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Rep. Michael Ferguson: Nighttime Milling and Resurfacing Project, Route 37 in Danbury and New Fairfield

Posted on August 16, 2018 by jdooley


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The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that a nighttime milling and resurfacing project will be performed on Route 37, in Danbury and New Fairfield, beginning Sunday, August 19, 2018. 

The project consists of milling and resurfacing a 2.49 mile segment of Route 37, in Danbury and New Fairfield. This project is scheduled to occur from 8:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Sunday, August 19, 2018 to the morning of Thursday, August 30, 2018.

This project is included in the Department of Transportation’s 2018 Vendor Resurfacing Program. 

LANE CLOSURE INFO

Motorists can expect lane closures on Route 37 between Barnum Road and Route 39 (Brush Hill Road).  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.

Statement from State Rep. Michael Ferguson on Gov. Malloy’s Announcement of a Study on Tolls

Posted on July 18, 2018 by jdooley


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Statement from State Rep. Michael Ferguson on Gov. Malloy’s Announcement of a Study on Tolls

“Unfortunately, Governor Malloy plans to ignore the ‘will of the people’ and push for a way to bring tolls to Connecticut highways. Spending $10 million on a toll study when the people of our state voiced loud opposition to tolling in wasting value tax dollars that could and should be spent on helping our most vulnerable residents.

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.

In recent years, the issue of tolls has been studied many times. The governor seems to be looking for a study with a pre-determined outcome. Ultimately, I have opposed bringing back tolls because families and taxpayers can’t afford another tax. Living in Connecticut is already more expensive than other states.

My colleagues and I have proposed a plan to fix our state roads and bridges, without taxes or tolls—by prioritizing existing dollars. The governor should read our fiscally sound  transportation plan and abandon this ill-conceived $10 million waste of a study.”

State Rep. Michael Ferguson Op-ed: Making CT More Business Friendly

Posted on July 2, 2018 by jdooley


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We hear every day that Connecticut’s economy and business community needs a jumpstart and revitalization. That is why I was disappointed after the State Senate voted to sustain Governor Malloy’s veto of an important piece of bipartisan legislation designed to help small businesses and manufacturers across Connecticut, failing to even allow the House of Representatives to take up the bill.

As someone that is a strong supporter of education and skilled labor jobs, I supported a bill, S.B. 261 – An Act Extending the Manufacturing Apprenticeship Tax Credit to Pass-Through Entities – would allow pass-through companies – those set up as S corporations or limited liability companies (LLCs) that pass business profits to the owner and are taxed at his or her individual rate – to utilize the apprenticeship tax credit when filing personal income taxes. The manufacturing apprenticeship credit is equivalent to the lesser of $6 per hour, $7,500, or 50% of the actual apprenticeship wages for each apprentice employed by a given company, and expires on a schedule determined by the length of the apprenticeship. The tax credit is currently available to C Corporations.

This legislation received unanimous approval during the regular session and would have provided access to good-paying jobs and training for hundreds of Connecticut residents.

Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats’ voted in lockstep against this job-creating measure. Their lack of will to oppose their own governor is a failure; for our business community, and the workers and students looking for entry into in-demand, quality careers.

A recent survey of 48 local businesses on behalf of the Connecticut Association of Smaller Manufacturers (CASM) showed that 85% of Connecticut’s small manufacturing businesses are organized as S-corporations or LLCs. Further, 65% of respondents said the tax credit would allow them to hire between 1-3 new employees, and 15% said they could hire more than 4 new employees. This failure to override means approximately 121 new jobs will not be created.

This bill would have encouraged businesses to hire more workers, especially workers coming from vocational training or switching careers. Connecticut needs to stop putting roadblocks up for businesses and prospective employees.

Last week, an opportunity was missed to make Connecticut more business friendly.  Let’s try to not miss any more.

Rep. Ferguson Votes to Support Education Funding

Posted on June 29, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD – State Representative Michael Ferguson (R-138) applauded the House of Representative’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 am extremely disappointed the General Assembly did not fully support a vote to override the governor. New Fairfield and surrounding communities need predictably and reliability when they write their town budgets. Proposing mid-year cuts to education after local budgets are set and voted on by the town are unfair to the taxpayers of that community,” said Rep. Ferguson.   

Following its initial passage in the House and Senate, the governor vetoed the bill earlier this month. While Republicans in the House and Senate voted in favor of the override, several Democrats in both chambers voted to uphold the veto. In the Senate, the nays were able to prevent a two-thirds majority in favor of an override, even though the bill was passed 36-0 in May. 

In December of 2017, Governor Malloy proposed using his executive authority to make additional, unanticipated, and devastating ECS cuts to our towns that would have had negative consequences on student learning and possible staff layoffs, increases in class size, or cuts to programs.

Rep. Ferguson Named to “40 Under Forty” List

Posted on June 20, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD—State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) has been recognized for his “uncommon commitment” to give back to the residents of this state.

The Fairfield County Business Journal has named Ferguson to its annual 40-Under-Forty list, which honors people under 40 years old for their leadership, service and passion for what they do.

The 40 Under Forty 2018 winners were celebrated on June 19 at the Italian Center at 1620 Newfield Ave. in Stamford.

Rep. Ferguson currently teaches history and political science at Post University in Waterbury. He earned his B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in History at Western Connecticut State University.  He currently works at the Danbury Hospital Information Desk.

“It was humbling to learn that I was among the nominees,” said Ferguson, who represents Danbury, New Fairfield and Ridgefield in the state legislature.

Ferguson enjoyed a very productive first term as a freshman legislator. He successfully fought attempts to punish Danbury Hospital with additional tax increases and helped stop the implementation of tolls on our state highways which would have both severely hurt the greater Danbury region. He has also worked to promote better recruitment of minority educators in Connecticut.

Rep. Ferguson Talks State Government with Danbury High Students

Posted on June 12, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD —  State Representative Michael Ferguson (R-138) went back to school recently, but instead of studying for exams he spent some time explaining the role of local representatives in state government.

Rep. Ferguson spoke to students in Ms. Boucher’s civics class at Danbury High School and answered numerous questions on topics including current and proposed state law, the passing of a bi-partisan compromise state budget, education policies, and tolls.

“It’s great to be able to talk with students and answer their questions directly,” Rep. Ferguson said.  “Kids don’t always feel they’re taken seriously and judging by the questions they asked they’re very concerned with the laws we pass in Hartford, laws that directly affect them.”

 

 

 

Danbury State Officials Hold Ceremony Paying Tribute to Our Veterans

Posted on May 29, 2018 by jdooley


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DANBURY- State Sen. Michael McLachlan (R-24) along with Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) introduced legislation last year to rename Main Street (Route 53) as the Danbury Veterans Memorial Highway.

This Memorial Day, in front of the Danbury War Memorial Building, the lawmakers unveiled and dedicated that portion of Main Street as the Danbury Veterans Memorial Highway.  

Rep. Ferguson said, “This continues Danbury’s rich history with our veterans. Danbury is home to the most active veterans’ communities in Connecticut and the city has a long legacy of honoring veterans who dedicate themselves to defending the lives and freedoms of American citizens.”

Reps. Ferguson & Arconti Support Danbury School with Passage of Construction Legislation

Posted on May 25, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD –State Representatives Michael Ferguson (R-138) and David Arconti (D-109) successfully championed the passage of crucial school construction grant funds for Danbury through both chambers of the Connecticut General Assembly during the last week of the legislative session.

The Danbury legislators worked with their House and Senate colleagues to gain final approval of state reimbursement for the Danbury Westside Middle School Academy project to relocatable classrooms. The project will get an eighty-percent (80%) reimbursement which would be as much as $1.1 million.

“This was a true bi-partisan effort in securing this eighty per-cent reimbursement from the state for Westside Middle School Academy,” Rep. Ferguson said. “With growing enrollment in Danbury, this project is critical to improving the learning environment for students which will have long-term academic benefits.”

“Securing such a high rate of reimbursement will save Danbury property tax payers in the long run, and most importantly, provide an adequate learning environment for our students,” Rep. Arconti said. “The Danbury delegation has once again been able to work together in a bipartisan fashion for the betterment of the City.”

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.

 

Reps. Ferguson & Smith Hail Compromise Cite Protection of Medicare Savings, Teacher Pensions, Transportation Funding in Final Budget Deal

Posted on May 10, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD –State Reps. Michael Ferguson (R-138) & Richard Smith (R-108) 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.

“While this budget doesn’t include everything we proposed last week, it does contain the basic budget framework and doesn’t raise any taxes while keeping all of the structural reforms, like the spending cap and cap on state borrowing,” said Rep. Ferguson.

“My goal for these budget adjustments was to preserve the progress we made on the state budget last year, ensure stability for municipalities and school districts, and resist the governor’s calls for revenue increases.  This plan largely accomplishes both goals,” said Rep. Smith.  “Protecting funding for local education and the MSP were of paramount importance.”

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 good news is the issue of tolls is dead for the year. The people of the 138th District spoke loud and abundantly against tolls as yet another way to take money out of their wallets. Over and over again residents use one word when talking about staying in Connecticut, ‘affordability’, that word has stuck with me as I vote each day, working to find a way to make CT affordable for everyone,” said Rep. Ferguson.

“I would have liked to have seen more of an effort to pay down our unfunded liabilities and make more structural reforms to state government, but that wasn’t in the cards with a Democratic majority,” said Rep. Smith.  “In spite of the odds, however, this plan is a good development for families and businesses in Connecticut.  We are another step closer to making Connecticut more affordable and friendlier to taxpayers.”

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. Smith and Ferguson 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.

State Rep. Michael Ferguson Hails Additional Safe Haven Law Education

Posted on May 8, 2018 by jdooley


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HARTFORD- State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) strongly supported a provision in an education bill which urges schools districts across the state to include instruction on the Connecticut’s Safe Haven law. 

“Make no mistake educating all our area high school students about the Safe Haven law will save and improve lives. The law is truly about education. Right now instructional materials about the law are available for download on the Department of Children and Families website so school districts and educators can easily find the information they need to teach their students,” said Rep. Ferguson, who is a co-sponsor of the bill. “Ensuring that every generation of students is educated about this law is essential so that no infants die because of abandonment.”

 

 

Currently, the law states that someone unable to care for an infant can bring the baby to one of 37 emergency rooms, leave the baby there with no questions asked, and receive a matching wrist bracelet in case the parent changes their mind in the next 30 days. The infant will be placed in a pre-approved adoptive home. If the parent changes his/her mind they can start a process to reclaim the infant.

According to the legislation, within available funds and resources, the bill requires the State Board of Education (SBE) to assist and encourage local boards of education to include instruction related to the safe haven law. It also requires the Department of Children and Families to provide instructional materials related to the safe haven law to the SBE by October 1, 2018 in order to assist SBE in meeting this responsibility and (2) upon their request, to boards of education. 

The bill passed the House of Representatives 138-0 and now moves to the State Senate for a final vote.