “It’s time for the Democrat-controlled legislature to cut back their out-of-control spending habits and make long-term structural changes to the budget. In addition, we need to work with the insurance industry to provide relief to the residents dealing with deteriorating  foundations.”

The major topics of conversation were the ongoing budget deficit facing our state, the devastating issue of crumbling foundations wreaking havoc across Tolland and other neighboring communities and the controversial UConn labor raises and the current CTFastrak proposal to extend the bus route to UConn.

The 2016 legislative session began on February 3rd and ends on May 4th.  The Office of Fiscal Analysis is now projecting an approximately $219 million dollar deficit this year and a budget shortfall in the neighborhood of $4.6 billion in the next biennium.

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Rep. Ackert Pushes for Increasing the Age Limit to Purchase Tobacco Products

Posted on March 7, 2016 by admin


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 HARTFORD– State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) testified on Thursday, March 3rd  in support of increasing the age limit to purchase tobacco products. Senate Bill 290- An Act Concerning the Sale and Purchase of Tobacco Products, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems and Vapor Products and Signage Concerning the Use of Such Products and Systems- would push the legal age to purchase tobacco to twenty one.

“I believe it’s time for Connecticut to take a proactive approach to reduce smoking and the best way is to keep those at an impressionable age from starting,” Rep. Ackert said. “As we age and get more, we make better health decisions and the decision not to smoke leads to a healthier lifestyle”

In June 2015, Hawaii became the first state in the country to increase the age from 18 to 21 to purchase tobacco products. According to campaign-for-tobacco-free-kids, at least 125 local municipalities in nine states, including New York City, Boston, Cleveland, and both Kansas Cities, have also raised the tobacco sale age to 21.

“For years funds received from the Tobacco Settlement have been swept to balance the budget rather than discouraging people from smoking,” Rep. Ackert added. “It’s time for us to demonstrate that we are serious about the health of this state’s young people, and that we support smoking prevention and cessation.”

The bill proposal now awaits action in the Public Health Committee. Residents interested in S.B. 290 can follow this legislation on the General Assembly’s website; www.cga.ct.gov.

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Rep. Ackert Construction will Begin on Route 31 (Main St), Coventry

Posted on March 7, 2016 by admin


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I want to notify you that the Connecticut Department of Transportation announced they will begin work on the Reconstruction of Route 31 (Main Street) in Coventry on Monday March 14th. There will be an alternating one-way traffic pattern on Route 31, Monday to Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and there will be no weekend work. Please maintain a safe speed when driving in this vicinity.  

 

The project consists of reconstructing Route 31 (Main Street) through the town of Coventry from about 300 feet north of the intersection of Route 275 (Stonehouse Road) to about 1000 feet east of Monument Hill Road, a total distance of approximately 2,100 feet. The goal of the project is to improve safety by eliminating a sharp curve and steep grade on Route 31 just south of its intersection with Route 275 in Coventry.

During the reconstruction efforts by DOT please remember to help support our local businesses along  Main Street.

 

As always, if you have any questions please feel free to  contact me at  Tim.Ackert@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

 

 

Area Legislators Notify Residents about a Public Hearing Regarding Concrete Foundation Legislation

Posted on March 4, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD– Area legislators, State Representatives Bill Aman (R-14), Christopher Davis (R-57), Sam Belsito (R-53), Tim Ackert (R-8), Gayle Mulligan (R-55), Mark Tweedie (R-13), and Kurt Vail (R-52) wish to notify residents of the upcoming Insurance and Real Estate Committee public hearing on two legislative proposals regarding the crumbling foundation issue in Eastern Connecticut, H.B. 5519- An Act Authorizing Catastrophe Savings Accounts For Homeowners Insurance Policyholders and H.B. 5522- An Act Concerning Homeowners Insurance Policies and Coverage For the Peril Of Collapse, which would require homeowners insurance policies to provide coverage for the peril of collapse and mitigation undertaken to prevent all or part of the covered dwelling from falling down or caving in. More information on the bills can be found at www.cga.ct.gov.

The public hearing will take place on March 8th at 1:00 p.m. in Room 2D of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).

Per committee rules, to have your voice heard, you can testify in person by signing –up at 11:00 a.m. in Room 2100 of the Legislative Office Building. Speakers arriving after the completion of the sign-up will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. You will also need to submit 25 copies of written testimony to Committee staff by 11:00 a.m. on March 8th in Room 2800 of the LOB. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can also submit your testimony to instestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Coventry: AARP Tax Aide for Seniors

Posted on February 29, 2016 by admin


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The Coventry Senior Center will be hosting a Tax Aide for Seniors event with representatives from AARP. One hour appointments at 9:00 a.m., 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. are available on  Fridays March 4th, 11th, and 18th, April 1st and 8thMEETINGS ARE BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.

 Important Information

You will be required to complete an interview questionnaire and bring a form of photo ID. Be sure to bring all documents relevant to your financial situation: copy of last year’s return, proof of all income sources, interest/dividends,federal income tax paid, dependent care provider info, receipts/cancelled checks for deductions, and social security cards for you and all dependents. You’ll need a check with printed bank info if direct deposit/refund is requested. All information will be kept confidential.

If you need a ride to the senior center please let them know when you schedule your appointment. To reserve an appointment please call the senior center at (860)742-3525.

 

Rep. Ackert Stands Up for Open Space Advocates

Posted on February 25, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORDState Representative Tim Ackert (R-8th) and Amy Paterson of the Connecticut Land Conservation Council (CLCC) on Wednesday testified before the legislature’s Judiciary Committee to express their strong opposition to a bill that would change state law and potentially open protected conservation lands to unauthorized usage.

Senate Bill 144 – An Act Concerning Land That Is Subject To A Conservation Restriction Held By A Nonprofit Land-Holding Organization – would reverse legislation passed last year that protects lands placed in protection from adverse possession. State law defines adverse possession as a way to acquire title to property, generally by an open, visible, exclusive, and uninterrupted possession of land for 15 years.

“This legislation is a clear step back in land preservation and would weaken our state’s conservation, recreation and agricultural footprint,” said Rep. Ackert. “I encourage the Judiciary Committee to reject this bill proposal and to do what’s right to protect Connecticut’s natural resources and open space.”

Last session, Rep. Ackert worked with CLCC to pass legislation that prevents land with a conservation restriction held by a nonprofit land-holding organization from being acquired by adverse possession.  The current bill proposal would roll-back those important protections on nonprofit-held land and enable someone to claim the title by adverse possession.

According to testimony submitted by the Connecticut Land Conservation Council, more than 100,000 acres has been conserved statewide. The CLCC, which works with more than 137 land trusts, state conservation and advocacy organizations, government entities and landowners to increase the pace, quality, scale and permanency of land conservation in Connecticut while assuring the perpetual, high quality stewardship of conserved lands in the state, has 3,600 active volunteers and 37,000 members and financial supporters. As a signal of the land trust community’s commitment to excellence, there are currently 14 accredited land trusts in Connecticut.

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Rep. Ackert Supports Legislation That Would Assist Seniors

Posted on February 24, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8th) testified in the Housing Committee on Tuesday, January 23rd in support of S.B. 150, An Act Concerning Automated Handicap Doors for Elderly Housing Complexes, a bill that would allow for easy entry by elderly handicapped residents in housing authorities.

This bill would require all municipal housing authorities to install at least one power assisted door at their facility. The purpose of such a requirement is to grant access to necessary spaces to all persons residing in an elderly housing complex, regardless of their physical limitations.

“I can only imagine the difficulty some residents have trying to stay mobile and independent while being confined to a walker or wheelchair,” said Rep. Ackert.  “Residents who are limited in mobility already have a harder time doing day to day tasks like picking up the mail or doing their laundry. One way we can assist these residents is to require a power-assisted door, thereby eliminating one additional obstacle they face on a regular basis.”

Rep. Ackert’s bill proposal will now await the vote of the full Housing Committee. Residents interested in S.B. 150 can follow this legislation on the General Assembly’s website www.cga.ct.gov.

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Rep. Ackert Testified in Support of H.B. 5180 “AN ACT CONCERNING THE DOCUMENTATION OF CONCRETE FOUNDATION APPLICATIONS”

Posted on February 19, 2016 by admin


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Dear Senator Osten, Representative Miller, Senator Linares, Representative Aman and esteemed members of the Planning & Development Committee,

I submit this testimony in support of H.B. 5180 (RAISED) AN ACT CONCERNING THE DOCUMENTATION OF CONCRETE FOUNDATION APPLICATIONS and thank the committee for bringing this proposal before the public.

 I am here to support this legislation as a way to assist those with potential issues in the future. This obviously does not alleviate the burden of those already struggling with this issue, but the process of finding a resolution is an ongoing effort amongst not only the State Legislators, but all relevant State Government Departments and Agencies.

 I would like you to consider taking an additional step to include the supplier of concrete on the permitting form. This would add an additional layer of information in the event that the installer is either no longer in business, or uses multiple suppliers in their business practice.

 Having been actively involved with area Legislators, the Governor’s office, the Attorney General’s office, the Department of Consumer Protection, etc. since this recently came to light, I realize the heavy fiscal burden it is placing on these families and look forward to continuing working with all parties involved.

Thank you for your time and consideration of this legislation.

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Rep. Ackert to Host Town Hall Meeting in Tolland

Posted on February 18, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Sam Belsito (R-53) will be hosting a Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, March 2nd from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Hicks Memorial Municipal Center in Tolland. Residents will have the opportunity to discuss and ask questions about the 2016 Legislative Session.

Town Hall 3-2(Click for Full Image)

 

For questions about the event, please contact Cat Morrow, 860-240-8720, Catherine.Morrow@cga.ct.gov.

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Area Legislators Announce Public Hearing on Concrete Foundation Issues

Posted on February 17, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD– Area legislators, State Representatives Bill Aman (R-14, Ranking Member Planning and Development), Christopher Davis (R-57), Tim Ackert (R-8), Sam Belsito (R-53), Gayle Mulligan (R-55), Mark Tweedie (R-13), and Kurt Vail (R-52) encourage residents to attend the Planning and Development Committee’s public hearing on bill proposal, H.B. 5180- An Act Concerning the Documentation of Concrete Foundation Applications. The public hearing will take place on February 19th at 11:30 a.m. in Room 2A of the Legislative Office Building (LOB).

The purpose of this public hearing is to get input directly from constituents about the on-going problems they are facing due to deteriorating foundations. After hearing from the public, the committee may work to expand the nature of the current bill to begin working towards potential available assistance options and to help prevent this situation from happening to future residents.

Per committee rules, to have your voice heard, you can testify in person by entering a lottery system between 10:00 and 10:45 a.m. in Room 2100 of the Legislative Office Building. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. You will also need to submit 31 copies of written testimony to Committee staff by 10:00 a.m. in Room 2100 of the LOB. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing.

If you are unable to attend in person, you can also submit your testimony to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov. The hearing will likely be available live at www.ct-n.com and available a few days following as well On-Demand.

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Rep. Ackert Meet with Packed Room of Chamber Members

Posted on February 5, 2016 by admin


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MANCHESTER– State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and other local legislators met with members of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, Tolland County Chamber, and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) for breakfast to discuss the legislative priorities for the new legislative session of the General Assembly.

Members from both chambers packed into the Manchester Chamber headquarters to ask questions’ ranging from headaches at DMV to opening up the state employee union contracts; however, the main focus of the morning was how the legislators were going to tackle this fiscal crisis.

“As a small business owner myself I understand your frustrations,” said Rep. Ackert. “In order to maintain existing businesses and attract new ones to the State of Connecticut we need to make long-term structural changes to the budget process.”

The 2016 legislative session convened on Wednesday, February 3rd. During even-numbed years, the General Assembly gathers for a three-month period in what’s typically referred to as the “short session.” Governor Dannel Malloy addressed the General Assembly on Wednesday discussing his proposals for the 2017 budget.

Opportunities to Testify on the Budget

Posted on February 5, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD — Starting next week, Connecticut residents will have opportunities to learn more about the state’s finances and participate in public hearings on budgets of government agencies and departments. The legislature’s Appropriations Committee has issued a schedule for the hearings and instructions on how to participate: If you are unable to attend please visit www.ct-n.com for the daily schedule of On-Demand coverage.

APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE
SCHEDULE OF STATE AGENCY BUDGET PRESENTATIONS AND PUBLIC HEARINGS

The Appropriations Committee will hold state agency budget presentations and public hearings from Monday, February 8, 2016 through Friday, February 19, 2016, to be held at the times and location listed below. Public speaker order for the public hearings will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 9:00 A.M. until 10:00 A.M. in the LOB First Floor Atrium and from 10:15 A.M. until 1:00 P.M. in Room 2700. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list. The list of speakers registered through the lottery system will be posted outside the designated hearing room two hours prior to the start of the public hearing. On February 11 and February 18 the Committee will provide a separate sign-up sheet for persons with special needs, and on February 16 a separate sign-up sheet will be provided for students. Those speakers will be registered on a first-come, first-served basis. The Committee Chairs will alternate between the specialized lists and the standard list until the specialized lists have been exhausted. For the February 18 public hearing, Room 2B will be reserved for individuals with special needs in need of a quiet space while waiting to testify. Speakers will be limited to three minutes of testimony. Please submit 30 copies of written testimony at the time of sign-up, but not later than 2:00 P.M. Testimony received after the designated time may not be distributed until after the hearing. Please email written testimony in Word or PDF format to APPtestimony@cga.ct.gov. The Committee requests that testimony be limited to matters related to the items on the Agenda. All public hearing testimony, written & spoken, is public information. The Committee encourages witnesses to submit a written statement and to condense oral testimony to a summary of that statement. All public hearing testimony, written and spoken, is public information. As such, it will be made available on the CGA website and will be indexed by internet search engines. Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

Monday, February 8, Room 2C

TRANSPORTATION
1:00 -2:00 PM Department of Transportation
2:00- 3:00 PM Department of Motor Vehicles

4:00 PM Public Hearing

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Department of Transportation
Department of Motor Vehicles

Tuesday, February 9, Room 2C

REGULATION AND PROTECTION
11:30 AM-12:30 PM Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
12:30- 1:00 PM Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities

4:00 PM Public Hearing

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Insurance Department
Office of the Healthcare Advocate
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
Department of Consumer Protection
Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities
Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities
Workers’ Compensation Commission
Military Department

Wednesday, February 10, Room 2C

HIGHER EDUCATION
10:00 – 11:00 AM University of Connecticut and the UConn Health Center
11:00 AM-12:00 PM Board of Regents for Higher Education

CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT
1:00-1:30 PM Department of Agriculture
1:30-2:00 Department of Housing
2:00-2:30 Department of Labor
2:30-3:00 Department of Economic and Community Development
3:00-3:30 Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

4:00 PM Public Hearing – Higher Education Panels
6:30 PM Public Hearing – Higher Education and Conservation & Development

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Office Higher Education
Board of Regents for Higher Education
University of Connecticut
UConn Health Center
Department of Agriculture
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (including Public Utility Regulatory Authority)
Office of the Consumer Counsel
Department of Economic and Community Development
Department of Labor
Department of Housing
Agricultural Experiment Station
Council on Environmental Quality

Thursday, February 11, Room 2C

HUMAN SERVICES
11:00 AM-12:30 PM Department of Children and Families

12:30-1:30 LUNCH RECESS

1:30-3:00 Department of Social Services

4:00 PM Public Hearing

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Department of Social Services
Department of Children and Families
Department of Rehabilitative Services
Department on Aging

Tuesday, February 16, Room 2C

GENERAL GOVERNMENT B
10:00-10:30 AM Department of Administrative Services
10:30-11:15 Office of Policy and Management
11:15-12:00 PM Office of the State Comptroller
12:00- 1:00 Office of the State Treasurer
Elementary and Secondary Education
1:30- 2:30 PM Department of Education
2:30- 3:00 Office of Early Childhood

4:00 PM Public Hearing

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Department of Administrative Services
Office of the Attorney General
Office of the State Comptroller and Miscellaneous Accounts
Office of the State Treasurer (including Debt Service)
Office of Policy and Management
Department of Revenue Services
Department of Education
Office of Early Childhood
State Library
Teachers’ Retirement Board

Thursday, February 18, Room 2C

HEALTH
1:00-2:00 PM Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
2:00-3:00 Department of Developmental Services
3:00-4:00 Department of Public Health

4:30 PM Public Hearing

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Department of Public Health
Department of Developmental Services
Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services
Office of the Chief Medical Examiner
Psychiatric Security Review Board
Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Friday, February 19, Room 2C

JUDICIAL AND CORRECTIONS
1:00-2:00 PM Judicial Department
2:00-3:00 Department of Correction

4:00 PM Public Hearing

Public testimony will be heard on the following state agencies:
Judicial Department
Division of Criminal Justice
Public Defender Services Commission
Department of Correction (including the Board of Pardons and Parole)
Governor’s Office
Lt. Governor’s Office
Secretary of the State
Department of Banking
Office of Governmental Accountability
State Elections Enforcement Commission
Office of State Ethics
Freedom of Information Commission
Office of the Child Advocate
Office of the Victim Advocate
Board of Firearms Permit Examiners
Contracting Standards Board
Judicial Selection Commission
Judicial Review Council
Legislative Management
Auditors of Public Accounts
Permanent Commission on the Status of Women
Commission on Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs
African-American Affairs Commission
Commission on Aging
Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission
Commission on Children

Rep. Ackert- Met with Students Visiting from China

Posted on February 4, 2016 by admin


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DSC_4001web

Pictured: State Rep. Tim Ackert with students from Capt. Nathan Hale School in Coventry and their sister school No.57 Middle School from Qingdao, China.

Hartford– State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) on Tuesday met with students from Capt. Nathan Hale School in Coventry and their sister school No.57 Middle School from Qingdao, China.

“It was a great experience to meet with the students from China and to have the opportunity to learn more about their culture,” said Rep. Ackert. “I also applaud the Coventry school system for investing in this program that will benefit our students.”

The students from No.57 Middle School in Qingdao, China received a guided tour of the state capitol and had the chance to learn the legislative process. In addition, the visiting students presented Rep. Ackert with a beautiful embroidered Chinese fan and in exchange Rep. Ackert gave the middle school students a flag flown over the State Capitol in their honor.

 

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Rep. Ackert- “DMV Commissioner Ayala Resigning Will Not Solve the Ongoing Problems”

Posted on January 21, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Ackert- “DMV Commissioner Ayala Resigning Will Not Solve the Ongoing Problems”

CoventryState Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8) on Wednesday stressed that we need to know more about how the governor plans to resolve the well-publicized problems that have plagued the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) now that its commissioner has resigned.

“DMV Commissioner Ayala resigning will not solve the ongoing problems we are facing overnight,” said State Representative Tim Ackert. “We need the current administration to take immediate steps to pick a qualified candidate to assume the role as commissioner and put forth an action plan that will end the problems Connecticut residents are facing.”

Over the course of the past year the DMV has been making headlines regarding ongoing complications due to a failed rollout of software updates, which took place in August. For instance, a computer glitch that was directly related to the overhaul erroneously revoked valid registrations from hundreds of registered vehicles. Additionally, wait times have been escalating at DMV branches across the state with some reported at over three hours.

Ackert late Wednesday joined calls from House Republican Themis Klarides for a Transportation Committee hearing on what’s transpired at the DMV and plans for the near future.

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Ackert, Eastern CT Legislators Examine Cuts to Youth Services

Posted on January 12, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8), Sam Belsito (R-53) and Gayle Mulligan (R-55) joined members of the Connecticut Youth Services Association (CYSA) January 11 for a legislative breakfast and discussion on how various budget cuts will affect their ability to provide services to Eastern Connecticut.

Representatives asked questions about the services provided by CYSA, and how they budget themselves. It was agreed that while certain cuts are necessary to balance our state budget and get back on track, CYSA’s share of funding has been maintained rather than increased over the years, despite growth in both size and scope.

The Deficit Mitigation Plan, passed this December, cut 4% from CYSA’s funding after last year’s rescissions and state budget already made significant cuts. Local CYSAs also receive municipal grants and additional funding from agencies such as the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) and Department of Social Services (DSS), all of which are experiencing cuts due to our current budget deficits as well.

“The work that you do is so important to all of our communities, and facing cuts from all sides is a serious burden,” Rep. Ackert said.

Rep. Mulligan agreed, adding that “we will hopefully be able to reexamine these cuts as we continue to work on the budget this legislative session.”

CYSA advocates are also concerned about the Governor’s plan to change the juvenile offender category to include offenders up to twenty-one years of age. This plan will require CYSAs to take on additional tasks, but no discussion about increasing their funding to accommodate this has occurred.

“This is obviously a conversation that needs to happen,” Rep. Belsito said. “We can’t possibly expect our CYSAs to eat these costs, especially if we are already trimming their resources.”

Legislators individually met with CYSA directors and representatives from their district towns to discuss these issues further, and gauge where they are as legislative session approaches. To find a local CYSA, you can visit their website at www.ctyouthservices.org.

New Laws Effective January 1st

Posted on December 31, 2015 by admin


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With the start of the new year, several new laws will go into effect on January 1st that may directly affect you, your business or your community.

Here are some of the new laws and links to the language.

Additionally, based on a law passed in 2014, Connecticut’s minimum wage is scheduled to increase from the current rate of $9.15 an hour to $9.60 per hour on January 1, 2016.  The change is the second in a series of three scheduled increases under the adopted legislation, which will ultimately see the state’s minimum wage increase to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.

An entire list of these laws can be found by clicking here.

Ackert Participates in Veterans Clothing Drive

Posted on December 18, 2015 by admin


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AckertVetsCollection

State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) participates in a press conference to conclude the Connecticut General Assembly’s Veteran Collection drive, which is utilized to collect clothing and comfort items for residents at the state’s Veterans’ Home in Rocky Hill. The drive was conducted from November 30th until December 18th. Ackert, a veteran of the Air Force, explained in his remarks that the items collected by the drive go a long way to making the holidays much better for those who have served in our armed forces and are in need.

Pictured from left to right: State Representative Mark Tweedie (Manchester/Glastonbury), Department of Veterans’ Affairs Director Sean Connolly, State Representative Tim Ackert (Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, and Vernon) and State Representative Betty Boukus (Plainville/New Britain).

Rep. Ackert Honors Founder of PJ Day for the Kids

Posted on December 15, 2015 by admin


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COVENTRY – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) presented a legislative citation honoring Nick Wesoloskie of Coventry December 11 at the “PJ Day” for the Kids Movie Night to benefit the Children’s Medical Center in Hartford.

Nick, age 11, started PJ Day in 2011 as a fundraiser to raise money for his sister Charlotte, who was diagnosed with cancer as an infant. Students and staff at Coventry Grammar School, G.H. Robertson School, Captain Nathan Hale Middle School and Coventry High School that donated $1 or a toy got to wear their pajamas at school all day. In the evening, students gathered to raffle off prize baskets, sell goodies, and watch seasonal films in the auditorium.

To date, PJ Day has collected more than $23,000 for the Center, and 16 other school districts in the state have adopted their own version of the fundraiser. Local businesses, including 5 Highland Park Markets and 42 Dunkin Donuts from across the state, have donated to and sponsored these events.

“It is amazing that someone, especially someone so young, can have such an impact on so many,” Rep. Ackert said to Nick. “This wonderful idea that you worked so hard to bring to life has undoubtedly helped many of the state’s pediatric cancer patients, and you should be incredibly proud of that.”

Students wear pajamas to honor their friends, classmates and family members battling cancer, as they sometimes must stay in their pajamas for weeks at a time. While Charlotte is healthy today, Nick continues the tradition because he is so grateful for the lifesaving care that she received while at the Children’s Medical Center.

If you are interested in donating to the Center, starting PJ Day for the Kids at your school, or sponsoring a school through your business, please visit their website at http://bit.ly/1P3eKJi or www.connecticutchildrens.org.

Ackert and Nick PJ Day web

Rep. Tim Ackert presents a citation to Nick Wesoloskie, founder of PJ Day for the Kids.

Ackert Opposes Lockbox, Deficit Mitigation Plan in Special Session

Posted on December 10, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – During Tuesday’s Special Session, State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) voted against a measure that would begin the process of creating a Constitutional Transportation Lockbox and a plan proposed by the Majority to adjust the state budget. Session was called after deficits of $552 million in FY2017 and $3.5 billion in the out years were realized.

“It is unfortunate that we even need to be having this conversation,” Rep. Ackert said of the Lockbox. “We know how much money in the Special Transportation Fund (STF) – we should be able to properly fund our transportation projects without a constitutional requirement.”

“I would be inclined to support a bill that would actually protect the STF,” he added, “but not only does this bill fail to define what transportation includes, it doesn’t prohibit money from being diverted before it enters the Fund. It is our job to make sure that designated revenues go to this fund, but I do not think this bill guarantees that.”

An amendment, proposed by Minority Republicans, would have closed some of the holes in this bill and given the courts standing to allow for legal challenges if the lockbox is raided. Ackert supported the amendment, which failed 76-63. The measure ultimately passed on a simple majority, which means that a new legislature must take it up again in 2017.

The Deficit Mitigation Plan was brought up after it was voted out of the Senate. The Plan included $350 million in cuts to various agencies including $30 million to already struggling hospitals. However, there were no efforts by the Majority to change state employee contracts and benefits, or create a Constitutional Spending Cap.

“A $3.5 billion deficit is not something you can ignore,” Rep. Ackert said. “And we can’t ignore that we are doing isn’t working. It is time to make the long-term, structural changes necessary to finally balance our budget and get our state on the right track.”

Republicans proposed several ways that these changes could be made, including:

  • Mandatory approval by the General Assembly of state contracts
  • Implement a constitutional spending cap
  • Beginning in 2022 require state workers to pay more into their pensions and for healthcare
  • Enact a constitutional lock box for transportation
  • Competitively bid the Corrections Department healthcare plan

The Plan passed 75-65 with all Republicans voting in opposition.

DOT Public Meeting December 10

Posted on December 4, 2015 by admin


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The Department of Transportation (DOT) is hosting a public informational meeting concerning the proposed intersection improvements to Route 74 and Route 195 in the vicinity of the Tolland Green.

The meeting will be held Thursday, December 10 (snow date: December 15) in Conference Room A of the Hicks Memorial Municipal Center at 21 Tolland Green in Tolland.  A formal presentation by DOT officials will begin at 7:00 p.m.

The improvements will address vehicular and pedestrian safety concerns and ways to reduce congestion in the area. To learn more about the proposed improvements, you can read the press release from DOT here.

Construction is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018 as long as funding is secured. The estimated cost, funded 80 percent by the Federal Government and 20 percent by the state, is approximately $4 million.

If you have any questions prior to the meeting you may contact William Britnell at William.Britnell@ct.gov or 860-594-3274.

Rep. Ackert Tours Early Childhood Classrooms in Vernon  

Posted on November 25, 2015 by admin


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VERNON – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Myra Jones-Taylor at the Center Road School in Vernon Tuesday, where they visited two preschool classrooms funded through the Federal Preschool Development Grant and the state School Readiness Program.

Rep. Ackert and Commissioner Jones-Taylor joined the children in crafts and activity time. Each classroom has fifteen students enrolled, and Vernon has three other similar classrooms at different locations.

“I have long been a believer that comprehensive early childhood education is the best way to create successful students in the future,” Rep. Ackert said. “I thank the Commissioner for her attention to our community and everyone involved in making these classes available to our parents and students.”

The Federal Preschool Development Grant is a competitive grant awarded to states through the Office of Early Learning to create a high-quality and collaborative preschool education to students across the country. The state School Readiness Program, administered by the Connecticut Department of Education, aims to increase the number of quality preschools available to Connecticut residents.

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Rep. Ackert with Office of Early Childhood Commissioner Myra Jones-Taylor.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Posted on November 25, 2015 by admin


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Thanksgiving is a time to spend with friends and family and give thanks. 

 

This year, let’s not forget this holiday’s true meaning.

 

The hustle and bustle of shopping for the holidays has already started, but I encourage you to take the time to relax at home and to join me in giving thanks for our many blessings.

 

Also, please take a moment to remember those protecting us overseas who could not make it home this Thanksgiving season.

 

Have a wonderful holiday.

 

Rep. Ackert Dissects Budget Crisis with Coventry Seniors

Posted on November 24, 2015 by admin


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COVENTRY – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) visited seniors at the Coventry Senior Center Monday to discuss legislation passed this year and issues that he expects to see in the legislative session beginning in February.

Rep. Ackert told the group about the budget shortfalls we are facing, recently projected to total over $400 million. He explained the various proposals put forth to correct for these shortfalls, and why it may be necessary to go into special session in the coming weeks. The group debated the proposals and even offered up their own ideas.

“You have certainly given me a lot to think about,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am just so grateful to the Senior Center for hosting me and to all of you who came here today. Your input is more valuable than you know.”

Rep. Ackert expects to host Office Hours in the district before the legislative session begins. For information on those dates, please check back with his webpage.

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Rep. Ackert discusses budget problems and upcoming legislation with Coventry seniors.

Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 23, 2015 by admin


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With gift-giving and the winter holidays right around the corner, there is no better time to shop locally and support our small businesses.

This year, November 28 is Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to supporting and celebrating our favorite small businesses. Organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association are promoting the day between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” to put money back into our local communities and economy.

Business owners: NFIB will promote your business if you fill out this short form.

Shoppers: Find NFIB-registered businesses by clicking here. Even if businesses in our community aren’t featured here, you can still do your part to shop local.

Rep. Ackert Applauds Republican Budget Proposals

Posted on November 17, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) and Senate Minority Len Fasano (R-North Haven) shared their proposals to close the state’s current budget deficit and make long-term structural changes to help the state avoid future shortfalls November 12th with the governor and Majority leadership.

State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) applauded the Republican plans, which were made public at a press conference November 13th.

“The plans laid down by our leadership are well thought-out and responsible,” Rep. Ackert said.  “We cannot continue to borrow the way that we have in the past or continue to ignore our massive budget shortfalls. Their plans address the issues while protecting the state’s most vulnerable residents and lessening the burden on our state’s taxpayers and business owners. I am proud of the work that they did, and hope that these plans will be considered by the governor and the Majority leadership.”

The Republican proposals include modifications totaling over $370 million in Fiscal Year 2016, enough to close the current year’s projected deficit while also restoring cuts make to social services by the governor’s September rescissions. None of the immediate proposed solutions require labor concessions. The proposals also include tax changes to improve Connecticut’s business environment, including eliminating Unitary Combined Reporting.

The long-term budget proposals include lowering state debt by limiting the amount Connecticut can borrow, identifying and addressing inefficiencies in state government, protecting transportation funding, better managing the state’s pension system and modest labor modifications.

More details can be found in the House and Senate Republicans’ presentation, viewable as a PDF or in your web browser.

Bridge Updates

Posted on November 14, 2015 by admin


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Last Monday, I visited the Pucker Street Bridge over the Willimantic River and the Route 275 Bridge in Coventry to check on their progress and give you an update.

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At the Pucker Street Bridge, I met with workers as they were in the process of installing the bridge’s side rails. As many of you know, the bridge was reopened to through traffic on Friday as the work was completed ahead of schedule.

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While the Route 275 Bridge looked like it needed a lot more work, I was assured that they were operating on schedule. The bridge will hopefully be reopened by the end of November.

Rep. Ackert Addresses Coventry Veterans

Posted on November 10, 2015 by admin


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COVENTRY – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) was an honored speaker at the Coventry Senior Center’s annual Veterans Day Ceremony November 9 alongside Lieutenant Commander Lynn Robertson of the U.S. Navy and Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser.

Rep. Ackert told a story about a veteran who would not call himself a veteran because he had not been deployed to war, and instead served during peacetime. He compared this service to that of local police; even when there is no active threat, their presence is still valuable to our safety.

“The armed services of the United States are the strongest in the world; the sheer size and force that we display when we are at peace is precisely what keeps others from treading on us,” Rep. Ackert said. “To say that someone does not deserve thanks or accolades for serving in this manner is simply incorrect. We must honor all veterans for all service, as it is only through our combined efforts that we can protect our nation.”

The Ceremony, hosted by American Legion Post 52 Commander Manny Rodriguez, included a memorial tribute to Post members that passed away in the last year, the traditional POW/MIA ceremony and a twenty-one gun salute.

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Ackert, Guglielmo Celebrate Former Coventry Legislator

Posted on November 9, 2015 by admin


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COVENTRY – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) honored former State Representative Joan Lewis as she retired November 4th from her position on the Coventry Town Council.

Mrs. Lewis was presented with a legislative citation introduced by Rep. Ackert, Sen. Guglielmo, and many other members of the legislature that served with her. Over the past 40 years, she has spent 22 years on the Town Council, 8 years as Coventry’s State Representative, 12 years on the Board of Education, and has served on several other boards and committees.

“Joan, you truly exemplify what it means to honorably serve a community,” Rep. Ackert said. “The contributions that you have made to Coventry through your dedicated service are unparalleled. I sincerely congratulate you on your retirement, though I’m sure this isn’t the last we will see of you.”

“Joan Lewis is a dedicated public servant who did her job with a smile on her face and warmth in her heart. I know she will be missed,” Sen. Tony Guglielmo said.

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Rep. Tim Ackert with former Rep. Joan Lewis and Sen. Tony Guglielmo.

Rep. Ackert Celebrates Veterans at the Horace W. Porter School

Posted on November 6, 2015 by admin


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COLUMBIA – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) was honored to be the featured speaker at the Horace W. Porter School’s annual Veterans Day Celebration on November 4.

Before he spoke, he presented a Proclamation from Governor Dannel Malloy with State Senator Cathy Osten (D-19), honoring the school’s celebration and recognition of veterans. Over fifty area veterans attended and were presented with bouquets of carnations.

Rep. Ackert explained the various jobs of those who serve in the military, including his own as an electrician while deployed in Egypt. He showed the students some of the tools he used on duty, which he had on hand as his military job grew into his career. In closing, he thanked those who attended, and the administration for putting on the event. He was especially grateful for the participation of the students.

“Every year, this is my favorite Veterans Day Event that I attend,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am always so impressed by how much you prepare for this event, and how obviously excited you are to have all of us here in your school. It shows an understanding of what it is that veterans have sacrificed, and for me, that understanding and appreciation is truly humbling.”

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Sen. Osten, Principal Alyssa Gwinnell, and Rep. Ackert display a Proclamation from the State of Connecticut.

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Rep. Ackert, showing students a charger.

 

Upcoming Veterans Event at Stone Acres

Posted on November 5, 2015 by admin


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There will be an Open Barn event at Stone Acres Therapeutic Riding Center in Columbia for Veterans Day on November 11th from 12:30 to 4:30 pm.

horses4heroes veterans day 2015Click on the flyer to view the PDF version.

Stone Acres’ therapeutic riding program, called “Horses for Heroes,” aids veterans who are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury by teaching them how to ride a horse. This kind of therapy boosts confidence, encourages social relationships and is generally a fun, exciting time.

The farm will be open for tours so that veterans and their families can meet the horses, see the facility, and learn about the therapeutic riding program.

I am reaching out to veterans in my district to attend this free event. Whether or not you are seeking this kind of therapy, it will be a great afternoon to support fellow veterans and learn something new about our district.

Stone Acres is located at Newberry Farm, 16 Chowanec Road, Columbia, CT. If you have any questions about the event, please call 860-933-2064 or email ckcpony@gmail.com.

Rep. Ackert, American Legion Honor Coventry Boy Scouts

Posted on November 4, 2015 by admin


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COVENTRY – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) awarded five Coventry Boy Scouts with congratulatory certificates November 3 as they completed the NRA Rifle Safety Course sponsored by American Legion Post 52 and were inducted into the Coventry Sharpshooters. The Scouts, led by Post Commander Manny Rodriguez, were also honored by State American Legion Commander Paul Spedaliere.

“These fine young men have shown a great deal of responsibility, honor and hard work in completing this course,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am proud of each and every one of you, and grateful to Manny and all members of Post 52 for making it possible for you to master these important skills.”

The Scouts completed the course using drill rifles donated by other Posts who have it in the past and funded it by offering NRA training classes for adults. Commander Rodriguez has been working with other members of Post 52 for years to make this program available to young people in Coventry.

The Scouts honored include Tucker Cormier, Brandon Aberle, Tyler Maheu, Jason Smith, and Greg Sadlak. Jacob Provost, who also completed the course, was not present at the ceremony.

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L-R back row: State Commander Paul Spedaliere, David Cayer, Scout Greg Sadlak, Jim Bement, Karl Sentivany, Commander Manny Rodriquez, Janice Sentivany, Rep. Ackert. L-R front: Scouts Tyler Maheu, Tucker Cormier, Jason Smith and Brendan Aberle.

 

Ackert Debates Tax Policy with Tolland Seniors

Posted on October 29, 2015 by admin


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TOLLAND – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) had a lively discussion about taxes on seniors and hospitals at the Tolland Senior Center as he delivered a legislative update October 26.

Over pizza and salad prepared by the center’s café, the Lunchbox, Rep. Ackert answered questions about the recent budget discussions and cuts to hospitals, and ways that the tax burden on the state’s elderly could be relieved. He described proposals from the prior session that didn’t pass, such as a flat property tax once you have owned your home for a certain number of years.

“Restoring services without increasing taxes, and providing relief where we can, will be no easy task,” Rep. Ackert said. “It is my hope that in the coming months and during the next legislative session, we will be able to have a bipartisan dialogue and figure out ways that we can accomplish this.”

Rep. Ackert will host more events like this one in the months before the next legislative session. Visit his website, cthousegop.com, for announcements on when they will occur.

Ackert, Area Legislators Applaud Loan for Senior Housing in Tolland

Posted on October 27, 2015 by admin


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TOLLAND – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Sam Belsito (R-53) and Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) applauded a loan from the Department of Housing (DOH) to the Access Agency, Inc. of Windham, to redevelop the vacant former Parker School Elementary School in Tolland into 37 units of affordable senior housing. Two of the units will be specifically set aside for veterans.

The school, located on the Tolland Green, is ideal for this project because of the short walking distance to the municipal offices, the senior center and library. Van service between these locations and the residences will be provided as well.

“Renovating the school to benefit our community’s elderly is a great use of the building and these funds,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am grateful that the DOH has decided to present the Agency with this loan so that they can get started on this important project.”

“I am so happy to see that we have found a use for this empty building that it will benefit Tolland’s seniors,” Rep. Belsito said. “Congratulations to the Agency and all of those involved in making this decision.”

“The project is a home run!” said Sen. Guglielmo. “Any time we can reuse a community asset for the people’s benefit we should. Senior housing is limited; with these new spaces our senior population will have some great options.”

Vernon Legislators Celebrate the Grand Opening of Loom City Lofts

Posted on October 22, 2015 by admin


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VERNON – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) joined Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-35) and Represenative Claire Janowski (D-56) in celebrating the grand opening and ribbon cutting of Loom City Lofts in Vernon October 22, and presented a legislative citation to developers Joe Vallone and Marc Levine.

Loom City Lofts, formally Roosevelt Mills, has been transformed into a modern, loft-style apartment complex with one or two bedroom units available for rent in the coming months. The facility includes a fitness center, community room and beautiful views of the Snipsic Reservoir, the Warp Mills Pond, and the Hockanum River Dam.

“It is such an honor to be here today to witness the completion of this long awaited project,” said Rep. Ackert, who was present at the original groundbreaking in 2010. “For almost thirty years, the Mills had been an eye sore, a public safety problem, and a waste of beautiful space that can be used to grow Vernon’s community. Congratulations to everyone who was involved in making these apartments a reality.”

 

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Rep. Ackert with Sen. Guglielmo, Rep. Janowski, and project developers Marc Levine and Joe Vallone.

DOT Informational Forum November 5

Posted on October 21, 2015 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will conduct a public informational meeting concerning the proposed installation of centerline rumble strips (Project No. 171-410) at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5 at the Coventry Town Hall.

DOT plans to install approximately two hundred miles of centerline rumble strips – fifty on locally owned roads and one hundred and fifty on state roads. The project will include 4.26 miles in Coventry from Route 31 at the Vernon/Tolland town line to Route 44. Rumble strips alert drivers through noise and vibrations if they cross into the oncoming lane to minimize lane departure crashes.

The project is scheduled to begin in the summer 2016, and is expected to be funded entirely by the federal government.

Anyone who wishes to discuss the project may contact Barbara B. Ricozzi at 860-594-2770 or by e-mail at TrafficSafety.DOT@ct.gov. Additional information about the project is also available for review at the Coventry Town Hall.

Rep. Ackert Celebrates UConn Technology Park

Posted on October 16, 2015 by admin


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STORRS – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8) and Christopher Davis (R-57) joined fellow legislators, University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst and other dignitaries October 14 for the groundbreaking celebration of the University’s new Technology Park.

The Technology Park will include a 113,000 square-foot facility called the Innovation Partnership Building, or IPB. The building will house laboratories outfitted with highly-specialized equipment for a multitude of scientific disciplines. Academic researchers and private industry scientists who rent tenant labs will work in this collaborative setting to develop new technologies.

“The Finance Committee worked hand-in-hand with the University to make this project happen,” said Rep. Davis. “They sat down with us to review their plan, a proposal only made possible by the private sector partnerships they cultivated in their mission to see this through.”

“The involvement of the private sector in this project is unbelievable,” Rep. Ackert said. “To think that large companies like FEI, United Technologies, Pratt & Whitney, Eversource Energy, GE, Comcast, and Fraunhofer USA have invested more than $60 million in our state, our students and our economy is very impressive. They don’t have to do this, but they know we have a top-tier university here that will only expand and advance in the future.”

Rep. Davis also recognized the significance of this investment, and said, “what we are doing today is sending a message not only to Connecticut, not only to the region, but across the world that we are here, we are ready to play, and we are ready to be a leader in innovation.”

IPB is expected to be ready for occupancy in 2017, and will be located on the North Hillside Road Extension in UConn’s North Campus.

Ackert, Legislators Tour Millstone Nuclear Power Plant

Posted on October 15, 2015 by admin


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WATERFORD – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-8), Mike France (R-42), Kathleen McCarty (R-38), Melissa Ziobron (R-34), John Scott (R-40), Aundré Bumgardner (R-41) and Rep. Paul Brycki (D-45) joined State Senators Paul Formica (R-20) and Cathy Osten (D-19) at Millstone Power Plant last month to tour the facility and learn about the environmental and economic benefits of nuclear energy.

Millstone, operated by Dominion, Inc., is the only nuclear power plant in Connecticut and the only multi-unit plant in New England. It produces 2,100 megawatts, or approximately 17 million megawatt hours annually. The plant could potentially produce more than half of the energy needed in Connecticut, and between 15% and 30% of the energy required across New England during peak and off-peak electric usage times, respectively.

Legislators received a tour through the facility and learned about how it works. Their main concern, of course, was safety. The legislators were assured that the plant is safe and reliable, and is consistently tested to be sure that it remains so. The facility was designed with input from engineers who have studied nuclear accidents from all over the world, and incorporates multiple features to ensure the safety of both workers and the surrounding community.

“I am incredibly impressed with the safety measures and processes that have been put in place at this facility,” Rep. Ackert said. “It is important that we examine all kinds of alternative energy, and nuclear has proven to be a carbon-free option that can produce what we need at a much lower cost. It could certainly be a viable option on the table for future discussions.”

“It is incumbent upon the state’s technology pioneers to expand their imagination and work cooperatively to figure out how to best supply the region with energy,” said Sen. Formica.

“Millstone provides thousands of employees with jobs in Waterford and Southeastern Connecticut, thereby boosting economic growth while remaining a positive entity for the environment in our region and beyond,” said Rep. McCarty. “I was greatly reassured by all the safety and precautionary measures in place at the facility, and quite impressed to see them implemented recently to quickly and successfully resolve a minor alarm. It was also great to learn about all the community projects Millstone is involved in; they are a good community partner who even provides mentoring to young students like those at Mitchell College. As the representative of the 38th district – home to Millstone – I am particularly grateful for such an educational tour.”

“As Connecticut’s power consumption needs increase it’s important we evaluate and implement varied sources of energy to meet those needs while also being mindful to protect the natural resources of our state,” Rep. Scott said. “Nuclear power is among the safest, most efficient and least expensive of generation sources but it is only one piece of a more comprehensive energy plan for the state. I look forward to continuing discussions on how best to meet our energy needs in the safest, cleanest way possible.”

“I continue to be impressed with these operations in southeast Connecticut,” Rep. Ziobron said. “Their employees work hard every day to supply 50% of the electric grid alone in Connecticut and contribute to countless organizations that benefit so many.”

“Nuclear-powered energy created here in Southeastern Connecticut has been a critical component of our state’s energy portfolio and I’m pleased the Millstone facility continues to provide a substantial amount of power to our residents in a safe manner,” Rep. Bumgardner said. “The tour provided me with a keen understanding of their safety protocols and operating policies and I’m confident they will continue to be an important energy partner for years to come.”

“The Millstone Power Plant is a critical infrastructure asset for electric power generation helping to keep the cost of utilities more affordable in Connecticut,” said Rep. France. “Rising energy costs contribute to the high cost of living in Connecticut and are part of the reason our residents are leaving. Nuclear power continues to be the most cost-effective means of power generation to meet the needs for electricity, heating and cooling. It is also the largest source of clean, carbon-free electricity and produces no air pollution in the process.”

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Photo: Avery MacDonald of Dominion, Mike O’Connor of Dominion, Rep. Brycki, Kevin Hennessy of Dominion, Sen. Osten, Rep. McCarty, Rep. France, Rep. Ackert, Rep. Ziobron, Scott Ziobron of Dominion, and Sen. Formica.

 

Rep. Ackert Honors Columbia Teachers

Posted on October 13, 2015 by admin


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COLUMBIA – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and State Senator Cathy Osten (D-19) presented legislative citations to Columbia’s Horace W. Porter School 2015-2016 Teacher and Paraprofessional of the Year October 8 at the Lakeview Restaurant in Coventry.

First grade teacher Jessica Hall received the award for her hard work not only as a teacher, but as a team leader, union treasurer, social committee member, and president of the Lego Club as well. Hall has been with Horace W. Porter since 1999 and is a resident of Coventry.

Bonnie Quinn, paraprofessional for all elementary level students, was honored for her dedication to the community and its students. Despite only having been at the school for three years, she has truly made a mark. Quinn is also a Coventry resident.

“It is always such a pleasure to recognize teachers and paraprofessionals for all that they do – for their kindness and patience with our little ones, balancing their demanding workloads, and their dedication to learning,” Rep. Ackert said. “Congratulations to you both. You have truly earned this and I know you will only continue to do amazing things at our school.”

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From left: Principal Alyssa Gwinnell, Asst. Principal Mike Kenyon, Sen. Osten, Bonnie Quinn, Jessica Hall, Rep. Ackert, Board of Education member Chris Lent and Superintendent Lol Fearon honor Horace W. Porter School’s 2015-2016 Teacher and Paraprofessional of the Year.

Rep. Ackert Named 2015 “Advocate for Youth” by CYSA

Posted on October 2, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) was recognized October 2 by the Connecticut Youth Services Association (CYSA) for his outstanding support and advocacy on behalf of Youth Service Bureaus during the 2015 legislative session.

The “Advocate for Youth” award is only given to handful of legislatures every two years at CYSA’s annual meeting. President Barbara Lockhart, who also serves as the Director of the Montville Youth Bureau, cited Rep. Ackert’s advocacy for youth services during this session’s particularly difficult budget debate as she presented the award.

“I have always felt that ensuring our state’s children have the services, educations and programs they need to succeed should be one of the legislature’s top priorities,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am truly honored to be considered an ‘Advocate for Youth,’ and will do my best to continue my advocacy in future legislative sessions.”

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Crytal Morawitz, Director of Coventry Youth Services (left), and CT Youth Services Association President Barbara Lockhart (right) present Rep. Tim Ackert with a 2015 “Advocate for Youth” Award.

Tolland High DECA Club Awarded $7,500 Grant from AT&T Foundation

Posted on October 1, 2015 by admin


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TOLLAND – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) congratulated Tolland High School October 1 as they were awarded a $7,500 grant from the AT&T* Foundation to fund additional trips and networking opportunities for the school’s thriving business club.

Tolland High School’s Business Club – a chapter of the international organization DECA – was launched in 2012 and has since grown to include more than 60 student members. The club gives its members the opportunity to learn and hone valuable management skills through hands-on, real-world experiences.

In years past, the club has brainstormed, proposed and organized sales-oriented fundraisers, career development workshops, “Shark Tank”-style business competitions and several community service events at organizations throughout the town.

AT&T Foundation’s $7,500 grant will allow the club to serve more members and add additional events and trips to its 2015-2016 schedule.

“Our community’s future is in the hands of hard-working students like those involved in Tolland High School’s business club,” Rep. Ackert said. “I look forward to seeing these aspiring businessmen and businesswomen advance through their academic and professional careers. This grant will give them even more opportunities to learn and generate their interests, and for that I am very grateful to AT&T.”

“The DECA business club is one of many great organizations we are proud to offer our students,” said Tolland High School Principal Dominique Fox. “We thank AT&T for their generosity. In the more than capable hands of student and faculty leaders, this grant will be put to good use.”

“Clubs like this offer invaluable professional experience that students will use for years to come,” AT&T Connecticut Regional Vice President Abby Jewett, said. “We are proud to support Tolland High School and look forward to watching their business club continue to grow.”

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Photo: Members of the DECA Executive team pose for a photo with, from left, Abigail Jewett of AT&T, Principal Dominque Fox, Rep. Tim Ackert, and DECA Staff Director Lynn Bridge.

 

Acts Effective October 1, 2015

Posted on October 1, 2015 by admin


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With the start of October comes new laws that may directly affect you, your business or your community. An entire list of these laws can be found by clicking here.

VARIABLE RATE BAN

After receiving thousands of complaints by electric customers who saw their bill skyrocket through variable rates, the state now becomes the first in the nation to ban variable rate electric contracts.

E-CIGARETTES

A decade old ban on smoking in public places has now expanded to include e-cigarettes. E-cig users can no longer smoke in bars and restaurants.

POLICE BODY CAMERAS

The new law helps local municipalities fund police body cameras for one year and also requires state police and university police to wear body cameras.

EMPLOYEE PRIVACY

Employees concerned about their employers asking them to hand over their Facebook and Twitter login and password will now have protections. Employees have a right to say no and in doing so won’t be punished.

CONNECTICUT GROWN

There are now more standards for farmers market vendors. The “Connecticut Grown” law cracks down on vendors who label produce as local when it’s not. The fine goes up from $25 to $100. The new law also mandates that farmers who grow in the state must post a sign at the market with the name and location of the farm.

ANIMAL PROTECTION

Connecticut is now the third state to enact a laboratory animal protection bill, also known as the “Beagle Freedom Bill.” This groundbreaking legislation mandates that testing laboratories must offer healthy dogs and cats for public adoption through charitable rescue groups instead of euthanizing them.

BOAT SAFETY

This law improves boat safety by establishing a minimum age of 16 for anyone towing a water skier or tuber.

Rep. Ackert Addresses Windham Chamber of Commerce

Posted on September 29, 2015 by admin


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WINDHAM – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) joined area legislators this month at the Windham Chamber of Commerce Legislative Wrap-Up Breakfast to discuss recently passed legislation and how it will affect businesses in the greater Windham area.

Legislators were asked to sit on a panel and answer questions from local business owners and Chamber members. Rep. Ackert discussed how much money the state wastes by bonding projects and even operating expenses, creating high and unnecessary interest payments.
According to the state Office of Fiscal Analysis, the state spent over $567 million paying interest on general obligation bonds in FY2015, and we are projected to spend $626 million on interest this year as well. He noted that these figures are not inclusive of all bond interest paid.

“We always say that there isn’t enough money, but when there are areas that we could be saving millions that isn’t really the case,” Rep. Ackert said. “Huge savings could be realized if we bonded less, spent less and saved more. That’s the direction we need to move towards.”

He also explained that as the Ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee, he worked tirelessly with fellow leaders of the committee to pass bills that promote new technology for businesses, specifically related to energy cost savings.

Rep. Ackert will be hosting a series of legislative updates in his district over the next few months. Visit his website at www.cthousegop.com for updates on when they will occur.

 

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Rep. Ackert on the Chamber panel with Sen. Mae Flexer (D-29) and Rep. Sue Johnson (D-49).

Ackert Visits Quantum Biopower, Discusses Anaerobic Digestion

Posted on September 23, 2015 by admin


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SOUTHINGTON – Ranking members of the Energy and Technology Committee Representative Tim Ackert (R-8) and Senator Paul Formica (R-20), joined the committee’s Vice-Chairman Representative Mike Demicco (D-21) and Aundré Bumgardner (R-41) at Quantum Biopower September 18 to hear about the company’s newest endeavor: creating renewable energy using food waste and other organic material through anaerobic digestion.

Anaerobic digestion is relatively new technology that is being pioneered in nations such as Germany and Canada. Food waste and other organic material are separated out and stored in a controlled, oxygen-free environment that allows microorganisms to break it down. This digestion converts essential elements into methane, which is captured and fed into a power unit that produces electricity. Specifically at Quantum, the plan is to sell this renewable electricity to Eversource Energy and credit it to the town of Southington through the virtual net metering program. This will considerably cut the town’s energy costs and will save money for local businesses required to dispose of food waste.

The legislators spoke with Vice President and Managing Director Brian Paganini, Operations Manager Mark Vigneault, and lobbyist Julie Cammarata about the project and various problems they have run into in trying to get it off the ground.

“Investing in this kind of energy will help put Connecticut on the forefront of renewable technology,” Rep. Ackert said. “I can’t wait for this project to be completed so we can assess its viability and learn even more about this energy option.”

“It is incumbent upon the state’s technology pioneers to expand their imagination and figure out how to best supply the region with energy,” said Sen. Formica. “Whether it be solar, wind or this new type of anaerobic digestion – creating renewable energy is vital to the state becoming self-reliant on power. I look forward to the future of this industry.”

“Visiting a plant like Quantum Biopower shows you can lower Connecticut’s carbon footprint while simultaneously creating jobs and growing the renewable energy sector in our state,” Rep. Bumgardner said. “As a long-time supporter of renewable energy generation, including anaerobic digestion, I’m pleased the legislature is taking a serious look at this emerging technology.”

More information on Quantum Biopower and this project can be found at www.quantumbiopower.com. To see bills related to anaerobic digestion that have been discussed at the legislature, visit www.cga.ct.gov and search “anaerobic digestion.”

Quantum Biopower

Photo: Sen. Formica, Brian Paganini, Rep. Ackert, Mark Vigneault, Julie Cammarata and Rep. Bumgardner.

 

Ackert, Belsito, Davis Speak at Tolland County Chamber Breakfast

Posted on September 22, 2015 by admin


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TOLLAND – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-Coventry), Sam Belsito (R-Tolland) and Chris Davis (R-Ellington) joined State Senator Tony Guglielmo (R-Stafford), members of the Tolland County Chamber of Commerce and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) September 10 for a Legislative Wrap-Up and Breakfast Meeting.

Audience members asked the legislators a series of questions, mainly regarding the recently passed state budget and the increased taxes Connecticut residents and businesses currently face. They were mostly concerned with how this happened, and what can be done to fix it.

“Since the income tax was passed in 1991, spending has increased by almost 200%, but there has not been a comparable increase in income” Rep. Davis said. “It is no surprise that our taxes are continuing to rise today, because our spending is continuing to rise as well.”

“Unfortunately, this is what happens when you don’t have a balanced government,” said Rep. Ackert. “The governor can do whatever he wants, and there aren’t enough of us at the legislature that disagree with his spending policies.”

“The easiest solution is to elect more Republicans,” Rep. Belsito said with a smile. “But we really need to curb our ridiculous spending and stop taxing the businesses and people that bring in jobs and growth. That will likely be our focus next session.”

They also discussed solutions attendees can work on themselves, such as attending public hearings and reaching out to their local legislators.

Each Representative will be hosting similar forums in their districts before the start of the next legislative session. For more information about these events, please visit www.housegop.ct.gov.

Rep. Ackert Named 2015 Children’s Champion

Posted on September 18, 2015 by admin


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COVENTRY – For the second year in a row, State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) has been honored as a 2015 Children’s Champion by the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance (CECA).

Rep. Ackert, who serves on the legislature’s Education Committee, received this award for his leadership and advocacy on behalf of children all over the state. Locally, he is very active in Coventry’s early education collaborative STEPS. He was honored at the ceremony by STEPS Coordinator Kathryn Hassler and Board of Education member Bill Oros, who spoke on behalf of Superintendent David Petrone. The award was presented by Samantha Dynowski of the CECA.

“It has been an honor to work alongside all of you to advocate on behalf our youngest residents,” Rep. Ackert said. “I am truly grateful to the Alliance for this award and for all the work they do for Connecticut’s children.”

The CECA is an organization committed to improving outcomes in the areas of learning, health, safety and economic security for children ages birth to eight.

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Rep. Ackert with, from left, Kathryn Hassler, Samantha Dynowski, and Bill Oros.

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Following the award ceremony, Rep. Ackert read to students at the Coventry Early Childhood Center next door.

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted on September 17, 2015 by admin


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Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is increasing at an alarming rate, along with accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

Many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription medications.

Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., you can bring your old prescriptions* for safe disposal to:

The Coventry Police Department, 1585 Main St., Coventry

If this is not a convenient location for you, call 1-800-882-9539. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

 

 

*The DEA cannot accept liquids or needles, only pills or patches.

 

Rep. Ackert Applauds Grant for Columbia Firefighters

Posted on September 17, 2015 by admin


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COLUMBIA – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) congratulated the Columbia Volunteer Fire Department as it received a $2,111.70 Volunteer Fire Assistance (VFA) grant from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to purchase much needed equipment.

The grant was awarded through DEEP’s Division of Forestry and the funds were made available by the United States Forest Service. VFA grants are awarded to communities with populations of less than 10,000 to assist them as they purchase expensive fire equipment, conduct training and perform prevention projects.

“I am honored that this wonderful community has been awarded this grant,” Rep. Ackert said. “Volunteer fire departments are vital to the safety of our small towns, and any assistance provided to them is crucial.”

Specifically, the Fire Department will use the grant to purchase flashlights, work gloves, and other equipment, in addition to a two hour course on gas safety.

 

Bridge Closure on Route 275 over the Willimantic River

Posted on September 15, 2015 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) is closing the portion of Route 275 over the Willimantic River in Coventry and Mansfield on Monday, September 21, 2015 in order to replace the bridge. The closure is expected to last ten weeks and the bridge is expected to be reopened November 30, 2015.

Motorists may take Route 31 South to Route 32 East from the Coventry side and Route 32 West to Route 31 North from the Mansfield side during this closure.

Modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions. Also, please maintain a safe speed when driving in this vicinity.

Rep. Ackert Breaks Ground at New UCONN Science Building

Posted on September 11, 2015 by admin


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STORRS – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) celebrated the groundbreaking of the University of Connecticut’s brand new Engineering and Science Building September 9 at the Storrs campus.

The building will include state-of-the-art laboratories in an open floor space to encourage collaboration and foster relationships between faculty and students of all disciplines. It will house specialists in chemical engineering, cyber physical systems engineering, biomedical engineering and other sciences.

“Governor Malloy and I may disagree on some investments, namely when it comes to the busway,” Rep. Ackert said playfully, “but we definitely agree on this investment here at UConn. What we have here extends beyond a flagship university – we are beyond the borders of Connecticut. Look at where the professors and students and our dean and others are coming from, and the culture that we are bringing into UConn and New England. It is truly amazing and I can’t wait to see this new facility and the progress it brings once it is completed.”

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Pictured, L-R: University President Susan Herbst, Governor Dannel Malloy, Larry McHugh, Chairman of the UConn Board of Trustees, State Rep. Tim Ackert (R-8), State Rep. Steve Cassano (D-4), State Rep. Gayle Mulligan (R-55), and State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-102).

State Tax Panel Public Hearing

Posted on September 8, 2015 by admin


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Do you have recommendations on state tax policy? The State Tax Panel will hold a public hearing this month that will provide you with an opportunity to contribute to a much-needed discussion on this topic.

Among the subjects that may be addressed at the hearing are: Sales and Use Tax, Estate and Gift Taxation, Personal Income Tax, Property Tax, Tax Exempt Properties, PILOT, Business Personal Property Taxation, Personal Tangible Property, Real Estate Conveyance and Controlling Interest Transfers and Local Option Taxes.

Panel staff has requested “recommendations and solutions, not just commentary on the tax system.”

September 16, 2015
Legislative Office Building, Room 2E
300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford CT
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Anyone wishing to speak should be in line by the breakout space next to Room 2E prior to 2:00 pm to participate in the lottery drawing. Each individual will pull a number at that time and that number will correspond to the individual’s place on the signup sheet. The lottery will conclude at 3:30 pm. If you miss that time frame your name will be added to the bottom of the list of speakers by staff in Room 2E. Speakers will be limited to roughly 3 minutes of testimony followed by questions from the panel. All speakers must be signed up on the speakers list. Please provide 40 copies of your testimony at the time of sign-up. Anyone who cannot attend may submit testimony electronically (in PDF format) to fintestimony@cga.ct.gov. Electronic testimony will not be copied for distribution. All testimony submitted will be scanned and published on the tax panel website which can be found by going to www.cga.ct.gov, clicking on “committees,” then clicking on “Finance, Revenue and Bonding” and scrolling to the bottom for the Tax Panel Website.

Rep. Ackert Achieves Perfect Voting Record for 2015 Session

Posted on September 8, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) has earned a one hundred percent voting record during the 2015 Regular Session, having voted during every single roll call vote in House of Representatives.

In his five years of service to his district, which includes Columbia, Coventry, Tolland and Vernon, Rep. Ackert has achieved a perfect record four years in a row, beginning in 2012. This year, only about 20% of his fellow representatives were able to accomplish this.

“It gives me great pride for my past four years at the House of Representatives, I haven’t missed a single vote on the floor,” said Rep. Ackert. “My goal is to be the voice of the people that I serve, and I know that by being at the Capitol and paying attention to each debate, and casting a vote with my constituents’ needs in mind, I am achieving this goal to the absolute best of my ability.”

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February of 2016.

“Stand Down” Event for Veterans

Posted on September 3, 2015 by admin


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Friday, September 18, a Stand Down event for veterans will be held at the Connecticut Veterans Home at 287 West Street in Rocky Hill from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event will provide medical screenings, veteran benefit information, legal and motor vehicle assistance, employment and educational assistance, and free bus transportation for veterans.

In our area, bus transportation will be provided by DAV at:

6:00 a.m. from the Dunkin Donuts on Route 83 (corner of Windmere and Windsor Ave.) in Vernon/Rockville

OR

6:30 a.m. from the VFW Post 1724 Building at 1415 Main Street in Willimantic.

2015_stand_down_poster (click the image above for more information or to register)

The first Stand Down event for homeless veterans took place in San Diego California in 1988. The National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) has backed and supported Stand Down events nationally since 2002.

Please pass the word along to anyone you know who may wish to attend.

For more information and to register, contact: 860-616-3802/3808 or www.ct.gov/ctva.

 

School Bus Safety

Posted on September 2, 2015 by admin


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With school beginning next week, I wanted to remind all drivers to be extra cautious on our public roadways.

With thousands of our district’s children being transported to and from school either by bus or a parent each day, please remember that when school is in session, drivers should use EXTRA caution. The following are safety tips for motorists, parents, and children.

Here are some tips for motorists:

• State law prohibits passing a school bus with its lights flashing. Some school buses are equipped with cameras to record passing drivers.
• Observe the no-passing law and expect the unexpected when traveling near school buses in school driveways.
• Watch for children traveling to school when driving in neighborhoods with school zones.
• Drive slowly. Watch for children walking in the street, especially if there are no sidewalks in the neighborhood. Watch for children playing and gathering near school bus stops.

There are also some safety tips for parents and children:

• Be waiting at your bus stop 5 minutes ahead of the scheduled pick up.
• Wait 10 feet back from the road and wear visible clothing.
• Always wait for the bus driver’s head nod before boarding the bus or crossing the street. They’re watching out for you! If you can’t see the driver, then the driver can’t see you. Make visual contact!
• If you drop something in the road, leave it. If it’s important, make sure the bus driver knows you’re about to bend down and possibly disappear from his/her sight.
• If an important item ends up under the bus, do not retrieve it unless the driver gives you permission to do so.
• Board the bus and quickly find a seat.
• Try to avoid distracting the bus driver for anything other than an emergency.

Ackert, Belsito Celebrate WW2 Veterans’ Birthdays in Tolland

Posted on August 28, 2015 by admin


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TOLLAND – State Representatives Tim Ackert (R-Coventry) and Sam Belsito (R-Tolland) celebrated the 90th birthdays of four World War II veterans August 27 at the Tolland Senior Cen