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Rep. Floren, House & Senate Republicans Unveil 2019 Budget Proposal

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Greenwich Delegation Stresses Urgency

for State Gov. to Live Within Means

HARTFORD – State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) stands with fellow House Republicans as they introduce their budget proposal for the 2019 fiscal year, which emphasizes stability and predictability.

The Republican proposal fully balances the fiscal year 2019 budget and erases the projected $321.5 million deficit. The plan would direct any revenue that exceeds the defined volatility cap toward the following three areas in equal thirds: (1) the state employee retirement fund, (2) the teacher’s retirement fund (with $8 million of that earmarked for the retired teachers health fund), and finally, (3) the rainy day fund. The proposal fully funds the Special Transportation Fund, restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program, and avoids the governor’s proposed cuts to education funding and municipal aid.

“I think our proposal will get the conversation started for the 2019 fiscal year budget negotiations,” Rep. Floren said. “We need to erase the deficit, invest in transportation and education, address unfunded liabilities, and help our cities and towns. These items are all priorities, and best of all, they can be achieved if we work together. Although we may vary in our approach, we all have the same goal – a brighter future for our state.”

The Appropriations Committee will hold a vote on the Republican budget proposal tonight. If it clears the committee, it would be sent to the chambers for a vote. The 2018 Session ends on May 9th, 2018 at midnight.

Rep. Livvy Floren Attends Autism Awareness Day at the Capitol

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On April 18, Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford) joined fellow House Republicans for Autism Awareness Day at the Capitol. Autism Spectrum Disorder affects about one percent of the world population, prevalent in every 1 in 68 births. Rep. Floren is inspired by the passionate legislative involvement of so many living with the disorder and will continue to support their efforts in Hartford.

Greenwich Delegation Participates in Trout Stocking on Mianus River

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GREENWICH – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) joined the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to stock the Mianus River with Brook and Rainbow Trout on April 9th, 2018.

“Trout fishing is a great Connecticut pastime,” the Greenwich Delegation said in a joint statement. “We thank the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the Fisheries Division of the Bureau of Natural Resources and Trout Unlimited for their restocking efforts that allow this tradition to continue. We had a great time participating this year, and look forward to a great season.”

Each year, approximately 550,000 to 600,000 trout are released into 150 rivers and streams, and 100 lakes and ponds across the state. About 300,000 trout will be stocked throughout the state before opening day this year. Approximately 3,000 fish are added to the Mianus River annually, which allows local residents to enjoy a good supply. Trout Unlimited, a national, volunteer-run organization, provided the fish. The organization has eight chapters in Connecticut with roughly 3,000 members statewide.

Opening day of trout season is this Saturday, April 14th, 2018. Although catch-and-release fishing is permitted throughout the year, fishers are only permitted to keep the trout during the official season, which lasts from mid-April through the beginning of September. During this time, fishers are allowed up to two fish per day.

 

Rep. Floren Helps Secure Grant for CT Historical Society

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During an April 13, 2018 meeting of the State Bond Commission, Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich), Ranking Republican Member of the Bonding Subcommittee, thanked members of the Commission for approving a grant for the Greenwich Historical Society. The funds will be used to reimagine the campus, and to provide better access to education and preservation programs. Joining Rep. Floren for the meeting were Katrina Dorsey, Director of Development, and Anna Greco, Curator of Education.

Follow the link below to listen to Rep. Floren’s remarks.

 

Rep. Floren Urges Support for David R. Tobin’s Nomination for CT State Referee

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Connecticut State Representative Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford) speaks urges adoption of a resolution to make David R. Tobin a State Referee, drawing attention to him leadership and service to the community. The resolution was adopted by a vote of 138-3.

Greenwich Delegation Hosts Transportation Forum with Commissioner Redeker

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GREENWICH – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) organized and cohosted the Greenwich Transportation Forum on March 27th, 2018 at Greenwich Town Hall. Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner James Redeker was present, and discussed current projects and proposals with attendees.

Greenwich, which is home to thousands of bus and rail commuters, would be directly impacted by proposed bus and rail fare increases, as well as changes to rail service, should these proposals be approved by the General Assembly. Additionally, the governor’s proposed gas tax hike and tire tax, as a solution to funding future transportation projects, has been met with criticism from legislators. Commissioner Redeker insisted that these tax changes, in addition to electronic highway tolls, are the answer to keeping the Special Transportation Fund (STF) solvent well into the future.

Several Greenwich residents, including members of the delegation, believe that such proposals will only give the state government an excuse to increase overall state spending. With the absence of a reliable lockbox on the STF, Republican members of the legislature are concerned that major transportation projects will remain neglected while wasteful spending continues, only on a larger scale.

“I thank Commissioner Redeker for joining us last night, and for presenting his ideas to members of our community,” Rep. Floren said. “The most effective way to address major state issues is by bridging the gap between our government and the people it represents. Several Greenwich residents came prepared with great questions and I thank them for their participation. Certainly we can work together to improve transportation in our town (and state) without putting more financial pressure on commuters.”

“I think Greenwich residents are worried about the future of public transportation, and how that will impact their commutes,” Rep. Bocchino said. “A Metro North ticket is not cheap, and with proposed increases over the next few years, travel costs will become prohibitively expensive for many. Thank you to Commissioner Redeker and all those who attended last night’s forum. It was a productive meeting that I hope will lead to a better, more sustainable transportation system in Fairfield County.”

“The intent of public transportation is to reduce congestion on Connecticut’s overcrowded highways,” Rep. Camillo said. “We should be encouraging people to ride the trains and take the bus, rather than forcing them to settle for rush hour traffic. I am thankful to the Commissioner for his time, and for engaging with our residents. I sincerely hope we can find other ways to keep the STF solvent without asking more from commuters. Personally, I think the answer lies in a more thorough review of overall state spending. I also think we need to look more towards the private sector for solutions to our transportation issues.”

“Whether it’s for work or weekend trips, anyone who travels through Fairfield County knows that our roadways are often congested and at times impassable, and for those reasons investing in our infrastructure is vitally important,” Sen. Frantz said. “That being said we must do more with what we already have at the state level – increasing taxes through tolls and rail fares hikes is not the answer. Our residents are already overtaxed as it is. As a state we must prioritize our spending so that we can invest in necessary infrastructure projects that will help increase interstate commerce and alleviate the burdensome travel that goes along with living in Southern Connecticut.”

The Shout Heard ‘Round the World

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(Top) Rep. Livvy Floren attended the “March for Our Lives” event in Stamford on Saturday, March 24, 2018. She was accompanied by State Sen. Carlo Leone and former State Rep. Lile Gibbons.

Walt (Disney) got it right: “It’s a small world after all.” It is also a powerful and passionate one as the nationwide “March for Our Lives” movement proved. The takeaway for all politicians should be: The electoral and social media savvy of the new generation is pervasive and persuasive, and it begins young, with the very small.

For the past 18 years, I have been invited by Mrs. Retzler to teach her four-year-old students at Round Hill Nursery School the basics of voting. They choose the snack for the day with ballots depicting popcorn or pretzels. The children learn that their vote is their very own, independent decision, is secret, and makes an immediate difference. Feedback from parents and RHNS graduates indicates that the lessons learned are lasting. (Full disclosure: Pretzels are the Alf Landon of snacks with only two victories.)

Fast forward to the fourth grade at North Mianus School where Mrs. Mulligan’s Girl Scout troop is working to earn a citizenship badge and learning about women in government. After our lively discussion, they mastered the legislative process by which their voices and ideas could be presented to Student Council and possibly, democratically, adopted as School policy. (My prediction is pizza will be on the cafeteria menu.)

Onward to rising seniors at Greenwich public and independent schools who can be selected to participate in Boys/Girls State, a learn-by-doing immersion in grassroots democracy sponsored by American Legion Post 29 and supported by local organizations like Greenwich Rotary. The week-long programs are held at Eastern Connecticut State University and provide participants with hands on experience in the politics of local and state government. (Greenwich holds the record of delegates who have been elected Governor by their peers.)

Finally, the recent “March for Our Lives” in Stamford, Washington, and communities across the country was an ultimate expression of youth activism and a non-partisan wake up call. Teenagers organized, and they spoke out. They were galvanized around the issues of gun safety, school security, and voter registration. They were calling upon us to listen to what they are saying, to learn from their experiences, and to act on their behalf. Their articulate advocacy and their civility are truly awe inspiring. (Note to responsible adults: Hear and heed.)

Young people are the future … and we should be glad and rejoice in it.

Livvy R. Floren, State Representative, 149th District, Greenwich and Stamford

Rep. Floren Speaks to Greenwich Girl Scout Troop About Legislative Process

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I had the pleasure of speaking to Troop 50126 about state government during National Girl Scout Week and enjoyed watching them earn their Inside Government Badge. They are a group of energetic, engaged and thoughtful young women, and they showed a keen interest in the legislative process. The future is here, and we are in good hand.

Greenwich Transportation Forum with Commissioner Redeker – March 27

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Between proposed bus and rail fare increases, proposed changes to transportation services, and other local projects, many Greenwich and Stamford residents have concerns that they would like to address.

In an effort to increase communication between the CT Department of Transportation and the public, Reps. Floren, Bocchino, Camillo, and Sen. Frantz have invited Transportation Commissioner James Redeker to speak at the Greenwich Transportation Forum next Tuesday, March 27 at Greenwich Town Hall.

Greenwich Town Hall – Town Hall Meeting Room

101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT 06830

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

This is your opportunity to present your suggestions and to voice your concerns about Greenwich and state transportation issues. Topics will include proposed bus and rail fare increases, proposed service changes, and local transportation projects.

The Greenwich Delegation encourages all residents to attend!

Rep. Livvy Floren Supports Kevin Tierney’s Nomination for State Referee

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Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford) spoke in support of the Hon. Kevin Tierney’s nomination for Connecticut state referee during Session on March 12, 2018.

“I have known Kevin Tierney for over four decades,” said Rep. Floren. “He is an outstanding jurist and civic leader, and it is a privilege to support Justice Kevin Tierney’s next chapter in public life.”

Justice Tierney’s nomination was approved by the CT House of Representatives by a vote of 145-2-4.