Reps. Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato, Petit Applaud Compromise Final Budget Deal

Posted on May 11, 2018 by admin


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 Cite Medicare Savings, Teacher Pensions, Transportation Funding

HARTFORD – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78), Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) voted in support of a compromise budget, noting that it fully restores Medicare Saving Plan funds that were cut, adds money for teachers’ healthcare and provides more money to the Special Transportation Fund without raising taxes.

The final budget plan that passed by a vote of 142-8 on the final day of the legislative session, is the result of lengthy negotiations with Democratic leaders in the House and Senate. The budget adjustment does not contain any tax increases, a critical requirement that Republicans insisted on.

“This budget adjustment is a compromise that does not increase taxes on Connecticut residents. It also funds the Retired Teacher’s Healthcare, and provides aid to assist with emergency placements of the developmentally disabled. The budget allows for the most vulnerable residents to be cared for while moving Connecticut forward,’’ Betts said.

“My top priority was to ensure that the Medicare cuts made, which I did not vote for, were reinstated in full so that seniors would not lose their benefits on July 1. Not only does this budget plan restore the Medicare cuts 211%, it also provides $1.8 million for State Supplemental Program (Old Age Assistance). While this budget is not perfect, it provides a path forward so that we can continue working on the issues that matter to the people of Connecticut,” said Pavalock-D’Amato.

“We’ve achieved a compromise budget that helps to ensure the state of Connecticut moves forward. This is by no means a perfect document, but it does provide necessary adjustments to the existing budget which fully restores the Medicare Savings Plan, and provides help for those we need to protect, including the disabled and the elderly. We’ve also addressed Governor Malloy’s holdbacks on municipal aid and educational funding,” said Petit.

The plan will also provide $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects by accelerating the existing tax on new cars. The funding will ramp up dramatically in the coming years, and all municipal aid and education cost sharing funding will remain whole in 2019.

Republicans were able to negotiate numerous provisions from their budget plan into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million.

In addition the deal features:
$16 million in additional funding for Retired Teachers’ Healthcare to bring the state’s portion of funding to 33%
$5 million for emergency placement for DDS patients
$9.5 million for coast of living increases for private providers
$1.8 million for Old Age Assistance.4 million for Aid to Disabled
$16.2 million for Community Colleges to cover fringe benefit costs
An additional $12.5 million to support VoAg students
$1 million for dairy farmers

Republicans also were successful in including some provisions for long-term structural changes, such as allowing for volunteerism at the local level to ease burdens on towns and cities, and hiring a consultant to come up with $500 million in savings for Connecticut.

The GOP also blocked a proposal that would cut funding for military funerals.

Republicans also secured language in the legislation that would inhibit Gov. Malloy’s ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did under his authority following the passage of the bipartisan budget last October.

The Senate approved the budget unanimously by a vote of 36-0; it heads to the governor’s desk for signing.

The 2018 legislative session came to a close at midnight on May 9.

 

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Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Applaud Passage of Drug Pricing Transparency Legislation

Posted on May 11, 2018 by admin


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Bill Addressing Rising Prescription Drug Costs Heads to Governor’s Desk

HARTFORD – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) praised the unanimous passage of legislation aimed at curbing increasing prices for prescriptions, the fastest growing cost in healthcare. The legislation, HB 5384, An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs, seeks to impose additional disclosure and reporting requirements concerning prescription drug rebates and the cost of prescription drugs.

“Prescription drugs can be incredibly expensive, and this important measure will address the issue of their rising costs. My vote in support of this measure reflects my response and commitment to the many constituents I’ve spoken with, who simply cannot afford these large increases,” said Rep. Betts, a co-sponsor of the legislation.

Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato, a member of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, said, “These new requirements will hold pharmaceutical companies accountable to maintain pricing transparency with consumers. For people who rely on long-term maintenance medications, or life-saving treatment medications, and especially for those living on a fixed income, including seniors and the disabled, this bill will go a long way to ensuring the pricing stability that people rely on when managing their healthcare costs.”

This bill makes several changes related to prescription drugs, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and health carriers (e.g., insurers and HMOs). Among other things, it requires:

  1. Information about new drugs in the FDA approval pipeline so we can better plan for new drug spending on the state employee plan and Medicaid.
  2. Insurers must include information on the top 25 highest cost drugs, top 25 with greatest increases and the portion of premium that increased because of drug spending on plan when they file their rates with the state Insurance Department.
  3. Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) must disclose rebates they received from drug companies and amount of rebate they passed onto consumers versus the amount they retained. Connecticut would become the first state in the country to require this.
  4. Insurers must either provide consumers with point of sale rebate at pharmacy counter or certify that they are using rebates to lower premiums.

The bill passed unanimously out of the Senate on Tuesday; it now heads to the governor’s office for signing to become law.

Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Support Domestic Violence Arrest Reform

Posted on May 9, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD –State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock D’Amato (R-77) joined fellow legislative colleagues in the Connecticut House of Representatives in supporting a dominant aggressor provision within the existing state laws dictating arrest protocol in cases of family violence.

The bill, SB 466 An Act Concerning Dual Arrests and the Training Required of Law Enforcement Personnel with Respect to Domestic Violence, requires a peace officer, in responding to a family violence complaint made by two or more opposing parties, to arrest the person the officer determines is the dominant aggressor (the person who poses the most serious ongoing threat in a situation involving a suspected family violence crime). Current state law includes a mandatory arrest provision, whereby both parties involved in the domestic dispute may be arrested.

“I’m proud to stand in strong support of this important bi-partisan legislation, which stands up for victims of domestic violence,” said Rep. Betts, a co-sponsor of the bill. “Due to the mandatory arrest provision, the dual arrest rate in the State of Connecticut is nearly three times the national average. When law enforcement is called to a domestic dispute, the dual arrest provision meant that more often than not, both the aggressor and the victim would be arrested. Not only will this measure provide law enforcement with the authority to arrest the perpetrator of violence, but also empower victims to come forward and report without fear of prosecution.”

Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato, also a co-sponsor of the bill, added, “I’m pleased to see that Connecticut has finally joined its New England neighbors in adding the dominant aggressor provision, in support of the victims who’ve had to endure abuse and suffer in silence, for fear of being arrested if they reported to law enforcement. This bill is a tremendous step in the right direction to support victims and the many young children who are traumatized by the experience of witnessing their abused parents being arrested by law enforcement.”

According to the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, 27% of family violence dispatch calls result in a dual arrest. Additionally, intakes as a direct result of a domestic violence arrest account for 32% of what is on the criminal docket for courts across the state, creating a huge logistical and financial burden for the state. In addition, dual arrest often decreases the victim’s safety, creates additional trauma for the victim’s children (children see a victim arrested and develop distrust of authority), raises a defense for the aggressor when the victim has been arrested and charged, and creates a larger legal Financial burdened for the victim.

The measure passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 147-1, and the state Senate earlier this week by a vote of 36-0. It was transmitted to the governor’s desk for immediate signing.

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Reps. Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Welcome Special Olympics Athletes to State Capitol

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) attended a send-off rally for Special Olympics athletes that will be competing in the Special Olympics 2018 USA Games hosted by Seattle, Washington, in July.

Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato were joined by legislative colleagues, welcoming the athletes, coaches, and supporters to the State Capitol, and sharing words of encouragement to the men and women that will be representing Connecticut in the national competition.

“Thank you to the athletes, unified partners, and coaches for coming to the State Capitol and share your energy and enthusiasm with us! Congratulations to all of the athletes who will go on to represent Connecticut this summer. We know you will all do an excellent job and make us proud,” said Rep. Betts.

“To be an athlete takes hard work, determination, and sacrifice. I’m so proud of all of the athletes who’ve worked so hard to make it to the USA Games this year, and I wish them the best of luck in their competitions. We’re particularly proud of Dale Akerley from Bristol, and we’re cheering him and his team on,” added Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato.

Following the rally, Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato met with Bristol resident Dale Akerley, the Unified Sports Partner of Special Olympics Athlete Anthony Thibeault of Southington, congratulating them on their accomplishments and wishing them well in Seattle. Akerley and Thibeault will compete in Unified Golf.

(Pictured L-R: Coach Kevin Smith, West Hartford, Athlete Anthony Thibeault, Southington, State Rep. Whit Betts, Unified Partner Dale Akerley, Bristol, and State Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato.)

More than 4,000 athletes and Unified Sports partners from all 50 states will be competing. The 2018 USA Games will also celebrate Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary.

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FACTS ON TOLLS

Posted on May 2, 2018 by admin


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FACTS ON TOLLS:
The House of Representatives will be taking up the debate on tolls today, Wednesday, May 2. This information, provided by the CT Department of Transportation (DOT), provides facts and DOT details (including possible locations and toll pricing) on the proposal to bring tolls back to CT roadways.

Tolling FAQs Final Version
Overview of a potential CT Toll System

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day, 4/28

Posted on April 26, 2018 by admin


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On Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide the public its 15th opportunity in eight years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.

The DEA is again calling on Americans to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medication and bring them to collection sites for proper disposal. This includes pet medication as well.

DEA Collection Sites closest Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville include:

BRISTOL WATER DEPARTMENT: FRONT LOBBY (ONLY UNTIL 1PM)
119 Riverside Ave. – Bristol, CT

THOMASTON POLICE DEPARTMENT
RITE AID
455 S. Main Street – Thomaston, CT

The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 15 previous Take-Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds — about 3,200 tons of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — pose potential safety, environmental, and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the April 28 Take Back Initiative, visit: www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/index.html.

Bristol Legislators to Host April Coffee Hour

Posted on April 3, 2018 by admin


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BristolState Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour event on Friday, April 6 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, and issues being discussed during the 2018 Legislative Session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Rep. Whit Betts Works to Boost CT Manufacturing

Posted on April 2, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Rep. Whit Betts recently voted in favor of two proposals that look to address and support Connecticut manufacturing.

“I continue to hear from local manufacturers in Bristol about their increasing need for skilled workers in manufacturing,” said Rep. Betts, a member of the General Assembly’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. “While Bristol Adult Education has made great strides in partnering with our local manufacturing apprenticeship programs and serving as a successful model, we need to do more to support our students and our businesses here at home and across our state.”

The first piece of legislation, SB-51, An Act Establishing a Small Business Manufacturing Pipeline, would create a network of workforce-related programs across Connecticut. The purpose of a state-wide pipeline would be to help facilitate education and industry partnerships through data sharing and programming to develop and train workforces in high growth industries in the state.

Currently, there is an Eastern CT Manufacturing Pipeline Initiative and this bill would expand the pipeline statewide.

The model looks to align jobseeker skills with the specific hiring needs of the employer through a training program designed by a collaboration of industry and academia. Participants completing training earn stackable community college certificates and pre-apprenticeship certification, and are prepared for on-the-job training at dozens of regional manufacturers.

The second proposal Rep. Betts supported, SB-213, An Act Concerning the Development of Public-Private Partnerships for Apprenticeship and Work-Based Opportunities, would establish a quasi-public agency responsible for establishing public-private partnerships for apprenticeship and work-based opportunities. The legislation would provide a connection between educational institutions, businesses, and our future workforce.

Rep. Betts added, “This expansion of a statewide pipeline, along with an increased partnership between higher education and the manufacturing industry, would make available, apprenticeship programs that support the growing demand for a skilled manufacturing workforce. I proudly supported these measures out of committee for a full debate and vote by the legislature.”

Both proposals look to boost manufacturing in our state, and specifically, to address the difficulty manufacturers face in finding skilled workers. Currently, the number of statewide unfilled manufacturing jobs stands at 13,000.

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‘Heroes for Hire’ Annual Veterans Career Fair, 4/4

Posted on March 29, 2018 by admin


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I wanted to alert you to the upcoming “Heroes 4 Hire” 14th Annual Veterans Career Fair being held on Wednesday, April 4, at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

According to the Connecticut Department of Labor website, this fair will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and will allow attendees to meet with prospective employers and take advantage of the following free services:

  • Nationally certified resumé writers available for resumé critiquing
  • Access to CT jobs, our electronic job matching system, part of the nation’s largest internet employment service
  • Veterans Services Representatives to provide assistance and guidance
  • Information on Educational and Job Training Programs
  • Information on employment and unemployment services

Rentschler Field is located at 615 Silver Lane, East Hartford, CT 06118.

If you are a veteran or currently serving in our armed forces, or know someone who is, please consider attending this career fair and passing this information along.

Betts Named Ranking Member of State Legislature’s Public Health Committee

Posted on March 14, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD- State Representative Whit Betts (R-77) announced that he has been appointed Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.

As the highest ranking House Republican on the committee, Rep. Betts will work with fellow committee leadership on legislation regarding important public health issues facing Connecticut, including the opioid epidemic, mental health and substance abuse, and caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the disabled, as well as ensuring support for Bristol Hospital.

“Public Health is vital to the well-being of residents, families, and communities each and every day,” said Rep. Betts. “As a fundamental role of government, public health initiatives help to improve and protect communities, allowing people to lead healthy lives. I’d like to thank House Leader Klarides for the honor of being appointed to this position, and I look forward to serving the residents of the 78th district and the people of Connecticut in this capacity.”

The Public Health Committee is one of the joint standing committees of the Connecticut General Assembly. It has cognizance of all programs and matters relating to the Department of Public Health; the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Developmental Services; the Office of Health Care Access; and all other matters relating to health, including emergency medical services, all licensing boards within the Department of Public Health, nursing homes, pure food and drugs, and controlled substances, including the treatment of substance abuse.

In addition to this newly appointed leadership role, Rep. Betts, a House Republican Assistant Leader, also serves on the Higher Education & Employment Advancement and Appropriations Committees in the General Assembly.

The 2018 legislative session will adjourn on May 7.

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Public Hearings This Week: Tolls, Marijuana, Casinos, and more…

Posted on March 14, 2018 by admin


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As the 2018 legislative session enters its second month, the legislature continues to hold public hearings on many issues, including toll proposals, marijuana, and casinos.  Below is a list of some of the public hearing agendas for remainder of this week at the Legislative Office Building.

This is your opportunity to participate in your state government and let your voice be heard! I encourage you to look through the public hearing agendas, and submit written testimony on issues that matter to you! Yoiu may also testify in person.

Click here for a link to the Connecticut General Assembly calendar and bulletin, which provides the full list of all scheduled pubic hearings.

Here are some of the public hearings scheduled for March 12th – March 16th:

Wednesday, March 14th

Click here for Transportation agenda, including various bills regarding toll proposals on all CT major highways, including I-95, I-91, I-84, I-395, I-691, as well as Route 2, Route 6, Route 7, Route 8 and Route 15.
You can submit testimony here: tratestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Education
You can email testimony here: edtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Environment
You can submit testimony here: envtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Judiciary
You can submit testimony here: JUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Appropriations
You can email testimony here: apptestimony@cga.ct.gov

Thursday, March 15th

Click here for General Law agenda, including proposal legalizing retail sale of marijuana
You can submit testimony here: gltestimony@cga.ct.cov

Click here for Public Safety & Security agenda, including various gambling and casino bill proposals
You can submit testimony here: pstestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Human Services agenda
You can submit testimony here: hstestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Planning & Development
You can submit testimony here: pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Labor & Public Employees
You can submit testimony here: labtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Friday, March 16th

Click here for Environment
You can submit testimony here:  envtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Finance, Revenue, and Bonding
You can submit testimony here: fintestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Public Health
You can submit testimony here: phtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Click here for Planning and Development
You can submit testimony here: pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov

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If you are interested in any of these issues, I encourage you to let your voice be heard.

You can email testimony on any of the bills through the email addresses listed above for each committee. Your comments can be as brief as you like, but there is no limit on the length of written testimony. Just include your name and town, include the subject of the bill in the subject line of the email, and please copy my office at Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov on your testimony so I can be aware of your thoughts on these issues.

You can also testify at a hearing. (Click here for a guide to testifying at hearings and here for driving directions to the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building).

Plymouth Legislators To Host March Coffee Hour

Posted on March 9, 2018 by admin


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Plymouth – The public is invited to a Coffee Hour event with Plymouth legislators on Friday, March 16 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, and issues being discussed during the 2018 Legislative Session. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues or local concerns.

All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.           

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Plymouth Legislators Thank Residents for Food Pantry Donations

Posted on March 1, 2018 by admin


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Plymouth – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) thanked residents who donated to the legislators’ February 24 food drive. The event at Adams IGA collected donations of non-perishable food for the Plymouth Community Food Pantry.

“Need knows no season, and I’m so thankful to those who purchased a little extra and donated to help their neighbors in need,” said Rep. Betts.  “The Plymouth Food Pantry helps to support our community throughout the year, providing residents in need with resources and food. I’m proud to support their efforts with this event.”

“It’s wonderful to see so many in our community who support efforts to help our struggling neighbors,” Sen. Martin said. “Anyone can fall on hard times. Sometimes people need a little help until they can get back on their feet.”

February is a high-demand month for the Food Pantry.

Residents unable to attend the food drive and who wish to give a monetary donation may send it to:

Plymouth Food Pantry

20 Dewey Avenue, Terryville, CT 06786

Attached is a list of items in need at the food pantry.
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Sen. Martin, Rep. Betts, and Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato Tour Bristol Brewery

Posted on February 27, 2018 by admin


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Bristol – State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) joined Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) recently on a tour of Firefly Hollow Brewing, Co. in Bristol.

Firefly Hollow Brewing is located on Center Street just over the railroad tracks where they try to provide “an atmosphere and product conducive to creative expression.”

(Pictured L-R): Sen. Henri Martin, Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, Dana Bourque, Head of Brewery Operations, & Rep. Whit Betts.

Sen. Martin said, “Breweries like Firefly Hollow are the type of new, small business we want to encourage in Connecticut.  It’s wonderful to see these operations up close and hear about the social and economic impact they are having in our communities.”

Firefly Hollow offers an assortment of original brews and maintains an active event schedule. While the facility does not serve food or have traditional wait staff, customers are welcome to bring their own snacks. A local business, Harvest Bakery, provides Firefly Hollow with freshly made pretzels.

Rep. Betts added, “Small local businesses like Firefly Hollow are the engine of our local and state economy. I will continue to support policies which encourage their growth and expansion, and allow businesses like Firefly to be successful and make lasting contributions to their communities.”

Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato said, “I appreciate the time that Dana Bourque took to give us the tour of Firefly, and to share with us, the many things that make Firefly a unique piece of Bristol. It is so important as lawmakers to spend time listening to our small business owners about what they need to be successful, and how we can help at the state level. I will continue to fight against policies which place burdens on our business owners and make it difficult to thrive in Connecticut, and I will encourage my legislative colleagues to do the same.”

Learn more about Firefly Hollow Brewing by visiting their website at http://fireflyhollowbrewing.com.

Sen. Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.
Rep. Betts serves the communities of Bristol, Plymouth and Terryville.
Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato serves Bristol.

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Bristol Legislators to Host March Coffee Hour

Posted on February 27, 2018 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour event on Friday, March  at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, and issues being discussed during the 2018 Legislative Session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Public Health Committee Public Hearing, 2/28

Posted on February 27, 2018 by admin


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In an effort to keep you informed, I wanted to let you know of the upcoming Public Health Committee public hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, February 28 at 11:00 am in room 1D of the Legislative Office Building.

Here are some bills scheduled for the public hearing that may be of interest to you and our community:

  • S.B.  218  An Act Prohibiting Involuntary Sterilization Of Persons With Disabilities.
  • H.B.  5160  An Act Concerning The Donation Of Blood By Minors.
  • H.B.  5153  An Act Concerning The Department Of Developmental Services’ Recommendations Regarding Guardianship Assessments.
  • H.B.  5216  An Act Concerning Communication Between The Disability Rights Organization And The Department Of Developmental Services Regarding Abuse Or Neglect Of Persons With Disabilities.
  • H.B.  5155  An Act Concerning The Department Of Developmental Services’ Recommendation Regarding Waiver Of Licensing Fees For Private Providers.
  • S.B.  166  An Act Adding Amniotic Fluid Embolism To The List Of Adverse Events A Hospital Is Required To Report To The Department Of Public Health.
  • H.B.  5149  An Act Concerning Sober Living Homes.
  • H.B.  5157  An Act Requiring The Installation Of Video Cameras In The Rooms Of Nonverbal Nursing Home Residents.
  • H.B.  5158  An Act Requiring Food Allergy Training In Restaurants.

To view the full agenda with links to each proposed bill, click here.

Should you wish to write a letter in support of or opposition to a proposed bill, please email testimony to mailto:phtestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Your comments can be as brief as you like, but there is no limit on the length of written testimony. Please also copy me on the email at Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov so I can be aware of your opinions.

For information and committee rules on testifying in person at the pubic hearing, click here.

To stay up-to-date on what’s happening at the Capitol, I encourage you to click here and click on the “Bulletin”.
A guide for testifying at hearings can be found here and driving directions to the Connecticut State Capitol and Legislative Office Building are available here.

Plymouth Legislators Partner with Local Food Pantry to Host Upcoming Food Drive

Posted on February 16, 2018 by admin


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Plymouth – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) have announced that they are partnering with the Plymouth Community Food Pantry to raise awareness of hunger and need in the community.


Betts and Martin
will be hosting a food drive on Saturday February 24 to benefit the Plymouth Community Food Pantry. The lawmakers will be collecting non-perishable food items at the Adam’s IGA in Plymouth from 11 am to 1 pm.

February is a high-demand month for the Food Pantry. Residents are encouraged to donate whatever they can; no donation is too small.

Residents wishing to give a monetary donation may send to:

Plymouth Food Pantry

20 Dewey Avenue., Terryville, CT 06786

For a complete list of suggested items for donation, please visit www.RepBetts.com or www.SenatorHenriMartin.com.

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PHOTO BRIEF: Bristol Legislators Discuss Taxes, State Budget with Local Seniors

Posted on February 9, 2018 by admin


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Bristol – On Monday, February 5, State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) and Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) met with constituents at the Bristol Senior Center. The legislators discussed restoring funding to the Medicare Savings Plan, answered questions about tolls and a proposed new tire tax, and talked about the 2018 legislative session.

 

Residents unable to attend the meeting who would like to share their concerns or ask questions of the legislators can email Sen. Martin at Henri.Martin@cga.ct.gov, Rep. Betts at Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov, and Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato at Cara@housegop.ct.gov.

PHOTOSen. Henri Martin (standing) discusses state legislative issues with residents at the Bristol Senior Center as Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (left) and Rep. Whit Betts (center) await their turn to address constituents.

 

Bristol Legislators to Host February Coffee Hour

Posted on January 24, 2018 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour event on Friday, February 2 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, and discuss what lies ahead for the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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2018 Major Issues Report

Posted on January 17, 2018 by admin


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The state’s non-partisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has issued its report on important issues that the General Assembly may face during the 2018 legislative session, which begins on February 7th.

You can view or download the report by clicking here.

This is also your opportunity to contact me with bill proposals or ideas.

You can also visit my webpage at www.repbetts.com to sign up for my newsletter, email blast, or connect with me via Facebook at www.facebook.com/RepBetts/.

As always please feel free to contact me at Whit.Betts@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423, if you have questions, concerns or ideas about issues related to state government.

Local Lawmakers Vote to Restore Medicare Assistance for Seniors, Disabled

Posted on January 9, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD — State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78), Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22), and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) on Monday co-sponsored and voted in favor of a bipartisan plan that would provide funding for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) through the end of the fiscal year.

“I’m pleased that we’ve provided the critical financial support that is vital to the health and well-being of low-income seniors and disabled individuals. In the meantime, we are looking for alternative funding to ensure these individuals will continue to be eligible to receive the health benefits of this program,” said Rep. Betts.

Realizing almost 86,000 low-income seniors would be disqualified from the program 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.

“Our message to our seniors and those who are disabled is that we’ve heard you. Last week, over 100 seniors came to the Bristol senior center to advocate for themselves and demand that the legislature act. I’m proud to say that today, I joined my legislative colleagues in taking action to address this issue. However, we are far from finished. I will continue to work with my fellow lawmakers as we now deal with deficit mitigation, to try and find alternative funding to ensure that critical resources for our seniors remains intact,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato.

“Today we acted to restore funding for seniors and those who are disabled. This is a temporary fix, which, while easing the financial burden for those residents, is not a permanent solution. We have far more work to do on finding funding alternatives as we continue to deal with Connecticut’s ongoing fiscal crisis,” said Rep. Petit.

“The legislation passed today shows that health care for Connecticut’s low-income seniors and disabled is a priority for the state,” Sen. Martin said. “Today’s decision is in line with what the legislature intended when the budget was recently passed. I’m glad this was a bipartisan effort and hope the Governor will reconsider his threat to veto the bill.”

The MSP plan was approved in the House through a 130 – 3 vote. Among the methods used to restore program funding is a requirement that Gov. Malloy reduce the number of managers and consultants—a provision included in the adopted budget ignored by the governor. Other components include moving human resources-related functions of some state agencies into the state’s Department of Administrative Services, and requiring the governor to find savings in Executive Branch functions while limiting his ability to cut more than 10 percent from any one program.

State senators approved the plan 32 – 1 in a vote later in the day.

The 2018 legislative session—a so-called short session—starts Feb. 7 and will see lawmakers focus primarily on issues tied to the state budget.

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New Laws Effective January 1

Posted on January 5, 2018 by admin


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Please note that this is provided as information, and inclusion in this message does not indicate my support or opposition to an individual measure.

A number of new laws took effect beginning January 1, 2018. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I encourage you to take a look at the full list of laws that can be found by clicking here. I have listed some of the more noteworthy legislation below.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these laws.

AN ACT PREVENTING PRESCRIPTION OPIOID DIVERSION AND ABUSE – Public Act No. 17-131 – requires prescriptions be transcribed electronically to safeguard against over prescribing, reduces the maximum number of days for a prescription from seven to five for minors and allows patients to request drugs other than opioids be prescribed. Summary

AN ACT CONCERNING WITHHOLDING WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INCOME FOR CHILD SUPPORT – Public Act No. 17-27 – requires an employer promptly notify the dependent (i.e., spouse, former spouse, or child owed the support) or judicial branch’s Support Enforcement Services, if an employee, whose income is withheld to enforce a child support order, makes a workers’ compensation claim. Summary

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEFINITION OF A VETERAN FOR A CERTAIN HONOR AND CERTAIN BENEFIT – Public Act No. 17-83 – broadens the eligibility criteria for certain veterans’ benefits, allows additional people to receive a service ribbon and medal, be buried in a Connecticut veterans’ cemetery, or have veteran status indicated on their driver’s license or identity card. Summary

Please pass this information along to those who may benefit from knowing what to expect this new year in the State of Connecticut.
New legislation typically goes into effect on January 1st, July 1st, or October 1st in a calendar year, although a few laws go into effect immediately upon passage.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns relating to state government.

Lawmakers Ring Salvation Army Bells to Help Neighbors in Need

Posted on January 2, 2018 by admin


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Bristol– Local lawmakers Senator Henri Martin (R-31) and Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) again participated in the Salvation Army’s annual Red Kettle Campaign by ringing bells at the Bristol Walmart and greeting shoppers during the holiday season. The legislators thanked everyone who took the time to stop and donate, and support their neighbors in need.


The Salvation Army provides food, clothing, comfort and care to local residents as well as people in need across the United States.

 

 

Bristol Legislators Cancel Friday Coffee Hour 

Posted on January 2, 2018 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) have announced that the coffee hour scheduled for Friday, January 5 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol) has been cancelled due to the legislature being called into session that morning.

Residents who wish to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Bristol Legislators to Host January Coffee Hour

Posted on December 21, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for the first Coffee Hour event of the New Year on Friday, January 5 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, and discuss what lies ahead for the upcoming 2018 Legislative Session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Local Legislators Call for Immediate Legislative Action to Restore Medicare Savings Plan Funding

Posted on December 13, 2017 by admin


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Hartford—State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) have joined their Republican legislative colleagues in the House of Representatives in calling for an immediate convening of the Connecticut General Assembly to restore funding to the Medicare Savings Plan (MSP).  Betts and Petit yesterday signed a petition to call the legislature into session to find a solution to this issue.

“I am committed to doing whatever is necessary to have a special session prior to January 1 with the specific goal of helping low income seniors and disabled individuals who are at risk of losing MSP assistance because of new eligibility requirements,” said Rep. Betts. “The new eligibility criteria will severely jeopardize the life and health care of these folks, and this consequence is totally unacceptable to me.”

MSP is an income-based program, which provides supplemental financial assistance to seniors and the disabled to cover items such as Medicare co-insurance, deductibles, and premiums. The funding for the program was cut in the recently passed state budget. If no change is implemented, almost 100,000 individuals statewide will lose their current coverage.

Petit added, “I am happy to return to session to reconsider the MSP eligibility issue as well as other overall budget issues. We may need to consider a means or asset test as MSP as currently administered will cost taxpayers about $83 million over two years. Thus to fund it means that we need to make cuts in other places in the budget or consider the option of raising taxes which most people, including me, have opposed.”

State Department of Social Services (DSS) Commissioner Roderick Bremby last week issued a release stating that DSS will be delaying the implementation of the cuts until March 1. The legislators stated that they hoped the legislature would act quickly to restore funding prior to the start of the 2018 Legislative Session, which convenes February 7. Anyone affected by the MSP cuts may contact the following resources for information on replacement benefits:

CHOICES (1-800-994-9422): Information related to Medicare and alternate benefits Department of Social Services (1-800-842-1508): Information related to Medicaid (i.e. Husky C) and MED-Connect
Connecticut Insurance Department (1-800-203-3447): Information related to Medigap products

While legislative leaders continue to meet on this matter, no official date for session has been set.

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Join Me for Coffee Hours on Friday, 12/15

Posted on December 13, 2017 by admin


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Please join Senator Martin and me next Friday, December 15 at our monthly coffee hour event at Eagle’s Nest Restaurant in Terryville, starting at 8 a.m.

Come join us for coffee and conversation as we share the latest updates and news from the State Capitol and answer your questions!

Representatives Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato, and Senator Martin to Ring Bells for Salvation Army in Bristol on Dec. 12

Posted on December 6, 2017 by admin


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BristolRepresentatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and Senator Henri Martin (R-31) will participate in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign by ringing bells at the Bristol Walmart on Tuesday, December 12 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm.

The public is invited to support the cause with donations of any size. The Salvation Army provides food, clothing, comfort and care to local residents as well as people in need year round across the United States. The Walmart is located at 1400 Farmington Avenue, in Bristol.

WHO: Bristol Lawmakers, Representatives Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato and Senator Henri Martin
WHAT: Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign bell ringing
WHEN: Tuesday, December 12 from 5:30pm-7:30pm
WHERE: Walmart – 1400 Farmington Ave., Bristol
WHY: State Legislators will join fellow volunteers ringing bells to raise money for the Salvation Army this holiday season.

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Bristol Legislators to Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on November 28, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, December 1 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the recently passed state budget and what lies ahead.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Betts Supports Budget that Restores Education, Municipal Funding

Posted on October 27, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD –State Representative Whit Betts (R-76) today voted for a bipartisan budget that averts Gov. Malloy’s devastating education cuts to cities and towns and installs structural municipal mandate reform that will provide long-term relief sought by local leaders and the taxpayers they serve.

“I strongly believe the strict caps imposed on this and future state budgets are the first step to restoring fiscal stability and predictability by state government. This historic bi-partisan agreement will serve as the guiding philosophy for future budgets, and I now have hope that future deficits forecasted for the next 3 years will dramatically decline. More difficult and painful decisions need to be made but I am convinced the bi-partisan budget approved today will result in supporting the economic growth and prosperity in Bristol and Plymouth,” said Rep. Betts.

Budget highlights include:

-Enacts the constitutional spending cap that was first approved by voters in 1992 -Enacts a $1.9 billion cap on bonding, $500 million less than what was bonded last year -Restores municipal and education funding -Protects core social services -Supports critical funding for seniors and tax cuts on retirees -Imposes a state employee hiring freeze -Requires mandatory votes on union contracts by the legislature -Provides municipal mandate relief and prevailing wage reform, raising the threshold from $400,000 to $1  million -Phases in tax reductions on pensions and social security
The budget also stopped proposals which would have raised taxes on our residents including:

-No sales tax increase -No income tax increase -No tax on cell phones -No restaurant tax -No business tax increase -Does not shift teachers pensions on to municipalities -No tolls The budget passed the Senate by a vote of 33-3 Wednesday evening and by 126-23 in the House of Representatives on Thursday. The budget awaits action from the governor.
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Betts Celebrates CT Manufacturing, Tours Da Cruz Manufacturing

Posted on October 26, 2017 by admin


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Hartford –  Marking Manufacturing Month in Connecticut, State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) visited Da Cruz Manufacturing located in Bristol. Rep. Betts spoke with company President, Victor Cruz and toured the facility and production process. Cruz discussed with Betts the strides and growth his company has made, including expansion in Bristol and Central CT. They also discussed the importance of teaching youth about manufacturing jobs and academic studies in vocational technical schools.

During the tour, Rep. Betts was able to observe approximately 38  students from both Bristol Eastern and Bristol Central High Schools, who were were hosted by DaCruz Manufacturing for a Manufacturing Day event as part of an effort to draw greater attention to the opportunities that a career in manufacturing can provide and promote the pursuit of skills that will lead to long-term careers.

Located in Bristol since 2005, Da Cruz Manufacturing has been in business for 36 years. For more information, visit www.dacruzmfg.com
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Bristol Legislators Share Latest Legislative Updates with Local Seniors

Posted on October 24, 2017 by admin


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Bristol – State Representatives Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, and State Senator Henri Martin recently paid a visit to the Bristol Senior Center.

The legislators discussed the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the ongoing state budget crisis. They stated that budget negotiations with leadership continue daily, and remain hopeful that agreement will be reached soon.

Anyone who missed the event but would like to speak with their legislator may do so by contacting Reps. Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Martin at 800-842 -1421.

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Bristol Legislators to Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on October 23, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, November 3 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the ongoing state budget crisis and what lies ahead.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Bristol Legislators To Host Pints and Policy

Posted on October 19, 2017 by admin


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HartfordState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Pints & Policy event on Monday, October 30 at One Fifty Central (150 Central St., Bristol).

The public is invited to meet with their legislators from 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the ongoing state budget crisis and key issues.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Light refreshments will be provided.

Those unable to attend but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.

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State Rep. Whit Betts Supports Plymouth Community Winter Coat Drive

Posted on October 17, 2017 by admin


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Terryville – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) visits the Plymouth Community Food Pantry earlier this month during the organization’s Winter Coat Drive. The Plymouth Community Winter Coat Drive, which ran the first two weeks of October, provided winter coats, hats, ski pants, and accessories, for the men, women, and children in the greater area.

Betts spoke with volunteers during the morning visit, and discussed the importance of this program, and other programs run by the Plymouth Community Food Pantry year round, which benefits many of their Plymouth and Terryville neighbors in need. Betts said, ” There is always more work we can do to help those most in need among us. The Plymouth Community Food Pantry continues to offer programs throughout the year, providing constant support and necessary resources to our neighbors.”

Plymouth Legislators To Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on October 11, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, October 20 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget vote and next steps. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.

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Republican Legislators Urge Override of Governor’s Veto

Posted on October 2, 2017 by admin


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Governor’s actions irresponsible to schools, municipalities

State Republican legislators today expressed disappointment that the Governor vetoed the only state budget to pass the General Assembly with bipartisan support. At a press conference in Plymouth earlier in the day, the legislators and local municipal leaders had called on the Governor to sign the budget. Now, they are calling on support to override the veto. State Senators Henri Martin and Craig Miner and State Representatives Whit Betts, Cara Pavalock-D’Amato, John Piscopo, and William A. Petit, Jr. were joined by Plymouth Mayor David Merchant, Plainville Town Council Chair Kathy Pugliese, Harwinton Michael Criss, and Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne.

Senator Henri Martin (R-31) said, “I guess the one good thing I can say is that the Governor is a man of his word. He said he was going to veto this budget and that is what he did. He did that knowing what his executive order has been doing and will continue to do to our communities, to our schools, to the elderly, and to those with disabilities. He has either been deaf to their pleas or he must have a heart of stone.”

The only recourse that can save core services, Sen. Martin said, is for the legislature to meet and override the veto.

Senator Craig Miner (R-30) said, “The bipartisan budget is not perfect, but it reflects the consensus intention that problems at the state level should not result in a disaster at the municipal level. The governor should not have vetoed this budget, but since he did, it is the legislature’s duty to override his short-sighted decision.”

Representative Whit Betts (R-78) said, “We continue to hear the pleas from our municipalities and school systems about the importance of moving forward on a budget and providing them with certainty and predictability. The General Assembly did its job and adopted a bipartisan budget which does just that. Although not surprised, I am disheartened by the governor’s budget veto today. I urge the Speaker of the House to call the legislature into session, and I’m hopeful that my fellow lawmakers will vote to override the budget veto.”

Representative Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) said, “The bipartisan budget that Governor Malloy vetoed today reduced state expenses and cut administrative costs throughout government while prioritizing core functions and maintaining funding for critical programs for those most in need, like Care for Kids. I am extremely concerned for my constituents about the governor’s executive orders that will go into effect on October 1, and the devastating impact it will have on these programs.”

Representative John Piscopo (R-78) said, “Now that the governor has vetoed the bipartisan budget, I’m greatly concerned about Governor Malloy’s looming executive order. Not only is it bad policy, it will be putting a terrible hurting our towns. Some of the finance houses in New York, namely Standard & Poor’s, have indicated that the bond ratings will be degraded in our towns if the executive order stands. We have seen the state’s bond ratings degraded four times in the last year and a half. It would be detrimental if this were to happen to our towns, because this is funding we depend on for our local infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.”

Representative William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) said, “The bipartisan budget which helped towns and cities across our state with increases in municipal aid has been vetoed today, and we will now see drastic cuts to municipal aid with the Governor’s executive orders. In the Appropriations committee on which I serve, our mantra in crafting a budget has been to try and protect children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Now, drastic cuts to vital social services, including Care for Kids, Meals on Wheels, and substance abuse treatment services, will go into effect on October 1, and our small towns and communities will not be able to sustain this extra burden that the state will be inflicting on them.”

The legislators said they hope that when the veto session comes, other members of the General Assembly will reflect on the words municipal leaders spoke during the press conference at Plymouth Town Hall today.

Plymouth Mayor David V. Merchant “We’re a small community. We don’t a have big fund balance. We’ve gone through some financial woes over the last couple years and we don’t have that extra money to make up in the middle of a year. . . We’ve got a school system that’s three months into the year and now we’re talking about making major cuts to that. We can’t sustain that. The Town of Plymouth, and I speak for a lot of small communities, we just can’t sustain that.”

Plainville Town Council Chair Katherine M. Pugilese “Plainville is looking at a reduction of almost $2 million in the current fiscal year in the Governor’s proposed budget. How do we take care of that? We have gotten no direction. Do we deplete our fund balance, which we have carefully guarded over many, many years of wise financial planning? Do we start to lay off the people that are so very important to our community, our teachers, our police, our people that take care of our parks and our roadways? . . . (Republicans) are here to protect the very people who are going to be asked to shoulder this burden: the taxpayers. That’s the only way the cities and the states can raise revenue is to increase taxes on the taxpayers, whether they are businesses or individuals, and they will decrease services while they are taking more money out of our pockets. I don’t imagine any worse scenario right now.”

Harwinton First Selectman Michael R. Criss “I will use the Governor’s words as he eloquently said it: Municipal leaders do it better. We do it better every day . . As small communities, we took time over the last three to four years and renegotiated our union agreements, our healthcare plans, our pension plans. Our union members sacrificed, for what? For our community. For our children’s future. For the future of this state.  . . Our municipalities cannot shoulder this. We do not have extra money to bail Hartford out. We do not have extra money to bail Governor Malloy’s pet projects out. The money is earmarked for bridges. It’s earmarked for roads. It’s earmarked for the future of rebuilding Connecticut town-by-town.”

Bristol Mayor Ken Cockayne “I second what First Selectman Criss said. Municipalities, we don’t have the luxury of not having a budget. We had to have a budget. And what we did in Bristol was we spoke to our representatives and we took a best guess at where our budget was going to be and the Republican budget is right about where they said it would be. The Governor, in Bristol, is cutting almost $4 million out of our budget. That’s over one mill. We cannot sustain that. We would be in trouble if we have to start making those cuts.” For more information on the bipartisan budget that Governor Malloy vetoed, visit: www.cthousegop.com/budget

 

Bristol Legislators to Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on September 22, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, October 6 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the recently passed state budget and what lies ahead.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Bipartisan Budget: Myth vs. Fact

Posted on September 21, 2017 by admin


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Does the budget decimate UConn/UConn Health Center?

The Republican budget passed with bipartisan support by the legislature provides $1 billion in state aid to UConn and UConn Health Center over two years. This is a $200.1 million reduction to the anticipated $1.2 billion in state aid UConn would have received had the university not been touched by any budget cuts. While this is a cut of approximately 17%, this budget also for the first time allows for purchasing and contracting flexibility so the university can save money and enhance revenues in other ways that do not rely on taxpayer dollars.

There are policy changes that will allow in direct savings for UConn; like requiring professors to teach one additional class and eliminating the tuition waivers that allow UConn and UCHC employees and their dependents to attend UConn for free. Yes there are cuts to UConn, like every other agency. The difference between other state agencies and our flagship university to raise revenue or trim costs are substantial. UConn has alternative ways to support their organization through the school’s Foundation and fundraising or additional federal grants for research. While we have supported large investments over the years, we simply cannot afford it until our state is back on course. UConn still has an extremely healthy budget and now even greater flexibility to attain funding in ways that do not overly burden taxpayers. All of those avenues should be explored fully and pursued.

It’s also important to note that UConn is overstating it’s reductions by using the fiscal year 2017 original budget as the base, rather than what they actually received in 2017. It is only fair to compare the actual dollars taxpayers invested last year.

Does this budget change hospital taxes?

The budget proposed by Republicans and passed with a bipartisan vote in the legislature does not allow municipalities to tax local hospitals and preserves the small hospital pool. It also accepts the hospital settlement agreed to by the Connecticut Hospital Association and the governor’s office which includes tax changes our state hospitals lobbied for and meets all their requests to help them operate more efficiently and better meet the needs of their patients. This budget will also phase out the hospital tax over time and increases Medicaid rates which protect hospitals from changes on the federal level.

What does it do to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

The Republican budget that garnered bipartisan support in the legislature would implement a graduated schedule for the Earned Income Tax Credit which provides 5% for single individuals, 10% for those with one child, 15% for those with two children, 25% for those with three or more children. By implementing a graduated scale we can make sure to preserve as much of the credit as possible for those who need the support most. Unfortunately facing a massive deficit of historic size we had to make the difficult decision to reduce this program in part to protect other core social services including SAGA. In addition, there are some who say a case could be made that it is not actually a tax cut, as over 80% of recipients never paid state income tax. Regardless on your opinions about the program–we prioritize children in the graduated scale model we worked hard to define.

Does this budget better serve the I/DD Community?

It is the only budget to fully fund day and employment services for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It also does not carry forward reductions imposed by Governor Malloy to employment and day opportunities services for the intellectually disabled. In addition it adds funding to help individuals on the wait list access services.

Is this budget balanced?

Yes, OFA shows surpluses of $70 million surplus in 2018 and $40 million surplus in 2019.

How do we balance the budget?

– We rein in government as much as we can. We consolidate agencies and eliminate top heavy positions like Commissioners and their deputies.

– We make targeted spending cuts while simultaneously protecting core services.

– We implement 10% reductions to certain agency accounts.

– We implement overtime savings of 10 percent, a hiring freeze of non-24-hour employees, and cut the legislature’s budget.

– We include long-needed structural changes to achieve future savings such as a strong spending cap and bonding cap. The Democrat budget included a spending cap which recommends not counting our growing pension debt.

Why does OFA show a deficit in the out years?

All budgets proposed show deficit in the out years because the state’s financial problems cannot be resolved in one year. That being said, the Republican out year deficits are less than what was projected in the Democrats’ budget which includes many new tax policies like cell phones and non-prescription medicine (for example, in FY20 the Republican budget shows $1.2 billion deficit while the Democrat budget shows $1.4 billion deficit. In 2021, Republican budget shows $2 billion deficit while Democrat budget shows $2.1 billion deficit.) However, unlike the Democrat budget, the Republican budget also includes tax reductions to pension income, social security income, and inheritance/estate tax. We have heard our retirees and seniors loud and clear! They want to stay here and we want them here, too. These tax reductions contribute to the deficit on the surface because we are taking in less revenue, but they are likely to actually lower the deficit once implemented by sparking economic growth. In addition, the Republican budget contains a strict spending cap (as voted for nearly 25 years ago, but never enacted) and other long term structural changes to achieve future savings, restore confidence in our state, and therefore have a positive effect on the economy that cannot be calculated by OFA in the projections they show.

Does this budget change taxpayer funding for campaigns?

This budget eliminates taxpayer funding for political campaigns under the “Citizens Election Program” (CEP). The state cannot keep up with managing funds for this program that is a mere shadow of the original program meant to keep elections clean. In an extremely challenging budget year, this budget makes the decision to end taxpayer funding for political candidates – an expense which is expected to balloon to $50 million for the next election cycle with no additional money to be found in escheats which has previously funded the program. Democrats have actually underfunded this program in their own budget proposal by $10 million also putting the program in jeopardy because the state simply does not have the funds to support what this program has grown into.

Does this budget change teacher pension contributions?

This is not a tax on teachers. This budget does increase contributions teachers’ pay towards their own retirement from 6% to 8% at maximum, which remains below the national average of over 10% for teacher contributions. It was important in this budget to minimize the increase while also stabilizing this fund so the state can keep the promises it makes to our teachers who dedicate their lives to serving our state and its students. This is an increase that teachers pay into their own pensions; therefore it is all money that every single teacher gets back when they retire as it is part of their retirement savings. This is money that will be used to make the teachers’ pension plan more solvent and benefit teachers in the long run. In addition, this budget does not shift any teacher retirement costs onto towns and cities. Shifting any portion of this opens the door to more burdens being placed on municipalities and taxpayers. This is the state’s responsibility and we stood firm on not letting the state push off any amount of this obligation onto our cities and towns.

To make sure that the intentions behind the legislation adopted by the General Assembly are crystal clear, since partisan folks are distorting those intentions— the leadership of the Republican caucuses will put a request in writing immediately to the Teacher’s Retirement Board (TRB). While normally the TRB sets the state contribution amount every two years, this is too important to wait for the normal process. The money will be held in the General Fund UNTIL the TRB sets the amount as required.

Our intentions are crystal clear. This money will be deposited to the teacher’s pension fund, as was explained during the budget debate. Period.

Here is a link to the Teacher’s Retirement Systems latest evaluation: http://www.ct.gov/trb/lib/trb/forms…

THREE CHOICES FOR TEACHERS

  • Support the bipartisan budget that gradually increases the pension contributions for teachers 2%, while also keeping the income tax exemption of 50% promised in the last session. This budget also promises level funding for every school district.
  • Support the Democrats proposed budget that passes a significant portion of the teacher’s pension payments to local taxpayers and municipalities. This mandate will force towns to consider laying off teachers or programs and their education funding cuts many communities. It also fails to keep the promise to exempt 50% of their income tax, dropping it down to 25% retroactively to January 1st 2017.
  • Support the Governor’s Executive Order which slashed education funding by almost $600 million and passes the burden of the teacher’s pension fund onto taxpayers.

Local Legislators Hail Passage of Bipartisan Budget

Posted on September 20, 2017 by admin


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Urge Gov. Malloy to sign budget into law

Hartford – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78), Cara Pavalock D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) applauded passage of a bi-partisan budget that avoids new tax increases, preserves core social services, keeps commitments to education, provides stability for municipalities, and rejects Governor Malloy’s proposed shifting of teacher pension costs onto towns and cities.

The budget passed following a remarkable display of bipartisanship from Democrat Senators Hartley, Doyle and Slossberg, who joined their Republican colleagues to vote of 21-15 in favor of the bill. The document was later taken up by the House of Representatives and, after lengthy debate, was passed by a margin of 77 – 73 early Saturday morning.

“I am proud to stand in support of this bi-partisan budget which avoids cuts to municipal aid and school funding and rejects shifting the costs of the teacher’s retirement system on to towns, all of which would have been passed on to our taxpayers in the form of increased local taxes. We have instead provided the state of Connecticut with a plan and a path forward to lift Connecticut out of the fiscal mess we have been in for far too long. The legislature has done its work, and now it is up to the governor to act,” said Rep. Betts.

“This is a great day for the state of Connecticut. The budget that we passed does exactly what taxpayers have asked of us; it does not raise any new taxes and it restores education funding cuts. This plan provides the relief that our middle class and low and fixed income families have been asking for, and I am confident that this budget will put Connecticut on a stronger financial footing. I urge the governor to sign it,” Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato said.

Rep. Petit added, “The budget we passed restores the funding cuts that were made to municipalities and education, and implements the structural changes necessary to stop the fiscal bleeding and cycle of perpetual annual deficits.  It also keeps critical programs in our safety net, which so many of our residents rely on, intact. This budget was endorsed by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Council of Small Towns and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, who recognize that this budget will help move us toward prosperity.”

“This budget recognizes that Connecticut cannot survive the tax-and-spend policies of the past. The only way we can move forward is to reduce the cost of our bloated state government and prioritize how we spend taxpayer dollars. Our budget funds those priorities: education, municipalities, services for seniors and those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I believe this is the path we must take to stabilize the state’s economy,” said Senator Martin.

Highlights of the bi-partisan budget: 

Eliminates Social Security income tax and phases out tax on pension income for middle class
Restores funding for the state’s property tax credit in its entirety to all families and individuals
No increase or expansion of the state’s sales tax
No income tax increase
No new restaurant sales tax
No income tax increase
No secondary home tax
No cell phone tax
No increase to the cigarette tax
No new tax on nonprescription drugs
No new restaurant sales tax
No increase to the pistol permit fee
No increase to the hotel tax
No new fantasy sports tax

The budget moves to Governor Malloy’s desk where it awaits his signature, or sits for 30 days without signature, in order to go into effect.  Should, the governor veto the budget, it would return to the legislature for lawmakers  to either begin the budget process again, or override the veto with a two thirds vote of each chamber.

For more detailed information on the budget proposal, please visit: www.cthousegop.com/budget.

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Bristol/Plainville Legislators Slam Governor’s Hospital Tax Increase

Posted on September 8, 2017 by admin


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Proposal would hurt hospital employees, patients

State Representative Whit Betts (R-78), Representative Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and Representative William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) today joined State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) in denouncing Governor Malloy’s proposal to increase the tax on hospitals. They said the brunt of any tax increases would be borne by hospital staff and patients.

While the legislators said eliminating the proposed property tax on hospitals was a positive step, raising the hospital tax does as much damage. Bristol Hospital administrators blame the tax for a $3 million operating loss in 2016.

Sen. Martin said, “The Governor’s proposal is like one step forward and two steps backward. Small nonprofit hospitals like Bristol Hospital are struggling to stay afloat. But instead of throwing them a life preserver, Governor Malloy hands them an anchor.”

In a press conference, the Governor hospitals would benefit from the increase because the state would use the tax money to increase the Medicare rate it pays hospitals. This would result in higher federal Medicaid reimbursements to the state.

Sen. Martin said this is how the Governor first pitched the tax in 2011. However, since then, the hospitals have received less and less money.

Rep. Betts asked why the hospitals and legislators should trust the proposal this time.

“Our hospitals played this game of three-card Monte with Governor Malloy before. Just like any other gambling operation, the house always wins. The money never seems to get where it was promised to go,” Rep. Betts said. “It’s also a gamble for the Governor to think Medicaid payments will increase when the federal government is talking about cutting the program.”

Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato said that, while the Governor thinks he is squeezing money from hospitals, the hospital employees, the patients, and the communities are the ones that suffer.

“It’s the law of unintended consequences and we have seen it happen before,” Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato said. “In a community like Bristol, where our hospital is already operating at a loss, where does the Governor think administrators will get the money for more taxes? The hospital is Bristol’s second largest employer. These people need their jobs.”

Rep. Petit said many patients with private insurance already are struggling to keep up with rising premiums. An increase in the hospital tax will most likely cause an increase in patient costs.

“The Connecticut Hospital Association says the tax is costing patients $650 more each. How much more will this tax increase cost them?” Rep. Petit asked. “What does the Governor expect to happen to these patients when they can no longer afford the care they need?”

The legislators said tax increases like the hospital tax are hurting Connecticut’s economy.

Sen. Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.
Rep. Betts serves the communities of Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville.
Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato serves Bristol.
Rep. Petit serves the communities of Plainville and New Britain.

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Proposed Tax on Home Heating Oil

Posted on September 8, 2017 by admin


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A new CT tax on heating oil?

Really? Yes, really. 

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) released the Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES), a report released every 3 years, which states policy goals and proposals that DEEP would like the legislature to consider.

One of the proposals is to levy a fee (tax) on oil and propane heating customers.

If you, like me, are OPPOSED to a new CT tax on heating oil, here’s what you can do:

  1. Email a brief comment to DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov saying “I OPPOSE a new tax on CT heating oil!”
  2. Copy me on the email at Whit.Betts@cga.ct.gov
  3. Include your name and town
  4. Share this information with taxpayers and heating oil users so they can speak out

Please join me in saying “NO!” to this new tax!

Plymouth Legislators To Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on September 7, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, September 15 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).   

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns.

All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.
                                                                                                                                                                       

 

Bristol Legislators Host Workshop on Helping Residents Lower Electric Bills

Posted on September 1, 2017 by admin


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BRISTOL – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) recently hosted an informational workshop for area residents on how to lower your electric bill.

The legislators were joined by rate specialists from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) at the Bristol Senior Center to speak with guests and also answer their questions.

Anyone who may have missed the event but would like to speak with their legislator may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421. For more information, please visit: www.ct.gov/pura.

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Bristol Legislators to Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on August 29, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, September 1 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget crisis.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Betts, Martin Blast Malloy for Plymouth Education Funding Hit

Posted on August 22, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD —State Representative Whit Betts (R-78) and State Senator Henri Martin (R31) blasted Governor Malloy for his announcement last Friday that he would slash education funding to 139 municipalities across the state including Plymouth. Under the governor’s new plan, Plymouth would lose all of its Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding for FY 18 – a whopping $9.7 million hit.

Rep. Betts today stated, “Our state’s fiscal crisis continues to worsen because of the majority party’s failure to lead, and their inability to produce a state budget. While it is understandable that Governor Malloy has had to institute cuts as a result, it is unconscionable that those cuts would come at the expense of our students. What’s even more alarming is the impending bait and switch tactics that await taxpayers as Democrats prepare to offer a budget package that will undoubtedly include tax increases. I, along with my House Republican colleagues have offered not one, but three budget plans that did not increase taxes, and that attempted to begin the process of lowering costs dealing with collective bargaining. Had we been in the majority, the state would have had a budget in place by our June 7 deadline, and met our legislative obligations. Instead, we are left with a majority party that is in complete disarray and has yet to produce a viable state budget, and with a governor that has chosen to make towns pay for his fiscal mismanagement. Education funding is a priority and should never be held hostage to political maneuvers.”

Sen. Martin said, “With the start of school just around the corner, announcing that Plymouth will not receive any state aid is one of the most indefensible things I have seen Governor Malloy do. Judge Moukawsher’s recent court ruling calls for a new, fair education funding formula. But that’s not what the governor is doing. Instead he is perpetuating the problems of the old system by picking winners and losers based on no substantive formula. Instead of ensuring that all Connecticut students receive a good education, he would handicap the majority of our state’s students, especially those from towns that have been the most fiscally responsible. Instead of raising students’ educational opportunities in the neediest districts, he is lowering opportunities for the rest of the state’s schoolchildren. Republicans have proposed a new education spending formula that would provide sufficient funding for all schools in our state. This is the formula the state needs to adopt today.”

The legislators noted that had any of the budget proposals put forward by legislative Republicans since April been adopted, ECS funding to municipalities would have been preserved without raising taxes, and this cut to Plymouth’s education funding would have been unnecessary.

**END**

Plymouth Legislators To Host Friday Coffee Hour, 8/18

Posted on August 9, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, August 18 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns.

All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.
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Bristol Legislators to Host Workshop on How to Help Residents Lower Electric Bills

Posted on August 8, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) are inviting residents to join them for an informational workshop on how to lower your electric bill.

The event will take place on Tuesday, August 15, from 11:30am-12:30pm at the Bristol Senior Center (240 Stafford Avenue). Rate specialists from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will be on hand to answer questions and speak with guests.

This event is free of charge and open to the public.

Residents who have questions, or are unable to attend may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.
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Mark Your Calendars: ‘Tax Free Week’ 8/20-8/26

Posted on August 3, 2017 by admin


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With the start of another school year just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 20th through Saturday, August 26th.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35% 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: The threshold for this benefit has been substantially reduced from $300 in 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 wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

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

Please feel free to contact me regarding this or any state or local issue at 800-842-1423 or email whit.betts@housegop.ct.gov.

Bristol Legislators to Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on July 27, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, August4 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget crisis and the major issues that were debated during the 2017 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided. Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Local GOP Legislators: ‘We Are Ready to Lead’

Posted on July 13, 2017 by admin


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Urge majority party to call House Republican budget for vote

Hartford – In an effort to restore confidence in state government’s ability to get its fiscal house in order, local legislators joined their House Republican colleagues in outlining their no-tax increase proposal to balance the state budget over the next two years. The legislators urged majority party Democrats in the House to call the House Republican budget for a vote.

Following the presentation, State Representatives Whit Betts (R-76), Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) released the following statement:

“Our budget is ready to go, and we are ready to lead Connecticut. The need to vote now on a two year budget is essential in order to move our state forward, and we hope our Democratic colleagues share the same sense of urgency in doing this. Failure to act is an abdication of their legislative duties.

“Connecticut remains in a deepening fiscal crisis. We are now almost three weeks into the new fiscal year without a state budget. Taxpayers have made it crystal clear that they will not support tax increases to eliminate our $5.1 billion state deficit. Residents are understandably anxious and stressed, and continue to shoulder the burden that not having a budget imposes. Non-profit organizations, including community hospitals, are pleading with the legislature to adopt a state budget immediately as many programs that serve those most in need are closing.

“We have proposed a budget based on common sense ideas and based on no tax increases. We restore education funding to every city and town in the state, offer municipal mandate relief, and restore the property tax credit, all without raising one dime of tax on our residents.”

To date, there has been no budget proposal called for a vote by the Democratic majority party, and the governor, as of July 1, is ruling by executive order.

For detailed information on the House Republican budget proposal, please visit: www.cthousegop.com/klarides/housebudgetpresentation/#more-84813

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Plymouth Legislators Cancel July Coffee Hour

Posted on July 11, 2017 by admin


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Residents of Plymouth and Terryville, please note that the regularly scheduled monthly coffee hour at Eagle’s Nest Restaurant in Terryville has been cancelled for the month of July.

Any resident wishing to speak with their legislator may contact Rep. Betts at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.

Bristol Legislators Cancel July Coffee Hour

Posted on June 19, 2017 by admin


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Look Before You Lock

Posted on June 12, 2017 by admin


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With temperatures rising over 90 degrees this week, I wanted to take a moment to remind you about the dangers associated with leaving your child in a car.


The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is working with elected officials, safety groups and media influencers in a national effort to raise awareness regarding the importance of taking extra care to protect children from hot cars.

Last year, 39 children in the United States died from heatstroke due to being left unattended in a car. Children are more at risk for a number of reasons.

  • Their small bodies absorb heat more quickly – 3 to 5 times faster than adults.
  • Their perspiration doesn’t cool them as well as it does adults.
  • They can’t change their environment by removing clothing or getting out of the vehicle.


For more information, I encourage you to visit the Auto Alliance’s website by clicking here.  Their informational brochure can be found here.

Bristol Observer: Wheeler Clinic Presents Awards

Posted on June 7, 2017 by admin


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Article as it appeared in the Bristol Observer online
June 6, 2017

Connecticut State Representative Whit Betts (R-78), Cathryn Addy, Ph.D., president of Tunxis Community College and former member of the Wheeler Board of Trustees, and Gnazzo’s Food Center in Plainville were among six organizations and individuals to receive an award at Wheeler’s seventh annual Hands & Hearts reception in May at The Country Club of Farmington.

The event honors individuals and families, corporations and foundations for their outstanding support of Wheeler’s mission to provide equitable access to innovative care that improves health, recovery and growth at all stages of life.

“Whit and Jarre Betts have supported our continuum of services for many years. Whit understands the critical role that nonprofits like Wheeler play as cost-effective partners in the state system of care,” said Susan Walkama, LCSW, president and chief executive officer, Wheeler Clinic, according to a press release release. “This year, Whit has championed key legislative initiatives that recognize our capacity to deliver high-quality care for the state’s most vulnerable citizens and that promote our long-term fiscal health.”

“As a trustee from 2001 to 2011, Cathryn (Addy) helped to nurture Wheeler through a period of extraordinary growth and expansion,” said Walkama, according to a press release. “She has been an outstanding mentor and guide through the years, a collaborative partner in countless endeavors and she has been steadfast in her philanthropic support of our mission.”

“Whether it is the Plainville Community Fund, the Plainville Food Pantry, a Rotary Club Scholarship, Wheeler’s students and patients, or any one of countless community activities or local families in need, the Gnazzo family has opened their hearts and raised their hands to help,” said Walkama, in the press release. “As volunteers and as donors, as good citizens and as good neighbors, the Gnazzo family and Gnazzo’s Food Center embody what this award is all about.”

CT DOT: Proposed Tolling Locations Throughout Connecticut

Posted on June 6, 2017 by admin


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The debate on tolls is now underway in the General Assembly, HB 6058.

The residents of Connecticut should be fully informed of all plans so that they can provide feedback to their elected officials as to their support or opposition on this issue.

The CT DOT has proposed installing 72 tolls along major routes throughout Connecticut, including I-84, I-95, I-91, and Routes 2, 8, 9, and 11. The toll locations would not only be along the borders of our state, but also heavily scattered throughout.

Included below are two maps of CT Department of Transportation (DOT) proposed tolling locations along I-84 and I-95, in addition to the reports that detail the dynamic pricing (higher price during peak hours vs. lower price during non-peak hours).

The below report details plans and locations for toll booths on I-84 west of Hartford to New York.

This map shows proposed toll locations for I-84 West of Hartford.

CDM Smith was selected by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) to perform a congestion pricing study of the Interstate 84 Viaduct in Hartford under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP).

This study included the assembly and collection of traffic and travel time data, a stated preference survey to estimate motorists’ value of time in the study corridor, and a detailed traffic modeling and toll revenue evaluation for pricing alternatives.

I-95 Corridor Congestion Relief Study – Executive Summary

 

The below report details plans and locations for toll booths on I-95 and the Merrit Parkway from New York line to New Haven.

This map shows proposed toll locations on I-95 from the New York border to New Haven.

CDM Smith (Project Team) was also selected by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) to perform a corridor congestion relief study of Interstate 95 (I-95) and the Merritt Parkway (Route 15) from New Haven to the New York State Line under the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Value Pricing Pilot Program (VPPP).

This study included the assembly and collection of traffic and travel time data, a stated preference survey to estimate value of time in the study corridors, and a detailed traffic modeling and toll revenue evaluation for a variety of configuration and pricing alternatives. In addition to the I-95 findings discussed in this executive summary, several other study documents have been submitted covering current Federal tolling laws, the state of tolling readiness in Connecticut, and Public-Private Partnership approaches used for tolling.

Full Executive Summary

Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Hosting Event to Properly Retire Worn American Flags

Posted on June 6, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) has announced that he, along with Rep. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), is hosting an event to retire worn American flags. Anyone who has a tattered or worn American Flag is encouraged to bring them to the following drop off locations, where they will be collected for proper retirement:

Bristol
Bristol Town Hall
Main Entrance
111 North Main Street

The collection event will run through June 12.

Anyone with questions may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423.

Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Hail Passage of Legislation Providing Education Mandate Relief

Posted on June 2, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) earlier this week colleagues in the House of Representatives in passing legislation aimed at providing education mandate relief for municipalities.

“Since 2011, education officials and the mayors from Bristol and Plymouth have repeatedly asked state government to provide financial relief from expensive state unfunded mandates, and I am really pleased to report some of their requests have been granted by the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Betts, a co-sponsor of the bill. I hope this breakthrough of receiving legislative relief from state unfunded mandates is the beginning of a new attitude that will continue for the next few years. The financial savings from unfunded state mandates come at a crucial time as state funding to municipalities has become unpredictable and uncertain.”

“I proudly supported this bill throughout the committee process, where we heard from several superintendents and town officials during public hearings about the immediate need for education mandate relief in our communities,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato, also a co-sponsor of the bill and member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee. “The bill potentially has an estimated savings of up to $400,000 for the Bristol Board of Education. It provides more local control, without burdensome state mandates, to ensure the highest quality education for our children.”

The proposal, HB 7276, An Act Concerning Education Mandate Relief, includes recommendations from school superintendents, administrators, teachers, Board of Education members, parents, and advocates.

The bill’s provisions include:

  • Eliminate the requirement for school districts to adopt a regional calendar
  • Require the state to purchase one digital school management and reporting software system
  • Provide a digital school management and reporting software system at no cost to districts; allowing districts to decide how they provide education to expelled students
  • Allow districts to focus training in procedures for handling highly sensitive behavioral issues on staff who have direct contact with students

The bill is supported by Connecticut Council of Small Towns (COST). The measure passed out of the House of Representatives and awaits further action by the Senate.

The 2017 legislative session adjourns on June 7.

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Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Celebrate CT Manufacturing

Posted on May 25, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD- State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) attended Manufacturing Innovation Day at the State Capitol last week.

Betts and Pavalock met with their local manufacturer, Bauer, Inc., a premier global leader in providing the aviation industry with expert test solutions for fuel, lubrication, pneumatic, and electro-mechanical applications.
(more…)

Reps. Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Unveil Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget Proposal

Posted on May 23, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD- State Representatives Whit Betts(R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) joined their House Republican colleagues last week to issue their revised no-tax-increase budget for 2018-19 that eliminates the projected $5 billion budget deficit, increases school funding for all towns, reduces the corporate surcharge and mitigates municipal aid losses by reallocating funds.

“Taxpayers from Bristol and Plymouth did not cause the fiscal crisis in our state budget and they have repeatedly asked me not support any more taxes on them. The House Republican revised budget proposal represents exactly what taxpayers are demanding – no more tax increases,” said Rep. Betts.

“Our budget not only restores aid to our municipalities, it also increases Education Cost Sharing funding to ensure that our school systems have the resources they need to provide the best possible education to our students. This is a common sense budget that does not increase taxes while closing our $5 billion deficit, and I am hopeful that my colleagues in the House and Senate will consider our proposals,” said Rep. Pavalock D’Amato.

In this current proposal, Republicans revert back to the former Education Cost Sharing formula, while also adding $20 million to the distribution.  In addition, the proposal establishes a $90 million grant in order to ensure that no municipality loses aid compared to the current fiscal year.

Other structural changes include:

  • Implements a strict Constitutional Spending Cap
  • Reduces bond issuance cap from $2 billion to $1.3 billion for each fiscal year
  • Ensures municipalities are held harmless
  • Establishes a wage freeze for state employees, but no layoffs

Republicans now join Democrats and Gov. Malloy at the negotiating table to come up with a final budget plan that can pass both the House and Senate.

For more information on the House Republican budget proposal, please visitwww.cthousegop.com/budget.

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Pavalock-D’Amato, Betts Hail Passage of Legislation Supporting Increased Teacher Training in Interventions for Students with Dyslexia

Posted on May 18, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD- State Representatives Cara Christine Pavalock (R-77) and Whit Betts (R-78) hailed the passage of legislation which establishes additional requirements for teachers seeking special education endorsements and instruction in detecting and recognizing students with dyslexia. The bill was signed into law by the governor yesterday.

“Early detection is key to helping students with dyslexia be successful, as the research shows that early, intensive intervention can help a student keep up and retain his or her grade level in school,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato, a co-sponsor of the bill and member of the legislature’s Education Committee. “I proudly co-sponsored this legislation not only in support of our young learners, but also in support of our educators. It is equally important that we do all we can to support teachers by providing them with proper training and resources they need to help students with dyslexia be successful.”

The law, Public Act 17-3, An Act Requiring Special Education Teachers to Complete a Program of Study in Evidence-Based Structured Literacy Interventions for Students with Dyslexia, passed out of both the House of Representatives and the Senate with unanimous, bipartisan support. The measure requires teachers applying for professional certification with a comprehensive special education or integrated early childhood and special education endorsement to complete a program of study in the diagnosis and remediation of reading and language arts that includes supervised practicum hours and instruction in the detection and recognition of, and evidence-based structured literacy interventions for, students with dyslexia.

Rep.Betts, also a co-sponsor of the bill and member of the legislature’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee added, “It is my hope that this legislation will support students by ensuring that their teachers will have the training needed to identify students who may be at risk and in need of intervention so that they do no fall behind in their learning.”

Dyslexia affects 20% of the United States population and is the most common learning disability. National Institutes of Health (NIH) research cites that of those who are placed in special education for a learning disability, around 80% of those have dyslexia.

The legislative session adjourns at midnight on June 7th.

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Free Dental Care for Veterans

Posted on May 17, 2017 by admin


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Aspen Dental’s National Day of Service will take place on Saturday, June 24th this year. On this day, nearly 450 Aspen Dental-branded practices in 35 states will be giving free care to veterans. We are lucky to have participating practices in Bristol as well as close by Farmington and Waterbury. Interested veterans should call 1-844-AspenHMM (1-844-277-3646) to schedule an appointment in advance – space is limited and appointments are filling up fast! 

Please also spread the word and pass along this information to those who may benefit.

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The Healthy Mouth Movement (HMM) is a community-giving initiative launched in 2014 to deliver free dental care to thousands of people in need in communities across the U.S., and oral health education to millions more. Since 2014, nearly 12,000 patients have received free dental care through the HMM – an initiative that has spanned 33 states, resulting in more than $7.5 million dollars in free dental care, thanks to the generosity of dentists and team members from Aspen Dental practices across the U.S.

Individuals who want a healthy mouth often struggle to find oral health care when they need it due to limited access to dentists, high costs, or lack of insurance. Those barriers kept more than 155 million American adults from visiting a dentist in the past year – just over half the adult population in the U.S.  Among those are veterans, a patient population that resonated deeply with the volunteers from Aspen Dental practices because veterans do not receive dental care benefits through the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs unless they are 100 percent disabled or have a service-related injury to their mouths.

Bristol Legislators to Host June Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on May 17, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, June 2 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget and the major issues being debated as the 2017 legislative session comes to a close on June 7.
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Betts, Martin Welcome Plymouth Seniors to State Capitol

Posted on May 15, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78, at left) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31, at center) welcomed members from the Plymouth Senior Center to the State Capitol last week.

The group had the opportunity to speak with their legislators during a busy day as both the House of Representatives and Senate were in session.

 

Plymouth Legislators To Host May Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on May 15, 2017 by admin


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Plymouth – The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Plymouth legislators on Friday, May 19 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.
(more…)

State Rep. Betts and Sen. Martin Celebrate Bristol Soup Kitchen Grand Opening

Posted on May 5, 2017 by admin


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Bristol – State Representative Whit Betts (R-78) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) attended the Grand Opening of the Salvation Army’s Bristol Soup Kitchen Thursday. The ceremony celebrated the charitable work the Army performs in the community.  

“For more than a century, the Salvation Army has played a valuable role in the Bristol community,” Rep. Betts said. “You help the homeless and the addicted and provide youth with guidance and opportunities. You never turn anyone away and believe that no one is beyond helping. You truly do God’s work and we are fortunate to have you here.”
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Betts, Martin Support Manufacturing in Bristol

Posted on May 5, 2017 by admin


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BRISTOL – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-Bristol) and State Sen. Henri Martin ( R-Bristol) recently spent time touring DaCruz Manufacturing and Patriot Manufacturing, located in Bristol. The legislators had the opportunity to speak with company administrators at length about manufacturing in Connecticut and specifically, employment needs for a highly skilled workforce. The lawmakers also discussed how the legislature can be helpful to support manufacturing companies like DaCruz and Patriot, and the state manufacturing industry.

“Connecticut’s rich history is rooted in manufacturing as both an important part of the economy and of our communities.  Manufacturing companies like DaCruz Manufacturing and Patriot Manufacturing have been a local employers of our residents for decades, and have been contributing members of the greater Bristol community and economy. I will continue my support for policies which expand manufacturing training and recruitment in the field, in order to meet the employment demands of our local and statewide manufacturers for a skilled workforce,” said Rep. Betts, a member of the legislature’s Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee. Sen. Martin also acknowledged his long-standing support for local manufacturing.

“We are fortunate that Bristol is home to so many manufacturing businesses that serve as major employers for our residents,” Sen. Martin said.  “In order to grow our manufacturing base, I will continue to support legislation that reduces the tax burden and unnecessary government regulations. I also will support proposals to increase technology training in our public schools and recruitment of students to manufacturing fields. We need to let students know there are alternatives to college that can place them in highly-skilled, well-paying careers.”

According to the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, more than one-half of the top 100 companies headquartered in Connecticut are manufacturing firms.
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Photo 1: Rep. Betts and Sen. Martin are DaCruz Manufacturing President, Victor DaCruz (at right) and Product Manager, Parrish Castor (at left).

Photo 2: Rep. Betts and Sen. Martin speak with machinists at Patriot Manufacturing in Bristol.

 

Tax Freedom Day 2017: May 21

Posted on May 5, 2017 by admin


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Connecticut Residents Still Have the Heaviest Tax Burden in the United States
… and it’s Getting Worse

According to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group, Connecticut continues to have the latest “Tax Freedom Day” of any state in the nation. Tax Freedom Day is the day each year when the average citizen has made enough money to pay their combined local, state and federal tax bills.

With the highest tax burden per capita of any state in the nation, it’s no wonder our Tax Freedom Day comes later than any other stateMay 21.

Connecticut has maintained this abysmal distinction for more than 6 years, and continues to edge closer and closer to June.

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‘Confident Connecticut’ Republican Budget Proposal

Posted on May 2, 2017 by admin


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The ‘Confident Connecticut’ Republican budget proposal can be viewed
here.

Creates Stability for Towns and Cities

The “Confident Connecticut” budget rejects a proposal to require municipalities to assume a portion of the costs associated with teachers’ retirement. This will save towns from over $400 million in new financial burdens in year one – a savings that multiplies significantly each year in the future. This budget eliminates the state’s Municipal Revenue Sharing Account program and instead reformulates municipal funding by establishing a new education funding formula and Urban Improvement Grant. Almost all municipalities fare significantly better than under the governor’s proposal. No towns receive less state funding in fiscal year 2018 than enacted in fiscal year 2017. The budget also contains municipal mandate relief to help towns manage their budgets and identify savings for local taxpayers.

Enhances Education Aid
This budget includes a fully revised Education Cost Sharing Formula that takes into account factors regarding CCJEF and Meskill court decisions, enrollment, poverty and wealth. In addition, this budget dedicates $33.6 million more to education in fiscal year 2018 and $136.6 million more in fiscal year 2019. Once fully implemented, the state will be spending $678.7 million more on education funding under this proposal. In 2018 all towns and cities will either be held harmless or gain more funding for education needs.

Protects Hospitals
This budget rejects a proposal to eliminate the tax exempt status for hospitals, and therefore protects hospitals from being subject to a new local tax. This budget preserves the small hospital pool to protect funding for community hospitals and does not increase the current hospital tax. It also reinstates hospital Payment in Lieu of Taxes to towns and cities.

Protects Core Services
Budgeting is about priorities. This budget prioritizes core social services for the most vulnerable as well as important health and public safety programs. In order to preserve the safety net of services for the disabled, poor, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty, this budget rejects proposed cuts to many direct services and restores funding for core functions of government. For example, this budget fully funds Meals on Wheels, Care4Kids, day services and employment opportunities for those with developmental disabilities, and mental health and substance abuse grants.

Prioritizes Transportation 
This budget would enact the Republican “Prioritize Progress” transportation funding plan which dedicates $63 billion to transportation needs over 30 years without tolls or new taxes. In addition to the funding plan, this budget includes a plan to make the state’s Special Transportation Fund solvent in future years by dedicating transportation related revenue to the fund and weening the General Fund off of transportation related revenue. Currently, the fund is in danger of being in deficit by fiscal year 2020. This budget resolves that issue for future years.

Implements Structural Changes
In addition to addressing the deficit over the next two years, this budget includes changes to the structure of government that will roll out into the future to create significant savings for future generations. Recognizing that the state desperately needs to think about the current size and shape of state government, this budget recommends consolidating duplicative administrative functions and privatizing certain functions to best protect core services and enhance efficiencies. In addition, this budget contains an extensive list of policy changes to put the state on a better path in future years.

DOCUMENTATION

Revenue Comparison: Governor’s Proposal vs. Republican Plan – This document shows a comparison between the Governor’s proposed revenue policy changes and the changes in the Republican budget proposal.

Policy Comparison: Governor’s Proposal vs. Republican Plan – This document shows a comparison between the Governor’s proposed spending policy changes and the changes in the Republican budget proposal. There are other “Current Services” changes to programs that are not in this document. Current Services changes are technical, such as the fiscal impact of changes in caseload or updated estimates in spending related to certain programs.

ECS.FormulaThis is a detailed description of the ECS formula proposed as part of the Republican budget.

Education FundingThis document shows a comparison between Current Year, Governor’s Recommended, and Republican budget ECS and Special Education funding for each town.

Total Municipal AidThis document shows the overall impact of ALL municipal aid changes in the Republican budget, including education funding. It compares GOP budget amounts to the amounts for the Current Year, as well as the amounts proposed by Governor Malloy.

Special Transporation Fund & Prioritize ProgressThis document shows the overall budget information for the Special Transportation Fund. It also has some details about the Prioritize Progress transportation infrastructure plan.

Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato, Martin Support Republican ‘No Tax Increase’ Proposed Budget

Posted on April 28, 2017 by admin


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Lawmakers Stand Up for Taxpayers, Bristol Hospital

HARTFORD- State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) along with State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) stood arm-in-arm with their House and Senate Republican colleagues and put forward a balanced, no tax increase budget which sets the Connecticut on a new fiscal course.

The proposed budget comes as Connecticut stands on the brink of fiscal disaster and faces a $3 billion budget deficit that seems to grow by the day.  The budget provides a blueprint to move the state away from years of tax increases and unsustainable budget that have cost Connecticut businesses and residents. “In response to my constituents and all Connecticut taxpayers, the Republican budget we’ve proposed today meets their demand of no tax increases and cuts government spending,” said Rep. Betts. “As important, our budget strongly supports our community hospitals, including Bristol Hospital, which have been under constant attack by Gov. Malloy. This is a responsible plan which provides a roadmap to put Connecticut back on solid fiscal ground.”

“The Republican budget protects taxpayers in Bristol and across Connecticut by rejecting the governor’s budget, which included a $400 million proposal requiring towns and cities to fund the teacher’s pensions,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato. “This proposal by the governor, if adopted, would have forced Bristol to significantly increase property taxes on Bristol taxpayers. Our proposed Republican plan is a fully vetted and balanced budget which maintains core services and eliminates wasteful spending.”
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Local Legislators Support State Tourism

Posted on April 26, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) joined fellow members of the General Assembly’s Tourism Caucus in a meeting at the State Capitol earlier this week. The legislators heard from President of the Connecticut Tourism Coalition, Stephen Tagliatela, who warned that Connecticut risks losing tourism dollars to neighboring states unless the state provides more support for an industry that brings in $1.7 billion a year in tax revenues.  While concern over the state budget crisis is prompting questions on funding for state tourism, the lawmakers agreed that tourism is an important part of the state and local economy.

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Bristol Legislators to Host May Coffee Hour

Posted on April 25, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, May 5 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget and the major issues that are shaping the 2017 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Veterans Events This Week: Career Fair & Small Business Series

Posted on April 24, 2017 by admin


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I would like to make you aware of some fantastic upcoming events this week to assist Veterans.

Veterans have the opportunity to explore a wide range of careers at the 2017 Heroes 4 Hire Veterans Career Fair.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 25th 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

WHERE: Rentschler Field, 615 Silver Lane, East Hartford

Some of the more than 75 employers participating in this years event include:

ESPN
Farmers Insurance
Eversource
FedEx
Foxwoods / Mohegan Sun
People’s Bank
Pratt & Whitney / Sikorsky

For a full list of participating employers, click here.

Additionally, the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting two days of training, workshops and resources for Connecticut Veteran entrepreneurs and business owners.

The two-part event will take place on Wednesday, April 26 and Thursday, April 27 and will be held at the CT DVA located at 287 West Street in Rocky Hill.

See the flyer below for more information:

 

Women-Owned Business Day at State Capitol, 5/3

Posted on April 18, 2017 by admin


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House Republican Leader Themis Klarides and Representative Patricia Billie Miller are co-chairing this year’s Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) annual Women-Owned Business Day at the Capitol – and you’re invited!

When: Wednesday, May 3, 2017, from 9:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where: Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT

Please note that pre-registration is required at no charge. 

WBDC, in a partnership with CTNext, want you to become a VIP Delegate for this event and gain the opportunity of connecting with the largest organization in Connecticut dedicated to women’s economic equity.

Delegates will be able to:

  • Hear from national thought leaders on policy issues facing women business owners
  • Learn about the only Microloan Fund in Connecticut for women entrepreneurs
  • Meet with elected officials, community leaders and other entrepreneurs from across the state

The keynote speaker will be Esther Morales, Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). Other attendees include Glendowlyn Thames, Executive Director of CTNext and Fran Pastore, President & CEO of WBDC. The following organizations have also partnered for this event: University of Hartford Women’s Business CenterYale Entrepreneurial InstituteWest Hartford Chamber of CommerceConnecticut InnovationsU.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), The Refinery and reSET.

Please take advantage of this interactive, empowering discussion with key national and state leaders about the economic clout of women entrepreneurs.

State Reps. Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato: Sign Our Petitions and Say ‘No’ to Taxing Bristol Hospital

Posted on April 13, 2017 by admin


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The petition may be signed by visiting either legislator’s website: www.repbetts.com or www.reppavalock.com.

Hartford – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) are asking residents to sign their petition, and join them in the fight against taxing Bristol Hospital and all community hospitals across the state.

The governor’s proposed budget again includes a plan to levy taxes against Bristol Hospital and all community hospitals across the state as a means of revenue generation. In response, Bristol Hospital says the governor’s tax plan could put it out of business. The current proposal calls for the elimination of the Small Hospital Pool, which would cost the hospital $2.3 million. When added to the existing $1.8 million lost this year, Bristol Hospital stands to lose nearly $5 million.

The hospital “wouldn’t have a dime for emergency expenses, let alone property taxes” the governor’s budget expects each hospital to pay. If allowed to go into effect, Bristol Hospital would “essentially be taxed out of business,” said Kurt Barwis, President and CEO of the hospital. The legislators stated, “The governor’s administration continues to look to hospitals as cash cows to balance the state budget. We will continue to fight AGAINST these proposals, which look to balance the budget on the health and well-being of our residents! Our community hospitals are vital resources to the people they serve, and they are some of our largest employers.”

The staff and administration from Bristol Hospital, and area hospitals across the state, recently visited the State Capitol to participate in CT Hospital Day. The petition may be signed by visiting either legislator’s website: www.repbetts.com or www.reppavalock.com.

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Plymouth Legislators To Host April Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on April 12, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, April 21 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.

Area Legislators Welcome Bristol Hospital to State Capitol

Posted on April 6, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78), Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) recently met with administrators, officials, and staff from hospitals across the state, including Bristol Hospital, during Connecticut Hospital Day at the State Capitol.

The group lobbied against the governor’s budget proposals regarding hospital funding which would allow municipalities to tax non-profit hospitals, as well as a reduction in grants. Hospital officials expressed concern regarding the fiscal impact such policies would have on their ability to deliver services and care for residents.

The lawmakers reiterated their support for Bristol Hospital, as it plays a major role in the community, both economically and in supporting community health.

Betts: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted on April 6, 2017 by admin


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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council is sponsoring a “Take Back Your Drive Pledge.”

An estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phones, according to the National Safety Council, and 34 percent of teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving; 52 percent have said they have talked on the phone. 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

 

 Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for a first offense$300 for a second offense, and $500 for each subsequent violation. Connecticut has also implemented a first-in-the-nation system that allows offenses to affect a violator’s car insurance premium.

Expect that police departments in our area will be cracking down on drivers endangering public safety this month. Extra patrols, spotters, and stationary police vehicles will be prominently placed throughout our town, and the state.

Please do not drive distracted – not this month, not ever. It is unsafe and endangers both fellow motorists and pedestrians. 

Join me in taking the National Safety Council’s pledge to be an attentive driver by clicking below: 

 

Bristol Press: Bristol Hospital officials bring budget concerns to state’s attention

Posted on April 6, 2017 by admin


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Bristol Hospital officials bring budget concerns to state’s attention

Article as published in The Bristol Press
Wednesday, 5 April 2017
Written by JUSTIN MUSZYNSKI ,
STAFF WRITER

HARTFORD – Leadership from Bristol Hospital on Wednesday made a trip to Hartford to voice concerns to local legislators about an aspect of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget proposal that would allow municipalities to levy property taxes against nonprofit hospitals.

“We generate about $6 million a year in cash,” said Kurt Barwis, president and CEO of Bristol Hospital, during the annual Hospital Day event at the Capitol. “Now this tax that is affecting the positive cash flow of the hospital; from an accounting standpoint, you are ultimately strangling this organization.”

Barwis added, “With the governor’s proposal, when you add up all the new taxes, the net burden goes from $7.5 million to more than $10 million a year – it’s not like we can pass that tax on to anybody. We have patients who are struggling with high-deductible plans and those who are uninsured. We ultimately get taxed to death.”

Barwis was joined Wednesday by 18 other employees of Bristol Hospital and Health Care Group. Hospital Day is used for leadership officials to meet with their legislators and discuss any concerns. This year’s main issue was Malloy’s budget proposal, which looks to attack a $1.7 billion deficit in the upcoming fiscal year. A portion of the proposal would allow municipalities to impose property taxes on nonprofit hospitals.

It is estimated that hospitals around the state would pay roughly $212 million in real estate taxes. In return, through a federal matching program, the state would pay the hospitals about $88 million and an additional $162 million would come from federal aid.

Malloy’s office has said the costs hospitals would incur by losing a real estate tax exemption would be offset by supplemental payments they would receive.

Legislators and hospital leaders are skeptical of this.

“This year, hospitals are faced with the potential of new and increased taxes, on top of the current hospital tax of $556 million a year,” said Michele Sharp, vice president of communications of the Connecticut Hospital Association – which hosts Hospital Day. “The tax hurts patient access to care, and it makes care more expensive. Connecticut residents already pay more than $650 more for care each year because of the hospital tax – they can’t afford more taxes. We need the state to stop taxing hospitals for the care they provide to patients.”

Legislators in attendance included state Sen. Henri Martin, R-Bristol, and state Reps. Whit Betts, R-Bristol, and William Petit Jr., R-Plainville.

“There is not a person in the caucus who will vote for this budget,” Betts said. “We should not be having this conversation. Hospitals are long-term, not year to year.”

Petit said he is also objected to taxing hospitals.

“Taxing these institutions is the wrong way to go,” Petit said. “We need to find other mechanisms for funding and begin to rein in our spending.”

Martin added, “The hospitals are losing because the state is financially unstable. All roads lead back to the Capitol and we are in a fiscal mess.”

Martin also encouraged community members to visit BristolHospital.org to take part in the hospital’s letter-writing campaign in opposition of Malloy’s proposed hospital property tax. Since February, 8,300 emails have been sent in this campaign.

“Keep sending those emails opposing this budget because you make a difference and all the legislators see those messages,” Martin said.

 

Local Legislators Brief Taxpayers

Posted on April 3, 2017 by admin


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Bristol – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) update Bristol taxpayers during a recent ‘Pints & Politics’ event held at One Fifty Central (150 Central St., Bristol). The legislators had the opportunity to discuss the latest from the 2017 legislative session at the State Capitol, including the state budget, and fielded questions from residents in attendance. Anyone who was unable to attend but would like to speak with their legislator may do so at 800-842-1423 for Rep. Betts or 800-842-1421 for Sen. Martin.

Reps. Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato Promote Awareness of CT Safe Haven Law

Posted on April 3, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – In honor of the second annual Safe Haven Awareness Day on April 4, State Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) are joining legislators from districts throughout Connecticut in urging public education on the importance of this lifesaving bill.

“I am a very strong supporter of doing anything we can to preserve the life of a newborn baby,” said Rep. Betts.  “There are so many people waiting to adopt babies and I believe these babies would be welcomed into a loving and caring family environment. I urge anyone who does not wish to, or is incapable of taking care of a newborn baby, to please bring the baby to Bristol Hospital or their local hospital, so that it can be take care of and placed with a loving family.”

Since its passage in 2000, Connecticut’s Safe Havens law has saved 27 infants from abandonment and near certain death. The parents, too, of these infants have been saved from possible incarceration and a life overshadowed by the crime of neonaticide, committed in a moment of panic.

“It is so important that people are aware that this law exists and that safe havens are available in Bristol and across the state to help people in dire need of this safe alternative to abandoning their baby,” said Rep. Pavalock-D’Amato. “The sad reality is that many unwanted babies have been left in life-threatening danger, most recently, in Harwinton where an infant baby boy’s body was found in the reservoir. This law provides a safe alternative and an anonymous way for parents to give up their children so they can be taken care of.”

The Safe Haven law, enacted in 2000, helps prevent the crime of neonaticide by allowing anyone to drop off a newborn baby (within the first 30 days of life) at any hospital emergency room in Connecticut. The person dropping off the baby — whether it’s the infant’s mother, father, grandparents or a family friend — will be given a bracelet matching one put on the infant by hospital staff. The police will not be called and no one will be arrested, assuming the infant has not been abused. If the parents of the child change their minds within 30 days, they may petition to get the baby back.

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Bristol Legislators To Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on March 28, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, April 7 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget and the major issues that are shaping the 2017 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns.

Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Betts Testifies in Support of Bill to Repeal Business Entity Tax

Posted on March 27, 2017 by admin


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Hartford State Rep. Whit Betts (R-Bristol) testified recently during a public hearing before the legislature’s Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee in support of his proposal calling for the repeal of the business entity tax. Specifically, House Bill 6372 An Act Repealing the Business Entity Tax, would repeal the current law, which requires small businesses to pay $250 bi-annually for the ability to operate.

In his remarks, Representative Betts stated the following:

“The legislature has a real opportunity to act in an intentional way to help owners of small businesses that have been paying this discriminatory tax for the ‘privilege’ of operating a company in this state. Small businesses are the engine of CT’s economy, yet this state continues to engage in anti-business policies that show we are closed for business.” “Repealing this very unfair tax will show small businesses – especially in Bristol and Plymouth – the importance the General Assembly attaches to the vital role they play in producing jobs and revenue in our state economy.”

Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) Counsel Louise DiCocco also presented testimony before the committee in support of this bill stating the Business Entity Tax continues to irritate Connecticut’s small businesses—on top of the many other taxes and fees they already pay in Connecticut.

“While some may suggest it is a ‘nominal’ fee, to most small business owners operating on very thin profit margins, putting the $250 back in their checkbook would be more than welcome and useful,” DiCocco said. “Beyond the cost savings, repealing the Business Entity Tax would be notable for the message that it sends to small businesses in Connecticut and outside our state as well— that Connecticut is open and welcomes small businesses.” The bill awaits further action by the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

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Bristol Legislators Invite Residents to ‘Pints and Politics’

Posted on March 23, 2017 by admin


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Hartford State Reps. Whit Betts (R-76) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) have announced that they will be hosting a Pints and Politics event on Tuesday, March 28 at 5pm at One Fifty Central (150 Central St., Bristol).

The event will allow residents the opportunity speak with the legislators and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol in a relaxed setting. The lawmakers will discuss the issues and debates shaping the 2017 legislative session, including municipal funding and state budget issues.

The event is free and open to residents only. Light refreshments will be served.

Anyone unable to attend but would like to speak with their legislators regarding a legislative or local issue may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.

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Plymouth Legislators To Host April Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on March 23, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, April 21 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.

State Reps. Piscopo, Betts Welcome Wamogo Vo-Ag Students to State Capitol

Posted on March 21, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – State Representatives John Piscopo (R-76) and Whit Betts (R-78) welcomed Vocational Agriculture (Vo-Ag) students from Wamogo Regional High School to the State Capitol last week. The students were visiting during the state’s annual Ag Day, a day which serves to celebrate agriculture in Connecticut, and highlight the state’s various agricultural programs  by the more than 50 organizations and state and federal agencies in attendance  from across Connecticut. The students had the opportunity to meet with Reps. Piscopo and Betts, and speak with them about the Vo-Ag program at Wamogo, advocating not only  for the program, but also for increasing the number of students accepted into the program from Litchfield and surrounding towns.

According to the school’s website, Wamogo serves students from Warren, Morris and Goshen Connecticut. Children from seven additional towns may apply to the national award winning Agri-science program. In addition to the comprehensive course of study, students in Agri-science choose courses in mechanics, natural resources, animal science and horticulture.

For more information, visit: wrhs.rsd6.org

 
Pictured (front, L-R) with Rep. Piscopo (back, left) and Rep. Betts (back, right) is Freshman, Connor Kennedy and his sister, Junior, Tabitha Kennedy of Terryville, and Senior, Brooke Healy of Litchfield.

 

Rep. Betts to Host March Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on March 15, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the State Rep. Whit Betts on Friday, March 17 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislator” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislator in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423  to discuss any legislative concerns.

Lawmakers Host ‘Meet Your Legislator’ Event for Crowley Employees

Posted on March 13, 2017 by admin


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State Reps. David Wilson (R-Litchfield) and Whit Betts (R-Bristol) hosted a ‘Meet Your Legislators’ event recently at the Crowley Dodge, Jeep, Chrysler dealership located in Bristol.  Rep. Wilson’s constituent and dealership owner, Ken Crowley, hosted the event to give dealership staff, the ability to speak with the legislators about legislative issues affecting the auto industry.

While Wilson and Betts gave a brief overview of the latest legislative updates, including the state budget situation, discussion centered mainly on opposition by those in attendance to Tesla’s further expansion within Connecticut.  The lawmakers expressed their support for the employees, and the encouraged them to continue voicing their opinions.

Crowley is the number one dealership of Dodge, Jeep and Chryslers in New England. They have been located in Bristol for 47 years.

Bristol Legislators Cancel Pints and Politics Event

Posted on March 13, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – State Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock (R-77) and Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) have announced that, due to the impending snow storm, the Pints & Politics event scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday, March 14 at One Fifty Central (150 Central St., Bristol) has been cancelled.

Any resident who would like to speak with their legislator about any thoughts or concerns may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock at 800-842-1423 and Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.

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State Reps. Pavalock-D’Amato, Betts, and Petit Welcome Central CT Chamber to State Capitol

Posted on March 10, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Reps. Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-Bristol), Whit Betts (R-Bristol) and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-Plainville) welcomed Central CT Chamber of Commerce members to the State Capitol during the annual CT Business Day.  The legislators, who were in session in the House Chamber, took a moment to meet with Board Chair, Susan Sadecki, CEO, Cindy Scoville, and several group members and introduced them on floor of the House of Representatives.

Betts, Pavalock-D’Amato and Petit thanked the group for their advocacy on behalf of businesses in CT, and encouraged them to continue to work with their legislators to focus on stimulating the economy, and removing the unnecessary barriers of unfunded mandates so that business can grow and create jobs.

Bristol Legislators To Host Pints and Politics

Posted on March 9, 2017 by admin


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HartfordState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock (R-77) and Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Bristol residents to join them for a Pints & Politics event on Tuesday, March 14 at One Fifty Central (150 Central St., Bristol).

The public is invited at 5:00 p.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget and the major issues that are shaping the 2017 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Light refreshments will be provided.

Those unable to attend but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Reps. Betts and Pavalock at 800-842-1423 and Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.

Due to the possibility of inclement weather, please check www.RepBetts.com, www.RepPavalock.com, or www.Sen.Martin.com for any cancellation.

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Op-Ed: Taxpayers Ignored Again – Forced To Pay $11 Billion More to State Pensions

Posted on February 27, 2017 by admin


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On February 8, 2017, the General Assembly convened for a legislative session. On that day the majority party (Democrat legislators from the House and the Senate) approved a proposal that requires CT taxpayers to pay an additional $11 billion to the state pension fund by pushing payments out an additional 15 years as a result of a refinancing agreement in exchange for a mere $575 million in savings over the next two years.

This is no deal for the taxpayers of Connecticut, nor do the ends justify the means here. It is my understanding that in the short term, this savings will be applied to our ballooning state deficit of $3 billion over this year and next year. However, in an attempt to balance the budget, the legislature has tacked on an additional $11 billion in debt. That does not sound like a responsible solution that will bring about financial stability in our state. Instead, we have pushed off our financial obligations by refinancing our debt and tacked on another 15 years to pay the loan.

I am deeply concerned about this action and the long-term implications it will have. The taxpayers of Connecticut are being completely ignored and their financial interests are not being well represented by their elected officials as evidenced by this injustice committed against them in one single vote. Those who are supposed to be leading the economic turnaround have done the exact opposite with this unconscionable vote to again increase the financial liability of taxpayers, this time, by an additional $11 billion. The residents I continue to hear from in district at coffee hours and events express their concern about being overtaxed with no relief in sight. They are concerned about their ability to afford living in Connecticut, and many of them have expressed increasing consideration of moving out of this state if economic conditions do not improve.

The clear winners from this agreement are the state employees and the state government. The majority party Democrats have ensured that you and I, and our children, and our grandchildren will have to foot the bill for these pensions for the next 30 years.

Despite what has transpired, I will continue to fight for sound fiscal policies and solutions that will provide long-term sustainability and ease the tax burdens of Connecticut taxpayers.

Sincerely,

Rep. Whit Betts
78th District – Bristol, Plymouth, & Terryville

Bristol Delegation To Host Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on February 27, 2017 by admin


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BristolState Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) invite Plainville residents to join them for a Coffee Hour on Friday, March 3 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The public is invited for coffee and conversation from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. to meet with their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol, including the state budget and the major issues that are shaping the 2017 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any legislative or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those unable to attend the event but would like to discuss any concerns may contact Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato at 800-842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Public Hearings This Week at the State Capitol

Posted on February 22, 2017 by admin


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Public hearings will continue this week at the Legislative Office Building (LOB). This is your opportunity to participate in your state government and share your views and opinions on bill proposals as they are being heard during respective committee public hearings.

I encourage you to check www.cga.ct.gov and click on the “Bulletin” to track what proposals 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.

Your voice matters; for some pointers on how to testify, click here. I hope you’ll share your thoughts with the committee and me.

Here are some bills scheduled for public hearings this week that may be of interest to you and our community:

State Budget Hearings
The state budget hearings will continue this coming week in the Appropriations committee. Please check here for a full budget hearing schedule.

Prevailing Wage Thresholds 
Labor & Public Employees Committee
Testimony – Submit testimony to LABtestimony@cga.ct.gov. For a complete list of bills, along with links to the language, click here.

· HB-432 and HB-6211 – Increases the prevailing wage thresholds

Mandate Relief
Planning & Development Committee
Testimony: Submit testimony to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov 

The legislature’s Planning & Development Committee is holding a public hearing on several COST priority issues.  For a complete list of bills, along with links to the language, click here.

· SB-793 -The Governor’s proposal to 1) increase the prevailing wage thresholds to $1 million for new construction and $500,000 for renovations; 2) provide for the random selection of neutral arbitrators and the use of a single neutral through an agreement of the parties in the binding arbitration process; 3) allow towns to negotiate MERS employee contribution rates as a subject of collective bargaining
· HB-6923 and HB-5158 – Requires any new or expanded unfunded municipal mandate to be approved by a 2/3 majority of the General Assembly
· HB-5448 and HB-6929 – Eliminates the mandate that towns store the property of evicted tenants

Regionalism
Planning & Development Committee
Testimony: Submit testimony to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov. For a complete list of bills, along with links to the language, click here.

· HB-6924 – Requires Office of Policy and Management (OPM) to implement a regionalization efficiency tool to assess a town’s performance in regionalizing various functions
· HB-6920 -Makes significant changes to Council of Governments (COGs), including allowing a majority of towns in a COG to decide to enter into a regional revenue enhancement agreement and allowing COGs to create ethics boards. Of particular importance is Section 8 of HB 6920, which would allow for the majority of towns in the Council of Governments to share property tax revenues. Right now the language allows that all towns in the COG’s must agree to share commercial and industrial tax revenues.

Other bills scheduled for hearing this week:

Each committee has different rules and deadlines for submitting testimony. For the rules in submitting written testimony please click this link.

You can always watch a specific public hearing on the CT-N Network.

Bristol Delegation Calls Permit Hike Tax on 2nd Amendment

Posted on February 21, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – Members of Bristol’s legislative delegation today voiced their objections to Governor Malloy’s proposed budget, specifically the more than 400 percent increase in pistol permit fees. The exorbitant increase, they said, is essentially a tax on the Second Amendment to the Constitution.

State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock (R-77), and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) said the fee increases mean that some law-abiding gun owners in their districts may have to give up their firearms if the fee increase takes place. The fee for a first-time permit would increase from $140 to $370 and the five-year renewal fee would increase from $70 to $300. Additionally, background check fees would also increase from $50 to $75.

“If someone’s permit expires and they cannot afford the higher renewal fee, what happens to any firearms they already own?” Rep. Betts questioned. “You’re looking at virtually forcing someone to get rid of their property or become a criminal if they cannot afford the fees. That’s simply outrageous!”

Sen. Martin agreed.

“We already require people to jump through hoops at their own expense just to apply for a permit,” Sen. Martin said. “They pay for classes, fingerprinting, and background checks and then have to pay for a permit and renewal every five years. What is the purpose behind this increase if not to make it even harder for people to legally own a firearm? The revenue can’t be collected if people can’t afford the fees.”

Rep. Pavalock said a citizen’s constitutional rights should never be held hostage by their income limitations and the proposed fee increases do just that.

“The exercise of our constitutional rights should not be limited only to the wealthy and discriminatory toward moderate- or low-income earners, and those on fixed incomes,” Rep. Pavalock said. “People should not have to pay such an unreasonably high amount to exercise their 2nd amendment rights.”

Rep. Betts, Sen. Martin, and Rep. Pavalock said they don’t believe the measure will survive the committee process to be voted on by the full legislature. However, if it would, they plan to vote against it.

Rep. Betts serves the communities of Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville.

Sen. Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.

Rep. Pavalock serves Bristol.

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Betts Testifies in Support of Bill Requiring DOT to Provide Reports on ‘Magic Busway’

Posted on February 17, 2017 by admin


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Hartford State Rep. Whit Betts (R-Bristol) testified this week before the legislature’s Transportation Committee in support of a Republican leadership bill which would require the Commissioner of Transportation to submit an annual report to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly regarding CTFastrack, the Hartford-New Britain busway. Specifically, House Bill 6061 An Act Concerning Reports About the Hartford-New Britain Busway, would require that the report includes information regarding busway ridership, fare revenue per rider and the number of riders who do not pay a fare.

In his remarks, Representative Betts stated the following:

“This information is critical in evaluating whether the steep taxpayer cost to construct and maintain the busway is resulting in enough benefit to justify those costs.

“In its first year of operation, this busway system incurred a deficit of $17 million, which is 70% higher than what the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) had anticipated. The legislature needs to see evidence and data to explain this huge deficit, and ask the DOT if they are taking any steps to reduce this deficit – especially in the context of a projected $3 billion deficit in the state budget over the next 2 years.

“On a weekly basis, many Bristol and Plymouth residents voice their concerns to me that they see nobody riding on the buses, and they ask how much of their taxpayer dollars is being spent to support buses on which there are no riders.

“Requiring the DOT to submit annually a report on the operations and finances on the 21 hour Hartford-New Britain busway system will provide answers to the questions asked by taxpayers, and it will provide the necessary date for state legislators to evaluate the efficiency of this project.”

As part of the busway funding agreement, the Federal Railroad Administration requires the CT DOT to file a report after two years of operations to outline costs, efficiencies, benefits, etc. associated with the project. There are no such mandates for similar detailed information to be reported to the State of Connecticut. This bill would ensure that the legislature receives the appropriate information necessary to evaluate the busway operation.

The bill awaits further action by the Transportation Committee.

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Plymouth Legislators To Host February Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on February 16, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, February 17 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 to share their concerns.

Bristol Legislators Release Statement on Governor’s Proposed Budget

Posted on February 8, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Reps. Cara Pavalock (R-77) and Whit Betts (R-78) today joined their legislative colleagues in a joint session of the House and Senate as Governor Malloy delivered his biennial budget address.  The governor outlined his proposed budget for FY 2018-2019. The lawmakers released an official statement in response to the plan:

“The theme behind the governor’s budget strategy is to pass on to others (i.e. taxpayers, town, hospitals, etc.) the fiscal responsibility currently assumed by the state. The one thing we continue to hear at our monthly coffee hours is that taxpayers are overburdened, and cannot afford any more increases. Over the coming days, we will be learning more about the specifics of the governor’s plan and its impact, good or bad, on taxpayers and their families, and the state of Connecticut. We are encouraged to see that funding has been allocated to special education, which would provide much needed resources.”

The Governor’s proposed budget passes the State’s fiscal burden onto the backs of the lower and middle class taxpayer. Aside from the high likelihood causing local property taxes to be raised, the proposed budget increases the bottle deposit on carbonated beverages from $.05 to $.10, eliminates the property tax credit that is used by nearly 1 million homeowners, and closes the seven rest areas throughout the state.

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CT DOT Launches Travel Smart Website

Posted on February 6, 2017 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a new interactive website CtTravelSmart.org that provides residents with live traffic updates, which could have an impact on your travel plans.

Screenshot of CtTravelSmart Website

According to the DOT, CT Travel Smart is a real-time travel information tool and includes travel resource information pertaining to the state’s transportation related amenities.

Features include:

  • Real-time travel information on incidents, travel times, and camera feeds in a list format
  • Options that allow users to personalize the application to show cameras, routes, and alerts that are most relevant to them

I encourage you to check the status of Connecticut’s busy roadways before heading out.

Bristol GOP Lawmakers Urge Legislature to Pare Pension Refinancing with Reform

Posted on February 3, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – On Wednesday, February 1, State Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77), and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) urged fellow lawmakers to reject Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s pension funding agreement and instead urged the legislature to assess alternative means by which to address the state’s growing pension system problems.

The lawmakers, along with House Republican legislators, released data obtained from two actuarial analyses that show how additional steps can rein in the state’s unfunded pension liabilities. Both reports show how pairing pension finance changes with modifications to state employee benefits could increase the solvency of the state pension plan.

“I voted no to the proposal to refinance the state pension plan because it included adding $11 billion (which represents more than 50% of the entire state budget) in Connecticut taxpayer dollars to the state pension plan for state employees,” said Rep. Betts. “Taxpayers did not receive any financial relief from this agreement. Furthermore, this agreement imposes an $11 billion financial obligation on our children and grandchildren.”

The governor’s pension proposal sought to tackle a mounting budget deficit by reducing short-term state pension contributions. In exchange for leveling payments through 2047, taxpayers would be responsible for an additional $11 billion over the duration of the deal compared to the structure of the current plan.

“This agreement, which was made without the legislature’s input, does nothing to fix the current problem facing the state to fund pensions, but instead pushes payments out farther and puts the responsibility on future generations to pay for it,” said Rep. Pavalock. “In any household, people pay the debt which they acquire; they do not take out loans and hand them over to their grandchildren to repay. Yet this is exactly the agreement orchestrated by the administration and union leaders and it is frankly disheartening.”

Many Republican lawmakers have suggested that making alterations to state employee pension benefits could reduce the unfunded liability by $200 million. If that sum were put into the pension fund, actuaries estimate the length of the new plan could be reduced by seven years and could decrease the additional liability from the projected $11 billion to $3 billion.

“I think it is simply wrong to pass this future debt along to the next generation. This agreement may be good for the unions, but not necessarily for the people of Connecticut,” added Sen. Martin. “Also, by approving this agreement, we avoid the wider picture. The discussion needs to not only address the unfunded pension obligation, but changes to the SEBAC agreement. We have to get state spending under control and put measures in place to guarantee that it stays under control.”

The State House voted 76 to 72 to approve the deal on a nearly party-line vote, while the State Senate voted 18-17 with the Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman casting the tie-breaking vote in favor of the deal.
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Arc Connecticut Family Hearing Day

Posted on February 2, 2017 by admin


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This year’s Arc Connecticut Family Hearing Day will be held on TUESDAY, February 7, 2017.

TUESDAY, February 7, 2017
Legislative Office Building, Room 2C
300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford
10:00am-1:00pm
(Come early to sign up to testify & get a seat!)
CLICK HERE TO RSVP

The Intellectual and Developmental Disability (I/DD) Caucus and legislative leaders will assemble to dedicate their focus and attention to hearing from people with I/DD and their families.

Sharing your story:

Your testimony should be your story, in your words. What do legislators need to know about you, your family, and your current situation to help them protect funding and make good policy decisions for people with I/DD?

Please be aware that due to the large number of people in attendance, not all who come will have the chance to testify in person, but everyone can and should submit written testimony.

All testimony submitted to familyhearingtestimony@gmail.com will be made available to legislators on the I/DD Caucus.

Guidelines for preparing testimony:

  • Name
  • Town
  • A thank you to Caucus leaders, and to legislators on the I/DD Caucus for hearing your testimony.
  • The name and age of your loved one with I/DD.
  • What funding and/or supports if any, do you currently have?
  • What do those supports mean to your loved one with I/DD and your family?
  • How would losing those supports impact your family?
  • Are you on a DDS waiting list for supports?
  • How does not having the supports you need impact your family?
  • What are your concerns/fears for the future for your loved one with I/DD?
  • What can legislators do to help your family?

For more information contact Shannon Jacovino at sjacovino@thearcct.org or at 203 514-3028.

Betts, Martin Praise State Aid for Bristol Preschool Child Care Center

Posted on February 2, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORDState Representative Whit Betts (R-78) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) applauded the decision to award a $1.4 million dollar grant to assist with the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center‘s continued renovations and improvements.

Located at the site of the former Jennings School, these funds will be utilized to finance the renovations and improvements to the facility’s first floor.

“The Bristol Preschool Child Care Center continues to serve as a major provider of quality care and education for young children in our community,” said Rep. Betts. “The teachers, administrators, and staff deserve all of the credit for making Bristol Preschool a successful model for educating and caring for our children as they learn and grow. I would like to extend my sincerest thanks to all of those involved in the process to secure the grant, including former State Rep. Betty Boukus, State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich), and the governor for placing priority on this project which will benefit the care and education of our children for years to come.”

“It’s fitting that the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center is part of the legacy former Rep. Bokus leaves the City of Bristol,” Sen. Martin said.  “She was a strong advocate for children and the preschool has played an important role in the lives of so many Bristol children. Now, it will be able to serve even more children.”

For more than 40 years, the Bristol Preschool Child Care Center has provided early childhood care and education for children ages 3-5.

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Pictured L-R: Bristol Preschool Child Care Center Program Director, Renee Dailey, Executive Director, Shirley Anderson, Governor Dannel Malloy, Grant Manager, Marilyn Lobaczewski, and State Rep. Whit Betts

Friday, Feb. 3: Bristol Legislators to Hold Monthly Coffee Hour

Posted on January 30, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Bristol legislators on Friday, February 6 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol as the 2017 legislative session is under way. All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those who cannot attend may contact Betts and Pavalock at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022 with any questions or concerns.

Transportation Committee Public Hearing

Posted on January 30, 2017 by admin


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The Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on a number of proposed bills to improve public safety on Connecticut’s roads and address our transportation needs.

Transportation Committee Public Hearing Monday, January 30, at 11:00 a.m. 

Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building (LOB)

Some of the bills that I proposed will be heard at the public hearing:

  • HB5324 – An Act Increasing the Penalties for Texting or Using a Hand-held Mobile Telephone While Driving
  • HB5184 – An Act Concerning the Issuance of ‘Breast Cancer Awareness’ Commemorative Number Plates

You may testify in person on behalf of these bills, or any one of the bills found on the agenda, at the Transportation Committee.

If you are unable to attend, but would still like to have your voice heard on any of these issues, please email your written testimony in Word or PDF format to tratestimony@cga.ct.gov. Your input is important to me as your State Representative. Please also copy me on your testimony so I can be aware of your opinions at whit.betts@housegop.ct.gov.

For information on how to testify at a public hearing, please click here.   

Public speaker order will be determined by a lottery system. Lottery numbers will be drawn from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. in Room 2300 of the LOB. Speakers arriving after the completion of the lottery will have their names placed at the end of the speaker list.

Betts, Martin Talk with Residents over Coffee

Posted on January 24, 2017 by admin


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Terryville – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) speak with local residents during their monthly coffee hour event at Eagle’s Nest Restaurant in Terryville. Many residents expressed their deep concern over the looming $3 billion state deficit over the next two years and the need to bring the budget into balance. The lawmakers will host their monthly coffee hour at Eagle’s Nest on Friday, February 17. All residents are encouraged to attend.

Whit Betts coffee

Plymouth Legislators To Hold January Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on January 17, 2017 by admin


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Plymouth Legislators To Hold January Friday Coffee Hour

The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, January 20 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol as the 2017 legislative session convenes. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

Plymouth Legislators To Hold January Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on January 17, 2017 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, January 20 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol as the 2017 legislative session convenes. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

 

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STATE REPS. BETTS, PAVALOCK-D’AMATO USHER IN 2017 LEGISLATIVE SESSION

Posted on January 9, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) ushered in the 2017 Legislative Session last week with fellow legislative leaders at the State Capitol who took part in the traditional opening day ceremonies of the Connecticut General Assembly.

For the upcoming two year term, the two lawmakers were given their appointments and committee assignments by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.  Betts will serve as House Republican Whip. He will also serve on the Appropriations, Public Health, and Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committees.  Pavalock-D’Amato will serve as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Housing Committee. She will also serve on the Education and Environment Committees.

(more…)

Friday, Jan., 6: Bristol Legislators to Hold Monthly Coffee Hour

Posted on December 22, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Bristol legislators on Friday, January 6 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol as the 2017 legislative session convenes. All residents are encouraged to attend and discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. Coffee will be provided.

Those who cannot attend may contact Betts and Pavalock at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

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Rep. Betts Visits West Bristol School’s Family Resource Center

Posted on December 22, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Betts Visits West Bristol School’s Family Resource Center

BRISTOL – Earlier this month, State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) attended the play and learn group for families at the Family Resource Center (FRC) at West Bristol School.  During the morning session, Rep. Betts met with the FRC Director, Linda Rich and talked to the parents, grandparents and caregivers of the children in attendance. The play and learn group for families allows the opportunity for children from infancy to five years old to play and learn together. The FRC is the home to the play and learn group weekly as a way to encourage early childhood development.

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2017 Major Issues Report

Posted on December 15, 2016 by admin


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Every year, the Office of Legislative Research (OLR), the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA), and the Legislative Commissioners’ Office (LCO) compile a report of the major issues they believe will be discussed during the 2017 Legislative Session.

OLR provides brief descriptions on a number of issues in this report including, the state budget, opioid drug abuse, education funding and the state’s business climate, among others.

I encourage you to take a look at the full report by clicking here.
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Representatives Betts and Pavalock-D’Amato, and Senator Martin to Ring Bells for Salvation Army in Bristol on Dec. 14

Posted on December 6, 2016 by admin


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BristolRepresentatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and Senator Henri Martin (R-31) will participate in the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign by ringing bells at the Bristol Walmart on Wednesday December 14 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm.

The public is invited to support the cause with donations of any size. Walmart will be making a contribution to the Salvation Army on behalf of all the legislators who ring the bell. The Salvation Army provides food, clothing, comfort and care to local residents as well as people in need across the United States. The Walmart is located at 1400 Farmington Avenue, in Bristol.

WHO: Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) and Senator Henri Martin (R-31)

WHAT: Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign bell ringing

WHEN: Wednesday, December 14 from 5:00pm-6:00pm

WHERE: Walmart – 1400 Farmington Ave., Bristol

WHY: State Legislators will join fellow volunteers ringing bells to raise money for the Salvation Army this holiday season.

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bell-ringing-12-14

 

Plymouth Legislators To Hold November Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on November 10, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, November 18 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).   

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. 

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns.

All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

 

CT DOT to Hold Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan Information Sessions

Posted on November 2, 2016 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation is hosting four public information sessions across the state to present information and gather input on the 2017 Statewide Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan and Map Update.  It has been eight years since the last update; now is your opportunity to provide feedback and share your thoughts about the future of bicycling and walking paths across our state for the next decade or more.

At these public informational sessions, community members may obtain information and share their thoughts on what should be included in both the plan and map updates. The study team will be available to discuss actions and accomplishments since the last plan was developed in 2009, as well as how the state will move forward with a proposed bicycle network.

The informational sessions will be held on the following dates:

  • Monday, November 14th at 5:30 – 7:30 PM at Elmwood Community Center, 1106 New Britain Avenue, West Hartford
  • Tuesday, November 15th at 5:30 – 7:30 PM at New Haven Free Public Library – Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
  • Tuesday, November 29th at 5:30 – 7:30 PM at the Student Center Theatre at Eastern Connecticut State University, 83 Windham Street, Willimantic
  • Wednesday, November 30th at 5:30 – 7:30 PM at Fairfield Public Library – Main Branch, 1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield

The sessions will have the same content and format. Each will begin at 5:30 PM with an informal interactive open house session. A brief presentation will begin at 6:15 PM, followed by a discussion period. CT DOT and members of the study team, Fitzgerald & Halliday, Inc. of Hartford, Connecticut, will be available at each meeting to discuss the update and answer questions. Anyone who is unable to attend an informational session but wishes to submit feedback may contact Anna Bergeron, Transportation Planner II, Office of Intermodal Planning, Connecticut Department of Transportation, directly via email at Anna.Bergeron@ct.gov or phone at 860-594-2140.

Directions and parking information are available at http://www.ctbikepedplan.org/public_meetings.html. Additional information on the Plan and Map Update can be obtained on the project website at http://www.ctbikepedplan.org.

Conference: Housing Alternatives for Individuals with I/DD, Family, and Advocates

Posted on November 1, 2016 by admin


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The Arc Connecticut, with support from the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities, is teaming up with The Family Empowerment Task Force to give families information about alternative sources of funding and resources that are available to people with I/DD.

United States Housing Alternatives Conference for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), Parents, Family Members and Advocates

Saturday, November 19, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Neat Market Place, 120 Holcomb Street, Hartford, CT, 06112

The day will include:

  • A brief press conference to release a groundbreaking new policy paper on the state of housing and support in Connecticut for people with I/DD
  • Information on a new online statewide roommate matching service
  • Information about a new Housing Resources Guide for People with I/DD
  • A Panel Discussion with families who have opted out of the endless wait for funding and the traditional DDS group model and are supporting their loved ones living their own lives in the community NOW
  • This will include families who: have implemented CRS, private apartments or other novel arrangements; are using a mix of public funding sources including DDS Waivers, Community First Choice and others; and are using a mix a self-directed and agency staffing

This conference is free of charge but seating is first come, first served. Lunch will be provided.
The deadline to RSVP is Wednesday, November 16, 2016.

Click here to reserve your spot today!   For more information contact Melissa Marshall at Melissa.Marshall@snet.net.

Bristol Legislators to Hold Monthly Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on October 31, 2016 by admin


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Bristol – The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Bristol legislators on Friday, November 4 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet  and speak with their legislators in a relaxed setting about any issues they wish to discuss, as well as an update from the State Capitol including the latest on the $78 million state budget deficit.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Coffee will be provided.
rodds-recurring

Betts, Martin Congratulate Local Manufacturing Business on 70 Years

Posted on October 24, 2016 by admin


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TerryvilleState Representative Whit Betts (R-78) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) were on hand to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Lauretano Sign Group earlier this month. The legislators met with company President Mike Lauretano, Jr. and CEO Mike Laretano, Sr., and presented them with an official citation on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly, in recognition of their great success over the years.

Located in Terryville, Lauretano Sign Group is a full service sign company that fabricates and installs sign projects globally utilizing the latest in product innovation and technology to ensure quality and success, according to the company’s website.

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National Drug Take Back Day – Saturday, 10/22

Posted on October 21, 2016 by admin


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On Saturday, October 22, 2016 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local law enforcement and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will provide the public its 12th opportunity in six years to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs.  The DEA is again calling on Americans to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted, unused, or expired prescription medication and bring them to collection sites for proper disposal. This includes pet medication as well.
drugs

Collection Sites for Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville include:

BRISTOL POLICE DEPARTMENT

131 North Main Street – Bristol, CT

CONNECTICUT STATE POLICE – TROOP L
BURLINGTON RESIDENT TROOPER’S OFFICE
200 Spielman Highway – Burlington, CT

The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps, only pills or patches. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

Last April, Americans turned in 447 tons (over 893,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at almost 5,400 sites operated by the DEA and more than 4,200 of its state and local law enforcement partners. Overall, in its 11 previous Take-Back events, DEA and its partners have taken in over 6.4 million pounds — about 3,200 tons of pills.

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. 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, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs.  Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, Americans are now advised that their usual methods for disposing of unused medicines — flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash — both pose potential safety and health hazards.

For more information about the disposal of prescription drugs or about the October 22 Take Back Initiative, visit www.dea.gov.

Plymouth Legislators To Hold October Coffee Hour This Friday

Posted on October 19, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, October 21 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

eagles-nest-recurring

Rep. Betts Spends Time Riding with Plymouth Police Department

Posted on October 19, 2016 by admin


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PLYMOUTH – To get an up-close and personal view of the Plymouth Police Department, State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) recently spent time touring the Police Department and riding along with PPD Officer Christopher Latimer for an afternoon shift as he patrolled the towns of Plymouth and Terryville.

While at the department, Betts met with Sargent Randall Foster and Officer Latimer, and discussed current legislative issues affecting law enforcement, highlighting the importance of his visit to the Police Department.

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Betts stated, “As a state legislator, it is important that I remain informed about the issues and challenges that affect policing in our communities. I appreciate Sargent Foster and Officer Latimer taking the time to meet with me and discuss how the state legislature can support law enforcement while our dedicated men and women in uniform work to keep our citizens and our neighborhoods safe. The more that we as legislators learn and remain informed about what our local law enforcement officers do on the job, the better we can support their mission to protect the public.”

During the ride-along with Officer Latimer, Rep. Betts observed first-hand, how dedicated police officers and emergency responders protect the residents of Plymouth and Terryville.  Rep. Betts stated that the police ride-along gave him a greater perspective as to the local police duties and an often demanding schedule.

Rep. Betts added, “I want to thank both Sgt. Foster and Officer Latimer for allowing me to spend some time with them today. My ride through the community with Officer Latimer was very informative. I witnessed the professionalism with which the officer conducted himself and his genuine respect and care for the safety and well-being of the residents in our community. This experience was invaluable and will certainly be of great help as I continue to work with my colleagues in the legislature on issues concerning law enforcement and public safety.”

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Bristol Legislators Spend Time Riding with Bristol Police Department

Posted on October 17, 2016 by admin


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BRISTOL – To get an up-close and personal view of the Bristol Police Department, State Reps. Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara C. Pavalock (R-77) recently spent time touring the Police Department and riding along with BPD officers during afternoon shifts as they patrolled the city.

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The lawmakers were each given tours of the facility and discussed current legislative issues affecting law enforcement, highlighting the importance of their visit to the Police Department. Betts stated, “As an Assistant Leader in the House Republican Caucus and legislator in the General Assembly, it is important that I remain informed about the issues and challenges that affect policing in our communities. During any given legislative session, many policies and bills are debated by lawmakers that directly affect public safety and law enforcement.  I appreciate Sergeant Rodney Gotowala taking the time to meet with me and discuss how the state legislature can support law enforcement while our dedicated men and women in uniform work to keep our citizens and our neighborhoods safe.”

During the ride-alongs, Reps. Betts and Pavalock observed first-hand, how dedicated police officers and emergency responders protect the residents of Bristol. Rep. Pavalock stated that her police ride-along with Sergeant Scott Thomas gave her a greater appreciation of the local police job requirements and demanding schedule.

“I want to thank Sergeant Thomas for allowing me to spend time with him and talk with him about the daily challenges in the line of duty that our police officers face,” said Rep. Pavalock. “Both the tour of the Police Department, and my ride throughout the community with Sergeant Thomas were very informative and gave me the opportunity to witness first-hand, the genuine care for the residents of our community, and the professionalism with which our officers conduct themselves. This experience was invaluable to me as a legislator and will certainly inform discussions I have with fellow lawmakers on issues regarding law enforcement and public safety. I thank all of the brave men and women of the Bristol Police Department for all that they do to protect us each and every day.”                                                                                       ###

Plymouth Legislators To Hold October Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on October 14, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, October 21 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.
eagles-nest-recurring

Bristol Legislators Join American Legion in Honoring POW/MIA Veterans

Posted on October 7, 2016 by admin


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BRISTOL – State Reps. Cara Pavalock (R-77), Whit Betts (R-78), and State Sen. Henri Martin (R-31) joined members of the American Legion Seicheprey Post 2, town officials, and guests during POW/MIA Remembrance Day at the Post.

During the ceremony led by Commander Richard Schreiner, the Bristol legislators presented an official citation on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly to Sergeant Omar Deabay for his service during the Korean War. During their remarks, the legislators each extended their thanks to Sgt. Deabay and all veterans who have served and have selflessly sacrificed for the greater good.

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Sgt. Deabay also addressed the group and shared his experiences during the war, including being listed as Missing in Action (MIA), and his work with wounded soldiers returning from combat.

The Missing Man Table and Honors, a ceremonial tribute to those veterans who never came home, was set during the service. In keeping with the time-honored tradition, the empty table was set for one with a white cloth, inverted glass, lit candle, a single red rose in a vase tied with a red ribbon, and other symbolic tributes.

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is not a federal public holiday in the United States, but it is a national observance.

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Photo (L-R): State Sen. Henri Martin, State Rep. Whit Betts, Sergeant Omar Deabay, and State Rep. Cara Pavalock attend POW/MIA Remembrance Day services held at Bristol’s American Legion Seicheprey Post 2. Deabay was presented with an official citation by the Bristol legislators on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly to for his service during the Korean War.

 

‘Stand Down’ Veterans Assistance Event This Friday

Posted on September 20, 2016 by admin


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On Friday, Sept. 23, a one-day Stand Down event for veterans will be held at the Connecticut Veterans Home at 287 West Street, Rocky Hill, Connecticut, from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Arrival by 12 p.m. is suggested for those seeking to access services.

The event, hosted by the CT Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), will provide medical screenings, veteran benefit information, legal and motor vehicle assistance, and employment and educational assistance.

Free bus transportation will be provided at designated areas throughout the state. Please visit DVA’s website for further information.

CT Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic This Weekend

Posted on September 13, 2016 by admin


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A free, two-day dental clinic for underserved and uninsured residents is coming to Hartford on Friday, September 16 and Saturday, September 17 beginning at 6 a.m. Patients are treated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Connecticut Mission of Mercy (CTMOM), organized and sponsored by the Connecticut State Dental Association and the Connecticut Foundation for Dental Outreach, will come to the XL Center in Hartford, located on Trumbull Street.

Oral health is “inseparable from general health” and can affect a person’s self-esteem, compromise their ability to work, attend school and lead a normal life.

If you or someone you know is interested in this event, please click here for more information.

Since 2008, CTMOM has served thousands of underserved and uninsured Connecticut families. The dental clinic was last in Hartford in 2014, and served 2,295 people – a $1.58 million value of donated care.

Please pass this information on to anyone you think may be interested.

Plymouth Legislators To Hold September Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on September 12, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, September 16 at Eagle’s Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any state or legislative issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns. All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.

Those who are unable to attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.

eagles-nest-recurring

Rep. Betts Spends Time Riding with Plymouth Police Department

Posted on September 12, 2016 by admin


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PLYMOUTH – To get an up-close and personal view of the Plymouth Police Department, State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) recently spent time touring the Police Department and riding along with PPD Officer Christopher Latimer for an afternoon shift as he patrolled the towns of Plymouth and Terryville.

ridealong

While at the department, Betts met with Sargent Randall Foster and Officer Latimer, and discussed current legislative issues affecting law enforcement, highlighting the importance of his visit to the Police Department. Betts stated, “As a state legislator, it is important that I remain informed about the issues and challenges that affect policing in our communities. I appreciate Sargent Foster and Officer Latimer taking the time to meet with me and discuss how the state legislature can support law enforcement while our dedicated men and women in uniform work to keep our citizens and our neighborhoods safe. The more that we as legislators learn and remain informed about what our local law enforcement officers do on the job, the better we can support their mission to protect the public.”

During the ride-along with Officer Latimer, Rep. Betts observed first-hand, how dedicated police officers and emergency responders protect the residents of Plymouth and Terryville. Rep. Betts stated that the police ride-along gave him a greater perspective as to the local police duties and an often demanding schedule.

Rep. Betts added, “I want to thank both Sgt. Foster and Officer Latimer for allowing me to spend some time with them today. My ride through the community with Officer Latimer was very informative. I witnessed the professionalism with which the officer conducted himself and his genuine respect and care for the safety and well-being of the residents in our community. This experience was invaluable and will certainly be of great help as I continue to work with my colleagues in the legislature on issues concerning law enforcement and public safety.”

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Friday, Sep. 9: Bristol Legislators to Hold Monthly Coffee Hour

Posted on September 6, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Bristol legislators on Friday, September 9 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet  and speak with their legislators in a relaxed setting about any issues they wish to discuss, including the latest budget update and news from the State Capitol.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Coffee will be provided.

Those who cannot attend may contact Betts and Pavalock at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.
rodds sept 9

Betts Honors 75th Anniversary of Terryville Lions Club

Posted on August 12, 2016 by admin


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TERRYVILLE – State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) recently attended a celebration to honor the 75th anniversary of the Terryville Lions Club.  Betts presented a citation on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly, stating that the Terryville Lions Club has been a pillar of the community and thanking them for their inspirational dedication to serving others.

The Terryville Lions Club has been involved in various community initiatives throughout the years, including work with various scholarship funds, providing pediatric vision screenings, hosting the annual Terryville County Fair, and purchasing the town’s first ambulance.

citation

 

Mark Your Calendars: CT Sales Tax Free Week, 8/21-8/27

Posted on August 8, 2016 by admin


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

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35% 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: The threshold for this benefit has been substantially reduced from $300 in 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 wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

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

Bristol Police, CT DOT: ‘U TEXT. U DRIVE. U PAY.’

Posted on August 8, 2016 by admin


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In an effort to promote safety and discourage unsafe driving habits, the Bristol Police Department, along with law enforcement from across the state, including the state police, will be stepping up enforcement on distracted driving laws.

The operation, ‘U text. U drive. U pay.’, is now in effect and will run through Tuesday, August 16th to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and distracted driving.

Police will target motorists who text, talk, or use their cell phone in some fashion while they drive, which is illegal in Connecticut.

The fines for cell phone violations are:

  • 1st Offense:  $150
  • 2nd Offense: $300
  • Subsequent Offenses: $500

The statewide crackdown was started three years ago and is organized by the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The campaign is run twice annually, in April and August.

Motorists should slow down and put their phones down while driving, or use hands-free devices to talk safely while driving.  

Friday, August 5: Bristol Legislators to Hold Monthly Coffee Hour

Posted on August 2, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Bristol legislators on Friday, August 5 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet  and speak with their legislators in a relaxed setting about any issues they wish to discuss, including the latest budget update and news from the State Capitol.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Coffee will be provided.

Those who cannot attend may contact Betts and Pavalock at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.
RODD'S RECURRING

Happening This Week: Public Hearings on Insurance Rate Hikes

Posted on August 1, 2016 by admin


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This week, the Connecticut Insurance Department will hold hearings on proposed rate hikes requested by Connecticut’s largest health insurers — Anthem, ConnectiCare and Aetna. Plans administered by these companies cover thousands of Connecticut workers and their families. The average requested increases from the insurers are as high as 28 percent. The Insurance Department has the authority to accept or reject the rates.

The hearings on Wednesday, August 3, and Thursday, August 4, will give you opportunities to testify on how these rate hikes would affect you and your family.

Please find information on the hearings below:

Anthem Health Plans: Aug. 3, at 9 a.m.

ConnectiCare Insurance Company: Aug. 4, at 9 a.m.

Aetna Insurance Company of CT: Aug. 4, at 1 p.m.

The hearings will be held at 153 Market Street, 7th Floor, Hartford. There is validated parking for visitors using the Morgan Street Garage.

If you are unable to attend, you can also submit public comment on each rate increase request here.

Betts Participates in Food Drive to Benefit Plymouth Food Pantry

Posted on July 29, 2016 by admin


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IGA.2 IGA

State Rep. Whit Betts (R-78) participated in a food drive to benefit the Plymouth Food Pantry. Held at the Adams IGA in Terryville, Betts was on hand to help collection efforts of non-perishable food and personal care items to benefit the local community.

Rep. Betts Achieves 100% Voting Record

Posted on July 27, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD- State Representative Whit Betts (R-77) achieved a perfect record for votes cast on the floor of the state House of Representatives during the 2016 legislative session, according to the House Clerk’s Office.

Representative Betts was present and voted for all 313 votes taken on the state House floor during the 2016 session, according to voting record data released today by the House Clerk’s Office.  Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, with only about 32% of legislators able to do so this year.

“It is with great pride that I am able to say that I serve my constituents to the best of my ability, and this is absolutely reflected in my voting record,” said Rep. Betts.  “I’m honored to represent the people of Bristol, Plymouth, and Terryville, and I want them to know that their voice was heard on every issue that was debated by the legislature.”

Betts, a House Republican Assistant Leader, serves as Ranking Member on the Higher Education & Employment Advancement Committee, and also serves on the Appropriations, Public Health, and Program Review and Investigations Committees in the General Assembly.

For an overview of legislation passed this year, visit the Office of Legislative Research website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/olr/Documents/year/MA/2016MA-20160610_Major%20Acts%20for%202016.pdf

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in January 2017.
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Plymouth Legislators to Hold July Coffee Hour This Friday

Posted on July 12, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with the Plymouth legislators on Friday, July 15 at Eagles Nest (163 Main Street, Terryville).

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Rep. Whit Betts.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet their legislators in a relaxed setting and hear the latest updates from the State Capitol. Residents may discuss any issues, including the latest on the state budget or local concerns.

All residents are encouraged to attend. Coffee will be provided.
Eagles Nest Recurring

Plymouth Legislators to Host Coffee Hour, 7/15

Posted on July 6, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Plymouth legislators on Friday, July 15 at Eagle’s Nest (158 Main St., Terryville). 

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Rep. Whit Betts and Sen. Henri Martin.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet  and speak with their legislators in a relaxed setting about any issues they wish to discuss, including the latest budget update and news from the State Capitol.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Coffee will be provided.

Those who cannot attend may contact Betts at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.
Eagles Nest Recurring

 

 

Major Public Acts of 2016

Posted on June 30, 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 Acts Affecting Firefighters and Fire Marshals
Acts Affecting Veterans and the Military
Acts Affecting Energy & Utilities

 

 

Bristol GOP Lawmakers Vow Continued Support for Small Manufacturers

Posted on June 29, 2016 by admin


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Bristol’s Republican legislators said today they planned to continue to support Connecticut’s manufacturing sector after the Democrat-controlled state Senate on June 20 failed to override Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s veto of a measure that would have allowed for tax credits to train future factory workers.

The bill would have extended the $7,500 manufacturing apprenticeship tax credit to pass-through entities, allowing their owners and partners to claim the credit against their personal income taxes.

“We’re talking about a common sense policy to help our job creators and train more workers, ” Rep. Whit Betts said.  “It’s a fantastic idea.  Passing this and overriding the governor’s veto should have been a layup for the state legislature, but nothing pro-business is easy under the current one-party rule in Hartford.  The legislature’s failure to override the governor’s veto points to the need to replace the short-sighted, tone deaf decision-makers at the State Capitol.”

“Small manufacturers in Bristol and throughout our state drive our economy,” Rep. Cara Pavalock said. “As lawmakers, we need to do all we can to help those manufacturers thrive.  This legislation was a prime example. We will keep pushing for policies like this because they truly will help fill our short-term and long-term workforce needs.”

“The Democrat-controlled State Senate spoke volumes in not even bothering to take this bill up, ” Sen. Henri Martin said. “They control the agenda, and they missed a golden opportunity.  The Democrat leadership’s inaction is frustrating, but we can use that frustration to shine a light on positive policies like this which can help small manufacturers in our region.  We won’t be deterred in our fight to improve Connecticut’s business climate and to better train our future workforce.  We will continue to raise awareness of the need for this legislation until it eventually does become law.  And we will always listen to the concerns of our state manufacturing industry, because these businesses are our backbone.”

In addition to Betts, Pavalock, and Martin, and the Connecticut Association of Smaller Manufacturers (CASM) also supported the measure.

CASM is comprised of the Smaller Manufacturers Association of Waterbury (SMA), the New Haven Manufacturers Association (NHMA), Manufacturers Education and Training Alliance (METAL) of Bridgeport and the New England Spring & Metal stamping Association and collectively represents over 400 companies with more than ten percent of the employees in the state’s manufacturing sector.

CASM’s testimony on the bill can be viewed here:

https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/findata/tmy/2016HB-05636-R000322-CT%20Association%20of%20Smaller%20Manufacturers-TMY.PDF

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July 8: Bristol Legislators to Hold Monthly Friday Coffee Hour

Posted on June 24, 2016 by admin


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The public is invited to a Coffee Hour with Bristol legislators on Friday, July 8 at Rodd’s Restaurant (854 Farmington Ave., Bristol). 

The “Coffee With Your Legislators” event will run from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.

It will be hosted by Sen. Henri Martin and Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock.

Residents will have the opportunity to meet  and speak with their legislators in a relaxed setting about any issues they wish to discuss, including the latest budget update and news from the State Capitol.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Coffee will be provided.

Those who cannot attend may contact Betts and Pavalock at 800 842-1423 and Martin at 860-240-0022.
July 10 coffee hour rodd's

 

Tuesday Bristol Post-Legislative Session Report Cancelled

Posted on June 23, 2016 by admin


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BRISTOL – Due to legislative scheduling conflicts, State Reps. Whit Betts and Cara Pavalock, and State Sen. Henri Martin have cancelled their Tuesday (June 28) Post Legislative Session Report in the Community Rooms at the Bristol Public Library. The legislators stated that they will be announcing upcoming opportunities to meet with constituents, including coffee hour and meet and greet events.

For more information, or to speak with the legislators about a concern, please call 800-842-1423 for Reps. Betts and Pavalock or 800-842-1421 for Sen. Martin.

cancelled june legislative town hall

Bristol Lawmakers to Update Taxpayers Tuesday, June 28

Posted on June 15, 2016 by admin


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Are taxes going up?

Is local education funding being cut?

What new state laws were passed this year?

Reps. Cara Pavalock and Whit Betts and Sen. Henri Martin on Tuesday, June 28 will provide a Post-Session Legislative Report to taxpayers in the Bristol Public Library’s Meeting Room 1 and 2.

The lawmakers will update taxpayers on the state budget and any issues residents wish to talk about.

The meeting runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For more information, Reps. Pavalock and Betts at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Martin at 800-842-1421.
Bristol Town Hall 6.28.16

Bristol Lawmakers Applaud New Law Promoting CT Manufacturing Careers

Posted on June 7, 2016 by admin


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Hartford – Bristol state lawmakers are applauding the passage of a new state law to better educate parents, guidance counselors and students about the exciting and advantageous careers in manufacturing.

Sen. Henri Martin, Rep. Cara Pavalock and Rep. Whit Betts co-sponsored the legislation, which aims to re-introduce the manufacturing industry to middle-school and high school students through a hands-on, authentic industry experience.

The bill, which was supported by the business community, aims to meet the needs of employers, create new middle class jobs in greater Bristol, and grow Connecticut’s economy.

More information:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/ACT/pa/2016PA-00114-R00HB-05423-PA.htm .

Plymouth Legislators To Hold June Coffee Hour

Posted on May 26, 2016 by admin