Light at the End of the Sound Beach Rail Road Project

Posted on June 15, 2018 by admin


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“And since all this loveliness cannot be heaven, it must be June!”Abba Gould Woolson

As State Representative of the 150th district I promised to keep my constituents updated regularly on state projects that involve our community, one of which is the Sound Beach Rail Road (SBRR) station upgrade.  On Tuesday June 5, 2018 I had my quarterly meeting (upon my request) with the CTDOT and Contractors overseeing the project.  Many residents had reached out to my office over the winter months upset about the lack of work and progress being made.  Partial explanation, one that produced many frustrations over the past 4 to 5 months, is that any and all maintenance by Metro North Railroad (MNR) to address safety concerns has immediate priority over all new construction such as the SBRR project.  In January 2018, MNR safety maintenance was projected to last 5 months and be completed by the end of May 2018.  Due to unforeseen circumstances detected in inspections the outage for MNR maintenance was extended to the end of July delaying much of the work on the SBRR project.  While this has been and continues to be somewhat of an inconvenience, the last thing we want are unsafe rails for our trains, and most importantly, our neighbors who ride the rails.

I am pleased to share that the project is on track to be completed by December 31, 2018. The majority, about 90%, of the construction is currently being completed in the night time hours. Unfortunately, there was an issue with the hand rails on the south side of the station.  Although both stairwells appear to be completed, they remain closed due to a small section of installed rail that does not meet the required CT State safety standards for hand rails.  This will be addressed in the coming weeks.  Moving forward, a permanent sidewalk will be installed on the south side of the station from the upper parking lot leading down to Sound Beach Avenue providing safe passage for commuters.  The remaining center column on Sound Beach Avenue under the bridge is expected to be removed by late September / early October 2018.  Final paving and curbing will be completed in the spring of 2019 when the asphalt and concrete plants reopen.

In an effort to continue to communicate as much information as possible, here is a brief update on other work anticipated over the coming months.

–           The steel for the bridges at Track 1 have been installed

–           Anticipating (4-5) weeks of night work to backfill at bridge abutments

–           Anticipating return of Track 1 to service around end of July / beginning of August

–           Currently working on lower parking improvements (Granite curb, pavement widening)

–           Currently working on upper parking lot (installing New Bike Rack and Sidewalk)

–           Installation of grass shelf in front of retaining wall (behind granite curb) as planned and recently confirmed by town

–           Planning to stain retaining wall to soften feel of the wall once product is approved

–           Latest schedule shows bridge work completed this year 2018 with roadway work completed in April and May 2019

For updated information regarding this project visit www.oldgreenwichrrstationbridgerehab.com

I hope you find this information useful and as always if I can be of service in anyway please do not hesitate to contact me at mikebocchino@housegop.ct.gov. In closing I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, safe and relaxing summer.

Mike Bocchino, CT State Representative 150th District

7 Tingue St, Greenwich CT. 06830 203-561-4899

Rep. Bocchino, CT House Passes Compromise Budget for FY 2019

Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin


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Budget Restores MSP, Fully Funds Education, Excludes Tolls

HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-Greenwich) voted in favor of a compromise budget plan based on several Republican initiatives on closing day of the 2018 Session, May 9th, 2018.

In recent weeks, House and Senate Republicans put forth two budget proposals for fiscal year 2019. In what would become a successful effort to lead budget negotiations towards fiscal responsibility, and away from tax hikes and reckless spending, Republican Lawmakers secured major victories for the State of Connecticut by laying the foundation for a compromise deal in the final hours of regular session. Specifically, the GOP proposal would provide $16 million for the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare fund and would establish a study to create a sustainable mechanism for future funding of the program. This was something promised to Connecticut educators for years.

The compromise budget restores the Medicare Savings Plan, rejects Governor Malloy’s cuts to education and municipal aid, and because of consistent opposition from Republican lawmakers, avoids electronic highway tolls. Finally, the plan does not include new tax increases, which was critical to earning the support of the delegation. Although Republicans did not gain support from Democratic lawmakers for their proposed union contract reforms, the Delegation believes these issues will be addressed in the near future.

“Republicans took the lead on budget negotiations because the alternative would have resulted in further cuts to Greenwich at the hands of Governor Malloy,” Rep. Bocchino said. “That is something we could not allow, and something that our communities would certainly not tolerate. We drafted a plan that sets priorities for state government and avoids highway tolls, but there is more work ahead of us. I want the people of my district to know that I will not stop fighting until Connecticut’s economy is once again a leader in growth and innovation. Our fiscal problems will not be resolved overnight, but today was a step in the right direction.”

S.B. 543, An Act Concerning Revisions to the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and Deficiency Appropriations for Fiscal Year 201, passed the House and Senate with veto proof majorities and now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.

 

Click on the video below to watch Rep. Bocchino’s interview with David Smith on “Meet the Leaders” – May 8, 2018.

 

Update from Hartford

Posted on May 4, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are in the final stretch of the 2018 Session, and I am happy to report that House Republicans made progress this week in the struggle to provide stability and predictability to the State of Connecticut

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers released our second balanced budget proposal for FY 2019. Our plan does the following:

  • Pays down unfunded liabilities
  • Fully funds teachers’ pension plan and retired teachers’ healthcare fund
  • Provides more municipal funding to Greenwich compared to Governor Malloy’s 2019 proposal
  • Fully restores Medicare Savings Plan
  • Provides assistance to the most vulnerable, including those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Accomplishes the above without introducing new tax increases

Republican Revised FY 2019 State Budget Proposal

Governor’s Judicial Nominations

This year, the governor nominated thirty-one judges to the State Superior Court, which comes at a substantial cost to taxpayers. While I acknowledge their individual qualifications, we simply cannot afford more judges at this time. Between salaries, benefits and pension costs, these positions would add millions to our state expenses, and we have yet to see a spending plan from majority Democrats.

My Republican colleagues and I voted no on these nominations because it was the responsible thing to do, but unfortunately, they were approved on party-line votes.

Toll Bill Blocked for this session

To end on a positive note, I am happy to report that after months of Republican opposition, the Speaker of the House has decided not to call for a vote on tolls because he no longer has the votes.

Tolls are just another tax on Connecticut residents, and I do not support their installation. With that said, I have no doubt that the majority party will attempt to revive the toll debate in the future, but we will be ready.

I will keep you updated on any new developments during these final days of session. Until then, please contact me at (800) 842-1423 or mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions or concerns regarding state government.

 

Best Regards,

Mike

Rep. Mike Bocchino

150th District

Rep. Bocchino Cosponsors Bill to Reduce Occurrence of Dual Arrests in Domestic Violence Cases

Posted on May 4, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-Greenwich) co-sponsored S.B. 466, An Act Concerning Dual Arrests and the Training Required of Law Enforcement Personnel with Respect to Domestic Violence.

“There are far too many incidents where victims of domestic abuse remain in the shadows because they are afraid to report these assaults to the police,” Rep. Bocchino said. “That is wrong. The police are here to protect us, and I think with more extensive training and allowing the responding officers more discretion, they will be able to identify the aggressor, and ultimately save someone from further abuse. As lawmakers, it is our job to stand up for the most vulnerable, especially victims of domestic violence. I think this bill does just that, and it has my full support.

Dual arrest is when both parties are taken into custody during a domestic violence incident regardless of who was at fault. This has discouraged many victims from seeking help over the years. With this bill, lawmakers hope that more individuals will come forward and report these incidents to the authorities. Under this bill, law enforcement officials will have more discretion when determining who to arrest. The bill also calls for more extensive training to assist the responding officer(s) in these situations.

The bill passed 147-1-2 and is in concurrence with the Senate. It will now make its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Rep. Bocchino, House & Senate Republicans Unveil 2019 Budget Proposal

Posted on April 20, 2018 by admin


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Greenwich Delegation Stresses Urgency

for State Gov. to Live Within Means

HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-150) stands with fellow House Republicans as they introduce their budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year, which emphasizes stability and predictability.

The Republican proposal fully balances the fiscal year 2019 budget and erases the projected $321.5 million deficit. The plan would direct any revenue that exceeds the defined volatility cap toward the following three areas in equal thirds: (1) the state employee retirement fund, (2) the teacher’s retirement fund (with $8 million of that earmarked for the retired teachers health fund), and finally, (3) the rainy day fund. The proposal fully funds the Special Transportation Fund, restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program, and avoids the governor’s proposed cuts to education funding and municipal aid.

“This is a fiscally responsible budget that manages to put any revenue surplus towards our unfunded pension liabilities and the rainy day fund, rather than using it to increase overall state spending,” Rep. Bocchino said. “We must prioritize spending on transportation infrastructure, education cost sharing, municipal aid, and critical social service programs. State government cannot continue to live above its means, and this budget reflects that reality.”

The Appropriations Committee will hold a vote on the Republican budget proposal tonight. If it clears the committee, it would be sent to the chambers for a vote. The 2018 Session ends on May 9th, 2018 at midnight.

Rep. Bocchino Urges Passage of Pay Equity Bill

Posted on April 20, 2018 by admin


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Bill Passes CT House with Bipartisan Support

HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-Greenwich), Ranking Republican Member of the legislature’s Labor and Public Employees Committee, urged members of the Connecticut House of Representatives to vote in favor of LCO 3879, an amendment to H.B. 5386, An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.

“This was a work-in-progress from day one,” Rep. Bocchino said. “We had put together a bipartisan group to move this bill forward. We had some great input from various organizations, including CBIA. This is not a Democrat bill. This is not a Republican bill. This is a bill for the State of Connecticut. This is something we have worked very diligently on – equal pay for equal work. We’re very proud of what we have produced here today.”

The amendment prevents a prospective employer from asking about an employee’s wage and salary history unless a prospective employee has voluntarily disclosed such information. Employers are permitted to ask for wage history if otherwise authorized by federal or state law. Additionally, employers are permitted to ask about the various components of a prospective employee’s compensation package, but are not permitted to ask for the specific monetary value of those components.

H.B. 5386, as amended by LCO 3879, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 142-4-4.