Memorial Day 2018

Posted on May 25, 2018 by admin


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Memorial Day arrives this weekend, and it is a time to reflect on the service of those who answered our nation’s call in times of armed conflict, and made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure future generations of Americans would remain free.

Below is a list of some important events happening in our district this weekend to commemorate this national holiday.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2018

Bridgewater

 Monday, May 28, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. – Parade through the town center (from the firehouse to the town green).

Roxbury

 Monday, May 28, 2018 at 10 a.m. – Parade at Church Street (located near the Congregational and Catholic churches) to the town green.

Monday, May 28, 2018 (following parade) – Ceremony at the Seth Warner Monument, then a ceremony at the Center Cemetery.

Southbury

 Monday, May 28, 2018 at 11 a.m. – Southbury’s annual Memorial Day Parade beginning at Pomperaug Office Park and continuing down Main Street to the Memorial Green.

Monday, May 28, 2018 from Noon to 3 p.m. – Annual Family Day Picnic at Ballentine Park.

Washington

 Monday, May 28, 2018 at 1:30 p.m. – New Preston Parade from the New Preston Congregational Church to the cemetery on Baldwin Hill Road.

Monday, May 29, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. – Washington Depot Parade from the Washington Primary School to the front lawn of Town Hall (ceremony to follow).

 

Post-Storm Contact Info and Safety Tips

Posted on May 17, 2018 by admin


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As we continue to assess the damage and clean up from the violent storms this week, I wanted to pass along some important contact information that might be valuable to you and your family.

 

EVERSOURCE

 

Call Eversource at 800-286-2000 to report an electric outage, or go online at www.eversource.com. Follow Eversource on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (facebook.com/EversourceCT).  Sign up to receive storm outage updates via text, email, phone call at www.eversource.com.For gas leaks, call 877-944-5325

 

INSURANCE QUESTIONS

 

Questions about your insurance and storm damage? Contact insurance@ct.gov or check out these tips:  http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?q=254640

SAFETY

 

Falling branches and uprooted trees can become tangled with electrical wires and become energized.  Please stay clear and report any fallen trees or wires immediately.If you use a generator, always operate it outdoors and as far from the house as possible. Keep it away from doors, windows and air vents to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu. If you suspect carbon monoxide is present in your home, go outside immediately and breathe deeply; then call 911.

 

ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE

 

If you need additional assistance, call Connecticut’s toll-free Infoline, 211, for information, referrals and other services.

Rep. O’Neill Votes Yes On Compromise Budget Plan

Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) last night voted yes on a compromise budget agreement that protects seniors and education funding, and adds money for teachers’ healthcare and state transportation projects without increasing taxes.

The agreement, reached after long and delicate negotiations, fully restores the important Medicare Savings Plan to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums, provides $16 million in additional funding for retired teachers’ healthcare costs, protects Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funding statewide, including for the towns of Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington, and provides $29 million for the Special Transportation Fund (STF) in FY2019, among others.

“This agreement is a true compromise and upholds my commitments to fiscal restraint and our senior population by fully restoring the important Medicare Savings Plan without raising taxes,” Rep. O’Neill said. “While not perfect, this plan achieves many of my priorities, including reducing cuts or restoring funding to programs like the teachers’ retirement system and by providing substantial and badly-needed money for the Special Transportation Fund.”

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Rep. O’Neill Supports Adding Holocaust Education to All Connecticut Social Studies Programs

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) tonight supported a bill he cosponsored to include the important issue of the Holocaust and genocide education within Connecticut social studies high school curriculums.

S.B. 452 – An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Holocaust Studies and Genocide Education and Awareness in Social Studies Curriculum – requires Connecticut high school social studies classes teach Holocaust and genocide awareness beginning in the 2019 school year. The bill passed unanimously through the House.

“This legislation means the people of Connecticut, regardless of age, will never forget the Holocaust, or the horrors of any genocide, and I am proud to say I cosponsored this legislation that honors the legacy and sacrifice of so many who gave their lives in defiance of tyranny,” Rep. O’Neill said.  “It has been said many times that those who don’t learn from history are doomed  to repeat it, and I believe this legislation will educate future generations about the abhorrent abuses of power, propaganda and marginalization that allowed the historic and unprecedented abuses that led to the deaths of so many. I will never forget. We will never forget.”

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Nighttime Milling and Resurfacing in Southbury on Route 67, May 9-28

Posted on May 4, 2018 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that a milling and resurfacing project will be performed on Route 67 in the towns of Oxford and Southbury, May 9-28, 2018.

 

The project consists of milling and resurfacing a 3.33 mile segment of Route 67 in the towns of Oxford and Southbury.This project is scheduled to occur Wednesday, May 9, 2018 to Monday, May 28, 2018.

 

LANE CLOSURE INFO

 

Motorists can expect lane closures on Route 67 between the east junction of Route 188 and Route 42.  Traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. (Sunday through Thursday) (Friday – 9:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.)

 

Motorists should be aware that modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions.  Motorists are advised to maintain a safe speed when driving in this vicinity.

Rep. O’Neill Presents New State Flag to Washington Town Hall

Posted on April 30, 2018 by admin


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After hearing the Town of Washington’s previous state  flag was in need of replacement, Rep. O’Neill made sure they had a new one to display. Before heading to Hartford for a legislative session, State Rep. Arthur O’Neill stopped by the Bryan Memorial Town Hall and presented a new state flag to Washington First Selectman Mark Lyon and Town Clerk Sheila Anson.

 

Rep. O’Neill Objects to Procedural Move to Split Committee

Posted on April 24, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) on Friday led his Republican colleagues and strongly objected to a procedural maneuver by Democrats in the Appropriations Committee to split the vote between House and Senate legislators and circumvent established, longstanding processes for a committee budget proposal.

During extended back and forth questioning with non-partisan staff attorneys from the Legislative Commissioner’s Office (LCO) regarding the process of splitting committee votes, Rep. O’Neill asked for clarification on where the specific legislation would be allowed to go if passed favorably, and what the process would be to put both bills back together for consideration by the House and Senate.  Attorneys from LCO agreed the process was very rarely used and would make it difficult, if not impossible, to reconnect the bills if either House or Senate made changes. Each separate bill would need to go to the chamber of cognizance before being called and debated in the other chamber.

“By splitting the committee, proponents effectively subverted the usual legislative process and essentially performed a procedural trick that makes it extremely difficult to put a budget bill back together for consideration by the full legislature,” Rep. O’Neill said. “The $64,000 question is why, after months of bipartisan committee and subcommittee discussion and negotiation and with less than three weeks before the end of the legislative session, did they split the committee vote at the 11th hour?”

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Southbury State Lawmakers Co-Sponsor Holocaust Education Bill

Posted on March 29, 2018 by admin


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Sen. Eric Berthel and Rep. Arthur O’Neill are co-sponsoring legislation to require the inclusion of Holocaust and genocide education and awareness in every school district’s social studies curriculum starting next school year.

The legislation was introduced after recent news reports about the significant increase in anti-Semitism and the rise in racial hatred throughout our country and the world.  It is supported by the Jewish Federation of Connecticut (JFACT), which represents the seven Jewish Federations and their respective Jewish Service agencies across Connecticut.

“We have a responsibility and a duty to teach our children about the Holocaust and other genocides, so that we never again see these types of atrocities committed against mankind, for any reason whatsoever,” Sen. Berthel said. “This legislation would not result in any increased costs to our school districts. The education materials, curriculum and other resources are readily available from existing resources.”

“It is important to nurture a culture of respect and tolerance in our society and this legislation will make certain that future generations remember and learn from the awful lessons of our past,” Rep. O’Neill said. “To think that such an abhorrent event in our recent history isn’t being taught is chilling. We have a duty to honor those who perished while doing everything in our power to make sure we never forget and never repeat.”

“We along with our educational system have the obligation to remember and teach about these past and still occurring events so that we can effect change in future generations perceptions of hate and intolerance,” says JFACT Executive Director Michael Bloom.

“It is critical to give meaning to the words “never again”, that we insure that our young people are made aware of genocide.  Only through teaching them can we make sure that these historical events will not be repeated in the future,” says JFACT Chairman of the Board Rob Lesser.

Senate Bill 452, An Act Concerning The Inclusion Of Holocaust And Genocide Education And Awareness In The Social Studies Curriculum, was recently approved unanimously by the legislature’s Education Committee.  It now awaits approval in the State Senate.  (www.cga.ct.gov/2018/TOB/s/2018SB-00452-R00-SB.htm)

Rep. O’Neill Attends Student-Led Anti-School Violence Assembly

Posted on March 15, 2018 by admin


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In response to the recent Florida school shooting, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) on Wednesday attended a student forum at Pomperaug High School to allow students and faculty to express their concerns and discuss school safety in a positive, non-disruptive way.

Students nationwide called upon their friends to join a national school walk out on Wednesday, March 14, to honor the lives lost in Parkland, Florida on the one-month anniversary of the shooting, and to draw attention to school violence.  Many districts held programs within their school to facilitate the conversation without upsetting classes or creating potentially dangerous situations with large numbers of students congregating outside or without adequate supervision.

Instead of a walkout, Principal Glenn Lungarini worked with students and faculty to develop a positive, student-led program to discuss their concerns regarding school safety and gun violence while respecting the rights of all students. Part of that program included inviting State Representative O’Neill to answer questions and talk about both current and proposed state law.

“I’m grateful to the Pomperaug students for inviting me to be part of this difficult but necessary conversation,” Rep. O’Neill said.  “Gun violence and school safety are incredibly important issues and while Connecticut already has some of the strongest gun laws in the nation, we need to make sure people know the laws currently on the books that could prevent such tragedies in the future.”

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Rep. O’Neill Votes Against Justice McDonald’s Nomination to Chief Justice

Posted on March 12, 2018 by admin


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With substantial concerns about his experience as a judge and his close personal and professional relationship with Governor Malloy, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) today voted in opposition to the nomination of Associate Justice Andrew J. McDonald to be Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Associate Justice McDonald was first appointed to the Supreme Court in 2013, after serving as chief legal counsel to Governor Malloy, State Senator and as a partner at the law firm of Pullman & Comley. Prior to being elected to the Supreme Court, McDonald had not served on the bench.

“The concerns about Associate Justice McDonald raised during a lengthy Judiciary Committee hearing, and more recently during more in-depth considerations to his limited history as a Justice, are the reasons many of my colleagues and I could not support his nomination to lead Connecticut’s judicial system,” Rep. O’Neill, a longtime member of the Judiciary Committee, said.  ” Associate Justice McDonald is qualified to sit on the bench but elevating him to the role of Chief Justice is a disservice to the people of the state and disregards the bipartisan vote of the Judiciary Committee which failed to confirm his nomination after a thorough, open public process.”

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Rep. O’Neill Supports Legislation to Restrict State Investments in Venezuela

Posted on March 9, 2018 by admin


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Following a public hearing last week, the Government Administration and Elections Committee acted favorably to forward legislation proposed by State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) to encourage the state to consider divesting from investments in companies with ties to Venezuela.

House Bill 5269 – An Act concerning the Divestment of State Funds Invested in Companies Doing Business in Venezuela – would require “the State Treasurer to review the major investment holdings of the state for the purpose of determining the extent to which state funds are invested in companies doing business in Venezuela.   Whenever feasible and consistent with the fiduciary duties of the State Treasurer, the State Treasurer shall encourage companies in which state funds are invested and that are doing business in Venezuela, as identified by the United States Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control or the State Treasurer, to act responsibly and not take actions that promote or otherwise enable Venezuela’s corruption and the impoverishment of the Venezuelan people.”

“This bill was suggested to me by Luis Valdez, a Connecticut resident of Venezuelan descent, to send a signal that the State of Connecticut will not knowingly support a country whose leadership refuses to grant basic human rights to its people, and which withholds basic necessities as a way to remain in power,” Representative O’Neill said.  “It is abhorrent to me that any country’s leadership would employ such tactics, and I encourage our state to reconsider its support, whether overt or tacit, of the policies and financial investments that allow such human rights abuses to continue.”

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Rep. O’Neill Honors Lutheran Home of Southbury

Posted on March 1, 2018 by admin


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On behalf of the Southbury Legislative Delegation, State Rep. Arthur O’Neill presented a state citation honoring the Lutheran Home of Southbury and recognizing their 100th anniversary during a “Proclamation Day” event at the facility Wednesday afternoon.

Lutheran Home administrator Kevin Gendron opened the event before an invocation by the Rev. Leo McIlrath and the Rev. Scott Nessel.  First Selectman Jeff Manville also presented a citation from the town council.

 

Rep. O’Neill to Share Connecticut’s Risk Warrant Legislation Nationwide

Posted on February 16, 2018 by admin


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In an effort to curb gun violence, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) today announced he will be sending a personal letter and a copy of the Connecticut state statute concerning risk warrants to the Presiding Officers of each state legislature that has not adopted this type of law to aid in their consideration of legislation that can make a difference without impeding the rights of legal gun owners.

“The senseless gun tragedies across our nation have forced state legislatures, including Connecticut, to look deep into their laws to close loopholes and strengthen protections for innocent citizens,” Rep. O’Neill, a longtime member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, said. “After the horrific workplace shooting at the Lottery headquarters in 1998, Connecticut was the first state to craft “risk warrant” legislation to allow police, with a judge-signed warrant, to remove firearms from any ‘person posing risk of imminent personal injury to self or others.’  This already strong law was updated in 2013 to also include the seizure of ammunition.”

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We Cannot Tax Our Way to Prosperity

Posted on February 9, 2018 by admin


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With the opening day of the 2018 legislative session behind us, and only a few short months to get a handle on a projected $244 million deficit, it is critical we work together to find sustainable solutions to this crisis.

The tax and spend policies of the past have not worked, and proposals to add revenue with even more tax increases on everything from gasoline to tires and tolls is a proven recipe for disaster.

According to the Boston Business Journal:

“Over the last quarter-century, Connecticut has endured a series of budget crises. To cover ballooning costs, the state enacted sharp tax hikes, including four income tax hikes in the last 14 years that caused the top rate to jump by 77 percent … The results have been disastrous. From 2007 to 2016, the state placed 49th among the states and D.C. in private-sector wage growth. According to the American Legislative Exchange Council, only one state economy performed worse than Connecticut’s between 2005 and 2015.”

To read the full article, please click the following link: https://www.bizjournals.com/boston/news/2018/02/06/viewpoint-connecticut-example-argues-against.html

I remain committed to supporting sustainable and reasonable policies that help our state move forward.  This is a challenging time for our state but I remain hopeful that we will find solutions to these problems.

Rep. O’Neill Introduces Natalie and Isabella LaBonia During Opening Day of the 2018 Legislative Session

Posted on February 7, 2018 by admin


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Giving two young constituents a glimpse into the inner workings of the state legislature, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) on Wednesday invited two Pomperaug High School freshmen to accompany him for the opening day of the 2018 legislative session at the Capitol.

Taking advantage of a weather-cancelled school day, and joining hundreds of legislators, staff, lobbyists and concerned citizens, twin sisters Natalie and Isabella LaBonia were able to witness both the opening day ceremonies and Governor Malloy’s State of the State address from the legislators’ point of view on the floor of the House of Representatives.

“The LaBonia’s are very engaged in our community and interested in how state government works so it was my pleasure to bring them to the Capitol for opening day to see first-hand how the legislature operates,” Rep. O’Neill said.  “While many of their friends were enjoying a surprise day off from school they were getting an in-person introduction to state government and the political process on a day with historic significance as Governor Malloy delivered his State of the State address to Connecticut.”

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Rep. Arthur O’Neill reacts to Governor Malloy’s 2018 State of the State address

Posted on February 7, 2018 by admin


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Minutes after the opening day of the 2018 legislative session ended, Rep. O’Neill shared his thoughts on Governor Malloy’s final State of the State address.

Rep. O’Neill Hosts Town Hall Meeting for Heritage Villagers

Posted on February 6, 2018 by admin


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During a two-hour forum in the Heritage Village Meeting House Tuesday, State Rep. Arthur O’Neill hosted more than a dozen concerned residents for a discussion about the recently ended 2017 regular and special legislative sessions, and the upcoming 2018 session that convenes tomorrow, Wednesday, February 7.

Rep. O’Neill delivered a brief overview of state government and the history, policies and procedures that control the state before diving deeper into topics that ranged from the state budget, pension concerns and transportation infrastructure to ways of reducing state spending and increasing productivity, among other topics.  Recruiting and retaining younger professionals, as well as ways to reestablish Connecticut as a state on the cutting edge of new technology were topics that also received a significant amount of discussion.

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Rep. O’Neill Votes to Override Governor’s Veto, Restore Funding for Medicare Savings Program

Posted on February 1, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) yesterday voted to override Governor Malloy’s veto and restore funds for the state’s important Medicare Savings Plan through July 1.

In bi-partisan fashion, the legislature voted 131-4 to override the veto.

The Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) is a state program to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums. The program, administered to qualified individuals based on income eligibility limits, was set to be reduced to the minimum federal eligibility limits. The early January fix to the Medicare Savings Plan was required after it was discovered that tens of thousands of seniors or disabled Connecticut residents would lose the benefit upon recent passage of the bipartisan budget.

“Only a few shorts weeks ago the legislature voted overwhelmingly to support this program, and to provide needed assistance to the state’s seniors and disabled population. Unfortunately, Governor Malloy vetoed that bill,” Rep. O’Neill said. “Today, the legislature showed tremendous support for the people of our state and voted, once again, to restore these critical funds.”

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Senator Berthel, Reps. O’Neill and Labriola to Host Southbury Town Hall Meeting

Posted on January 18, 2018 by admin


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State Senator Eric Berthel (R-32) and State Representatives Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and David K. Labriola (R-131) look forward to meeting with constituents during a Town Hall Meeting to discuss state government and the upcoming 2018 legislative session.

The veteran lawmakers invite constituents to share their concerns and ideas, and to ask questions about the 2018 legislative session which convenes on February 7th and concludes at midnight on Wednesday, May 9th.

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Rep. O’Neill Votes to Restore Funding for Medicare Savings Program

Posted on January 8, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) today joined his legislative colleagues in voting to restore funds for this fiscal year to the state’s important Medicare Savings Plan that were cut with passage of the bipartisan budget late last year.

The Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) is a state program to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums. The program, administered to qualified individuals based on income eligibility limits, was set to be reduced to the minimum federal eligibility limits.  Prior to passage of the current budget, Connecticut was one of five states that exceeded federal eligibility. This fix to the Medicare Savings Plan was required after it was discovered that tens of thousands of seniors or disabled Connecticut residents would lose the benefit upon recent passage of the bipartisan budget.

“I’m relieved we were able to restore these funds to seniors and the disabled population who depend on them,” Rep. O’Neill said.  “This change was originally proposed by Governor Malloy but at no time did he or his administration disclose that tens of thousands of people would lose their Medicare coverages.   Connecticut  increased the eligibility limits several years ago and without this fix those same individuals who received a benefit would have been devastated by having their eligibility slashed, leaving them little time to find alternative ways to afford unexpected and hefty medical bills.”

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New Laws Take Effect January 1st

Posted on January 2, 2018 by admin


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Please note that this is provided as information, and inclusion in this message does not indicate my support or opposition to an individual measure.

As 2017 comes to an end, we prepare for a number of new laws to take effect starting January 1, 2018. These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I therefore encourage you to take a look at the full list of laws that can be found by clicking here. I have listed some of the more noteworthy legislation below.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding the implementation of these laws.

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Reps. O’Neill and Labriola Ring Bell for Salvation Army

Posted on December 15, 2017 by admin


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State Representatives Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and David Labriola (R-131) volunteered 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 lawmaker’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.

Rep. O’Neill: Pension and Annuity Changes Begin in January

Posted on December 14, 2017 by admin


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In response to concerns from constituents, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) today reminded taxpayers receiving pension and annuity income distributions that a recent change in state law requires plan administrators to withhold state taxes from those payments.

With passage of Public Act 17-147, pension plan administrators or payers of pensions or annuities are now required to withhold income taxes from disbursements. Prior law allowed taxpayers to instruct their plan administrators to withhold the appropriate amount of tax but did not require they do so.  Taxpayers could choose to pay the full liability at the time they filed state income taxes.

Similar to choosing income withholding, Connecticut residents must file form CT-W4P indicating their pension and annuity withholding choices with their plan administrator otherwise the top level of 6.99% will be withheld. Differences between the amount of tax withheld and the amount actually due when filing state taxes will be assessed or returned to the taxpayer.

“Many people who receive pensions or annuities rely on that income for day-to-day expenses, and while not a new or increased tax on these payments this change is potentially confusing and could cause some taxpayers to see a fluctuation in their checks or tax liability,” Rep. O’Neill said. “My hope is that these technical changes will not come as a surprise and taxpayers will be able to better anticipate their income or liability beforehand.”

Rep. O’Neill recommends those who receive pension or annuity payments contact their plan administrator before January 1 to make certain they’re not subject to an improper amount of withholding.  Additionally, the Department of Revenue Services has updated their online taxpayer assistance information at www.ct.gov/DRS and will be available to answer questions by calling 1-860-297-5962.

Rep. O’Neill Calls for Special Session to Restore Medicare Savings Plan

Posted on December 13, 2017 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) hand delivered a letter to the Secretary of the State calling for a special legislative session to address issues concerning the Medicare Savings Plan.

The Medicare Savings Plan (MSP) is a state program to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums. The program, administered to qualified individuals based on income eligibility limits, is set to be reduced to match federal eligibility limits.  Prior to passage of the current budget, Connecticut was one of five states that exceeded the federal minimum.

“My Republican colleagues and I are calling on the governor and majority party Democrats to convene the legislature in special session to address substantial issues regarding the state’s Medicare Savings Plan,” Rep. O’Neill said. “Reducing the income eligibility limits for this important program will be devastating to tens of thousands of Connecticut seniors and disabled and must be rectified.”

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Remembering Pearl Harbor

Posted on December 6, 2017 by admin


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Sunrise over the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor’s, Oahu, Hawaii.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is observed annually on December 7th.

On this 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we pause to remember the 3,581 brave citizens who gave their lives or were injured in defense of our nation on that fateful day.

In a speech to Congress on December 8th, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called the bombing of Pearl Harbor “a date which will live in infamy.” Congress declared war the same day.

We will never forget their commitment to duty and country, nor will we forget their sacrifice. Please join me in silent reflection or by saying a prayer in their memory.

State Lawmakers to Ring Bell for Salvation Army

Posted on December 5, 2017 by admin


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State Representatives Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and David Labriola (R-131), and State Senator Eric Berthel (R-32 ), will be volunteering to raise money for local residents in need by collecting for the Salvation Army at the Southbury Stop and Shop on December 11.

 

When: Monday, December 11, 2017 from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Where: Stop & Shop – 100 Main St. N, Southbury, CT

The legislators welcome all constituents to stop by the store and help make the fundraising event a success! If you are unable to make it on December 11th, you can 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.

As a group, the Republican caucuses have raised more than $190,000 for the Salvation Army over the past several years. 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.

Rep. O’Neill Honors Eagle Scout Henry Cerneck

Posted on November 30, 2017 by admin


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I was honored to present Eagle Scout Henry Cerneck with a legislative citation during his Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony at VFW Post 1607, Southbury. Henry is a member of Troop 1607 and performed his Eagle Project by placing combat wounded and Purple Heart recipient courtesy parking spots at both private and public locations around Southbury. Those locations include the Southbury Town Library, Town Hall, Senior Center, Settlers Town Park, Southbury Volunteer Fire Association, Heritage Landmark, the Audubon Center. He will also install signs at Riverview Cinemas and the Southbury Medical Center. He was joined by his parents, Michael and Michele Cerneck.

Rep. O’Neill Honors Eagle Scout Jack Gibbons

Posted on November 29, 2017 by admin


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It was my pleasure to present Eagle Scout Jack William Gibbons with a legislative citation during his Eagle Court of Honor Ceremony at the United Church of Christ in Southbury. Jack, a member of Troop 60 in Southbury, designed and constructed three raised flower bed planters for the Southbury Senior Center Garden Club. Pastor Walter Pitman gave the Invocation and the Benediction. Jack was joined by his parents, Cheryl and Daniel Gibbons, and Scout Master Howard Tuttle.

Rep. O’Neill Applauds Grant to Bridgewater

Posted on November 29, 2017 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill(R-69) today praised the state’s Bond Commission for approving a grant for infrastructure improvements to the town of Bridgewater.

“I want to commend the Town of Bridgewater for its success in obtaining this funding,” Rep. O’Neill, said.

Under the Main Street Investment Fund, the town of Bridgewater will receive $25,000 to reconfigure Center Street to improve traffic flow, parking and accessibility.

“Positive investments in our local infrastructure will bring definite benefits to the people of Bridgewater and the surrounding communities, and I applaud the Bond Commission for approving this grant,” Rep. O’Neill said.  “It is important to invest in projects that truly improve the community, and this money, while relatively small in amount, will go a long way toward making Bridgewater an even more welcoming destination.”

Rep. O’Neill Earns 100% Voting Record

Posted on November 27, 2017 by admin


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According to statistics compiled by the House Clerk’s Office, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) earned a perfect one-hundred-percent voting record for the regular 2017 Legislative Session.

This year, the regular session included votes on 413 separate pieces of legislation, and Rep. O‘Neill made them all.  Rep. O’Neill has achieved perfect attendance many times throughout his 29-year legislative career, including 2005 when a decade-high 460 roll call votes were taken. He has cast more than 9,400 votes for the people of the 69th District.

“Representing the people of Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington at the state capitol is my top priority and being present and attentive during floor debates and votes is something I take very seriously,” Rep. O’Neill said. “I am honored to serve in the legislature and will continue to work diligently to be their voice in Hartford.

Rep. O’Neill, currently the longest serving House Republican lawmaker, represents the 69th district in the General Assembly, and serves on the legislature’s Appropriations and Judiciary Committees, and also serves on the Regulations Review Committee and Legislative Management Committee.

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February 2018.

Rep. O’Neill Testifies Before U.S. Senate; CT legislator discussed efforts to streamline government functions

Posted on November 16, 2017 by admin


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During a working trip to Washington D.C. on October 26, 2017, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) testified before the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management on ways government can streamline the legislative review process and function more efficiently.

The Senate subcommittee is examining systems, for possible adaptation on the federal level, that states use to control state-created regulations. In Connecticut, the bi-cameral, bipartisan Regulations Review Committee reviews state agency regulations to ensure the regulations follow legislative intent and that they comply with state or federal law before approval. The committee prevents improper regulations from taking effect.

“It was an honor to be included in such an important discussion about the way our state and federal government work for the citizens and I was pleased to join the conversation on the national level,” Rep. O’Neill, a longtime member and former three-term chairman of the Regulations Review Committee, said. “Connecticut has a strong system in place that empowers the legislative review process and provides a check on potential abuses by the executive branch. The truly bipartisan nature of our state committee has proven to work and I am confident many of the same processes we use in Connecticut can benefit the U.S. House and Senate.”

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OPINION: The Real Majority

Posted on October 17, 2017 by admin


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Many voters in Connecticut look at the budget stalemate in Hartford and feel as if the government no longer represents them. For most of the year the legislature was unable to act on behalf of the majority of the Connecticut voters who elected them to office.  It may surprise you to learn there is good reason to feel that way.

The current majority party in the House of Representatives does not, in fact, represent the majority of the voters.

In the last election a total of 946,053 votes were cast for all of the winning House candidates. Republicans garnered 516,426 votes to 429,627 votes for the Democrats. In other words, Republican representatives received 54% of the votes and Democrats received 46% of the votes.  If the seats in the House of Representatives were distributed in proportion to the POPULAR vote, Republicans would have won 82 seats in the house and the Democrats would have received 69 seats.

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Protect Your Credit After a Data Breach

Posted on October 6, 2017 by admin


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Recent news of the Equifax hack and subsequent data breach potentially affecting millions of people has caused many to question if they are a victim, and how they should respond if their information has been compromised.

A lot of information, including tips and advice on how to proceed, is being shared on news sites and social media. I have collected what I believe are the most useful tips and provided links to trusted news sources with more information about this specific data breach.

The Federal Trade Commission provides an overall description of the incident and provides information on how to proceed.

The New York Times offers a detailed breakdown with important questions and answers.

Forbes has a story detailing what not to do.

Have I been affected by the hack?

Equifax created a website to check whether your information was exposed. This is the only way to determine if your information may have been compromised as the company will not alert you otherwise.

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Veto Override Session a Gimmick

Posted on October 4, 2017 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) on Tuesday denounced Tuesday’s sham veto override session in the House of Representatives.

The Speaker used the day as political theater to reduce pressure on his Democratic members because they failed to pass their own budget.

“The Democratic majority party leadership knew most of their members who supported the bi-partisan budget plan on September 15 were not available today and called this snap session as a political gimmick instead of proper governance,” Rep. O’Neill said. “Republicans have clamored for an honest veto override, not a stunt to save face.

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Narcan Training in Southbury, Sept. 19, 6:30-8:30

Posted on September 16, 2017 by admin


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In response to the ongoing and devastating opioid crisis gripping our state and country, there will be free Narcan training in Southbury on Tuesday, September 19th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at United Church of Christ in Southbury.

SMART: Southbury-Middlebury Acting Responsibly Together and Pomperaug Health District will conduct their THIRD community-level Narcan training with mobile prescribing provided by Reliant Pharmacy of Southbury.

Classes are open to the public and advanced registration is required.  Pharmacists are also scheduled to be on site to answer questions, provide guidance and discuss prescriptions for the lifesaving drug.

According to the Central Naugatuck Valley Regional Action Council (CNVRAC), training will include:

  • Overdose Prevention Strategies
  • Signs & Symptoms of Overdose
  • How to Administer Naloxone
  • Good Samaritan Law
  • Support Information & Resources

If you are unable to make it on that date, there will be another Narcan training held in Middlebury on Wednesday, September 27th from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Shepardson Community Center, 1172 Whittemore Rd., Middlebury, CT.

Budget update from the Yankee Institute

Posted on September 15, 2017 by admin


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From the Yankee Institute

The residents of Connecticut are looking at a $1.54 billion tax increase, according to the latest budget numbers.

This tax increase will come through raising the taxes on hospitals and hotels, establishing a state property tax on second homes, and taxing cell phone usage and ride-sharing services like Uber.

It will shift part of the cost of teacher pensions on to towns and raise a laundry list of state fees for various financial and real estate services.

All told, this could be the second or third largest tax increase in state history.

“Once again, Connecticut lawmakers are balancing the budget on the backs of hard-working families with another massive tax increase,” said President of Yankee Institute Carol Platt Liebau.

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Rep. O’Neill Celebrates COMSAT’s 40th Anniversary

Posted on September 14, 2017 by admin


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This afternoon, I had the pleasure of attending the 40th anniversary celebration of COMSAT’s Southbury Earth Station.  COMSAT is an independent teleport operator that has been providing reliable satellite communication from the Southbury location since 1976.

During the ceremony, COMSAT President David Greenhill, Director Guy White and employees shared their enthusiasm, professionalism and commitment to the Southbury community. I’m thankful for their continued success and dedication to our community as they are an important employer and contributor to our town.

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Rep-Am: No accord on state budget; vote set for Thursday

Posted on September 13, 2017 by admin


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No accord on state budget; vote set for Thursday

HARTFORD – Democratic leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy are taking negotiations on a two-year spending and tax package to the brink of planned budget votes Thursday in the House and Senate.

Malloy reported no agreement had been reached when he spoke to reporters after a meeting with the Democratic leadership in the governor’s office Tuesday.

“I’m hopeful, but there is no white smoke, or there is nothing done, but we’ll see where this leads in the coming 48 hours, I guess,” he said.

Meanwhile, Republicans released a revised two-year, $39.5 billion budget plan Tuesday that they intend to offer as amendments should the House and Senate vote on a Democratic budget.

Republican leaders said latest GOP proposal again proposes no direct tax increases, but they acknowledged some of the revenue proposals will cost some taxpayers more, including retired teachers, single taxpayers and low-to-moderate income workers.

Republicans maintained an exemption for pension income for retired public school teachers at 25 percent. It is scheduled to double to 50 percent.

The GOP plan also limits a credit on the state income tax for local property taxes to the elderly and taxpayers with dependents

The revised Republican budget proposes graduated income limits for the state’s earned income tax credit, rducing it from the current 27.5 percent of the federal earned income tax credit to a maximum of 25 percent for a family of three.

Democratic leaders of the House and Senate decided to negotiate an agreement on how to close remaining deficits of $3.5 billion with Malloy rather than continue bipartisan negotiations with their Republican counterparts.

Democrats and Republicans continued to snipe Tuesday over who was responsible for the end of the bipartisan talks.

The Democrats are bumping up against the schedule that House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, and Senate President Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, have set for approving the 2018 and 2019 budget.

Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, R-Southbury, questioned if the budget votes will go forward Thursday.

I think it is going to be a toss-up. It doesn’t sound like they have their ducks all lined up in a row,” said O’Neill, the longest-serving Republican lawmaker.

“What they decided is they are now going to try to negotiate with the governor,” he continued. “This might be a posture on their part to put pressure on him to agree on some things. OK, we’re negotiating with you, but if we don’t come to terms, then we can always go back and try to negotiate with Republicans. It doesn’t sound like they’ve really declared that they have seen white smoke.”

In his meeting with Democrats, Malloy said he also sought to impart a sense of urgency.

“As I said to the leaders I met with today, we’re running out of time. Get this thing done,” he said.

Malloy has been setting state spending through executive order since July 1 because a budget for the 2018 and 2019 fiscal years was not adopted on time.

Contact Paul Hughes at phughes@rep-am.com.

Rep. O’Neill, Republicans Present Revised Budget

Posted on September 13, 2017 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined his House and Senate Republican colleagues and proposed another balanced, no-tax-increase budget that restores funding to core social services and education, provides stability to local municipalities and rejects Governor Malloy’s plan to shift teacher pension costs onto local taxpayers.

“This budget avoids Governor Malloy’s draconian cuts to education and increased demands on local taxpayers without raising taxes or eviscerating the social safety net,” Rep O’Neill said. “By continuing our commitment to making long-term structural changes to state government, reducing the tax burden on property owners and seniors, and making sure our most needy residents have the services they deserve we can reverse the failed policies of the past and move Connecticut forward in a sustainable manner.”

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Legislative Internship Program for Undergraduates

Posted on September 11, 2017 by admin


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Photo Credit: CT Legislative Internship Program

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I would like the students in my district to know that the Connecticut General Assembly is now accepting applications for the 2018 Legislative Internship Program! Starting in the Spring, interns at the Capitol will see how state government works first-hand, work one-on-one with a state legislator and legislative staff members, and earn school credit while gaining job experience in public service and/or law.

To apply, you must comply with the following qualifications:

  • Be an undergraduate student attending a two or four-year institution of higher education in Connecticut, and/or state resident attending an out-of-state college. (CT residents attending out of state colleges should contact the program director prior to applying)
  • Be 18 years of age or older by program start (January)
  • Have completed 20 credits by program start (January)
  • Have a minimum 2.7 cumulative grade point average (GPA)
  • Be prepared to register for a course (varies by institution) in order to receive credit for the internship during the participating semester

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CT Veterans Stand Down, September 22nd

Posted on September 8, 2017 by admin


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On Friday, September 22, the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs (CTVA) will host the 2017 Stand Down event at the Rocky Hill Veterans’ Home from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Connecticut’s veterans deserve the services they have earned.

Several community providers will have booths set up and staffed with specialists to help veterans receive and learn about their earned service benefits, employment opportunities, medical screenings and legal services.

Additional details are in the flyer below, provided by the CTVA:

Rte. 109 Construction and Road Closures to Begin August 21 in Washington

Posted on August 15, 2017 by admin


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The following message comes from the State Department of Transportation and contains information that could impact your travels.

Road Closure /Detour Scheduled for the Replacement of Bridge 06786, Blackville Road (Route 109) over Mallory Brook in Washington

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that a road closure will begin on August 21, 2017, in the town of Washington on Blackville Road (Route 109) in the vicinity of Sabbaday Lane #2. The road closure may last a maximum of 17 days. The closure is necessary for construction activities related to the bridge replacement project.

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Sales Tax Free Week Starts August 20th

Posted on August 8, 2017 by admin


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With the start of school just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 20th through Saturday, August 26th.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on all clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Additionally, new and used college textbooks are exempt from the 6.35% sales tax for students who present a valid college ID at the time of purchase.

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Laws Changing on Child Safety Seats

Posted on August 2, 2017 by admin


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I would like you to know that, starting on October 1st, a new law in Connecticut will increase the age and weight requirements for car seats, and require that child restraint systems be equipped with a five-point harness. Specialists say these changes will better protect our children.

With this new law, Connecticut becomes the eighth state to accept the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics that propose children remain in rear-facing child restraints up to age 2, and children who have outgrown car seats use booster seats through age 8, or until seat belts fit properly.

By accepting these recommendations, Connecticut hopes to further decrease fatal or incapacitating injuries.

The following is a break-down of the revised child restraint requirements under this new law:

  • Any child who is under 2 years old or weighs less than 30 pounds, regardless of age, must be placed in a rear-facing child restraint.
  • A child between ages 2 and 4 or weighing between 30 to 39 pounds, regardless of age, must ride in either rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint.
  • A child age 5 to 7 or weighing 40 to 59 pounds, regardless of age, must sit in a rear-facing child restraint, a forward-facing child restraint or a booster seat secured by a lap-and-shoulder seat belt.
  • Any adolescent from 8 through 15 who weighs 60 pounds or more must use an approved child restraint system or a safety seat belt.

Please note that violations of these regulations could result in fees amounting to approximately $100.

Putting our children’s safety first is important, please share this information with others.

Rep. Arthur O’Neill debates proposed changes to the SEBAC agreement

Posted on July 26, 2017 by Michael Downes


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Yesterday, during debate in the House of Representatives regarding proposed changes to the SEBAC agreement negotiated by Governor Malloy, State Rep. Arthur O’Neill asked a series of questions regarding both legal opinions and rulings related to the 2009 agreement and the proposed 2017 agreement.

During the exchange, Rep. O’Neill asked why the 2009 agreement needed to be modified, and what the purpose of that agreement was if the legislature was not able to rely on the specific language of the agreement.

To watch the full exchange, please click the link below.

Special Session Update from State Rep. Arthur O’Neill

Posted on July 24, 2017 by admin


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To watch a brief video update of the special session from State Representative Arthur O’Neill please click the link below.

 

 

 

House Republican Budget Update

Posted on July 13, 2017 by admin


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On Tuesday, July 11, House Republicans held an open budget presentation for all lawmakers and the public to receive a comprehensive review of our No-Tax-Increase budget proposal.

The House Republican Caucus has offered four proposals since January. The current plan:

  • Increases school aid for every town and city. Preserves municipal funding at current levels.
  • Avoids property tax hikes. Rejects shifting $407 million teacher pension obligations onto municipalities.
  • No tax hikes. No fee hikes. House Democrats propose sales tax hikes up to 26 percent.
  • Offers municipal mandate relief.
  • Limits state borrowing to $1.3 billion.
  • Eliminates property tax on hospitals.
  • Balances the budget with $2 billion in state employee union concessions over two years.
  • Reduces state workforce through attrition, privatization, and numerous savings throughout state government.
  • Implements a defined contribution plan for new hires. Increases pension and healthcare payments from all state workers.
  • Provides overtime savings and enhanced fraud detection programs for more efficient government.

You can watch the full presentation of our budget by clicking here, or view our presentation document by clicking here.

We are scheduled to gavel in for a special session to vote on a budget on Tuesday, July 18th. The House Republican Caucus has been ready to vote on our no-tax-increase budget proposal, and we continue to show that we can balance the state budget without raising taxes.

 

Takeaways from the 2017 Session – S.B. 1019

Posted on July 7, 2017 by admin


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“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.”

– President Calvin Coolidge

 

 

Senate Bill 1019 is a perfect example of what President Coolidge meant. It would have given Middlebury control over the Region 15 budget and thus control over Southbury taxes. This would have been unconstitutional. It would have guaranteed minority not MAJORITY RULE.

I opposed this bill from the moment I found out about it. Thankfully this bill was never brought to a vote and died at the end of the regular session. I will remain vigilant that this type of bill never becomes law.

Happy Fourth of July!

Posted on June 30, 2017 by admin


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On Tuesday we celebrate the birth of our nation and our Independence.

This is a time of great celebration with family and friends, and also a time of remembrance. I’d like to take this opportunity to reflect on those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to thank our veterans for their service, as well as our friends in law enforcement, all who defend the freedom we enjoy today.

Wishing you and your families a wonderful Fourth of July holiday!

Rep. Arthur O’Neill: Update from the House Chambers on 6/29/2017

Posted on June 30, 2017 by admin


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Today, June 30, 2017, is the end of the fiscal year. Connecticut does not have a budget. We are at the mercy of Gov. Malloy. Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) provides an update from the House chambers.

Please click here or on the image to the right to watch the video.

O’Neill Challenges House Majority on Parliamentary Procedure: Refuses to Support a Half-Baked Transportation Lockbox Bill

Posted on June 7, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) challenged the majority party on a ruling that blocked House Republicans from proposing a strict lockbox on transportation funds on Tuesday, June 06, 2017.

“The resolution that was passed today merely gives the illusion of a transportation lockbox,” said Rep. O’Neill. “Today, we attempted to propose an amendment that would effectively secure transportation funds for their intended purpose, which is to maintain and improve upon our infrastructure. Unfortunately, the majority party sidelined our efforts with a parliamentary maneuver that prevented a vote on a real lockbox. They are unable to control state spending and will use any funds necessary to fill holes in the budget.”

The Republican proposal excluded debt payments from the definition of “transportation purposes” forcing all transportation funds to be spent solely on specific transportation related capital expenditure projects and non-debt service operating costs limited to a maximum 3% growth per year. Additionally, the Republican amendment explicitly stated that all revenue sources that are earmarked for the Special Transportation Fund must be credited towards that account. Most importantly, the Republican amendment provided Connecticut citizens with a means to enforce this lockbox and prevent future raids on the transportation fund.

“This was an opportunity to make a meaningful structural change to our state finances, but the majority party chose to pass a fake lockbox constitutional amendment,” added Rep. O’Neill.

House Joint Resolution 100 is now on the Senate calendar awaiting action.

Connecticut Open House Day Saturday, June 10

Posted on June 7, 2017 by admin


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This Saturday, June 10, marks the 13th annual Connecticut Open House Day. This event is a celebration of Connecticut’s unique history and culture. There are several events in Southbury and Washington and Rep. O’Neill encourages residents to attend. Below is a list of events by town:

Southbury:

Bullet Hill School – Free admission from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This is an opportunity to tour one of the oldest brick schoolhouses in the state.

Old Town Hall Museum – Open from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Washington:

H.O.R.S.E. of CT, Inc. – Free admission from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors have the opportunity to see the horses up close.

Institute for American Indian Studies – Free admission from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rep. O’Neill Offers Bipartisan Amendment to H.B. 7308: Task Force on Body-Worn Cameras by Police

Posted on May 31, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) proposed an amendment, House Amendment Schedule A, LCO 8076, which helped secure passage for H.B. 7308, An Act Concerning a Task Force to Examine Issues Concerning the Use of Body-Worn Camera and Recording Equipment by Police.

“This is something that is important to my district because we are trying to put the body cameras on police officers and to make sure that we gather the information we need,” said Rep. O’Neill. “This bill was requested by my home town of Southbury and will benefit all the towns in my district. Additionally, better use of this technology will not only benefit civilians, but police officers as well. The technology will yield more transparency and accountability from our law enforcement officials, while also providing them with an added degree of protection while in the line of duty.”

This is a strike-all amendment, which removes and replaces the language of the original bill, and effectively becomes the new bill. This amendment provides more flexibility to local police departments in order to access a pool of funds used to purchase equipment such as body-worn cameras. In 2015, the Bond Commission authorized $15 million for the use of body-worn cameras, only $1 million of which was used. This bill is designed to increase eligibility for use of those funds. It increases eligibility to departments utilizing dashboard cameras and extends the deadline for 100% reimbursement for use of body-worn cameras. The goal is to encourage police departments to take advantage of new technology rather than mandating them to purchase this equipment. This amendment also adds law enforcement personnel to the task force, which ensures that all concerned parties are represented in this crucial study.

H.B. 7308 passed 148-1 and now heads to the State Senate for action there. This session of the CT General Assembly ends at midnights, June 7, 2017.

Please click here or on the image above to watch Rep. O’Neill’s comments on the amendment.

Republican Rescue and Renew – Opinion by Rep. Arthur O’Neill

Posted on May 31, 2017 by admin


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Can Connecticut be saved? That question was recently put to me by a college student after I had finished explaining the Connecticut fiscal crisis. I hesitated for a moment before I said “YES.”

That was before the Democrats on the Appropriations Committee pulled the plug on their budget just a few hours after they had scheduled a vote on it. I would still answer “YES.”

Why? Because on April 27 my fellow Republicans and I presented a plan to rescue the state budget and renew Connecticut.

The Republican budget is a NO TAX INCREASE budget. Connecticut’s citizens and workers have suffered the two largest tax increases in the last 6 years, yet we remain in a “permanent fiscal crisis”. We are a tax-traumatized state. It’s time for a new approach.

The Democrats’ spending addiction has caused this fiscal calamity. We need to reduce spending to bring Connecticut back to prosperity. The House Republican budget spends $833 million less than the Democrats’ budget and $270 million less than the governor’s budget.

The Republican budget erases a $5.1 billion budget deficit and restores a balanced budget. Years of mismanagement allowed Connecticut’s budget to balloon to unsustainable spending levels. After six years of failed Democrat budgets, Republicans had to make tough choices to close the budget deficit.

The Republican budget makes structural changes to state government for long-term savings.

Twenty-five years ago, over 80% of Connecticut’s citizens voted for a constitutional spending cap, but Democrats refuse to obey the command of the people to implement the cap. The Republican budget implements the constitutional spending cap with effective restrictions. Finally, the will of the people is being heard.

The Republican budget requires mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly. Labor costs are the major driver of state spending. The legislature must exert control over the process.

The Republican budget enacts a constitutional Transportation Lockbox. For too long majority Democrats have raided transportation funding to plug budget holes. We set in statute a cap on general obligation bonding by the State Treasurer at $1.3 billion annually – significantly less than the over $2 billion that has been issued each year for the past three years. Under Governor Malloy borrowing has skyrocketed to levels which prompted rating agencies to downgrade Connecticut state bonds.

State government is too big. It is time to shrink government and focus on core functions. The Republican budget improves efficiency by consolidating administrative functions, privatizing programs for mental health and the developmentally disabled, eliminating taxpayer funded election campaigns, merging the Department of Higher Education and the Office of Early Childhood into the Department of Education, merging the Department of Housing into the Department of Economic and Community Development, and merging the State Department of Aging into the Department of Social Services.

Our budget also closes the CT Juvenile Training School. Public safety and assistance for our neediest citizens are important roles of government, which is why we restore cuts to essential programs. The Republican budget reverses the governor’s massive increase on gun permit fees.

The Republican budget provides tax relief for families and seniors. Republicans will restore the property tax credit for seniors and families, which was cut by Governor Malloy. Republicans will phase out the income tax on social security income. The Republican budget rejects Governor Malloy’s plan to have municipalities tax hospitals. Taxing hospitals will only drive up the cost of health care and possibly force some hospitals to close.

The Republican budget reduces the Death Tax. This tax is continually cited as a major reason people leave Connecticut.

The Republican budget provides every town with an increase in education funding. Governor Malloy mandated that towns pay $407 million for the Teachers’ Retirement Fund. The Republican budget removes this mandated burden. It is not fair to towns or property tax payers to shift such a gigantic burden onto municipalities.

Shortly after we originally presented the Republican budget, estimated tax receipts declined sharply.  We revised our budget to account for that revenue drop. My Republican colleagues and I are working into the night to reduce spending, to balance the budget, and prevent tax increases. We will work as long as necessary until we finish the job.

Rep. O’Neill Speaks with Gainfield Elementary Students at the Capitol

Posted on May 18, 2017 by admin


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Thank you to Mrs. Bunosso, Mrs. Tesch and their fourth grade classes for joining us at the Capitol today. I enjoyed speaking with the students about the General Assembly and the work we are doing in Hartford. I hope they enjoyed their visit and I wish them luck in these final weeks of the school year!

Rep. O’Neill Attends CBIA: Manufacturing & Technology Day at the Capitol

Posted on May 18, 2017 by admin


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Rep. O’Neill attended CBIA: Manufacturing & Technology Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 18, 2017. Several businesses proudly displayed some of their most innovative products and Rep. O’Neill had the pleasure of speaking with many of these entrepreneurs and representatives.

 

Rep. O’Neill believes they are the solution to Connecticut’s economic recovery, and that the General Assembly must work hard to create an environment where their businesses can thrive. Their investment in Connecticut does not go unnoticed.

Rep. O’Neill Provides Update from the House Floor – 5/9/2017

Posted on May 11, 2017 by admin


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State Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) provided an update from the floor of the Connecticut House of Representatives on Tuesday, May 9, 2017. He spoke about fracking, H.B. 6329, An Act Concerning Hydraulic Fracturing Waste in Connecticut, and about expanding the penalties for hate crimes, H.B. 5743, An Act Concerning Hate Crimes. The former bill will prohibit the storage or transportation of fracking waste in or through the state of Connecticut. The latter increases the penalties for hate crimes, which now includes crimes against a person based on their gender. Rep. O’Neill fully supported these bills, which were passed by the House.

Please click here or on the image below to watch the full video.


Rep. O’Neill Attends Realtor Rally in Bushnell Park

Posted on May 11, 2017 by admin


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On Tuesday, May 9th, Rep. O’Neill attended the Realtor® Rally at Bushnell Park in Hartford. Thousands of realtors from across the state were present and UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma delivered the keynote address. Rep. O’Neill believes that the key to helping the housing market is to create a more business-friendly environment, which in turn will attract more companies and residents to our state. The goal is to create a Connecticut they can sell.

 

Rep. O’Neill Meets with Pomperaug Seniors at the Capitol

Posted on May 5, 2017 by admin


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Rep. O’Neill spoke with Pomperaug High School students at the Capitol on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017. The students were presenting their senior capstone projects where they took dated electronic devices and recycled them to produce original concepts. Each of these students has been accepted to a top university and will be pursuing careers in computer science and engineering. Best of luck this fall!

Rep. O’Neill Stands with Colleagues in Support of the Republican Rescue and Renew plan

Posted on April 27, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORDState Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) strongly supports the Republican budget released during a press conference at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday, April 27, 2017. The Republican budget does not include new or increased taxes, which has been a hallmark of their platform during the Malloy Administration.

“Connecticut is adrift and raising taxes on an already overtaxed state is not sustainable,” said Rep. O’Neill. “While it may close a deficit for this biennium, tax receipts will continue to decline in the future. Why? People are leaving Connecticut in droves. If we continue to tax residents at unprecedented levels, they will search for more affordable places to live, and our tax revenues will continue to decline in the process.”

The Republican budget comes in $313 million under Governor Malloy’s budget proposals. Specifically, this budget restores funding for fire training schools, implements a $2 billion bond cap and places a constitutional Lockbox on Transportation dollars. Most importantly, it calls for the mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly. Labor contracts are a major component of the state’s fixed costs, and Republicans believe the legislature should exert some control over this process.

“The only practical, long-term solution to this fiscal crisis is a balanced budget with realistic revenue expectations, meaningful structural changes and sensible spending reductions,” added Rep. O’Neill. “This budget is the product of months of careful review, and has been reviewed by the Office of Fiscal Analysis for accuracy. For the first time in nearly three-decades, the Democrats could not come to a consensus on their budget. Our budget is the only responsible option, and it deserves consideration from the entire General Assembly.”

House Republican leadership requested an Appropriations meeting this afternoon to present their proposals, but the request was denied by the majority party.

The Long Road to a Balanced Budget

Posted on April 26, 2017 by admin


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Yesterday the Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee failed to adopt a budget. This is a big failure. This has not happened in nearly 30 years.

Before they cancelled the meeting, the co-chairs of the Appropriations Committee released a proposed budget that would have required hundreds of millions of dollars in added taxes.

It appears that taxes collected in April are falling hundreds of millions below what Democrats predicted when they imposed billions of dollars of increased taxes two years ago.

The rainy day fund is not enough to cover the shortfall. It appears that Democrats have no backup plans. Connecticut’s government is adrift and we are now in unchartered waters.

The fiscal crisis is real.

The articles I’ve included below delve into the budget discussion from different angles. I hope you will take a moment to read them. This affects all of us and we must make every effort to stay informed.

Editorial: Enough with the Tax Hikes (Hartford Courant)

Dramatically eroding CT income tax receipts complicate budget debate (CT Mirror)

CT Budget Process Collapses Amid Dissention (CT Mirror)

As budget talks continue, I will do my best to keep you up-to-date on any developments.

Editorial: Enough With The Tax Hikes (Hartford Courant Editorial – 4/25/2017)

Posted on April 25, 2017 by admin


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Please take a moment to read the Hartford Courant editorial from today’s paper. It is a good read that echoes what House Republicans have been saying for years: tax hikes are not sustainable. We need a balanced budget, but not at the expense of economically crippling tax increases. Let’s get it right this time.

Rep. O’Neill to Host Southbury Coffee Hour this Saturday

Posted on April 19, 2017 by admin


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I encourage all Southbury residents to attend a coffee hour that I will be hosting along with Sen. Eric Berthel and Rep. Dave Labriola on Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 9 a.m. – 10 a.m.

 

This will be a great opportunity for you to address your concerns and provide suggestions that we can bring to Hartford as the 2017 Session continues.

Rep. O’Neill Speaks on Pay Equity Bill During CT House Session

Posted on April 13, 2017 by admin


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During a CT House Session on Wednesday, April 12, 2017, Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined the debate on H.B. 5591, An Act Concerning Pay Equity in the Workplace. Rep. O’Neill provided personal testimony and questioned Rep. Robyn Porter (D-93) on the specifics of the bill.

Click the image to view the video of his testimony and his exchange with Rep. Porter.

National Library Workers Day!

Posted on April 11, 2017 by admin


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Today is National Library Workers Day, and Rep. O’Neill would like to take a moment to thank librarians and library personnel for their hard work. Their dedication to promoting literacy across the country is invaluable.

 

 

O’Neill’s Bill Concerning Disbarred Attorneys Passes through Judiciary Committee

Posted on April 7, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill’s (R-69) proposed bill, H.B. 5647, An Act Concerning Attorneys Who are Prohibited from Practicing Law, has been approved by the Joint Judiciary Committee and is on its way to the House for a potential vote.

“This bill will require attorneys who have been disbarred, suspended, temporarily suspended or transferred to disability inactive status from the practice of law (deactivated attorneys) to withdraw themselves from the oversight of property and accounts as fiduciaries,” said Rep. O’Neill.

The bill also requires deactivated attorneys to resign, within 14 days, from any positions of legal authority such as guardianship appointments, administrators, trustees, or attorneys-in-fact. Furthermore, beneficiaries must be promptly notified of the deactivated attorney’s changed status, and shall be refunded for any advanced payments made to the attorney that have not been earned.

“Connecticut residents must be protected from ‘deactivated attorneys’,” added Rep. O’Neill. “This is the right thing to do and I hope that this bill is called on the floor.”

KILLING CONNECTICUT

Posted on April 5, 2017 by admin


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Opinion piece by State Rep. Arthur O’Neill as published in the Republican-American on 4/4/2017.

What is killing Connecticut? The state government’s budget crisis.

What is the “budget crisis”? The budget crisis is that State government spends more than it collects in taxes and fees. The projected shortfall for the next two years is 3.5 billion dollars.

Why not raise taxes and fees to cover the projected deficits? Raising taxes would be bad: Connecticut is already in the top five for having the highest taxes per capita in the nation. In 2011 and 2015 taxes were raised by billions of dollars to try to cover the projected deficits of those years. Obviously those tax hikes did not fix Connecticut’s budget problems. Many businesses have made very clear that they will leave if taxes keep going up. I, along with my fellow Republican legislators, have been warning of this since Malloy became governor in 2011.

What are the major factors that cause the state to spend so much more than it collects? So called “fixed costs”. Fixed costs include such things as unionized state employee wages, which are set in collective bargaining agreements (union contracts), pension and health care benefits for retirees that were set in an agreement made by Governor Malloy in 2011, pensions for retired local public school teachers and interest on the state debt.

Can any of these “fixed costs” be controlled? Yes: wages for state employees. Most union wage contracts are up for renegotiation this year. Other agreements are not up for renegotiation although the state could request that other agreements be renegotiated.

Who negotiates the union contracts on behalf of the state? Members of Governor Malloy’s administration acting on the Governor’s instructions.

Does the legislature have any say in these contracts? Yes, after union contracts are negotiated they are submitted to the legislature for approval. The legislature can, but is not required to, vote on the collective bargaining agreements.

What happens if the legislature does not vote on the union contracts? If the legislature does not vote on them within 30 days of the date they are submitted to the legislature, then the union contracts are deemed approved.

Does the legislature usually vote on the union contracts? No. The legislature has not voted on a wage contract since the 1990s. Under the rules of procedure that govern the legislature it has been up to the Majority party to decide if the contracts are brought up for a vote. Since 1997 Democrats have been the Majority in each chamber of the General Assembly. When Republicans gained enough state Senate seats to tie the Democrats in the November election, the Senate rules were changed to allow the Republican Senate Leader to bring the union contracts for a vote.

Were the rules changed in the House of Representatives to require votes on union contracts? No.

Why not? Even though the Republicans gained seats in the House, the Democrats are still the majority and seem more interested in showing they are in control of the House than in controlling spending. On the first day of the 2017 session, they rejected a rule, proposed by Republicans, that would have required that all union contracts be brought up for a vote by the full House so that every Representative would have the opportunity and obligation to vote on the contracts. However, in a party line vote, the proposed rule was rejected by the Democrats.

Why? The reason given by the Majority Leader, Rep. Ritter, for the NO votes was that “some” Democrat Representatives had only seen the proposed rule half an hour before he called for a vote on the rules. Republicans had shared the one word change (may to shall) several days prior to opening day. Majority Leader Ritter could have ordered a recess so that House Democrats could study the one word change.

The next day another Democratic leader gave an alternative explanation. “Frankly, the talk among House Democrats was this wasn’t about the merits of the issue. It was about whether the Republicans were in control or the Democrats were in control. And we saw in solid party line vote that the Democrats were in control.”  State Representative Robert Godfrey, quoted in the Hartford Courant January 6, 2017.

The state government is unable to balance its budget because of so-called fixed costs. The General Assembly can “unfix” those costs by voting to reject wage contracts, but the House Democrats refuse to act, thereby condemning us to a budget crisis that is killing Connecticut.

Here they go again … more jobs leave Connecticut

Posted on March 30, 2017 by admin


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Please take a moment to read this article by Stephen Singer of the Hartford Courant. This is something that requires our close attention.

(Please click image to read the full article)

 

“Once again, a Connecticut company making a major investment in its digital business has been lured by another state offering tax breaks and the chance to succeed in a big city.

United Technologies Corp. said last week it would spend $300 million and hire 250 software engineers to create a digital research and development center in a tech-savvy neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. Last year, General Electric Co. moved its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston, crediting the city’s concentration of tech talent and top universities as critical to boosting its digital work.”

 

Members of Region 15 Board of Education Testify Against S.B. 1019

Posted on March 29, 2017 by admin


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(Click Either Image to View Their Testimony)

 

Thank you to Region 15 Board of Education members Marion Manzo and Steve Suriani for testifying against S.B. 1019, which would allow the minority to control the Region 15 Board of Education. Click the link below to watch their testimony before the Education Committee.

 

O’Neill Speaks in Support of Vo-Ag Programs at State Capitol

Posted on March 17, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined fellow legislators and Vo-Ag students to show support for Vo-Ag programs across the state on AG Day at the Capitol, Friday, March 17, 2017.

“This is a unique learning experience for students interested in Agricultural studies and we should continue to invest in these programs,” said Rep. O’Neill. “The fact that these students undertake this supplemental program in addition to their regular studies is astounding and I am proud of their hard work and dedication. We can expect great things from them.

Connecticut’s first Agriscience and Technology program began in Woodbury in 1920, followed by several others across the state in the following years. By 1960, these programs had become popular and the state created regional Agriscience (Vo-Ag) programs where students could follow an intensive curriculum in related subjects while pursuing a traditional high school diploma. These schools were the first “magnet” schools in the state, accepting students from surrounding towns. There are now over 3,500 students enrolled in Agriscience programs representing all 169 Connecticut municipalities.

Rep. O’Neill was accompanied by State Representatives Michelle Cook, Jay Case (R-63), Brian Ohler (R-64) and Speaker Joe Aresimowicz.

O’Neill Wants to Make Connecticut More Affordable for Senior Citizens

Posted on March 6, 2017 by admin


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(Click on Image to View Video of Testimony)

 

HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) testified before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee on Friday, March 3, 2017 on two bills introduced by House Republicans; H.B. 6558, An Act Exempting Social Security Benefits from the Personal Income Tax, and H.B. 6556, An Act Establishing a Credit Against the Personal Income Tax for Long-Term Care Insurance Premium Payments.

“The House Republican Caucus is pleased to see that after a number of years putting forth the Social Security proposal, it has gained the support from the other caucuses,” said Rep. Arthur O’Neill. “Connecticut has long been known as an expensive state in which to retire, and over the years we have done little to combat that perception. House Republicans have been trying to pass Social Security tax reform since 2005, and I have been advocating for this since I entered politics.”

Seniors living on fixed incomes have been directly affected by this tax, and until this year efforts to eliminate the levy have been unsuccessful. Connecticut is one of only 13 states in the country to tax Social Security benefits, which has led many to move elsewhere for retirement. Fellow New England states Rhode Island and Vermont have a similar tax, and if we were to pass H.B. 6558, we would increase Connecticut’s competitive advantage in the region.

“In addition to reducing the income tax burden on seniors, we must be cognizant of the rising healthcare costs that they face as well,” added Rep. O’Neill. “Our Long-Term Care proposal might cost money in the short-term, but it can eventually save the state money by reducing the need for seniors to rely on government programs.”

Long-term care insurance covers services that typical health insurance plans do not cover without considerable out-of-pocket expenses. Long term care insurance will typically cover an individual from the first day of need, enabling seniors to avoid having to “spend down” their savings in order to receive government-subsidized care. Typically long term care insurance covers home care, assisted living, hospice care, nursing homes and in-home nurses. These products are highly recommended by financial planning professionals as life expectancy increases.

“There are many senior members of our communities who would prefer to stay in Connecticut to be close to family and friends, but feel the need to move due to a number of issues,” added Rep. O’Neill. “These two bills do not address all those issues, but will show our constituents that we are working hard to make Connecticut a little friendlier to seniors.”

O’Neill Opposes Governor’s Education Cuts and Proposed Property Tax Hikes

Posted on February 15, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORDState Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined House and Senate Republicans in a Press Conference to voice their concerns over Governor Malloy’s proposals on Tuesday, including proposed cuts to municipal education funding midstream in the current year. The Governor presented his proposed budget to a joint session of the legislature the following morning.

“I stood with dozens of my colleagues in restoring the $18.9 million ECS funding, which Gov. Malloy recently cut,” Rep. O’Neill said. “Discontinuing aid to municipalities would effectively force our cities and towns to raise property taxes to compensate for the shortfall. The only thing we are giving Connecticut residents in return for these tax increases is a greater incentive to leave the state.”

Rather than making crippling funding cuts to education, House and Senate Republicans have proposed alternate spending reductions with the majority coming from a $17 million cut to the Reserves for Salary Adjustments account, which can withstand the reduction. They believe these alternative measures are less harmful to Connecticut residents, especially the children.

The 2015 budget included $20 million per year ECS funding cuts, which were later eliminated in 2016, but then reinstated by Governor Malloy by a line-item veto. Most municipalities were left in a difficult position as they struggled to compensate for the adverse impact on their budgets. In his speech before the General Assembly on Wednesday, Governor Malloy stated that cities and towns would be forced to pay substantially more (approximately $400 million) towards schoolteacher’s pensions moving forward.

“Our local communities were left with little warning and will be faced with impossible choices in the coming months,” Rep. O’Neill stated. “The state has always covered the full pension liability, but with this radical change, new revenue sources will be necessary placing unfair pressure on the middle class, especially those on fixed-incomes.”

The Governor has proposed balancing the pending $1.7 billion deficit by obtaining $700 million in unspecified, possibly imaginary union concessions in addition to the $400 million burden placed on municipalities. Overall, the proposed budget reduces funding to crucial services such as mental health, elderly care and first responder training centers, including one in Southbury.

“We should be using this stressful budget season as an opportunity to reexamine our government, determine where waste and duplication exists, and decide how we can set priorities,” added Rep. O’Neill. “Instead this budget just passes the buck. As Harry Truman famously remarked of the Presidency, ‘The buck stops here.’ In state government, the buck should stop at the governor’s desk, not be passed to the towns. The budget proposed by Governor Malloy is devastating to the towns in my district. I will work with my legislative colleagues to craft a budget that is realistic, balanced, and fair to all of the communities in Connecticut and that lays the foundation for future economic growth.”

State Representative Arthur O’Neill Votes Against Pension Deal

Posted on February 3, 2017 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) voted against the pension deal between the State of Connecticut and the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC), which was ultimately approved in a near party-line vote during Session on February 1, 2017.

“Today we witness procrastination at its worst as Democratic leadership voted to push Connecticut’s financial problems onto future generations, resolving nothing in the process,” Rep. O’Neill said. “This deal has added an additional $11 billion to our pension liability and will surely have an adverse impact on the budget for years to come.”

The pension deal was designed to reduce short-term state contributions to the retirement fund as a temporary solution to Connecticut’s budget crisis. The new structure would extend the payment duration by an additional 15 years, which is now set to be paid off by 2047. Rep O’Neill believes the problem is that if the state does not change its spending habits, the reduction in pension funding will open the door to more spending.

“There is still time to find a long-term solution to our chronic pension problem and that requires us to revisit state employee benefit packages,” added Rep. O’Neill. “We can still offer competitive compensation while also respecting the cost to taxpayers, but none of that is possible if our Democratic colleagues refuse to work with us.”

Members of the House Republican Caucus have proposed certain union concessions, which could create $200 million in savings. These savings, if placed into the pension fund, could shorten the payment duration by seven years and could reduce the financial burden by $8 billion.

Rep. O’Neill is also concerned that the Malloy Administration along with House and Senate Democrats are overly optimistic about the state’s current economic outlook. House Majority Leader Matt Ritter referenced Moody’s favorable rating of Connecticut’s financial stability, yet this comes just days after Moody’s reached a settlement with the state for awarding misleading ratings on mortgage-backed securities; a contributing factor to the 2008 Financial Crisis.

“When it comes to funding state employee pension plans Connecticut comes in last place,” added Rep. O’Neill. “The state has been far too optimistic about investment returns and I do not believe this new plan allows enough room for error if revenues fall short once again. The payments may be predictable, but our ability to pay may not. It becomes a dangerous game when you work with uncertainty.”

The Prevention Council of Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington

Posted on January 31, 2017 by admin


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Recently I attended a meeting of the Prevention Council of Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington whose mission is to reduce the adverse consequences of substance abuse and addiction in these communities.

This coalition is headed by various citizens and community leaders who dedicate their time to programming events designed to educate the public and raise awareness of this epidemic. Their ultimate goal is to create a drug-free environment where youth and families can flourish without the threat of preventable substance-related injuries and fatalities.

Their programs include Prom Buses, Opioid Forums, Positive Incentive Scholarships, Fun Runs and Membership Drives.

Thank you to Jim McDonough, Todd Dyer, Officer Barbara Alenckis, Tammy Marquis, Lauren Werkhoven, Kristen Nettleton, Mike Schneider and Rev. David Peters for your efforts.

I hope you will join me in supporting their mission to combat substance abuse and addiction.

Hartford Courant: Reform Bill Arises From Probe Of Lawyer Who Charged Millions To Client’s Estate

Posted on January 27, 2017 by admin


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Attorney Robert J. Barry of Southbury voluntarily surrendered his Connecticut law license in December 2015, after state disciplinary authorities alleged irregularities and improprieties in his handling of a dead client’s estate, from which he collected more than $3 million in fees.

Barry’s license to practice remains suspended indefinitely, and the FBI has been conducting a criminal investigation into his conduct, but the suspended lawyer still has the ability to act as a fiduciary, with access to other people’s money from trusts and estates, says Kevin P. Thornton, a Southbury lawyer and Barry’s ex-partner.

I encourage you to check out the rest of this article by Jon Lender regarding my bill, HB-5647. Thank you to the Hartford Courant for their coverage of this important issue.

http://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-lender-probate-20170124-column.html

 

State Representative Arthur O’Neill Presents Flag to Washington Town Officials

Posted on January 25, 2017 by admin


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WASHINGTON – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) recently presented a large Connecticut state flag to the Town of Washington on January 5th, 2017, which he purchased with his own funds.

“It gave me a great sense of pride to do this for the Town of Washington and the people who serve this community,” said Rep. O’Neill. “I take any opportunity to give back to Washington, a town which has given so much to me.”

Rep. O’Neill was joined by Town Clerk Sheila Anson, John Gueniat, and Frist Selectman Mark Lyon at the Bryan Memorial Town Hall where the flag will be flown outside the building.

He began his 15th full-term in office on January 4th, 2017, and is the longest-serving Republican member of the Connecticut House of Representatives.

O’Neill Appointed Deputy Republican Leader at Large

Posted on January 4, 2017 by Michael Downes


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HARTFORD — State Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) has been appointed to the post of Deputy House Republican Leader at Large by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114), continuing to serve in a pivotal role in the House Republican Leadership team.

O’Neill is the longest-serving Republican member of the State House of Representatives, having first been elected in 1988.

“I appreciate the confidence and faith that the Leader, Themis Klarides, has shown in continuing me in a leadership post with the House Republican caucus,” said O’Neill.  “These are challenging economic times for the residents of my district and the people of Connecticut, and there is a great deal of work to do.  I look forward to getting to work on these important issues quickly.”

In addition to his leadership role, O’Neill will return as a seasoned member to several key legislative committees.

(more…)

Southbury Historical Society 40th Anniversary Recognized

Posted on November 28, 2016 by admin


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Rep. O’Neill presented a legislative citation to Southbury Historical Society President James Flaherty and Vice-President Jennifer Carey in honor of the SHS 40th Anniversary. The SHS hosted a Holiday Open House at the Old Town Hall and a Food Drive November 27th to benefit the Southbury Food Bank. Thank you Southbury Historical Society for keeping Southbury memories of the past, the beauty of our present, and the hopes for our future shining brightly.

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Hello world!

Posted on November 15, 2016 by admin


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Welcome to Connecticut House Republicans. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start blogging!

O’Neill, Republicans call for Hearings on Conflicting Budget Numbers

Posted on October 20, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD – Rep. Arthur O’Neill joined House and Senate Republicans in calling on Governor Malloy’s budget office to answer to state lawmakers about why the administration withheld information from the public detailing a shortfall in the state budget.

They are calling for the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue & Bonding committees to hold an informational hearing so that officials from the governor’s budget office can explain the discrepancies in their budget numbers as compared to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

The Republican calls for clarification come after it was revealed by the CT Mirror that Governor Malloy’s office disclosed a budget deficit to state agency heads, while reporting to the state comptroller’s office 14 days later that no shortfall existed. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA) weighed in after they were asked by Republicans this summer to begin working on their own analysis. OFA projected a deficit of approximately $78 million. OFA also found a reduction in personal income tax collections of $80 million and a reduction in sales tax revenue of $39 million.

 

Reps. O’Neill, Labriola and Sen. Kane to Host Forum on Lowering Your Electric Bill

Posted on August 15, 2016 by admin


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Representative Arthur O’Neill will be hosting a forum on how to lower your electric bill with Representative David Labriola and Senator Rob Kane on September 14th.  Details are below.

DESPP Launches Emergency Preparedness Mobile App

Posted on August 11, 2016 by admin


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The State Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection (DESPP) has launched a new mobile app this week that will allow Connecticut residents to access emergency information and alerts on the go in the event of an emergency. Connecticut residents would be able to create interactive emergency kits, customize family communication plans, and view preparation guides on what to do in an emergency all from their mobile device.

ctprepareThe Emergency Preparedness Mobile Application will integrate with a phone’s text messaging, email, and social networking, allowing residents to inform family members when they are safe. Real-time notifications can be sent directly to the device providing up-to-the-minute information for residents. Links to Emergency needs such as shelters, food, and assistance will be at hand.

The application will allow users to:

  • Create interactive checklists
  • Prepare a family plan
  • Notify emergency personnel
  • View preparation guides for different emergencies
  • Sign up for alerts
  • Contact family members
  • View emergency news and events
  • Locate emergency services
  • View weather

You can download the appropriate version of the app for Apple devices or Android devices from the following links:

 Click here for an OVERVIEW OF THE APP which was developed by DESPP and Connecticut Interactive.

 

O’Neill Recognizes “Ginger” Salisbury for Service to Southbury

Posted on August 3, 2016 by admin


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Town Clerk Retires after Nearly Thirty Years in Local Government

Longtime Town Clerk Virginia “Ginger” Salisbury was surprised with a retirement party in Southbury Town Hall this past Monday. She served in the position of Town Clerk for 17 years before her retirement.  Before that she worked in the Treasurer’s Office and as the recycling coordinator. She also had stints in the First Selectman’s Office and the Building Department.

PHOTO: Rep. O’Neill presents “Ginger” Salisbury with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly recognizing her service on the occasion of her retirement. L-R Southbury First Selectman Jeff Manville, “Ginger” Salisbury, and Rep. Arthur O’Neill.

At the celebration attended by First Selectman Jeff Manville and other town officials and employees, State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) presented her with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly recognizing her long and distinguished career in the service of Southbury’s residents.

“Ginger has been a tried and true fixture in Southbury Town Hall for the last 29 years, and she will be deeply missed,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “She has processed the documentation required for all facets of life here in Southbury, from elections and land records to dog licenses and marriage licenses. Ginger has been a part of everyone’s life in this town.  I wish her the absolute best for her retirement.”

First appointed Town Clerk in 1999, Salisbury received numerous certifications including the designation of Master Municipal Clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC), Inc.

O’Neill Achieves Perfect Voting Record for 2016 Session

Posted on August 1, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) has earned a one hundred percent voting record for all roll call votes taken on the floor of the House of Representatives during the 2016 Regular Session.  The House Clerk’s Office released the data on members’ votes this past week. A total of 313 votes were cast in the House this session, and Representative O’Neill made them all.

“I have always made it my top priority to be present during debate and votes on the floor of the House to ensure the residents in my district have their voices heard on critical issues,” said Rep. O’Neill, the Deputy House Republican Leader. “This past session we had many important policy issues including budget priorities, jobs and the economy upon which we cast significant votes.  I am pleased I was able to make all of them this year.”

Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, and less than one third of his legislative colleagues in the House were able to attain it this year.

Rep. O’Neill has had perfect attendance most years during his 28 years in legislature, which includes the casting over 9,000 votes for the people of the 69th District.

During many of those years over 300 and sometimes over 400 votes were cast, including in 2005 when a decade-high 460 roll call votes were taken and Rep. O’Neill did not miss one.

Missed votes can be the result of everything from personal illness to the attendance of a funeral, and a perfect voting record – particularly throughout multiple years – is indicative of deliberate dedication and commitment.

“Sometimes the majority party brings important bills, such as the budget, to a vote at the dawn’s early light, after being in session all day and all night,” Rep. O’Neill added.  “Is it intentional or sheer incompetence?”

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in January of 2017.  Rep. O’Neill is the longest serving Republican in the House of Representatives.  He serves on the Judiciary, Appropriations, Regulations Review and Legislative Management Committees.

Rep. O’Neill and Sen. Kane conduct Town Hall Meeting for Bridgewater, Roxbury and Washington Residents

Posted on July 13, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Arthur O’Neill and Sen. Rob Kane invited Bridgewater, Roxbury, and Washington residents to join them for a Regional Town Hall meeting on Tuesday, July 12 at Roxbury Town Hall’s Went Community Room, 29 North St.,  Roxbury.

Many residents came out to discuss numerous areas of concern, including the condition of Connecticut’s economy and the state budget.  Photos from the event are below.

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Connecticut to Register Voters at DMV. What Could Go Wrong? Critics Ask

Posted on July 6, 2016 by admin


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The following article by Fred Lucas appeared in the Daily Signal on July 5, 2016.

The 2014 Connecticut governor’s race was decided by about 30,000 votes statewide. Four years earlier, the contest was decided by just about 6,000 votes.

So it’s a concern for state Rep. Arthur O’Neill, a Republican, that the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles—which recently misidentified more than 50,000 people for having unpaid taxes on their vehicles—will be in charge of voter registration.

daily signal

“If you misidentify 30,000 voters, that’s more than enough to swing an election,” O’Neill, deputy minority leader of the Connecticut House, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

“As time goes by, and [the state] see[s] the difficulties and dangers of this, I hope they will at least postpone it,” O’Neill said. “The DMV is still coping with regular duties of registering cars and issuing driver’s licenses, which has been a catastrophe.”

The DMV has faced severe computer problems that have led to the tax mistakes, but also identifying vehicles and vehicle owners as living in the wrong town.

READ MORE HERE AT THE DAILY SIGNAL.

Southbury: Taxpayers Invited to Legislative Update Monday, June 27 at Town Hall

Posted on June 15, 2016 by admin


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Reps. David Labriola, Arthur O’Neill and Sen. Rob Kane invite the public to join them for a Legislative Town Hall Meeting on Monday, June 27 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Southbury Town Hall in Room 205.  For more information, contact Reps. Labriola and O’Neill at 800-842-1423 or Sen. Kane at 800-842-1421.

O’Neill: Shepaug Region 12 AgSTEM Project Bond Funding Deferred until Next Year

Posted on June 6, 2016 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) today said that bonding for the Shepaug Region 12 AgSTEM project, which was approved earlier this year, would be deferred one year in consideration of current constraints on state bonding.

The Region 12 project joined numerous other state school construction projects originally listed for this year that will have their funding postponed until next year because the projects were categorized as not currently “shovel-ready.”

“In discussion on the House floor during the last day of the special session, I received public assurance from Andrew Fleischman, the Chairman of the Education Committee, that this was the only reason this project’s bond funds are being deferred until next year.  Chairman Fleischman specifically denied that there was any other reason why this project was being deferred,” O’Neill stated.

Click above to hear the discussion regarding the Region 12 AgSTEM project and the reasons for the deferment.

The legislation that passed on Thursday contains a requirement that this project is placed on the list of school construction projects that will be considered next year by the Education Committee.  O’Neill attended a meeting of the Shepaug Board of Education on May 23 at which time he informed them that the project was probably going to be postponed as a result of the special session.

“I look forward to working with the Region 12 Board of Education on this and other issues,” O’Neill concluded.

Rep. Arthur O’Neill addresses the Region 12 Board of Education as he is recognized for his work on the Shepaug Agriscience School. August 31, 2015.

Rep. O’Neill Attends Southbury Veterans’ Wall of Honor Ceremony

Posted on May 26, 2016 by admin


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Rep. Arthur O’Neill and Rep. David Labriola attended the rededication ceremony for the Southbury Senior Center’s Veterans’ Wall of Honor on Wednesday, May 25th.

A total of 31 new veterans were inducted.  The legislators presented an official citation on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Rep. O’Neill and Rep. Labriola present an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly.

First Selectman Jeff Manville was the keynote speaker.  Members of the military read their creeds, and Catherine Windover, a Girl Scout from Pomperaug High School, participated as a singer for the event.

A flag retirement ceremony was also conducted by the Naval Sea Cadets.

The colors are posted as the ceremony begins.

 

Catherine Windover sings the National Anthem.

 

Rep. O’Neill talks with veterans at the ceremony.

Putting budget deal into perspective

Posted on May 24, 2016 by admin


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Opinion by Rep. Arthur O’Neill – published in the Waterbury Republican-American on May 22, 2016.

The business of budgeting for Connecticut since the 2010 election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has become an increased challenge for the Democrats, who have enjoyed oneparty rule in the legislature for almost 30 years. The liberal playbook’s well-worn pages, which they reflexively consult, has offered no fix to the ailing economy of our state. Two enormous tax increases, coupled with a 15.8 percent increase in state spending, have failed. Democrats are mystified that they could not tax and spend Connecticut back into prosperity.

Businesses, large and small, are not mystified at this failure, nor are state residents. A business environment characterized by hostility, over-regulation and punitive taxes has caused big names like General Electric Co. to flee, taking their jobs and tax dollars with them. Budget instability shattered their faith in our government.

The Democrats’ budget continues to run deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars because the policies of Gov. Malloy and majority Democrats have damaged the tax base. Democrats refuse to acknowledge we are getting diminished returns. And you cannot change what you don’t acknowledge. Connecticut’s top 50 taxpayers are reporting $3 billion less in income than their budget analysts projected.

Gov. Malloy says we must learn to live within a “new economic reality.” But why must this financial disaster be Connecticut’s reality when it isn’t the reality of neighbors such as New York, or other states? Massachusetts has prospered under popular Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

House and Senate Republicans offered a budget proposal during the regular session this spring. We suggested important structural reforms to the budget process, lowering the rate of spending growth, creating predictability and confidence, and most importantly, jobs.

Unfortunately, the budget agreement cobbled together by legislative Democrats and the governor during the special session doesn’t make structural changes. We are heading toward 27.5 percent spending growth by fiscal year 2020-21. This is an irresponsible and unsustainable course that will have catastrophic results. The Republican plan created savings by reducing bonding to pre-Malloy levels, thereby limiting our rapidly growing debt service. We would have frozen state wages for three years.

The Democrats took a different path. While Republicans would have held cities and towns harmless for five years, giving municipalities the predictability needed to craft local budgets, the Democrats’ plan picks winners and losers , capriciously slashing state aid and education cost sharing dollars by $32.2 million to certain communities, particularly those not represented by Democrats. The Republican budget would have restored those cuts.

The Democrats’ budget is built on the hope that residents will drink, gamble and smoke more. They are banking on projections of generating $100,000 more from alcohol and liquor taxes, $8 million more in cigarette taxes, $15 million more from Indian casino gambling, and $4.5 million from lottery revenue. They also slashed millions from the Tobacco Health Trust Fund, which supports smoking-cessation programs. Remember the promise Democrats offered about statewide car-tax relief? That’s not happening under their plan. They altered the tax-rate cap so 29 towns will not receive their promised property-tax relief for cars, while cutting $16.9 million to payment in lieu of taxes funds, and $10.5 million to college and hospital PILOT funds.

The Democrats’ plan takes aim at the most vulnerable. It includes a $130 million cut to state hospitals, a $1 million cut to grants for DCF clinics for children, a $13.8 million cut to the State Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and $1.7 million in cuts to grants for substance-abuse services.

The Republican plan would have preserved these services, and would not have shredded the safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.

Most importantly, Republicans offered a five-year plan. What’s clear about the Democrats’ budget plan is that there is no plan. It is a series of reactions to crises of their own creation, resulting in nothing more than a haphazard patchwork that is the sum of their inadequate repair work. We offered a plan that businesses and municipalities could have relied upon as they make their financial decisions.

Municipal leaders have developed their budgets for 2016-17. It is cowardly and irresponsible to force municipal leaders to raise taxes to cover the gaping holes in their budgets that are being created by the Democrats’ budgeting failures.

There is no question that continuing the failed Democratic policies of the past will result in a greater strain on Connecticut’s economy. Based on the proposals contained in this budget, after the November election is behind them, Democrats most likely will revisit another worn solution: tax increases. What else would we expect from those who don’t think they spend too much, and who believe taxpayers and businesses aren’t paying enough?

To learn more about the House and Senate Republican budget plan, visit FiveYearBudget.com.

Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill serves the 69th House District, which includes Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington. He is a deputy House Republican leader, and the longest-serving member of the House Republican Caucus, first elected in 1988. He serves on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Regulations Review and Legislative Management committees.

O’Neill Votes for Anti-Littering Measure

Posted on May 6, 2016 by admin


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During an afternoon session of the General Assembly yesterday, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) voted in favor of a bill which would increase the maximum fine for littering to $1000.  Under current law it is illegal to dispose of litter on public land or public property, in state waters, or on private property not owned by the litterer. Public land includes a state park, state forest, municipal park, or other publicly owned land open to the public for recreation. A violator is currently subject to a fine of up to $199.  Further, it permits municipalities to assess an administrative fee of up to $500 if the litter includes an item of furniture.

“The careless disposal of litter on public land and in waterways is more than just an unsightly, unpleasant thing,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Improperly disposing trash and waste has had a tremendous cumulative impact on our environment.  The federal government along with state and local governments spend millions combatting its environmental impact every year.  This bill puts a fine structure in place that is more appropriate to the offense of littering.”

Current law requires one-half of each littering fine to be paid to the state, and the other half paid to the municipality where the arrest occurred unless the ticket was issued by a conservation officer or patrolman from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).  In those cases, one-half of the fine is paid to DEEP. Under this bill, collected fines would now be divided three ways: one-half to the municipality where the arrest occurred, one-quarter to the state, and one-quarter to DEEP to operate, maintain, and improve state parks.

Litter is defined in the Connecticut General Statutes as any discarded, used, or unconsumed substance or waste material, whether made of aluminum, glass, plastic, rubber, paper, or other natural or synthetic material, or any combination of them. It includes any bottle, jar, or can; or any top, cap, or detachable tab of any bottle, jar, or can; any unlighted cigarette, cigar, match, or any flaming or glowing material; any garbage, trash, refuse, debris, rubbish, grass clippings, or other lawn or garden waste; newspaper or magazines; glass, metal, plastic, or paper containers; or other packaging or construction material that has not been deposited in a litter receptacle.

The bill, HB 5189 -An Act Increasing the Maximum Fine for Littering, passed the House unanimously.  It now moves to the State Senate for action there.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at midnight on May 4th.

 

O’Neill: Democrats Fail on Budget, Open Special Session

Posted on May 6, 2016 by admin


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As the clock ticked out the final hours of the 2016 legislative session, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) said the inability of the majority Democrats to pass a budget on time exposed their eleventh-hour agreement with Governor Dannel Malloy as containing no structural changes, while it ensures future deficits and slashes vital programs to the poor, mentally ill, and education funding.

The plan contains deep spending cuts to critical areas, like addiction services, in the midst of an opioid epidemic.  It cuts $36 million in local school funding and special education, as well as $13 million for hospitals.

“From what I can see of this newest budget proposal, it looks like just another laundry list of bad policy choices,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Our estimates of revenue by the Office of Fiscal Analysis continue to overestimate what we take in, and that is essentially because their methodology is unable to keep up with the damage to our tax base that the policies of this governor and this Democratic majority have wrought.  Despite consistent and undeniable evidence of this, they seem determined to ignore the facts and give us more of the same in the upcoming special session.”

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O’Neill stood with legislative Republicans last month as they put forth their own balanced budget that does not raise taxes, does not use the Rainy Day Fund and makes measured cuts that do not punish the most at risk, such as the poor and elderly. The plan also included a comprehensive five-year strategic plan that reduces spending and achieves savings that will result in actual surpluses.

Other aspects of the Democrats’ newest budget on the spending side feature:

  • A $17 million cut from local PILOT programs.
  • Earmarking of ECS payments for towns represented by Democratic leaders totaling $1.1 million – Stonington, Hamden, Madison, New Britain and Farmington.
  • $8.7 million in cuts from mental health and substance abuse programs.
  • $2.2 million in cuts from assistance for the poor.
  • Elimination of all state funding for school transportation.

As bad as that is, O’Neill said the worst part of it is the revenue assumptions. The Democrats project that the state will receive an additional $15 million in slot revenue, despite steady decreases in recent years, and a $4.5 million boost from Keno which is currently not even up and running yet.

In addition:

  • The budget includes $68.6 million in assumed mystery “savings’’ that if not achieved as in previous budgets, will lead directly to deficits.
  • It “saves’’ $3.3 million by moving items into the Insurance Fund that are paid for by the state insurance industry.
  • There are no provisions to force the legislature to approve union contracts.
  • There are no defined paths to create a workable spending cap or a reduced bonding cap.
  • No overtime accountability and no municipal mandate relief.

O’Neill Opposes Flawed Claims Commission Reform Bill

Posted on May 4, 2016 by admin


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Measure fails to adequately set standards, limit wrongful incarceration awards

Tuesday afternoon State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) voted against a measure that codifies a policy mistake in the way the state’s Claims Commissioner adjudicates legal claims against the state of Connecticut for wrongful incarceration. O’Neill, a member of the Judiciary Committee, says the bill will allow the issuance of settlements to those who were incarcerated and released because of procedural errors or prosecutor misconduct, but are not actually innocent.

“The previous individual to hold the office of Claims Commissioner issued a number of large awards to individuals whose convictions were overturned, but not actually innocent, before his abrupt resignation,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “In roughly five months, this commissioner issued $16.8 million to four people who were not released because of prosecutor misconduct.  These settlements are meant to provide for individuals who are innocent, and suffered an unfair loss of liberty and enjoyment of life.  It is not meant to be a jackpot for those who get off on technicalities. This absurdity is never fair, but it is especially galling while the state is facing a massive budget deficit that continues to grow.”

Click above for Rep. O’Neill’s remarks on the bill.

The latitude a Claims Commissioner has in making financial awards to those with a claim has come under increased scrutiny following Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance, Jr.’s award of $16.8 million to four men who had their convictions in a 1996 New Haven murder overturned.  The award came after news that the state was already in a budget deficit of over $300 million.

However, the convictions were overturned in part because a key witness in their 1997 trial was offered a reduced sentence on an unrelated charge to testify.  The witness, Andre Clark, was asked during the trial if he had been offered a deal for his testimony, and he indicated he had not- a statement that went uncorrected in the course of the trial. With the conviction overturned, the state chose not to retry the men as Clark had later been slain in 2008.

O’Neill noted that the bill does limit the amount of any financial award granted by the Claims Commissioner to 200% of median income based on the most recent U.S. Census, and gives the Commissioner the latitude to adjust that figure upward or downward by 25% based on other factors particular to the case. “Limiting these kinds of awards to be more reasonable is important, but unless we also restrict who receives them, we are still paying those who are not actually innocent for time spent in jail,” added O’Neill.

The bill, SB 458, An Act Concerning the Office of the Claims Commissioner, passed the House Tuesday afternoon, having passed the Senate yesterday.  It now heads to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for his signature.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn at midnight, Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

O’Neill Votes to Eliminate Wasteful Use of State Troopers

Posted on May 2, 2016 by admin


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During a Friday afternoon session of the Connecticut House of Representatives, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) voted in support of a measure that eliminates the requirement that state troopers hand-deliver notices to members of the state legislature for special sessions that are called with less than ten days’ notice.

“In these modern times it is thoroughly unnecessary to take state police officers from their regular duties enforcing the law and ensuring public safety just so they can hand-deliver a notice to legislators that already know they have been called into session,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “The budget deficit for the current year has now ballooned to $256 million.  Under the best of times, this policy of using police to deliver these notices would be a frivolous waste of money and resources – something estimated to cost between $35,000 and $40,000 each time it is used.  Getting rid of this policy is long overdue.”

O’Neill noted that in many instances, troopers attempting to deliver these notices are not able to locate their intended legislator immediately, requiring repeated visits just to deliver the same notice.  These repeated efforts prevent the trooper from performing his or her regular duties for an extended time.

Under the bill, the secretary of the state is given the option of notifying General Assembly members of special sessions through email, but must do so at least 72 hours before the session convenes. The secretary of state can also send notices through first class mail if done so between 10 and 15 days prior to a special session and five days before a reconvened session.  State police, constables or state marshals can still be employed at the secretary’s discretion – something O’Neill says will result in their being used only in very critical instances.

The bill, HB 5242, An Act Permitting Electronic Notification of a Special Session or a Reconvened Session, passed the House by a vote of 146-0.  It now heads to the State Senate for action there.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns midnight, Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

O’Neill Votes NO on Inadequate Restraining Order Bill

Posted on April 28, 2016 by admin


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Risks Outweigh Benefits to Domestic Violence Victims

During a late night session of the State House of Representatives, State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) voted in opposition to a bill which would require a person to turn over any firearms they possess to either a licensed firearms dealer or the police if a temporary restraining order is filed against them.  Under the bill, no hearing is required for the firearms surrender to take place.  The legislation was introduced at the request of Governor Dannel P. Malloy by Democratic leaders.

The bill, HB 5054, An Act Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence, purports to protect potential victims of domestic violence.  Unfortunately, O’Neill says, this legislation could result in fewer protections to victims or potential victims of domestic violence, while removing essential due process protections to owners of firearms.

“Domestic violence is a scourge at the heart of many senseless and awful tragedies,” said Rep. O’Neill, who also opposed the bill in the Judiciary Committee.  “However, I remain deeply skeptical that this bill actually accomplishes what it purports to.  This proposed law can in fact be used by a domestic abuser to disarm his victim by filing a temporary restraining order against her, leaving her vulnerable without a firearm to protect her as there is no due process before the firearms are surrendered.  It’s one of several tremendous flaws in the bill.”

O’Neill also said the promotion of these temporary restraining orders as an option for domestic violence victims takes the focus off the option of risk warrants, which are normally the better choice.  “Some have asked why we can’t have both the temporary restraining order legislation in addition to the risk warrant,” said O’Neill.  “The bill is actually written in such a way as to jeopardize the ability of those who should get a risk warrant to get it, another deep flaw to this measure.”

Under current law, someone who fears for their safety can go to the police and seek a risk warrant against someone based on probable cause if they feel threatened.  The applicant need not be a spouse or cohabitant with the individual they are seeking the warrant against.  This application can be made 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and upon processing, a seizure of weapons can take place in as little as a few hours.

O’Neill noted that the bill Governor Malloy is advancing would require someone to apply for a temporary restraining order if they cohabitate with someone from whom they fear danger.   It does not assist individuals who are not cohabitants.  These restraining orders can only be applied for in the courts during normal business hours.  An applicant would be unable to obtain such an order over the weekend, in the evening, or on a holiday the way they would under existing law with a risk warrant which could be obtained at any time.

The bill passed the House by a vote of 104-42, and now heads to the State Senate for action there.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn at midnight, Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

Rep. O’Neill & Republicans Propose Budget Deficit Fix, Plan for Fiscal Stability

Posted on April 26, 2016 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined Republican lawmakers in the Connecticut General Assembly today as they unveiled a revised 2017 budget that closes the state’s projected $935.7 million deficit, restores funding to core social services, protects local town education funding, and implements long-term structural changes to the state budget. The Pathway to Sustainability proposal includes savings that roll out over the next five years, mitigating future projected budget shortfalls.

“To put our state back on a proper economic footing, budget cuts are simply not enough,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “The structural changes we have long been calling for are critical to turning this state’s fading fiscal fortunes around, and providing level and fertile ground to grow our economy. The draconian cuts of the governor and the unfinished product of legislative Democrats will not do.  It’s time to take serious action.”

The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that if the current budget practices continue, the state will rack up huge deficits over the next 5 years ranging from nearly $1 billion to over $3 billion annually.

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This plan includes a line by line budget to mitigate the fiscal year 2017 deficit, as well as long term structural changes. Together, these policy changes roll out into future years to mitigate ballooning deficits on the horizon. Following 2017, this budget proposal is projected to produce annual surpluses, with a cumulative total of over $1 billion.

The proposed Republican budget would restore funding to core social services Democrats have proposed cutting this year, while also making needed cuts and implementing new policies that generate long-term savings. This includes the following:

  • Protects funding for social services. In order to preserve the safety net of services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty, this proposal eliminates new proposed budget cuts to direct services.
  • Restoration of support for hospitals and Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Restores education funding for towns and increases statutory grants to municipalities. Also preserves funding at 100% for car tax capping and implements a robust municipal mandate relief package. Maintains funding throughout the next 5 years.
  • Administrative reductions. To enable the state to protect funding for core services, this budget cuts specific, non-service accounts by 12% for a total savings of $157.5 million.
  • Legislative givebacks including legislative salary reductions and elimination of unsolicited mail.
  • Modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
  • Funds transportation development with “Prioritize Progress” – a no tolls/ no tax increases plan.
  • Implements long-term structural changes to the state budget including mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding, and many more, detailed in the attached document.
  • Prices out savings from changes to unionized state employee health and pension benefits, to offer an alternative to layoffs should unions come to the negotiation table.

For more details about the Republican Pathway to Sustainability Plan, visit www.cthousegop.com/goppath.

Connecticut Residents Still Have the Heaviest Tax Burden in the U.S.

Posted on April 8, 2016 by admin


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…and it’s Getting Worse.

According to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan tax research group, Connecticut continues to have the latest “Tax Freedom Day” of any state in the nation. Tax Freedom Day is the day each year when the average citizen has made enough money to pay their combined local, state and federal tax bills.


With the highest tax burden per capita of any state in the nation, it’s no wonder our Tax Freedom Day comes later than any other state: May 21.  That’s eight days later than last year.

To put it into perspective, each of us will spend more on taxes in 2016 than we will on food, clothing and housing combined.

The state budget is perpetually in crisis, with a deficit for the next fiscal year estimated at $930 million by the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

Until the Democrat majority in the legislature curbs spending, creates a stable tax and regulatory landscape and stops passing legislation that fuels Connecticut’s anti-business climate, we will continue to suffer from a lagging economy and shrinking workforce.

I will continue to work hard this session to change the unfortunate direction Governor Malloy and legislative Democrats have taken this state.

As always, please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

 

O’Neill: Democrats’ Budget Risky and Incomplete

Posted on April 7, 2016 by admin


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Proposal Fails to Close Deficit, Opens Risk of Default on State Debt

HARTFORD – Democrats on the legislature’s Appropriations Committee today unveiled a proposed budget that fails to close a massive $900 million hole projected for the next fiscal year, makes unacceptable cuts to local education funding, and pushes the state closer to defaulting on debt according to State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69).

“While Democrats in the legislature acknowledge a ‘new economic reality’ they don’t seem to be able to live in it,” said Rep. O’Neill, a member of the Appropriations Committee.  “The proposed budget acted on by the committee today closes only $560 million of a projected $930 million deficit for the next year, so it is incomplete, and out of balance.  The size of the current deficit is not breaking news – they know they haven’t finished their job.”

O’Neill took particular exception to proposed Education Cost Share (ECS) reductions to the towns of the 69th District:

  • Southbury: cut $36,062.00
  • Roxbury: cut $86,815.00
  • Bridgewater: cut $92,279.00
  • Washington: cut $131,065.00

“There is no question that these ECS cuts are harmful to every town in the district I serve, and I strongly oppose them,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill also pointed out that the proposed budget package significantly underfunds the Office of the State Treasurer, putting Connecticut in a precarious position.  “The state’s credit outlook has been downgraded due to the poor economic policies of the past five years, and by underfunding the Office of the Treasurer, this budget puts us closer to the possibility of defaulting on debts which would be ruinous to the state’s credit and economy,” said O’Neill.

With Governor Malloy announcing that he will release a revised budget proposal that reflects a downward adjustment in tax receipts next week, it is clear that the measure passed in Appropriations will not be the final budget passed by the legislature.

“We all recognize that the product acted on today is only a step in the process, and I look forward to seeing the govenor’s new proposal next week,” said O’Neill.

This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at midnight, Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Posted on April 1, 2016 by admin


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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the National Safety Council is sponsoring a “Take Back Your Drive Pledge.”

You can expect that police departments in our area will be cracking down on drivers endangering public safety.

Motorists can expect extra patrols, spotters and stationary police vehicles prominently placed around the town. You can also expect police elsewhere to crack down on distracted driving this month.

Under Connecticut’s cell phone and texting law, violations involve heavy fines, ranging from $150 for first offense$300 for second offense, and $500 for each subsequent violation. We also created a first-in-the-nation system that allows offenses to affect the violator’s car insurance premium.

An estimated 1 in 4 car crashes involve cell phones, according to the National Safety Council, and 34 percent of teen drivers have admitted to texting while driving; 52 percent have said they have talked on the phone. 10 percent of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

Please do not drive distracted – not this month, not ever. It is unsafe and endangers both fellow motorists and pedestrians.

Please consider taking the National Safety Council’s pledge to be an attentive driver by clicking below.

New Reality of Endless Deficits in Connecticut

Posted on March 23, 2016 by admin


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Opinion by Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill

The following was published in the Waterbury Republican American on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

While most of the United States has recovered from the Great Recession, Connecticut remains as one of the last states to get back on its fiscal feet. This is tied directly to the bad economic policies of the last five years that have stunted the state’s growth, caused businesses to fold or flee, and prompted an exodus of thousands of people who can’t find work here anymore.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature’s Democratic majority have tried to tax and spend Connecticut back into prosperity, and it hasn’t worked. After two tax increases of more than $4 billion, the state still is teetering on the edge of insolvency.

After Democrats joined with Gov.Malloy in December to fix a hole in their poorly crafted budget from last summer, the state is $220 million in deficit again, 12 weeks after the last patch job.

To his credit, Gov. Malloy acknowledges the state must cut back and live within its means, because of what he describes as a “new economic reality.” Connecticut regained fewer than 74 percent of the jobs lost during the Great Recession, and the vast majority of the jobs “recovered” since the recession are much lower-paying than the ones that were lost.

Gov. Malloy has offered a budget that slashes all state agencies by 5.75 percent, and he has said layoffs of at least 1,000 workers are on the horizon. Gov. Malloy has acknowledged he cannot go back to the tax-increase trough.

House and Senate Republicans last week offered an alternative for closing the deficit in the final months of this year’s operating budget. Our package would restore $140 million in funding to state hospitals, and use two-day unpaid furloughs to state workers and modifications of future benefits as an alternative to mass layoffs. Our plan also calls for a 10 percent cut to the pay of legislators, eliminating legislator franked mail privileges, reducing legislative expenditures, and accepting a $100,000 budget reduction to each of the four legislative caucuses.

We have proposed extensive longterm structural changes that would result in savings in future years, including capping state bonding to reduce debt, and requiring that all labor contracts get approval from the legislature. We also aim to make adjustments to state employees’ health and pension benefits; implement an enforceable state spending cap; and rein in state-employee overtime.

Gov. Malloy indicated he did not agree with all elements of our proposal, but would sign the GOP budget adjustment if the legislature passed it.

All that is left is for legislative Democrats to join us and the governor to make it happen.

Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, R-Southbury, serves the 69th District, which includes Bridgewater, Roxbury, Southbury and Washington.

O’Neill, Republicans Lay Out Budget Fix

Posted on March 16, 2016 by admin


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Package Restores Funding to Hospitals & Maintains Core Government Services

HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) stood with Senate and House Republicans today, proposing a plan to close the 2016 budget deficit and restore funding to Connecticut hospitals.

“In December majority Democrats pushed through a band-aide budget fix in special session that was in deficit almost immediately after it passed,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “We are now $220 million in deficit in the final months of this budget year, and our recommendations for meaningful structural changes have been rebuffed by the governor and majority Democrats.  We are now offering these budget adjustments in an attempt to provide an alternative that maintains support for those in need, while making targeted cuts in these final months of the state’s current operating budget.”

The Republican proposal would close the state’s $220 million current year deficit as estimated by the governor’s office and state comptroller. The proposed mitigation package would restore all $140 million in promised funding to hospitals, of which the state’s share totals $31.6 million. This funding is partial reimbursement for hospitals’ Medicaid expenses and the care they provide to those most in need.

The proposal does not include the governor’s suggested layoffs nor does it inflict a harmful 3 percent across the board cut to private providers as proposed by the governor.

O’Neill says Republicans are instead proposing an alternative to potential layoffs through a two-day furlough for targeted state employees and benefit changes in future years, as well as 15 percent cuts to the remaining funds in multiple state accounts and targeted reductions.

Also in the plan are multiple cuts to the state legislature including a 10 percent pay cut for lawmakers, the elimination of remaining legislator franking privileges, the reduction of legislative caucus budgets by $100,000 each, and a reduction of legislative expenditures.

The plan accepts the governor’s proposed forgoing of managerial raises in the executive and judicial branches and elimination of a revenue transfer moving funds from this year to next year’s budget.

Republicans are also proposing a list of long-term structural changes to implement savings in future years. These long-term changes include capping state bonding to reduce future debt, mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly, changes to state employee health and pension benefits, implementation of an enforceable state spending cap, the creation of an office of overtime accountability and multiple other changes.

Governor Dannel Malloy indicated through a spokesman that, though he did not support all elements of the Republican proposal, that it was an “honest effort” put forth by Republicans, and that he would sign the Republican budget adjustments if they were passed out of the General Assembly.

“With the governor’s stated willingness to sign on to our proposal, all that remains now is for legislative Democrats to act,” said O’Neill.

O’Neill Opposes Inadequate Restraining Order Bill

Posted on March 14, 2016 by admin


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Risks Outweigh Benefits to Domestic Violence Victims

HARTFORD – During a public hearing today of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) expressed skepticism at a proposal advanced by the Malloy administration which would require a person to turn over any firearms they possess to either a licensed firearms dealer or the police if a temporary restraining order is filed against them.  Under the bill, no hearing is required for the firearms surrender to take place.

The bill, HB 5054, An Act Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence, purports to protect potential victims of domestic violence.  Unfortunately, O’Neill says, this legislation could result in fewer protections to victims or potential victims of domestic violence, while removing essential due process protections to owners of firearms.

“Domestic violence is serious and ugly, and no one wants to see it perpetuated or facilitated,” said Rep. O’Neill, a member of the Judiciary Committee.  “However, I have deep concerns about what this bill actually accomplishes.  It is entirely possible for this proposed law to be used by a domestic abuser to disarm his victim by filing a temporary restraining order against her, leaving her vulnerable without a firearm to protect her as there is no due process before the firearms are surrendered.  It’s a tremendous flaw in this proposal.”

O’Neill also said the promotion of these temporary restraining orders as an option for domestic violence victims takes the focus off the option of risk warrants, which are a better choice.

Under current law, someone who fears for their safety can go to the police and seek a risk warrant against someone based on probable cause if they feel threatened.  The applicant need not be a spouse or cohabitant with the individual they are seeking the warrant against.  This application can be made 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, and upon processing, a seizure of weapons can take place in as little as a few hours.

O’Neill noted that the bill Governor Malloy is advancing would require someone to apply for a temporary restraining order if they cohabitate with someone from whom they fear danger.   It does not assist individuals who are not cohabitants.  These restraining orders can only be applied for in the courts during normal business hours.  An applicant would be unable to obtain such an order over the weekend, in the evening, or on a holiday the way they would under existing law with a risk warrant which could be obtained at any time.

“It is unclear if the new bill is intended to replace the existing law, but law enforcement will always rely on the newest laws making the assumption of the intention to update,” added O’Neill.  “This could easily result in significant confusion for law enforcement and those seeking legal protection.”

O’Neill said that in the current form he would oppose the bill if it comes before the Judiciary Committee for a vote.

This session of the Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn at midnight, Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

You Can Help Fix the DMV

Posted on March 13, 2016 by admin


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This Wednesday, March 16, a public hearing will be held on a proposal which would help DMV run more efficiently by allowing the state to expand the types of services that can be perfomed by private contractors — such as AAA. Currently, residents can obtain limited license services at AAA but there are many other services such as CDL licensing or title transactions that could be done. States across the nation provide efficient services and we should do the same.

This is an opportunity to reduce frustration at DMV branches, allow people to get things done more quickly and relieve stress levels for DMV employees and customers.

Here’s how you can help:

Click here to submit your testimony on why you support this bill to privatize DMV services and please be sure to copy me at Arthur.ONeill@housegop.ct.gov. Your testimony can be as brief as you like. Just include your name and town. Refer to the bill as House Bill 5041. Spread the word to others about this opportunity to make government more efficient!

The hearing will be held Wednesday at 10:30 A.M. in Room 1E of the Legislative Office Building.

You can find a copy of the bill here.

I’m here to help with any questions so please contact my office at (800) 842-1423 or Arthur.O’Neill@housegop.ct.gov.

Let your voice be heard!

O’Neill Testifies in Support of $29.2 Million for Region 12 Agriscience Academy

Posted on February 26, 2016 by admin


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Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) has addressed the legislature’s Education Committee asking for their support for a measure that would authorize $29.2 million for the development of the Region 12 Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience Academy.  The grant represents a significant cost savings to Region 12, paying for 80% of the full $36.5 million project.

“This is the next critical phase in establishing the Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience STEM Academy at the Shepaug Valley High School,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Other nearby agriscience academies have all reached their capacity, while the demand for this unique education has been on the increase.  The creation of this new academy will bring nominated students to Region 12, expanding it an additional 50-60 students per year, and to 200-240 students studying agriscience over the coming four-year period.  We will be answering a critical educational need for the region while stabilizing the student population of Region 12.”

Rep. Arthur O’Neill addresses the Region 12 Board of Education as he is recognized for his work on the Shepaug Agriscience School last August.

During a special session of the legislature last July, Rep. O’Neill successfully fought for passage of legislation that established the additional Agriscience STEM Academy for Connecticut, and for additional time for the Region 12 School District to submit their application for the grant funds.

O’Neill noted that a referendum of the three towns served by Region 12 resulted in overwhelming support for the creation of the new agriscience academy.

“The field of agriscience seems limitless, and it will be essential to the agricultural rebirth and sustenance of our region,” said O’Neill.  “The students educated here will be on the cutting edge of that economic resurgence.”

Sending districts of Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Sherman and Washington would pay tuition and provide transportation for their selected students.  The students would be subsidized by the state to cover part of the cost involved with yearly grants provided by the state covering operating expenses and materials needed.

The funding is included in H.B. 5304, An Act Concerning Authorization of State Grant Commitments for School Building Projects.  The bill awaits action by the Education Committee.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at midnight, Wednesday, May 4th, 2016.

 

O’Neill Proposes Measures Enhancing Family Medical Leave Benefits

Posted on February 22, 2016 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) is proposing measures this session of the Connecticut General Assembly that would improve the ability of families to take advantage of the benefits offered by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), allowing families to receive tax deductions when they take time off of work for the birth of a child, and for later dependent child care costs.  The proposals also provide tax credits to businesses that offer on-site daycare options for employees.

“The point of these bills is to create wider options for people who need to use the benefits associated with FMLA, and for employers who support their employees by providing services that aid in taking care of their newborn and young children,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Many companies provide daycare on-site for their employees, and these measures would encourage the continued practice.  For those companies that don’t, this could provide a meaningful incentive for them to consider beginning the practice.  The goal is to help couples that are just starting their families.”

Under current state law, employers must provide sixteen weeks of unpaid leave to an employee for the birth of a child and care for a newborn, the placement of a child for adoption or foster care with the employee, care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition, or when the employee suffers from a serious health condition making them unable to perform the essential functions of their job.

O’Neill noted that although the expenses of operating an on-site child care program are a deductible business expense, a tax credit is almost always better than a deduction because a credit cuts the tax bill dollar-for-dollar while the value of a deduction is tied to a particular tax bracket.

The proposed bills are:

H.B. 5109, An Act Establishing a Tax Credit Program for Employers Who Offer On-Site Child Day Care Options for Employees – This bill encourages employers to offer on-site child day care options for the children of employees by establishing a tax credit program for employers who provide those options.

H.B. 5121, An Act Establishing a Tax Credit for Dependent Child Care Costs – To provide relief to families related to the costs of day care by providing a credit against the personal income tax for day care costs.

The legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee voted to draft all three bills at their February 17th meeting, and will be scheduled for a public hearing in the near future.

 

 

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Rep. O’Neill Appears on “Focus on Connecticut”

Posted on February 17, 2016 by admin


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Deputy House Republican Leader Arthur O’Neill (R-69) appeared on Tom Appleby’s Focus on Connecticut this past weekend on News 12.  Watch the segment by clicking below.
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O’Neill Visits Pomperaug Woods for Capitol Update

Posted on February 17, 2016 by admin


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SOUTHBURY – State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) visited with residents at Pomperaug Woods, a senior living facility, for a forum on the legislative session which has just gotten underway in Hartford.  The forum, held in the facility’s atrium, was conducted on the morning of Thursday, February 11th, and focused on numerous issues facing the legislature.

Rep. Arthur O’Neill addresses residents at Pomperaug Woods on February 11th.

“I enjoy visiting Pomperaug Woods as well as other facilities periodically, not only to update the residents about what is happening up at the state legislature, but to hear what issues are on their minds,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “I am always thinking about what I hear in the district when I am debating and casting votes in Hartford, and this is always a meaningful exchange.  I appreciate the time taken by all attendees to participate in this forum, and I hope to see them all again very soon.”

One topic that received some discussion at the forum was the state budget and how the debate has shifted with Governor Malloy’s State of the State Address calling for a leaner state government with no further tax increases.

Other topics discussed included the proposal by Secretary of State Denise Merrill to register voters at DMV offices, Governor Malloy’s proposed elimination of line items in the state budget which would shield budget allocations from the legislature and the public, opportunities to bring new business to the state, and the future of the Southbury Training School.

This session of the Connecticut General Assembly began on February 3rd, and adjourns at midnight, May 4th, 2016.

Please Take My 2016 Transportation Survey

Posted on February 11, 2016 by admin


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The legislative session has begun and one of the most important issues we will address is our state’s transportation infrastructure. Please take my 2016 Transportation Survey – I want to know what you think!

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O’Neill Proposes Anti-“Doctor Shopping” Bill

Posted on February 10, 2016 by admin


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Legislation would tighten restrictions on ability to obtain multiple prescriptions

HARTFORD – State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) has again proposed legislation this session of the Connecticut General Assembly aimed at reducing incidents of “doctor shopping,” or the practice of requesting care from multiple health providers simultaneously without coordinating between them in an effort to procure multiple prescriptions to either sell illegally, or to abuse.  O’Neill’s proposal would increase the monitoring of prescription drugs to prevent persons from being able to obtain multiple prescriptions for the same drug from different doctors or healthcare providers.

Rep. O’Neill proposed this measure last year, and he testified in support of it when it received a public hearing before the legislature’s Public Health Committee.  He says he is hopeful it will make it through the legislative process this year.

“The practice of consulting with multiple health providers in an effort to obtain a large supply of prescription medication is a serious public health concern,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “This measure would implement a statewide screening network which would flag multiple prescriptions to the same patient.  All prescribers in the state would be required to register with that network. This will ultimately make the practice of ‘doctor shopping’ for medication and the prescription drug abuse that goes along with it more difficult for those who would engage in it.”

The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) also submitted testimony last year in support of O’Neill’s bill.  The organization worked with the Department of Consumer Protection and the General Assembly to obtain a federal grant for the development of the prescription monitoring program (PMP), a pilot program designed to prevent abuse, developed with numerous CSMS physicians.

The abuse of prescription drugs has escalated nationwide, particularly in the 18-25 year age range according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), with the United States Attorney General declaring last year that prescription painkiller overdoses creates an urgent and growing public crisis. Prescription drug abuse is often a gateway to the abuse of other drugs such as heroin.

O’Neill is asking the Public Health Committee to consider raising this bill, and the proposal awaits action there. This session of the Connecticut General Assembly adjourns at midnight, May 4th, 2016.

Rep. O’Neill & Sen. Kane Hail $100k Grant for Gunn Memorial Museum

Posted on January 28, 2016 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and State Senator Rob Kane (R-32) today applauded the inclusion of a $100,000 grant to the Gunn Memorial Library & Museum in the town of Washington on the State Bond Commission’s agenda for approval on Friday, January 29th. The grant will be awarded as part of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Good to Great Grant, bestowed on a selective group of 20 recipients among organizations that promote science, art, culture or the history of Connecticut.

The funds will be utilized for renovating the second floor of the museum into exhibit space, converting the area currently used for collections storage, into a permanent four-room exhibit that “Tells the Story of Washington, Connecticut.”

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“Washington has long offered a unique cultural and historical setting, and for over 100 years the Gunn Memorial Library & Museum has been at the center of it,” said Rep. O’Neill. “The funds in this grant will allow for the permanent display of a number of the museum’s collections which currently remain in storage due to space constraints. I thank the governor and the rest of the State Bond Commission for placing this item on Friday’s agenda, and I thank Museum Director Louise van Tartwijk and Museum Curator Stephen Bartkus as well as the numerous workers and volunteers whose hard work has earned this grant, and whose dedication continue to make Gunn Memorial the cultural and historical hub of Washington.”

“This funding is a testament to the Gunn Memorial Library & Museum’s dedicated staff and volunteers,” Sen. Kane said.  “This was a highly competitive process, and with this grant, the state is recognizing those efforts.  The exhibit will help Washington tell its own story, and people of all ages and backgrounds will be able to come to Washington to hear and appreciate that history.  Those visits will in turn boost Washington’s small businesses. Rep. O’Neill and I congratulate and commend the town on being awarded these funds.”

Located at the corner of Route 47 and Wykeham Road, just off the Washington Green, the Gunn Memorial Library, Inc. is a non-profit corporation providing free public library services to Washington, Connecticut and the surrounding communities. It is dedicated to the promotion of literacy, education, and preservation of the town’s history and culture through the Gunn Historical Museum.

The Gunn Memorial Library was first opened in 1908, named for Frederick W. Gunn, a Washington educator and founder of the Washington Literary Association.

For more information about Gunn Memorial Library & Museum visit their website at www.gunnlibrary.org.

State Rep. Themis Klarides: Failed leadership, taxes, contempt ushered GE out the door

Posted on January 20, 2016 by admin


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This column from House Republican Leader Themis Klarides appeared in the New Haven Register on January 17th, 2016.

House Speaker Democrat Brendan Sharkey recently toured Bristol Hospital alongside the facility’s CEO and proclaimed that he now has a deeper appreciation of all the good work being done by the community-based facility and the challenges that it faces.

Klarides_Mug_200This, after Democrats castigated state hospital executives for months as greedy, overpaid functionaries more concerned with their own bottom lines than delivering quality healthcare at more reasonable prices. Cut CEO pay, that will fix the massive state budget deficit, they said.

In the same breath, the speaker tried to convince the press that Republicans were responsible for massive funding cuts to hospitals last year that resulted in hundreds, if not thousands, of layoffs. It was a distortion of reality: Democrats approved the budget cuts; people were laid off as promised. Republicans actually voted to restore all the lost funding repeatedly in 2015.

The very next day the Senate Democratic president tried to convince reporters and the public that Democratic tax increases and their punitive public policies toward business had nothing whatsoever to do with the decision by General Electric to move its corporate headquarters from Fairfield to Boston.

The despairing lack of leadership in the Democratic-controlled Capitol, combined with the reckless, liberal distortion of reality, and the contempt for private sector business, are to blame for the loss of jobs in the state and the loss of the iconic corporate entity that is GE.

For months hospitals warned of the dire consequences of the massive cuts — $192 million in the initial budget the Democrats pushed through in the spring without a single Republican vote. The Democrats promised Connecticut that their way was the right path, a promise that immediately proved fleeting.

When the layoffs started rolling through virtually every state hospital like a virus, the Democrats railed that the hospital executives were overpaid and responsible for the pain inflicted on their former employees as they headed out the door for unemployment.

In a parallel course, GE and the state’s other largest employers warned for months that if the Democrats’ planned tax hikes went through it would cause them to reconsider their futures here. Gov. Malloy, abetted by his fellow Democrats, scoffed at the notion that these corporations would ever leave, and that they should pay more to finance Connecticut’s social welfare system and services.

As public opposition grew to the hospital cuts and corporate taxes, spawned by Republicans, the majority Democrats decided they had to roll back some of the damage, hoping it would put salve on the wounds.

Too late.

Too late to save the hospital workers lost in the initial layoffs, too late to convince GE they would be wise to stay put. Up until the end of the GE saga, the Democrats blamed Republicans for rooting for failure and overstating the threat to the state if this employer of 5,700 in Connecticut moved its headquarters elsewhere.

What lies ahead? Perhaps under this new found appreciation for state hospitals these institutions will fare better than they have in the last few years under Democratic control of both chambers in the legislature and the governor’s office. But remember, the state faces more massive projected deficits in the next fiscal year and beyond.

GE’s corporate personnel are headed for Boston this summer. Just how much of the company’s combined $100 million payroll will leave with them remains unclear. The major question I pose as we move toward another legislative session next month is, what is the lesson learned?

The events of this last week are not restricted to hospitals or giant corporations but have implications for all businesses big and small. It is not just about GE, Fairfield’s largest employer, but the 65,000 smaller contractors and suppliers that do business with the parent. It is not just about our hospitals, typically any community’s largest employer, but the thousands of other related services and business that depend on them to survive.

State Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby, is House Republican leader.

O’Neill Opposes Flawed Attempt to Close Budget Deficit

Posted on December 11, 2015 by admin


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During a special session of the Connecticut General Assembly called to address Connecticut’s widening budget deficit, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) opposed a partisan Democrat plan that the legislators said was little more than a Band-Aid on a massive wound, and reflected an inability to come to terms with worsening economic conditions in the state, or the role high taxes and a punitive business environment have played in them.

“This budget deficit mitigation package does little to fix the systemic and deep-rooted policy flaws that are causing us to face deficit after deficit,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Until we take those necessary steps we will continue to face future deficits.  It is unfortunate that the majority and the governor are unwilling to face up to this yet – especially when their last budget unraveled after a mere three months.  The Democratic majority serves as a prime example of the observation that ‘those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ Sadly, they have condemned the residents of Connecticut to repeat it with them.”

At the start of the long day of debate in the House, O’Neill stood to attempt changes to the rules of the House to require the General Assembly to adopt legislation needed to implement the constitutional spending cap.  The spending cap was adopted in 1992 with 81% of Connecticut voters supporting it.  For 23 years the majority Democrats have blocked all efforts to carry out the mandate of the people to implement a meaningful constitutional spending cap. O’Neill’s effort was defeated on a party-line vote by Democrats who asserted the amendment was not germane.  The bill they passed creates a commission to study the cap with no hard deadline for legislative action.

The majority Democrats put forward a plan to cut projected deficits of $254 million in the current fiscal year and $552 million next year but does little to reassure Connecticut residents that the state will not be in deficit before the end of the fiscal year. The package makes changes to some of the business tax increases that Democrats had imposed in June and rolls back a little less than half of the cuts to hospitals.  It also raided $35 million from the transportation fund and provided none of the structural changes needed to address the deficits we’ll be facing next year ($358 million projected deficit for 2017) and a $3.6 Billion projected deficit in 2018-19.

In a deeply ironic twist, on the same day the majority Democrats raided the special transportation fund, they advanced a constitutional amendment to create a so-called “lockbox” for transportation funds to try to prevent just such raids in the future.  Unfortunately, legal scholars doubt the proposed constitutional amendment would be ruled legally enforceable by the courts.

In October, Republicans put forward a serious budget proposal in an effort to close the current budget deficit aimed at addressing the state’s long-term structural budgetary issues. Some of the key points (highlighted below) include lowering the state debt by limiting the amount Connecticut can borrow, identifying and addressing inefficiencies in state government, protecting transportation funding, better management of the state’s pension system, and modest labor modifications.

  • Mandatory approval of state labor contracts by both House and Senate. This will force lawmakers to be accountable. A contract has not been rejected since the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, voted one down in 1995.
  • Increase state employee pension contributions and healthcare beginning in 2022 when the current contract expires.
  • Implement definitions for a constitutional spending cap by March 1st in the next legislative session through a bipartisan commission. If no cap is in place, no final action on any bills would be permitted.
  • Cap bonding allocations by the State Bond Commission at $1.8 billion annually.
  • Competitively bid the Corrections Department healthcare contract that cost the State of Connecticut $92 million last year.

The full Republican deficit mitigation proposal is available here.

O’Neill Meets With Roxbury First Slectman Henry

Posted on November 19, 2015 by admin


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Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) recently visited Roxbury First Selectman Barbara Henry at Town Hall to discuss a variety of issues that the town faces, including the status of budget negotiations in Hartford, and the impact of state budget cuts on municipal budgets, ahead of a possible special session at the Capitol.

“I thank First Selectman Henry for taking time out of her schedule to meet with me about issues important to Roxbury,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “It is always best to hear firsthand what the prevailing concerns are in the towns in my district, and this information will be of great help when budget changes are presented.”

O’NEILL AND KANE: ADMINISTRATION CONFIRMS NO SYRIAN REFUGEES WILL BE HOUSED AT SOUTHBURY TRAINING SCHOOL

Posted on November 19, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) and State Senator Rob Kane (R-32) today announced that they have received direct confirmation from administration officials that Southbury Training School is not under consideration as a possible site to relocate Syrian refugees that are heading to Connecticut.

“I have spoken directly to the governor’s office, as well as a spokesman authorized to speak for the Department of Developmental Services, and they both confirm in strong terms that there are no plans to house any Syrian refugees coming to Connecticut at the Southbury Training School,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “A rumor of this nature has been spreading in the community.  Ordinarily I would not address a rumor, but in consideration of how rapidly it seems to be spreading, I wanted to take the opportunity to proactively reassure the community that no such plans exist, and these incoming refugees will not be located at the Training School, according to the governor’s office.”

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“The rumor is not true,” Sen. Kane said.  “Rep. O’Neill and I, as well as Republican legislative leaders, feel strongly that the safety and security of the people of Connecticut must continue to be our top priority.  We share the concerns of Connecticut residents who are worried about safeguards involving immigrants from Syria, and we will continue to press for answers to learn more about the federal government’s refugee vetting process before refugees are allowed into the state.  If additional rumors of this nature arise, we will not hesitate to inform the taxpayers about exactly what is going on.”

Roughly a year ago, the Malloy administration declined a request from federal authorities to house 2,000 Mexican immigrants at the Training School.  While Governor Malloy has indicated that Connecticut will receive 1,500 Syrian refugees, the administration asserts that it continues to oppose housing any immigrants at the Southbury Training School location.

“The administration was direct with me. I was personally told by someone authorized to speak for the governor’s office, ‘Southbury Training School is not an option’,” added O’Neill.

VIDEO BELOW:  Rep. O’Neill receives direct confirmation from OPM Secretary Ben Barnes that there will be no Syrian refugees housed at the Southbury Traning School.

Posted on November 16, 2015 by admin


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We offer our most sincere condolences to the French people and stand with them after the terrible attacks of November 13th.

O’Neill Meets with Bridgewater Leaders

Posted on November 9, 2015 by admin


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Pictured are (L2R) Bridgewater First Selectman Curtis Read (D), Rep. O’Neill (R-69) and Selectman Leo Null (R). O’Neill Visited Town Hall to confer with Read and other town officials regarding upcoming budget negotiations in Hartford.

AJO Roxbury

“If we indeed revamp the budget in response to the projected state budget deficit, there will likely be little time for public comment,” said O’Neill.  “I want to be as certain as I can be about the impact on Bridgewater of possible changes to the budget.  Unfortunately, it is possible that at 2am on the morning before we vote on the revised budget, the budget negotiators will ask me if a particular change is OK. I need to be prepared to answer that question on behalf of the towns in my district.”

The wide ranging discussion included the proposed AgSTEM program for Region 12, the Resident State Trooper and funding needs for town construction projects among other matters.

O’Neill Recognizes Girl Scout Isabella Watson for Service to Seniors

Posted on October 22, 2015 by admin


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In a brief ceremony at the Southbury Senior Center this week, State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) recognized Girl Scout Isabella Watson of Troop #64178 in Southbury for her assistance to seniors in town.  For her Girl Scout project, Watson invested numerous hours painting a bench located in front of the Southbury Senior Center and another bench at Ballantine Park.

Flanked by family and friends, as well as appreciative seniors and staff from the center, Watson was presented a citation from The Connecticut General Assembly from Rep. O’Neill recognizing her for her outstanding contribution.

“Isabella did a great job painting these benches which will be enjoyed by the seniors in our community for many years to come,” said Rep. O’Neill. “She spent a great deal of time and paid special attention to artistic detail to make these benches something special.  I know the seniors who make use of this center appreciate her thoughtful and special act, and I congratulate and thank her for making a great contribution to the community she lives in.”

The benches Watson painted can be seen outside of the Senior Center located on Main Street in Southbury and at Ballantine Park in Southbury.

bench 1

PHOTOS:  Above: Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) with Girl Scout Isabella Watson and one of the benches she painted outside the Southbury Senior Center.  Below: Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) with Girl Scout Isabella Watson with friends and family gathered around one of the benches she painted.

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O’Neill Applauds $1.5 Million Open Space Grant for Southbury and Woodbury

Posted on October 22, 2015 by admin


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Area legislators today applauded the state’s approval of $1.5 million to help preserve 250 acres of land in Woodbury and Southbury as open space.

This funding will go toward the acquisition of two parcels currently owned by Aquarian Water Company.

The first parcel is the more than 180-acre Woodbury Reservoir Property in the towns of Woodbury and Southbury.  This parcel has frontage on Scuppo Road and Old Woodbury Road, contains an inactive reservoir, and abuts three town open space properties.

The second parcel is 69 acres with frontage on Route 64 (Sherman Hill Road) and Tuttle Road.  This parcel is also adjacent to the Whittemore Sanctuary.

Both parcels have been managed by water companies and are undeveloped with extensive wetlands, approximately 10 acres of open water, prime agricultural soils and habitats that contain or support state listed wildlife and plant species.  These parcels are part of the Pomperaug River Greenway and contain the recreationally-significant Middlebury Trolley Bed Trail along with numerous other shorter local trails currently enjoyed by the public.

“The acquisition of these parcels continues our efforts to enhance the Pomperaug River Greenway,” Rep. Arthur O’Neill said.  “I am pleased to see the latest part of this plan come together, preserving essential parcels of open land for the enjoyment of posterity.  This represents a continuation of land preservation efforts I have supported since I first proposed legislation in 1989 to preserve farmlands.”

“We are thrilled that these key parcels of land are getting this protection,” Sen. Rob Kane said. “Preserving our natural resources in Woodbury, Southbury and throughout Connecticut is our common goal, and these funds will ensure that this beautiful land will be around for future generations to enjoy.”

O’Neill: Governor’s Cuts Put Local Town Budgets in Jeopardy

Posted on October 8, 2015 by admin


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Cuts to municipal budget funds by Governor Dannel P. Malloy are placing the budgets of all the towns located in the 69th Assembly District into jeopardy, State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) said today.  The cuts are from previously approved Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) payments, and being implemented by the governor’s budget managing Office of Policy and Management (OPM) in anticipation of reduced state revenue.  The cuts to the towns of the 69th district are part of $14.8 million in cuts being administered to towns and cities across the state.

“Municipalities across the state set their budgets several months ago counting on a certain level of funding from the state for their operating budgets,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Now three months into the new fiscal year towns across the state will be sent scrambling as to how they will make up the difference that state government will now be shorting them.  This is a prime and unpleasant example of how bad fiscal management at the state level creates fiscal difficulties throughout all levels of government.”

Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69)

O’Neill pointed out that the formula used to arrive at the level of cuts each municipality will receive takes into account if a municipality is distressed or not.  This results in a disproportionate share of the cuts being focused on suburban and rural communities and away from larger cities.  According to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities 11 of the state’s 169 municipalities are bearing more than a third of the statewide reductions. Southbury, Roxbury, Washington and Bridgewater are all facing cuts of varying sizes.

“This represents one of the many dangers of implementing a state budget so rooted in unrealistic assumptions,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “The governor and legislative Democrats did not heed our warnings during the past session, and now we have a looming deficit.  Cuts such as these, combined with those also announced to the state’s hospitals, are the unfortunate result.”

O’Neill added that Republican leaders in the House and Senate are calling for a special session of the legislature to repeal the governor’s cuts, and to find more balanced, bipartisan budget solutions.

The announced cuts to State Property PILOT funds to towns in the 69th District include:

SOUTHBURY: $110,805 – 38% reduction.

ROXBURY: $3,999 – 100% elimination.

WASHINGTON: $26,744 – 100% elimination.

BRIDGEWATER: $1,299 – 100% elimination.

O’Neill Congratulates Institute of American Indian Studies on Milestone

Posted on October 2, 2015 by admin


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WASHINGTON – State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) recognized the Institute for American Studies Museum and Research Center this week as they observed their 40th Anniversary.  Located on Curtis Road in Washington, the museum works to encourage the study and exploration of the rich diversity of Native cultures.

Members of the Board of Trustees from the Institute for American Indian Studies with Connecticut State Representative Arthur O’Neill. Pictured, from left to right: Craig Nelson, Ruth Garby Torres, Lucie Swigart St. George, Edward White (Chair), Representative Arthur O’Neill, Susan Payne, Sharon Clapp, Bob Whelan, and Bruce Reinholdt.

“For four decades the Institute of American Indian Studies has been providing a rich and detailed cultural opportunity for exploring Native American heritage right here in Washington,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “I thank them for their continued dedication to providing numerous exhibits and programs to children and adults, ensuring that the history and narrative of our Native American Heritage is preserved, protected, and passed down through the generations.  I offer my congratulations to them on their 40th Anniversary of conducting this essential and fascinating work.”

O’Neill visited the museum and provided them with an official citation from the Connecticut General Assembly commemorating their milestone anniversary.

The Institute’s museum is open to visitors of all ages.  They occupy 15.5 scenic acres offering exhibits, storytelling, music, archaeological history and nature programming for grades K-12.  Their goal is to foster a better understanding of Native American life, past and present.

O’Neill: Washington Set to Get Cell Service Next Year

Posted on September 29, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) today hailed the decision by AT&T to bring cellular service to the Town of Washington as a significant end to one of the state’s most notorious dead zones where such calls cannot be made or received.

Rep. O’Neill was among numerous state and local officials who have been calling for an improvement to cellular coverage in the region.

young asian woman hands use smartphone at city

“The bucolic nature and charm of historic Washington will be safely enjoyed with an updated communications infrastructure that significantly contributes to the public safety of the town,” said Rep. O’Neill. “People depend on cellular communications, and critical emergency services rely on this technology.  I look forward to a speedy completion of the planned implementation of the coverage expansion. I was glad to play an active role in persuading AT&T of the necessity for cellular coverage in the area.”

AT&T announced late last week that they would begin using the Homeland Tower facility at Bee Brook Road to expand their cellular coverage in the Washington area. They will build and mount antennas on this tower as well as construct fiber optic transport facilities on the site by a third-party transport provider. They expect to be operational in early 2016.

O’Neill Recognizes Pomperaug Students

Posted on September 24, 2015 by admin


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Rep. Arthur O’Neill recognized the outstanding achievements of numerous Pomperaug High School students on September 12 for their award-winning work at the 2015 Connecticut Student Innovation Expo held in Hartford last June.

O'Neill and Pomperaug Students

Above, Rep. O’Neill is pictured with the 11th Grade Academy Team that won two first-place awards for Outstanding Overall 3D Modelling and animation fro their Project Think Nature: “Be Filtered” at the Expo.

The students’ achievements reflected their teamwork and dedication on a project showcasing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) alongside hundreds of their peers from across the state.

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is September 26th

Posted on September 23, 2015 by admin


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On Saturday, September 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the DEA is sponsoring Prescription Drug Take-Back Days in towns all over the country, including Southbury, Bridgewater and Roxbury.

 You will be able to safely dispose of your prescription drugs at the following locations at that time:

 SOUTHBURY: Police Department at 421 Main Street South

 BRIDGEWATER: Resident State Trooper’s Office at 152 Hut Hill Road

 ROXBURY: Resident State Trooper’s Office at 27 North Main Street

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Prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is increasing at an alarming rate, along with accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.

 Many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards. 

 

If this is not a convenient location for you, call 1-800-882-9539. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

 

O’Neill Recognized by Region 12 Board of Education for Work on Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience School

Posted on September 3, 2015 by admin


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The Region 12 Board of Education took time at the beginning of their regular meeting on Monday, August 31, to recognize State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) for his work during a special session of the legislature to establish an additional Agriscience STEM Academy for Connecticut.

O’Neill authored and successfully shepherded through the legislature a measure that provides additional time for the Region 12 School District to submit an application for a grant covering 95% of the cost to establish the Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience STEM Academy within the building and academic structure that presently exists at the Shepaug Valley High School.

Rep. Arthur O’Neill addresses the Region 12 Board of Education as he is recognized for his work on the Shepaug Agriscience School.

The Board publicly thanked Representative O’Neill and presented him with an engraved commemorative crystal apple paperweight recognizing his work on behalf of the students and faculty in the Shepaug system.

O’Neill noted that with the measure Region 12 could expect to grow an additional 50-60 students per year, and expand by a total of 200-240 students studying agriscience over the next four-year period.  “This increase will create a more stable school population for Region 12 going forward,” he said.

At present, nearby Agriscience STEM Academy facilities have reached their capacity. A new facility known as the Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience STEM Academy located at Shepaug Valley High School would make it possible for students nominated by various sending schools in the districts of Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Sherman and Washington to pursue studies in this field.

In addition to the state grant referred to above, sending districts would pay tuition and provide transportation for the students they select. Additionally, all agriscience students, including Washington students, would be subsidized by the state to cover part of the costs involved. Yearly grants provided by the state would be used to cover operating expenses and materials needed going forward.

O’Neill Achieves Perfect Voting Record for 2015 Session

Posted on August 31, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) has earned a 100% voting record for all roll call votes taken on the floor of the House of Representatives during the 2015 Regular Session.  The House Clerk’s Office released the data on members’ votes this week.

“I have always made it my top priority to be present during debate and votes on the floor of the House to ensure the residents in my district have their voices heard on critical issues,” said Rep. O’Neill, the Deputy House Republican Leader. “This past session we had a number of important policy issues including budget priorities, jobs and the economy which we cast significant votes on.  I am pleased I was able to make all of them this year.”

Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, and less than one third of his legislative colleagues in the House were able to attain it this year.

Rep. O’Neill has had perfect attendance twelve of the past thirteen years, which includes the casting over 4,200 votes for the people of the 69th District.

During many of those years well over 300 or 400 votes were cast, including in 2005 when a decade-high 460 roll call votes were taken and Rep. O’Neill did not miss one.

Missed votes can be the result of everything from personal illness to the attendance of a funeral, and a perfect voting record – particularly throughout multiple years – is indicative of deliberate dedication and commitment.

The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February of 2015.  Rep. O’Neill is the longest serving Republican in the House of Representatives.  He serves on the Judiciary, Appropriations, Regulations Review and Legislative Management Committees.

Tax Free Week is Nearly Here

Posted on August 7, 2015 by admin


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With the start of school just around the corner, I wanted to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 16th through Saturday, August 22nd.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on all clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Please note: Unlike previous years, this year the exemption has been substantially reduced and will only apply to clothing and footwear that costs less than $100.

Since sales tax is calculated after the use of any coupons or discounts, if the final price is less than $100, the sale is exempt from taxes. Clothing or footwear under $100 put on layaway is also tax-free.

Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities: football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a full list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.

Rep. O’Neill Joins Congressional Delegation and Local Officials to Announce Federal Flood Relief Grant

Posted on August 3, 2015 by admin


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By Bill Bittar, Waterbury Republican-American

SOUTHBURY — A $1.1 million federal grant will allow the town to buy nine flood-prone properties along Pomperaug River and knock down the homes for recreational open space.

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Rep. O’Neill talks with property owners along the Pomperaug River in Southbury who plan to sell their homes with today’s announcement of federal relief funds.

“I’m so glad that coming out of this dark cloud there is a silver lining,” U.S. Sen. Christopher S. Murphy, D-Conn., told a small crowd gathered at Cedarland Park Monday morning. “This land is going to be preserved for generations.”

Murphy was joined by U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., U.S. Rep. Elizabeth H. Esty, D-5th District, Rep. Arthur J. O’Neill, R-Southbury, First Selectman Ed Edelson and two couples planning to sell their homes.

READ MORE HERE at the Waterbury Republican-American

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Rep. Arthur O’Neill, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Christopher Murphy, First Selectman Ed Edelson, local officials and families impacted by storm flooding along the Pomperaug River at today’s grant announcement.

 

Rep. O’Neill & Sen. Kane: Block Grant Funds for Southbury Authorized

Posted on July 31, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and State Senator Rob Kane (R-32) today announced a $400,000 grant to the Town of Southbury under the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program to fund its first Housing Rehabilitation program, aimed at rehabilitating 12 units. Upgrades are expected to include roof replacement, heating systems, window replacement, lead paint and asbestos removal, and electrical and code upgrades.

Both legislators voted in favor of the plan of distribution and grant package when it came before the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee this past May.

“I have long supported the planned upgrade to these housing units, and I am pleased these funds will be released for these essential improvements and renovations,” said Rep. O’Neill. “I know that the grant being announced today will go toward creating improved safety conditions and quality of life at these housing units.”

“These upgrades will make these units safer and more energy efficient,” Sen. Kane said. “It’s great news for Southbury.”

The CDBG Small Cities program is administered by DOH using federal funds allocated to Connecticut by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Funding criteria for the state administered CDBG Small Cities program are developed in an open and public process, and are submitted for review and approval each year by the legislature’s Appropriations, Housing, and Planning and Development Committees.

Southbury is one of 22 Connecticut municipalities receiving grant funds from the program.

 

O’Neill Municipal Reserve Fund Measure Signed Into Law

Posted on July 10, 2015 by admin


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Legislation proposed by State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) that will enable any municipality in the state to create a reserve fund for nonrecurring expenses and costs that are associated with the process of revaluation has been signed into law. Governor Dannel P. Malloy signed the measure on July 7th, and it has been designated Public Act 15-229.

“The revaluation process can be costly, and by allowing towns and cities the latitude to create these reserve funds, they will be able to reduce the financial impact of such revaluations through an established municipal reserve fund,” said Rep. O’Neill. “Giving municipalities the ability to create a smoother transition for taxpayers through the mandated revaluation process will give greater overall budget stability for the towns that implement it. I also want to thank John Michaels, Chairman of the Southbury Board of Finance, for bringing this issue to my attention, and First Selectman Ed Edelson for his support of the bill.”

O’Neill offered the reserve fund measure as an amendment to revaluation legislation during the waning hours of the 2015 regular session of the Connecticut General Assembly.

To establish the reserve fund for a revaluation, a vote of the municipality’s legislative body is required. That legislative body would then create the appropriation for the fund, designating it specifically for that revaluation. Any unused portion of the fund following completion of the revaluation will revert back to the reserve fund.

“I appreciate that my colleagues in the House and Senate saw the merit of my amendment, and extend my thanks to the governor for signing this bill into law,” added O’Neill. “I look forward to working on the expansion of this legislation to cover other similar major municipal expenses in the future.”

O’Neill’s amendment and underlying bill previously passed the House unanimously by a vote of 145-0.

O’Neill Hails Passage of Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience Measure

Posted on July 8, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) praised the passage of legislation he supported during the special session of the legislature last week that contained his proposal to establish an additional Agriscience STEM Academy for Connecticut.

The measure provides additional time for the Region 12 School District to submit an application for a grant covering 95% of the cost to establish the Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience STEM Academy within the building and academic structure that presently exists at the Shepaug Valley High School.

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Rep. O’Neill with Jen Pote and Kim Gallo presenting the Agriscience Program.

 

“With this measure, we can expect Region 12 to grow an additional 50-60 students per year, and expand by a total of 200-240 students studying agriscience over the next four-year period,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “This increase would create a more stable school population for Region 12 going forward.”

O’Neill said that at present, nearby Agriscience STEM Academy facilities have reached their capacity. It is felt that a new facility known as the Shepaug Valley Regional Agriscience STEM Academy located at Shepaug Valley High School would make it possible for students nominated by various sending schools in the districts of Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Sherman and Washington to pursue studies in this field.

In addition to the state grant referred to above, sending districts would pay tuition and provide transportation for the students they select. Additionally, all agriscience students, including Washington students, would be subsidized by the state to cover part of the costs involved. Yearly grants provided by the state would be used to cover operating expenses and materials needed going forward.

O’NEILL: CHANGES TO BUDGET DON’T SLOW COMING TAX WAVE

Posted on June 30, 2015 by admin


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Despite weeks of withering criticism over their budget that hammers the middle class with tax hikes and hamstrings businesses from expanding, the Democrats made few improvements to the final product which will lead to future deficits, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) said today, during a special session of the state House of Representatives.

The session was required because the Democratic-led legislature left unfinished business on the table when it adjourned June 3. The Southbury legislator said the extra work on the budget made it no better, hitting the middle class with hikes in property taxes, income taxes and sales taxes totaling nearly $1.4 billion.

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“Since the legislature passed these whopping tax increases three weeks ago, the outcry from the public and large employers has been substantial,” said Rep. O’Neill. “The majority party and the governor said they heard that protest. However, here we are back in special session, and the adjustments have been modest – hardly the ‘rollback’ we are assured would be on the table. This budget continues to deal a massive and sustained blow to middle class families, employers, and taxpayers.”

O’Neill pointed out that the new unitary tax which, would require corporations to pay taxes on companies that they run out of state, was merely postponed until this coming January, granting businesses only a six month reprieve.

Adjustments made to the budget today roll back only 10 percent, at most, of the original $1.8 billion in tax hikes that alarmed state businesses, middle class families and taxpayers. The Democrats paid for much of the tax rollbacks by diverting more than $100 million in additional revenue from sales tax increases that were intended to go to towns and cities.

In addition, homeowners will also see their property tax break reduced, costing Connecticut homeowners roughly $100 million.

The budget passed the House of Representative by a vote of 78-65, without any Republicans voting in favor.

O’Neill noted that despite the massive tax increase, budget deficits were very likely to continue materializing because the Connecticut economy cannot support the staggering tax increases and ballooning government spending that have been the hallmark of the Malloy administration and legislative Democrats.

Acts Affecting Veterans and the Military

Posted on June 29, 2015 by admin


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Are you a veteran or a current member of the Armed Forces, or do you know someone who is? Here’s a report prepared by the state’s Office of Legislative research that highlights proposals passed during the 2015 legislative session that impact veterans and the military. If you have questions about these topics, feel free to contact Rep. O’Neill’s office at 800-842-1423 or arthur.oneill@housegop.ct.gov.

2015 Acts Affecting Veterans and the Military

O’Neill Discusses IBM Possibly Leaving Southbury with WTNH’s Mark Davis

Posted on June 28, 2015 by admin


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Rep. Arthur O’Neill spoke with WTNH’s Mark Davis recently concerning the rumor that IBM is joining numerous other large employers across the state of Connecticut who are considering leaving Connecticut because of the high taxes contained in the new state budget, and the hostile business atmosphere.  Click below for the video.

O’Neill Congratulates Pomperaug Capstone Award Recipients

Posted on June 22, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) presented congratulations on behalf of the Connecticut General Assembly to two outstanding Pomperaug High School students, Grace Ziemke and Liam Kuck.  The students, both seniors, were enrolled in the Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences while at PHS, and were recognized for the capstone awards they received at the CT Student Innovation Expo on June 6.  O’Neill, a Deputy Republican Leader in the House of Representatives, presented both students with official citations from the state legislature.

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Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and award recipient Grace Ziemke.

Kuck was recognized for his Senior Capstone Award for Mastery of the Six Critical Academy Skills with his project, “Always Aware.” Ziemke took home the Senior Capstone Award for Outstanding Application of the Arts and Humanities with her capstone project, “Mood Swing.”

“I offer my sincere congratulations to both Grace and Liam who have produced such outstanding works of scholarship in their achievements at the Student Innovation Expo,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “The recognition they have received highlights their hard work and dedication, and it is a great credit to them, and the outstanding programs at Pomperaug.  I know they will continue to make our communities proud, and I personally look forward to seeing their future academic and professional achievements.”

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Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69) and award recipient Liam Kuck.

The student Innovation Expo is an annual highlight for the Center for 21st Century Skills and affiliated organizations.  The event is the culminating experience for Connecticut middle and high school students that are engaged in innovative, cutting-edge science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

With eight total awards including these, PHS received the most awards this year of any school participating in the Student Innovation Expo.

 

O’Neill Discusses School Population on WATR Radio

Posted on June 19, 2015 by admin


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On Monday, June 15, Rep. Arthur O’Neill discussed the issue of declining school populations in districts throughout Connecticut, and legislative review of the causes and effects.  For an audio excerpt from the discussion, click below.

 

O’NEILL OPPOSES BUDGET WITH MASSIVE TAX HIKES

Posted on June 4, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) cast his vote this morning against a state budget that increases state spending, unfairly and unnecessarily raises taxes on the middle class and hampers businesses across Connecticut. Debate on the budget, which was the result of negotiations between Governor Dannel P. Malloy and majority Democrats, began around 5:30 a.m.

The spending and tax package, which passed narrowly by a vote of 73-70 in the House without a single Republican vote, raises taxes on hard-working Connecticut families and businesses by more than $1.5 billion.

“The budget passed this morning represents a real setback to families trying to get ahead, and businesses that provide jobs to our residents,” said Rep. O’Neill. “These tax hikes are aimed directly at the middle class- those who can least afford them – and place into jeopardy the future of major businesses that employ thousands of residents statewide. We have heard the unprecedented calls of major employers in this state like General Electric and Traveler’s Insurance who will re-evaluate remaining in the state under these new taxes. Apparently majority Democrats and the governor do not take these warnings seriously, and I fear they will regret it.”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAO’Neill also criticized Democrats for blasting through the constitutional spending cap by sweeping the state employee pension costs offline from the budget, trying to make it appear as though the budget was under the cap while it in fact blows through it – a maneuver never before attempted in the history of state budgeting. Rep. O’Neill offered an amendment on the floor of the House to place the pension obligations back into the budget in the interest of honest accounting, but it was defeated on a party-line vote.

The budget also includes total income tax increases of $442.2 million over two years by increasing the tax rate on personal income, reducing the property tax credit from $300 to $200 in the budget’s second year, which impacts every homeowner in the state and comes on the heels of a previous reduction from $500 to $300 in 2011.

Additionally, the budget also repeals the clothing and footwear exemption which disproportionately affects the low and middle class, and maintains the state’s 6.35% sales tax despite earlier reports that rate would be reduced as an offset to the loss of the clothing exemption.

Of the $1.5 billion in new taxes, $475 million come from wiping out previously scheduled tax cuts for shoppers, businesses, insurance companies and the working poor before they even had a chance to take effect.

Other important parts of the budget include:

• General fund (state) spending for Fiscal Year 16 is $784 million more than current year.
• Busts through the constitutional spending cap.
• Underfunds debt service, which will require more premiums and cost the state more in the long run
• No attempt to make up unachieved SEBAC savings from governor’s plan
• Does not include funding for the GAAP liability over the next two years, one of Malloy’s top priorities

The budget now heads to the State Senate for action there. The session adjourns at midnight, tonight.

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O’Neill Municipal Reserve Fund Amendment Sails Through House

Posted on June 3, 2015 by admin


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During a late evening session of the legislature, State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) proposed an amendment to municipal tax revaluation legislation which will enable any municipality in the state to create a reserve fund for nonrecurring expenses and costs that are associated with the process of revaluation.

“The revaluation process can be costly, and by allowing towns and cities the latitude to create these reserve funds, they will be able to reduce the financial impact of such revaluations through an established municipal reserve fund,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Giving municipalities the ability to create a smoother transition for taxpayers through the mandated revaluation process will give greater overall budget stability for the towns that implement it.”

To establish the reserve fund for a revaluation, a vote of the municipality’s legislative body is required.   That legislative body would then create the appropriation for the fund, designating it specifically for that revaluation.  Any unused portion of the fund following completion of the revaluation will revert back to the reserve fund.

The amendment and underlying bill passed the chamber unanimously by a vote of 145-0.

Update from State Capitol – June 2, 2015

Posted on June 2, 2015 by admin


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The House of Representatives is poised to vote on a two-year budget agreement between Governor Dannel P. Malloy and majority Democrats.  It will raise taxes by $1.6 billion and shatter the constitutional spending cap.  Click below for a video update.

 

O’Neill Moves Election Reform Bill Through State House

Posted on June 1, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined fellow Republican lawmakers in keeping their legislative promise from earlier this year when they pushed through a proposal this week that closes loopholes in campaign finance laws and cleans up the way money is spent during the election cycle.

The proposal was attached as an amendment to smaller municipal campaign bill on the House floor. O’Neill said the bill will save taxpayer dollars, help restore voters’ trust in the publicly-funded election system and would curb dirty money.

“The Citizen’s Election Program was developed with a promise to state residents; the elimination of special interest money from state elections through the use of taxpayer dollars,” said Rep. O’Neill. “Since this program was enacted a decade ago numerous loopholes and end-runs around the law have been created, rendering this program ineffective at its chief stated goal; keeping special interest money out of our elections. The passage of this reform measure will go a long way toward repairing the integrity of that law and our election process.”

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Among other things, the Republican proposal caps organizational expenditures by state political parties, reduces individual donor limits to state political parties from $10,000 to $5,000, eliminates grants to unopposed candidates, bars state contractors from donating to a federal account to fund a state race and reduces all publicly-funded Citizens Election Program (CEP) grants by 25 percent – an expense that cost Connecticut taxpayers $33.4 million in 326 publicly-funded campaigns in 2014.

The spending reduction would save taxpayers $7 million in a gubernatorial election year and $2.4 million in presidential cycles.

The CEP, which funds gubernatorial and state Senate and House races, is a public finance program that awards candidates with campaign funding after hitting a specific private contribution threshold. Since 2008, the 1,185 taxpayer-funded CEP campaigns have cost $80.7 million, according to the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.

The proposal passed the House with a bipartisan majority of 134-12, and now heads to the State Senate for action there. This session of the General Assembly adjourns at midnight, Wednesday, June 3rd.

O’Neill Bill to Study School Enrollment Decline Passes

Posted on May 30, 2015 by admin


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A bill proposed by State Representative Arthur O’Neill (R-69) creating a task force to study declining student enrollment in school districts has passed the House of Representatives.  Under the measure the task force will be charged with determining the cause and consequences of declining school enrollments in these districts as well as the toll they take on state and local education budgets.

“All of the towns in the 69th Assembly District have had declining school enrollment numbers,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “While some of the causes for this decline may seem obvious, a full study of the causes, impact, and potential solutions will better inform any action we may take going forward as we look to adjust school district services with their needs.”

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The task force members will be appointed by the leadership of the General Assembly and will include the Commissioner of the State Department of Education or the commissioner’s designee.

The bill specifies that the task force will report its findings and recommendations no later than January 1, 2016, to Education Committee of the General Assembly. The task force shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or January 1, 2016, whichever is later.

The bill, HB 6979, An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study Declining Student Enrollment now heads to the State Senate for further action. This session of the General Assembly concludes at midnight on Wednesday, June 3rd.

Does the Airbag Recall Affect You?

Posted on May 21, 2015 by admin


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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a recall affecting nearly 34 million vehicles built by at least 11 companies due to airbags made by Takata.

 

The NHTSA is currently in the process of compiling all affected vehicles into a database.  While this is being done, the NHTSA, as well as the State’s DMV and Department of Consumer Protection are urging you to check if your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is on the recall list.

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For developing information on the recall, and to find out if your car is on the list of recalled vehicles by a VIN number search, click below.

 

 

The NHTSA recommends that you continue to drive your car, and that you should not disconnect your airbag – it is illegal to disconnect an airbag even if it is under recall.

O’Neill Supports Measure Creating ABLE Accounts for Disabled

Posted on May 21, 2015 by admin


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State Representative Arthur J. O’Neill (R-69) put his support behind a measure before the House today that creates tax-free savings accounts for state residents who live with disabilities.  The bill, HB 6738, establishes a state program mirroring the federal ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Act.

“This is an excellent new option for those state residents who are living with disabilities to pay for services they require tax free, without jeopardizing current services they already utilize,” said Rep. O’Neill.

This bill requires the state treasurer to establish a qualified ABLE program, as permitted by federal law, and administer individual accounts to empower eligible individuals and families to save private funds to pay for qualifying expenses related to disability or blindness.

It creates the Connecticut ABLE Trust, administered by the state treasurer, to receive and hold funds intended for ABLE accounts. It exempts money in the trust and interest earnings on it from state and local taxation while in the trust and requires the treasurer to ensure that funds are kept exempt from federal taxation pursuant to federal law.

Under the bill, funds invested in, contributed to, or distributed from an ABLE account must be disregarded when determining an individual’s eligibility for assistance under federally funded assistance or benefit programs.

The bill also prohibits the state’s public colleges and universities from considering funds invested in ABLE accounts when determining eligibility for need-based institutional aid. In general, institutional financial aid consists of aid originating from the institution and excludes federal or state financial aid awarded to students.

The bill passed the House unanimously and now heads to the State Senate for action there.  This session of the Connecticut General Assembly concludes at midnight, June 3rd.

O’Neill Recognizes Southbury Veteran at Capitol Ceremony

Posted on May 15, 2015 by admin


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HARTFORD –Deputy House Republican Leader Arthur O’Neill (R-69) joined legislative leaders, Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, and other officials to pay tribute to the contribution of Latino veterans during a brief ceremony at the State Capitol this past week.

The Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Council (LPRAC) sponsored their Ninth Annual Tribute to Hispanic Veterans, which was held in the North Lobby of the State Capitol Building Wednesday afternoon.  The event coincided with the 50th Anniversary of the U.S. entry into the Vietnam War.

PHOTO: L-R Rep. Arthur O’Neill (R-69), LPRAC Commissioner Dr. Ruby Corby O’Neill, VFW Post 1607 Commander James Fernandes.

 

At the ceremony, Rep. O’Neill presented a state citation to Petty Officer 2nd Class James Fernandes of Southbury. Fernandes, who currently serves as the Commander of VFW Post 1607, spent four years in the Navy assigned to the USS Saratoga, and was deployed to the Red Sea in support of Operation Desert Shield supporting the embargo and patrolling the Gulf of Aqaba between Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Fernandes remained stationed there for the duration of Operation Desert Storm.

“I am pleased to have been a part of recognizing so many distinguished veterans at this ceremony, particularly James Fernandes who is a dedicated patriot,” said Rep. O’Neill.  “Since his discharge from the Navy in 1991 he has worked on behalf of veterans and their concerns, now leading the local VFW Post.”

Rep. O’Neill’s wife, Dr. Ruby Corby O’Neill, a commissioner serving on the board of LPRAC, joined in recognizing the service of her brother, CPL Wallace McKenzie Corby, who served in the United States Marines in the Vietnam War in Phu Bai, Chu Lai, and Da Nang from 1965-66.  He served as a Communications Radio Man for K Company, 3rd battalion, Fourth Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

O’Neill: Consider Protecting Your Identity with a Credit Freeze

Posted on May 14, 2015 by admin


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SHOULD YOU FREEZE YOUR CREDIT?

A credit freeze can be a very effective tool against identity theft – a crime which can cost you your hard-earned money and your good credit rating.

 

It seems there are weekly news items about data breaches where vital consumer data held by private companies or government agencies is lost or stolen.  When a company experiences a data breach it is common for it to offer customers free credit monitoring.  This will tell you when a potential problem surfaces, but a credit freeze can prevent your vital data from being useful to a thief, and can limit the damage such a breach can do to your credit.  In the State of Connecticut, any consumer can request a credit freeze.

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WHAT IS A CREDIT FREEZE?

A credit freeze allows you to seal your credit reports, only to be accessed with a Personal Identification Number (PIN) that is known only to you.  A criminal trying to open a new line of credit posing as you would be unable to do so without this PIN, even if they are able to obtain your ID.

 

Implementing a credit freeze does not impact your current lines of credit, and you can continue to use your credit lines as you usually would.

 

SHOULD I GET ONE?

If your credit report is accessed frequently due to work, or you open new lines of credit with financial institutions on a regular basis, a credit freeze may not be for you.  The cost and inconvenience of “thawing” will accumulate.

 

HOW DO I GET A CREDIT FREEZE?

You must apply for a credit freeze individually with all three credit bureaus. There is a cost associated with getting a credit freeze, usually $3-$10 per person.

 

Below are links to each of the major credit bureaus to help get you started.

 

 I hope you find this information helpful.

Public Hearing on Tax Increases May 11th

Posted on May 6, 2015 by admin


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In case you missed it, majority party Democrats who control the legislature’s committees on Finance and Appropriations have produced a budget proposal that would expand the state’s sales tax and increase income taxes in a way that would hurt middle class families and employers. 

The plan also relies upon a radical interpretation of the Constitutional Spending Cap to help them accomplish their priorities.

Among my concerns about the majority party plan is that residents haven’t had a chance to offer comments about how these proposed tax increases would impact them, their business, or their employer.

Republican members of the Finance Committee will hold a public hearing on the bill Monday, May 11.

Click the link below to learn more about their tax plan and our hearing to give you an opportunity to have your say.

 

 

And, have you seen our Republican budget plan?

 

Rep. O’Neill Discusses the Budget on “The Real Story”

Posted on May 4, 2015 by admin


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Deputy House Republican Leader Arthur J. O’Neill appeared on Fox CT’s “The Real Story” on Sunday, May 3rd, to discuss the state budget, the Republican alternative budget, and the proposal from legislative Democrats to increase taxes by $1.8 billion on the middle class.

Click below for video of Rep. O’Neill’s remarks.

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Click here for the full video of the segment.

O’Neill Recognizes Eagle Scout Michael Windover of Southbury

Posted on April 26, 2015 by admin


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On Saturday, April 25, 2015, Rep. Arthur O’Neill attended the Eagle Scout Court of Honor Ceremony for Michael Windover of Southbury (standing in between his parents). Rep. O’Neill presented an official citation to Michael and congratulations from the General Assembly.

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O’Neill Joins Republicans in Unveiling Blueprint for Prosperity

Posted on April 24, 2015 by admin