Urge Gov. Malloy to Sign Bipartisan Budget!

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 here.

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.

Rep. Camillo Attends Furlough Day Rally at the State Capitol – August 23, 2017

Rep. Fred Camillo joined several colleagues and members of the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled community on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 at the State Capitol for a Furlough Day Rally. Many spoke out against the budget impasse and its devastating impact on individuals who rely on state assistance for basic services.

The absence of a budget has forced employees working with I/DD persons to take furlough days. Typically, the state budget is drafted and approved by the General Assembly on or before the last day of the regular session, which was on June 7, 2017 this year. That day came and went, and still no budget has been approved. Rep. Camillo continues to work with fellow House Republicans and members of the General Assembly to reach a budget solution in a timely manner; one that is fiscally responsible and focuses the state’s limited resources on core government functions like helping our most vulnerable residents.

More updates on the budget situation will be provided as they become available.

Rep. Camillo’s School Bus Seat Belt Bill Continues to Receive Attention

At the start of the 2017 Session, Rep. Camillo introduced H.B. 5178, An Act Requiring Three-Point Lap and Shoulder Seat Safety Belts for School Buses. While this particular bill did not move beyond the Transportation Committee, the issue is still very much alive in Connecticut and will continue to garner public attention until a reasonable, fiscally responsible and effective solution can be agreed upon. Public safety is a top priority for the State of Connecticut, especially when the lives of our students are at stake.

Please click here to read the full story by Connecticut By the Numbers.

Opinion by Rep. Fred Camillo – August, 2017

Time to Lead

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. That old saying, while often over used, was never more true than it is now when looking at the recent SEBAC agreement vote in the Connecticut legislature. The bill, which passed on a party line vote, with all Republicans voting in opposition, and just one House Democrat joining us, ties state government’s hands for a decade. That is not a typo. A decade!

The House and Senate Democratic legislators claim that the $1.5 billion in union concessions was too good of a deal to pass up, and that you have to give up things in negotiations in order to receive sought after items. While that is generally true, things like requiring state workers to pay an additional 2% toward their pensions (which are still capped at 4% for most state employees), and awarding 3.5% raises after a four year wage freeze are hardly worth a mere four year no-layoff promise. If this was just two years, this would have been an agreement worthy of serious debate, but ten years?! To add insult to injury, longevity payments will remain in effect as well as the traditional practice of loading on overtime hours in the last few years of employment so that a pension will reflect those high numbers as opposed to the years that were more reflective of a regular work schedule.

Coming on the heels of two huge tax increases, and one more in the works, the lessons of the recent past don’t seem to be registering with many members of the majority party. The devastating fact of people and businesses leaving our great state is now joined by the unacceptable reality that our neediest residents will continue to suffer as a result of funding cuts by the governor and a lack of a Democratic budget, now well over a month late.

Is the situation now as hopeless as many fear due to this union agreement and another planned tax increase? No, I don’t believe that all hope is lost, but a turnaround any time soon will surely be harder to accomplish now with our budget toolbox minus an import device. Still, I will continue to fight for a redirection for our beloved Nutmeg State with whatever means we have left. A new, determined, and pro-business governor along with the end of a disastrous one party rule era in the legislature will be a start. Common sense, welcoming policies must accompany that change of leadership at the state Capitol because, Lord knows, it has been absent for a long time.

Despite the union deal setback for our taxpayers, there are still many positive reforms left that can be implemented. That, however, will take a willingness to reach across the aisle and place the will of the people before party allegiance, even if that means putting one’s political career at risk. We were not elected to make the easy decisions; we were chosen to make the difficult ones. It’s time to lead.

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

Rep. Camillo 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.).