Image

Rep. Srinivasan Votes Against Granting Financial Aid to Illegal Immigrant Students

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORD – The House of Representatives today approved a bill, amended by the Senate, which grants financial aid to illegal immigrant students. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury), however, voted in opposition to the legislation.

This bill allows illegal immigrant students financial aid to attend a state public higher education institution (i.e., UConn and the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities), raises the age by which such students must have arrived in the United States from 15 to 16, and changes the date by which such students are eligible for aid from Fall 2019 to January 1, 2020, or when Congress provides a pathway to citizenship.

“Institutional dollars provide financial aid to students and these dollars are not limitless,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “They are already fully utilized and paid for by the tuition that students – legal citizens – invest into their education. Our legal citizens need this financial aid. By granting financial aid to illegal immigrant students we are in fact taking away necessary and long-relied upon financial support from our legal citizens. Illegal immigrant students are not eligible for federal financial aid.”

Several amendments were introduced to improve this legislation. One such amendment would have required all students without legal immigration status that are eligible for financial aid to first comply with all United States citizenship and immigration policies and protocols for approval to the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program. Another would have required all public institutions of higher education to adopt policies to exempt tuition payments made by full-time or part-time students who are not eligible for institutional financial aid from the requirement and to set aside funds for such aid. Unfortunately these amendments were defeated.

“Tuition costs are raising,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “College education is almost becoming unaffordable. We need a sound, viable plan to help our legal citizens and not reduce the aid they deserve.”

This bill was ultimately passed by the House of Representatives with a vote of 91-59. It now awaits a signature from the governor.

Rep. Srinivasan Votes Against the Nomination of Andrew McDonald for Supreme Court Chief Justice

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORDState Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) today expressed opposition to the nomination of Associate Justice Andrew J. McDonald to be Chief Justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court. First appointed to the Supreme Court on January 13, 2013, Justice McDonald was recently nominated by Governor Malloy to succeed Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers.

Prior to his being appointed to the Supreme Court, Justice McDonald was Governor Malloy’s chief legal counsel (January 2011 to January 2013), a State Senator (January 2003 to December 2010), and a Partner at the law firm of Pullman & Comley (1991 to 2011).

“My primary reasoning for opposing this nomination is first that Justice McDonald does not have enough experience serving as a judge, and that he has too much relied on a legislative agenda to make his decisions,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “McDonald was appointed to the Supreme Court without even having first served in the Superior Court or Appellate Court. He does not have extensive written records that prove he has heard cases and made decisions that impact Connecticut citizens’ life, liberty and property on a daily basis – like the many judges who currently, or have previously, served as Chief Justice. In addition, I am concerned about Justice McDonald continuing to legislate from the bench, and become, as some call it, an ‘Activist Judge.’ We must remain aware of the important ways in which the executive and legislative branches must work on their own respective responsibilities.”

The bill that confirmed Justice McDonald’s nomination of Connecticut Supreme Court Chief Justice passed the House of Representatives with a vote of 75 to 74 this evening.

Rep. Srinivasan to Hold Office Hours

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

GLASTOBURY – State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) will be holding office hours at the Welles Turner Memorial Library at the end of the month to update constituents on the status of the state budget and discuss priorities for the 2018 session.

WHEN: Tuesday, January 30, 2017 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: Welles Turner Memorial Library, 2407 Main Street, Glastonbury

This event is free of charge and open to the public. A sign-in sheet for 15 minute, one-on-one meetings with Rep. Srinivasan will be available upon arrival. If you have any questions, or are unable to attend but would still like to connect with Rep. Srinivasan, please contact him at 1-800-842-1423 or Prasad.Srinivasan@housegop.ct.gov.

In the event that office hours must be postponed or cancelled, a notice will be posted on Rep. Srinivasan’s website at www.RepSrinivasan.com. Constituents can also sign up for email notifications on his website.

Srinivasan Votes to Reverse Cuts to Medicare Program

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORDState Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) on Monday voted on a plan that would provide funding for the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) through the end of the fiscal year.

MSP is a Medicaid program that helps seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare co-insurance, deductibles and premiums. Connecticut was one of five states whose income eligibility limits exceeded the federal minimum level. Legislators in adopting the budget in October reduced the eligibility to the federal minimum, consequently reducing or eliminating coverage for many of the program’s thousands of participants. The state’s Department of Social Services in December announced it would delay implementation of the eligibility reduction by two months, giving concerned program participants a reprieve from an unexpected jump in their healthcare costs as lawmakers worked to find $53 million to fund the program through June.

“The origin of the legislation that we voted on yesterday can be found in Public Act 17-2,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “I voted against this budget bill in October because of the way it balanced the state deficit on the backs of our seniors. I stood in the House Chamber and expressed my concerns, explaining why I couldn’t support it. As we all know, my worries unfortunately became reality. I supported the resolution yesterday because it was the right thing to do at this time. I am, however, concerned about what will happen going forward. I am afraid that the 2018 deficit will again be settled at the expense of Connecticut’s senior citizens and their health. This is a temporary resolution that extends current Medicare coverage through July – we need a long-term solution that will save the nearly 450 Glastonbury citizens who rely on this program from making very difficult decisions regarding the basic quality of life services they need.”

The MSP plan was approved in the House by a vote of 130 to 3. Among the methods used to restore program funding is a requirement that Gov. Malloy reduce the number of managers and consultants—a provision included in the adopted budget ignored by the governor. Other components include moving human resources-related functions of some state agencies into the state’s Department of Administrative Services, and requiring the governor to find savings in Executive Branch functions while limiting his ability to cut more than 10 percent from any one program.

The Senate approved the plan 32 to 1 in a vote later in the day.

The 2018 legislative session—a so-called short session—starts Feb. 7 and will see lawmakers focus primarily on issues tied to budgetary issues. Rep. Srinivasan will be holding Office Hours on January 30th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at the Wells Turner Library in Glastonbury. A sign-up sheet will be available upon arrival for one-on-one time with Rep. Srinivasan.

“I wish all of my constituents a happy, healthy and prosperous new year and look forward to my upcoming office hours to have an opportunity to discuss issues concerning both our town and our state,” said Rep. Srinivasan.

Srinivasan Says the Budget Looks “Worse than Swiss Cheese”

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORDState Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) followed his opposing budget vote at the end of October with another “no” vote today against technical changes to the current approved plan. He says that the changes, which ultimately passed with a vote of 123-12, did not make the budget more fiscally responsible for the State of Connecticut.

“Hopefully, the budget process is all done and behind us now,” said Rep. Srinivasan, “but I am very concerned that state revenue estimates are not coming in as expected. We are already seeing a budget shortfall of $178 million. I am not convinced that we will even make it through the holiday season before we have to come back to the Capitol to mitigate this deficit.”

“In terms of the hospital tax, my concern is this: here we are amending legislation on the premise that it will be in compliance with the federal government, and that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will reimburse us accordingly,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “Yet if they do not find us to be in compliance, we are essentially adding a tax to hospitals. That leaves a great deal of uncertainty as to what happens next – will we have to come back to the table to make further negotiations? Furthermore, the social security exemption effective date for our senior citizens has been pushed back from January 2018 to January 2019 – this is unacceptable. In this sense, nothing has changed between the budget I voted against last month and these new ‘changes.’”

“The renters rebate, on the other hand, is a great idea that I can support,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “However, with the way it is now written, towns and cities will be getting $8.5 million less in aid than before. How are municipalities going to make up for being so shortchanged? On top of this, towns will get even less money because of the drawback on other sources of revenue, like ECS and Pequot funding, because the Legislative Office of Policy and Management will be using those funds for the renters rebate. Make no mistake, Connecticut is not yet freed from our financial imbalance.”