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The Harmful Effects of Collective Bargaining in Connecticut

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It’s with great dismay that I inform you of the legislature’s recent activity. On July 24, a new state employee union concessions deal was passed by the Democrat-controlled majority in the State House of Representatives. On July 31, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman cast the tie-breaking vote in the State Senate to cement the agreement’s passage.  Despite passage of this agreement, Connecticut still does not have a budget.  It seems the Democrat majority is attempting to incrementally pass a budget with this latest vote, and this strategy is undoubtedly leading to tax increases and municipal aid cuts.  They will claim these decisions are inevitable, but I disagree.  They are causing a greater fiscal crisis.

This recently approved ten-year union agreement will undoubtedly have harmful effects on Connecticut’s economy for decades. Despite the efforts of Republicans in both the House and Senate, the legislature approved this new union contract. After its implementation we can surely expect the following: an increase in taxes, cuts to important social services and reduced funding for municipalities. All of this is done to account for obligated wage increases, benefits, and guaranteed employment for unionized state employees.

While the agreement does increase the amount that state employees pay toward their pensions and health care, it caps those increases leaving the state to fund any health care cost overruns over the next decade.  The agreement includes several changes to existing individual union contracts that actually increases costs for the state. I’d like to point out an important discrepancy within this contract – the benefits of unionized state employees continue to dramatically exceed the benefits that municipal union employees and private sector employees in Connecticut receive.  All of these benefits ultimately are driving tax rates up and leading to the out migration of our residents, including our retired state employees, over a third of which have left Connecticut.

On top of that, this agreement limits the state’s ability to privatize or find ways to make government more efficient by consolidating services or departments through a no layoff provision.  So while our non-profits who perform the same services at a lower cost than the state are forced to operate with less funding, our state agencies have guaranteed funding.

At face value, this new contract and the state’s budget appears to be balanced for the first fiscal year (FY ‘17-FY ‘18), but the reality is that it will ultimately have harmful effects on the state’s ability to attract new business and grow jobs. What’s even more damaging to Connecticut is that it will surely lead to massive deficits in the future and further perpetuate the tax-and-spend mentality that has drained the state’s taxpayers and businesses for so many years already.  For ten years, I have fought these type of bad fiscal decisions, and I am amazed that Governor Malloy and the Democrats in the legislature continue down this path expecting a different outcome.  I’m becoming more convinced that the only way this state will change is with a change in the political makeup of the legislature.

Rep. Candelora Announces North Branford Town Hall Meeting

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North Branford – The public is invited to a Town Hall Meeting with State Representative Vincent Candelora on Wednesday, August 9, at North Branford Town Hall, Council Chambers, located at 909 Foxon Rd., in North Branford from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.

This meeting is an opportunity for residents to express any concerns they may have and to ask questions about specific pieces of legislation or the state budget.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

Area Legislators Announce Wallingford End of Session Wrap-Up

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The public is invited to an End of Session Wrap-Up with State Representatives Vincent Candelora and Craig Fishbein, along with State Senator Len Fasano on Tuesday, July 18, at Wallingford Town Hall, Council Chambers, located at 45 S. Main St., in Wallingford from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

This meeting is an opportunity for residents to express any concerns they may have and to ask questions about specific pieces of legislation or the state budget.

This event is free and open to the public.

Major Public Acts Now Available

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Every year, the Office of Legislative Research (OLR), the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA), and the Legislative Commissioners’ Office (LCO) compile a report of the major issues passed during the 2017 Legislative Session.

However, this year, the report does not include an OFA budget summary because the General Assembly did not adopt a budget by the end of the regular session. A supplemental report will be issued when that information becomes available.

OLR provides brief descriptions on a number of issues in this report including legislation on opioid drugs, education, transportation and the state’s business climate, among others.

I encourage you to take a look at the full report by clicking here.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (860)-240-8700 or Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov. You can also follow my legislative activity on my website at www.RepCandelora.com.

Area Legislators Announce Durham End of Session Wrap-Up

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Durham- The public is invited to an End of Session Wrap-Up with State Representatives Vincent Candelora and Noreen Kokoruda, along with State Senator Len Fasano on Wednesday, June 28, at Durham Town Hall, located at 30 Townhouse Road, Third Floor Meeting Room in Durham from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

This meeting is an opportunity for residents to express any concerns they may have and to ask questions about specific pieces of legislation or the state budget.

This event is free and open to the public.

 

VIDEO: Rep. Candelora Provides Legislative Update

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Rep. Candelora Supports Opioid Awareness Bill

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HARTFORD – On Wednesday, May 31, in the General Assembly’s Public Health Committee, State Rep. Vincent Candelora supported a bi-partisan proposal to implement additional addiction prevention measures for opioid abuse.

The legislation, HB 7052, An Act Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse, would help state agencies better prevent prescription opioid diversion and abuse through education and prevention.

This bill contains various provisions on controlled substance abuse prevention, particularly as it relates to opioid drugs. This bill would:

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Wishing You A Happy Memorial Day

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Memorial Day arrives this weekend, and it is a time to reflect on the service of those who answered our nation’s call in times of armed conflict, and made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure future generations of Americans would remain free.

OBSERVANCES IN OUR TOWNS

DURHAM: The Memorial Day Parade will take place at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, May 29. The parade will start on Main Street at the intersection of Haddam Quarter Road and will conclude at the Town Green. A Memorial Day Ceremony will take place on the Green following the parade.

WALLINGFORD: The Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 29, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Click here for more information.

NORTH BRANFORD: The Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 29, at 10:00 a.m. The parade line will proceed east onto Route 80 toward the North Branford Congregational Church. All are invited to Company 1 Firehouse after the ceremony for refreshments, sponsored by Company 1 and the VFW Post #8294.

GUILFORD: The Memorial Day Parade will be held on Monday, May 29, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. After a brief ceremony, the parade will march down Boston Street to the Green for the main ceremony. Veterans are welcomed and encouraged to march along.

I wish you and your family the best this Memorial Day weekend.

Sincerely,

Vincent Candelora

Rep. Candelora Supports Veterans

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Hartford – State Representative Vincent Candelora voted to pass a proposal what would reduce expenses for veterans obtaining replacement identification from the state Department of Motor Vehicles earlier this week.

H.B. 6061 – An Act Waiving the Fee for Veterans Who Have Certain Driver’s Licenses or Identity Cards Reissued Prior to Expiration – requires the DMV commissioner to waive the fee for one duplicate license or identity card issued to a veteran who wants to include the state’s veteran status designation on the identification. Currently, the fee for a duplicate license or identity card is $30. Duplicate licenses are those reissued prior to expiration or with modifications such as the veteran status designation.

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PHOTO: State Representatives Candelora and Kokoruda Welcome Officers to the State Capitol

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Photo caption (l to r): State Representative Vincent, Officer and Durham Selectman John Szewczyk and State Representative Noreen Kokoruda met with area law enforcement officers at the State Capitol on Tuesday. The officers were just a few of many welcomed to the Capitol in appreciation of National Police Officers Week.

Rep. Candelora represents the 86th District communities of Durham, Guilford, North Branford and Wallingford.

Rep. Kokoruda represents the 101st District communities of Durham and Madison.