House Republican Leader Themis Klarides Slams Democrats for Fake Support for fire Schools

Posted on November 3, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today mocked Democrats voicing last-minute support for a Naugatuck Valley fire school that they never advocated for in the past, calling the staged press event at the Derby train station a desperate ploy to sway voters four days before the election.

The Democrats, Klarides said, had eight years to convince Gov. Malloy to fund the project but it was never a priority. “All we heard today from the Democrats was empty rhetoric.’’

She added, “This effort by Democrats running for office four days before the election is a pathetic attempt to blur the reality that this Democratic administration never supported the Naugatuck Valley fire school.’’ Klarides noted that Democrat Lieutenant Governor candidate Susan Bysiewicz was among the Democrats who claim to support the project.

“If I were Susan Bysiewicz I would want to talk about anything other than the racially tinged incident involving her state police driver and one of our Republican candidates who is African American,’’ Klarides said, referring to the trooper Bysiewicz fired the day before after the incident involving Republican Ernestine Holloway became public. Holloway said the trooper told her she needed a local permit to canvass homes in her district.

Klarides has been at the forefront of the effort to get the fire school to be built in Beacon Falls completed. The Malloy administration last month said the project had been mothballed despite wide support among emergency services personnel who say the school is critical to enhancing public safety. The land in Beacon Falls has been purchased by the state and proposals solicited.

Malloy administration officials told Klarides and others that they have no plans to go ahead with the construction.

Klarides said, “We will continue to work hard to get this project completed. The Democrats were in position to deliver for the thousands of people in the 22 towns that would directly benefit from this fire school and they did not come through.’’

Klarides added, “It’s unfortunate that Governor Malloy failed to move this important public safety project forward. But, no matter who the governor is next year House Republicans will make sure the next governor realizes that this project must move forward.”

Radiology Society Recognizes Rep. Klarides for Support of Breast Cancer legislation

Posted on October 11, 2018 by admin


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The Radiological Society of Connecticut has recognized State Rep. Themis Klarides for her advocacy of patients and legislation that will encourage women to have life-saving breast cancer screenings.

The award is timely as October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The radiologists gave Klarides their “Patient Hero” award at their semi-annual meeting in New Haven on September 13.

Klarides was the lead sponsor of House Bill 5208 this past session that will enable women to have their annual breast exam using the latest technology without having to pay a deductible or co-pay.

“A 3-D mammogram is vital to detecting breast cancer early,” said State Rep. Themis Klarides. “No women should be denied a 3-D mammogram because they can’t afford to pay a deductible or co-pay. I am proud my colleagues in the legislature recognize the importance of a 3-D mammogram and supported this legislation that will help save hundreds of lives.”

The technology, called Breast Tomosynthesis, is a three-dimensional mammogram which enables the radiologist to better determine if small cancers are present in the breast. The test has reduced by 40 percent patient callbacks for an additional test due to the uncertainty of images.

“This legislation is critical for our ability to make sure that patients continue to have access to these needed mammography tests. We thank Representative Klarides for her leadership on the issue,” said Alan Kaye, MD, president of the RSC.

House Bill 5208 includes Breast Tomosynthesis in the definition of a mammogram so that a patient no longer will be charged a deductible or co-pay for the annual screening.

The RSC thanked Klarides for sponsoring the bill and for showing a “significant knowledge” of healthcare policy using that knowledge to benefit patients.

Klarides serves as the leader of the 71-member House Republican Caucus.

The legislation passed both the House and Senate this year and was signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy as Public Act 18-159. It is effective January 1, 2019.

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Malloy, Democrats Blasted for Blocking Valley Regional Fire School

Posted on October 1, 2018 by admin


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HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today blasted Gov. Malloy and Democrats for spending up to $75 million on various local bonding projects last week, but refusing to make good on the planned Valley Regional Fire School in Beacon Falls, a critically needed public safety project that has languished for years.

“Gov. Malloy and the Democrats on the state Bond Commission put millions more on the state’s credit card but when it comes to public safety for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents there is no money,’’ Klarides said. “We have already committed more than $1.4 million to the fire school but the Democrats in charge have stopped the project and have said it will not go forward.’’

Klarides and other lawmakers representing some of the 22 towns within the Valley Region met with Department of Administrative Services officials recently to update the status of the school. They were shocked to learn from DAS that the governor’s budget office will not provide funding to construct the $14 million facility. More than 650,000 people reside in the 22 Valley Region towns.

Chuck Stankye, past president of the Connecticut State Firefighter Association (CSFA) said it is vitally important that the Valley Fire School be built. “Firefighters need this facility to help them protect the public. When that bell goes off, we are there to save lives and property,’’ he said. Stankye was dismayed following the meeting with DAS but vowed to push the issue.

The fire schools are critical for firefighters to train and maintain certification. The Valley firefighters have to travel around the state for training where operating hours are limited at various firehouses.
“It is outrageous that this school has been mothballed. Instead, the state Bond Commission last week spent millions on non-essential projects,’’ Klarides said. She also noted that last summer Gov. Malloy rammed through the Bond Commission another $10 million for a needless study on tolls after three have already been completed.

The legislature has actually authorized $26 million for fire schools and Klarides and other lawmakers called for the Bond Commission to allocate the needed $14 million from that pool of money. Because the project has languished, the approved 2016 bid for has since expired and it will have to be re-bid. Construction was supposed to be completed by January of 2018 but has never begun.

The fire school plans date to 2002 when the CSFA and the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control created a priority list for construction of new schools. The Valley Fire School was scheduled to be the first one on the list to be built. The Beacon Falls site is shovel ready, Klarides pointed out.

The CSFA and the CFPC on Sept. 14 passed a resolution reaffirming its duties to administer the fire schools and to adhere to the construction schedule. The Valley Fire School is still slated to receive the next round.

“Clearly, the priorities of this administration and the Democrats in the legislature are wrong when it comes to investing in public safety versus spending money on items that some lawmakers would like to have,’’ Klarides said.