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Staneski, Milford Lawmakers Remind Shoppers ‘Tax-Free Week’ Coming in August

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MILFORD- With Milford children head back to school on August 28th, State Reps. Pam Staneski (R-119) & Charles Ferraro (R-117) wanted to remind town residents to take advantage of the upcoming ‘Tax-Free Week.’   

From Sunday, August 20 to Saturday, August 26, Connecticut residents will enjoy a sales tax holiday on purchases of clothing and footwear under $100.  

Additionally, legislators are reminding students returning to college, that if they have a valid college ID, their college textbooks are exempt from the state 6.35% sales tax.   

“This is a perfect time for everyone; families and senior citizens alike, to pick up the clothing and shoes they need and save an additional 6.35%. It is unfortunate that we can only give our hard-working taxpayers this once a year benefit, so we urge you to take advantage of it as much as possible!” Rep. Staneski said, “And if you really want to help out our economy please consider shopping and buying local.”  

“Connecticut residents and businesses are overtaxed, and this week provides residents with a much-deserved tax break for hard working families,” said Rep. Ferraro.  “I encourage all Connecticut residents to take advantage of this week and visit local shops. I will continue to work to provide greater tax relief throughout the year.” 

Both Milford lawmakers mentioned that the House Democrats in the General Assembly have put forward a state budget proposal that would raise the current 6.35-percent sales tax to 6.99 percent. Additionally, the Democratic plan would also give towns and cities local options for raising revenue by voting on 1-percent surcharges on food and beverages. 

This plan by the majority party is just the latest to hit the middle class. Over the last few years, Democrats have lowered the threshold from $300 to $100 giving less of a benefit than in the past. 

Everyone should also be aware that, even though this great bit of retail stimulus is timed to coincide with ‘Back to School’ and good values will be advertised and offered by local and national retailers, purchases are not limited to school clothes.   

Tax-Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases that are intended for everyday use.  Goods not covered under the program include items that are solely intended for use in sporting activities and accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags, and wallets.  By law, Tax-Free Week is to run from the third Sunday in August to the following Saturday. 

For more information go to the Department of Revenue Services website: http://www.ct.gov/drs.

State Rep. Pam Staneski Gives State Budget Update

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On Monday, July 24th, the House of Representatives approved the state employees’ concession deal that had been negotiated between SEBAC (State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition) and the Governor.  I did not support this deal and cast a ‘no’ vote.

Let me begin by saying that I have the utmost respect for the employees who do tremendous work on behalf of our state. My vote was not against the employees, but against a system that is not sustainable and one that we cannot afford.  State workers did not create the system that brought us to this vote today.  Our current situation is a result of choices that were made by prior General Assemblies and Administrations.

As a member of the Appropriations Committee I have sat through public hearings and presentations on our current budget crisis and what I have repeatedly heard is that we have little control over spending because most of the budget (over 40%) is attributable to fixed costs.  Wages are fixed, health care is fixed, pension costs are fixed, debt service is fixed, and the list goes on.  All of these “fixed costs” restrict spending on priorities—helping our disabled, improving roads and rail, education, maintaining state parks—that most legislators support.

So the question that I ask is ‘how did over 40% of the operating budget become fixed?’ My colleague Fred Wilms got it right…Choice. The answer is that the choices made by past leaders, on both sides, tied CT’s hands with a twenty-year contract back in the 90s, and continuing with our current Governor, who back in 2011 extended that contract for another ten years and just negotiated a second extension—the one that passed the House—until 2027.

On Monday we had the opportunity to make another choice—one that would “unfix” the perpetual extension of contracts and provide future General Assemblies and Administrations flexibility to address, as the budget director Ben Barnes stated to reporters,  ‘the period of permanent fiscal crisis that Connecticut has entered’.  We did not make that choice.  The deal that was approved extended the contract out to 2027, virtually making that first contract a 30-year contract.

I am not against collective bargaining; there were some good pieces to this deal—wage freezes, furlough days, co-pay changes, and some pension reform.  It also has some bad pieces—no layoffs for four years, guaranteed raises in 2020 and 2021, continuation of longevity payments, and health and benefits agreements that are extended until 2027.

By making the choice to lock in an agreement for the next ten years in an unstable and critical economic climate we have done the very same thing prior legislatures and administrations of did—we have tied the hands of the next generation of leaders.

This matter is scheduled to be taken up in the Senate today, 7/31, at 11am for a vote. Those proceedings can be watched via ct-n.com or if you are an Optimum customer, via channel 59.

Anyone wanting to share their thoughts on this or other state matters can contact me at Pam.Staneski@housegop.ct.gov. Visit my webpage at www.repstaneski.com to sign up for my newsletter, email blast, or connect with me via Facebook at www.facebook.com/RepStaneski.

Rep. Staneski, Milford Legislators Vote to Override Gov. Malloy’s Veto of Affordable Housing Law

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HARTFORD- State Reps. Pam Staneski & Charles Ferraro both voted today in the House of Representatives to override Governor Malloy’s veto of the bi-partisan (8-30g) Affordable Housing compromise bill, HB-6880 and also was overridden in the State Senate.

Rep. Staneski said, “I am proud of the work that was originally put into this bi-partisan legislation when it passed the House in May and equally proud that my colleagues in the legislature continued their support and voted to override the governor’s veto.  This legislation was a modest step towards affordable housing reform which hoped to offer towns an attainable goal of developing and reaching a moratorium. Today the people’s voice was heard in the House, my hope is that it will be heard in the Senate too.”

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Rep. Staneski Statement on Closure of Milford DMV Office

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I am very disappointed with the DMV’s decision to temporarily close the Milford DMV service center effective July 24th. My office has been in constant contact with Milford Mayor Ben Blake and state officials at the DMV to address the concerns of Milford constituents. Milford residents deserve to have their DMV business processed promptly and efficiently.

All Milford residents should check out DMV’s full menu of online services which can be found at CT DMV online services in an effort to alleviate the long lines and wait times at the existing DMV facilities.

Click here for the DMV Press Release on the closure.

Rep. Staneski: DOT Nighttime Milling & Resurfacing on RT. 15 in Orange, Woodbridge and New Haven

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MILFORD/ORANGE – State Rep. Pam Staneski is informing area constituents that the Connecticut Department of Transportation will be performing a nighttime milling and resurfacing project on Route 15 (Wilbur Cross Parkway) in Orange, Woodbridge and New Haven, beginning Sunday July 23, 2017.

The project consists of milling and paving 7.12 miles on Route 15 NB & SB in Orange, Woodbridge and New Haven.

This project is scheduled to occur Sunday, July 23rd through Wednesday, September 6th.

  • The milling segment of this project is anticipated to be performed on Sunday, July 23, 2017 through Thursday, August 31st.
  • The resurfacing segment of this project is anticipated to be performed on Sunday, July 31, 2017 through Wednesday, September 6th.

LANE CLOSURE INFO

Motorists can expect lane closures on Route 15 NB & SB between Exit 55A (Wheelers Farm Rd.) and Exit 60 (Rt. 10, Dixwell Ave.) 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).

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.