Rep. Dunsby Update: Saying “No” to the Governor’s Request for $10 Million to Study Tolls

Posted on July 19, 2018 by rjoslyn


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7/19/18

As you may have heard, Governor Malloy this week announced he is requesting $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the impact of electronic tolling in Connecticut.

Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly each of the past five years, and it has never gotten a floor vote.  Significant public opposition to putting another financial burden on Connecticut taxpayers has prevented its passage in the legislature.

In the face of that opposition, the governor issued an Executive Order requiring the DOT to prepare a toll proposal and study how much it would cost commuters.  However, I don’t think we need a study to show the implications of tolls because they are obvious – it will make living in Connecticut even more unaffordable than it already is.

We already allocate to transportation: two gas taxes, the tax on out-of- state trucks, one half point of the CT sales tax, the sales tax on new cars, all sorts of fees, and borrowed money.  We should be reducing the tax burden on families and businesses, not increasing it.

My caucus has sent a proposal to Governor Malloy to address our transportation needs without imposing tolls – proposals that have been ignored.

To that point, I would like to share with you a letter my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – wrote to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bonding Commission’s agenda.

I stand with my colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request as well.

The Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.

Click on the image below to read the full letter:

 

Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have questions about items on the State Bond Commission agenda or any other state issue.

Rep. Dunsby Achieves Perfect Voting Record

Posted on July 10, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD –State Representative Adam Dunsby (R-135) achieved a 100% voting record for all roll call votes taken on the floor of the State House of Representatives during both the 2018 Regular Session and the Veto Override Session, which concluded on June 25. According to the data released by the House Clerk’s office, he cast every one of the 317 roll call votes called this year in the House.

Rep. Dunsby also achieved this distinction during the 2017 Regular Session and the Special Session, which lasted until last October. Last year, he was in attendance for all 417 of the roll call votes.

“The people of the 135th expect their voices to be heard on every single vote,” said Rep. Dunsby. “Whether a legislative session was called on short notice or a vote was held in the early hours of the morning, I made sure that they were. I am grateful for the honor of representing the people of Easton, Redding, and Weston, and will strive to make every vote next year as well.”

Perfect attendance and voting records are difficult to achieve since most legislators do not live in Hartford. This distinction was achieved by only 52 out of 151 House members this year, which is 34% of Rep. Dunsby’s colleagues.

The next regular session of the General Assembly will convene in January of 2019.

Rep. Dunsby and Sen. Hwang Vote to Override Governor’s Veto of Bill Preventing Mid-Year Cuts

Posted on June 28, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Adam Dunsby (R-135) voted on Monday to override Governor Dan Malloy’s veto of a bill prohibiting future governors from making cuts to education aid in the middle of a fiscal year. State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) also voted to override the veto in the Senate.

Although there was enough support in the House on a 103-33 vote margin to override the governor’s veto, the override effort failed to achieve 2/3rd support in the Senate and was unsuccessful, meaning Governor Malloy’s veto will stand.  The legislature also failed to override vetoes on several other pieces of legislation that passed this year when Senate Democrats sided with Governor Malloy.

Public Act 18-35 was legislation intended to prevent a Connecticut governor from withholding Education Cost Sharing funds promised to a municipality for the school year, and was a key priority for Rep. Dunsby and Sen. Hwang.

“Never before has a Connecticut governor used his executive authority to withhold money promised to schools in the middle of a school year,” said Rep Dunsby. “This act said nothing about the amount of funding a town receives, just that once an amount had been promised and relied upon it could not be changed in the middle of the school year. I was glad the House overrode the governor’s veto on a bipartisan vote, though disappointed the Senate did not do the same. If the state can’t provide the aid it once did, it should at least provide our towns predictability.”

“Rep. Dunsby and I spoke with one voice on behalf of Easton and Weston’s educators, children and families,” said Sen. Hwang.  “I was proud to stand with Rep. Dunsby on this crucial funding issue.  At the same time, I was bitterly disappointed that despite our votes to override the governor’s ill-advised veto, they were not enough to get it to the finish line in the State Senate.  That’s truly a shame.  This bill would have created stability and predictability for our towns and local schools beyond the current budget.  I can promise Easton and Weston taxpayers this:  I am not deterred, and I will continue to stand with Rep. Dunsby in support of common sense policies like this one.”

All seven of the governor’s vetoes were sustained in a special session of the General Assembly on Monday.

Rep. Dunsby to Host a Series of Town Hall Forums in the 135th District for Interested Constituents

Posted on May 16, 2018 by rjoslyn


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EASTON State Rep. Adam Dunsby (R-135) is inviting his constituents to three post-session town hall events he is holding with his fellow legislators throughout the 135th district.  The dates are: June 4 in Redding, June 5 in Easton, and June 12 in Weston.  He will offer residents of Easton, Redding & Weston an opportunity to discuss with him pieces of legislation that passed this year and other issues pertaining to the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session.

 

Anyone unable to attend but would like to speak to Rep. Dunsby can reach him at Adam.Dunsby@housegop.ct.gov. Sen. Boucher can be reached at toni.boucher@cga.ct.gov, Sen. Hwang can be reached at tony.hwang@cga.ct.gov, and Rep. Duff can be reached at Will.Duff@housegop.ct.gov.

Rep. Dunsby Update: Conclusion of the 2018 Legislative Session

Posted on May 15, 2018 by rjoslyn


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The legislative session ended at midnight on Wednesday, May 9th. This session was intended for budget adjustments to the full, two-year budget adopted last October and to consider additional legislation, which as always, there was a lot of.

Connecticut’s budget, which had been drifting into deficit, was reprieved by an, apparently, unanticipated revenue boost from the repatriation of offshore profits by financial firms. This windfall, in excess of $1 billion, will be used to cover shortfalls and to bolster programs.

The Republican budget adjustment plan proposed that one third of that excess surplus be put in the underfunded state employees’ pension fund, one third into the teachers’ pension fund, and one third into the rainy day fund. This would have increased the funding ratio of these two pension funds and was favored by the unions, who prefer cash from the state over I O U’s.  Legislative Democrats preferred that all additional surplus go into the rainy day fund… and this is what happened in the compromise budget plan we adopted.

While putting money into the rainy day fund is not a bad thing, it’s like placing the cookie jar on a higher shelf—it’s harder to get to, but not impossible.  For instance, a future legislature could intentionally spend its way into a deficit, which the comptroller would be forced to close by drawing on the rainy day fund.

I supported the eventual compromise budget adjustment plan because of its key components: no tax increases, full restoration of the Medicare Savings Plan, and increased funding to the Special Transportation Fund from the transfer of sales tax on cars.  It also preserves crucial municipal funding for our towns, like ECS and Town Aid Road grants, which the governor would have cut if this budget had not passed.

While we can all be happy that the state had a revenue windfall, the state’s underlying economic issues remain substantially unchanged. Connecticut’s economy shrank in 2017, and has now shrank in three of the past four years – all while the country as a whole is enjoying strong economic growth. We still need pro-growth reforms such as lower taxes, lower regulation, and state employee benefits that match the private sector. Republicans proposed reforms such as removing overtime from pension calculations after 2027, but these reforms were blocked.

In future legislative sessions, I intend to advocate for the long-term structural changes our state will need in order to end its persistent fiscal crisis.

As always, please email me at adam.dunsby@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions about the state budget or any other piece of legislation from this session.  For information on other bills that were discussed this year, you can visit www.cga.ct.gov.

Rep. Dunsby Votes for Compromise Budget to Protect Local Education, MSP Funding

Posted on May 15, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Adam Dunsby (R-135) on Wednesday praised the passage of a budget adjustment plan for the 2019 fiscal year.  The budget plan, which passed on a bipartisan vote before the end of the 2018 session, is the result of negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to make adjustments to the budget passed last October.

The Republican budget plan was called for a vote earlier in the day, but was defeated. This plan would have put a portion of surplus revenue into the underfunded teachers and state workers’ pension plans. Instead this money will go into the rainy day fund, where it could be spent by a future legislature.

Rep Dunsby emphasized the budget adjustments fulfill several of his key priorities for the session, including the protection of ECS funding, fully funding the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for seniors, adding money to teachers’ healthcare accounts, and increasing funding to the Special Transportation Fund.  The budget adjustments do not contain any tax increases, a critical requirement Republicans insisted on. A one-time revenue increase of about $1 billion, mostly from the required repatriation of offshore investment company profits, allowed legislators more flexibility than expected.

“This budget adjustment plan was able maintain services and municipal aid without raising taxes because of one-time revenue gains,” said Rep Dunsby. “However, these revenue gains are temporary, and it is as important as ever that we implement pro-growth policies and restrain spending.”

The plan will also provide $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects by accelerating the existing tax on new cars. The funding will ramp up dramatically in the coming years.

Republicans were able to negotiate several provisions from their original budget proposal into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million.

Among the provisions in the compromise budget are:

–          $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services patients

–          Reduce Energy Efficiency Fund sweeps by $10 million

–          $9.5 million for cost of living increases for private providers

Republicans also were successful in including some provisions for long-term structural changes, such as allowing for volunteerism at the local level to ease burdens on towns and cities, and hiring a consultant to come up with $500 million in savings for Connecticut.

Republicans also secured language in the legislation that would inhibit Gov. Malloy’s ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did under his authority following the passage of the bipartisan budget last October.

“We still have a lot of goals to accomplish in future session, but I am proud of the way my caucus took the initiative to lead even though we are in the minority,” said Rep. Dunsby.