House GOP Leader Klarides Responds to Gov. Malloy’s Pursuit of Tolls Study

Posted on July 17, 2018 by admin


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“Borrowing millions to study how tolls would impact commuters is frivolous if not ridiculous. We’ve seen other studies, we’ve heard from consultants. We already know the answer to the question he’s asking: it’s going to make it even more expensive to live in Connecticut. Republicans have spelled out how we’d fix roads and bridges—by prioritizing existing dollars. For those who view tolls as some sort of magic solution, it’s time to put a reasonable and concrete plan forward. They should tell us how much it’ll cost everyone, and where you’ll trim government to save money elsewhere. But, clearly, this governor’s new pursuit to spend millions we don’t have as he heads for the exit door shows he has no interest in cutting costs. History has shown the governor does whatever he wants. Taxpayers of this state can’t afford to subsidize whatever costly whims he decides to pursue over the next few months. What’s next? The installation of new judges we neither need nor can afford. We’ve had enough.”

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides Calls on Democrats to Aid in Blocking Cuts to Senior Meals

Posted on June 14, 2018 by Admin


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HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today called upon Democrats to join in efforts to block Gov. Malloy’s scheduled cut of $2 million from senior meals programs when the legislature convenes in a veto session June 25.

Malloy wants to cut the money to help balance the state budget.

“Of all the places the Governor could have chosen to make these cuts he picked out a vital program that feeds the elderly and needy. There are other items he could have selected that make more sense and would not directly affect such a large and vulnerable population,’’ Klarides said.

The legislature, in passing a bipartisan budget last month, purposefully limited the Governor’s authority to make targeted cuts or “lapses’’ as they are known, including such areas as municipal aid, education and fire schools. Included in the budget was a $9.5 million unspecified lapse that Malloy is required to put in place to help balance the budget.

Klarides suggested several areas could be cut instead. She noted that there is more than $400 million in administrative costs across dozens of state agencies and that a reduction of .5 percent would equal the $2 million Malloy intends to take from nutrition accounts. The legislature specifically added $2 million to the meals program accounts in the final version of the budget.

Klarides also said that the state is going to spend $4.1 million this year on marketing, and that state employee union stewards get paid $3 million a year to conduct union business on the taxpayers’ dime.

“We are asking Democrats to join us in passing legislation when we convene for the veto session June 25,’’ Klarides said. Once the veto session is concluded the legislature can call itself into another session to deal with the nutrition programs cuts that will go into effect if no action is taken.

Statement from House GOP Leader Klarides on Gov. Malloy’s Veto of Legislation Securing Education Funding for Towns and Cities

Posted on June 4, 2018 by admin


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“The punitive and spiteful actions that Gov. Malloy took in cutting school funding for towns and cities after the bipartisan budget was passed warranted the protections the legislature enacted this spring. The veto-proof margins in both the House and Senate that supported our actions are evidence that the Governor is on the wrong side of this issue.”

– Statement from House Republican Leader Themis Klarides on Gov. Malloy’s Veto of Legislation Securing Education Funding for Towns and Cities

House Republicans Want Hearings on Audits Showing Abuse, Waste and Conflicts

Posted on May 30, 2018 by Admin


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HARTFORD – In the wake of more auditors’ reports detailing state agency abuse, wasteful spending and hiring as well conflicts in questionable payments to vendors, House Republicans today called upon committees overseeing the departments to conduct hearings toward resolving the ongoing controversies.

“The sheer magnitude of government mismanagement and questionable spending and hiring practices within state government has been repeatedly highlighted by the auditors in their oversight reports,’’ House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said. “Last year we succeeded in giving the proper legislative committees the authority to formally review these egregious practices within six months. Some of those deadlines have already passed and we need to act.’’

The provision Republicans inserted into the budget last fall allows for the oversight committees to conduct a review of the auditors’ reports within 180 days after they have been submitted. The hearing deadlines for three departments, Veterans’ Affairs, the Connecticut State University System and the Division of Criminal Justice will have expired by today with no action haven been taken on the reports.

Klarides has written to the leaders of the other caucuses, Republican and Democrat, and the chairs of the legislative committees that have gone past the deadlines to convene public hearings to address the auditor reports.

“These audits are very insightful and point out major policy changes that need to be made in the way money is spent and people are hired. It appears that taxpayer money has apparently been misused. The reports cannot just sit gathering dust in some state office,’’ Klarides said.

Klarides noted that last week the auditors pointed out that the UConn Health Center gave raises to employees who approved a contract for a the interim head of the center, rehired retirees who worked longer than they should have according to executive fiats, and paid some employees more than they should have, according to their contracts.

Klarides noted that some of the auditor’s findings have been repeated for various agencies meaning that the problems have not been properly addressed.

Republicans Offer Budget Revision in Effort to Unite Lawmakers

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) and Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) announced their plans to call a revised Republican budget for a vote before the General Assembly. The Republican budget was revised early today to restore coverage for 13,000 low income working parents on HUSKY A.

“We have revised our budget multiple times over the past month to try to bring both parties together. We have also tried to work with Democrats on a single negotiated plan. However, it has become clear that Democrat legislative leaders would rather resolve just a few items in the short term than work on a budget that truly meets the needs of our state. We are hopeful that this updated budget can unite lawmakers before the legislative session ends,” said Senator Fasano and Representative Klarides.

(more…)

Rep. Yaccarino Supports Bill Requiring Holocaust Education in Social Studies Curriculum

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Dave Yaccarino (R-87), voted in favor of S.B. 452, An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Holocaust and Genocide Education and Awareness in the Social Studies Curriculum.

The legislation seeks to include Holocaust and genocide education awareness in the social studies curriculum within public schools in our state.

“We have not previously done enough to educate our youth regarding history,” said Rep. Yaccarino. “We must be sure that an understanding of history is gained, so that they may know that the holocaust was one of the most horrendous instances of genocide. The reality is that it was not the first and will unfortunately not be the last. Education and understanding is key to prevention. We must do everything in our power to prevent this from happening in the future.”

According to the legislation, school districts would be permitted to avail themselves of existing and appropriate materials and resources, as well as accept gifts, grants and donations, designed for the development and implementation of Holocaust and genocide education and awareness.

The proposal has been endorsed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). According to the ADL, 2017 was the highest single year increase in anti-Semitic acts since its first audit in 1979. Of the 1,986 incidents that occurred in the United States, 457 of them occurred in K-12 schools. This was a 94 percent increase from the previous year.

This bill would take effect for the upcoming school year beginning in the fall of 2018. Boards of Education are encouraged to utilize both existing material, public and private, as well as outside gifts, grants, donations and in-kind donations. Rep. Yaccarino and his colleagues in the legislature introduced and passed this legislation because they believe educating the public about these events is the most effective way to combat them in the future.

S.B. 452 passed the House unanimously and is now in concurrence with the Senate. The bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.