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Rep. Camillo, Greenwich Scout Council to Host Annual Food Drive on March 3rd

GREENWICH – State Representative Fred Camillo (R-Greenwich) will be working with the Greenwich council of Boy Scouts of America as honorary chairperson of their annual event, Scouting for Food. The event will take place on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

“This is the biggest event the Greenwich council does during the year, and I am proud to be a part of it,” said Rep. Camillo. “I think it’s great that we are teaching these young leaders how to give back to the community by volunteering their time to a great cause. There are countless people in Greenwich who are in desperate need of assistance, and if we are able to help them, we should. These young men are setting a great example for their peers. We thank them for all their hard work, and look forward to yet another successful food drive!”

The Greenwich council of Boy Scouts of America will be partnering with Neighbor to Neighbor – a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting local residents in need of food, clothing and other essentials. Neighbor to Neighbor provides food weekly to over 1,000 Greenwich residents with nearly half of those food donations feeding hungry children. The Scouts are looking for non-expired food items including canned beans (not green), canned fruit, tuna, boxed milk, pasta sauce, jelly, peanut butter and more, in non-bulk containers.

Donations can be dropped off at the following locations on Saturday, March 3rd from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.: Glenville Vol. Fire Co. (266 Glenville Rd), Cos Cob Vol. Fire Co. (200 East Putnam Ave), Sound Beach Vol. Fire Dept. (207 Sound Beach Ave), and Christ Church (254 E. Putnam Ave, Front Circle, library).

Reps. Camillo, Kupchick and Colleagues Hold Animal Welfare Press Conference

On February 20, 2018, Rep. Camillo joined his colleagues in the Connecticut Legislators Caucus for Animal Welfare at a press conference to unveil their 2018 legislative agenda. Initiatives for this year include adequate shelter for dogs in extreme weather, modifications for accelerated rehabilitation for animal abusers, and recommendations from the Human Animal Welfare Task Force.

“As we embark on our 10th year of existence, the Caucus continues to advocate for laws to help our voiceless constituency,” said Rep. Camillo. “Through past successes, we are now rated the 5th best state in terms of compassion for animals. With our announced agenda today, we hope to further that push to be in the top spot nationally. Bill proposals such as addressing animals and children left in cars during extreme weather conditions, and animals left out in the same extreme weather conditions at shelters will be addressed. Additionally, issues like increasing the penalty for the intentional injuring and killing of police dogs will be front and center this session.”

Reps. Kupchick, Urban, and Camillo to Announce Animal Welfare Initiatives at Tuesday Press Conference

HARTFORD – State Representatives Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Diana Urban (D-43), and Fred Camillo (R-150) will hold a press conference on Tuesday to announce major animal welfare initiatives for the 2018 legislative session.  The press conference will take place on Tuesday, February 20, at 10:30am, in room 1E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The representatives will offer a list of all animal welfare bills submitted for the coming session, in addition to highlighting three: adequate shelter for dogs in extreme weather, modifications for accelerated rehabilitation for animal abusers, and recommendations from the Human Animal Welfare Task Force.

Joining Reps. Kupchick Urban, and Camillo at the press conference will be Annie Hornish, CT Humane Society, Debora Bresch, Senior State Legislative Director at the ASPCA, CT Votes for Animals and Susan Linker, CEO at Our Companions Animal Rescue.

“The Legislative Animal Welfare Caucus works year round alongside the CT Humane Society, the ASPCA, CT Votes for Animals, and Our Companions Animal Rescue,” said Rep. Kupchick.  “I believe we have a moral obligation to advocate for and protect those who cannot protect themselves.  I look forward to sharing the Animal Welfare Caucus’ legislative priorities for the 2018 session.”

“I am thrilled to be working on these issues with Rep. Kupchick,” said Rep. Urban.  “I have always pointed out the link between animal cruelty and domestic violence and child abuse.  I look forward to working in a bi-partisan manner on these important issues.”

“Animals are loyal companions, and many are trained to work alongside our military personnel and first responders,” said Rep. Camillo. “In exchange for their service to us, they are entitled to a great degree of protection from abuse and neglect. We have a responsibility to help this state’s most vulnerable and, in my opinion, animals should be included in this category.”

The legislators will give a presentation on the three bills they hope to pass this year and then answer questions from assembled media and interested parties.

 

Opinion by Rep. Fred Camillo: Connecticut’s “Taxman”

Let me tell you how it will be

There’s one for you, nineteen for me
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

Should five per cent appear too small
Be thankful I don’t take it all
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah I’m the taxman

If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street,
If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat.
If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat,
If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.

Don’t ask me what I want it for
If you don’t want to pay some more
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman

 Now my advice for those who die
Declare the pennies on your eyes
‘Cause I’m the taxman, yeah, I’m the taxman
And you’re working for no one but me.

  – The Beatles

While John, Paul, George, and Ringo were singing about British Prime Minister Edward Heath in their anti-tax anthem of the 1960s, another familiar, more recent, and all too familiar name comes to mind when this song plays these days in the Nutmeg State.

Once again, the Malloy Administration, faced with the failures of past tax increases, is looking to businesses to pay even more in his most recent budget deficit proposal, an occurrence so common it would be funny if not so sad. Businesses and private citizens that rely on motor vehicles take a hit through a seven cent increase on the Gas Tax, a three dollar tire fee, and a specter of tolls every few miles looming on the horizon.

Businesses take a hit by being asked to support an employment tax through the unemployment administration.

Even the privatization of group homes, a positive step, can only save so much as the SEBAC agreement that passed along party lines prohibits termination of any employees for several more years.    

Public Safety takes a hit, too, as the school bus safety belt account will once again see money earmarked for this purpose being diverted to the General Fund. As an advocate who worked on establishing this fund in the past, as well as having recently, and successfully, lobbied the Town of Greenwich to equip buses with these safety belts, I believe this is a big mistake. Public health and public safety are two of the pillars of good government.

Lastly, a Republican concept that passed into law last year, designed to jumpstart our faltering cities by providing incentives to clean up Brownfields properties and enable them to get back on tax rolls, will be scrapped. This is a blow to the environment, business and, yes, labor interests.

While not surprised, I am nonetheless more determined than ever to work against continuous failing policies that are driving citizens out of our state at an alarming rate. Additionally, I will be working FOR reforms like the ones Connecticut Republicans were able to get into the budget last year. These reforms will pay dividends as our beautiful state tries to rebrand itself as a place once again known as a destination, rather than the place many are destined to leave.

 

Opinion by The Greenwich Delegation

Much at Stake in the 2018 Session

The 2018 legislative session is scheduled to begin on February 7, 2018, yet it feels like the 2017 session never adjourned. With the endless parade of special sessions, budget negotiations and all-nighters, Connecticut residents have shown their patience with Hartford politics. But how long will that last?

There have been many defining moments in our state’s history. One such moment occurred in 1991 when voters opted for a state income tax in exchange for a spending cap that would, in theory, act as a check on the size of government. This was a strong sign that the people of this state trusted their government to do the right thing with their hard earned money. They expected major improvements in infrastructure, education, assistance to cities and towns, and overall, more accountability and transparency.

Unfortunately, many of these areas have been neglected or, at the very least, have not been given the full attention they deserve. Municipal aid from Hartford is unreliable, our schools have been micromanaged, our transportation fund has been raided far too often, and the size of government has made transparency, and hence, accountability, nearly impossible.

As elected officials, we are no strangers to criticism. Whether we are drafting the state budget or discussing controversial issues during committee meetings, the process of building consensus around major public issues can be difficult, but it is a challenge we accept openly and with tremendous passion.

Why? Because we believe that a stable government, the economy and our community are built upon trust. We believe this trust is sacred, and we want to preserve it. Rather than seeking personal gain or self-promotion, we took this job because we want to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

We proudly represent diverse constituencies whose unique perspectives and collective experiences have helped to build magnificent communities, and those same voices have helped shape us as legislators.

As the 2018 session begins, our mission is no different than it has been in the past, and that is to put that State of Connecticut before all else and to make decisions that will benefit the state as a whole. The decisions that have the greatest impact on our lives happen at the state level, and that is where our focus will remain.

In return, we hope that you will continue to reach out to us in the coming months with your questions, concerns and ideas because your feedback makes us better legislators, and we are dedicated to ensuring that this government serves you, and never itself.

We are here to represent you, and we will always do our best to serve you by continuing to bring integrity, honesty, accessibility and dedication to the General Assembly. It is a true honor to represent you in Hartford and we look forward to working on your behalf in the upcoming session.

Livvy, Mike, Fred & Scott