State Representative Richard A. Smith proudly serves the 108th General Assembly District communities of New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury. Rep. Smith, who is currently serving his fourth two-year term, is an Assistant Republican Leader and Ranking Member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee. Rep. Smith also serves on the Judiciary and Labor and Public Employees committees.
Over the course of serving in the General Assembly, Rep. Smith was very active in the fight against overspending, tax increases and initiatives that inhibit job growth. In 2016, Rep. Smith supported several measures in his first term that promote smart spending and streamlined cost-saving policies packaged within the Republican “Pathway to Prosperity,” which is a five-year blueprint of how to get the state back to fiscal stability.
In 2016, for the third time in his career, advocacy group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) named Rep. Smith a “Community Champion” of Connecticut and recognized him nationally as a “Legislative Champion” for his public safety policy work. Specifically, Rep. Smith was specifically recognized for his work in crafting a law increasing penalties to those who are convicted of drunk driving with a minor in the vehicle.
Rep. Smith was also successful in passing legislation to protect the education and well-being of our state’s children. Over the course of 2015 and 2016, Rep. Smith supported two laws that aim to diagnose early signs of dyslexia and trains our state’s educators on the key symptoms to look out for. Additionally, Smith supported a “Student Loan Bill of Rights” to protect the interest of college students trying to pay for the education costs.
In 2015, Rep. Smith successfully eliminated the hidden fees of variable electric rates, giving consumers a much needed reprieve. Previously, he supported legislation that holds utility companies more accountable for timely emergency storm response.
Engaging with the community is a priority for Rep. Smith and on several occasions he has hosted a variety of in-district forums on the state budget and other legislative issues. He welcomes an open dialogue with constituents about everything from state debt to municipal issues.
Before being elected to the General Assembly, Rep. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from the University of New Haven and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Bridgeport School of Law. While attending the University of New Haven, Rep. Smith was elected into the “Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.”
Rep. Smith has been actively involved in the Danbury Bar Association, having served as its Secretary, Vice President, President and current Chair of the Real Estate Section. He is also a member of the Connecticut, Federal and United States Supreme Court Bars, and a member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association.
Rep. Smith has served in many volunteer and civic posts as well. A member of the Lions Club of New Fairfield since 1990, he served as its President in 1994-95 and is a Melvin Jones Fellow. He has also served five years as a member of the New Fairfield Board of Education and has volunteered to sit on both the New Fairfield Community Coalition for the Prevention of Youth Violence and the School-Family-Community Partnership Committee.
Rep. Smith is actively involved with Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in New Fairfield and has served over ten years on the Cal-Ripken New Fairfield Baseball Board of Directors. In the past, Rep. Smith teamed up with Danbury-based Jericho Partnership to run a very successful coat, hat, and gloves drive for families in need in communities including Kent and Sherman. Rep. Richard also enjoys Toastmasters and is a current member of the Barnum Square Toastmasters Club and is a past president.
When he’s not at the Capitol, Rep. Smith works as a self-employed attorney in New Fairfield. Rep. Smith resides in New Fairfield with his wife, Elizabeth, and is a proud father of two children, Chase and Courtney.