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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.).

Rep. Fred Camillo Attends Abilis Rally in Greenwich (Greenwich Time Article)

Reps. Fred Camillo, Livvy Floren, Mike Bocchino and Sen. Scott Frantz joined hundreds of supporters of Abilis at the Greenwich Town Hall on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Abilis is an organization that provides services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Abilis is now dealing with funding cuts as a result of the budget impasse

The Greenwich Delegation said that delaying a vote on a budget is harming the people of Connecticut, especially those who are in need of assistance. The delegate fear that further inaction will only worsen the state’s deteriorating condition and that swift action must be taken by the legislature.

Please click here to read the full Greenwich Time article by Ken Borsuk (Chris Palermo provided the photo).

Rep. Fred Camillo Votes to Override Malloy’s Veto of Affordable Housing Bill

HARTFORD – State Representative Fred Camillo (R-151) 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.

“We have asked a lot of our cities and towns this year, and now we can offer them some relief,” said Rep. Camillo. “The Governor has already tried to push a large share of the pension liability onto our local governments, but I am proud that we had the support to override this veto. Municipalities can now exert more control over local development without outside interference from Hartford and predatory developers taking advantage of a well-intentioned, but flawed law.”

In order to override a veto by the Governor, each chamber must pass the bill again, this time 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.