Rep. Will Duff Finishes Diaper Drive with Hopeline of Danbury

Posted on October 22, 2018 by jdooley


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DANBURY – In cooperation with Hopeline of Danbury, State Representatives Will Duff (R-2), along with his legislative colleagues hailed the 2nd Annual Diaper Drive as a big success for the greater Danbury community. 

“I am never surprised by the generosity of our residents, thank you to all who gave to the drive. We live in a great and giving community, you always come through when there is a need,” said Rep. Will Duff. “Diapers an essential baby item. Approximately, 250-300 diapers a month are needed for the first year of a baby’s life.”

The Diaper Drive’ collected thousands diapers for in-need families in the greater Danbury region. 

According to state statistics, a month’s supply of diapers can cost over $100. Unfortunately, the vast majorities of licensed day care centers do not accept cloth diapers, and require parents and caregivers to provide a steady supply of disposable diapers. 

Most people living in poverty do not have affordable access to washing facilities. Furthermore, most coin-operated laundromats do not allow customers to wash cloth diapers for health and sanitary reasons. Additionally, most low income parents can’t afford a membership to a discount club like BJ’s or Costco where diapers are less expensive. 

For anyone who missed the diaper drive but still wishes to donate, please contact Hopeline of Danbury at www.hopelineprc.org or call 203.207.4673.

 

 

Rep. Will Duff Co-sponsoring Danbury, Bethel Redding Diaper Drive

Posted on September 12, 2018 by jdooley


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I have teamed up with my Danbury, Bethel Redding colleagues and Hopeline of Danbury to host a month-long diaper drive to help in-need families in our area. Residents can donate opened or unopened packages at one of five locations.

Donate any time from Sept. 13th to Oct. 11th.

Bethel Municipal Center at 1 School Street, Bethel
Bethel Library at 189 Greenwood Avenue, Bethel
Danbury City Hall, 155 Deer Hill Ave., Danbury
Redding Town Hall, 100 Hill Road, Redding
Mark Twain Library, 439 Redding Rd, West Redding

Rep. Will Duff Signs Special Session Petition to Stop $10 Million Toll Study

Posted on July 26, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD – The Special State Bonding Commission met Wednesday and approved a funding request submitted by Governor Malloy via executive order for a $10 million dollar feasibility study for the purpose of implementing tolls, state Rep. Will Duff joined his fellow Republican House members in signing a petition to request the General Assembly meet for a “special session for the purpose of prohibiting the expenditure of taxpayer funds to study and evaluate the establishment of tolls in Connecticut.

The only two Republican Bond Commission members voted against the $10 million expenditure. State Comptroller, Kevin P. Lembo, was the only other member to vote against this request.

“It is very discouraged that the will of the people has been undermined by Gov. Malloy. During the 2018 regular session, the General Assembly decided against moving forward with a toll study due to a lack of votes. The bill never received a debate or vote in the House of Representatives,” said Rep. Duff. “Spending $10 million on a toll study no one wants is a complete waste of taxpayer dollars.”

The petitions will be delivered to Secretary of the State for certification today.

Per the Governor’s executive order for a toll study request, DOT would conduct the following:

  • Prepare a comprehensive assessment for possible electronic tolling on I-95, I-91, I-84, Route 8, the Wilbur Cross Parkway, the Merritt Parkway, and any other limited access highways as determined by the DOT Commissioner, which includes potential toll monitoring and specifies proposed toll charges;
  • Explore potential ways to provide discounts, tax credits, or other value-pricing options to Connecticut residents while ensuring out-of-state drivers contribute their fair share;
  • Explore plans that could reduce motor vehicle fuel taxes; and
  • Study the environmental impacts of electronic tolling systems.

As chairman of the commission, Gov. Malloy has the discretion to determine which items are included in any boding meeting. It was a forgone conclusion that this study would be one of the items included in today’s agenda.

 

Rep. Will Duff Votes to Protect Education Funding

Posted on June 29, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD – State Representative Will Duff (R-2) voted on Monday to override a veto Governor Dan Malloy made on a law, Public Act 18-35, that would have prevented future governors from making cuts to education funding in the middle of a fiscal year.

 

It was a key legislative priority for Rep. Duff to support this policy because many towns in the 2nd Assembly District have been targeted for mid-year funding holdbacks by the governor the past two years. The law had received great bipartisan support when it was initially considered by the General Assembly during the regular legislative session.

Rep. Will Duff expressing major disappointment said, “Stopping the governor’s mid-year cuts to our state education grant was a widely popular proposal amongst the legislators and the residents in my District, especially in Newtown. The bill created budget stability and predictability for our small towns and local schools and school administrators. It’s frustrating to know the will of the people was thwarted today by the Senate Democrats, who walked lockstep with the governor today.”

Today, when the bill was reconsidered in the House, it received a super majority vote of 103-33 to override the governor’s veto. However, when the bill was considered by the Senate it was only passed by a simple majority of 19-10, meaning the requisite super majority, or two-thirds, of the chamber needed to override the action of the governor was not met and the veto was sustained.

 

 

 

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Reps. Duff & Harding Hosting a ‘Stuff a Humvee’ Event to Help Local Veterans

Posted on June 21, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD — State Representatives Will Duff (R-2) and Stephen Harding (R-107)  in conjunction with Veterans Services of New England are hosting a ‘Stuff a Humvee’ event to collect items to benefit local veterans in need.

The event will take place on Saturday, July 7th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m at the Bethel Municipal Center on 1 School Street in Bethel.

What: Stuff a Humvee Veterans Collection
When: Saturday, July 7th from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where: Bethel Municipal Center, 1 School Street, Bethel

There will be a ‘Humvee’ on the premises to collect non-perishable food items and toiletries that will then be donated to local Veterans in need. The Veteran Services of New England is a registered Connecticut not-for-profit, Veteran Service Organization* (VSO).

The Veteran Services of New England assist those in the reserves, active duty, prior service members and their immediate families, includes providing employment, mental health, recreational rehab assistance and other services associated with the transition from military service to the next phase of life and beyond.

“We can never forget the great sacrifice that our brave men and women in the Armed Forces gave so that we can enjoy our daily freedoms. I appreciate those selfless sacrifices and believe that it is our duty to at least provide some basic needs and services to our most vulnerable veterans, this Humvee collection is one small gesture for our veterans,” Rep. Duff said.

Rep. Harding said, “I know that our local community has great appreciation for our military who protect our freedom here and around the globe. This initiative is a great way to support these brave men and women who do so much for us.”

 

Some of the needed items include:

 

Personal Care:

  • Deodorant, men’s and women’s
  • Razors, men’s & women’s
  • Shaving cream
  • Soap
  • Hand soap
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Dental floss
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • “Depends” type products
  • Vaseline and hand lotion
  • Medicated foot powder
  • Nail files/nail clippers
  • Cough drops
  • Vicks vapor rub
  • Reusable water bottles
  • Combs/hairbrushes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Contact solution/eye drops
  • Chapstick/lip balm
  • Individual tissue packs
  • Band aids
  • Wet Ones type hand wipes
  • Q-Tips
  • Dry shampoo
  • No-rinse wipes (for adult personal hygiene)

Clothing:

  • NEW packs of adult socks, male and female – cotton or wool
  • NEW packs of men’s & women’s underwear

Food Items:

  • Nonperishable food items
  • Cases of individual bottled spring water
  • Gallon size spring water
  • Regular “ground” coffee
  • Nonperishable canned goods
  • Packages of hard candies
  • Instant coffee and hot cocoa
  • Powder drink mixes
  • Chewing gum

Miscellaneous:

  • New household cleaning supplies
  • Non-prescription reading glasses (“Readers”)
  • Can openers for nonperishable foods

 

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Rep. Will Duff Hails Bethel Solar Project

Posted on June 1, 2018 by jdooley


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BETHEL- State Rep. Will Duff (R-2) along with State Sen. Toni Boucher attended a ribbon-cutting today at the Town of Bethel’s capped landfill to celebrate the completion of the solar photovoltaic (“PV”) facility hosted by Ameresco, Inc., a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company.

The Town partnered with Ameresco to develop the solar PV project under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Ameresco will operate and maintain the system for the term of the contract to ensure optimal energy production.

Bethel’s solar farm is comprised of more than 2,900 photovoltaic panels totaling 947.7 kW DC and designed to generate over 1.2 million kWh of renewable electricity each year. The solar farm is connected directly to the local utility distribution system. The annual CO2 emissions reduction of 934 metric tons is equivalent to taking 200 cars off the road and annual electricity usage of 140 homes.

According to Ameresco, renewable energy projects like this one directly benefit the Town of Bethel. With 100% of the solar system’s energy generated used to power Bethel’s town buildings and operations, through virtual net metering, the Town’s consumption at key buildings is offset. Furthermore, it demonstrates the Town’s commitment to sustainability.

“What a great way to cut down on CO2 emissions and spur local interest in energy conservation,” Rep. Will Duff, who is a member of the legislature’s Energy and Technology committee said, “This solar PV project will now bring the Bethel landfill into state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection compliance permitting the town to be supplied by green renewable power.”

 

Rep. Will Duff Co-hosting Redding Town Hall

Posted on May 31, 2018 by jdooley


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State Rep. Will Duff will be meeting with his constituents along with his fellow Redding legislators on June 4th.  They will offer residents an opportunity to discuss pieces of legislation that passed this year and other issues pertaining to the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session.   

What: Redding Post-Session Town Hall Update with Rep. Will Duff (R-2) and Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26)

Where: Mark Twain Library, 439 Redding Rd., Redding

When: Monday, June 4, 2018 from 6:00pm until 7:30pm 

Rep. Duff Hails Compromise Budget Deal

Posted on May 16, 2018 by jdooley


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Protects of Medicare Savings, Teacher Pensions, Transportation Funding

HARTFORD –State Reps. Will Duff (R-2) & Stephen Harding (R-107) applauded final passage of a bi-partisan state budget agreement, noting that it fully restores Medicare Saving Plan funds that were cut, add money for teachers’ healthcare and provides more money to the Special Transportation Fund without raising taxes or bringing tolls back to state highways.

“I was proud to work with my legislative colleagues in crafting a budget without tax increases or tolls, while also restoring critical funding to education and social services in our local community,” said Rep. Harding .

“This year the legislature came together and passed a bipartisan compromise budget that I was happy to support,” said Rep. Will Duff. “We have accomplished many good things in the last two years to change the way government budgets, by addressing and reforming the state’s long-term structural problems and moving away from raising taxes on middle class families every time the budget is in deficit we can begin to halt residents fleeing our great state for lower cost states.”

The budget adjustment does not contain any tax increases and blocks the planned fare increases on buses and trains that are scheduled for July 1. The plan will also provide $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects, and maintains ECS funding for our schools.

The plan also includes:

  • Restores $130 million in funding to the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for senior citizens and the disabled
  • Funds the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund
  • Restores funding for the HUSKY ‘A’ Medicaid program for about 13,500 low-income parents who are “working poor”
  • Contains a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million
  • All Municipal Aid, Education Cost Sharing, Town Aid Road, Regional Fire Training Schools, the CT Firefighters Cancer Fund will all remain whole and untouched for 2019

In addition the budget deal features:

  • $5 million for emergency placement for DDS patients
  • $9.5 million for coast of living increases for private providers
  • An additional $12.5 million to support VoAg students
  • $1 million for dairy farmers
  • Restores funding for military funerals

An important victory for our cities and towns, both Reps. Duff and Harding were able to secure language in the legislation that would inhibit Gov. Malloy’s ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did under his authority following the passage of the bipartisan budget last October.

Reps. Duff & Harding Support Bethel Schools with Passage of Construction Legislation

Posted on May 16, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD –State Representatives Will Duff (R-2) and Stephen Harding (R-107) successfully shepherded critical school construction grant funds through both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly during a special session last week.

The Bethel legislators worked in concert in both the House and Senate to gain approval of $11,125,544 in state funds for Anna H. Rockwell School with the project estimated to cost

$24,723,432 with the grant funds now in place, the state will cover 45% of the entire cost of the project.

The Bethel legislators additionally gained approval of $18,498,470 in state funds for Ralph M.T. Johnson School with the project estimated to cost $41,107,711 with the grant funds now in place, the state will cover 45% of the entire cost of the project.

“In tough economic budget times, the legislature has to prioritize how the state spends its money and focus on the core functions of government. Building a strong education system for our children is one of those priorities we must always work to protect. I applaud the state for this much needed local school support. These funds will be wisely invested in both Anna H. Rockwell and Ralph M.T. Johnson schools to add value to our quality education system and Bethel community. This investment will enable our students to go to school in an environment conducive to learning, social development and growth. An investment in education is an investment in our future,” said Rep. Will Duff.

The legislation SB-184, An Act Concerning Authorization of State Grant Commitments for School Building Projects passed the General Assembly unanimously and now moves to the governor’s office for his final signature.

Rep. Will Duff Hails Bill Stopping Gov.’s Mid-Year Education Cuts

Posted on May 5, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD – To protect school districts from the mid-year education grant cuts, State Representative Will Duff (R-2) voted in favor of legislation that would prohibit the Governor using his executive authority to making significant cuts to ECS funding midyear.

The bill, HB 5171 ‘An Act Prohibiting the Executive Branch from Making Rescissions or Other Reductions to the Education Cost Sharing Grant During the Fiscal Year would prohibit the governor from reducing allotment requisitions or allotments in force concerning Education Cost Sharing (ECS) aid grants to towns under the ECS law.

In December of 2017, Governor Malloy used executive authority to make additional, unanticipated, and devastating ECS cuts to our towns and unfortunately these cuts had and continue to have negative consequences on student learning due to staff layoffs, increases in class size, and cuts to programs.

During the public hearing on the legislation, Dr. Carver testified in support of the bill that providing quality educational services to the growing student population of Bethel with fewer resources is challenging. To cope with the loss of $1,083,000 in ECS funding for FY 2017-2018, which occurred due to Governor’s mid-year cuts, Bethel School District eliminated and reduced teacher and staff positions, including in shortage areas, and delayed filling open positions. On top of the loss of $1,083,000 in ECS funding, the school district cut $560,000 in non-payroll items, such as health benefits, school supplies, and maintenance and security efforts in their schools.

Dr. Carver listed multiple negative impacts due to these cuts: including increased K and 1 class sizes, inadequate professional learning for teachers, being unable to provide adequate service to English Learners, not enough administrative support for discipline, and inability to complete school security upgrades.

Additionally, the Council of Small Towns (COST) testified in support of the legislation citing many towns crafted budgets that would address anticipated reductions in municipal aid before the start of the July 1 fiscal year, while other towns waited until after that date to be able to use the accurate amounts allocated. When the Governor imposed additional cuts in ECS funding after the start of the budget year, towns had to cut or delay projects, issue supplemental tax bills and some had to use their reserve funds which “triggered lower bond ratings leading to higher capital borrowing costs. Also because the budget adjustment language did not specifically reference midyear rescissions, towns were precluded from adjusting budgets to reflect the holdbacks.

“I was proud to co-sponsor this initiative. The bill creates predictability for our towns when they craft their education budgets. Towns in my district were hit especially hard by Governor Malloy’s cuts to education funding,” said Rep. Duff, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. “Reductions during the fiscal year are particularly difficult and leave few options for administrators and teachers.”

The bill the House of Representatives 117-32. The legislation awaits further action in the Senate. To track this bill and other legislation visit www.cga.ct.gov.