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Rep. Cheeseman Meets with Constituents at East Lyme Senior Center

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EAST LYME – On September 25th State Representative Holly Cheeseman (R-37) met with several constituents to update them on the state budget and talk about any important new laws that could affect local senior citizens. To receive notifications about future meetings hosted by Rep. Cheeseman, please sign up for her e-newsletter here, or follow her on Facebook at facebook.com/repcheeseman.

Niantic Fire Department Open House

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The Niantic Fire Department will be hosting an Open House on Sunday, October 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at their headquarters located at 8 Grand Street. During the Open House, there will be a child car seat safety event offering free car seat installations and inspections.

There will also be a free fire smoke house and free amber alert cards, bike helmets, firetruck rides and lunch! The East Lyme Police Department will also be in attendance to conduct some demonstrations.

For more information, please contact the Niantic Fire Department at 860-739-3419. I hope that you will consider attending to support our local heroes!

Local Representatives Keep Bipartisan Budget Alive Despite Majority Party Efforts to Kill the Bill

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HARTFORDState Representatives Mike France (R-42), Holly Cheeseman (R-37) and Kathleen McCarty (R-38) on Tuesday afternoon helped beat back a partisan scheme by House Democrat leadership to kill the bipartisan budget that would maintain the state funding that our cities, towns, and local school districts need to keep normal operations up and running.

All three legislators, along with other House and Senate Republicans, have been working behind-the-scenes to persuade additional Democrats to join together in overriding Gov. Malloy’s recent veto of the bipartisan budget. The goal is to have sufficient support to override during an upcoming veto session. House Democrat leadership, however, called an impromptu session Tuesday when it became apparent that some legislators—including key Democrat votes that supported the bipartisan budget—would be unavailable. The representatives said Connecticut can’t afford that kind of gamesmanship.

“There is one budget that has been passed by the legislature on a bipartisan basis,” said Rep. Cheeseman. “That is the one budget that maintains funding for the schools in East Lyme and Salem, keeps municipal funding level this year, and protects the most vulnerable in our society.  By his actions today, the speaker made it clear that he is determined to kill that budget for good. Fortunately, we still have the opportunity to override the governor’s veto and I urge my colleagues to end the governor’s rule by executive order by voting to do so and ending this ordeal.”

“The Speaker of the House provided little notice of the session and the day’s agenda, prematurely calling us to the Capitol without even knowing whether the motion to override would be called,” said Rep. France. “It’s simple: they wanted to kill the bipartisan budget because they knew momentum was building among not only legislators, but also local leaders. We did what was best for the state of Connecticut by not allowing their partisan games to erase the hard work that has been done to achieve a true bipartisan budget. Not just a budget that has ideas from both sides of the aisle, but one that actually earned votes of support from both Republicans and Democrats. The result of the events on Tuesday is that the bipartisan budget is still alive, providing hope to Connecticut residents that we can, in fact, enact a budget that doesn’t shift the burden of irresponsible and unaffordable spending by the state of Connecticut onto our local cities and towns.”

“We need to do this right, and that means not resorting to acts of ‘political power’ that places a ‘now or never’ ultimatum on the House of Representatives,” said Rep. McCarty. “Fruitful negotiations by leadership in the four caucuses need to continue over the next week so that there is hope of arriving at a negotiated bipartisan budget using the current bipartisan budget as its foundation. The bipartisan budget that passed both chambers last month is gaining momentum. Such a budget has the potential of overriding the Governor’s veto.”

At present, the state is operating under Governor Malloy’s Executive Order. That means local funding, in particular education funding, will be slashed throughout the state. With that in mind, the legislators said it was an irresponsible act for House Democrat leadership to try and kill the only viable budget—the only plan that had enough support to make it through both chambers and to the governor’s desk.

Visit www.cthousegop.com/budget to learn more.

Local Representatives Celebrate “Blue Ribbon” Schools

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East Lyme High School and Oakdale School Among Only Four Schools in Connecticut Honored with National Award

 
HARTFORDState Representatives Holly Cheeseman (R-37), Kathleen McCarty (R-38) and Mike France (R-42) are expressing pride in two local schools that were recently awarded the prestigious National Blue Ribbon distinction.

The U.S. Department of Education awarded only four schools in Connecticut with the 2017 National Blue Ribbon: East Lyme High School, Oakdale Pre K – 5 School in Montville, Thomas W. Mahan School in Norwich and Morris Street School in Danbury. These schools were selected for their outstanding overall achievements recognized by Connecticut’s Next Generation Accountability System. The National Blue Ribbon Program distinguishes schools in two categories — Exemplary High Performing and Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing. East Lyme High School and Oakdale School were both identified as High Performing.

“Three of Connecticut’s four 2017 National Blue Ribbon Schools are located in New London County,” said Rep. Cheeseman, member of the Legislative Higher Education & Employment Advancement Committee. “I am so proud to live, work and serve Southeastern Connecticut. Our esteemed school systems truly deserve this recognition for all the hard work they dedicate to our youth. I congratulate East Lyme High School and know that the parents of my district must feel very confident that their children are being prepared to continue their schooling and/or begin their careers with the best possible education. More than 85 percent of East Lyme High School students participate in school-sponsored activities, teams, and clubs designed to foster important school community connections and academically reports show a four-year graduation rate of 98 percent.”

“Montville is delighted to have such an extraordinary elementary school, especially with their strong language arts and mathematics programs,” said Rep. McCarty, member of the Legislative Education Committee. “Both the teachers and administrative staff at Oakdale School are making an incredible difference in helping our children to succeed in all aspects of academics and activities, as well as deepen an interest in learning.”

“Oakdale School recognizes that the need for a quality education starts young,” said Rep. France. “They are providing a fantastic foundation on which our students can build the rest of their academic and professional lives. Congratulations to Oakdale School; thank you for going above and beyond to inspire your students.”

The legislators stressed the need to continue funding these schools so that they can remain successful well into the future – something that they said is now at risk thanks to the governor’s veto of the bipartisan budget. They are now calling for a legislative override of the veto.

“These achievements prove that we must protect education funding in our state,” said Rep. Cheeseman. “Unfortunately Governor Malloy vetoed the bipartisan budget last week, pushing the Legislature back to square one on solving the budget crisis. There is a chance, however, that the Legislature can vote to overrule his veto and enact the budget. I hope our majority leaders will see how necessary our budget, which preserves education funding, is to Connecticut and call the Legislature back to take this vote.”

“It is a shame that on the first year Montville receives this national distinction, the state is also in a horrible budget crisis that aims direct hits at our schools,” said Rep. McCarty. “I will continue advocating for education funding to ensure that our children can continue participating in quality programs. I would absolutely hate to see our students suffer because a lack of resources degraded the instruction they have thrived with.”

“Last week I stood outside Pleasant Valley Elementary School in Groton with my fellow legislators and local officials and asked the Legislature to override the governor’s budget veto,” said Rep. France. “Pleasant Valley Elementary School is now closed; there are no students or teachers in their classrooms. The Groton Board of Education closed the school because they were financially no longer able to run their programs or support their students and staff. We cannot let this happen to more of our well-loved and high-performing schools like Oakdale. I will continue to keep my constituents updated on any new developments in Hartford.”

Roadwork on I-95 South

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Due to a severe infestation of Gypsy Moths this Spring and early Summer, the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that they will be removing significantly damaged and compromised trees on I-95 southbound between Exits 74 and 70 in Old Lyme. If you travel through this area on your daily commute, or need to pass through here in the next couple of weeks, please expect traffic delays and drive safely.

Removal activities will take place at the direction of a licensed state arborist utilizing machinery and crews specializing in the safe removal of trees. It is estimated that roughly 170 trees, mostly of the Oak variety, are damaged so severely that they will not survive, necessitating proactive removal to safeguard the motoring public. Subsequent to tree removal activities, the areas will be allowed to naturally regrow.

The removal process will begin Monday, September 25, and will be completed by October 9, 2017, weather permitting. Motorists can expect a right-lane closure on this segment of I-95. Crash attenuator vehicles and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The work schedule for this project is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Monday – Thursday).