Summary of Governor Lamont’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Changes and Revenue Recommendations

Posted on February 20, 2019 by admin


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Durham Lawmakers Host ‘Let’s Taco Bout It’ Event

Posted on January 30, 2019 by admin


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The free event that took place on Wednesday, January 16 at The Whole Enchilada, located on 370 Main Street in Durham allowed individuals from Durham and the surrounding area to receive a legislative update from State Reps. Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Noreen Kokoruda (R-101).

The lawmakers were available to address local concerns from constituents, to answer questions, to discuss the 2019 legislative session as well as current happenings at the Capitol. Other topics addressed during this event included the upcoming budget, potential cuts and taxes, and constituents’ concerns about Connecticut being unaffordable to live in.

Local officials Laura Francis, Durham First Selectwoman and Chuck Stengel from the Durham Board of Finance were in attendance along with CT DDS Families First.

Tacos, snacks and beverages were supplied by Reps. Candelora and Kokoruda and also Sen. Fasano for the nearly 40 attendees ranging in age from 14-85.

Those who could not attend may contact Reps. Candelora and Kokoruda at 800-842-1423 or by email at Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov or Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov.

Reps. Candelora, Kokoruda Co-Host “Know the Risks” Press Conference

Posted on January 23, 2019 by admin


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HARTFORD – State Representatives Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Noreen Kokoruda co-hosted a “Know the Risks” press conference along with the Connecticut Chapter of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (CT SAM), Connecticut Association of Prevention Professionals (CAPP), students, advocates, law enforcement, health professionals, and local officials to discuss the implications and health risks associated with legalizing retail marijuana in Connecticut.

Recent findings were discussed by a number of speakers, many of whom highlighted how states that have already legalized marijuana now lead the nation in teen use. Experts from both urban and suburban areas mentioned the following points:

  • States that have legalized marijuana lead the U.S. in teen use (Source: www.samhsa.gov)
  • Kids who are dependent on marijuana are three times more likely to become addicted to heroin (Source: Centers for Disease Control)
  • Today’s marijuana is much more potent than in the past and comes in many youth-friendly forms (Source: Smart Approaches to Marijuana)
  • Neurological risks for youth and adults under age 25 (Source: World Health Organization)
  • Connecticut existing marijuana laws do not contribute to mass incarceration (Source: www.opm.gov)
  • Colorado marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 48 percent following legalization (Source: The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact, p. 13)
  • When all costs are considered, there will be no revenue windfall (Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Economic Trends in Tobacco, March 3, 2017)

Within the Connecticut General Assembly during the 2019 legislative session, the topic of legalizing marijuana will continue to be a divided debate with advocates on both sides.

“Countless reputable studies have concluded that marijuana is addictive and harmful, regardless of claims made by the marijuana industry trying to refute this,” said Rep. Candelora. “Simply put, legalizing marijuana is a money grab that would increase our state’s disposable income, but would do so at the expense of our children and the health of our citizens. We should never make decisions without considering the risks associated with them, and in this case the risks are grave, and must be avoided at all costs. ”

“Collecting tax revenue from legalizing retail marijuana is simply not worth the negative repercussions of doing so, many experts and researchers have verified these claims,” Rep. Kokoruda added. “This is not a decision we can make lightly, especially when states that have already legalized retail marijuana are now experiencing the blow back of this decision.”

CT SAM, an affiliate chapter to the National SAM organization, works to educate citizens on the science of marijuana and to promote health-first, smart policies and attitudes that decrease marijuana use and its consequences. CAPP is the Connecticut affiliate of Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), an alliance of organizations and individuals dedicated to a health-first approach to marijuana policy.

For more information visit: http://www.cappct.org/ct-sam.

Reps. Candelora and Kokoruda can be reached by phone at 800-842-1423 or by email at Vincent.Candelora@housegop.ct.gov and Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov.

For a link to the full press conference click here.

Rep. Candelora represents the 86th District communities of Durham, Guilford, North Branford and Wallingford.

Rep. Kokoruda represents the 101st District communities of Durham and Madison.

Kokoruda Prepares for 2019 Legislative Session, Named Deputy Republican Leader At Large

Posted on January 16, 2019 by admin


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State Representative Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) recently received new committee assignments for her fifth two-year term serving the people of Madison and Durham.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides has chosen Rep. Noreen Kokoruda to serve in her 2019-2021 leadership team as Deputy Republican Leader At Large, which provides for a stronger voice at the legislative bargaining table and gives her leadership responsibilities on the House Floor during floor debate.

Rep. Kokoruda was reappointed to the legislature’s Appropriations, Education and Children Committees and will also serve on the Planning and Development and Legislative Management Committees.

“I am honored to be the voice of the 101st District in the Capitol” said Rep. Kokoruda. “There will undoubtedly be many obstacles to tackle this legislative session, but I am ready and eager to dedicate myself to working on all the challenges that may arise within my committees.”

“Rep. Kokoruda offers incredible insight in crafting policy for her district and entire state. I’m honored for her to serve as my deputy. In difficult political times she is the leader within the House that brings people together and resolves critical issues for our state,” said House Republican Leader Themis Klarides.

The General Assembly convened on January 9th, for a five-month session ending at midnight on June 5th. In odd-numbered years, or long sessions, legislators must vote on a biennial state budget, which they must pass before they adjourn.

Rep. Kokoruda can be reached at noreen.kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov  or 800-842-1423. Constituents can follow her legislative activity throughout the session by logging on to her website at www.repkokoruda.com and following her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/RepKokoruda.

Rep. Kokoruda Attends Legislative Breakfast Hosted by Connecticut Council of Organizations Serving the Deaf

Posted on January 15, 2019 by admin


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Millie Morales, Marvey Corson, State Representative Noreen Kokoruda and Sheri Rombald attended a legislative breakfast at the Capitol in Hartford earlier this month, which was hosted by Connecticut Council Organizations Serving the Deaf (CCOSD). CCOSD is committed to serving the deaf and hard of hearing residents of Connecticut through their local and autonomous member organizations of or for the Deaf.

Tax Relief for Connecticut Seniors

Posted on January 15, 2019 by admin


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With tax season quickly approaching, I wanted to make sure you were aware of some pertinent information to ensure that seniors in Connecticut receive all of the tax relief to which they are entitled.

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

Anyone with questions can also contact my office at 860-842-1423.

I hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Noreen Kokoruda

State Representative for the 101st District

Electric Rate Increase Information

Posted on January 15, 2019 by admin


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In an ongoing effort to keep you informed of the policies of state government, on occasion I regrettably have to inform you of bad news. As you may have heard or read, electric rate increases affecting United Illuminating and Eversource customers went into effect January 1st.

The rate increases were approved last fall by the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA), which operates independent of the legislature and is statutorily charged with providing oversight for the rates and services of Connecticut’s investor owned electricity, natural gas and water and companies.

Standard service generation rates for United Illuminating customers will increase by approximately 24% from its current rate of 9.05¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 11.23¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh). The standard service generation rates for Eversource customers will increase from 8.53¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh) to 10.14¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh), an overall increase of 18.9%.

On average, the monthly bill for United Illuminating standard service customers will increase by $16.35. Eversource standard service customers that use 750 kilowatt hours/month will see a monthly bill increase of $12.08 per month.

I’m writing to remind you that UI and Eversource customers have the option of searching for cheaper standard service generation rates through the Energize Connecticut web portal.

Click here to view a full list of suppliers and their ratesAs always, customers who are considering an alternative supply should carefully review price, terms, length of contract, enrollment, early termination, and other potential fees when comparing options.

I hope this information has been helpful.

As always, if you would like to connect with me, please call: 1(800) 842-1423 or email: Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov for more information.
Sincerely,

Rep. Noreen Kokoruda

Thursday, January 17: Rep. Noreen Kokoruda to Hold Office Hours

Posted on December 17, 2018 by admin


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The public is invited to meet with State Rep. Noreen Kokoruda (R-101) during her January Office Hours. Rep. Kokoruda will offer residents of Madison and Durham an opportunity to meet with her in a relaxed setting and discuss any legislative or local issues, including the 2019 legislative session which convenes on January 9.

Office Hours on Thursday, January 17 will take place at the following location:

Madison – Madison Town Hall
8 Campus Drive
Room B

6:30-7:30 p.m.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Those who are unable to attend but would like to contact Rep. Kokoruda may do so at (800) 842-1423 or by email at Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov.

Home Heating Assistance Now Available

Posted on December 7, 2018 by admin


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Connecticut currently ranks in the top five highest energy costs in the nation. With the cold weather upon us, many residents may struggle to pay their heating bills. However, fuel assistance is available to those in need.

Operation Fuel is now accepting applications for one-time grants of up to $500 per household for deliverable fuel, gas and electric utilities. Qualified individuals are those who have received a shut-off notice, have no utility service, or need assistance to maintain payment arrangements or have a past due balance of 30 days or more.

In order to apply for an Operation Fuel utility or deliverable fuel grant, you must submit an application through a fuel bank. To find the fuel bank that serves your town, please either use the Fuel Bank Finder or call 2-1-1.

You will need to provide proof of the last 4 weeks of income for all household members, the name of your fuel vendor (for deliverable fuel customers only), or your utility bill and payment history (for electric and gas utility customers only).

Operation Fuel is a non-profit organization that partners with local government and community-based organizations at more than 100 sites throughout Connecticut to ensure that families in need have access to year-round energy assistance. Their partner agencies may also be able to connect residents with programs that provide assistance for food, clothing, health services, childcare, and more.

Please share this information with those who may benefit!

As always, if you would like to connect with me, please call: 1(800) 842-1423 or email: Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov for more information.
Sincerely,

Rep. Noreen Kokoruda

Department of Veteran Affairs App

Posted on November 15, 2018 by admin


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The Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs has a number of resources to assist our military men and women following their courageous service to this nation.

The mobile app offers CT veterans access to crisis assistance by phone, text and online chat. The app also includes information about housing assistance, healthcare options and employment opportunities.

Click here to learn more and download the application.

Our military men and women make tremendous personal sacrifices while deployed. It is our responsibility to make sure they are taken care of when they return home. If you or a loved one has served our nation, I hope you will take advantage of this app.

As always, if you would like to connect with me, please call: 1(800) 842-1423 or email: Noreen.Kokoruda@housegop.ct.gov for more information.
Sincerely,

Rep. Noreen Kokoruda