Laws in Effect as of October 1, 2018

Posted on October 12, 2018 by admin


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As of October 1, several public acts passed during the 2018 session are now in effect. Although the 2018 session focused on budget-related legislations, we were able to advance others bills we hope will improve the quality of life for residents across this great state.

One of these bills is Public Act 18-47, An Act Concerning Benefits for Certain Veterans Who Have Been Diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury or Who Have Had an Experience of Military Sexual Trauma. This bill allows veterans with other than honorable discharge to receive certain benefits such as housing and education assistance, veteran status on identification cards, tax benefits, and much more.

Our men and women in uniform courageously serve this nation in defense of our freedom and way of life. Unfortunately, when they return home, their fight is not over. Many carry the burden of PTSD, physical, mental and emotional challenges, and difficulty adjusting to a daily routine. It is our duty to these selfless individuals to provide them with the support and resources they need to rebuild their lives. I was proud to support this bill.

Please click here for a full list of acts effective October 1, 2018.

If you have any questions regarding these acts or any state government issues, I’m always available at (800) 842-1423 or at mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov.

Best Regards,

Mike

Rep. Mike Bocchino, 150th District

Rep. Bocchino Praises Greenwich Hospital for Narcan Donation to Police Department

Posted on August 28, 2018 by admin


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Greenwich Hospital has generously donated 37 two-dose vials of Narcan to the Greenwich Police Department to help our community combat this growing opioid crisis. There were over 1,000 opioid related deaths in Connecticut last year – an alarming number that will only get bigger if we do not take action now. Thank you to Greenwich Hospital, the Greenwich Police and our first responders for their lifesaving work.

Rep. Bocchino Votes to Approve Energy Assistance Block Grant for Low Income Households

Posted on August 20, 2018 by admin


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On August 17, the Appropriations, Human Services, and Energy & Technology Committees held a joint public hearing for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program Block Grant Allocation Plan. As a member of the Energy & Technology Committee, Rep. Bocchino voted in support of the grant. It passed unanimously.

These dollars provide assistance to Connecticut resident, many of whom live in our community, who struggle to pay their utility bills. Specifically, the grant helps those households whose income falls at or below 60 percent of the state median income (SMI, $67,530 for a family of four).

It was important that the committees approved this funding for low income individuals who need access to affordable heat and electricity, especially during the harsh New England winter months.

In addition to receiving energy assistance benefits, eligible households may also qualify for the following conservation services: Weatherization Clean, Tune and Test Heating System Repair/Replacement Performance Measures.

Keeping residents informed of energy assistance benefits available to them is a top priority. Residents can obtain up-to-date information at www.ct.gov/staywarm and/or contact the Energy Assistance Hotline, at 1800-842-1132.

As always, Rep. Bocchino is available at (800) 842-1423 or mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions or concerns regarding this grant or any other state government matter.

“Tax-Free Week” 2018 – August 19 – 25

Posted on August 13, 2018 by admin


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“Tax-Free Week” is right around the corner! Each year Connecticut residents receive a much-needed break from the hefty sales tax we pay for consumer goods.

From Sunday, August 19, through Saturday, August 25, shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase select items under $100, TAX-FREE. With the start of school just around the corner, this is a great opportunity for some back-to-school shopping for the kids while saving money for families.

Tax-Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use, including items put on layaway.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities – football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories – jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets and watches, etc.

The Connecticut sales tax rate is currently 6.35%, which can add up quickly when buying multiple items.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.

As always, Rep. Bocchino is available at (800) 842-1423 or mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions or concerns relating to state government.

Rep. Bocchino Meets with Greenwich Officials to Discuss Sidewalk Installation on Harding Road

Posted on July 30, 2018 by admin


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In 2010, the Selectmen’s Pedestrian and Safety Advisory Board submitted its recommendation to the Greenwich Board of Selectmen regarding potential sidewalk and crosswalk improvements along with potential construction of new sidewalks.

Unfortunately, a section of Harding Road was mistakenly omitted. This section runs from the intersection of Brown House Road to the Eastern Greenwich Civic Center.

As state representative for this section of Greenwich, Mike Bocchino met with town officials in hopes of having this sidewalk installed. If the project moves forward, the sidewalk would provide our residents, especially children and seniors, with safe access to the civic center.

You can view Rep. Bocchino’s comments on the project by clicking here or on the video link below.

In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or comments regarding this potential project at (800) 842-1423 or mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov.

Major Public Acts – 2018 Legislative Session

Posted on June 28, 2018 by admin


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Here you can find the 2018 Major Public Acts report from the Office of Legislative Research. This document contains legislative highlights from 15 categories:

  • Banking
  • Bonding
  • Budget Revisions
  • Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Government Administration and Elections
  • Insurance and Real Estate
  • Labor and Economic Development
  • Municipalities
  • Public Health
  • Social Services
  • Taxes
  • Transportation
  • Veterans

The public and special acts listed in the document are the most significant, far-reaching, and publicly debated acts adopted by the General Assembly during the 2018 session.

Seven bills were vetoed by the governor this year. Despite an attempt by legislative Republicans to override these vetoes, all were sustained due to a lack of support for majority legislators. Here you can find a list of bills vetoed following the 2018 Session.

As always, Rep. Bocchino may be contacted at any time to discuss legislation or any other state issue at mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov or toll free at (800) 842-1423.

Rep. Bocchino Criticizes Senate Democrats for Upholding Malloy Veto

Posted on June 26, 2018 by admin


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Vetoed Bill Would Have Protected Educational Aid to Greenwich

HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-Greenwich) praised the House’s decision to override Governor Malloy’s veto of Public Act (PA) 18-35, An Act Prohibiting the Executive Branch from Making Rescissions or Other Reductions to the Education Cost Sharing Grant During the Fiscal Year. The bill was taken up in the Senate, but did not secure the necessary votes to override the veto.

“I think today’s veto session was a waste of time for the taxpayers of this state because while the House did its job by overriding this misguided veto, many Senate Democrats voted to uphold the governor’s decision,” Rep. Bocchino said. “Education is one area where politics must absolutely be left aside for the sake of our children. This bill would have given our local school boards much needed budgetary relief during a very unpredictable time for our state. It was wrong for Governor Malloy and the majority Democrats who voted against this override to put their political interests ahead of our education system.”

Following the passage of the compromise budget in October, Governor Malloy used an executive order to cut funding mid-year to several towns across the state, including Greenwich. P.A. 18-35, had the veto been overridden, would have prohibited future governors from making rescissions to a school board’s education cost sharing grant during the fiscal year. Towns have asked for more predictability and sustainability from the legislature, which resulted in this bill.

Despite the bill’s unanimous passage in the Senate and overwhelming support in the House (117-31), the governor vetoed P.A. 18-35 earlier this month. While every Republican in the House and Senate voted in favor of the override, several Democrats in both chambers voted to uphold the veto. In the Senate, where the bill initially passed unanimously on May 9th, ten Democrats changed their position during the veto session. Ultimately, the nays were able to prevent a two-thirds majority, effectively killing the bill.

The House overrode the veto on P.A. 18-35 by a vote of 103-33, while the Senate voted 19-10, sustaining the veto. In order to override a veto by the governor both the Connecticut House of Representatives and Senate must re-pass the bill with a two-thirds majority, which equates to 101 members of the House and 24 members of the Senate.

 

Light at the End of the Sound Beach Rail Road Project

Posted on June 15, 2018 by admin


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“And since all this loveliness cannot be heaven, it must be June!”Abba Gould Woolson

As State Representative of the 150th district I promised to keep my constituents updated regularly on state projects that involve our community, one of which is the Sound Beach Rail Road (SBRR) station upgrade.  On Tuesday June 5, 2018 I had my quarterly meeting (upon my request) with the CTDOT and Contractors overseeing the project.  Many residents had reached out to my office over the winter months upset about the lack of work and progress being made.  Partial explanation, one that produced many frustrations over the past 4 to 5 months, is that any and all maintenance by Metro North Railroad (MNR) to address safety concerns has immediate priority over all new construction such as the SBRR project.  In January 2018, MNR safety maintenance was projected to last 5 months and be completed by the end of May 2018.  Due to unforeseen circumstances detected in inspections the outage for MNR maintenance was extended to the end of July delaying much of the work on the SBRR project.  While this has been and continues to be somewhat of an inconvenience, the last thing we want are unsafe rails for our trains, and most importantly, our neighbors who ride the rails.

I am pleased to share that the project is on track to be completed by December 31, 2018. The majority, about 90%, of the construction is currently being completed in the night time hours. Unfortunately, there was an issue with the hand rails on the south side of the station.  Although both stairwells appear to be completed, they remain closed due to a small section of installed rail that does not meet the required CT State safety standards for hand rails.  This will be addressed in the coming weeks.  Moving forward, a permanent sidewalk will be installed on the south side of the station from the upper parking lot leading down to Sound Beach Avenue providing safe passage for commuters.  The remaining center column on Sound Beach Avenue under the bridge is expected to be removed by late September / early October 2018.  Final paving and curbing will be completed in the spring of 2019 when the asphalt and concrete plants reopen.

In an effort to continue to communicate as much information as possible, here is a brief update on other work anticipated over the coming months.

–           The steel for the bridges at Track 1 have been installed

–           Anticipating (4-5) weeks of night work to backfill at bridge abutments

–           Anticipating return of Track 1 to service around end of July / beginning of August

–           Currently working on lower parking improvements (Granite curb, pavement widening)

–           Currently working on upper parking lot (installing New Bike Rack and Sidewalk)

–           Installation of grass shelf in front of retaining wall (behind granite curb) as planned and recently confirmed by town

–           Planning to stain retaining wall to soften feel of the wall once product is approved

–           Latest schedule shows bridge work completed this year 2018 with roadway work completed in April and May 2019

For updated information regarding this project visit www.oldgreenwichrrstationbridgerehab.com

I hope you find this information useful and as always if I can be of service in anyway please do not hesitate to contact me at mikebocchino@housegop.ct.gov. In closing I would like to wish everyone a wonderful, safe and relaxing summer.

Mike Bocchino, CT State Representative 150th District

7 Tingue St, Greenwich CT. 06830 203-561-4899

Rep. Bocchino, CT House Passes Compromise Budget for FY 2019

Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin


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Budget Restores MSP, Fully Funds Education, Excludes Tolls

HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Bocchino (R-Greenwich) voted in favor of a compromise budget plan based on several Republican initiatives on closing day of the 2018 Session, May 9th, 2018.

In recent weeks, House and Senate Republicans put forth two budget proposals for fiscal year 2019. In what would become a successful effort to lead budget negotiations towards fiscal responsibility, and away from tax hikes and reckless spending, Republican Lawmakers secured major victories for the State of Connecticut by laying the foundation for a compromise deal in the final hours of regular session. Specifically, the GOP proposal would provide $16 million for the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare fund and would establish a study to create a sustainable mechanism for future funding of the program. This was something promised to Connecticut educators for years.

The compromise budget restores the Medicare Savings Plan, rejects Governor Malloy’s cuts to education and municipal aid, and because of consistent opposition from Republican lawmakers, avoids electronic highway tolls. Finally, the plan does not include new tax increases, which was critical to earning the support of the delegation. Although Republicans did not gain support from Democratic lawmakers for their proposed union contract reforms, the Delegation believes these issues will be addressed in the near future.

“Republicans took the lead on budget negotiations because the alternative would have resulted in further cuts to Greenwich at the hands of Governor Malloy,” Rep. Bocchino said. “That is something we could not allow, and something that our communities would certainly not tolerate. We drafted a plan that sets priorities for state government and avoids highway tolls, but there is more work ahead of us. I want the people of my district to know that I will not stop fighting until Connecticut’s economy is once again a leader in growth and innovation. Our fiscal problems will not be resolved overnight, but today was a step in the right direction.”

S.B. 543, An Act Concerning Revisions to the State Budget for Fiscal Year 2019 and Deficiency Appropriations for Fiscal Year 201, passed the House and Senate with veto proof majorities and now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.

 

Click on the video below to watch Rep. Bocchino’s interview with David Smith on “Meet the Leaders” – May 8, 2018.

 

Update from Hartford

Posted on May 4, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

We are in the final stretch of the 2018 Session, and I am happy to report that House Republicans made progress this week in the struggle to provide stability and predictability to the State of Connecticut

Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Proposal

On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers released our second balanced budget proposal for FY 2019. Our plan does the following:

  • Pays down unfunded liabilities
  • Fully funds teachers’ pension plan and retired teachers’ healthcare fund
  • Provides more municipal funding to Greenwich compared to Governor Malloy’s 2019 proposal
  • Fully restores Medicare Savings Plan
  • Provides assistance to the most vulnerable, including those living with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Accomplishes the above without introducing new tax increases

Republican Revised FY 2019 State Budget Proposal

Governor’s Judicial Nominations

This year, the governor nominated thirty-one judges to the State Superior Court, which comes at a substantial cost to taxpayers. While I acknowledge their individual qualifications, we simply cannot afford more judges at this time. Between salaries, benefits and pension costs, these positions would add millions to our state expenses, and we have yet to see a spending plan from majority Democrats.

My Republican colleagues and I voted no on these nominations because it was the responsible thing to do, but unfortunately, they were approved on party-line votes.

Toll Bill Blocked for this session

To end on a positive note, I am happy to report that after months of Republican opposition, the Speaker of the House has decided not to call for a vote on tolls because he no longer has the votes.

Tolls are just another tax on Connecticut residents, and I do not support their installation. With that said, I have no doubt that the majority party will attempt to revive the toll debate in the future, but we will be ready.

I will keep you updated on any new developments during these final days of session. Until then, please contact me at (800) 842-1423 or mike.bocchino@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions or concerns regarding state government.

 

Best Regards,

Mike

Rep. Mike Bocchino

150th District