Rep. Smith Update: Saying “No” to the Governor’s Request for $10 Million to Study Tolls

Posted on July 19, 2018 by rjoslyn


Dear Friends & Neighbors,

As you may have heard, Governor Malloy this week announced he is requesting $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the impact of electronic tolling in Connecticut.

Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly each of the past five years, and it has never gotten a floor vote.  Thus far, significant public opposition to putting another financial burden on Connecticut taxpayers has prevented its passage in the legislature.

In the face of that opposition and despite several studies done prior, the governor nonetheless issued an Executive Order to proceed with a study that he says will show us what a toll proposal would look like and how much it would cost commuters.  I can tell you right now we don’t need a $10 million study to figure out that tolls will place yet another serious financial burden on our residents.

What we should be studying are ways to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses, not more ways to collect revenue from them.

In that vein, Republicans sent a proposal to Governor Malloy to address our transportation needs without imposing tolls – proposals that have clearly been ignored.

To that point, I would like to share with you a letter my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – wrote to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bonding Commission’s agenda.

I stand with my Republican colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request as well.

The Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.

Click on the image below to read the full letter:


Rep. Smith: Storm Recovery Update

Posted on July 3, 2018 by rjoslyn


As our communities continue to recover from the unexpected and devastating storm that hit our part of Connecticut in May, I wanted to update you on the status of storm recovery efforts and clarify the degree of anticipated help from FEMA.

Here are the estimates of the storm damage I received from New Fairfield (subject to change):

  • Debris Removal (assumes 50,000 yards of chipped debris, final disposal  and monitors)  $3,250,000.00
  • Storm Related Costs (Shelter, overtime, equipment, fuel, etc. as of 6/15)  $144,000.00
  • Estimated Home Damage (provided by approx. 220 homeowners, includes property damage estimates and tree removal estimates) $2,500,000.00


In the Town of Sherman, $50,000.00 – broken out by public roads and does not include volunteer hours.

New Fairfield, Sherman, and New Milford have each hired contractors and cleanup is underway.

  • Sherman has finished clearing debris from all town roads and some private roads
  • New Fairfield’s debris removal began on Monday and is estimated to continue until August 8, though this could change
  • In Danbury, cleanup is expected to begin after the Fourth of July holiday


Officials in New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury have been in touch with FEMA in regards to obtaining federal assistance for public land, roads and utilities.We hope to know soon how much FEMA funding each town will qualify for.

Private/non-profit organizations can also attempt to secure federal assistance for disaster management and recovery.  Visit this link for information from the State of Connecticut on how to apply.

FEMA also has information on applicant eligibility and the steps involved with receiving assistance, available here. Relevant information can be found on pages “9” and “54.”

I have been working in concert with local officials to make sure we receive as much aid as our communities will need.

If you are aware of an unresolved issue from the storm or have questions about applying for federal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office and I will be happy to help. You can send me an email at or give me a phone call at 800-842-1423.

Rep. Smith Challenges Legislative Democrats for “Failing to Stand Up” to Governor Malloy

Posted on June 28, 2018 by rjoslyn


HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) criticized legislative Democrats on Monday for refusing to override Governor Dan Malloy’s veto of a bill prohibiting future governors from making cuts to education aid in the middle of a fiscal year.

Although there was enough support in the House on a 103-33 vote margin to override the governor’s veto, the override effort failed to achieve 2/3rd support in the Senate and was unsuccessful, meaning Governor Malloy’s veto will stand.  The legislature also failed to override vetoes on several other pieces of legislation that passed this year when Senate Democrats sided with Governor Malloy.

Public Act 18-35 was legislation intended to prevent a Connecticut governor from withholding Education Cost Sharing funds promised to a municipality for the school year, and was a key priority for Rep. Smith.

“This was a common-sense bill that took an executive power away from the governor that severely hurt towns and school district in our community by cutting funding in the middle of the fiscal year, so it is unfortunate these Democratic members chose to stand with Governor Malloy in opposition,” said Rep. Smith.  “The legislature needs  to take steps to ensure predictability and stability not just for the sake of local schools, but for taxpayers and businesses who are trying to remain in Connecticut.  Failing to override other vetoes – like offering a tax credit to manufacturers who train new workers – shows misplaced priorities.  I am determined to pursue common sense policies like this one to support families and businesses in upper Fairfield County.”

All seven of the governor’s vetoes were sustained in a special session of the General Assembly on Monday.

Rep. Smith and Sen. McLachlan Honor President’s Award Winners at the Sherman School

Posted on June 14, 2018 by rjoslyn


SHERMAN – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) and State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) attended a ceremony in honor of three Sherman School students who won the President’s Award for Education Excellence & Achievement. The two legislators joined middle school students and staff to celebrate the achievements of the graduating eighth-grade class and present state citations honoring the winners of the President’s Award.

The President’s Education Awards program is awarded on behalf of the President of the United States and the US Secretary of Education in recognition of US students for their educational achievements. To receive the President’s Award for Education Excellence, students must meet a minimum GPA of 4.0, while the award for Educational Achievement is given to a student who demonstrates “education growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development.”

Sherman School eighth-graders Kate O’Farrell and Liam Scanlon received the President’s Award for Education Excellence. Eilish Foy won the award for Educational Achievement.

“I am very proud of all of the accomplishments of our middle schoolers here at the Sherman School – they all have worked diligently to get to where they are now and set themselves up for a successful high school career,” said Rep. Smith. “The winners of the prestigious President’s Award deserve special praise for going above and beyond the call of duty to achieve excellence and they deserve special recognition in this way. Congratulations and best of luck to Kate, Liam, Eilish, and all of our students at the Sherman School. I am sure they will continue to make us proud.”

“The President’s Award sets a high bar for our students,” said Sen. McLachlan.  “The fact that we have two winners for Education Excellence and a winner for Educational Achievement in the same school speaks to the quality of education provided by Sherman School and the dedication of the students who attend.  It was an honor to meet these young people.  I hope their achievements and the recognition they received will be an incentive to other students.”

Rep. Smith: Emergency Briefing from Eversource

Posted on May 18, 2018 by rjoslyn


Following the devastating storm that hit our region this week, I have been working with Eversource to assess the damage and provide updates to residents about power outages.  They are working around the clock to make sure power is restored to every customer impacted by the storm.

Eversource’s website has estimated times of restoration for each town. As of today (Friday), they estimate repairs in New Fairfield will be substantially complete by Saturday at midght, Sherman and Danbury should each be complete by Saturday at noon. They thought they had New Milford restored yesterday, but recently found additional damage.

The following is a press release I received from Eversource with updates for customers about the extent of the damage in our area. There is also important safety information on your generator, gas, and electric. I encourage you to read this information and follow their suggestions.

* * *

Eversource Team Remains on Restoration Schedule

Crews Make Steady Overnight Progress and Repairs

Readiness Condition: Emergency



More than one thousand crews and support teams continued their round-the-clock push to restore power to every customer impacted by this week’s intense weather. As of this briefing, 34,500 customers remain without power and 128,000 have been restored.

We remain on-track to restore Eversource customers in the hardest hit communities where restoration is complex and time consuming due to devastation caused by four confirmed tornadoes and a macroburst. Customers can verify their projected restoration time at or through our automated phone system at 1-800-286-2000.

We know that being without electricity is difficult and disruptive to our customers and communities. We sincerely appreciate the support and encouragement that our workers have received from so many people as we continue our drive to complete storm recovery.

Providing information to keep customers safe is a major priority for us during an extended restoration like this one and a generator can be a great backup plan. Installing and using a generator, however, is not as simple as plugging it in. Proper installation and positioning can mean the difference between life and death for your family or our lineworkers. Detailed generator safety information is available at generator safety  on



The Eversource Incident Command Center, as well as Emergency Operations Centers in Newtown and Hartford, will remain activated throughout the restoration. Staging areas have been established in Brookfield, Danbury and Waterbury to receive outside crews and expedite the delivery of equipment to locations where repairs are being made. Coordination calls will continue throughout the restoration.

During our restoration process, we focus first on restoring the largest number of customers possible. It’s important to note that the outages done last are often the most difficult and labor intensive and can take the longest to repair. Restoration may take longer in areas where there are single, scattered outages. These outages may be the result of a damaged service line, which is the wire that runs from a customer’s property to the street. We will work with these customers individually.

Eversource crews are working in partnership with the National Guard and Public Works to clear blocked roads in the towns of Bethany, Brookfield and New Fairfield. We’ve also been joined by mutual aid and contractor crews from as far away as Canada in this push to restore every customer.

The damage from this storm cannot be overstated and our damage assessment is ongoing.

So far, our patrollers have identified:



Restored or Completed / Total as of 5/18/18 6 AM


Blocked Roads 141/344

Electric System Fuses 307 / 628

Broken Poles 263 / 968

Total miles of wire down 51 / 159

Damaged Transformers 99 / 334

Trees to clear 670 / 2269


Our Customer Contact Centers have handled more than 223,000 customer interactions (emails, texts, web inquiries and interactive voice responses) during this storm, which includes answering 15,374 representative-attended calls and 673 fire and police calls.



In the towns of Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe and Newtown, where storm devastation is the most significant, we expect repairs will be completed by Sunday, May 20, at noon—with many customers being restored earlier. Our customer service representatives successfully contacted over 850 medical customers in these areas to provide assistance and to gather more information about any specific damage to their property, and contacted more than 250 customers suspected of having damage to their service line to our equipment. Restoration projections for all Connecticut communities are available at or this link. Customers affected by these outages were notified of these updates through the channel of their choice (text, phone or email). These estimated times of restoration reflect the day and time when we will complete restoration for the majority of our customers, although small or individual outages may still remain where additional on-site work is required. Sharing storm information: Emergency Briefing to communities, including state regulators and the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Storm page active on the homepage Storm safety messaging and damage photos on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (



Information access is a priority, and important updates are readily available:

o    Call us at 800-286-2000 to report an electric outage, or go online at For gas leaks, call 877-944-5325.

o    Follow us on Twitter (@EversourceCT) and Facebook (

o    Customers are encouraged to sign up to receive storm outage updates on the channel of their choice (text, email, phone call) at



All community first responders are reminded to contact Eversource immediately in the event of a downed wire. Maintain a distance of at least 10 feet until Eversource arrives to make the area safe.

We remind customers to be extremely cautious while continuing their own storm clean up. Fallen branches and uprooted trees can be tangled with electrical wires and become energized. Please stay clear and report any fallen trees or wires immediately.



If you smell a gas odor in your home or business, leave immediately. From a safe place, call Eversource to report the leak at our 24/7 emergency number or call 911. Please remain outside until Eversource can check the source of the odor.

Some natural gas heating systems may be impacted in the event of a power interruption. Do not use your gas stove as a heating source – use only approved heating sources.


Gas and Electric:

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.


* * *

I hope that this information has been helpful.  Stay tuned to the Eversource website for updated information.


Please know that you can always contact my office if you need help working with Eversource at or by calling 800-842-1423.

Rep. Smith Votes for Compromise Budget to Protect Local Education, MSP Funding

Posted on May 10, 2018 by rjoslyn


HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) on Wednesday praised the passage of a budget adjustment plan for the 2019 fiscal year.  The budget plan, which passed on a bipartisan vote before the end of the 2018 session, is the result of negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to make adjustments to the budget passed last October.

The Republican budget plan was called for a vote earlier in the day, but was defeated.

Rep. Smith emphasized the budget adjustments fulfill several of his key priorities for the session, including the protection of ECS funding for Monroe & Newtown, fully funding the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for seniors, adding money to teachers’ healthcare accounts, and increasing funding to the Special Transportation Fund. The budget adjustments do not contain any tax increases, a critical requirement Republicans insisted on.

“My goal for these budget adjustments was to preserve the progress we made on the state budget last year, ensure stability for municipalities and school districts, and resist the governor’s calls for revenue increases.  This plan largely accomplishes both goals,” said Rep. Smith.  “Protecting funding for local education and the MSP were of paramount importance.”

The plan will also provide $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects by accelerating the existing tax on new cars. The funding will ramp up dramatically in the coming years.

Republicans were able to negotiate several provisions from their original budget proposal into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million.

Among the provisions in the compromise budget are:

  • $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services patients
  • Reduce Energy Efficiency Fund sweeps by $10 million
  • $9.5 million for cost of living increases for private providers

Republicans also were successful in including some provisions for long-term structural changes, such as allowing for volunteerism at the local level to ease burdens on towns and cities, and hiring a consultant to come up with $500 million in savings for Connecticut.  Republicans also secured language in the legislation that would inhibit Gov. Malloy’s ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did under his authority following the passage of the bipartisan budget last October.

“I would have liked to have seen more of an effort to pay down our unfunded liabilities and make more structural reforms to state government, but that wasn’t in the cards with a Democratic majority,” said Rep. Smith.  “In spite of the odds, however, this plan is a good development for families and businesses in Connecticut.  We are another step closer to making Connecticut more affordable and friendlier to taxpayers.”

The new budget adjustments go into effect at the beginning of FY 2019 on July 1.