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Rep. Bocchino, Greenwich Delegation Attend New Lebanon Groundbreaking

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Greenwich Delegation Secures Funding to Supplement the School’s Construction Cost

GREENWICH – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) joined local leaders, educators, students and residents for the historic groundbreaking ceremony of New Lebanon School’s state-of-the-art facility, which is scheduled to open in February of 2019.

Rep. Bocchino speaking at the New Lebanon School groundbreaking ceremony on December 7, 2017.

The project was ultimately approved for the diversity grant offered by the state following a lengthy budget session. The final two-year spending and revenue plan, which passed on October 26, included funding for the new building amounting to about 80 percent of the expected $37 million construction costs. This will allow Greenwich to come into compliance with a state mandate. The legislators had dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to this project, which finally paid off this morning.

“This is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication by all parties involved,” said Rep. Bocchino. “The staff, faculty and student body at New Lebanon has outgrown the existing facility. Once the new building is complete, these students will have the space, resources and environment necessary to help them reach their full potential. Thank you to everyone who has contributed during this process. It was a long road and we faced tremendous resistance along the way, but seeing the excitement on the students’ faces this morning made it worth every second.”

Rep. Bocchino and First Selectman Peter Tesei preparing to break ground on the future site of New Lebanon School’s new facility, expected to open February, 2019.

“This year we needed to make some difficult decisions regarding the state budget,” said Rep. Floren. “The one area that was nonnegotiable for us was education. We are all committed to these students and view this as a priority for the town. We fought hard to secure funding for New Lebanon because these students and their parents were counting on this grant to make this a reality. Once completed, this new state-of-the-art facility will provide a safe, inclusive and structured learning environment for our young scholars.”

“Education is a top priority for the Town of Greenwich and the state at large,” said Rep. Camillo. “We spent countless hours meeting with the commissioner, Governor’s office,  and legislative leaders to gain final approval. We had a plan, we followed through, and we were successful. Seeing the hundreds of smiles on the faces of the New Lebanon students  made that effort more than worthwhile. It is a project that we in the Town of Greenwich can all be proud of.”

Budget Impasse Comes to an End – Rep. Bocchino Supports Bipartisan Plan to Reform Connecticut Finances

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HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-150) voted in favor of a two-year 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.

In a historic accomplishment that would have been impossible just a one year ago, House and Senate Republicans exerted considerable influence over the final budget plan by incorporating long sought after items. These items include a spending and bond cap, mandatory votes on labor contracts, no income or sales tax increases, and equitable educational aid to cities and towns. This budget averted the governor’s harmful spending cuts to core social service programs while rejecting several tax proposals that had been introduced this year for consideration, namely on cell phones, restaurants and tolls.

“The final document was not perfect, but it is something that we can work with as we begin to rebuild our state,” said Rep. Bocchino. “With the close numbers in the House and Senate we finally became part of the conversation and were able to direct the conversation away from the failed policies of the past. Spending control, municipal aid, a fair ECS formula, and no tax increases were priorities for us, which we got. Additionally, the new budget allows us to put any surplus into a fund dedicated to debt reduction. Although this is just the first step in a long road to economic recovery, it is certainly one to be proud of.”

The budget passed the Senate early Thursday morning in a 33-3 vote, soon followed by a 126-23 vote in the House. The bill now awaits Gov. Malloy’s signature. If he vetoes the bill, the House and Senate have the votes to override his decision.

Urge Gov. Malloy to Sign Bipartisan Budget!

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In the early hours of Saturday morning, September 16, something historic happened in Hartford. After hours of debate, and months of budget impasse, the General Assembly, in a bipartisan effort, passed a two-year, balanced budget package drafted by House and Senate Republicans.

From day one, Republicans have consistently called for a no-tax-increase budget that erases the deficit and lays the foundation for a steady economic recovery in Connecticut. With the announcements of Alexion’s departure, credit downgrades and financial struggles at the local level, Connecticut is out of time.

I commend the efforts of our Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate for placing party politics aside for the greater good. We believe this plan will stabilize our state’s finances and encourage future investment.

Despite our success in the legislature, the bill is now at the mercy of Governor Malloy, who has publicly threatened to veto the budget that we already approved on your behalf.

The link below will provide you with detailed information about the budget.

General Assembly Bipartisan Budget Agreement: H.B. 7501

If you agree that this budget is an effective way to address our state’s fiscal challenges, please contact Governor Malloy’s office at 800-406-1527 and ask him to sign this bipartisan budget. Vetoing this budget is not a solution and only prolongs our challenges.

Opportunity for Seniors to Lower Monthly Expenses

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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As our senior population enters retirement, many of them are living on fixed incomes. For these individuals, the expenses of running a household are often too high for them to maintain.

When possible, I like to pass along information and opportunities that may help alleviate some of these expenses. With that said, I do not endorse any specific company, and encourage anyone interested in these offers to always perform their own due diligence before purchasing any product or service.

Please see the following press release for more information.

Best Regards,

Rep. Mike Bocchino, 150th District

 

ALTICE USA EXTENDS LOW-COST BROADBAND SERVICE ACROSS THE COUNTRY

Altice USA’s $14.99 per Month High-Speed Internet Service Available

Across Optimum and Suddenlink Service Areas

New York, September 19, 2017 – Altice USA (NYSE: ATUS), one of the largest broadband communications and video services providers in the United States, today announces that its ‘Economy Internet’ low-cost broadband service is available in both its Optimum and Suddenlink footprints, providing eligible families and senior citizens with access to fast, high-quality internet connectivity at an affordable price.

“As the internet becomes increasingly important for education and accessing critical information and services, Altice USA is pleased to expand our low-cost broadband service to connect even more families and seniors across our U.S. footprint,” said Dexter Goei, Altice USA Chairman & CEO. “We remain committed to supporting programs that help bridge the digital divide within our local communities, and ensuring that consumers across the country have access to affordable internet connectivity is a major step in reaching that goal.”

To raise awareness of this service and promote adoption among qualifying households, Altice USA is partnering with community organizations across both the Optimum and Suddenlink footprints. The Company will also promote ‘Economy Internet’ through public service announcements and a digital ad campaign. In addition, Altice USA works with hundreds of community centers and libraries to provide free broadband in computer labs and other public spaces, enabling residents with access to high-speed internet at no charge in their communities.

‘Economy Internet’ Details:

Benefits

  • Broadband speeds of up to 30 Mbps downstream
  • In-home WiFi at no extra cost as well as free modem
  • Email service
  • No data caps

Offer & Eligibility

  • $14.99 per month with no annual contract
  • Available to households who qualify for the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and senior citizens who qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • New Optimum and Suddenlink internet customers

Those interested are encouraged to visit the dedicated ‘Economy Internet’ website at GetEconomyInternet.com or call (844) 358-3147 for more details.

 

Rep. Bocchino Attend High-Speed Rail Discussion in Greenwich (Greenwich Time Article)

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Rep. Bocchino and fellow Greenwich state and local officials attended a crowded meeting at Town Hall regarding the potential high-speed rail project, which could run through the community. Greg Stroud, Ph.D., of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, spoke of possible impact on the town’s historical and cultural sites.

Please click here to read the full Greenwich Time article by Ken Borsuk (photo by Bob Luckey Jr.).

Rep. Bocchino Stands with Abilis Supporters Amid Budget Cuts (Greenwich Time Article)

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Rep. Mike Bocchino proudly joined fellow Greenwich state legislators and hundreds of Abilis supporters at the Greenwich Town Hall on Wednesday to stand up for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The state budget impasse has adversely affected people throughout Connecticut, and without swift action, these cuts will only bring more uncertainty to those in need of assistance.

Please take a moment to read the Greenwich Time Article by Ken Borsuk (photo by Chris Palermo).

Rep. Mike Bocchino Votes to Override Malloy’s Veto of Affordable Housing Bill

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HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-150) voted to override Gov. Malloy’s veto of H.B. 6880, An Act Concerning the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure during a veto session yesterday, July 24, 2017. The Governor vetoed the bill after it passed both the House (116-33) and Senate (30-6) during the regular session.

The bill lowers the requirements for municipalities to reach a moratorium on affordable housing construction. Currently, cities and towns that cannot meet the threshold are vulnerable to predatory developers who can bypass local zoning laws. The language in this bill expands the unit types that count toward moratorium, adds more weight to certain unit types and reduces the threshold for smaller cities and towns making moratorium more achievable. Towns are required to have a specified number of affordable housing units, which has been problematic for some local governments. This legislation is designed to alleviate some of that burden.

“This bill gives local government more control over their municipalities at a time when stalled budget discussions have made planning difficult,” said Rep. Bocchino. “I think this legislation will provide some much needed relief to our cities and towns while keeping predatory developers at bay. This bipartisan effort will provide municipalities with a chance to reach moratorium and achieve affordable housing on their own terms.”

In order to override a veto by the Governor, each chamber must repass the bill with a two-thirds vote, meaning at least 101 votes would be needed in the House and 24 would be needed in the Senate. H.B. 6880 received the required votes in the House of Representatives (101-47) and the Senate (24-12). The veto has been overridden.

House Republican Budget Resource Page

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Last week, House Republicans held a presentation in Hartford to outline our latest, no-tax-increase budget proposal. We want the public to remain informed throughout this process as the final budget approved for the new biennium will have a significant impact on all Connecticut residents.

Please follow the link below to visit our budget page to learn more about our proposal and our plan to bring Connecticut out of this fiscal crisis.

House Republican Budget Proposal

State Finances Served Up at Greenwich Picnic (Greenwich Time Article)

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Rep. Bocchino joined Reps. Floren and Camillo at the League of Women Voters’ annual Legislative Picnic in Riverside July 12, 2017. They discussed state issues affecting Greenwich, including the ongoing state budget crisis. Thank you to the hosts and the LWV for the invitation to addressed the group, and special thanks to Ken Borsuk and Tyler Sizemore of the Greenwich Time for their coverage and photography.

Please click here to read the full article.

Greenwich Legislators Talk Budget Impasse at RMA (Greenwich Time article) – 7.5.2017

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On Wednesday, July 5, Reps. Bocchino, Camillo and Floren spoke at the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich’s weekly lecture series. They discussed the gridlock in Hartford surrounding the state budget and how they believe the solution to Connecticut’s fiscal troubles is for our state government to begin operating within its means.

Special thanks to the Greenwich Time for their coverage of this event, especially Ken Borsuk (reporter) and Tyler Sizemore (photographer). Please click here to read the full story.

To watch the video of our remarks, please click here.