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Rep. Frey Tours Ridgefield Supply Company Facility in Recognition of Women-Owned Business Day

Posted on May 1, 2018 by rjoslyn


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RIDGEFIELD – In an effort to promote awareness of Women-Owned Business Day, State Representative John Frey (R-111) visited the Ridgefield Supply Company and toured the facility with the company’s owner, Margaret Price, to learn about the business and her experience as a business owner.  Women-Owned Business Day is an annual event at the State Capitol every May 2nd and hosted by the Women’s Business Development Council, which is an organization dedicated to women’s economic equity.

The Ridgefield Supply Company, a lumber and building supply dealer, has its roots in a lumber company founded in 1883 and operates from its current location in downtown Ridgefield opposite the train station. Margaret Price, the granddaughter of company founder Louis H. Price, Sr., has run the Ridgefield Supply Company since she acquired the company from her father in 2011.

“Women-Owned Business Day has been always been a valuable event, and I thought showcasing Margaret and her work with Ridgefield Supply, a storied institution in Ridgefield, would be an exceptional representation of the success and innovation that women entrepreneurs can bring to businesses,” said Rep. Frey. “Margaret is an exemplary business owner who made a major investment in the property, including preserving and restoring the former Ridgefield Train Station building, and has broken barriers in a traditionally male-dominated industry.”

Rep. Frey and Price also had an opportunity to discuss the challenges faced by small business in Connecticut as well as policy issues affecting women business owners specifically. In addition to her role at Ridgefield Supply, Price also is active in Northeastern Retail Lumbermen’s Association and Lumber Dealers of CT.

“Ridgefield and the State of Connecticut need to cooperate with business owners like Margaret as extensively as possible,” said Rep. Frey.  “Business owners put their personal lives on hold as they labor to build and grow their businesses.  They are the people who can do the most to turn our state’s economy around if we work with them instead of making it harder for them to be competitive.”

The WBCD is encouraging women business owners in the state to register for their event at the Legislative Office Building on May 2nd at 9am.

Rep. Frey Update: Prioritize Progress: A Plan to Fully Fund the STF

Posted on April 23, 2018 by rjoslyn


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As it stands now, a major roadblock to Connecticut’s economic recovery remains the issue of transportation funding and how we prioritize spending.

Every state relies on its transportation network to drive economic development and maximize quality of life. Unfortunately, transportation has been ignored for far too long here in Connecticut. Funding has been unpredictable and unreliable.  It has long been a misguided tradition to siphon off funds intended for transportation projects to spend elsewhere. As a result our transportation system is far from where it needs to be to foster growth and advancement.

It is time to make transportation a priority.

On Friday, I joined the House Republican caucus in unveiling an updated plan for a long-term solution to advance transportation in Connecticut for the next generation. A component of our budget adjustment proposal for 2018, Prioritize Progress creates a predictable and sustainable funding stream to ensure that transportation will be properly prioritized for the next three decades.

Here is how we do it while keeping the budget balanced:

 

Require the state to:

1) Reserve a set amount of General Obligation Bonds to be used solely for transportation priorities.

2) Preserve Special Tax Obligation bonds dedicated to transportation.

3) Re-establish the Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) to work alongside CTDOT to assess proposed projects and identify community needs.

 

Benefits of the plan include:

  • An annual transportation funding mechanism guaranteeing over $1 billion annually over the next 30 years
  • No tax increases
  • No tolls
  • A reduction in state bonding compared to recent practices
  • Flexibility in setting transportation priorities
  • A sustainable and predictable funding plan to support future generations

 

By prioritizing funding for transportation and creating a more effective strategy for identifying urgencies, we can create a safe, reliable and multi-model transportation network – including roads, bridges, rail, bus, and port improvements. It is recommended that Connecticut first address immediate safety needs and deteriorating infrastructure and then consider progressive development for our future.

Everyone benefits from a strong transportation system, and progress can only be made if we prioritize transportation.

For more information about our budget proposal, click here.

As always, I am eager to hear from you if you have any questions or comments about Prioritize Progress, transportation funding, the state budget, or any other issue related to state government.  Please do not hesitate to email me at john.frey@housegop.ct.gov or call 800-842-1423.

Rep. Frey Votes Yes on Pay Equity Legislation as it Passes the House

Posted on April 19, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative John Frey (R-111) on Thursday voted in favor of a bill to strengthen labor protections for employees in an effort to discourage gender wage discrimination in Connecticut. Rep. Frey submitted a bill proposal to the Labor Committee at the beginning of the legislative session to address pay equity, which eventually became HB 5386, An Act Concerning Various Pay Equity and Fairness Matters, which he co-sponsored in the State House.

HB 5386, which passed the House on a 142-4 vote, prohibits employees from asking about a prospective employee’s wage history, unless the prospective employee voluntarily discloses it or the employer is authorized by law to do ask.

In Connecticut, the average woman will make $529,000 less in earning over her lifetime than a male and it is estimated women in Connecticut lose a combined $5.5 billion due to the wage gap.

“The pay equity bill that passed the House today represents an encouraging compromise between advocates of pay equity for women and the business community,” said Rep. Frey.  “I have long supported equal pay for equal work because levelling the playing field for women in the workplace will ultimately strengthen families and businesses alike.  While this legislation can’t completely eliminate gender discrimination, taking an employee’s wage history off the table during the job application process will help break the cycle of women getting underpaid compared to men.”

Although the law makes changes to the hiring process, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association helped the lawmakers reach the compromise and supports the measure.

“Enabling discriminatory hiring practices is not in the best interest of any business, which is why the CBIA played a role in the negotiations and acted in good faith to tackle gender wage discrimination,” said Rep. Frey.  “There is no reason to believe this law will make Connecticut businesses less competitive.  In fact, I think this opens many doors for businesses to obtain maximum potential from all of their employees and help them ensure their employees are compensated as fairly and as accurately as possible.  I reject the notion that allowing businesses to thrive and demanding fair treatment of employees have to be mutually exclusive concepts.  I am hopeful the State Senate will act on this and send it to the governor to be signed into law.”

After its passage in the House, HB 5386 now heads to the State Senate for consideration.