State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill’s experience and understanding of the unique history, traditions, and values of the towns of Southbury, Bridgewater, Roxbury, and Washington have made him an especially effective advocate for the citizens of the 69th Assembly District.
Representative O’Neill has a long record of service to the 69th District. He was first elected to the State House of Representatives in a 1988 special election, and is the longest-serving Republican member of the State House of Representatives. He was most recently re-elected in November of 2016.
Because he strives to maintain a close relationship with citizens, local elected officials, and community organizations throughout the 69th District, Representative O’Neill has always been able to quickly identify local issues, problems, and concerns that can be addressed at the state level through grants or legislation.
Representative O’Neill was appointed Deputy Republican Leader At-Large of the State House of Representatives by the House Republican Leader, Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114), ahead of the 2017 regular session.
During his previous terms, Representative O’Neill served on the Appropriations, Finance, Revenue & Bonding, Legislative Management, Energy & Technology, and Government Administration & Elections committees.
He is a past Chairman of the Regulations Review Committee, and was the House Ranking Member on the budget-writing Appropriations Committee (2005-2007), as well as House Ranking member of the Judiciary Committee (2007-2011).
Representative O’Neill was appointed in 2001, and again in 2011, to the Reapportionment and Redistricting Committee charged under the Constitution with redrawing state legislative and Congressional district lines, which ensures equal electoral representation following the U.S. Census every ten years. In both years he also served on the Reapportionment and Redistricting Commission charged with reviewing and accepting the work of the Committee. He is the only member of the Connecticut General Assembly to have served on both the Committee and Commission.
In 2013 Representative O’Neill successfully shepherded legislation through both chambers of the General Assembly that preserved and protected Southbury Training School farmland to ensure its continued use for agricultural purposes. The new law expanded his previously passed legislation that preserved Training School farmland between 1992 and 1998, representing a crowning achievement on his dedicated work to conserve and protect the property since 1988.
In addition, Representative O’Neill has taken the lead on several issues of state and national significance, including the ‘Money Follows the Person Law,’ which he authored in response to a federal pilot program. The law enables people who need long-term health care to receive it at home rather than in nursing homes.
Since 1993 Representative O’Neill has been a member of the Connecticut Law Revision Commission, serving as chairman since 2001. He was actively involved in several studies conducted by the Commission, including a comprehensive review of Connecticut’s drug laws. He was instrumental in the panel’s successful effort to repeal hundreds of obsolete laws in 2002 – the only year the General Assembly repealed more laws than it enacted. Representative O’Neill is the longest-serving chair of the Law Revision Commission.
In January of 2004, Representative O’Neill was chosen by former House Speaker Moira Lyons and House Minority Leader Robert Ward as the Republican co-chair of the bi-partisan Select Committee of Inquiry. The Committee investigated former Governor John G. Rowland’s acceptance of expensive gifts from state employees and contractors doing business with the state to determine whether his conduct warranted impeachment. The investigation was concluded when the former governor resigned rather than testify before the Committee.
Representative O’Neill also chaired the Shepaug River Task Force, which was charged with studying the effects of the diversion of water on the Shepaug River and whether a 1921 contract between Waterbury and Washington was implemented properly.
In addition, Representative O’Neill served on the Task Force for Redistricting and chaired the Southbury Training School Task Force in 1993-94, which studied then-Governor Weicker’s proposal to close the Southbury Training School.
He served on the Southbury Charter Revision Commission in 1985-86 and is a former Secretary of the Pomperaug Valley Water Authority.
Representative O’Neill is a former member of the East Hill Woods Corporation Board of Directors, a continuing care facility located in Southbury. He is a former member of the Tribury Jaycees and the Tribury Rotary Club.
He was a member of the Southbury Republican Town Committee from 1980-88, serving as Chairman in 1987 and Secretary from 1981-87.
Born April 27, 1952, Representative O’Neill is a graduate of Southbury public schools. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Connecticut and earned his Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University.
Representative O’Neill is a self-employed attorney residing in Southbury with his wife, Dr. Ruby Corby O’Neill.