Rep. Kupchick Newsletter: Support Operation Hope’s Annual Community Tag Sale

Posted on July 13, 2018 by rjoslyn


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Dear Friends,

It is time again for the annual Community Tag Sale hosted by the volunteers at Operation Hope.  This year’s tag sale is at the First Congregational Church of Fairfield at 148 Beach Rd.  It will be held on August 18 from 9am until 4pm and on August 19 from 12pm until 4pm.  All proceeds will benefit Operation Hope.

 

 

 

Operation Hope has been helping Fairfield County residents through affordable housing, a food pantry, and other services for over 25 years. While our economy continues to struggle, more and more people need a helping hand.

The Tag Sale is only successful because of the efforts of volunteers. Proceeds of the sale go toward helping those in need.

 

Here are some ways you can help out:

First: Take a look through your home or garage for items to donate to the tag sale.

  • Furniture, Household Goods, Jewelry, Linens, Pictures/Paintings, Toys, Gaming Systems, Outdoor & Sporting Goods and more! Items
  • NOT accepted for donation: Bedding, clothing, televisions, computers, monitors, shoes, and books

Items for donation can be brought to the First Congregational Church in Fairfield between August 13 and August 16.

Operation Hope also needs donations of water for the volunteers and baked goods for the bake sale.

To sign up to volunteer at the tag sale, click on this link.

The Community Tag Sale is a great way to support and participate in a Fairfield tradition of helping our neighbors!

You can visit www.operationhopect.org for more information.

I hope to see you at the sale!

Rep. Kupchick Reminds Community of Life-Saving “Heat Kills” Initiative as Summer Begins

Posted on June 28, 2018 by rjoslyn


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

 

HARTFORD – State Representative Brenda Kupchick (R-132) united with Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon to remind residents about Fairfield’s ongoing “Heat Kills: If you Love ‘em Don’t Leave ‘em” initiative.  First started in 2015, the campaign aims to raise awareness of the dangers of leaving children & pets in hot cars.

Following a news conference held at the Fairfield Police Station, Rep. Kupchick, Chief MacNamara, Police Captain Don Smith, and Animal Control Officers Paul Miller and Joseph Felner went on their annual canvassing tour of the town to encourage more local businesses to install signs in their parking lots and stickers on their windows to remind parents and pet owners.

“This effort started due to frequent calls I received from constituents telling me about seeing dogs in parked cars with the windows up and their owner nowhere in sight.  After a child died in Ridgefield because they were left in a hot car, I decided something had to be done,” said Rep. Kupchick.  “Chief McNamara, Officer Miller, and I met and discussed starting an initiative that would help remind residents of the danger of leaving children and pets in cars and inform bystanders of what to do by listing the number to call police.  Reports say many people who leave a child in a car forget their child is in the car or, when running errands, think it is okay to leave a pet in the car while they shop.  The “Heat Kills” signs serve two purposes: as a reminder to parents entering the stores to remember their children and for people who find animals locked in hot cars to call the police.  I thank the FPD for joining me today to reinforce the goals of the program.”

The FPD noted the success of the program since its inception, citing sharp decreases in the number of 9-1-1 calls they have received regarding pets being left in cars.  They wanted to reinforce its goals as the days continue to get hotter this summer.

Rep. Kupchick also shared the legislature’s passage of a transportation bill that extends “Good Samaritan” law protections to people who break into hot cars to save animals.  Originally, this legal protection only existed in the case of entering a car to save a child.  Now, bystanders should feel empowered to act as necessary in the case of animals, as well, if the animal appears to be in urgent distress.

“The first step should always be to call 9-1-1 and report the situation, but, now, in emergency situations, a bystander is not liable for damages to a vehicle if they break into it in order to save a child or an animal inside,” said Rep. Kupchick.  “This is vitally important to saving lives because it empowers concerned bystanders to act.”

Local participating businesses in the “Heat Kills” campaign to date include all municipal parking lots, The Pantry, Shop Rite, Stop & Shop, T.J. Maxx, Dunkin Donuts, Marshalls and several other small business.  Additionally, signs are posted at train station parking lots.

According to experts, children have died in cars with the temperature as low as 73 degrees.  Basically, the car becomes a greenhouse.  At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after 30 minutes, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees.  After 60 minutes, it can reach 113 degrees.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data findings showed, “when temperatures outside range from 80-100 degrees, the temperature inside a car parked in direct sunlight can quickly climb to between 130-172 degrees.”  In terms of heat rising over time, the American Academy of Pediatrics study concluded the difference in interior temperature between a car with the windors fully closed and a car with the windows cracked down a few inches is negligible.  “In both cases, a car’s interior temperature can rise approximately 40 degrees within one hour, even if the exterior temperature is only 72 degrees,” the report said.

If the outside temperature is 70 degrees, in 10 minutes the temperature inside a car will be 89 degrees, within 30 minutes, it will be 104 degrees.  With temperatures in the mid-80’s, within 10 minutes the temp inside a car will be 104 degrees, and in 30 minutes – 119 degrees. Heatstroke can lead to permanent health impairment for both children and pets.

Leaving a child in a hot car can lead to a Risk of Injury charge (anyone under 12 years of age cannot lawfully be left unattended in a public place), leaving a dog in a hot car can lead to a Cruelty to Animals charge.

Residents are asked to call Fairfield Police at 203.254.4800 to report a child or pet left in a vehicle.  Individuals and businesses who want to obtain signage can call Fairfield Animal Control at 211 Richard White Way at 203.254.4857.  The cost of the signs has been covered by donations which support the program and the town will assist, if requested, in mounting and setting the sign at private businesses free of charge.

 

 

Fairfield Legislators Vote to Override Governor’s Veto of Bill Preventing Mid-Year Cuts

Posted on June 26, 2018 by rjoslyn


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORD – State Representatives Brenda Kupchick (R-132) and Laura Devlin (R-134) voted on Monday to override Governor Dan Malloy’s veto of a bill prohibiting future governors from making cuts to education aid in the middle of a fiscal year.  State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) also voted to override the veto in the Senate.

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

Public Act 18-35 was legislation intended to impede a Connecticut governor from withdrawing Education Cost Sharing funds already promised to a municipality for the school year, and was a key priority for the legislators.

“Fairfield schools and social service programs have been routinely targeted for the governor’s mid-year education holdbacks that cause uncertainty for town officials and local school boards.  I was proud to stand with my colleagues in the House for taking a positive step towards predictability and stability,” said Rep. Kupchick.  “Unfortunately, Governor Malloy and his allies in the legislature are still major roadblocks to progress in our state.  I’m very disappointed the majority in the Senate decided to not stand up against the governor’s vetoes.  In addition to stopping education cuts in the middle of the school year, these were bills that would have reduced the taxpayer bailout of Hartford, offered incentives for manufacturing companies and created an animal abuser registry.”

“Governors – Malloy and future ones – need to be put on notice that making unilateral mid-year cuts to education funding can devastate our communities. Reductions during the fiscal year are particularly difficult and leave few options for administrators and teachers,” said Rep. Devlin. “I was proud to cast a vote to override the governor’s veto. Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats refused to join us today in protecting our children’s educational priorities.”

“I voted to override Governor Malloy, and I did so on behalf of Fairfield educators, children and families,” Sen. Hwang said.  “I was proud to stand in opposition to the governor on this crucial school funding issue. This bill would have created stability and predictability for Fairfield beyond the current budget.  I was pleased to see the governor’s ill-advised veto get overridden in the House.  Shortly after the House’s override, I was bitterly disappointed to see many Senate Democrats reverse their prior votes.  There were not enough votes for the bill to get to the finish line in the State Senate.  That’s truly a shame, but I can promise Fairfield’s taxpayers this:  I am not deterred, and I will continue to stand with in support of common sense policies like this one.”

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

Rep. Kupchick Newsletter: Support Cancer Research at This Year’s Relay for Life

Posted on June 6, 2018 by rjoslyn


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

This Saturday, the American Cancer Society is holding a Relay for Life event.

Relay for Life is an event that celebrates survivors, honors those in our community who lost the battle and supports those currently fighting.

Fairfield Relay for Life will be held this Saturday, June 9, at Fairfield Ludlowe High School.  The opening ceremony will begin at 5pm.

 

 

Relay for Life is a team fundraising event where team members take turns walking around a track.  Each event is 6-24 hours in length and teams are asked to have a member on the track at all times to signify that cancer never sleeps.

Each team sets up a themed campsite at the event and continues their fundraising efforts by collecting donations for food, goods, games, and activities. This money will count towards their overall team fundraising goal.

For more information about Fairfield Relay for Life, including links to donate to the American Cancer Society, join a team, or light a luminary in honor of someone you care for click here.  Together, we can make a difference.

I hope you will consider supporting our Relay for Life.

Rep. Kupchick Update: Fairfield Diaper Drive Starts this Weekend

Posted on May 18, 2018 by rjoslyn


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Beginning this weekend, Rep. Laura Devlin and I are partnering with Operation Hope to host a Diaper Drive at a series of locations across town in order to help meet our community’s demand.

Please see the information below for information about collection sites:

Diapers are incredibly costly and are not covered by SNAP benefits.  Operation Hope does not have enough to meet our community’s demand, so we are reaching out for help.  If you are interested in donating (opened packs, ok!), please bring them to one of our five Fairfield drop-off locations:

A Child’s Garden

100 Mona Terrace

St. Paul’s Nursery School

661 Old Post Rd.

Fairfield Public Library Main Branch

1080 Old Post Rd.

Fairfield Woods Branch Library

1147 Fairfield Woods Rd.

Pequot Library

720 Pequot Ave.

 

Please join us at Saugatuck Sweets at 28 Reef Rd. on June 23 from 1-3pm to conclude the drive – bring a donation if you can!

If you have any questions, please call 800-842-1423, or call Carla at Operation Hope: 203-254-2935. Check for updates at www.RepKupchick.com.

Rep. Kupchick Newsletter: Conclusion of Session 2018

Posted on May 15, 2018 by rjoslyn


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Dear Friends,

2018 was a busy session for me and the legislature. Here’s a quick recap of what I was up to during the legislative session that ended last week.

 

State Budget

The most consequential piece of legislation this year was the adoption of an adjustment plan for the state budget.  After negotiations, legislative leaders announced a compromise budget plan that was based largely off of a proposal that Republicans unveiled the week before.

The compromise budget passed on a bipartisan vote in the House and Senate shortly before midnight on Wednesday.  While I believed the Republican budget plan, which included more long-term structural changes and paid down more of our unfunded liabilities, was the better option for our state, the compromise budget ultimately preserves funding for Fairfield without raising taxes.

The budget also fulfills several of my priorities for this session, including the protection of Fairfield’s ECS funding, fully funding the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for seniors, adds money for the teachers’ healthcare accounts, and increases funding into the Special Transportation Fund without rail/bus fare hikes.

My caucus was able to negotiate several provisions from our original budget proposal into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees that saved $7 million dollars.

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

 

Expanding Benefits for Veterans with PTSD

Advocates say the passage of SB 284 makes Connecticut the first state in the nation to ensure equal benefits for veterans with “bad paper” discharges resulting from the effects of trauma.

 

Environmental Conservation

The passage of SJ 35 means a constitutional amendment to protect state land from being sold or given away without public input will be on the 2018 ballot for voters to decide.

To get on the ballot the resolution needed to be approved by a three-quarters vote of both chambers. It passed the Senate 35-0 and the House 118-32, just four votes more than the three-quarters needed to get it on the ballot.

 

Banning Bump Stocks

Connecticut will be join other states that have already taken action to ban bump stocks, which are devices that increase the rate of fire for semi-automatics.

Lawmakers were prompted to pass HB 5542 following the October 2017 shooting at a Las Vegas concert that left 58 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

The Senate sent the bill to Malloy’s desk on a 26-10 vote after the House had approved it 114-35.

 

Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence

The passage of SB 466 means that Connecticut police will have the authority to determine the “primary aggressor” in domestic violence situations, rather than arresting the victim along with the abuser.

 

Groundbreaking Prescription Drug Reform

A bill imposing stricter reporting requirements on pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy benefit managers easily passed the House and Senate.

The law would require drug companies to justify any prescription drug price increase exceeding 20 percent in any year. Additionally, drug companies will have to justify any price increase of more than 50 percent over a three-year period.

Compassionate Treatment for Rape Victims

The legislature unanimously passed “An Act Concerning Procedures Related to Collecting and Processing Sexual Assault Evidence Collection Kits” to improve the processing of sexual assault evidence kits .The bill, SB 17, improves upon a 2015 bill that started to address a large backlog of nearly 900 untested rape kits in Connecticut.

 

Expanding the Good Samaritan Law to Protect Animals

The Good Samaritan protections for people entering cars to save animals in imminent danger passed.  HB 5312, Section 22 adds “animals” to the same protections in existing law for people rescuing children.

 

Improving Protections for Students with Life-Threatening Food Allergies

The governor is expected to sign a bill I advocated for to make schools safer for students with potentially life-threatening allergies.

I started work on this process years ago when two Fairfield moms reached out to me for advice on changing the Life Threatening Food Allergy policy in Fairfield.  I believe every child has a right to equal access regardless of disability or medical condition.  I am encouraged because this is a bill that protects the civil rights of children with life threatening food allergies.

Equal Pay for Equal Work

I was proud to vote to make Connecticut the fifth state in the nation to pass pay equity legislation. The bill, HB 5386, prohibits employers from asking job candidates about their salary history, a major driver of the existing pay gap between men and women. Having passed both chambers, it awaits the governor’s signature.

 

I hope you find this update helpful and please feel free to email me at Brenda.Kupchick@cga.ct.gov if you have any questions on any other legislation from this past session or to share your thoughts.   For information on other bills that passed or were discussed this year, you can visit cga.ct.gov.