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Rutigliano, Trumbull Lawmakers Slam ‘Sweetheart’ Labor Deal

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HARTFORD – State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) all voted against a proposed State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition (SEBAC) new union contract deal negotiated in secret with the governor’s office which they viewed as insufficient and inadequate considering Connecticut’s $5.1 Billion state budget deficit.

The Trumbull House Republican lawmakers claim the Democratic leadership forced a vote on the SEBAC secret plan without any independent analysis, and then refused GOP efforts to vote on the Republican budget. The deal was considered so favorable for the state unions that they pushed for its quick passage and were not upset that it was a so-called “concession” package.

Currently, State employee salaries and benefits make up 40 percent of the state’s budget. The deal included extending of the contract another five years to 2027, a guaranteed four years of protection from layoffs and the raises in the last two years of the agreement.

The legislative non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA), which provides a fiscal analysis of all legislation in the General Assembly was not given enough time to provide a truly comprehensive evaluation of the concession plan, something that is routinely done on all previous contacts.

The equally divided State Senate (18-18) choose to wait for the OFA analysis and put off a vote on the labor deal while the Democratic Speaker of the House pushed for a vote before we could get the details of the deal.

“This is a sweet deal for labor union in Connecticut and a bad deal for the taxpayers of Trumbull and the rest of our state,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “I am disappointed the Democrats refused to allow a vote on our No Tax State Budget Plan, the residents are owed a vote, especially considering the majority party doesn’t have the votes for their budget tax hike. The Republican budget proposal would save hundreds of millions more than the deal negotiated by Governor Malloy and does not include the four-year no-layoff guarantee that this deal does. It also does not extend the overly generous pension and healthcare benefits package future retirees will receive.”

Rep. Devlin said, “The pension and healthcare concessions are not near parity with state union workers in surrounding states, let alone the private sector. The pension contributions double from 0-2% to 2-4% and health care deductibles for a “Cadillac plan” will continue to be zero. It is unconscionable that meal allowances and longevity pay, among other benefits, will still be permitted under this agreement while our state social service providers are being cut.”

“This agreement was rushed on us by Democratic leaders without a sufficient level of independent analysis of the costs and savings to taxpayers, while the state remains without a budget in place for nearly a full month now,” said Rep. McGorty.  “The House Republicans have had a balanced budget that preserves important services without tax hikes ready to go since April.  The agreement on union concessions is simply insufficient, and sets the stage for Democrats to push through another massive tax hike on state residents, and I deeply oppose that.”

Lawmakers reiterated that the state of Connecticut has been without a state budget for three weeks into the fiscal year but the unions have their wages, job protection and retirements guaranteed.

State Reps. Rutigliano, Devlin and McGorty Talk State Issues over Pizza

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Reflect on 2017 Legislative Session

HARTFORD –State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) hosted a spirited ‘Pizza and Politics’ constituent event at Old Towne Restaurant in Trumbull to discuss the just concluded legislative session to approximately 20 interested Trumbull residents.

The three Trumbull lawmakers chose to meet constituents at a local Trumbull business over a more formal Town Hall-type event to promote a more casual and free-flowing discussion with constituents.

State House members talked with Trumbull residents over pizza on the major issues that shaped the 2017 legislative session including; the failure of the majority party to pass a state budget by the legislative session deadline of June 7th; an update on the possibility of tolls coming back to Connecticut; how the legislators are fighting an effort by the governor to push teacher pension obligations on to towns; why Trumbull needs to fight for every dollar we can get in the state budget especially considering the state income taxes Trumbull residents pay.

“I was impressed with the large turnout on a beautiful June evening, which lead to thought-provoking questions and conversation. The people of Trumbull care deeply about their state and they inspire all three of us to work hard for them. It’s always a pleasure to meet with residents and keep the lines of communication totally open. This is how government is supposed to work,” said Rep. Rutigliano. Read More →

Trumbull Legislators, Trumbull Police & EMS Trumbull Officials Discuss Dangers of Leaving Kids & Pets in Hot Vehicles

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TRUMBULL – State Rep. Laura Devlin (R-134) joined by State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123) and Ben McGorty (R-122) held an informational press conference along with Trumbull Police Chief Michael Lombardo, Chief of EMS, Joseph Laucella, Trumbull PD Officer Tim Fedor, Animal Control Officer Lynn Dellabianca, and members of Trumbull Animal Group (TAG) to promote the ‘Heat Kills – If you love ’em, don’t leave ’em’ awareness program that focuses on child and pet safety.

Rep. Devlin started work with Trumbull Chief of Police Michael Lombardo last year to design a Public Safety Awareness Program to remind residents about the dangers of leaving children and animals in cars. Together they brought together the full House delegation from Trumbull, Trumbull Police and EMS along with local community leaders to establish the program, which includes signage, window stickers, bumper magnets, flyers and similar items to spread the word about keeping children and animals safe.

During the press conference Chief Lombardo said, “The point of the Heat Kills program is to raise awareness about the dangers leaving children and pets in hot cars. This program is a helpful reminder especially considering 52% of the child deaths in hot cars occur from caregivers who are just forgetful and didn’t realize the child was still in the car.”

‘This is great community program that will save lives. I ask anyone out there to use their good judgment and protect the welfare of your children and pets,” said Rep. Rutigliano.

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Rep. Rutigliano Honored by Bridgeport Regional Business Council

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BRIDGEPORT- State Representative David Rutigliano (R-123) received the ‘Regional Impact Legislator of the Year Award’ at the Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s 143nd Annual Meeting and Luncheon today held at the Bridgeport Holiday Inn & Conference Center.

Rep. Rutigliano said, “I want to thank the Bridgeport Regional Business Council for this honor and for their efforts in promoting pro-growth policies for the state of Connecticut, particularly the Greater Bridgeport Region.”

The mission of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council (BRBC) is to increase the economic opportunities for the people of the Bridgeport region by acting to create an environment for business expansion, retention, and recruitment that will result in jobs and tax base growth.

The award to Rep. Rutigliano was determined by the BRBC’s Government Relations Committee and is given annually to a regional legislator with a record in support of business and legislation relating to improving the economy, and employment opportunities.

Rep. Rutigliano is a small business owner with over 20 years of experience creating jobs. He is a partner in the local SBC Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Southport Brewing Company, Local Kitchen & Beer Bar, and the Sitting Duck Tavern.  David has created over 300 jobs in Connecticut.

Rep Rutigliano has taken his many years of experience running a business and participating in the Connecticut economy and brought those skills to Hartford in an effort to improve the state’s economic situation and increase opportunities for job growth and retention of our residents especially young people.

The award was presented to Rep. Rutigliano by Kelly-Wade Bettuchi, representing AT &T, sponsor of the award.

Rep. Rutigliano is a member of the General Law, Labor and Public Employees, and Regulations Review Committees.

Rep. Rutigliano Opposes CT Toll Plan

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Would Negatively Affect Trumbull Residents

HARTFORD – In the House of Representatives on June 6, State Representative David Rutigliano (R-123) stood in strong opposition to a proposal that would take the first steps towards implementing electronic tolls throughout Connecticut.

The proposal, offered as a strike-all amendment by the legislature’s Transportation Committee, would have requested the Commissioner of Transportation to prepare a state-wide plan to implement electronic tolling systems on the highways of this state.

One of the proposed plans pushed by the Department of Transportation would have ten tolls on the Merritt Parkway from Greenwich to New Haven, twelve tolls on I-95 from Greenwich to New Haven, and potentially 72 tolls throughout the state. These tolls to not affect some of our federal funding would be have to be a controversial congested priced scheme which means the toll would increase during high traffic times.

“At last week’s presentation by DOT, I was shocked at the enormous breath and scope of their tolling proposal. They seem to want to toll every limited access highway from I-95 to the Merritt Parkway to Route 8, Route 25 and Route 7. Also the findings that 70% of toll money would be paid by Connecticut residents flies in the face of trying to get the out-of-state drivers and instead is just another tax on our already overburdened residents,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “Connecticut does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem.  Until we seriously reconsider how we spend taxpayers’ dollars, we cannot impose yet another tax upon the residents of Connecticut.”

The requested plan would seek to identify the highways, or the portions thereof, where such electronic tolling systems may be located and the toll amounts that may be charged; including the use of dynamic pricing witch could potentially penalize commuters as toll pricing would change during peak use hours or periods of heavy traffic.

The bill was tabled after a few hours of debate when it became apparent that the toll proposal would not have enough votes to pass in the House of Representatives.