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Reps. Rebimbas, Labriola and Republican State Lawmakers Release Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget

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HARTFORDState 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.

New Laws Taking Effect July 1st

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This Saturday, July 1st, will mark the first day of the new fiscal year. On this day, new laws that may affect you and our community will become effective. Several of these laws were acknowledged by the Office of Legislative Research (OLR), the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA), and the Legislative Commissioners’ Office (LCO) as Major Public Acts (PA) to pass through the Legislature this session. Examples include:

Education

PA 17-3: Increases teacher training requirements for supporting students with Dyslexia.

PA 17- 220: Provides state education mandate relief.

Environment

PA 17-144: Promotes clean energy initiatives by making changes to renewable energy policies.

PA 17-218: Requires consideration of the environmental and agricultural impacts (with a focus on prime farmland and core forest) of constructing new solar energy generating facilities.

Economic Development

PA 17-214: Authorizes the certification of new and existing nonprofit organizations as Connecticut Brownfield Land Banks to help municipalities clean up brownfields and prepare them for productive uses.

PA 17-90: Increases permitting for farmers’ market wine sales.

Healthcare

PA 17-135: Limits Medicaid provider audits and enhances the efficiency of the Electronic Visit Verification System (EVV).

PA 17-96: Ensures that long-term care programs are accessible and sufficient to meet the needs of state residents with disabilities.

PA 17-131: Helps prevent prescription opioid diversion and abuse.

An entire list of laws coming into effect July 1st can be found here. The full report on 2017 Major Public Acts is also available here.

 
Please note that the report does not include an OFA budget summary, as it normally does, because the General Assembly did not adopt a budget by the end of the regular session, which adjourned on June 7th. A supplemental report will be issued when that information becomes available.

Rep. Labriola Attends Ribbon Cutting for New Business in Naugatuck

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NAUGATUCK – Leilani Nail Spa, a beauty spa offering a range of nail and massage treatments, marked its grand opening June 15, 2017 at 1177 New Haven Road in Naugatuck. Participating in the ribbon-cutting ceremony were, from left front: Marianne Como, Ion Bank Branch Manager; Hwacha (Lisa) Yie, Owner of Leilani Nail Spa; Courtney Ligi, Director of the Naugatuck Chamber of Commerce; and Laurie Taf-Jackson, Naugatuck Burgess; from left rear: State Senator George Logan (R-17); Mayor of Naugatuck N. Warren ‘Pete’ Hess; State Representative David Labriola (R-131); and Ron Pugliese, CEO of the Naugatuck Economic Development Corp. and chairman of the Naugatuck Chamber.

Rep. Labriola: Pretrial Justice Reform Could Endanger Public Safety

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HARTFORD – This weekend the House of Representatives voted on a bill, H.B. 7044, that makes changes to laws concerning pretrial detention for certain crimes. State Representative David Labriola (R-131) stood to share his concern that this legislation would endanger our public safety as it interferes with a judge’s discretion on setting bonds for potentially very serious misdemeanors. See more in the video below.

Reps. Labriola and O’Neill Meet with Southbury Students

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HARTFORDState Representatives David Labriola (R-131) and Arthur O’Neill (R-69) met with 4th grade students, and teachers Mrs. Bunosso and Mrs. Tesch, from Gainfield Elementary School in Southbury today during their tour of the Capitol.

The lawmakers explained what it’s like to be a state representative, and answered the student’s questions about state government.