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Status of the State Budget

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To the Editor,

At a time when we should be coming together and making progress toward creating a balanced budget – one that moves Connecticut forward – the legislative majority continues to demonstrate that they are not fit to lead.

On Tuesday, the House was called into session, hastily, by the Speaker and Majority Leader. Usually, when sessions are convened, members of both parties are provided with an agenda in terms of what the business of the day will be. This did not occur.

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Bolinsky Reacts to Budget Veto

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HARTFORD – On Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, Governor Malloy delivered on his threat and vetoed the state budget passed by both Houses of the state legislature, in a historic show of bipartisan support. Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-Newtown) today expressed disappointment, but no surprise, along with his determination to get back to the business of saving the approved budget or moving forward on a compromise budget that implements the structural changes necessary to put Connecticut on a path to permanent economic recovery for all residents, businesses and communities.

“It’s disappointing that the Governor thinks it’s a good idea to hold well-run cities and towns responsible for deficits created by the fiscal mismanagement of our state government.” said Bolinsky. “By vetoing the bi-partisan budget, the governor is rubber stamping the continuation of wasteful spending and bad fiscal policy. He’s chosen projects over people. Consider the choice to pour $140-million into an aging XL Center versus funding my town’s schools, roads and safety net services for our state’s and Newtown’s at-risk populations. He picks institutional winners and losers by cutting reimbursement to nonprofit providers of developmental services, transitional and work programs, community mental health agencies, plus a host of other critical core social services. I think it’s pretty heartless.”

Bolinsky explained, “The budget Governor Malloy vetoed today is not perfect but it is a very good start to stimulate a much needed turnaround of Connecticut. It is forward-thinking and restores educational and municipal cost sharing dollars to 85 suburban communities, most notably Newtown, for the people I represent. Furthermore, it restores or enhances core functions of government and safety net services, while also shielding taxpayers from $1.5-Biillion in new taxes.”

The legislature is expected to spend the next couple weeks lobbying support for an override of today’s veto by the Governor and then, hold an override session on October 10, 2017. Municipal representatives were at the Capitol today helping round-up support for the override as well. Likewise, social service and nonprofit groups are expected to join the cause. Every Connecticut resident can weigh-in too, by participating in a petition drive at: http://www.cthousegop.com/veto_override/. This link also connects stakeholders to details about the bipartisan budget, the veto and the process for its potential override.

Bolinsky concluded, “You simply can’t make this stuff up…but we can fight it. I choose to fight because allowing the Governor’s veto to go unchallenged implements the nasty cuts declared in his executive order. Having no budget is not a viable alternative and fails every taxpaying citizen of our state. We deserve better. I urge everyone to check out the details of our bipartisan budget and e-sign the petition telling lawmakers to get back to the table and work together to override Malloy’s veto and pass a responsible budget.”

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Newtown Delegation Releases Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget

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Hartford – On Tuesday, State Representatives Mitch Bolinsky (R-106), William Duff (R-2), and J.P. Sredzinski (R-112), along with State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) joined together to release a revised two-year state budget proposal with no new taxes that would put a stop to the governor’s executive order, restore funding for education and core social services, and provide stability for towns and cities.

The revised budget proposal offered by Senate and House Republicans includes no tax increases and rejects the governor’s proposal to shift teacher pension costs onto towns and cities that would further burden municipalities and lead to increased property taxes. The Republican budget proposal combines elements of the Senate and House Republicans’ multiple prior budget proposals released earlier this year, feedback from Democrat lawmakers and the governor, and factors in the legislature’s passage of the state employee labor concessions deal that is now law.

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Bolinsky Walks to End Alzheimer’s

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PHOTO: Rep. Bolinsky concludes his portion of the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at Western Connecticut State University on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

DANBURY – State Representative Mitch Bolinsky participated in the 2017 Walk to End Alzheimer’s event on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at Western Connecticut State University’s campus. To date, the event has garnered over $85,000 in donations that will be used to fund Alzheimer’s research. Bolinsky participated with Almost Home, Danbury, one of 80-Teams, and was the number 5 fundraiser for this year’s event. He also became a member of the Champion’s Club, through the generosity of his donors.

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Bolinsky Attends Signing of Law Limiting Opioid Prescriptions

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HARTFORD – Newtown’s State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) attended a ceremonial bill signing of Public Act 17-131 An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse on Thursday, August 31, 2017, at the Hartford Public Library.

“Today, I proudly stood with both Republicans and Democrats today in Hartford to enact bipartisan legislation that will immediately place protective limits on the over-prescribing of addictive prescription pain killers in our communities and state-wide. This law will also improve patient education regarding the safe use and proper disposal of these potential killers so they do not invite abuse, by simply being in our home medicine cabinets”, explained Rep. Bolinsky.

The law, which is effective immediately, reduces, from a seven-day supply to a five-day supply, the maximum amount of an opioid drug a practitioner may prescribe to a minor. Additionally, the law requires prescriptions for controlled substances to be transmitted electronically to a pharmacy, limiting opportunity for prescriptions to be filled more than necessary and creating a new level of prescriber accountability, especially for those who prescribe for profit.

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Bolinsky: Alarming Proposal

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To the Editor,

After delaying the issuance of a balanced state budget for more than two-months, Connecticut’s House Majority leadership finally unveiled an alarming proposal to raise upwards of $2-billion by increasing sales tax in this, the most tax-burdened state in the nation, from 6.35% to 6.85%.  They are also eyeing a new luxury tax, a new hotel tax and increased taxes on smokeless tobacco products.  And, to add insult to injury, word on the street is they are also planning to increase fees for DMV services, so we can pay more for being poorly serviced by a broken state agency that frustrates and wastes countless hours of state residents’ time.

These Legislative Democratic “leaders” believe they have the right to do what others cannot: spend more than our income.  In my household, when income is flat, we do not spend more and, when income is down, we find a way to reduce spending.  But, instead of living within its means, our state, under 30-years of this tax and spend fiscal foolishness, has lost its way and appropriates more money every year, including this year and next, under the Democrat’s budget proposal.

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Letter to Editor: Budget Blocked During Special Session

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To the Editor,

At Monday’s House Special Session, I supported an amendment to allow the minority party to petition and introduce a budget for the entire chamber’s consideration. If passed, this would have served as a mechanism for the chamber to deliberate and vote on a fully vetted, proposed Republican budget or, leverage it into a compromise budget, satisfying the legislature’s primary responsibility: producing a balanced budget with which to operate our state.

The House Democrats voted the amendment down on a party-line vote of 77-71.  Why was the Republican budget suppressed?   Majority leadership feared its passage.

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Bolinsky: Time to Vote on Budget Proposal

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HARTFORD – State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) expressed great disappointment on Tuesday after learning that there will be no vote on a budget before the June 30, 2017 end of the state’s fiscal year.

“I see this and the 2017 legislative session, as a failure”, said Rep. Bolinsky. “It’s a failure of leadership that reflects badly on all who work in state government. I find it hard to believe that majority leaders could even consider turning their backs on the legislature’s primary responsibility, presenting, negotiating, compromising and voting on a biennial (two-year) balanced budget. Instead, they wasted days, weeks and months calling dozens of bills that they knew would not actually be voted on, for lack of votes needed for passage. Was it productive to ignore the budget in favor of ‘photo ops’ for their members to speak in support of tolls, new taxes, increased user fees and special interest-backed issues? I don’t think so. This leaves the people, businesses and municipalities of Connecticut hanging without a state budget and no bi-partisan appropriations plan, as we enter the new fiscal year. Their cancelling of the Special Session, puts the state’s spending in the hands of a lame duck Governor who has shown in his unapproved budgets that towns like ours are not his priority. On July 1, 2017 he will be able to budget by Executive Order. That’s not good news for towns like ours.”

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Post-Session Update, Thursday, June 22

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Please join my colleagues and I in Newtown for a post-session town hall meeting at the Cyrenius H. Booth Library’s Community Room on Thursday, June 22nd, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. There’s a lot to discuss, including the ongoing state budget negotiations, the now ended 2017 regular legislative session, the upcoming special session and how it all affects Newtown.    

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Bolinsky Opposes False Transportation Fund Measure

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HARTFORD – State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) voted in strong opposition to a hastily introduced House Resolution that purported to implement a lock on Connecticut’s Special Transportation Fund (STF).

Under current law, the STF is designed to fund state highway and public transportation projects. It is supported by a number of revenue streams, including the motor fuels tax, motor carrier road tax, petroleum products gross earnings tax, certain motor vehicle receipts and fees (e.g., driver’s license fees), and surcharges on motor vehicle-related fines and penalties.

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