Posted on June 26, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representative Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton), Deputy House Republican Leader-at-Large, voted with a majority of his colleagues in the House to override Public Act (P.A.) 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 thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle who voted in favor of the override, but I am greatly disappointed with the Senate Democrats who reversed their position and sided with the governor,” Rep. O’Dea said. “Many towns across Connecticut were blindsided by the governor’s rescissions on education funding, which is why the legislature came together to pass this bill in the first place. We will work even harder to pass a similar bill in the future, but it is unfortunate that this happened. Many Democratic Senators proved they are uninterested in changing Connecticut’s present course.”
Following the passage of the compromise budget in October, Governor Malloy used an executive order to cut funding mid-year to several towns across the state, including New Canaan and Wilton. P.A. 18-35, had the veto been overridden, would have prohibited future governors from making rescissions to a school board’s education cost sharing grant during the fiscal year. Towns have asked for more predictability and sustainability from the legislature, which resulted in this bill.
Despite the bill’s unanimous passage in the Senate on May 9th and overwhelming support in the House, 117-32, the governor vetoed P.A. 18-35 earlier this month. While every Republican in the House and Senate voted in favor of the override, ten Senate Democrats changed their position during the veto session, effectively killing the bill.
“There were six other bills the Governor vetoed that we wanted to take up; however, the majority party in the Senate prevented them from being called,” Rep. O’Dea added. “The most important of those bills was S.B. 528, which corrected the improper financial bailout of Hartford against the wishes of the vast majority of legislators from both parties.”
S.B. 528 passed the House 105-45 and Senate 28-6, enough votes to easily override any veto if legislators voted the same during the veto session. Unfortunately, the Senate Democrats never called the bill despite every Republican’s desire to do so. In this past fiscal year, Hartford was given $420,446,241 in taxpayer money, not even including the monies given to non-profits in Hartford. New Haven was given $327,251,588. On top of the foregoing, the Mayor of New Haven is filling a $14,000,000 deficit this year with monies that were supposed to go to pensions, has increased taxes by 11% and has given out 11% raises to administrators and other “confidential” employees.
Posted on May 31, 2018 by admin
NEW CANAAN – State Representatives Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton) and Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) toured the Silver Hill Hospital for Mental Health and Addiction in New Canaan on May 29th, 2018.
“The opioid crisis in Connecticut has reached a critical level,” Rep. Wilms said. “Hospitals like Silver Hill will help us combat addiction and reduce the number of fatalities in our state. I would like to thank the hospital for allowing us to visit, and for their dedication to saving and changing lives. To assist in their efforts, I cosponsored a bill expanding telehealth services to treat addiction, which has passed the legislature this year. We will continue to do our part in Hartford to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets and to provide assistance to those battling addiction.”
“Mental health and drug addiction are complex problems that require the unique care that Silver Hill offers,” Rep. O’Dea said. “They provide a tremendous service to the community, especially during a time when the number of opioid deaths has reached unprecedented levels. Combating drug addiction in our state is a group effort. We must continue to educate the public on this crisis, pass legislation to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets, ensure that hospitals like Silver Hill have the resources they need to treat patients, and continue to support our first responders in any way possible. In addition, Silver Hill’s new President and Medical Director, John Santopietro, MD, DFAPA, has experience developing and growing large scale telehealth programs, which, I believe, are key to making affordable healthcare available to all.”
Silver Hill Hospital has been operational since 1931 when it was founded by Dr. John Millet and Nurse Elvira Parsons with the first patient being admitted that December. The non-profit hospital began treating addiction in 1971 where the conducted original research into the biological and psychological contributors to addiction. Today, the hospital treats over 3,500 patients annually. Their goal is to treat the addiction, or other conditions, and eventually transition patients into productive lives. Silver Hill is a nationally recognized psychiatric hospital that continually receives accolades for their success with patients.
Reps. O’Dea and Wilms supported P.A. 18-148, An Act Concerning Telehealth Services, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly with strong bipartisan support. This bill allows telehealth providers to prescribe non-opioid Schedule II or III controlled substances in the treatment of a psychiatric disability or substance abuse disorder. The bill also adds registered nurses and pharmacists to the list of health care providers who may provide telehealth services. The bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.
State Rep. Tom O’Dea represents the 125th General Assembly district which includes New Canaan and Wilton. He is Deputy Republican Leader At-Large and serves on the legislature’s Transportation Committee as well as the Judiciary, Legislative Management and Regulation Review Committees.
State Representative Fred Wilms represents the 142nd General Assembly district communities of Norwalk and New Canaan. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee.
Posted on May 23, 2018 by admin
State Representatives Tom O’Dea and Fred Wilms, and State Senators Toni Boucher and Scott Frantz will be hosting a New Canaan Post-Session Legislative Update on Wednesday, May 30, 2018.
New Canaan Town Hall – Legislative Chambers
77 Main Street, New Canaan CT, 06840
Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The legislators will be covering subjects including the budget, transportation and local issues affecting the community. Attendees are encouraged to come with questions for the representatives.
This event is open to the public and all are encouraged to attend.
If you are unable to attend, but still have questions or concerns relating to state government, Rep. O’Dea can be reached at Tom.O’Dea@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.