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O’Dea and Wilms Vote for No-Tax-Increase Budget

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Republican budget finally called in House – Passes with bipartisan vote

State Representatives Tom O’Dea (R-125) and Fred Wilms (R-142) were in Hartford Friday for a second day in a row to vote on a biennial budget for the State of Connecticut after the House failed to go in to take up a Democratic budget that had been negotiated with Governor Malloy.  Earlier that day, the State Senate passed the House and Senate Republican budget with a surprise bipartisan vote including three Democrats.

The Republican budget moved to the State House of Representatives where five Democrats joined all 72 Republicans to pass the GOP No-Tax-Increase budget 77-73.

“Tonight we took the first step to turning this state around and reversing our economic decline that has been driven by constant tax hikes,” said Rep. O’Dea.  “By passing this no-tax-increase budget tonight, we have begun the journey back. We made the tough choices we know are needed to get this state moving in the right direction.  I thank the Democrats in the Senate and the House who had the courage to join with us to make this budget a bipartisan reality.” Read More →

Reps. O’Dea, Wilms Denounce “A Bad Deal for Connecticut” as SEBAC Labor Agreement Passes the House

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New Canaan’s GOP delegation of State Representatives Tom O’Dea (R-125) and Fred Wilms (R-142) voiced their dismay at Monday’s House approval of the state employees’ union concession package due to its insufficient savings and structural changes and its extension of the current union contract until 2027.

The concession package, negotiated by Governor Malloy and union leaders, was ratified by state employees earlier this month and now is tentatively scheduled to go before the Senate on July 31.  Analysts have predicted the plan could save approximately $1.5 billion over the next two years by increasing pension contributions, creating a hybrid/defined contribution plan for future state employees, increasing healthcare co-payments, and realizing other labor savings.  The deal also restricts the state’s ability to lay off workers until 2021.

House Republicans, including O’Dea and Wilms, highlighted some of the structural change in the concession package as “steps in the right direction” that they supported, but denied the notion that the deal solved Connecticut’s fiscal crisis and indicated it could lead to funding cuts and tax increases in the future.

“This agreement was rushed on us by the majority before a sufficient level of independent analysis of the cost to taxpayers was done, all the while we remain without a budget for the state of Connecticut,” said Rep. O’Dea.  “Mostly, this agreement gives more than it takes, guaranteeing against layoffs, and preserving benefits that remain among the most opulent in the country – far out of line with what is typical of the private sector.  It fails to go far enough to solve our state budget deficit, and I suspect we will be right where we were again in very short order.” Read More →

Rep. O’Dea: Update from the Capitol – July 24, 2017

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Rep. Tom O’Dea (R-125) gives and update from the capitol on the veto session of the House of Representatives, and action on the revised collective bargaining agreements with state employee unions.  Click above for Tom’s message.

Join us for a Town Hall in New Canaan

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Rep. Tom O’Dea will join Rep. Fred Wilms and Sen. Toni Boucher for a Post-Session Town Hall Meeting to discuss the session, state budget, and other issues of importance to our communities, region and state.  Please come out and join the discussion!  Details below.

 

O’Dea Pushes for Improved Constitutional “LockBox” to Protect Transportation Funds

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Click above for video of Rep. O’Dea’s floor remarks.

With the hours ticking away to an adjournment of the 2017 legislative session, State Representative Tom O’Dea (R-125) introduced an amendment to strengthen a “lockbox” resolution before the House which would amend the state constitution purporting to reserve funds deposited in the state’s Special Transportation Fund to that fund, preventing sweeps of transportation dollars for other state budget expenses.

Citing flaws in the underlying legislation, O’Dea proposed the amendment to assure that the funds intended for the state’s roads and bridges could not be swept by future legislatures. Read More →