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Working to Reopen Together

Posted on May 9, 2020 by Greg MacKinnon


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To the Editor,

We say it, we hear it and yes, we ARE all in this together, which very much includes the action of your state legislature. While the 2020 session has officially concluded because of a statutory deadline, our work is far from over. There are several items that require legislative business that have gone unaddressed this year, namely the $1 billion budget deficit that must be fixed before the end of the current fiscal year.

Our economy has taken quite the toll as a result of COVID-19 and our collective efforts to minimize the effects of this pandemic. Social distancing, wearing face masks, and staying at home have all affected us in one way or another. The silver lining to all this is that hospitalization rates continue to decline and the counties with the highest number of outbreaks have all seen declining curve lines, which are both very good signs that we are defeating the spread of this virus.

Promoting the general public health for all Connecticut residents is of the utmost priority for our state government. However, the legislature has been sidelined for far too long. With no legislative session there has been little opportunity for the legislature to conduct business. Leadership from all four caucuses continue to pressure the governor and his team to allow us to weigh in on several of his executive orders, but our participation in his Reopen Advisory Council has been limited.

The opaque actions of the Reopen Advisory Council are not helping gain public faith. I have been requesting additional public access to the council’s meetings and working documents, just like the public would be able to access certain legislative documents upon request.

Your concerns do not fall on deaf ears. I have provided a survey for you to express your comments on how our state should reopen and I have sent along your responses to the governor and his team. To take the survey, you can click here.

I want to thank all my fellow New Milford residents for many things. For taking this seriously. For helping our neighbors in times of need. For showing everyone that we indeed are an incredible community full of love and compassion. For the birthday and celebratory parades. For expressing your concerns to me during the pandemic with respect. The volume of calls, messages and e-mails I have been getting have been numerous. I get messages at all hours and I read every one myself. I do not falter in my commitment to be your voice and to do that I accept communication on all platforms. If you require a response, and a timely one at that, I highly recommend sending me an email, as social media can be far more difficult to keep up with at times. I will always do my best to keep you updated through my social media and e-newsletters. You can sign up at my website, RepBuckbee.com, if you would like to be added to my e-mail distribution list.

Please contact me if you have specific questions related to your state government. I will always listen. I hope you continue to remain safe and optimistic. These are uncharted waters for us all and we are, as always, stronger together.

State Representative Bill Buckbee
67th District, New Milford