Posted on June 6, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representative Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-Naugatuck), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee, joined fellow House Republicans in calling for the committees overseeing the departments in question to hold hearings on the recent audits detailing agency abuse, wasteful spending and questionable payments to vendors.
“I would like to thank the auditors of public accounts for their good work, and for bringing this issue to our attention,” Rep. Rebimbas said. “The General Assembly struggles year after year to balance the state budget while these wasteful and abusive practices continue. We need to hold the hearings and address this reoccurring problem immediately. They cannot be ignored. Transparency is key to exposing inefficiencies and misuse of taxpayer dollars.”
The provision Republicans inserted into the budget last fall allows for the oversight committees to conduct a review of the auditors’ reports within 180 days after they have been submitted. The hearing deadlines for three departments, Veterans’ Affairs, the Connecticut State University System and the Division of Criminal Justice have now expired with no action having been taken on the reports. It was also reported the UConn Health Center gave raises to employees who approved a contract for the interim head of the center, rehired retirees who worked longer than they should have according to executive fiats, and paid some employees more than they should have, according to their contracts.
Currently, three agency audit reports are overdue for hearings, which include the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, Connecticut State University System Office, and the Division of Criminal Justice. The Connecticut Community College System’s hearing deadline is June 17th, 2018.
Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representative Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-Naugatuck), Ranking Member of the legislature’s Judiciary Committee, praised the passage of her cosponsored bill, H.B. 5471, An Act Concerning Victim’s Rights and Restitutions, on the closing day of the 2018 Session, May 9th, 2018.
“This is an important bill for victims of criminal offenses where the individual suffered physical injury or damage or loss of property,” Rep. Rebimbas said. “When these crimes occur, the victims have a right to request restitution for any damages, and that is something the court should determine through a formal process when sentencing the convicted individual. If restitution has been requested as a result of the crime as determined by the court, the convicted individual should be required to compensate the victim in accordance with the rule of law.”
This bill requires the court, when sentencing an individual who was convicted of a criminal offense, to inquire on the record whether there are any requests from victims for restitution. Under existing law, which remains unchanged by the bill, a court is required to order an offender to make financial restitution, under terms that it determines are appropriate. The convicted individual would be required to pay restitution if the crime committed resulted in injury to another person or property damage, if the victim requests financial restitution, and if the court finds that the victim suffered injury or property damage or loss. However, currently prosecutors have the option to decide whether or not to request restitution be ordered by the court. This new law would require the prosecutor to provide the request to the judge and not leave it to the discretion of the prosecutor.
H.B. 5471 passed the House and was placed on the Senate’s consent calendar. The consent calendar is a list of bills from a legislative chamber that are generally noncontroversial and will likely receive strong support. The bills are voted on collectively. Once the consent calendar is adopted, the bill will be sent to Governor Malloy for his signature.
The 2018 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly ends at midnight tonight, May 9th, 2018.
Posted on May 7, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representative Rosa C. Rebimbas (R-Naugatuck), co-chair of the Waterbury Railway Caucus, along with co-chairs State Senators Joan Hartley (D – Waterbury, Middlebury, Naugatuck) and George Logan (R – Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bethany, Derby, Hamden, Naugatuck, Woodbridge), joined other area legislators in a meeting with CT DOT Commissioner James Redeker at the Capitol on Monday, May 7th, 2018.
“We had a productive meeting and I look forward to seeing what our caucus can accomplish together,” Rep. Rebimbas said. “We conveyed our ideas and concerns to the Commissioner, and expressed our strong desire to see major improvements to the rail line. As the population grows in this part of the state, the need for reliable public transportation will only increase. We are trying to get that process moving now so we can avoid major congestion issues in the future.”
The Railway Caucus has been tasked with advocating for improvements to the Waterbury Line, which services Naugatuck Valley. The bipartisan caucus believes that transportation improvements will lead to economic growth in the region, but has recognized a number of issues that must be addressed. Issues include limited service, increased ridership, single track, dated equipment and lack of station amenities. In addition, a growing population will put additional stress on existing infrastructure. Goals include replacing diesel locomotives, replacing aging train-sets and coaches, increasing service frequency and improving station amenities. Proponents are confident that these improvements will spur economic development, revitalize town centers, increase property values, decrease congestion, improve traffic conditions, create a more efficient freight system, and improve health and safety.
“Modernizing this railway is the key to reviving our regional economy,” Rep. Rebimbas added. “It will help our small businesses, assist our commuters and help alleviate stress on our highways. In order for that to happen, we need to make the line work for those who would use it by providing in-demand services, and reliable technology and infrastructure. I thank the Commissioner for his time and look forward to working with him moving forward.”
The 2018 Session of the Connecticut General Assembly will adjourn May 9th, 2018. A vote on the FY 2019 budget is expected, and members of the Waterbury Line Caucus are hoping that the final spending and revenue plan includes funding for improvements. Also in attendance at the meeting were Reps. Ben McGorty (R-Shelton, Stratford, Trumbull), Nicole Klarides-Ditria (R-Beacon Falls, Derby, Seymour), Stephanie Cummings (R-Waterbury), Larry Butler (D-Waterbury), Tony D’Amelio (R-Waterbury, Middlebury), Dave Labriola (R-Naugatuck, Oxford, Southbury), and Jason Periollo (R-Shelton).