Rep. Yaccarino Supports Bill Requiring Holocaust Education in Social Studies Curriculum

Posted on May 8, 2018 by admin


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State Representative Dave Yaccarino (R-87), voted in favor of S.B. 452, An Act Concerning the Inclusion of Holocaust and Genocide Education and Awareness in the Social Studies Curriculum.

The legislation seeks to include Holocaust and genocide education awareness in the social studies curriculum within public schools in our state.

“We have not previously done enough to educate our youth regarding history,” said Rep. Yaccarino. “We must be sure that an understanding of history is gained, so that they may know that the holocaust was one of the most horrendous instances of genocide. The reality is that it was not the first and will unfortunately not be the last. Education and understanding is key to prevention. We must do everything in our power to prevent this from happening in the future.”

According to the legislation, school districts would be permitted to avail themselves of existing and appropriate materials and resources, as well as accept gifts, grants and donations, designed for the development and implementation of Holocaust and genocide education and awareness.

The proposal has been endorsed by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). According to the ADL, 2017 was the highest single year increase in anti-Semitic acts since its first audit in 1979. Of the 1,986 incidents that occurred in the United States, 457 of them occurred in K-12 schools. This was a 94 percent increase from the previous year.

This bill would take effect for the upcoming school year beginning in the fall of 2018. Boards of Education are encouraged to utilize both existing material, public and private, as well as outside gifts, grants, donations and in-kind donations. Rep. Yaccarino and his colleagues in the legislature introduced and passed this legislation because they believe educating the public about these events is the most effective way to combat them in the future.

S.B. 452 passed the House unanimously and is now in concurrence with the Senate. The bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.

Republican Lawmakers Release Revised FY 2019 State Budget Proposal

Posted on May 2, 2018 by Admin


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Focus on Stabilization of Connecticut’s Future

HARTFORD – Today Republican lawmakers released their second complete balanced budget proposal this year to stabilize the state budget in fiscal year 2019 and beyond.

The revised Republican proposal takes into consideration the revised projected deficit, the impact of a delay in federal hospital reimbursements which will boost revenue in fiscal year 2019 by over $400 million, and the need to restore the Medicare Savings Program in full. This revised plan fully balances next year’s budget, reduces future deficits, restores funding for the core functions of government, and does not include any new tax increases. It also implements policies to achieve long-term savings to create stability and predictability in future years.

“While on paper it may appear that the state is suddenly flush with new cash in fiscal year 2019 as a result of the hospital deal delay, we cannot let the overspending mistakes of the past be repeated,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “We have to be responsible about how we budget if we want our state to grow, thrive and prosper. This budget proposal is about stabilization. We address the FY 2018 problem so we can focus on putting the state on the right path in FY 2019 and beyond. This revised Republican budget takes into account the revenue shift from 2018 to 2019 and manages this funding in a way that preserves core services without adding new unaffordable burdens onto our state. Year after year Connecticut has made promises it cannot afford to keep. This budget stops that practice. It gets our fiscal house in order today and puts Connecticut on a path to stability and predictability for generations to come.”

“This proposal not only balances the budget today, but results in significant long-term savings,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby). “Instead of making new promises that the state cannot afford in future years, it resolves today’s issues, upholds the state’s commitments to vulnerable populations, and reduces Connecticut’s future deficits and unfunded liabilities.”

“We’ve taken into consideration feedback from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and we believe this revised budget is something both Republicans and Democrats can get behind as a pathway forward for our state,” said Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme) and Representative Melissa Ziobron (R-East Haddam), co-chair and ranking member of the state’s Appropriations Committee.

Recognizing the impact of the hospital deal delay and updated numbers, this revised budget would restore additional funding to core services beyond the initial Republican budget proposed in the Appropriations Committee. It would allow for full restoration of the Medicare Savings Program, additional funding for the Retired Teachers’ Health Care Fund, and eliminate certain savings that were criticized by Democrats in an effort to build consensus and garner bipartisan support. In addition, it contains no new tax increases, results in a surplus in fiscal year 2019 of $17 million, and contains policy recommendations that reduce the fiscal year 2020 deficit by $800 million.

After mitigating the fiscal year 2018 deficit utilizing revenue in the state’s budget reserve fund, this plan will still leave the state’s rainy day fund with $864.5 million at the end of fiscal year 2019.

 

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Assistance Deal Raises Questions Over State Bond Cap Limits, House GOP Leader Klarides Says

Posted on April 26, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – The costly Hartford assistance deal signed off on by Gov. Malloy has raised questions concerning the state bond cap and how Connecticut will account for the $534 million in city debt it has assumed for the next two decades.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today questioned whether the additional borrowing costs will exceed the state bond cap and whether needed construction projects, and future construction jobs around the state, might have to be defunded in order to stay under the cap.

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REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS PROPOSE STATE BUDGET

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Admin


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RESTORES FUNDING FOR CORE SERVICES, PROVIDES STABILITY AND PREDICTABILITY

HARTFORD – Republican lawmakers today announced that the Appropriations Committee will hold a vote on a state budget proposal offered by Republican legislators.

The Republican proposal fully balances the fiscal year 2019 budget and eliminates the projected $321.5 million deficit. It includes policies to address the state’s long term unfunded liabilities and put the state on a path toward stability and predictability. Instead of spending one-time revenue or relying on massive tax increases, it upholds the principles of the volatility cap agreed to in the bipartisan budget to stop the practice of relying on unpredictable revenue and making promises the state cannot afford. It fully funds the Special Transportation Fund, restores funding for the Medicare Savings Program, and eliminates many of the governor’s proposals to increase taxes and drastically reduce education funding and municipal aid.

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How We Balance the Budget

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Admin


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1) Annualize Some Gubernatorial Holdbacks. Holdbacks imposed on sensitive issues were not annualized.

2) Across the Board Reductions of 5 – 7 % to Specified Accounts. Cuts were withheld from most vital or vulnerable services.

3) Make Managerial and Overtime Reductions Mandatory. These savings were included in the bipartisan budget. However, Governor Malloy refused to implement these savings. This plan would make the agreed to reductions mandatory.

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Prioritize Progress

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Admin


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“For 120 years, we at the DOT have planned improvements based on money that we think will be available from revenue streams, and therefore we are always struggling to have barely functioning transportation systems.”

–James Redeker, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation (Danbury News Times, January 21, 2015)

In every state, transportation plays a vital role in economic development and quality of life. Here in Connecticut, transportation has been ignored for far too long. Funding has been unpredictable and unreliable and funds intended for transportation projects have often been siphoned off to spend elsewhere. As a result our transportation system is far from where it needs to be to foster growth and advancement.

Read the full Plan

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Other Noteworthy Policy & Budgetary Changes

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Admin


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Medicare Savings Program

  • Under current law, if nothing is done to change MSP beginning July 1, 2018 then 59,960 people will lose MSP coverage and 31,613 will see a reduced benefit.
  • This plan proposes to change income limits for eligibility to restore coverage for 158,099 people. This will cost the state $73.2 million over the existing budget for FY 2019.

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Revenue Changes

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Admin


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  • Some items in the enacted budget we recognize cannot be achieved at this point. Therefore, we have to first reflect what cannot be achieved in the enacted budget to better estimate what revenue we are actually working with. We propose the following:
    • Eliminate the $17.8 million carry forward from FY 2018 into FY 2019 (which must be used in FY 18 deficit mitigation).
    • The following were compromise proposals included in the bipartisan budget that the governor is counting on for funding. However OPM has never identified these fee increases or expenditures. Therefore, we are choosing not to implement these policies which OPM has failed to define.
      • Eliminate the requirement to increase tax expenditures by $10 million.
      • Eliminate $20 million in fee increases.

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House Passes Bipartisan Pay Equity Bill for the State of Connecticut

Posted on April 20, 2018 by admin


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Yesterday, The House of Representatives passed a bipartisan Pay Equity bill, which brought all stakeholders to the table, including members of the business community. Rep. Mike Bocchino, Ranking Republican Member of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, called the legislation “A bill for the State of Connecticut,” and stressed the willingness of both parties to come together to promote equal pay for equal work. The bill, H.B. 5386, An Act Concerning Various Pay Equity and Fairness Matters, prohibits employers from asking prospective employees about their wage or salary history, hence protecting them from wage discrimination. This is a great accomplishment for Connecticut, and the House Republican Caucus is proud of its role in the process.

 

Documentation

Posted on April 20, 2018 by Admin