Rep. Floren, CT House Passes Compromise Budget for FY 2019

Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin


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Budget Restores MSP, Fully Funds Education, Excludes Tolls

HARTFORD – State Representative Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford) voted in favor of a compromise budget plan based on several Republican initiatives on closing day of the 2018 Session, May 9th, 2018.

In recent weeks, House and Senate Republicans put forth two budget proposals for fiscal year 2019. In what would become a successful effort to lead budget negotiations towards fiscal responsibility, and away from tax hikes and reckless spending, Republican Lawmakers secured major victories for the State of Connecticut by laying the foundation for a compromise deal in the final hours of regular session. Specifically, the GOP proposal would provide $16 million for the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare fund and would establish a study to create a sustainable mechanism for future funding of the program. This was something promised to Connecticut educators for years.

The compromise budget restores the Medicare Savings Plan, rejects Governor Malloy’s cuts to education and municipal aid, and because of consistent opposition from Republican lawmakers, avoids electronic highway tolls. Finally, the plan does not include new tax increases, which was critical to earning the support of the delegation. Although Republicans did not gain support from Democratic lawmakers for their proposed union contract reforms, the Delegation believes these issues will be addressed in the near future.

“‘I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more of it I have,’” Rep. Floren said, quoting President Thomas Jefferson. “The plan we passed today is not the be-all-end-all of budgets, but it brings us one step closer to economic recovery, and that is a win for the State of Connecticut. Our problems will not solve themselves. We must work hard to resolve them as a state. Assisting our most vulnerable residents, like our seniors, investing in education, and avoiding further tax increases are the priorities that matter to us, and this budget sets those priorities. However, we must keep pushing for more fiscal reforms in the future. We cannot stop here.”

S.B. 543, An Act Concerning Revisions to the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and Deficiency Appropriations for Fiscal Year 201, passed the House and Senate with veto proof majorities and now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.

Click below to watch Rep. Floren’s comments on the bond bill, H.B. 5590, which passed the House and Senate unanimously shortly before the budget vote.

 

Click below to watch Rep. Floren on “Meet the Leaders” with David Smith – May 8, 2018.

 

 

Update from Hartford

Posted on May 5, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

There are only five days left in the 2018 Session, and we have a lot of work to do. With that said, I am happy to report that we made progress this week in the struggle to provide stability and sustainability to the State of Connecticut.

Revised Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers released our second balanced budget proposal for FY 2019. Our plan does the following:

  • Pays down unfunded liabilities
  • Fully funds teachers’ pension plan and retired teachers’ healthcare fund
  • Adds to the rainy day fund
  • Fully restores Medicare Savings Program
  • Provides assistance to the most vulnerable, including those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Accomplishes the above without introducing new tax increases

Republican Revised FY 2019 State Budget Proposal

Toll Bill Blocked for this Session

After months of Republican opposition, the Speaker of the House has decided not to call for a vote on tolls because he no longer has the votes.

Tolls are just another tax on Connecticut residents, and I do not support their installation. With that said, I have no doubt that the majority party will attempt to revive the toll debate in the future, but we will be ready.

I will keep you updated as these final days of session unfold. Until then, please contact me at (800) 842-1423 or livvy.floren@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions or concerns regarding state government.

 

Best Regards,

Livvy

Rep. Livvy Floren, 149th district

Rep. Floren Urges Passage of Bill Concerning Prescription Drug Costs

Posted on May 4, 2018 by admin


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CT State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford), member of the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee, urged her colleagues to vote in favor of H.B. 5384, An Act Concerning Prescription Drug Costs. The bill would provide more transparency to consumers when it comes to the pricing of prescription drugs. Rep. Floren believes this legislation is particularly important due to the evolving landscape of the pharmaceutical industry, and the growing number of mergers and acquisitions.

Rep. Floren Cosponsors Bill to Reduce Occurrence of Dual Arrests in Domestic Violence Cases

Posted on May 4, 2018 by admin


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Livvy FlorenHARTFORD – State Representative Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich, Stamford) co-sponsored S.B. 466, An Act Concerning Dual Arrests and the Training Required of Law Enforcement Personnel with Respect to Domestic Violence.

“It’s disheartening to hear of so many cases where women and men tolerate abusive situations because they are worried about the repercussions,” Rep. Floren said. “There should never be repercussions for seeking help. That is why law enforcement exists – to protect the innocent and bring justice to those who break the law. This bill takes a strong stand against domestic violence. I am proud to support it, and look forward to seeing it become law.”

Dual arrest is when both parties are taken into custody during a domestic violence incident regardless of who was at fault. This has discouraged many victims from seeking help over the years. With this bill, lawmakers hope that more individuals will come forward and report these incidents to the authorities. Under this bill, law enforcement officials will have more discretion when determining who to arrest. The bill also calls for more extensive training to assist the responding officer(s) in these situations.

The bill passed 147-1-2 and is in concurrence with the Senate. It will now make its way to the governor’s desk for his signature.

Voting Should Be Popular…With Everyone

Posted on April 25, 2018 by admin


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Madeleine Albright says she is an optimist, but she worries a lot.

Me, too.

I am very worried about the perceived partisanship and polarization of National Popular Vote (NPV). This is an initiative where reasonable people can agree to disagree, and it is not a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative idea.

When many of my Vassar classmates were reading Shakespeare and Aristotle, I was engrossed in Constitutional law cases. Marbury v. Madison, Dartmouth College v. Woodward, and Plessy v. Ferguson provided endless fascination and instilled within me a deep and abiding respect for the Constitution and for the wisdom of our nation’s founders. In addition, my political science studies proved to me that both the federal and Connecticut constitutions are living, breathing documents, which encourage flexibility and thoughtful interpretation.

In the Connecticut General Assembly, we will be discussing H.B. 5421, which proposes to have our state join an agreement/compact to elect the President according to the will of the majority – one person/one vote. According to recent polls, most Connecticut voters – Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated – support NPV.

Here is some background on the bill. Currently, Connecticut’s seven electoral votes go to the winner of the statewide popular vote, ultimately at the discretion of seven electors. If we agree to the compact, our electoral votes would instead go to the winner of the national popular vote, regardless of the result of the statewide popular vote for president. Ten states, including Washington D.C., have agreed to the compact, and in order for it to go into effect, the aggregate total of electoral votes among the states in the compact must exceed 270, the number needed to win the election.

The question is complex, and the answer is not simple – however, in order to encourage civic engagement in the political process while maintaining the sanctity of each and every vote, I believe one person/one vote is an idea whose time has come.

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

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

Posted on April 20, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on April 19, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on April 13, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on April 13, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on April 10, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on March 29, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on March 26, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on March 26, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on March 22, 2018 by admin


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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

Posted on March 14, 2018 by admin


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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.

Rep. Floren Co-Sponsors Bill Creating Insurance Mandates for Essential Health Benefits

Posted on March 5, 2018 by admin


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On March 1, Rep. Livvy Floren (R-Greenwich) joined a bipartisan group of legislators in Hartford at a news conference in support of H.B. 5210, An Act Mandating Insurance Coverage of Essential Health Benefits for Women, Children and Adolescents.

The bill defines “essential health benefits” as ambulatory patient and emergency services, hospitalization, maternity and newborn care, pediatric services, and mental health services, among others.

Rep. Floren is a proud co-sponsor of this legislation hopes that it will make it to the House and Senate Chambers for a final vote of approval.

Please click here to access the bill document.

Rep. Floren, Greenwich Delegation Helps Clean Up Tod’s Point

Posted on February 28, 2018 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren and the Greenwich Delegation joined BYOGreenwich, Friends of Greenwich Point, SurfRider and over 100 other volunteers at Tod’s Point on Saturday, February 24, 2018 for a community clean-up effort.

Within two hours, the volunteers collected over 2,000 pounds of trash, which had to be removed by machinery. The beach looks pristine and is now prepared to welcome visitors for the warm weather to come.

 

Rep. Floren Participates in Water Safety Information Forum at the Capitol

Posted on February 27, 2018 by admin


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As a parent, grandparent and legislator, I cannot stress enough the importance of water safety when it comes to children of all ages. On Tuesday, February 27, 2018, I was invited to attend a Water Safety Information Forum organized by the families of Emily Fedorko and Zac Cohn – two wonderful children who tragically lost their lives to water-related accidents.

Through the foundations created in memory of Zac and Emily, their families have turned their grief into resolve as they work to educate the public about the hazards associated with swimming, watersports and boating. Thank you for all you do to help prevent future tragedies. Your advocacy is inspiring.

(From left to right: Megan Ferraro – Executive Director of the Zac Foundation, Karen Cohn, and Joseph and Pam Fedorko).

Rep. Floren Supports Reusable Grocery Bags & Grant for Environmental Clean-Up

Posted on February 20, 2018 by admin


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On February 16, 2018, during the Bond Commission meeting, Rep. Floren spoke in support of Item 37, which will provide $2.1 million to the Town of Haddam for environmental cleanup. Rep. Floren deemed this a public health issues and urged passage. The bond package was approved unanimously.

In Greenwich, Rep. Floren recently wrote an op-ed in support of the green initiative, BYOGreenwich – a push to ultimately replace the use of plastic bags in grocery stores. Click here to read the full article as published in the Greenwich Free Press.

Rep. Livvy Floren Discusses the 2018 Legislative Agenda on “Meeting the Leaders” – February 7, 2018

Posted on February 13, 2018 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren (R – Greenwich, Stamford) discusses the 2018 legislative agenda with David Smith on “Meet the Leaders” during Opening Day of the 2018 Session, Wednesday, February 7, 2018. Rep. Floren stressed the need for continuation of the Medicare Savings Program, further investment in our state’s infrastructure and pay equality in the workforce.

Opinion by The Greenwich Delegation

Posted on January 26, 2018 by admin


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Much at Stake in the 2018 Session

The 2018 legislative session is scheduled to begin on February 7, 2018, yet it feels like the 2017 session never adjourned. With the endless parade of special sessions, budget negotiations and all-nighters, Connecticut residents have shown their patience with Hartford politics. But how long will that last?

There have been many defining moments in our state’s history. One such moment occurred in 1991 when voters opted for a state income tax in exchange for a spending cap that would, in theory, act as a check on the size of government. This was a strong sign that the people of this state trusted their government to do the right thing with their hard earned money. They expected major improvements in infrastructure, education, assistance to cities and towns, and overall, more accountability and transparency.

Unfortunately, many of these areas have been neglected or, at the very least, have not been given the full attention they deserve. Municipal aid from Hartford is unreliable, our schools have been micromanaged, our transportation fund has been raided far too often, and the size of government has made transparency, and hence, accountability, nearly impossible.

As elected officials, we are no strangers to criticism. Whether we are drafting the state budget or discussing controversial issues during committee meetings, the process of building consensus around major public issues can be difficult, but it is a challenge we accept openly and with tremendous passion.

Why? Because we believe that a stable government, the economy and our community are built upon trust. We believe this trust is sacred, and we want to preserve it. Rather than seeking personal gain or self-promotion, we took this job because we want to have a positive impact on people’s lives.

We proudly represent diverse constituencies whose unique perspectives and collective experiences have helped to build magnificent communities, and those same voices have helped shape us as legislators.

As the 2018 session begins, our mission is no different than it has been in the past, and that is to put that State of Connecticut before all else and to make decisions that will benefit the state as a whole. The decisions that have the greatest impact on our lives happen at the state level, and that is where our focus will remain.

In return, we hope that you will continue to reach out to us in the coming months with your questions, concerns and ideas because your feedback makes us better legislators, and we are dedicated to ensuring that this government serves you, and never itself.

We are here to represent you, and we will always do our best to serve you by continuing to bring integrity, honesty, accessibility and dedication to the General Assembly. It is a true honor to represent you in Hartford and we look forward to working on your behalf in the upcoming session.

Livvy, Mike, Fred & Scott

Rep. Floren, Greenwich Delegation Attend New Lebanon Groundbreaking

Posted on December 8, 2017 by admin


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Greenwich Delegation Secures Funding to Supplement the School’s Construction Costs

GREENWICH – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) joined local leaders, educators, students and residents for the historic groundbreaking ceremony of New Lebanon School’s state-of-the-art facility, which is scheduled to open in February of 2019.

Reps. Camillo, Floren and Sen. Frantz celebrate the groundbreaking ceremony with New Lebanon students.

The project was ultimately approved for the diversity grant offered by the state following a lengthy budget session. The final two-year spending and revenue plan, which passed on October 26, included funding for the new building amounting to about 80 percent of the expected $37 million construction costs. This will allow Greenwich to come into compliance with a state mandate. The legislators had dedicated a significant amount of time and resources to this project, which finally paid off this morning.

“This year we needed to make some difficult decisions regarding the state budget,” said Rep. Floren. “The one area that was nonnegotiable for us was education. We are all committed to these students and view this as a priority for the town. We fought hard to secure funding for New Lebanon because these students and their parents were counting on this grant to make this a reality. Once completed, this state-of-the-art facility will provide a safe, inclusive and structured learning environment for our young scholars.”

Reps. Camillo, Bocchino, Floren and Sen. Frantz stand in front of the future site of the New Lebanon School. The exiting building (top right) will eventually be torn down to make room for a parking lot.

“This is the culmination of months of hard work and dedication by all parties involved,” said Rep. Bocchino. “The staff, faculty and student body at New Lebanon has outgrown the existing facility. Once the new building is complete, these students will have the space, resources and environment necessary to help them reach their full potential. Thank you to everyone who has contributed during this process. It was a long road and we faced tremendous resistance along the way, but seeing the excitement on the students’ faces this morning made it worth every second.”

“Education is a top priority for the Town of Greenwich and the state at large,” said Rep. Camillo. “We spent countless hours meeting with the commissioner, Governor’s office,  and legislative leaders to gain final approval. We had a plan, we followed through, and we were successful. Seeing the hundreds of smiles on the faces of the New Lebanon students  made that effort more than worthwhile. It is a project that we in the Town of Greenwich can all be proud of.”

Budget Impasse Comes to an End – Rep. Livvy Floren Supports Bipartisan Plan to Reform Connecticut Finances

Posted on October 27, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) voted in favor of a two-year budget that averts Gov. Malloy’s devastating education cuts to cities and towns and installs structural municipal mandate reform that will provide long-term relief sought by local leaders and the taxpayers they serve.

In a historic accomplishment that would have been impossible just a one year ago, House and Senate Republicans exerted considerable influence over the final budget plan by incorporating long sought after items. These items include a spending and bond cap, mandatory votes on labor contracts, no income or sales tax increases, and equitable educational aid to cities and towns. This budget averted the governor’s harmful spending cuts to core social service programs while rejecting several tax proposals that had been introduced this year for consideration, namely on cell phones, restaurants and tolls.

“This was not a day for gloating celebration, but a day for hope,” said Rep. Floren. “We have a lot of hard work ahead to get our state moving forward. I believe this bipartisan budget deal paves the way for long-term fiscal responsibility, economic growth and sustainable state government. I am proud of the work we have done this year, and look forward to making further progress in the years to come.”

The budget passed the Senate early Thursday morning in a 33-3 vote, soon followed by a 126-23 vote in the House. The bill now awaits Gov. Malloy’s signature. If he vetoes the bill, the House and Senate have the votes to override his decision.

Please click here to watch Rep. Floren’s remarks on the bond package and the bipartisan budget.

Rep. Floren Presents Scott and Icy Frantz with David N. Theis Award for Community Service

Posted on October 17, 2017 by admin


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Congratulations to Scott and Icy Frantz for receiving the David N. Theis Award for outstanding service to the community! They work tirelessly to make our community a better place to live, work and raise a family, and their generosity and unconditional support make them exemplary role models in town. The award is presented annually in honor of the late Greenwich Selectman David N. Theis, who passed away in 2014. Dave’s devotion to his constituents and the community continues to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

Please click on the image to the left to read the full Greenwich Time article.

 

Rep. Livvy Floren Introduces Boys/Girls State Delegates at RTM – Greenwich

Posted on September 25, 2017 by admin


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Boys/Girls State, sponsored by the American Legion, are programs that provides high school students across the country with the opportunity to participate in civil engagement and discourse, preparing them for careers in public service. I was proud to introduce these bright young students at the Representative Town Meeting this past week. Their future is promising, and I feel confident that the next generation will be able to handle the state, national and global challenges ahead.

 

Urge Gov. Malloy to Sign Bipartisan Budget!

Posted on September 20, 2017 by admin


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In the early hours of Saturday morning, September 16, something historic happened in Hartford. After hours of debate, and months of budget impasse, the General Assembly, in a bipartisan effort, passed a two-year, balanced budget package drafted by House and Senate Republicans.

From day one, Republicans have consistently called for a no-tax-increase budget that erases the deficit and lays the foundation for a steady economic recovery in Connecticut. With the announcements of Alexion’s departure, credit downgrades and financial struggles at the local level, Connecticut is out of time.

I commend the efforts of our Democratic colleagues in the House and Senate for placing party politics aside for the greater good. We believe this plan will stabilize our state’s finances and encourage future investment.

Despite our success in the legislature, the bill is now at the mercy of Governor Malloy, who has publicly threatened to veto the budget that we already approved on your behalf.

The link below will provide you with detailed information about the budget.

General Assembly Bipartisan Budget Agreement: H.B. 7501

If you agree that this budget is an effective way to address our state’s fiscal challenges, please contact Governor Malloy’s office at 800-406-1527 and ask him to sign this bipartisan budget. Vetoing this budget is not a solution and only prolongs our challenges.

Rep. Floren, Republican State Lawmakers Release Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget

Posted on September 13, 2017 by admin


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Hartford – On Tuesday, September 12, 2017, State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) joined fellow Republican lawmakers to release a revised two-year state budget proposal with no new taxes that would put a stop to the governor’s executive order, restore funding for education and core social services, and provide stability for towns and cities.

The revised budget proposal offered by Senate and House Republicans includes no tax increases and rejects the governor’s proposal to shift teacher pension costs onto towns and cities that would further burden municipalities and lead to increased property taxes. The Republican budget proposal combines elements of the Senate and House Republicans’ multiple prior budget proposals released earlier this year, feedback from Democrat lawmakers and the governor, and factors in the legislature’s passage of the state employee labor concessions deal that is now law.

“When drafting a budget, whether for your household, your business or your state government, self-discipline should always be the end game,” said Rep. Floren. “It is tempting to spend more and more when times are good, but when you fall upon difficult times, like Connecticut has, you have to ask yourself, why didn’t I prepare for this sooner? This new budget proposal is not perfect, but it is practical, and that’s exactly what we need right now. We have focused our state spending on the core functions of government to ensure that our neediest citizens will be taken care of, that our students will have a chance to succeed in the modern economy, and that our infrastructure will be able to support the private sector growth we hope to achieve in the near future. I am confident that we can all come together to do the right thing for our state.”

No New Taxes

The revised Republican budget contains no new taxes. It does not increase or expand the sales tax, hospital tax or income tax. It also rejects the governor’s proposal to shift teacher pension costs onto municipalities as such a policy change would likely result in property tax increases

Reduces Taxes

The Republican budget enacts two policies that will reduce taxes for retirees by phasing in a tax exemption for Social Security and pension income for middle income families. In addition, the Republican budget also restores the entire $200 property tax credit for all qualifying families and individuals. Under Governor Malloy’s tenure this tax credit has been reduced from $500 and we believe that property tax owners deserve a break on their taxes.

Increases Education Funding

The Republican budget rejects the governor’s devastating education cuts contained in his budget proposal and executive order entirely. It instead includes a fully revised Education Cost Sharing Formula that takes into account factors regarding recent court decisions, enrollment, poverty, wealth and number of English Language Learners, among other factors. This budget dedicates $33.6 million more to education in FY 2018 and $136.6 million more in FY 2019 and phases in a new formula over 10 years. It also establishes a council to analyze and make any necessary changes to the new formula within the next year if deemed necessary.  In 2018 all towns and cities will either be held harmless or gain more ECS funding.

Municipal Support and Mandate Relief

This budget provides predictable municipal aid so that towns and cities know what they can count on from the state. This plan does not ask towns and cities to pay for teacher retirement costs as the governor’s proposal does.  It also implements significant mandate relief for cities and towns to help municipalities achieve efficiencies and pass savings on to taxpayers.

Funds Core Social Services

This revised budget maintains Republican proposals to restore funding for core social services and programs that benefit people most in need. It fully funds day and employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, reopens Care4Kids, protects funding for SAGA that supports disabled residents who are unable to work, funds school based health clinics and family resource centers, restores funding for mental health services among many other programs.

Prioritizes Transportation

The Republican budget recognizes the importance of a safe, modern transportation system to public safety and economic growth throughout our state. Therefore, this budget prioritizes the state’s transportation needs and stabilizes funding without tolls or new taxes. It implements the Republican “Prioritize Progress” transportation funding plan and stabilizes the state’s Special Transportation Plan by dedicating transportation-related revenues to fund transportation needs and protects monies in the state’s Special Transportation Fund from being diverted for other uses.

Supports Seniors

The Republican budget lowers taxes for retirees by immediately eliminating the tax on social security and phasing in an elimination of taxation of pension income for single filers with an AGI below $75,000 and joint filers below $100,000. It also helps seniors age in place by restoring funding for core programs such as Meals on Wheels, the personal needs allowance, non ADA dial a ride, and the CT Home Care Program.

Employment and Day Opportunities for the Intellectually Disabled

Our budget fully funds employment and day opportunities for new high school graduates over the biennium, nor does the Republican Budget carry forward reductions imposed by Governor Malloy to employment and day opportunities services for the intellectually disabled.

Funds State Parks & Tourism

Acknowledging the multiplier effect that tourism has on our economy, the Republican budget proposes to transfer 1.5% of the current hotel occupancy tax to a new Marketing, Culture and Tourism account. This is not a new tax as Democrats have proposed. Rather, it dedicates a portion of the current tax for its intended purpose to boost tourism funding. This budget also implements the Passports to Parks program that has garnered bipartisan support in the legislature.

Reduces Size of Government

The Republican budget proposal implements a freeze on overtime, a hiring freeze on non-24-hour non-union positions, and makes cuts to the legislature such as reducing the number of legislative committees. The budget also makes targeted spending cuts, 10 percent reductions to certain agency accounts, and rolls forward lapses made last year except for cuts to core services such as grants for mental health and substance abuse and youth service bureau funding.

Includes Structural Changes

In addition to balancing the budget over the next two years, this budget includes policy changes that roll out into future years to achieve significant savings. Changes include items such as a spending cap, bonding cap, municipal mandate relief, and other policy changes for long term savings. The budget also implements pension reform beginning after the SEBAC deal ends in 2027 that will result in some immediate savings as calculated in an actuarial analysis.

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Opinion by Rep. Livvy Floren – Greenwich Public Schools and the Need for Capitol Capital

Posted on September 11, 2017 by admin


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John F. Kennedy once said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.” He obviously had Greenwich in mind. As we welcome our new Superintendent, Dr. Jill Gildea, and prepare to elect four members of the Board of Education on November 7th, we should look back at what has been accomplished in the past few years with a sense of pride and look forward to the future with optimism. We have a good school system, and we are in the process of making it a great one.

What are we doing in the General Assembly to reach the goal of a quality education for Connecticut students? For starters, we are trying very hard to make sure that all 169 cities and towns receive a fair share of education aid. The current Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula doesn’t add up. There should be more equitable distribution, and special education mandates should be paid for by the convening authority, usually the federal government. We hope to craft a new funding mechanism that takes into consideration property taxes and success rates – rewarding academically achieving schools and returning more money to the districts where the taxes were collected.

Some good news: Greenwich is ahead of the curve in school construction reimbursement. We began two decades ago to build needed classroom and school additions and have received reimbursement for projects at Hamilton Avenue and Glenville Schools and the Greenwich High School Performing Arts Center. We are currently in the pipeline for school construction dollars for New Lebanon School.

However, merely throwing money at schools is not the solution. Accountability is necessary … as is a culture of parental involvement in the learning process. I have long supported early English and universal school readiness programs for three-and four-year-olds. Creativity is needed to address teacher certification, retirement, housing and transportation. We also need to confront the complex societal problems that our public schools reflect.

A recent child care study put the situation in perspective: “Being an educator isn’t what it used to be.  Huck Finn is a delinquent. Tom Sawyer isn’t working up to capacity. Heidi is in foster care. Jim Hawkins is too young to get working papers … and who would allow Alice to sit and dream away an unscheduled summer afternoon?”

It’s not only sufficient to know the curriculum material but also necessary to understand how to convey that information to students with vastly unique and varied backgrounds. That’s where our educational dollars are best spent and why we need to continue to empower local school boards to set standards and determine what best meets the needs of their communities.

Education is a top priority for our town and our state. We have a lot to do, and, together, we can – and we will — get it done.

Rep. Floren Attends Greenwich Public School Convocation – August 28, 2017

Posted on August 29, 2017 by admin


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PHOTOS: Greenwich Public Schools Convocation is a Warm Welcome Back

As we sadly bid farewell to summer vacation, we proudly welcomed Greenwich’s 2017 faculty and staff at Convocation on August 28, 2017. Greenwich is fortunate to have such a talented and devoted group of educators who work tirelessly to provide a world-class education to their students. Thank you to our teachers for your great work and best of luck to our students in the new school year!

Please take a moment to check out the Greenwich Free Press article and their outstanding coverage of the event. Follow link above for full story.

 

Rep. Floren Attends and Speaks at the Grand Opening of UConn-Stamford’s First Dormitory

Posted on August 17, 2017 by admin


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The UConn-Stamford residential dorm is now open. I was proud to join UConn President Susan Herbst, Gov. Dan Malloy, Reps. Terrie Wood, Pat Miller and Caroline Simmons, Sens. Tony Hwang, Toni Boucher, Bob Duff and Carlo Leone, and other officials at the official opening yesterday morning. The new, 6-floor facility will feature 116 units including 10 studios, 57 two-bedrooms and 49 one-bedroom units, with a target occupancy of 290 students.
This is a great moment for the school as it continues to expand its presence in southwestern Connecticut, and certainly for the students who now have access to this state-of-the-art facility. Congratulations to the university and the city of Stamford!

Rep. Floren Attend High-Speed Rail Discussion in Greenwich (Greenwich Time Article)

Posted on July 27, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Floren and fellow Greenwich state and local officials attended a crowded meeting at Town Hall regarding the potential high-speed rail project, which could run through the community. Greg Stroud, Ph.D., of the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, spoke of possible impact on the town’s historical and cultural sites.

Please click here to read the full Greenwich Time article by Ken Borsuk (photo by Bob Luckey Jr.).

Rep. Livvy Floren Attends Abilis Rally in Greenwich (GT/GFP Articles)

Posted on July 27, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren proudly joined fellow Greenwich state legislators and hundreds of Abilis supporters at the Greenwich Town Hall on Wednesday to stand up for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The state budget impasse has adversely affected people throughout Connecticut, and without swift action, these cuts will only bring more uncertainty to those in need of assistance.

Please take a moment to read the Greenwich Time article by Ken Borsuk (photo by Chris Palermo) as well as the Greenwich Free Press article by Rosanna Neri (photo by Asher Almonacy).

 

Rep. Livvy Floren Votes to Override Malloy’s Veto of Affordable Housing Bill

Posted on July 25, 2017 by admin


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Livvy Floren

HARTFORD – State RepresentativesLivvy Floren (R-149) voted to override Gov. Malloy’s veto of H.B. 6880, An Act Concerning the Affordable Housing Land Use Appeals Procedure during a veto session yesterday, July 24, 2017. The Governor vetoed the bill after it passed both the House (116-33) and Senate (30-6) during the regular session.

The bill lowers the requirements for municipalities to reach a moratorium on affordable housing construction. Currently, cities and towns that cannot meet the threshold are vulnerable to predatory developers who can bypass local zoning laws. The language in this bill expands the unit types that count toward moratorium, adds more weight to certain unit types and reduces the threshold for smaller cities and towns making moratorium more achievable. Towns are required to have a specified number of affordable housing units, which has been problematic for some local governments. This legislation is designed to alleviate some of that burden.

“This bill was about giving towns more autonomy over local development,” said Rep. Floren. “Federal issues should be dealt with by the federal government, state issues should be handled by the state governments and local issues should remain in the hands of municipal governments. While the existing law is well intended, we must be mindful of the struggles faced by our towns as this fiscal crisis continues and provide them with the flexibility they need to operate effectively and efficiently.”

 

In order to override a veto by the Governor, each chamber must repass the bill with a two-thirds vote, meaning at least 101 votes would be needed in the House and 24 would be needed in the Senate. H.B. 6880 received the required votes in the House of Representatives (101-47) and the Senate (24-12). The veto has been overridden.

Rep. Floren Leads House in Prayer – July 24, 2017

Posted on July 24, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149) leads the CT House of Representative in prayer at the start of the Veto Session on July 24, 2017.

Please click here or on the image to the left to watch the video of Rep. Floren’s remarks.

Floren Reads Original Deed at Greenwich’s Founders Day Celebration

Posted on July 19, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren was honored to read the original deed at the Founder’ Day celebration at the Innis Arden Cottage honoring Greenwich’s heritage on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Thank you to all who attended and congratulations to the winners of the first “This Place Matters” photo competition.

Please click here to read the full story by Greenwich Time reporter Jennifer Turiano. Special thanks to Tyler Sizemore for providing the photo.

Thank you to Matt Bracchitta of the Greenwich Free Press for providing the photo on the right. Please click here to read the full story by GFP reporter Matthew Bonaparte.

State finances served up at Greenwich picnic (Greenwich Time Article)

Posted on July 13, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Floren joined Reps. Bocchino and Camillo at the League of Women Voters’ annual Legislative Picnic in Riverside July 12, 2017. Thank you to the hosts and the LWV for the invitation to discuss important state issues affecting Greenwich, including the state budget crisis. Thank you to Ken Borsuk and Tyler Sizemore of the Greenwich Time for their coverage and photography.

Please click here to read the full article.

Greenwich Legislators Talk Budget Impasse at RMA (Greenwich Time article) – 7.5.2017

Posted on July 6, 2017 by admin


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On Wednesday, July 5, Reps. Floren, Bocchino and Camillo spoke at the Retired Men’s Association of Greenwich’s weekly lecture series. They discussed the gridlock in Hartford surrounding the state budget and how they believe the solution to Connecticut’s fiscal troubles is for our state government to begin operating within its means.

Special thanks to the Greenwich Time for their coverage of this event, especially Ken Borsuk (reporter) and Tyler Sizemore (photographer). Please click here to read the full story.

To watch the video of our remark, please click here.

Rep. Floren’s Fertility Preservation Bill for Cancer Patients (H.B. 7124) Becomes Law

Posted on June 29, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Floren’s co-sponsored bill, H.B. 7124, An Act Concerning Health Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation for Insureds Diagnosed with Cancer, has now become law after receiving unanimous support in both chambers of the General Assembly and the Governor’s signature.

Rep. Floren was proud to support this legislation as a co-sponsor and to see its positive impact on cancer patients throughout the state. Cancer is a devastating illness and the side effects of Chemotherapy can be equally devastating. This legislation will give hope to cancer survivors, like Melissa Thompson, who wish to growth their families once they have won their battle and have entered remission.

Please click here or on the image above to read the full Hartford Courant article by Daniela Altimari.

Rep. Livvy Floren on “Meet the Leaders” – June 5, 2017

Posted on June 9, 2017 by admin


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State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) speaks with David Smith about the new dynamics in the General Assembly with a divided Senate and a slim Democratic majority in the House. Rep. Floren believes the close numbers are forcing both sides to work together, which is important for Connecticut residents. They also discuss unions, bonding and the budget.

Please click here or on the image above to watch Rep. Floren’s clip.

Rep. Livvy Floren Leads House in Pledge of Allegiance (Video)

Posted on June 2, 2017 by admin


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State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) led the House of Representatives in the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of Session on Friday, June 2, 2017. She also received special recognition from the House Speaker.

Please click here or on the image above to watch the video.

Rep. Floren Donates to Help-A-Hero at the Capitol

Posted on June 1, 2017 by admin


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On Wednesday, May 31 at the Capitol Reps. Floren was delighted to donate to Help-A-Hero for homeless veterans. This was a great opportunity to give basic supplies such as health care and hygiene items, gift cards, footwear and cash donations to the brave men and women who served our nation. They received enough donated items to fill an entire Humvee. Thank you to Help-A-Hero for hosting this event and for all the work they do on behalf of our veterans!

Rep. Floren Marches in Glenville Memorial Day Parade in Greenwich

Posted on May 30, 2017 by admin


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On Sunday, May 29, Rep. Floren had the privilege of marching in the Glenville Parade hosted by the Glenville Volunteer Fire Company, which was followed by a wreath laying ceremony at the monument next to the fire house. She was joined by her daughter, Jenny, son-in-law, Ray, and grandchildren Bella, RJ and Lina. Thank you to all who came out this weekend to honor the brave men and women who gave their lives in the line of duty. We are forever in their debt.

Greenwich Delegation Welcomes Chinese Delegation to the Capitol

Posted on May 25, 2017 by admin


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Reps. Livvy Floren, Mike Bocchino and Fred Camillo welcomed Bruce McGuire, President of the Connecticut Hedge Fund Association, Jim Aiello, Chairman of the Greenwich Economic Advisory Council, and Tao Guo of the Chinese Delegation to the House Chambers on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. The Chinese city of Hangzhou, the capital of the Province of Zhejiang, signed a sister-city agreement with the Town of Greenwich. Zhejiang is becoming a financial center in China and they are hoping to create stronger ties with Connecticut to benefit both economies.

 

Greenwich Delegation Welcomes Members of Boys & Girls Club to Capitol

Posted on May 25, 2017 by admin


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State Reps. Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150) and Fred Camillo (R-151) welcomed Ryan Accurso and Nico Venegas (Youth of the Year) of the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich to the Capitol on Wednesday, May 24, 2017. The club provides great opportunities for the community’s youth and the Greenwich Delegation is proud to lend their support.

Greenwich Tree Conservancy Branches Out to Bruce Park (Greenwich Free Press article)

Posted on May 23, 2017 by admin


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State Rep. Livvy Floren joined fellow residents in a tree walk at Bruce Park hosted by the Greenwich Tree Conservancy on Sunday, May 21, 2017.

“State Representative Livvy Floren, who is also a board member of the Greenwich Tree Conservancy, congratulated the organization on its leadership.

‘To paraphrase one of my favorite quotations: A single act of leadership throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees,’ said Floren.”

Thank you to the Greenwich Free Press, and especially Devon Bedoya, for covering this event and for providing this photo.

Please click here to read the full article from the Greenwich Free Press.

Rep. Floren Speaks at Water Safety Task Force Press Conference

Posted on May 16, 2017 by admin


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It was a pleasure to be a part of the press conference for the formation of the Water Safety Task Force and to recognize the ongoing educational work of the ZAC Foundation, a philanthropic force for good for more than seven years with water safety and swim camps in 20 locations nation-wide.

Water safety training and learning how to swim are gifts, gifts that serve people of all ages throughout life. Thank you to all of you for being able and willing to give.

Please click here to watch the video.

Rep. Floren Attends Realtor Rally at Bushnell Park

Posted on May 9, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Floren joined many of her colleagues for the Realtor(r) Rally at Bushnell Park in Hartford this morning. Thousands of realtors from across the state were present and UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma delivered the keynote address. Rep. Floren is committed to helping realtors by advocating for a more business-friendly environment to attract new companies and residents to Connecticut.

Rep. Floren Celebrates Polish Day at the Capitol

Posted on May 4, 2017 by admin


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On Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017, I joined in the celebration of Polish Day at the Capitol. There were great performances and remarks, and I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak about Polish culture in my own family including my daughter-in-law, Nina, and grand-daughter, Magda.

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

Posted on April 28, 2017 by admin


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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

Posted on April 27, 2017 by admin


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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)

Posted on April 17, 2017 by admin


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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

Posted on April 13, 2017 by admin


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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

Posted on April 11, 2017 by admin


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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)

Posted on April 11, 2017 by admin


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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…

Posted on March 22, 2017 by admin


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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

Posted on February 3, 2017 by admin


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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

Posted on January 11, 2017 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren Receives Committee Assignments for 2017 Session

Posted on January 5, 2017 by admin


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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.

Greenwich Free Press: Huge Thanks to Dalio Foundation at Re-Dedication of Anne M. Kristoff Playground

Posted on November 9, 2016 by admin


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As the ribbon was cut, dozens of children dashed onto the slides and ladders as residents looked on. - Greenwich Free Press

Thank you to the Greenwich Free Press for posting this great article about the Anne M. Kristoff playground rededication!

https://greenwichfreepress.com/around-town/giving/photos-video-huge-thanks-to-dalio-foundation-at-re-dedication-of-anne-m-kristoff-playground-76471/

Tuesday was Election Day in Greenwich, which meant no school. It was also the perfect fall day for the re-dedication of the Anne M. Kristoff playground.

“Look at this great view we have of Byram Harbor! Today’s a beautiful fall day. How could it be any better than this?” exclaimed Joe Siciliano, the Director of Parks & Recreation for Greenwich, who said the new playground was part of a larger gift from the Dalio Foundation for the park overall.

Siciliano said that in the past twelve months walking paths have been renewed, tree work has been done, plantings have been installed and masonry work has been completed.

Siciliano said that when he first met with Barbara Dalio and walked through Bruce Park, which has also benefited from improvements through the Dalio Foundation, she said wanted people to be seen outdoors using and enjoying the park environment.

Suni Unger of Serendipity has partnered with the Parks & Rec Dept on a public private partnership. Siciliano said Serendipity will donate part of the proceeds of the Wine & Food Festival toward the park improvements and park maintenance.

Peter Tesei, who described the Anne M. Kristoff as a “signature playground” that will served many generations of children in town, led dozens of children in a chorus of thank you to Mrs. Dalio.

“We grew up here, and lived in a 5-family house right down the street on North Water Street,” said Jessica Kristoff. “It’s a true effort of love that my aunt did all these wonderful things. It’s wonderful she did all these things and the park looks better than it’s ever looked.”

“It’s just nice for people to remember,” said Mrs. Kristoff’s daughter, also named Anne. “A lot of people are dying off who remember what Greenwich was like. It’s nice people remember. It was a lot different.”

“She was a community organizer,” Anne said of her mother. “She was like, ‘If I see something I don’t like, I’m going to fix it.’”

Greenwich and Stamford Public Schools: The Need for Capitol Capital

Posted on October 18, 2016 by admin


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OPINION BY REP. LIVVY FLOREN

The recent ruling by a judge on the State Superior Court bench, and the subsequent appeal to the State Supreme Court have served to up the wattage of the bright white light that has been shining for years on the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula. The adage:  “Doing nothing is not an option … because you never know when you’re done” certainly applies to the many attempts that have been made – and have failed — to improve the equity of public education.

What are we doing in the General assembly to reach the goal of quality education for all of our Connecticut students? For starters, we are trying very hard to make sure that all 169 cities and towns get a fair share of education aid. There should be a more equitable distribution, and special education mandates should be paid for by the convening authority, usually the federal government. We should be crafting a new funding mechanism that takes into consideration property taxes and success rates – rewarding academically achieving schools and returning a fair percentage of money to the districts where taxes were collected.

With that said, merely throwing money at educational problems is not the solution. Accountability is necessary, as is a culture of parental involvement in the learning process. Creativity is needed to address teacher certification, retirement, housing and transportation. We also need to confront the complex societal problems that our public schools reflect, exemplifying yet another situation where creative solutions must triumph over short-term financial band aids.

Legislators are all in agreement – Republicans and Democrats from urban, suburban and rural districts – that an ecumenical, bipartisan effort must be made to rectify an egregiously unfair ECS formula.

However, as Woody Allen says, “The lion and the lamb may lie down together, but the lamb won’t get much sleep.”

Reps. Floren, Klarides and Wood; Senator Frantz to be Honored For Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence

Posted on October 11, 2016 by admin


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State Representatives Themis Klarides (R-114), Livvy Floren (R-149) and Terrie Wood (R-141), and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) have been selected to receive a First 100 Plus Award for their commitment and dedication to helping victims of domestic violence.

Connecticut’s First 100 Plus – presented by the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) – recognizes male and female leaders who work to improve the lives of domestic violence victims across the state. The veteran legislators’ are being honored for their continued commitment to common sense legislation that enhances victim protections and punishes violators.

“I am honored to receive this award, but I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge and thank the men and women from the Coalition Against Domestic Violence who work diligently to help those in need, especially those who have been victims of domestic violence in our state,” Rep. Floren said. “The work we do in the legislature supports their mission and helps strengthen their goal to end domestic violence in Connecticut and nationwide.”

During the 2016 legislative session, Rep. Floren co-sponsored An Act Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence (PA 16-34) which strengthens existing domestic violence  law by shortening the time between when a restraining order is filed and when an involved party must surrender their firearms, and mandates court hearings within 7 days (previous law allowed 14 days) of issuance of an ex parte restraining order. Previously, Rep. Floren was successful in obtaining a $250,000 STEAP grant to benefit the Greenwich YMCA’s domestic violence center.

The 6th Annual Breakfast & Awards Ceremony will be help on Friday, November 4, 2016 from 7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. at the Hartford Marriott Downtown located at 200 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford. According to the CCADV website, money raised through the First 100 Plus Breakfast & Awards Ceremony supports public awareness efforts not traditionally supported by government grants.

Connecticut  has averaged 14 intimate partner homicides annually over the past decade with few of those victims ever having availed themselves of services prior to their deaths.

To view the First 100 Plus Class of 2016, please click: http://www.ctcadv.org/files/3714/7438/6629/First_100_Plus_2016_honorees.pdf

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OPINION: Special Session Could Have Helped More Businesses

Posted on October 5, 2016 by admin


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Last week, the legislature was called into special session to consider a package of tax incentives valued at $220 million to keep Sikorsky Aircraft in the state and producing world class helicopters in their Stratford facility.  We – the Greenwich delegation – voted yes on the bill because we felt supporting a large Connecticut manufacturer, its employees and the myriad businesses that supply parts are valuable to the state’s overall economy and health.

Unfortunately, and despite repeated requests by both House and Senate Republican leadership, the scope of the special session was narrowed to only include the Sikorsky deal. Our proposal attempted expansion of the session to consider legislation that would directly impact other businesses and manufacturers across our state.

We wanted to debate additional initiatives:

  • Require legislative approval of state employee contracts
  • Prohibit the state from participating in the mileage tax pilot program or implementing a state mileage tax
  • Prohibit increasing rail and bus fares without legislative approval
  • Implement pension reforms (contained in Senate Bill 1301 from the 2011 regular session), including prohibiting new longevity payments and eliminating both overtime and longevity payments from pension calculations
  • Create a bipartisan State Bond Cap Commission, require the commission to present recommendations for an annual cap on state bond allocations before February 28, 2017, and require a vote during the 2017 regular session
  • Create a Transportation Oversight Board to ensure input and accountability for state-wide transportation planning and funding

To say it is disappointing when open dialogue and debate are not considered valuable enough for an elected legislature to even consider is an understatement.  It is especially frustrating when the legislature is voting on a bill to assist one employer when these other matters could have equally far-reaching and deep impacts statewide.

As the Sikorsky announcement neared, Lockheed Martin executives underscored these underlying state issues saying it will cost the company $400 million more to produce King Stallion helicopters here. The recent departure of GE and the near-departure of Sikorsky are more than just the proverbial “canaries in a coal mine.”

Connecticut has traditionally been on the vanguard of innovative, high-tech manufacturing and professional sectors and we feel it is worth looking into alternative ways to promote and expand those, and others, well into the future. Even as our state economy struggles and both large and small employers consider relocating to more business friendly states, we are confident changes can be made to turn the ship and once again lead the nation.

We are truly pleased Sikorsky will continue to manufacture helicopters in their facility along the Housatonic River. However, on the same day we voted to secure their presence in the state until at least 2032, we were left wondering why even considering the underlying climate that almost caused Sikorsky’s departure was too much to ask.

New Laws Take Effect October 1

Posted on September 26, 2016 by admin


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A number of new laws passed during the 2016 Legislative Session take effect October 1, 2016. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community.

Included among those Public Acts that will become law on that date is a measure I supported to assist small businesses across the state:

AN ACT CONCERNING THE IMPACT OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS ON SMALL BUSINESSES (PA 16-32) –  To require fiscal notes by the Office of Fiscal Analysis to include an estimate of the number of businesses that would be affected by proposed legislation and an estimated fiscal impact on such businesses and, for regulatory flexibility analyses of proposed regulations, to redefine small business to include any business with two hundred fifty or fewer employees and to require additional information in such analyses.  FOR MORE DETAILS CLICK HERE.

For a full list of bills taking effect on October 1, 2016, CLICK HERE.

OPINION: Why is photo identification considered voter suppression? I just don’t get it!

Posted on September 13, 2016 by admin


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Why is photo identification considered voter suppression?  I just don’t get it!

As a card carrying “goo goo” (good government type) who has spent her entire legislative life encouraging voter participation (12 years as a member of the Government Administration & Elections Committee with 4 years as its Ranking Member), I have served on every single Task Force crafting legislation on contracting reform, ethics reform, voting technology reform, Freedom of Information reform, and campaign finance reform.  And, I have listened, with an open mind and heart, for hours – probably days and weeks – to compelling testimony for and against requiring voter photo identification.

Voting is the bedrock freedom of our democracy, and its security should be protected.  We need to present a photo id to board an airplane, register at a hotel, cash a check at our own bank, enter a government building or courthouse, and even obtain a senior citizen discount at a movie.

My proposal is that cities and towns would issue a photo identification card (not tied to a driver’s license) without charge to the requestor, and with costs assumed by the Citizens Election Program fund.  There is absolutely no hardship involved, and I think the sanctity of each citizen’s vote would be ensured.  To me, that is the ultimate voting right.

Please join the conversation by attending a forum on the “Election Matters: The State of Voting in 2016” – at 7 p.m. on September 20 at the Greenwich Library. The program is sponsored by the League of Women Voters, the Greenwich Democratic and Republican Town Committees, and the Greenwich Library.

 

Rep. Floren Tours Greenwich Police Department

Posted on September 13, 2016 by admin


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Greenwich Police Sergeant Thorme, Community Impact Section Supervisor, led a tour of the Greenwich Police Department for Reps. Floren, Camillo and Bocchino, and Senator Frantz. During the tour the legislators were able to see the different parts of the police department from the break rooms, to the gym, to the cell blocks and motor pool area while discussing the challenges facing police as they work to protect the community.

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Ramp Closures – Northbound Exit 35 On/Off Ramps on the Merritt Parkway in Stamford and New Canaan

Posted on September 6, 2016 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing the nighttime closure of the Route 15 northbound Exit 35 on and off ramps on or about Thursday, September 8, 2016, for the installation of traffic signal loop detectors.
LANE CLOSURE INFO

Route 15 (Merritt Parkway) Northbound Exit 35 Off-Ramp:
Ramp will be closed between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM, Thursday, September 8, 2016.  A complete detour will be installed to reroute traffic to Exit 36 NB, left on Old Stamford Rd, left on Route 15 SB to exit 35 Long Ridge Rd.

Route 15 (Merritt Parkway) Northbound Exit 35 On-Ramp:
Ramp will be closed between the hours of 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM, Thursday, September 8, 2016.  A complete detour will be installed to reroute traffic to Route 15 SB, Exit 34 Long Ridge Rd, left on Long Ridge, right on Route 15 NB.

Rep. Floren Attends Greenwich Public Schools’ Convocation

Posted on August 30, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren recently joined teachers, administrators and local and state officials at Greenwich High School’s performing arts center for the annual public schools convocation. The event featured remarks from GHS student government leader Joseph Magliocco, Dr. Sarah Goldin, Carol Sutton, interim Superintendent Sal Corda, Deputy Superintendent Anne Carabillo and Board of Education chair Laura Erickson.

Please click here for a more detailed report from the Greenwich Free Press.

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CT Emergency Alerts: There’s an App For That

Posted on August 12, 2016 by admin


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I am proud to share with you a new mobile app that has been launched to provide Connecticut residents with emergency alerts and other useful resources. The app, called CTPrepares, can be downloaded for FREE from the iTunes Apple Store for Apple devices and Google Play for Android devices.

The app allows residents to communicate with family members during an emergency and provides real-time notifications including emergency news, state office closings, public safety messages and up-to-the-minute information for residents. It also locates Connecticut Emergency Management contacts and provides emergency preparation guides.

For a guide on how to use the app, please click here to open a PDF instruction packet.

Sales Tax Free Week, August 21-27

Posted on August 1, 2016 by admin


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With the start of school just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 21st through Saturday, August 27th.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Additionally, new and used college textbooks are exempt from the state 6.35% sales tax for students who present a valid college ID at the time of purchase.

Since sales tax is calculated after the use of any coupons or discounts, if the final price is less than $100, the sale is exempt from taxes. Clothing or footwear under $100 put on layaway is also tax-free.

Please note: This benefit has been substantially reduced from previous years and will only apply to clothing and footwear that costs less than $100.

Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities: football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a full list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.

NEW Photo License Center Hours for Stamford, State

Posted on July 29, 2016 by admin


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Recently, the Connecticut DMV announced that several photo licensing centers, including Stamford, will have their hours of operation changed.

The Stamford office hours will change to 7:45 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday only, effective August 16, 2016.

 

The new schedules are below:

Location                     New Customer Hours

Derby                         7:45 -4:30 Wed. & Friday

Middletown                 7:45 -4:30 Wed. & Friday      

Milford                        7:45 -4:30 Tues & 9:15- 6 Thurs.

Stamford                     7:45 -4:30 Wed. & Friday

A special Founder’s Day ceremony at Greenwich Point – Greenwich Time

Posted on July 19, 2016 by admin


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From the Greenwich Time, 7/19/16, kborsuk@scni.com

GREENWICH — The annual celebration of Greenwich’s founding came this year with a special dedication: a plaque marking the 376-year-old event attached now to a rock at Greenwich Point.

The celebration Monday was a reminder of how the past intersects with the present, guest speakers told an audience of about 50 who braved heat and wind at the point to help honor the town’s history.

“Sometimes we forget, with too much enthusiasm for tomorrow, what and who came before us,” said Davidde Strackbein, chair of the Greenwich Historical Society and master of ceremonies for the celebration.

“We throw away the past and lose a sense of community and with it a sense of belonging and a kinship in all our history as a people,” she said, while relating immigrant stories that helped shape the town. “We are witness to a time, even now, that will never come again and we should not waste it. We should cherish it and preserve it as we have done today.”

The town’s founding event is recognized as the purchase of a swath of land in eastern Greenwich by Daniel Patrick and Robert and Elizabeth Feake on July 18, 1640 for 25 coats. (Only 11 of the coats were actually produced, and the Siwanoy Indians who occupied the land viewed the trade as a rental agreement, not sale, one of several factors that set Greenwich up for a tumultuous beginning.)

The bronze plaque, mounted on a large rock on a bluff overlooking Long Island Sound, features a replica of the deed for the purchase.

State Rep. Livvy Floren, R-149th, read the deed and gave way to attendees who shared memories of the importance of Greenwich Point in their lives. Among those was Selectman John Toner, who spoke of coming down to the beach area with his family and friends for breakfast and a swim. He said his parents would never let him swim after breakfast, so he would jump up and down on a rock marked 1640, which he never knew it marked the town’s founding until he saw it again as an adult.

“Kids will come and look (at the plaque) and their parents will tell them about it, but you only know about age through age,” Toner said. “They’ll come back as adults and say, ‘Yeah, this is where it all started.’ It’s good to be here.”

First Selectman Peter Tesei noted that the Elizabeth Feake eventually owned what is now most of Old Greenwich. The fact that it was rare for a woman to be the sole owner of property at that time showed Greenwich’s progressive nature from the start, he said.

Strackbein said what had once been “old paper and deadly stuff from the deadly past buried in the recesses of Town Hall” could now be seen every day on the bluff.

The plaque, which was created for last year’s 375th anniversary, also contains the town’s coat of arms from 1940: a windmill for the town’s early Dutch influence; a horse’s head for Horseneck, the name by which most of Greenwich (except for Old Greenwich) was once known; a plow for the agricultural history of the founders; a ship from the coat of arms of Greenwich, England; and a clam shell to represent the early maritime trade in the town.

The audience included representatives from several preservationist groups, including the Friends of Greenwich Point, the Greenwich Point Conservancy and the Greenwich Tree Conservancy. Also on hand were former First Selectman Richard Bergstresser, town Director of Parks and Recreation Joseph Siciliano and some descendants of the town’s founding families.

State Rep. Fred Camillo, R-151st, discussed some of the notable people who lived in Greenwich, including titans of industry, celebrities, pro athletes and President George H.W. Bush.

Camillo also spoke of skirmishes in the Revolutionary War, the famous art colony in Cos Cob, the fact that the Boy Scouts of America was partially founded here and the once-considered idea of making Greenwich home to the United Nations.

“All that for 25 coats,” Camillo said.

kborsuk@scni.com

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Celebratory Dinner Honors David Ormsby for Ten Years of Leadership of the Witherell Board – Greenwich Free Press

Posted on July 18, 2016 by admin


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Celebratory Dinner Honors David Ormsby for Ten Years of Leadership of the Witherell Board

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David and Lindsay Ormsby. Contributed photo

In an evening that included bagpipe music, toasts, roasts, and proclamations from the State of Connecticut and the Town of Greenwich, David G. Ormsby was honored recently for his outstanding leadership of The Nathaniel Witherell Board of Directors.

The celebratory dinner was hosted by the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell at Greenwich Country Club.

Ormsby stepped down from Witherell’s Board this past January after being on the Board since 2004 and serving as its Chairman for the last 10 years.

Among his accomplishments, Mr. Ormsby helped raise millions of dollars to modernize and refurbish the Nathaniel Witherell as co-chair of Witherell’s Project Renew (January 2013 to July 2014).

He continues to serve as Chairman of the Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board, which he helped establish in 2006.

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Standing left to right: Polly Longsworth, Peter Ormsby, Nick Kavanagh, Diane and Tom Smith, Ann Kenyon, and Chuck Longsworth. Sitting left to right: Debby Ormsby, Lindsay and David Ormsby, Cameron Ormsby, and Mark Kenyon.

“David Ormsby’s dedication to The Nathaniel Witherell is legendary and will be long remembered by the people of Greenwich,” noted Karen Sadik-Khan, President of the Friends of the Nathaniel Witherell, in her remarks. “The Friends Board, the Witherell Board, and the Town of Greenwich all thank David for his role in keeping The Nathaniel Witherell a part of our lives.”

Sadik-Khan announced to the 120 guests in attendance that in honor of Ormsby’s accomplishments, the Witherell’s Resident Life Fund will be officially renamed the David G. Ormsby Resident Life Fund, which will continue to provide programs and services to enrich the lives of all Witherell residents. Fittingly, proceeds from the dinner will support the fund.

Among the many items the Fund supports are: annual events and parties such as the July 4th and New Year’s Eve celebrations, weekly live performances by local musicians, music therapy programs for Alzheimer’s and dementia residents, painting and art history classes, volunteer services, Greenwich Chaplaincy services, organized outings, and pet therapy programs including the quarterly “Pooches on Parade.”

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Left to right: Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board Member Ginny Gray, Connecticut State Representative Livvy Floren, Marie Norton and Art Norton, Vice Chairman of the Greenwich BET.

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Left to right: Larry Simon, Witherell Board Chair, with Robbie and Albert Kestnbaum.

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Left to right: Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board Members Debby Lash and Fred Li with Judy Evnin.

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Walter Raquet, Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board Member Sabrina Raquet, and Witherell Board Vice Chair and Friends of Nathaniel Witherell President Karen Sadik-Khan.

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Lash, Greenwich BET Budget Committee Chair, and Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board Member Alma Rutgers.

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Left to right: Jan Marchand, David Ormsby, and Don Marchand.

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Davidde and Ron Strackbein.

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Friends of Nathaniel Witherell Board Member Bea Crumbine presents a proclamation from the State of Connecticut to David Ormsby.

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Witherell Board Vice Chair and Friends of Nathaniel Witherell President Karen Sadik-Khan presents a plaque to David Ormsby announcing that the Resident Life Fund has been renamed the David G. Ormsby Resident Life Fund.

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Rep. Floren Comments on Bond Commission Items

Posted on July 15, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Livvy Floren offered praise for several items during a July meeting of the legislature’s Bond Commission in Hartford.  Her remarks, some on behalf of colleagues who were unable to attend in person, reflect her commitment to investments to better the community and the state.

 

Bonding to Get Our State Back on Track

Posted on June 6, 2016 by admin


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In the wake of recent downgrades by two credit rating agencies of the state’s General Obligation (GO) paper, the bond package (SB 503), which was supported unanimously in the House and 34-2 in the Senate, took a necessary new path. I have always believed that bonding is an investment for the future of our state, and while we did cut nearly $1 billion in borrowing—we still managed to provide a mechanism for advancing proven projects in a timely, cost effective manner. Our bonding subcommittee conducted three full days of meetings with departmental commissioners—legislative members were present, prepared, attentive and alert…as were members of our professional support staff.

In these dire economic times—it is always darkest before pitch black—the subcommittee was steadfastly optimistic and remained fiscally responsible. The line items included in the bond bill are authorizations which can be thought of as enabling legislation. Authorizations include school construction, municipal aid in the form of Town Aid Road, STEAP and Urban Act grants, housing, environmental initiatives, economic development programs, and pools of money to help subsidize the work of nonprofit organizations. However, to become monies spent, the items must be allocated or approved by the State Bond Commission. This legislation is a real time road map that defines what could be accomplished with bond funds…both the possible and probable.

Although there is still much work to be done, this plan gets Connecticut going in the right fiscal direction while meeting the goals of the bonding subcommittee: accountability, transparency and prioritization. This was a truly bipartisan effort that created a thoughtful and needs-driven document.

Greenwich Delegation Decries Budget Lacking Structural Changes

Posted on May 16, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) opposed a budget that lacks true structural changes, relies on gimmick and one-time revenue sources and fund sweeps, and decimates social services for the mentally and physical disabled and other members of Connecticut’s most vulnerable populations.

The May 13 special session was required because Governor Malloy and legislative Democrats differed widely in their budget philosophies and were unable to produce a bill in time for the May 4th statutory deadline.

“What this budget lacks are long term structural changes that will put our state back on the path to fiscal sustainability. This budget is like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football—we have relied on one time revenue sources before and every time we find ourselves facing a deficit,” said Rep. Floren.

“Last year I stated that our budget did nothing to solve the systematic issues that continue to cause deficits. Once again, we had an opportunity to make long term structural changes that could have created a surplus and instead I fear we will be back in special session in the fall negotiating another deficit mitigation package,” said Rep. Bocchino.

“I think what is most disconcerting is that we proposed a plan that did all the right things by the state. It created long term structural changes, protected our most vulnerable populations, and even created a surplus. The budget passed does not do any of that,” said Rep. Camillo.

The Budget passed:

  • Relies on new revenue from sales tax, based on the state’s ability to get information from credit card companies on where Connecticut taxpayers are buying goods and services
  • Threatens local control through changes to regional Councils of Governments (COGs)
  • Pushes payments for GAAP debt off another year, increasing future debt service payments
  • Increases the cap on the mill rate for car taxes from 32 to 37 mills

The plan passed the House 74-70, with all Republicans voting in opposition.

To read the proposed Republican budget plan, click here.

Meet the Leaders

Posted on May 13, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Rep. Livvy Floren appeared on Cablevision’s Meet the Leaders with David Smith to discuss the State Budget.

 

Pathway to Sustainability: Creating a Fiscal Future

Posted on May 2, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- This week we joined our Republican colleagues in both the House and Senate to unveil our alternative budget proposal entitled “Pathway to Sustainability.”

The current fiscal year ends June 30th, and you might recall that in late March the legislature approved a plan to ensure the state wouldn’t finish the year with a $220 million deficit. It was the second “deficit mitigation” plan applied to the budget, which also saw Gov. Malloy make his own cuts to the extent allowable by state law.

However, even after two deficit mitigation plans that covered $570 million, we are still facing a $256 million deficit.

Further, the fiscal year that begins July 1 is projected to be $960 million in deficit. The legislature’s Appropriations Committee approved a plan to reduce some of that deficit by cutting education money the state provides to local school districts. Gov. Malloy then proposed deeper cuts. We’re opposed to those plans—we can’t shift the state’s problems to students and local taxpayers. We’ve advocated for structural budget changes to break this perpetual fiscal crisis.

Legislative Democrats also unveiled their budget proposal this week—relying heavily on one time revenue surges and unrealistic savings expectations.

The plan we are offering is a plan to balance next fiscal year’s budget, but to also issue a fiscal framework to break us out of this deficit cycle. A plan that includes long term structural changes and predictability so that five years from now we can be back in the black once again. The results of the past eight years are clear: one-time fixes and “hopeful” revenue projections have not worked. It is time for a new path, a course that will put Connecticut once again on the map as a destination and not a place to escape from.

To read the full plan, please visit fiveyearbudget.com.

Greenwich Delegation Recognizes Greenwich Boys and Girls Club Youth of the

Posted on April 29, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Fred Camillo (R-151), Mike Bocchino (R-150) pose in the Chamber with the 2016 Greenwich Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, Kyla Johnson and the 2010 Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, Camryn Ferrara, Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities.DSC_6330web

Greenwich Delegation Supports Pathway to Sustainability

Posted on April 26, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined their fellow Republican lawmakers today in support of a revised 2017 budget proposal that closes the state’s projected $935.7 million deficit, restores funding to core social services, protects local town education funding, and implements long-term structural changes to the state budget. The Pathway to Sustainability proposal includes savings that roll out over the next five years, mitigating future projected budget shortfalls.

“This plan is a logical approach to getting our state back on track and back in the black. For the first time since I have been in this caucus, we have created a 5 year plan that creates a surplus, makes long term structural changes, and protects the state’s most vulnerable,” said Rep. Floren.

“Not only does this plan restore cuts that were made to ECS funding, it also protects education grants for early literacy, early care and education, and school based clinics. It provides a path for our state to be prosperous and will allow us to start paying down our debt and leave our children with a bright future,” said Rep. Bocchino.

“The path to Connecticut’s economic resurgence calls for a bold path that the Pathway to Sustainability budget proposal would take us on. It solves a myriad of issues, looks to the long term, and provides us with predictability for our future,” said Rep. Camillo.

Rather than constantly creating deficit mitigation plans, the Pathway to Sustainability plan includes a line by line budget to mitigate the fiscal year 2017 deficit, as well as long term structural changes to prevent future deficits. The GOP five year plan is projected to produce annual surpluses, with a cumulative total of over $1 billion.

The proposed Republican budget would restore funding to core social services, while also making needed cuts and implementing new policies that generate long-term savings. This includes the following:

  • Protects funding for social services. In order to preserve the safety net of services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty, this proposal eliminates new proposed budget cuts to direct services.
  • Restoration of support for hospitals and Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Restores education funding for towns and increases statutory grants to municipalities. Also preserves funding at 100% for car tax capping and implements a robust municipal mandate relief package. Maintains funding throughout the next 5 years.
  • Administrative reductions. To enable the state to protect funding for core services, this budget cuts specific, non-service accounts by 12% for a total savings of $157.5 million.
  • Legislative givebacks including legislative salary reductions and elimination of unsolicited mail.
  • Modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
  • Funds transportation development with “Prioritize Progress” – a no tolls/ no tax increases plan.
  • Implements long-term structural changes to the state budget including mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding, and many more, detailed in the attached document.
  • Prices out savings from changes to unionized state employee health and pension benefits, to offer an alternative to layoffs should unions come to the negotiation table.

The 2016 legislative session will adjourn on Wednesday, May 4.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

Posted on April 20, 2016 by admin


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National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means for disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high, putting public safety at risk as the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses from these drugs are rising.

To participate in this Take-Back Day, you can bring your expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal on Saturday, April 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (or year-round in the case of some police departments) to our district’s collection sites:

Greenwich Police Department

11 Bruce Place

Greenwich

Stamford Police Department

805 Bedford Street

Stamford

The DEA cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps; only pills or patches.

This service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. If you are unable to make it to one of the local drop offs on April 30, please call the DEA Office of Diversion Control at 1-800-882-9539.

The DEA also advises you to dispose of old prescriptions by taking the following steps:

  1. Take the meds out of their bottles
  2. Mix them with something “unappealing” like used kitty litter or coffee grounds
  3. Seal them in a bag or disposable container, and throw it away

The proper disposal of unused drugs saves lives and protects the environment. Please take advantage of this opportunity to be a steward of our community

Shred Your Sensitive Documents

Posted on April 14, 2016 by admin


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The Greenwich Recycling Advisory Board and Greenwich Green & Clean are hosting a paper shredding event.

Date: Saturday, April 30th
Time: 9:30 am – 12:15 pm
Place: Island Beach Parking Lot across from Ferry Dock
Cost: $2 per box -or- 2 cans of Tuna or Fruit for each box of paper. Food is donated to Neighbor to Neighbor food bank. Expired food will be rejected
Maximum: 5 boxes per car. Box size ~ 12”x18”x12”
What: Sensitive documents shredded on site:
old financial, legal, tax, Social Security, and medical documents.
Remove all metal, cardboard & plastic clips, bindings, covers and recycle in your household single stream recycling. Staples are ok.
For information, e-mail: GreenwichRecycles@gmail.com

Greenwich Delegation Decries Governor’s Proposal to Cut ECS Funding to Greenwich

Posted on April 13, 2016 by admin


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HartfordState Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149) Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) decried the Governor’s proposal to completely cut Greenwich’s Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funds.

The Governor released his updated budget proposal at around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon outside of his office. Under his updated budget proposal, Greenwich went from receiving a recommended amount of $3,037,524 in ECS funding to $0 for 2016-2017.

“We must keep in mind that this is only a proposal, but it is unfair to the town of Greenwich because they have already planned their budget around receiving the $3,037,524 in funding,” said Rep. Floren.

“I understand that we are in a dire fiscal crisis and that tough decisions need to be made, however I cannot support such a drastic cut in ECS funding when the town has already budgeted under the assumption that we will be receiving the funds. We will continue to work with our colleagues and to fight for the taxpayers that would be called upon to make up for this funding cut with additional taxes,” said Rep. Camillo.

“This proposal would create a significant gap in our Town’s budget.  I remain committed to finding a solution with other members of the legislature to address this inequitable cut to our town,” said Rep. Bocchino.

Other towns in Fairfield County were also completely cut including Darien, Fairfield, and New Canaan.

The 2016 Legislative session adjourns at 12 a.m. on May 4.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted on April 7, 2016 by admin


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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council is sponsoring a “Take Back Your Drive Pledge.”

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for first offense$300 for second offense, and $500 for each subsequent violation. We also created a first-in-the-nation system that allows offenses to affect the violator’s car insurance premium.

An estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phones, according to the National Safety Council, and 34 percent of teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving; 52 percent have said they have talked on the phone. 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

Please do not drive distracted – not this month, not ever. It is unsafe and endangers both fellow motorists and pedestrians.

Please consider taking the National Safety Council’s pledge to be an attentive driver by clicking below.

Greenwich Delegation Hosts Successful Coffee Hour

Posted on April 5, 2016 by admin


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HartfordState Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) hosted a successful “Coffee with your Legislators” on Monday morning at the Glory Days Diner to a crowd of 50 people.

The legislators covered a variety of topics and fielded questions and comments from constituents, including topics pertaining to dredging in town, General Electric’s decision to leave Fairfield, and the recent deficit mitigation package passed last week.

“I was happy to see such a large crowd this morning, one of the most important aspects of our job is to be in touch with our constituent base and coffee hour is a great way to catch up and see what is on their minds,” said Rep. Floren.

“I always encourage constituents to reach out to the delegation, we are working for you and I enjoy events where we can all come together and collectively find solutions and answer people’s questions,” said Rep. Bocchino.

“This was certainly the largest crowd we’ve ever had and I think it reflects what is going on in the state. There is no better way to have your voice heard than by reaching out to us. Moreover, it is a time that that we can be heard by our constituents in regard to votes, issues, and thoughts on what is going on in our state,” said Rep. Camillo.

The 2016 legislative session adjourns on Wednesday, May 4.

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Greenwich Delegation Supports Bipartisan Deficit Mitigation Package

Posted on March 30, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-150) joined their colleagues in a bipartisan effort to fix the current fiscal year deficit of $220 million yesterday.

S.B. 474 – An Act Making Adjustments to the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2017 – passed with a vote of 127-16.

The plan, which will only cover the next three months of the the fiscal year, included several key republican proposals:

  • Restored more than $31 million in state funding for hospitals. This helps the state leverage over $100 million total in hospital funding including federal dollars.
  • Minimized the impact on social service programs. Services to developmentally disabled and mentally ill will continue to be provided with no interruptions.
  • Restored millions in proposed cuts to municipal aid, which cities and towns can’t absorb this late in the fiscal year.
  • Avoided depleting the Rainy Day Fund, which will be needed to offset much larger deficits in the coming years.

“There were many difficult decisions that needed to be made, but I believe this plan is a step in the right direction to get our state’s fiscal health back on the track to sustainability, in the near term,” said Rep. Floren.

“Structural policies still need to be made to solve future deficits. However, it was critical that we were able to conserve the Rainy Day Fund. Curtailing spending will be key to how we offset the deficits we are facing in the out year,” said Rep. Bocchino.

“We still face a massive deficit beginning July 1, but what’s important is that we were able to come together in a bipartisan way to solve our immediate deficit. While today’s vote gives me hope that we will be able to work together in a bi-partisan fashion going forward, we still should not kid ourselves that the massive deficits on the horizon will require dealing with the long term structural deficits, and not just by doing annual and bi-annual deficit mitigation bills.”,” said Rep. Camillo.

Next year’s deficit is projected to be greater than $900 million, ballooning to almost $4.5 billion in the next biennium, and even larger after 2020.

The 2016 legislative session will adjourn on Wednesday, May 4.

Coffee Hour April 4

Posted on March 21, 2016 by admin


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The Greenwich Delegation will be hosting “Coffee Hour with your Legislators” at the Glory Days Diner on Monday, April 4th from 8 to 9 am. We will be there to field questions and discuss issues in the 2016 legislative session.

April Glory Days Diner with pics

Reps. Floren and Bocchino Show Support for Kids in Crisis

Posted on March 15, 2016 by admin


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Greenwich- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149) and Mike Bocchino (R-150) showed their support Thursday night at “Tip A Cop,” held at Sundown Saloon. The event put on by the Greenwich Police Department’s Silver Shield Association benefited the Cos Cob children’s shelter, “Kids in Crisis.” They are pictured here with Lieutenant Rick Cochran.

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Regional Forum to Discuss Job Growth in Stamford

Posted on March 9, 2016 by admin


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The Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. will be hosting forums all over the state, including one in Stamford, regarding the resources and services they provide to help businesses grow.

Regional Forum

Friday, April 1, 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Landmark Square Conference Center

4 Landmark Square, Stamford

Learn how the Department of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Economic Resource Center, Inc. are working together to help businesses grow in Connecticut.

Commissioner Catherine Smith will introduce the regional point of contact from DECD and discuss the state’s new initiatives to fuel job growth; while CERC will present an overview of new business and municipal resources for economic growth.  The event will also provide an opportunity for Q&A and a discussion on how we can further work together to foster economic development success.

Who should attend: companies, developers, chamber associates and economic development professionals

Agenda:

(20 min)    Commissioner welcomes and discusses DECD activity and programs, introduces Bart and Ambassador

(20 min)    Bob Santy/CERC provides overview of CERC resources and introduces partners

(20 min)    Q&A

(30 min)    Networking

Campaign Finance—Not For The Faint-Hearted  

Posted on March 7, 2016 by admin


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After witnessing a primary season of dirty politics and divisiveness, bombast and blasphemy, lies and libel, negativity and nastiness, anger and animosity—all paid for with millions of dollars from anonymous donors to PACs and Super PACs, I think we can—and we must—do better.

My odyssey as a good government advocate began in 2001 when I first joined the Government Administration and Elections Committee where I served for 12 years (including four years as Ranking Member). From that up front and personal seat, I was involved in it all—the Help America Vote Act which overhauled the way we vote and brought us from the lever machine to the electronic optical scan/paper ballot, clean contracting laws, stringent ethics regulations, campaign finance reform…and the advent of the publicly financed Citizens Election Program.

In order to mitigate the magnitude of felonies that earned our State the name “Corrupticut,” the Citizens Election Program and sweeping new campaign laws were enacted in 2005. For more than a decade, the program was working well and accomplishing the goals of taking special interest money out of the process and increasing accountability and civility in the electoral process.

Then, along came the Citizens United Supreme Court decision…and everything changed. In my opinion, campaign finance needs to be completely revisited and retooled. Entirely too much money is being frittered away on banners, ball caps, badges, and bumper stickers. Super PACs are contributing millions of dollars with impunity (not even disclosing the names of donors)…along with money from lobbyists and contractors who do business with the State. To add insult to judicial injury, there was a scheme to entirely suspend the Citizens Election Program for 2016 in a feeble attempt to help close the budget deficit…fortunately, this proposal was summarily rejected.

Campaign finance reform has multiple, complicated ramifications. I am not impugning anyone’s motives and realize that the issue is subject to numerous interpretations. However, the bottom line is and always shall be: Follow the money, Campaign finance is not a subject for the faint of heart. It takes diligence and vigilance. Observation always alters the process observed…it’s all in how you look at it. In 2014, 75% of my General Assembly colleagues participated in the Citizens Election Program, at a cost of more than $10 million dollars. The five Constitutional Officers’ campaigns (Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, and Treasurer) could cost—in the aggregate—upwards of $16 million—not including primaries. Twenty six million dollars is a lot of taxpayer money that might be better spent for programs to help the elderly, the indigent, and the ill…plus public education. The Citizens Election Program has resulted in attracting more participants in the process, more women/minorities/political outsiders as candidates, and more time spent discussing issues instead of “dialing for dollars.” But, especially in this economy, the taxpayer grants seem entirely too generous…and the program still allows for additional millions of dollars of anonymous “dark” money which lurks in the shadows.

Some reforms I would like to see going forward are:

  • Shortening the timeline for campaigns
  • Decreasing the grant amounts
  • Lowering the amount of allowable individual contributions to less than $100
  • Outlawing Ad Books
  • Prohibiting unlimited organizational expenditures by State Central Committees
  • Increasing disclosure information requirements

In other words, identify and plug the most awful and obvious loopholes. These are viable, cost effective, common sense measures that will go a long way toward ensuring that our State continues to be “the land of steady habits”…where elected officials serve with both hands on the tiller and not in the till.

Greenwich League of Women Voters tackles money in politics

Posted on March 4, 2016 by admin


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From the Greenwich Time:

GREENWICH — The 2016 presidential race has taken twists and turns no one could have predicted only six months ago. But according to a panel of experts, one prediction holds true – big, unregulated money in politics has had a corrosive effect.

The message was the focus of “Who Elected the Donors? Campaign Finance in the Age of Super Pacs,” a League of Women Voters of Greenwich panel discussion earlier this week that drew nearly 120 people to the Greenwich Library.

The panel featured State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149th); Michael Waldman, president of the non-partisan law and policy institute Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law; and Karen Hobert Flynn, senior vice president at Common Cause, a non-profit, non-partisan lobbying organization focused on open government.

All three agreed unregulated money and scaling back of reforms in a post-Citizens United era has hurt having open and clean elections on a national and a state level. Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission was the U.S. constitutional law case that allowed unlimited election spending by individuals and corporations.

“This is a time when, in so many ways, our democracy is under stress that it has not seen in years,” Waldman said. “Part of it is Citizens United and the other judicial decisions that have let loose a flood of new and large and unaccountable money into our political system. That comes on top of a wave of new voting laws in 19 states to make it harder for people to vote for the first time since the Jim Crow era.

“I’m still optimistic though,” Waldman said. “This is a problem that has been noticed by the public. They’re talking about this at the presidential and other level and they hadn’t done that in years and years and years.”

The league’s panel was held Super Tuesday, a day of primary contests in key states throughout the country. Floren noted in her remarks that, given the tenor of the race, it would have been more appropriate to call it “stupor Tuesday.”

“It’s a day of dirty politics and divisiveness, bombast and blasphemy, lies and libel, negativity and nastiness, anger and animosity, and I haven’t even begun to tell you what I really think,” Floren said. “It’s all paid for with millions and millions of dollars from anonymous donors to PACs and Super PACs. We can and we must do better.”

Hobert Flynn talked about the development and impact of Connecticut’s Citizens Elections Program, which was passed in 2005 in the wake of Gov. John Rowland’s corruption charges and resignation.

“Those of us that work on it at the League or Common Cause or other groups know there’s no one magic bullet that will solve every problem,” Hobert Flynn said. “Democracy is about vigilance and continuing to work and reform and help something evolve over time so it continues to work and is useful beyond just the time it is enacted.”

Floren spoke from the perspective of eight terms in the state legislature which included 12 years as a member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee that gave her a front-row seat for the development of the Citizens Elections Program.

She said reforms like a shorter campaign timeline, lowering the amount of allowable individual contributions to less than $100, increasing disclosure information requirements and prohibiting unlimited organizational expenditures by state central committees ought to be looked at.

“In other words, identify and plug the most awful and obvious loopholes,” Floren said. “There are viable, cost effective and common sense measures that will go a long way toward ensuring that our state continues to be the land of steady habits — that is, with both hands on the tiller and not in the till.”

Waldman called the United States Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts, which made the Citizens United Ruling “among the most activist and interventionist and disrespectful of precedent” courts when it comes to money and politics in the nation’s history.

“It’s not that there’s so much money in politics,” Waldman said. “That’s not new and that’s not necessarily bad. It’s the concentration of where the money comes from. In the last election, the top 100 federal donors gave more money than the 4.75 million small donors combined. That is a level of concentrated wealth and power we haven’t seen since the gilded age.”

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Whitby Students Enjoy Visit from State Rep Livvy Floren on Read Aloud Day

Posted on February 25, 2016 by admin


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From The Greenwich Free Press. For the full article, click here.

The entire Whitby School community celebrated read aloud day on Wednesday, with special visits to the school’s Lake Avenue campus from State Rep Livvy Floren, Greenwich Fire Marshal Sean O’Donnell, Greenwich Police officer Yolanda Greenhall and former Stamford Mayor Pavia.

Mrs. Floren brought along a book called My Teacher for President. and introduced it by asking the children whether they were aware a presidential election is in the making, and whether they’d heard the names Sanders, Cruz and Trump.

presidential electionThe children, albeit just first and second graders, were quite aware, and, in fact, had some opinions formed!

With that, Mrs. Floren jumped into the book, written from the point of view of a young child recommending their teacher for president of the United States.

“My teacher loves white houses. My teacher is used to being followed around everywhere. When my teacher walks into a room, people pay attention. …She deals with media attention every day.”

After reading the book to the eager children, Mrs. Floren donated the book to the school library and even gave out Livvy Floren pencils to everyone.

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First and second graders in the classes of Samantha Clark, Amanda Lavoie, Danielle Britt and Jessica Pittman.

Livvy Floren at Whitby School

With her grand children on Read Aloud Day, State Rep Livvy Floren with her daughter Jenny Floren Sozzi enjoy Read Aloud Day. Mrs. Floren read “My Teacher for President” to Whitby School students, Feb 24, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

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With her grand children on Read Aloud Day, State Rep Livvy Floren with her daughter Jenny Floren Sozzi enjoy Read Aloud Day. Mrs. Floren read “My Teacher for President” to Whitby School students, Feb 24, 2016 Credit: Leslie Yager

Greenwich Delegation to Host Professional Development Scholarship Information Session

Posted on February 19, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) and State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) will host a Professional Development Scholarship Information session with Sen. Scott Frantz on Monday, February 29th in the Cone Room at Greenwich Town Hall. 

When: Monday, February 29th, 2016

Where: Cone Room, Greenwich Town Hall

Time: 2:00-3:30 PM

Intended Audience: Unemployed and Underemployed CT Residents and CT Veterans

The Workforce Investment Board is accepting applications for $2,846 in professional development scholarships. This funding may be used for Information Technology, Project Management, and Office Productivity certification and credentialing.

The Connecticut Office of Higher Education/State Approving Agency has approved Project Management Certification for Veterans and other eligible (applicants defined by the) U.S. Department of Veterans under the provisions of Title 38 Section 3675, United States Code of Federal Regulations for Veterans programs.

The UConn Stamford Campus is facilitating both programs through UConn’s School of Business at the Connecticut Information Technology Institute.

This information session will provide the necessary applications, information to apply, and participation standards in these valuable programs.

Rep. Floren Advocates for Community Health Center

Posted on February 10, 2016 by admin


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Hartford– Rep. Livvy Floren thanked the Governor and the legislature’s bonding committee for their allocation of bonding funds for a community health center in Stamford.

 

Rep. Floren Participates in School Construction Meeting

Posted on February 10, 2016 by admin


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Hartford– Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149) was selected to be part of the legislature’s school construction committee. On January 28th, she participated in the first of a series of meetings.

 

Rep. Floren Appears on Meet the Leaders

Posted on February 9, 2016 by admin


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Hartford-State Representative Livvy Floren appeared on Cablevision’s “Meet the Leaders” on the opening day of session, February 3rd. During her interview with David Smith, Rep. Floren stated that cuts must be made while continuing to provide a safety net for the state’s neediest and she hopes the transportation lock box plan is put before voters this fall. To view the interview, click here.

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Greenwich Delegation Ushers in 2016 Legislative Session

Posted on February 4, 2016 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined their fellow legislators for the start of the 2016 Legislative Session today at the State Capitol. They then participated in a Joint Convention as Governor Malloy delivered his State of State address.

The Opening Day ceremonies mark the beginning of a three-month-long “short session,” during which only bills related to budgetary, revenue and financial matters may be considered, or bills submitted by committees on any subject.

One of the most pressing issues facing the General Assembly is making adjustments to the state’s biennial budget. After a budget fix during the December special session, there is still a projected shortfall of over $507 million, and an out year deficit of over $4 billion.

On Monday, House and Senate Republicans released their budget priorities for the 2016 session, which include:

  • Implementing long-term structural changes to restore sustainability and predictability to the budget
  • Implementing the Republican “Prioritize Progress” transportation plan to fund and protect transportation dollars without tolls or tax increases
  • Dealing with the fiscal year 2017 budget deficit during the upcoming legislative session

Rep. Camillo will continue to serve as Ranking Member of the legislature’s Commerce Committee. He will also continue to serve on the legislature’s Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee and Banks Committee.

“For several years, the Connecticut House Republicans have advocated for long-term solutions to the persisting, yearly deficits our state has been experiencing. Today, that battle was joined by Governor Malloy. I was pleased to hear him address the seriously flawed way we craft budgets and his pledge to make the tough, strategic, and dauntless decisions needed to right the ship of state. While we await the details of his plan, we stand ready to collaborate with him, and our friends and colleagues across the aisle to move Connecticut forward and establish the Nutmeg State as a place to live, work, and do business in,” said Rep. Camillo.

Rep. Bocchino will remain on the Energy and Technology Committee, Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, and Children Committee.

“I was happy to hear that some of the budget principles my fellow colleagues and I have put forth over the past year are finally be taken seriously. I hope that by the end of this session we will come to a conclusion that will not only put us back on track, but will hopefully make the state economically viable once again,” said Rep. Bocchino.

Rep. Floren will serve her eighth year as Ranking Member of the legislature’s General Bonding Sub-Committee. She will also serve on the legislature’s Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and Insurance Committee.

“I was happy to hear that the Governor would like to adopt some of the budget principles that we have put forward in the past. I hope to work in a bipartisan way with my colleagues to get the state back on the track to fiscal sustainability,” said Rep. Floren.

The 2016 Legislative Session will adjourn May 4th.

Fighting Fraud

Posted on January 28, 2016 by admin


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The state of Connecticut launched a new website, FightFraud.ct.gov, to enhance our efforts to stamp out the fraud and waste that cost our state millions of dollars each year. I encourage you to have a look at the website, which provides examples of fraud that have been detected and investigated, and makes it easier for state residents such as yourself to report any suspicious activity that they feel may constitute fraud.

Since November 2013, the state has identified and recovered tens of millions of dollars in funds from fraudulent practices in the multi-billion dollar Medicaid program by hiring a high-tech firm to help detect patterns of Medicaid fraud. This new website hopes to enhance our fraud fighting efforts by crowd sourcing detection and reporting.

Information on 2016’s Major Issues Now Available

Posted on January 12, 2016 by admin


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The state’s non-partisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has issued their annual report on important issues the General Assembly may face during the 2016 legislative session.

Please take a moment to view or download the report by clicking here before the session begins on Wednesday, February 3.

This is also an opportune time to contact us with ideas or concerns regarding these issues, as well as potential bill proposals. Feel free to call our office at 800-842-1423 or email us about this or any other state issue.

Laws Effective Jan 1

Posted on January 5, 2016 by admin


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With the start of the new year, several new laws went into effect on January 1st.

Here are some of the new laws and links to the language.

Additionally, based on a law passed in 2014, Connecticut’s minimum wage increased from the current rate of $9.15 an hour to $9.60 per hour on January 1, 2016. Ultimately, the minimum wage will be increased to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.

An entire list of these laws can be found by clicking here.

Greenwich Delegation Opposes Deficit Mitigation Plan

Posted on December 9, 2015 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) opposed the deficit mitigation plan proposed during the December 8 Special Session of the legislature, sighting that the plan made no long term structural changes and still created deficits in the out years.

As predicted earlier this year, the budget that was passed during the 2015 legislative session created a $358 million deficit. The deficit came on the heels of a controversial spending package passed in June which included $1.5 billion in tax hikes on middle-class property owners, based revenue on gambling projects like keno, and increased taxes on struggling hospitals.

“This proposal does nothing to address the long term structural issues that are causing us to be in deficit year after year and because of that, I cannot support it,” said Rep. Floren.

“The deficit mitigation plan did nothing to solve the systematic issues that have caused our deficit in the first place. Despite this plan, Connecticut remains on a fiscal path to destruction” said Rep. Bocchino.

“As legislators we have a responsibility to do things that are in the best interest of our constituents, and of our state. While I am encouraged that the House and Senate Republicans were allowed to be at the negotiating table, the fact that our ideas for long-term solutions were not included in the final package is very disappointing. It was a lost opportunity. The never ending saga will continue with more deficit mitigation bills in the coming months and out years,” said Rep. Camillo.

House and Senate Republicans set forth many long-term structural agendas essential to turning around the state’s finances. These included:

  • Mandatory approval by the General Assembly of state Contracts
  • Implement a constitutional spending cap
  • Beginning in 2022 require state workers to pay as little more into their pensions and for healthcare
  • Enact a constitutional lock box for transportation
  • Begin the process to close the Connecticut Juvenile Training Center
  • Competitively bid the Corrections Department healthcare plan

The plan passed the House with all Republicans voting in opposition.

Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 19, 2015 by admin


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With gift giving and the winter holidays right around the corner, there is no better time to shop locally and support our small businesses.

This year, November 28 is Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to supporting and celebrating our favorite small businesses. Organizations such as the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association are promoting the day between “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” to put money back into our local communities and economy.

Business owners: NFIB is offering to promote your business if you fill out this short form.

Shoppers: Find NFIB-registered businesses by clicking here. Even if businesses in our community aren’t featured here, you can still do your part to shop local.

Support our small businesses. Support our local economy. If you’re going to shop this weekend, shop local.

Greenwich Delegation Hosts Coffee Hours

Posted on November 12, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich– The Greenwich Delegation hosted “Coffee with your Legislator” on Monday, November 9th to a group of about 30 people at the Glory Days Diner. For the full story, click here.

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Images courtesy of Hearst Media Services Connecticut, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Images courtesy of Hearst Media Services Connecticut, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Images courtesy of Hearst Media Services Connecticut, LLC. All rights reserved.

003 C_Semmes_Greenwich_CT 11-9-2015  Greenwich legislators talk state budget worries with residents

Veterans Day In Greenwich

Posted on November 2, 2015 by admin


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There are a variety of events happening on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, in Greenwich that we hope you all will take the time to attend.

At 9:30 am the community is invited to gather at the top of Greenwich Avenue (at Amogerone Crossway) for the third annual Greenwich Military Covenant of Care “Community Walk.”

Shortly after, participants from the walk and the public are invited to join the Greenwich American Legion Post 29 at the War Monument located at 310 Greenwich Ave. to honor the brave men and women who serve and defend our country. The event begins promptly at 11:00 am.

Later in the day, the Byram Veterans Association will host a parade. The parade will begin promptly at 7 pm in front of the Byram Veterans Association (300 Delavan Ave.) and will march to Byram Firehouse for a flag raising ceremony.

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Rep. Floren Receives David N. Theis Award

Posted on October 23, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich- State Rep. Livvy Floren (R-149) received the first annual David N. Theis award for outstanding service to the community on Thursday, October 22. Reflections on Floren were made by Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei, Stephen Warzoah, Sue Rogers, and Linda McMahon.

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Greenwich Delegation Hosts Successful Fraud Forum

Posted on October 9, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich– State Reps. Livvy Floren, Mike Bocchino, and Fred Camillo hosted a successful AARP Fraud forum at the Greenwich Senior Center on Thursday, October 8th. Over 60 seniors attended the forum which lasted about 2 hours.

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9/11 Memorial

Posted on September 14, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich- State Representative Livvy Floren attended the dedication ceremony for the newly resurrected September 11th memorial at Cos Cob Park. Later in the day she attended the ceremony in Glenville where she read the names of 33 people with ties to Greenwich who perished, and has done this for the past 14 years.

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Greenwich Delegation Joins Senior Center for Random Acts of Kindness

Posted on September 4, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD — State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei for a Random Acts of Kindness presentation at the Greenwich Senior Center. The presentation was delivered by Dr. Ann Reap of Greenwich and allowed seniors to share their personal stories of “random acts of kindness.”

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Greenwich Delegation Tours Interstate and Lakeland Lumber

Posted on September 2, 2015 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) toured local Greenwich business Interstate and Lakeland Lumber with President Sheldon Kahn. The tour included an overview of the facility as well as a discussion on how to keep the company growing in Connecticut.

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9/11 Memorial Ceremonies

Posted on August 31, 2015 by admin


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There are a variety of events happening in Greenwich to honor those we lost on September 11, 2001.

Beginning at 9 am, rain or shine, the new September 11 memorial, located in the new Cos Cob Park, will be formally unveiled to the public with a special ribbon cutting. The American Legion Post 29, Greenwich September 11th Remembrance Committee, Glenville Volunteer Fire Company, and  the Greenwich fellowship of Clergy will host a ceremony to commemorate the ones we lost on that fateful day in September, 2001.

Also, please join me at the Glenville Fire House at 6 pm to honor the innocent victims, the first responders and their families, and all our military personnel.

Hartford Sky Light Roof Tour

Posted on August 26, 2015 by admin


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On Monday, August 24, Rep. Floren joined Rep. Bockus to tour the Hartford Sky Light Roof project.

Hartford Skylight Roof Project Visit 24 AUG 15(Drill Floor)

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Stamford Photo License Center Closing

Posted on August 26, 2015 by admin


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The Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner has decided to temporarily close the Stamford Photo license center for 2 weeks starting this Thursday.

They will be taking the staff from this center and moving them to other branch locations to help process applications and other transactions to make the lines move faster during the transition of this new computer system.  If after 2 weeks the Commissioner feels more time is needed, we will notify you.

For those who need to get a license at the Stamford office, they can go to the triple AAA office located on 1101 High Ridge Road in Stamford.  As for registration renewals, those can be done on-line.

Finally DMV wants to make sure everyone is reminded of the following:

THERE IS NO NEED TO RUSH TO A DMV OFFICE. DEADLINES ARE EXTENDED: For any Vehicle Registration, Driver’s License, or ID Card that expires ON or AFTER AUGUST 11, 2015, renewals can be done without a late fee until OCTOBER 10, 2015. Expirations have also been extended until that date. Law enforcement has been informed of this update. Emissions test due dates have not been extended, and all compliance issues remain unaffected by the extension.  Any registered vehicle has to be insured, including one operating under a registration that has been extended. 

Reminder: Eversource Siting Council Meeting

Posted on August 24, 2015 by admin


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I would like to remind you that the Connecticut Siting Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. There will be two different sessions at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the Greenwich Library in the Cole Auditorium at 101 West Putnam Avenue.

 

The hearings are regarding an application from Eversource Energy for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and public need for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a bulk substation located at 290 Railroad Ave, two underground transmission circuits extending approximately 2.3 miles between the proposed substation and the existing Cos Cob Substation, and related substation improvements.

 

If you are unable to attend these hearings, but would still like to submit testimony you can email your comments to siting.council@ct.gov. Comments may also be submitted via regular mail to the address below: 

 

Connecticut Siting Council

10 Franklin Square

New Britain, CT  06051

 

Please be sure to reference Docket No. 461 in all correspondence. 

Sales Tax Free Week August 16 – August 22 : The Rules Have Changed

Posted on August 11, 2015 by admin


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If you are planning on going Back-to-School shopping, heads up!

Beginning Aug. 16 lasting through Aug. 22, articles of clothing or footwear under $100 will be sales tax free.

The state used to allow you to buy items under $300 without paying a sales tax.

Why the change?

Taxes were hiked on hard-working families like yours. I voted against those tax hikes.

BACK TO SCHOOL SHOPPING TIDBITS

  • $630: Amount the average family with children in grades K-12 plans to spend on back-to-school shopping
  • $899: Amount the average college student or college family plans to spend on back-to-college shopping.*

*Source – National Retail Association

As always, if you have any questions or concerns regarding state government, please feel free to contact us.

Livvy Floren to be ‘Toasted’ at Glenville Volunteer Fire Co Event Featuring Inaugural Dave Theis Award

Posted on August 7, 2015 by admin


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From the Greenwich Free Press: Connecticut State Rep Livvy Floren will be honored in October by the Glenville Volunteer Fire Company for her tireless efforts on behalf of the Greenwich community. The event, which will feature the presentation of the Inaugural David N. Theis Award for Outstanding Service to the Community, is set for  Thursday, October 22, 6:00 pm- 9:00 pm.

The fundraiser will take place at Tamarack Country Club and will feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction featuring sports and rare Hollywood memorabilia. Proceeds from the evening will help Glenville Volunteer Fire Company purchase a Brush Truck, the first of its kind in the Town. Tickets are $125 per person. There are sponsorship opportunities, and there will be a silent auction at the event. Reservations can be made at www.glenvillefire.org.

Committee members to date include Peter Tesei, Drew Marzullo, John Toner, Scott and Icy Frantz, Linda McMahon, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Dolly Powers and Lauren Rabin. The Award Presenter is Kerrin Coyle, David’s much-loved, longtime partner. The Master of Ceremonies is Greenwich Police Chief, Jim Heavey.

Representative Floren serves with a variety of community organizations and has been active in local government and politics for many years. She understands the special needs and challenges facing the 149th District and is committed to dealing with them.

Representative Floren is a former member of the Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation. She also served two terms as a member of the Greenwich Representative Town Meeting. She is an associate member and former treasurer of the Greenwich Republican Town Committee. Her civic involvement includes the Air Conservation Trust Board of Trustees; co-chair of the Boys and Girls State Commission; and advisory board member of Community Centers, Greenwich Community Gardens, the Greenwich Point Conservancy, and the Stamford Watershed Association.

She formerly served as a trustee for Community Answers; a trustee for the Garden Education Center; a trustee for the Greenwich Community Fund; Board President for the Greenwich Country Day School; President of the Greenwich High School PTA; a Greenwich Library trustee; treasurer for Hortulus Garden Club; a Round Hill Community Church trustee; Round Hill Nursery School’s Board President and as a member of the YWCA’s nominating committee.

A Greenwich resident for 42 years, she has been married to Doug Floren for 47 years. The Florens have four children: Jenny, Melissa, David and Clay, six grandchildren – Greta, Dean, Bella, Anna, RJ and Lina.    

A third-generation Greenwich resident, David Theis made major contributions to the community as a public servant and volunteer in many nonprofit organizations. He was elected to his first term as selectman in 2009, running under the campaign slogan “Your Neighbor in Government.” Residents, he said at the time, would be able to count on him to use his connections in town to fix their problems. Those connections were built up over years of membership in many Greenwich organizations. David Theis joined the Board of Directors of the Greenwich YMCA in 1979, and remained a member for 20 years. He served as president of the Greenwich Old Timers Association, which raises scholarship money for local student athletes and supports sports programs and he served as vice chairman of the Republican Town Committee for four years.

Additionally, David was former Athletic Director at Greenwich Country Day School, a member of the Selectman’s Nomination Advisory Committee, Associate/Founding Member of the Connecticut Chapter of NFL Alumni Charities, president of the Cos Cob Republican Club, Community Development Coordinator for the Lash/Crumbine Campaign Committee, Chairman of the Greenwich Old Timers Athletic Association, a volunteer at Adopt a Dog fundraiser, member of St. Lawrence Italian American Society, Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity member, and a member of Redmen’s Hall of Greenwich.

New Online Tool: Open Budget

Posted on August 5, 2015 by admin


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There is a new online tool from the Office of the State Comptroller that allows you to see how state spending and revenue are tracking against budgeted amounts throughout the year.

For the first time, you can easily search branches of government by department, fund and line-item to make those comparisons.

Among the transparency tool’s achievements:

  • Ends your reliance on complicated, hard-to-understand budget documents
  • Allows you to interactively explore the approved budget Provides budget and spending trends for line items or higher level categories
  • Allows you to download raw datasets

Visit openbudget.ct.gov if you are interested in these resources.

Proactively examining data such as this is one of the ways we can hold the state accountable for its actions, and we encourage you to take a look.

Eversource Siting Council Meeting

Posted on July 30, 2015 by admin


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The Connecticut Siting Council will conduct a public hearing on Tuesday, September 1, 2015. There will be two different sessions at 3:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Both sessions will be held at the Greenwich Library in the Cole Auditorium at 101 West Putnam Avenue.

The hearings are regarding an application from Eversource Energy for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and public need for the construction, maintenance, and operation of a bulk substation located at 290 Railroad Ave, two underground transmission circuits extending approximately 2.3 miles between the proposed substation and the existing Cos Cob Substation, and related substation improvements.

The purpose of the hearing is for citizens to hear evidence on the applicant’s contentions that the public need for the facility outweighs any adverse environmental effects that would result from the construction, operation and maintenance of the project. The 3:00 p.m. hearing session will provide the applicant, parties, and interveners an opportunity to cross-examine positions. The 6:30 p.m. hearing session will be reserved for the public to make brief statements for the record.

DMW will be Shut Down

Posted on July 23, 2015 by admin


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The Department of Motor Vehicles is “Gearing Up” for a technology upgrade.

What this means to you?

THE DMV WILL BE SHUTDOWN Tuesday, August 11 – Saturday, August 15.

The agency’s shutdown will allow for the computer upgrades and testing of the new system.
AAA offices will be open during the DMV shutdown period for license and ID card renewals. Click here for locations.

It’s important to note:

  • The expiration date of all driver’s licenses, id cards, or vehicle registrations from August 11 will be extended through October 10, 2015
  • Renewals can be done without a late fee until October 10, 2015. Emissions test due dates have not been extended – you must be up to date with compliance
  • All customers who take advantage of the registration extension must maintain insurance coverage on their vehicles

Once the upgrade is finished DMV will have a new online menu for consumers.

On August 17th the New DMV website (ct.gov/dmv) will offer the following:

  • Improving the existing online registration renewal program
  • Online checking for items, such as unpaid property taxes, lack of insurance, delinquent parking violations, which can hold up a registration renewal and cause repeat trips to DMV
  • Reprinting a registration certificate from a home or other computer
  • Canceling a registration online
  • Ordering online special plates, such as vanity plates
  • Ordering online replacements for damaged plates
  • Providing customers with an option for DMV to contact them either by mail or e-mail

For more information about the DMV modernization project, please visit http://ct.gov/dmv.

Greenwich Delegation Attends Annual LWV Luncheon

Posted on July 15, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) were joined by State Senator Scott Frantz (R-36) at the annual Greenwich League of Women Voters Legislative Wrap up. For the full article, click here.

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Floren Advocates for Bond Bill

Posted on July 9, 2015 by admin


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Hartford- State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) attended the Legislature’s Special Session last week and advocated for the bond package which she called a responsible blue print for the future. Watch the full clip below.

It’s not too late to STOP the TAX HIKES

Posted on June 24, 2015 by admin


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The budget that was passed by a majority of Democrats earlier this month raises taxes by $1.5 billion.  It does not give the middle class tax relief as they report.  In fact, it does the following:

  • REPEALS the scheduled sales tax exemption on your purchase of clothing and footwear under $50, and adds a $280 million tax hike on children’s clothing and other family necessities.
  • DELAYS a scheduled increase in the personal exemption for single filers.
  • REDUCES your Property Tax Credit from $300 to $200, primarily the range used by those earning under $75,000.
  • RAISES your health care costs by increasing taxes on hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.

Their tax hikes are aimed directly at the middle class, and place into jeopardy the future of major businesses that employ thousands of residents statewide into jeopardy.

The legislature will likely go into Special Session on June 29 and June 30 to take up bills that will implement the budget. The Governor is receiving a lot of pressure from residents and the business community and has agreed to revisit the levels of tax increases currently in the budget. Now is the time to keep up our outcry.  You can make a difference. Call and tell the Governor to VETO the budget.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy – (860) 566-4840

Governor.Malloy@ct.gov

Before the vote on the revised budget takes place, call the Democratic leaders to let them know you’ve had enough of their tax increases.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey – (860) 240-8500

Brendan.Sharkey@cga.ct.gov

Senate President Martin Looney – (860) 240-8600

Martin.Looney@cga.ct.gov

Eversource Open House

Posted on June 16, 2015 by admin


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Eversource will be hosting an Open House for Greenwich residents on July 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Greenwich Town Hall.

This will be an opportunity for town residents to come and get an overview of the new substation and transmission line that Eversource has proposed. Residents will have an opportunity to talk to the company’s engineers about the project. More importantly, residents will see that the company has a new look for the proposed substation that reflects the comments received from town officials and residents.

Greenwich Delegation Opposes Fiscally Irresponsible Budget

Posted on June 4, 2015 by admin


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Hartford- State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) opposed a controversial spending package which includes $1.5 billion in tax hikes on middle-class property owners, bases revenue on gambling projects like keno, and increases taxes on struggling hospitals.

The Democrats’ budget eradicates the constitutional spending cap by not accounting for debt service and increases spending by $784 million over the next year without addressing outstanding debt – a huge component to Connecticut’s previous bookkeeping practices.

“This proposal is dangerous to Connecticut’s future as it balances itself on the backs of working families and companies that make up Connecticut’s core population,” said Rep. Floren.

“Rather than solving the systematic issues that have caused our deficit, we are adding to them. The budget increases spending and not only causes immediate adverse ramifications but leaves our debt to our children and grandchildren. Simply stated Connecticut cannot attract jobs and grow with this kind of budget,” said Rep. Bocchino.

“As legislators we have a responsibility to do things that are in the best interest of our constituents, and of our state.  The majority party has failed our state with this budget. This budget takes aim at the middle class and working families in this state and gives major employers further incentive to leave the state,” said Rep. Camillo. Furthermore, selective and discriminatory taxation of particular industries, all done without public hearings, is neither transparent nor fair and equitable. “

These tax increases will have the largest impact on our already struggling middle class families. It is estimated that these tax hikes will cost consumers $136.8 million in the first year and $142.6 million in the second year. It also:

  • Lifts of sales tax exemptions on goods and services such as clothing and footwear
  • Maintains the state’s 6.35 percent sales tax despite earlier reports that the rate would be reduced as an offset of the loss from the clothing exemption
  • Reduces tax credits like the current $300 Property Tax Credit maximum, which will decrease to $200, and impact every homeowner in the state and come on the heels of a previous reduction from $500 in 2011
  • Cuts computer and data processing services rate from 2.5 percent back to 1.0 percent
  • Implements a unitary tax
  • Implements a computer and data processing services rate from 2.5 percent

The plan passed the House with all Republicans and 11 Democrats voting in opposition.

Greenwich Delegation Leads “Emily’s Law” Through the House

Posted on May 20, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD — The House honored the memory of Emily Fedorko late Monday night by passing legislation that would prohibit young teenage boaters from towing water skiers or tubers, while requiring the training of all boaters in proper towing techniques.

The bill passed with a vote of 144-0.  

Following the accidental tragic death of Emily Fedorko last summer, the Greenwich Delegation authored and introduced a bill that would establish a minimum age for towing any person by vessel and requiring the completion of a safe towing course prior to engaging in the activity.

“This is not reactive legislation, but responsible legislation,” said Rep. Bocchino. “This legislation is a positive step forward to establishing safer waterways for all recreational boaters.”

“The last thing we wanted was to have a bill put forth that had unintended consequences. However, this bill accomplishes the goals we set out to enact, namely extracting a positive, in this case boater safety and awareness, out of tragedy. Emily’s Law will leave a legacy of safety and awareness that will decrease the chances of this happening again,” said Rep. Camillo.

“This bill is common sense legislation that not only adds no extra burden to our boaters, but adds another level of safety to water activity. Hopefully this will help prevent tragedies like this in the future,” said Rep. Floren.

The bill was negotiated by a variety of parties, including the governor, the Marine Trades Association and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which would be required to develop the new regulations by Oct. 1.

Violators could be penalized between $60 and $250.

The bill now awaits action by the Governor.

Memorial Day Events

Posted on May 20, 2015 by admin


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From a decades-old road race to a number of traditional parades, there are plenty of events coming up on Memorial Day weekend for Greenwich residents.

SATURDAY MAY 23

10:00 A.M. Greenwich Town Party at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park.

Farmer’s Market at Horseneck Municipal Parking Lot*

(*Party is sold out, but the Rock the Avenue is free and open to the public. Click here to learn more.)

SUNDAY MAY 24

2:00 P.M. Byram Veterans Association Memorial Day Parade

Downtown Byram

(203) 531-9846

5:00 P.M. Ninth District Veterans Association Memorial Day Parade

Glenville Street to Glenville Road ending at the Fire House

(203) 532-0130

MONDAY MAY 25

8:00 A.M. American Legion, Greenwich Post 29

Memorial Day Dockside Service

Indian Harbor Yacht Club

(203) 531-0109

8:15 A.M. Threads & Treads Jim Fixx Memorial Day Run

Greenwich: 5 Mile Run, kids 1/2 Mile run

$25 race day adult, $15 race day kid.

(203) 661-0142 or visit www.threadsandtreads.com

10:00 A.M. Sound Beach Fire Department Memorial Day Parade

Old Greenwich Downtown: Sound Beach Avenue

(203) 622-3975

1:00 P.M. Memorial Day Event at Hamilton School in Chickahominy

Greenwich Delegation supports bill improving sexual assault investigations

Posted on May 14, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD — State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) are hoping new legislation passed Wednesday by the House of Representatives will help improve the tragic experience of sexual assault victims.

The bill, H.B. 6498, improves the transfer of sexual assault evidence collection kits by establishing a mandated timeline for health care facilities, police departments and state agencies involved in sexual assault investigations. Under the legislation, police departments will have 10 days to gather the kit evidence from a health care facility and transfer it to the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, which oversees sexual assault evidence collection kits.

“The House’s unanimous approval of the bill is a small victory for victims of sexual assault and those seeking justice,” said Rep. Camillo.

“It is essential that victims of sexual assault have a functioning support network. The established timeline should eliminate issues with delayed investigations and give victims more peace of mind when being in these terrible situations,” said Rep. Floren.

“Victims of sexual assault have already endured enough, and there is no reason that the justice system should make this process harder. By creating a mandatory timeline, it makes the support network for them stronger while improving the process to create a more efficient path to justice,” said Rep. Bocchino.

The kits will still be permitted in court, even if the authorities fail to meet the time requirements.

After gaining support from Connecticut’s Office of the Victim’s Advocate, Division of Criminal Justice, the Police Chiefs Association and the Permanent Commission of the Status of Women, the measure, which also improves court proceedings, was approved unanimously and now heads to the state Senate.

 

Cos Cob Harbor Receives State Funds

Posted on May 11, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149) and Mike Bocchino (R-150) with Governor Dannel Malloy, Frank Mazza, Chairman of the Greenwich Harbor Commission, and Attorney General George Jepsen after a meeting of the state’s Bond Commission where Cos Cob Harbor received a final installment of $1 million for dredging funding.

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Reps. Floren and Bocchino Recognize Greenwich Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year

Posted on May 8, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149) and Mike Bocchino (R-150) pose in the Chamber with the Greenwich Boys and Girls Club Youth of the Year, Alberto Larraguibel, affectionately known as ‘Chile.’ Youth of the Year encourages Club members to reach their full potential by achieving academic success, leading healthy lifestyles and contributing to their communities. Mike Gerald, the Athletic Director at the Boys and Girls Club of Greenwich, joined Alberto at the Capitol.

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Public Hearing on Tax Increases

Posted on May 5, 2015 by admin


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Yesterday, Republican members of the legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee announced we will be holding a public hearing regarding SB 946, which includes a nearly $2 billion tax increase proposed by legislative Democrats.

The public hearing will be held on Monday, May 11th at 1:30 p.m. in room 1E of the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Ave., Hartford.

You are encouraged to attend and share your opinions.

For those of you who can’t attend the hearing but want to submit testimony, please send it to: testimony@housegop.ct.gov. Please be sure to include your name and contact information.

The hard working men and women of Connecticut deserve to be heard on any proposal that will raise taxes by nearly $2 billion, especially when those taxes will fall disproportionately on the middle class. Trying to slip a massive budget and tax increase through the committee process without allowing the public to express their opinions is unconscionable.

We look forward to asking questions about the impact the proposed tax increases will have on Connecticut families and businesses during the public hearing.

The list of proposed tax increases that did not receive a public hearing is extensive and includes the following, among others:

  • Veterinary services
  • Public accountants
  • Architectural services
  • Building inspection services
  • Interior design services
  • Public golf courses

For a full list of proposed tax increases that did not have a public hearing please click here.

I hope you will be able to attend this public hearing and express your opinion on this important issue.

Replacement of Old Greenwich Rail Bridges Set to Begin

Posted on April 30, 2015 by admin


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Rehabilitation of Metro North Rail Road Bridge No. 03948R over Sound Beach Avenue and Bridge No. 03955R over Tomac Avenue in Old Greenwich

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that the rehabilitation of Metro North Rail Road Bridge No. 03948R over Sound Beach Avenue and Bridge No. 03955R over Tomac Avenue in Old Greenwich will begin on May 4. 2015.

The work entails the complete replacement of both bridge superstructures, including abutment modifications.

The two existing commuter parking lots located at the Old Greenwich Railroad Station – one city of Greenwich parking lot and one Connecticut Department of Transportation parking lot will also be expanded. Construction of a retaining wall to facilitate the parking lot expansion, drainage systems upgrades, modifications and improvements to the commuter Railroad Station platforms and installation of new improved access stairways are included in the project.

CTDOT Project No. 301-0092 was awarded to Manafort Brother’s Inc., of Plainville, CT on June 30, 2014 at a cost of $14,875,329 and is scheduled to be completed by May 15, 2018.

LANE CLOSURE INFO:

The following allocations may include alternating one-way traffic operations and shoulder closures.

Sound Beach Avenue and Tomac Avenue:

Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Saturday and Sunday between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. The contractor will be allowed to close and detour Sound Beach Avenue or Tomac Avenue during overnight periods from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. but never simultaneously, excluding the following  days:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Good Friday
  • Easter
  • Memorial Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Christmas Day
  • Old Greenwich First Lighting Festival (1st Saturday in December)
  • All Saturdays and Sundays in June & July

Greenwich Delegation Joins Republicans in Outlining Detailed Spending Plan

Posted on April 24, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined fellow GOP colleagues Friday in announcing a two-year $39.49 billion state budget alternative that plans responsibly for the future while falling under the constitutional spending cap and addressing Connecticut’s immediate needs.

The Republican biennium budget, entitled “Blueprint for Prosperity,” restores funding to social and human services, limits long-term borrowing, consolidates a number of state commissions, and provides exemptions on clothing and shoes under $50.

“This budget provides a long term fix to what the administration acknowledges as our “permanent fiscal crisis.”  The Blueprint for Prosperity restores funding for the safety net and does not further burden our children with more taxes.  It is responsible and puts Connecticut on a path to prosperity,” said Sen. Scott Frantz.

“The middle class is in great need of relief. The reforms in our budget provide that with a tax cut that will help working and middle class families, which in turn will create a domino effect that stimulates businesses and increases sales. The two year “fixes” need to be a thing of the past. We now need a bolder, more forward reaching plan that sets Connecticut on a path to prosperity, and this budget proposal does that,” said Rep. Camillo.

“This budget puts Connecticut on the path to fiscal health for the long term, it stays under the spending cap all the while taking care of our state’s neediest citizens and lifting some of the tax burden from companies that employ the citizens of our state,” said Rep. Floren.

Hoping to reduce the flight of seniors heading out of state, Blueprint phases out the income tax on pension income under $100,000 and, looking to attract younger residents, eliminates the governor’s proposed income tax hike on single filers.

“In order for Connecticut to sustain itself, we need to start attracting younger citizens to our state and keeping our recent college graduates here. Too many times we here about college graduates saying that Connecticut is too expensive to live in, and despite aspirations of wanting to settle down here, they are forced to move elsewhere. This budget alleviates their tax burden by eliminating the proposed income tax hike on single filers, said Rep. Bocchino.

Also included in the Republican proposal is a transportation initiative that is fully funded and does not include the implementation of tolls.

The Republican plan reduces long-term debt by instituting a bond allocation cap and a new policy to stop the use of excessive bond premiums. It also identifies future labor savings by getting excessive overtime costs under control and creating a new Office of Overtime Accountability.

To view the complete plan, click here: http://cthousegop.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/BlueprintProsperityLongForm.pdf

For more information, click here: http://cthousegop.com/blueprint/

Public Information Meeting on Replacement of Route 1 over Greenwich Creek

Posted on April 23, 2015 by admin


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Please see the below Press Release from the Connecticut Department of Transportation for information on an upcoming public meeting.

The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will conduct a public information meeting concerning the replacement of Bridge No. 01872, which carries U.S. Route 1 over Greenwich Creek, in the town of Greenwich.  The meeting will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in the Town Hall Meeting Room, Greenwich Town Hall, 101 Field Point Road in Greenwich. 

The existing structure is a single-span structure, which spans approximately 13.5-feet and is comprised of various structure types due to the expansion of U.S. Route 1 (East Putnam Avenue) over the years.  The structure is approximately 225-feet east of Hillside Road.

The purpose and need for the project is to address the structural deficiencies, hydraulic inadequacies, and functional obsolescence of the bridge.  The bridge is structurally deficient due to the poor condition of the superstructure, hydraulically inadequate during storms.

The proposed bridge replacement will be constructed in three stages. During construction and erection of the bridge, two lanes of traffic shall be maintained on U.S. Route 1 at all times.

Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2018. The replacement of this structure is to be undertaken with federal and tate funds. The estimated construction cost for this project is between $5,000,000 and $6,000,000.

“And the winner is…” Digital Animation in Connecticut

Posted on April 20, 2015 by admin


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In 2007, I was privileged to vote for a Digital Animation Production tax credit program that I believed would spur economic growth in Connecticut. And, it has! Encouraged by this credit, Blue Sky Studios moved from New York to Greenwich in 2008 and brought with it jobs and economic development. Unfortunately, there is legislation being considered this session that could leave Blue Sky’s future in Connecticut uncertain. It is my intention to oppose this legislation and work to keep Blue Sky here.

The Digital Animation Production tax credit includes strict guidelines, all of which have been followed to the letter by Blue Sky. Participating companies must:

  • Employ at least 200 full-time employees in Connecticut (permanent, non-seasonal employees who work at least 35 hours a week);
  • Maintain an in-state studio facility in Connecticut;
  • Conduct the digital animation production activity in Connecticut.

The current law limits companies like Blue Sky to a maximum $15 million per year cap on the total credits that may be awarded. These requirements set a precedent for a strong commitment to Connecticut and Blue Sky has certainly proved its loyalty to our state.

Based on the creation of the Digital Animation Production tax credit, Blue Sky Studios designed and constructed a state of the art animation studio in Greenwich and moved 280 employees from New York to Connecticut. In 2011, they expanded their studio and added more technical animators and other innovative positions. Today, Blue Sky Studios boasts an employee count of more than 500 highly skilled artists and programmers working in Connecticut—far exceeding the requirements to receive the tax credit. They have also been consistently growing with more than $50 million in annual expenditures in Connecticut. Blue Sky has produced the Ice Age series, Robots and Rio and is in the midst of producing the Peanuts Movie and Ice Age 5. Their success is unmatched.

It is essential to keep companies like Blue Sky Studios in Connecticut, which is why it is my intention to fight the proposed change to the percentage of tax liability. The reduction in tax credits would have an immediate and adverse effect on the Digital Animation Production tax program, directly impacting the ability to maintain current levels of employee headcount and creating uncertainty for future expansion. Changing the rules of engagement midstream is unfair and unacceptable.

I shall work to make sure “the winner is and remains”…Connecticut.

Beware of Phony Emails from the State Judicial Branch

Posted on April 16, 2015 by admin


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The state’s Judicial Branch is warning residents about a scam email going around claiming to be from the court.

The phony email claims to come from “state court” and orders the recipient to appear in court for a hearing, judicial officials said Wednesday.

“These emails may carry a virus, and recipients should not open any attachment if they receive such an email,” officials said.

Anyone who receives one of these emails is asked to contact the Judicial Branch help desk at 860-282-6555.

Rep. Floren Visits Glenville School

Posted on April 8, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich- State Representative Livvy Floren (R-149) visited Glenville School on Friday, March 29 in honor of Read Across America. Rep. Floren read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein to Glenville’s 5th grade class in the school’s media center.

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Rep. Floren Attends Legislative Breakfast

Posted on April 7, 2015 by admin


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Stamford- Rep. Floren attended the Stamford Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Breakfast to discuss issues pressing in the legislature as well as the state’s business climate.

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted on April 1, 2015 by admin


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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and you can expect police departments in our area will be cracking down on drivers endangering public safety.

Beginning today, Greenwich and Stamford Police will be taking part in a statewide campaign called “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, targeting anyone choosing to text, talk or distract themselves with a cell phone while driving.

Motorists can expect extra patrols, spotters and stationary police vehicles prominently placed around the town. You can also expect police elsewhere to crack down on distracted driving this month.

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for first offense, $300 for second offense, and $500 for each subsequent violation. We also created a first-in-the-nation system that allows offenses to affect the violator’s car insurance premium.

An estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phones, according to the National Safety Council, and 34 percent of teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving; 52 percent have said they have talked on the phone. Ten percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

Although the most recent numbers show distracted driving-related deaths have decreased nationwide, the number of deaths – 3,328 in 2012 – is still too high.

Please do not drive distracted, it is unsafe and endangers both fellow motorists and pedestrians. Feel free to forward this reminder along to friends, family and neighbors.

Bridge Maintenance, I-95 Northbound in Greenwich

Posted on March 20, 2015 by admin


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Please see below for a press release from the Connecticut Department of Transportation on lane closures that will be occurring from 3/23-3/24.

Bridge Maintenance, I-95 Northbound in Greenwich

The project consists of bridge maintenance to the James Street Bridge over I-95 Northbound in Greenwich.  This project is scheduled to occur from 8:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Monday, March 23, 2015 to the morning of Tuesday, March 24, 2015. 

LANE CLOSURE INFO
Motorists can expect lane closures on I-95 Northbound between Exit 2 (N/B Doran Ave) and the New York State Line in Greenwich.  Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is from 8:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. (Monday Night).

Public Hearing on Aid in Dying Bill

Posted on March 17, 2015 by admin


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On Wednesday, March 18th, the legislature’s Judiciary Committee will be holding a public hearing on Raised House Bill 7015, AN ACT CONCERNING AID IN DYING FOR TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS.

This is a controversial bill which can be an emotional subject for many.  The bill would allow a physician to dispense or prescribe medication at the request of a mentally competent patient that has a terminal illness. The patient could then self-administer the medication to bring about his or her death.

If you would like to have your voice heard on this bill, you can testify in person or in writing.

DATE: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

TIME: 10:30 AM

LOCATION: Room 2C of the Legislative Office Building

HOW: Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 8:30 A.M. Please submit 35 copies of written testimony to Committee staff when you sign up.

If you do not have prior experience testifying at a legislative public hearing, check out this link on the CGA website; it explains the process.

If you cannot attend the March 18th public hearing, you may submit written testimony in Word or PDF format by email to judtestimony@cga.ct.gov. The email may be as brief as you like. Make sure to put “Raised Bill 7015″ in the email’s subject line. Finally, please copy my office on the email.

Beware of Telephone Scams

Posted on March 9, 2015 by admin


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Recently, residents in our area have been receiving financial scam phone calls and emails.

Those calls and emails, which come in a variety of different forms, purport to be from the Internal Revenue Service, Treasury Office of Legal Affairs, or from the Office of the Secretary of the Treasury, and other organizations.

One scam to be aware of is an individual falsely representing the Internal Revenue Service calling and demanding payment or financial information from you claiming that you ow the IRS money and if it isn’t paid that day the police would be sent to make an arrest.

Some of these scams also falsely claim that if you provide payment or bank account information to cover small expenses or processing fees you will receive a large sum of money. Similarly, emails promising a windfall in exchange for small payments are false.

If you get a call or email like this you should hang up and contact the proper authorities.

Remember the old saying,” if something is too good to be true it probably is.”

Click here to report an IRS telephone scam.

Additional information concerning related scams is available by clicking here.

Greenwich Delegation Advocates for “Emily’s Law”

Posted on March 5, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD — Following the accidental tragic death of Emily Fedorko last summer, the Greenwich Delegation has authored and introduced a bill that would establish a minimum age for towing any person by vessel and requiring the completion of a safe towing course prior to engaging in the activity. If the bill is passed it will be called “Emily’s Law.” On Friday, February 27, State Reps. Mike Bocchino (R-150) and Fred Camillo (R-151) testified in a public hearing in strong support of the bill.

“I have met with many in the boating industry and boating communities, all of which have agreed that this bill is a positive step forward to establishing safer waterways for all recreational boaters,” said Rep. Bocchino. “I have also met with law enforcement, specifically Marine division personnel, who feel that this specific piece of legislation would create no extra burden to those looking to acquire a personal watercraft operating license, or to those who already have such a license and would be required obtain a safe towing endorsement. I would just like to emphasize that this is not reactive legislation, but responsible legislation.”

Rep. Camillo added, “We all know that we can’t prevent tragedies with legislation, but we absolutely have a duty and obligation to enact laws that lessen the chances of certain types of accidents occurring, as well as putting in place educational steps that will at least equip people with a basic knowledge of how to act and react in situations. In this case, the addition of a towing endorsement to the eight hour course that is now the required step in Connecticut for anyone wishing to receive a boating license. After several meetings with interested parties, including boaters, sailors, and commodores, over the course of several months, the agreed upon language and goals of the bill before this committee is something that was reached by consensus and with the most measured approach. The last thing we wanted was to have a bill put forth that had unintended consequences, or that was nothing more than a superficial attempt to react to a horrific accident. We believe this bill accomplishes the goals we set out to enact, namely extracting a positive, in this case boater safety and awareness, out of tragedy. We also believe that Emily’s Law’s will leave a legacy of safety and awareness that will decrease the chances of this happening again.”

“What happened last summer was no short of a tragedy. This bill is a sensible approach that will add no extra burden to our boaters. Rather, it will make it safer for everyone and hopefully we will never have to endure such a tragedy again,” said Rep. Floren.

The bill now sits before the Legislature’s Environment Committee and will await further action. The 2015 legislative session concludes on June 3rd.

 

Greenwich Delegation Fights Border Tolls

Posted on February 26, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD — Although the Governor’s proposed budget eliminated the prospect of tolls, a bill raised by the Transportation Committee was brought to a public hearing on Wednesday. The Greenwich Delegation took a firm stand against the bill, with State Reps. Mike Bocchino(R-150) and Fred Camillo (R-151) attending the public hearing and submitting testimony against the bill that would install electronic tolling booths on the borders of the State.

“This proposal will increase pollution and traffic to those residents that live near the proposed toll locations. These tolls will be a burden to all Fairfield County residents who commute to neighboring NY for work,” said Rep. Bocchino. “The tolls will adversely affect local businesses that rely on customers from our neighboring State as well as to our residents who wish to partake in interstate commerce. The most disturbing aspect of this proposal is the burden that border towns will experience on their local streets.”

Rep. Camillo followed Rep. Bocchino in testifying to the Transportation Committee also citing the unnecessary drain that the town of Greenwich would have to endure if tolls were resurrected at the border.

“As a resident of a border town, and a person who actually lived less than a half mile from where tolls used to be, I know firsthand how bad they were for a border town.  The proposal of resurrecting tolls in the vicinity of the same area would cause severe congestion due to cars exiting into Byram to avoid the tolls,” said Rep. Camillo. “However, a more imminent danger to public safety is the fact that the Byram Fire Department is located on the main thoroughfare in Byram and just 500 feet from the highway. The already congested streets would be made impossible to drive on and with fire engines needing clear roads for public safety situations, this would in effect block them into the station, thus limiting their capability to fight fires and respond to emergencies.”

Both Bocchino and Camillo brought up the many safety risks tolls would cause on the local roadways of Greenwich including the fact that the infrastructure is not equipped to handle the increase in number of cars and commercial trucks. Bocchino specifically noted the issue is the proximity that Greenwich’s “shortcut roads” hold to local elementary schools, which are mostly walking communities. Motorists in a rush, unfamiliar with the area could blow through many important signs and lights—putting students at risk.

“Connecticut already has so many burdensome taxes; resurrecting tolls would add an unnecessary affliction to those in lower Fairfield County, particularly here in Greenwich. The delegation stands firm against the restoration of tolls and we will continue to fight against them in the legislature,” said Rep. Floren

Public Hearing on Tolls

Posted on February 24, 2015 by admin


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As you know the issue of returning tolls to Connecticut’s highways has been widely discussed and debated this year.

I would like to inform you that the Transportation Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill to bring tolls back to Connecticut. We have fought against this measure as a delegation and will continue to do so, but we also encourage you to have your voices heard.

The bill HB 6818, An Act Concerning the Establishment of Electronic Tolls at the State’s Borders will have a public hearing on Wednesday, February 25th, at 10:30 AM in Room 1 E of the Legislative Office Building.

If you would like to testify in person to have your voice heard, you can get directions to the Legislative Office Building by clicking HERE.

If you are unable to attend in person but, would like to submit testimony in writing, you can do so by submitting it via email to: tratestimony@cga.ct.gov.

Please feel free to send me a copy of your testimony to Livvy.Floren@housegop.ct.gov.

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Greenwich Legislators React to Governor’s Budget Proposal

Posted on February 19, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD — State Representatives Livvy Floren, (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) are cautiously optimistic after hearing Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s budget Wednesday afternoon. The proposed budget continues to put Connecticut’s finances at risk and will further hurt businesses in a state that is already the most unfavorable toward them. However, it continues to place transportation at the forefront and makes a conscious effort to stay under the spending cap.

The optimism remains in the Governor’s dedication to improving transportation—this is particularly important to the commuters of Greenwich who rely both on roads and rail transportation. It also continues to level fund Education Cost Sharing grants and works to provide full day kindergarten across the state.

“The Governor’s budget proposal was visionary — it was big and it was bold.  Living within our revenue means and under the spending cap while level funding Education Cost Sharing grants is a laudable goal, as is providing Kindergarten for all students. However, this is just a first step, a blueprint. Now, the “heavy lifting” begins as the legislature works to iron out the myriad details,” said Rep. Floren.

Greenwich residents will be happy to note that tolls were not in the Governor’s proposed budget, as had been speculated earlier this session.

“I’m pleased the Governor is no longer talking about tolls and while his transportation plan is laudable, there is no funding for it. I hope that the Governor will consider the plan we released last week which will provide the funds for these transportation projects to become reality,” said Rep. Bocchino.

In addition, while the Governor’s plan lowers the sales tax it increases state revenue by eliminating exemptions. The proposal eliminates the sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear and lowers the threshold for sale tax free week from $300 to $100.

“What we need is relief is for the people of Connecticut, whose wallets are constantly getting lighter. While lowering the sales tax seems great, the reality is that this is actually a tax increase because the exemptions are eliminated,” said Rep. Camillo. “Still, I applaud the Governor for finally agreeing to eliminate the Business Entity Tax, long a Republican  objective, and for his focus on a transportation road map, even if the details are not apparent at this point.”

The budget was presented to the State House of Representatives and State Senate in a joint convention of the legislature by Malloy. Although the budget won’t be finalized until late May or early June, both Republican and Democratic legislators can agree there is a lot to discuss and debate.

Greenwich Delegation, Republicans, Unveil Transportation Plan

Posted on February 13, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD – Republican lawmakers Tuesday unveiled ‘Prioritize Progress,’ a comprehensive, long-term solution to Connecticut’s infrastructure needs, and State Representatives Livvy Floren (R-149), Mike Bocchino (R-150), and Fred Camillo (R-151) joined colleagues in addressing roads, bridges, rail, bus and ports.

The plan establishes a predictable and sustainable funding stream totaling at least $1 billion for the next 30 years and reinstitutes the Transportation Strategy Board to aid the Department of Transportation in identifying community needs and prioritizing safety improvements. The plan includes no tax increases, no tolls and a reduction in the current level of state borrowing.

“I emphasize every year that we cannot continue to spend money by putting it on our “state credit card.” This plan is a common sense solution to allocating money for essential transportation projects while spending within our means,” said Rep. Floren.

“Transportation is vital to our state’s economic fortunes. If we don’t prioritize it, and fast, we will continue to struggle to recruit and retain jobs in both Fairfield County and the rest of the state. The House and Senate Republicans have put a plan on the table that is a common sense blue print that would enable Connecticut to move forward with a sustainable stream of funding while not raising taxes or erecting tolls, both of which would have a negative impact on area residents and taxpayers,” said Rep. Camillo.

“The most important part about this plan, especially for our districts, is that it does not install tolls. It’s a win-win. We avoid tolls and set aside yearly funds for transportation projects—this is essential for lower Fairfield County,” said Rep. Bocchino.

For the past hundred-plus years, Connecticut has not had a truly reliable or foreseeable revenue stream for transportation. Prioritize Progress secures current funds, reprioritizes spending and gives experts the tools and resources they need to institute a broad range of transportation projects – including roads, bridges, rail, bus and ports.

The GOP plan will save Connecticut $305 million in debt services, while defining a 10-year horizon with an additional $5.3 billion to rebuild infrastructure systems.

Anthem Security Breach

Posted on February 10, 2015 by admin


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As most of you know, 80 million people throughout the United States – 1.2 million of whom reside in Connecticut – are currently facing the threat of identity theft after a major security breach at Anthem health insurance.

Information stolen from current and former customers includes names, dates of birth, medical IDs, Social Security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses, employment information and some income data. It does not seem that any medical records or credit card numbers have been exposed, but I urge you to be aware of activity regarding such information.

Please also be on the lookout for spam regarding this event. I am assured by Anthem that it is not a legitimate offering and is either a scam or solicitation for services not approved by Anthem.

The email solicitation is as follows:

Dear Anthem Client,

We wanted to make you aware of a data breach that may have affected your personal health information and credit card data. The data which was accessed may impact clients who made credit or debit card payments for healthcare or who got treatment during the year 2014.

Your trust is a top priority for Anthem, and we deeply regret the inconvenience this may cause. The privacy and protection of our client’s health care information is a matter we take very seriously and we are working diligently to resolve the incident.

To subscribe to a free year of credit card account protection please click on the link below and follow the instructions that will be required:

[link]  *Do not click on the link in the original email

Nancy McElvain, MA, SPHR

Director of HR and Security

Progeny Systems

work 703-368-6107 ext. 422

cell 703-606-4012

Anthem is currently doing all they can to continue investigating this attack, especially to determine which members’ personal information was accessed. They advise us that there is currently no indication that any of their members’ personal information has been misused. However, in that unfortunate event, all impacted Anthem members will be offered identity theft monitoring and credit monitoring services for two years. Anthem will soon provide affected members with information on how to enroll in this protection.

In the meantime, here’s what you can do to protect yourself in the coming months according to ABC News:

  • Request a (renewable) 90-day credit alert or get a free credit report once a year.
  • Consider placing a full freeze on your credit.
  • Check your bills closely for irregularities.
  • Consider signing up for any monitoring Anthem, or other hacked businesses, offer for free.
  • Submit a report through the FTC website: www.consumer.ftc.gov. Click the “privacy & identity” tab, which will walk you through creating an affidavit you can show to creditors.
  • Keep copies of all reports and correspondence. Use certified mail to get delivery receipts, and keep notes on every phone call.
  • Be skeptical of notices that you have won a “free prize.”
  • Hang up the phone if you get a call asking for account numbers or other information. Scammers may also send texts, so don’t click on any links from numbers you don’t know.

Additional Resources:

  • www.anthemfacts.com which includes a link to Frequently Asked Questions
  • Attorney General George Jepsen and state Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan A. Harris are advising all Connecticut residents who may be affected by the breach to report any suspicious activity on their credit report or other financial accounts to law enforcement immediately. Suspicious activity can also be reported to the Office of the Attorney General’s Privacy Task Force by emailing attorney.general@ct.gov or calling 860-808-5318.
  • State Department of Consumer Protection: http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=4302&q=560456
  • Federal Trade Commission:  http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0275-place-fraud-alert

Greenwich Delegation Hosts Successful Coffee Hour

Posted on February 6, 2015 by admin


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Greenwich– State Representatives Livvy Floren, Mike Bocchino, and Fred Camillo were joined by State Senator Scott Frantz to host a successful Coffee Hour at the Glory Days Diner. To read the full story, click here.

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Preparing for the Blizzard

Posted on January 26, 2015 by admin


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Because we are expecting blizzard conditions beginning this evening and through Tuesday, I would like to share some important storm-related information with you. Please take some necessary precautions to ensure you and your family remains safe during this time.

The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) is closely monitoring the storm and is also participating in National Weather Service conference calls to get the latest information on the storm’s track and is sending out regular updates to all municipalities and tribal nations.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) will have its entire fleet of snow plows, including 12 loader-mounted snow blowers, prepared to deploy. The residual road treatment from the previous weekend storm will help in the efforts to pretreat the roads.
Please consider creating an emergency supply kit, so you can be prepared for extended periods of possible power outages and/or snow-in. Items to be included in the kit:

  • One gallon of bottled water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • At least a three-day supply of non-perishable food for you and your pet
  • A three-day supply of prescription medication
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • First aid kit
  • A whistle to signal for help
  • Moist towelettes
  • Plastic trash bags and ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
  • Extra fuel (stored in a safe container) for the power generator

Additional preparedness tips:

  • In the event emergency travel is necessary, fill up your car with gas, check oil and windshield fluid levels
  • Connecticut law requires drivers to remove the snow from his/her car. Failure to do so can result in a fine
  • Sign up for emergency alerts at www.ctalert.gov
  • And always, check on your neighbor

For additional info on winter weather preparedness go to www.ct.gov/demhs or www.redcross.org.

Greenwich Delegation Hosting Coffee Hours

Posted on January 21, 2015 by admin


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Please join us for a “Coffee Hour with your Legislators” at the Glory Days Diner on Wednesday, February 4th from 8 to 9 am. We will be there to field questions and discuss issues shaping the 2015 legislative session.

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Issues in the 2015 Session

Posted on January 12, 2015 by admin


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The state’s nonpartisan Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has issued its report on important issues that the General Assembly may face during the 2015 legislative session that began on January 7th.

You can view or download the report by clicking here.

As always, feel free to contact our office at 800-842-1423 if you have questions, concerns or ideas about issues related to state government.

Greenwich Delegation Welcomes 2015 Legislative Session

Posted on January 7, 2015 by admin