Opinion: The Fairfield Five – “Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.”

Posted on February 14, 2019 by admin


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Fairfield County has long been recognized as an economic driver for Connecticut. This month, five municipalities in the County have proposed legislation to rev up that reputation.

Fairfield, Greenwich, Norwalk, Stamford, and Westport have formed a consortium (The Fairfield Five) whose goal is to jump start business, transportation, education, and tourism.  The genesis of the symbiotic endeavor was the full throttle quest in 2018 to entice Amazon to locate its HQ2 in Stamford, with compelling support of quality of life attributes from the other four municipalities.

HB 6185  — An Act Concerning a Pilot Program for Regional Marketing and Economic Development in Fairfield County — proposes to codify and provide matching funds for another collective effort.  The bipartisan legislation has received a public hearing in the Commerce Committee and is co-sponsored by the General Assembly delegations in the five municipalities.

The regional paradigm produced could be adapted and expanded state-wide.  Basic structural considerations to be addressed are:  lower and predictable taxes; streamlined permitting processes; an available and educated workforce; and an environment that encourages startups and small businesses.  The Fairfield Five are positioned well as a cluster in the economic development areas of technology, cyber security, medicine, entertainment, finance, education, and hospitality.

Existing ancillary amenities are:  diverse natural beauty; restaurants, vibrant venues for socializing, arts and culture; proximity to urban centers, including New York City; a robust education system and strong network of public and private institutions of higher learning; recreation and sports; and a variety of housing options – both type and price.

The economic engine potential of The Fairfield Five is exponential, and the pilot program (HB 6185) certainly merits a test drive.

Reusable Bag Press Event

Posted on February 6, 2019 by admin


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WHO: Members of the Reusable Bag Alliance (including BYOCT, CCE, the CT Food Association, Surfrider Foundation, among others) will stand alongside legislators to talk about the impacts plastic bags have on our oceans, our marine life and our state recycling system, in addition to discussing legislative efforts to eliminate all bag pollution and promote reusable bags use in CT.

WHAT: CT Reusable Bag Alliance Press Event – declaration to eliminate plastic checkout bag pollution in Connecticut.

WHERE: Compo Beach, 60 Comp Beach Road, Westport, CT 06880

WHEN: This Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 1 p.m. (Rain/Snow date: this Sunday, February 10)

 

Letter to the Editor: Rep. Floren Thanks Greenwich First Selectman Tesei for Years of Service

Posted on February 4, 2019 by admin


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Yogi Berra said: “You can observe a lot by watching.” As a 30-year member of the Peter J. Tesei  Fan Club, I have watched him always putting service first … service to family, service to community, and service to bipartisan principles.

Our bond spans three generations, has survived countless federal, state and local political campaigns, and shared many memories. We have been through it all – laughter and tears, joys and sorrows, births and deaths – life’s myriad twists and turns.

Honesty and honor are the hallmarks of Peter’s life and his leadership. As First Selectman for a record six terms, chair of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, member of the Representative Town Meeting, community volunteer, and businessman, Peter has charted a steady and sure course; he knew where Greenwich needed to go, and he knew how to get us there in an efficient, inclusive, and cost-effective way.

Peter is very good at what he does, and he has the credentials to accomplish even greater good going forward. Dedicated, trusted, qualified, and hardworking – a genuine leader who will always be remembered and revered.

Thank you and your family, Peter.

Livvy R. Floren, state representative, Greenwich and Stamford

A Message from the CT DOT – Tree Removal on I-95

Posted on January 31, 2019 by admin


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Tree Removal Along Interstate 95 Northbound and Southbound in Greenwich and Stamford

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that a tree removal operation will be performed on Interstate 95 Northbound and Southbound in Greenwich and Stamford, beginning, Monday, January 14, 2019.

The project consists of cutting dead trees, high limbing and clearing signs, which will be performed on Interstate 95 Northbound and Southbound in Greenwich and Stamford.  This project is scheduled to occur on Monday, January 14, 2019 through Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

Please note the tree removal operation will occur from 6:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 26, 2019.

LANE CLOSURE INFO

Motorists can expect lane closures on Interstate 95 Northbound and Southbound in Greenwich and Stamford between the New York State Line and Exit 7 (Greenwich Ave).  A moveable sign pattern will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The regular work schedule for this project is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  All Northbound lane closures will be between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m.  All Southbound lane closures will be between the hours of 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

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.

 

A Message from Eversource Regarding the Incoming Snow Storm

Posted on January 18, 2019 by admin


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Dear friends,

Please see the message below from Eversource regarding the snow storm expected to impact our area this weekend.

As always, you may contact my office with questions. Please be safe!

Livvy

 

Eversource is Ready for the First Snowstorm of the Year

Company encourages customers to prepare 

BERLIN, Conn. (January 18, 2019) – With a powerful storm making its way across the country that is expected to bring snow, ice, sleet and freezing rain to Connecticut this weekend followed by frigid temperatures, Eversource is ready to address any storm-related power outages or damage to the electric system. The energy company has line workers, tree crews and support staff ready to respond and is encouraging customers to also prepare for the possibility of outages.

“We are closely monitoring weather conditions and planning accordingly so we have crews in position to respond and be there for our customers when they need us,” said Eversource Vice President of Electric System Operations Mike Hayhurst.  “Given the extremely cold temperatures we’re expecting following the storm, it’s crucial for customers to take precautions and prepare in the event of power outages.”

Eversource recommends customers assemble or restock a storm kit with essential items, including pet food and medications, before a storm strikes. The energy company also offers the following tips on its website to help customers prepare for emergencies:

Eversource reminds customers to always stay clear of downed wires and to report them immediately to 9-1-1. Be sure to report any outage online at www.eversource.com, or by calling 800-286-2000. Customers who signed up for the company’s two-way texting feature can send a text to report an outage and receive outage updates as they happen.

Additional preparedness tips can be found at the Storm Preparedness section at Eversource.com.

Winter Season Fire Safety Tips from the Greenwich Fire Department

Posted on January 16, 2019 by admin


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As we go through the winter / holiday season we would like to remind everyone to please practice these fire safety tips to keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter:

* Remove and dispose of old Christmas trees, wreaths, roping. They burn fiercely as they may have been cut in early Fall.

* Be extremely careful with candles and other open flames.

* Put fireplace ashes in a metal ash can and keep can outside, away from house. Embers stay hot for days. Plastic, paper or cardboard must not be used to remove or store ash.

* Keep space heaters at least 3’ away from combustibles.

* Don’t leave pots on the stove unattended.

* Do not run your generator in your garage, run outdoors in a wide open area. Note the wind direction and where exhaust is going.

* Make sure your home has WORKING smoke alarms and Carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your house.

* Be careful when warming your vehicle. Be diligent if your vehicle operates by a fob or push button ignition. Always make sure your vehicle is off when in the garage.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact our Fire Marshals Division at Firemarshals@greenwichct.org

Tree Removal on Route 15 Northbound and Southbound in Greenwich

Posted on January 11, 2019 by admin


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Dear friends and neighbors,

Please check out the message below from the CT DOT regarding a construction project in our community that may impact your travels this weekend.

Tree Removal on Route 15 Northbound and Southbound in Greenwich


The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing that a tree removal operation will be performed on Route 15 northbound and southbound in Greenwich, beginning Saturday, January 12, 2019.

The work consists of cutting dead trees, high-limbing and clearing sightlines to signs. The work is scheduled to occur on Saturday, January 12, 2019, and Sunday, January 13, 2019.

Motorists can expect lane closures on Route 15 northbound and southbound in Greenwich between Exit 27 (Route 120A) and Exit 29 (Old Mill Road #1).  A moveable sign pattern will be utilized to guide motorists through the work zone. The work will occur from 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

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.

As always, please contact me with questions at (800) 842-1423 or Livvy.Floren@housegop.ct.gov.

Regards,

Livvy

New Laws Effective January 1, 2019

Posted on January 10, 2019 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

New legislation effective dates are typically January 1st, July 1st, and October 1st throughout the calendar year. Now that 2018 has come to an end, a number of new laws took effect on January 1, 2019.

These new laws may have an impact on you, your business, or our community. I have highlighted some noteworthy new laws below and encourage you to take a look at the full list. Please contact me with any questions or clarifications regarding these new laws.

AN ACT CONCERNING DUAL ARRESTS AND THE TRAINING REQUIRED OF LAW ENFORCEMENT PERSONNEL WITH RESPECT TO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

PA 18-5 reduces the number of dual arrests that occur in domestic violence cases and enhance domestic violence training offered to state and local law enforcement agencies. For a summary, click here.

AN ACT CONCERNING MAMMOGRAMS, BREAST ULTRASOUNDS AND MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING OF BREASTS

PA 18-159 redefines mammogram, and eliminates co-payments and deductibles for certain breast ultrasounds. For a summary, click here.

AN ACT AUTHORIZING PREGNANCY AS A QUALIFYING EVENT FOR SPECIAL ENROLLMENT PERIODS FOR CERTAIN INDIVIDUALS

PA 18-43 permits certain pregnant individuals to enroll in a health insurance policy or plan not later than thirty days after the individual’s pregnancy has been certified by a licensed health care provider. For a full summary, click here.

AN ACT MANDATING INSURANCE COVERAGE OF ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS AND EXPANDING MANDATED HEALTH BENEFITS FOR WOMEN, CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS

PA 18-10 requires certain health insurance plans to cover ten essential health benefits including maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, hospitalization, emergency, laboratory and ambulatory services, rehabilitation, mental health services, pediatrics, and much more. For a full summary, click here.

Please pass this information along to those who may benefit from knowing what to expect in the New Year in the State of Connecticut.

As always, please contact me directly with questions at (800) 842-1423 or Livvy.Floren@housegop.ct.gov.

Regards,

Livvy

 

Important 2019 Tax Information for Seniors

Posted on January 10, 2019 by admin


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Dear friends and neighbors,

With tax season quickly approaching, I wanted to make sure you were aware of some pertinent tax relief benefits available to Connecticut seniors.

Last session, I joined my colleagues in the legislature in passing a budget that provided tax relief for seniors. Namely, we passed two provisions, one of which eliminated the income tax on Social Security and the other phases out the income tax on pensions.

 

Social Security Income Tax Deduction

Effective for tax years beginning after 2019, individual taxpayers may deduct 100 percent of Social Security income, if federal adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than:

  • $75,000 for single filers and married taxpayers filing separately; or
  • $100,000 joint filers and heads of household

Furthermore, taxpayers with incomes equal to or greater than the thresholds qualify for a 75 percent deduction. The income thresholds are increased from $50,000 and $60,000, respectively.

 

Retirement Income Tax Deductions

Effective beginning with the 2019 tax year, individual taxpayers may deduct a portion of retirement income that is included in federal gross income, if federal AGI is below:

  • $75,000 for single filers, married taxpayers filing separately, and heads of households; or
  • $100,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly

The deduction is equal to:

  • 14% of pension or annuity income for the 2019 taxable year
  • 28% of that income for the 2020 taxable year
  • 42% of that income for the 2021 taxable year
  • 56% of that income for the 2022 taxable year
  • 70% of that income for the 2023 taxable year
  • 84% of that income for the 2024 taxable year
  • 100% of that income for the 2025 taxable year

Under current law, military and railroad retirement that is included in federal gross income is fully deductible.

As always, please contact me with questions at (800) 842-1423 or Livvy.Floren@housegop.ct.gov.

Regards,

Livvy

Greenwich Delegation Presents Town of Greenwich with $17M Check from State for New Leb Construction Costs

Posted on January 8, 2019 by admin


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On Tuesday, January 8, Rep. Livvy Floren joined the Greenwich Delegation in presenting a check for $17,469,365 from the State of Connecticut to the Town of Greenwich reimbursing the town for New Lebanon School construction costs to date. Thus far, the town has received $15, 738,167 from the state with an additional 11% (or $1,731,198) approved pending final accounting.

The total budget for this project is $37,309,058 and the town is receiving approximately 64% reimbursement (or approximately $24,000,000). If the project is completed under budget then the reimbursement will be less. If the entire budget is spent, the delegation hopes to secure an additional $6,500,000 of which they expect to receive $5,785,000 and $715,000 in retainage.

The school is scheduled to open in February barring any unforeseen delays.