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4/27/2017 – Rep. Livvy Floren Speak in Support of S.B. 788

Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149) spoke in support of S.B. 788, An Act Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State for Capital Improvements, Transportation and Other Purposes, during a meeting of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee on Thursday, April 27, 2017. Rep. Floren is Ranking Member of the Bonding Subcommittee.

Please click the image or click here to watch the full video.

GREENWICH DELEGATION SUPPORTS REPUBLICAN BUDGET: TAX INCREASES ARE OFF THE TABLE FOR 2018-2019

HARTFORD – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) strongly support the Republican budget, which was presented today, April 27, 2017 during a press conference at the Legislative Office Building.

“I think the hallmark of our budget is the absence of any new taxes or tax increases,” said Rep. Floren. “We addressed the $3 billion budget deficit by reducing spending where we could. Difficult decisions were made, but we believe this is the most effective and least harmful way to close the deficit and reboot the economy. With these proposals, we can prioritize our funding and reduce the size of government to a sustainable level.”

“Raising taxes would merely put a band aid on our current deficit, but it doesn’t address the inevitable deficits we will face in the future if structural changes are not made this year,” said Rep. Bocchino. “We are trying to encourage businesses to invest in Connecticut by reducing regulations and taxes where possible. The Democrats have failed to present a viable budget alternative that will resolve the fiscal crisis and restore economic prosperity. Our budget will take the state in a new direction.”

“Our budget proposals restore funding to where it is needed most, and above all, it restores common sense to our state government,” said Rep. Camillo. “Estimated tax receipts are declining, which is largely due to the exodus of businesses and residents who have lost their patience with the government’s tax-and-spend philosophy. House and Senate Republicans are ready to lead, and today, we have made that abundantly clear.”

“I was proud to stand with my Republican colleagues today to offer Connecticut residents a budget plan that is realistic, a budget plan that creates stability and predictability across the state,” said Sen. Frantz. “In recent years the state’s answer to budget deficits was to implement large tax increases. It is clear that high taxes have continued to push people and businesses out of our state, sending our revenues into a downward spiral. This budget proposal does not increase taxes and it does not push state expenses and responsibilities onto towns, cities or hospitals.”

The Republican budget comes in $313 million under Governor Malloy’s budget proposals. Specifically, this budget phases in the federal exemption level for the estate tax, implements a $2 billion bond cap and places a constitutional Lockbox on Transportation dollars. Most importantly, it calls for the mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly. Labor contracts are a major component of the state’s fixed costs, and Republicans believe the legislature should exert some control over this process.

House Republican leadership requested an Appropriations meeting this afternoon to present their proposals, but the request was denied by the majority party.

Greenwich ZAC Camp ends with medals, laughter: Rep. Floren Presents Medals to ZAC Camp Graduates (Greenwich Times Article)

Rep. Livvy Floren joined ZAC Camp co-founder, Karen Cohn, U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, Chief of Police James Heavey and Fire Chief Peter Siecienski in giving medals to the young graduates of 2017 ZAC Camp. 120 kids participated in the four-day swimming safety program.

Thank you to the Greenwich Time for their coverage of this event, especially Ken Borsuk (article) and Tyler Sizemore (photo).

Please click here to read the full article.

 

 

 

Rep. Floren Comments on Malloy’s Warning of a Potential Bond Downgrade for CT

April 12, 2017 – Rep. Floren spoke with Matt Campbell of Channel 3 News about Governor Malloy’s warning to CT legislators that the state could be facing a potential downgrade in it bond rating.

“We are trying to work on our unfunded liabilities, especially pensions, I think it’s a good sign to show progress there,” said State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich/Stamford).

Please click here to read the full article and to watch the video.

Rep. Floren Tours State Office Building

Rep. Floren and fellow legislators toured the State Office Building at 165 Capitol Ave. in Hartford on Monday, April 10, 2017. The site will be undergoing a massive transformation over the next two and a half years. The historic building will house many Constitutional offices once completed in late 2019.

“‘Past is prologue’ to Greenwich Historical Society’s future” (Greenwich Time article)

Rep. Floren attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Greenwich Historical Society on Sunday, April 9, 2017. The project includes an expansion and renovation of the current campus with an expected completion date set for 2018.

State Rep. Livvy Floren, R-149th, said every time she visits the society, she is reminded of a quote from Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard.

“‘For life to be understood, you have to look backwards. But to enjoy it you have to look forward,’” Floren said. “That’s exactly what has been done here. We can love and appreciate our past here and really revere our future.”

Thank you to the Greenwich Time for their coverage of this event. Special thanks to Ken Borsuk for writing the article, and Michael Cummo for the photos.

Please click here to read the full article.

Consider This…

Consider that Connecticut – sited between the financial powerhouses of New York and Boston – was once an economic leader, but, sadly, our days of prominence have been followed by decades of decline. Why?

Consider that Connecticut is still a leader in several categories, but mostly the kind one tries to avoid. Residents and business entities are being taxed out of existence—gift tax, occupational tax, gross receipts tax, alternative minimum tax, a tax on Social Security benefits, and an estate tax, just to name a few. According to a recent Yankee Institute study, of Connecticut’s 360 revenue sources, the bottom 200 brings in only $29.6 million dollars. Governor Malloy’s two-year, $40.6 billion budget proposal is swarming with nuisance levies where the negative impact on the state supersedes any financial benefit.

Consider that Connecticut has an estate tax with a very low threshold of $2 million dollars. It is difficult to retire comfortably when residents are taxed beyond their working years. With a high cost of living and soaring healthcare rates, senior citizens suffer disproportionally from our taxes. If that weren’t bad enough, the estate tax has drawn even more scorn. The adage “You cannot afford to die in Connecticut” has become an accepted truth.

Consider that Connecticut has an estate tax with a very low threshold of $2 million dollars. The Federal threshold is currently $5.45 million dollars and is slated to go up to just under $6 million later this year. Even New Jersey is phasing out their estate tax (2018). It is no surprise that accountants have been telling clients for years that Connecticut is not only a bad place in which to retire, but also a bad place in which to die. The statistics showing Connecticut at the wrong end of the spectrum when it comes to out migration should be a clarion call to all that we must reverse course now and stop repeating mistakes with the same old “tax-and-spend” philosophy that brought us to this situation in the first place.

Consider that Connecticut, despite our efforts to thwart wasteful spending and tax hikes, is still indebted to our own pension fund. We create new revenue sources to stop the bleeding, but get sidetracked by new spending opportunities – a cycle that requires immediate intervention. We have heard your voices and understand that no matter how hard you work, you are still bombarded by rising costs and rising taxes, and you are finding it difficult to keep up.

The Greenwich Delegation has considered these concerns and has introduced H.B. 5631, An Act Increasing the Threshold for Imposition of the Estate Tax, which would bring Connecticut’s estate tax threshold in line with the Federal level. Perhaps this will also lead to a reduction in the income tax down the road, which could be offset be revisiting our pension crisis and finding ways to reduce the state’s financial obligation in the future.

Now, Consider that Connecticut, a state once championed for its prestigious public schools, international companies and high standard of living now finds itself being abandoned by employers, ignored by college graduates and reconsidered by lifelong residents. When will the last of our businesses uproot for tax-friendly alternatives? What will become of our home when the aging population that remains can no longer afford to live here? Who will be left to turn the state around? And, at that point, who will be left to care?

Consider that, Connecticut… and consider that we can do something about it, but it must be done soon. This is our Connecticut moment.

GREENWICH DELEGATION TOURS BLUE SKY STUDIOS

GREENWICHState Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) toured Blue Sky Studios in Greenwich on Monday, January 23rd with Chief Operating Officer Brian Keane and other members of the Blue Sky team.

“In 2007, I voted in favor of a Digital Animation Production Tax Credit program, which encouraged Blue Sky Studios to move from New York to Greenwich, CT in 2008,” said Rep. Floren. “I was privileged to partake in that process and I am grateful for the investment they have made in Connecticut.”

The Digital Animation Production Tax Credit program offers tax credits to companies that follow certain guidelines. Eligible companies must employ at least 200 full-time employees, perform digital animation production, and maintain their studio facilities all within the State of Connecticut. Blue Sky Studios maintains a 150,000 square foot studio and employs 500 people in Greenwich.

“I was impressed with the overall presentation of the facility and it was clear that all team members took great pride in their work,” said Rep. Bocchino. “This was not your average work environment and I enjoyed seeing how the various departments designed their workspaces to reflect their function in the company. This is the ‘thinking outside-the-box’ that Connecticut needs.”

The production company is well known around the world for developing animated films such as Ice Age, The Peanuts Movie and Rio. Blue Sky employs skilled workers in a variety of positions with career opportunities for individuals with different backgrounds. In addition to employing artists, Blue Sky also employs engineers, programmers, human resources and accounting professionals, among other positions.

“This is the type of innovation we want in Connecticut because it makes our economy diverse,” said Rep. Camillo. “I am impressed with Blue Sky Studios’ creativity, imagination and business ingenuity, and I will continue to advocate on their behalf in Hartford so that they may continue to succeed here.”

Blue Sky Studios is set to release Ferdinand on December 22nd and continues to work on several other films in development.

Meet the Leaders with Rep. Livvy Floren: Opening Day of the 2017 Session

Rep. Livvy Floren Receives Committee Assignments for 2017 Session

Livvy Floren

HARTFORD – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149) today announced her committee assignments for the legislative session that began Wednesday, January 4, 2017. She will retain her role as Assistant Republican Leader.

Representative Floren, now entering her ninth term in office, retains her powerful position as Ranking Member of the General Bonding Subcommittee, and will continue to serve on the Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee and the Insurance and Real Estate Committee. She will join the Legislative Management Committee.

“Opening Day of session is always filled with positivity and promise,” said Rep. Floren. “I have high hopes that the spirit of bipartisanship will continue throughout so we can work together to get things done to improve the economy of our State.”

For more information regarding the duties and responsibilities of each committee, please go to www.cga.ct.gov and click the “committees” tab.