Posted on April 11, 2018 by admin
The Connecticut General Assembly convened the 2018 Session on February 7th and will conclude on May 9th. Bills introduced this year will be primarily financial in nature and designed to correct the state budget. Other bill proposals can be made through legislative committees. I encourage you to follow what’s happening in Hartford by tuning in to the Connecticut Network (CT-N) on Channel 182 in Naugatuck and Oxford and Channel 193 in Southbury, following the budget on the Open Connecticut website, and tracking legislation on the Connecticut General Assembly’s website. You can also see which bills I support by clicking the “Legislation” tab on my website at www.replabriola.com.
The Office of Legislative Research (OLR) has released a list of issues that will likely be addressed in these bill proposals, including: the need to stabilize special education costs, update the state’s tax code and potentially establish a Statewide Transportation Authority. Visit OLR’s website for a copy of the full list.
Unfortunately, we began 2018 with a projected deficit of $240 million – a number that continues to grow in the out years. We must control our state spending/borrowing and reduce the tax burden on our residents and small businesses.
Posted on February 9, 2018 by admin
SOUTHBURY– Earlier this week State Representatives David Labriola (R-131), Arthur O’Neill and State Senator Eric Berthel hosted a town hall-style meeting in Southbury to discuss legislative issues with their constituents ahead of the opening of the 2018 Regular Legislative Session, which happened on Wednesday.
The legislators provided information on the Medicare Savings Plan veto session, explained union contracts, gave budget updates, and discussed issues such as tolls, fixing transportation inefficiencies and taxes.
Posted on December 31, 2017 by admin
New legislation typically goes into effect on January 1st, July 1st, or October 1st in a calendar year. Thus, with the start of 2018 comes a number of new laws that will take effect tomorrow, January 1st. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. The full list of laws can be found by clicking here, though I have listed some noteworthy pieces of legislation below. Please note that providing this information does not indicate my support or opposition to any individual law.
Preventing Prescription Opioid Diversion and Abuse
Public Act 17-131
Requires prescriptions be transcribed electronically to safeguard against over prescribing, reduce the maximum number of days for a prescription from seven days to five days for minors, and allow patients to request drugs other than opioids be prescribed.
Enforcing Child Support Payments
Public Act 17-27
Requires an employer to promptly notify the dependent (i.e., spouse, former spouse, or child owed the support) or judicial branch’s Support Enforcement Services, as directed, if an employee whose income is withheld to enforce a child support order makes a workers’ compensation claim.
Ensuring Honors and Benefits for Veterans
Public Act 17-83
Broadens the eligibility criteria for certain veterans’ benefits, allows additional people to receive a service ribbon and medal, be buried in a Connecticut veterans cemetery, or have veteran status indicated on their driver’s license or identity card.
Allowing Health Insurance Coverage for Fertility Preservation for Insureds Diagnosed with Cancer
Public Act 17-55
Expands the range of people eligible for infertility coverage under certain individual and group health insurance policies. By law, these policies must cover the medically necessary costs of diagnosing and treating infertility. It covers, for example, (1) basic hospital expenses; (2) basic medical-surgical expenses; (3) major medical expenses; or (4) hospital or medical services, including those provided under an HMO plan.
Reducing Student Costs
Public Act 17-130
Allows the Office of Higher Education, University of Connecticut, the Connecticut State University System, the regional community-technical college system, and Charter Oak State College to each establish guidelines encouraging the state’s public higher education institutions to implement programs that reduce students’ textbook and educational resource costs.
Please pass this information along to those who may benefit from knowing what to expect in the new year in the State of Connecticut. I also encourage you to contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these acts.
Sending my warmest wishes for a happy and prosperous new year! The 2018 Legislative Session will begin on February 7, 2018.
Posted on December 14, 2017 by admin
SOUTHBURY – State Representatives David Labriola (R-131) and Arthur O’Neill (R-69), and State Senator Eric Berthel (R-32), volunteered on Monday to raise money for local residents in need by spending an hour ringing the bell for the Salvation Army outside Stop and Shop in Southbury.
If you were unable to donate to Rep. Labriola’s kettle at Stop and Shop, you can still text “CTREP” to 71777 to donate directly to the House and Senate Republicans’ Red Kettle. You can also visit the Salvation Army’s website at www.salvationarmyusa.org to learn of other ways to do good this holiday season; for example, by donating cars, clothing, household goods, airline miles, bonds and stocks, or volunteering for the community.
Republican lawmakers have already raised nearly $40,000 for the Salvation Army this year. The Salvation Army responds to natural disasters such as wildfires and tornadoes, provides meals and toys to families in need, and conducts research and analyses regarding human needs around the country. They also provide adult rehabilitation, veteran services, elderly services, missing person searches, housing assistance, youth recreation, sponsorship, and support in the fight to end human trafficking.
Posted on October 23, 2017 by admin
HARTFORD – A symposium on pretrial justice brought criminal justice officials from all over the state and country to UConn’s School of Law on Thursday. State Representative David Labriola (R-131), UConn Law alumnus, member of the Legislative Judiciary Committee and a Criminal Justice Attorney, participated in the day’s events by speaking on a panel regarding legal and evidence-based practices and their future. Other panel members included Judge Robert Devlin, Justice Charles Daniels, and Connecticut Sentencing Commission Executive Director Alex Tsarkov.
Posted on September 12, 2017 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representatives Dave Labriola (R-131), Rosa Rebimas (R-70) and fellow Republicans released a revised budget during a press conference on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Based on previous proposals put forth by the caucuses this year, this version balances the state’s $3.5 billion deficit without new or increased taxes.
“Our caucus has proposed a responsible, balanced budget,” said Rep. Labriola. “Our proposal contains no tax increases on the citizens of Connecticut and does not add any taxes onto our small businesses.”
“We are approaching three months without a two-year budget in place and our cities and towns have suffered as a result,” said Rep. Rebimbas. “Without assurances from the state, municipalities cannot plan ahead and have resorted to delayed school openings, layoffs and damaging spending cuts to offset the shortfall. House and Senate Republicans have been prepared to vote on a budget for months, but the majority’s refusal to entertain our proposals, or even permit a healthy debate, has blocked our efforts. We have offered a final version before Thursday’s special session and we believe this comprehensive plan is the best option for the entire state. I hope we have the opportunity to put it to a vote.”
This budget proposal would put a stop to the governor’s executive order, restore funding for education and social services, and provide local governments with the clarity they need to form their own budgets. The package includes elements of House and Senate Republicans previous plans while incorporating suggestions and feedback from Democratic lawmakers and Governor Malloy. The new version also factors in the recent SEBAC agreement, which is now law.
The GOP budget restores the $200 property tax credit for all qualifying families and individuals, creates a more equitable ECS formula, provides predictable municipal support and crucial mandate relief, funds core social services for the poor and seniors, including Care4Kids and Meals on Wheels, and prioritizes education funding. The proposal seeks long-term changes by reducing the size of government through hiring freezes, consolidating legislative committees to increase efficiency, and implementing a spending and bonding cap. With these savings, Republicans were able to include phased-in tax exemptions for social security and pension income for middle income families.
The Connecticut House of Representatives is scheduled to meet this Thursday, September 14, 2017 for a Special Session. It is unclear if the majority party plans to call for a vote on the budget at that time.