NEW FAIRFIELD – The 2019 legislative session is proving to be one of most impactful times on the state’s business community in recent years, especially considering the new Democrat-enacted taxes that went into effect October 1st. Members of the state’s business community and small to mid-sized businesses, in particular, are therefore critical players in the effort to turn around Connecticut’s economy.
With that in mind, State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) is hosting an informal “Coffee and…
HARTFORD – Attorney General William Tong will join state Sen. Julie Kushner, state Reps. Richard Smith, David Arconti, Raghib Allie-Brennan, Bob Godfrey, Ken Gucker, Stephen Harding, Bill Buckbee and Sean Scanlon on Wednesday, Oct. 2at 5:30 p.m. for a forum on how all levels of government are working to address the opioid epidemic.
During the forum, which will be held at the Greater Danbury Community Health Center, state officials will hear from Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and representatives from…
Metro-North has announced some schedule changes for the Harlem, Hudson and New Haven lines that will go into effect this Sunday, September 29th.
With the launch of its new SMARTTRACK program and strategic shut downs of continuous segments of track between Mott Haven and Woodlawn on the Harlem Line in the Bronx, renovation work was expedited, and is now complete. Crews installed more than 1,400 ties, made drainage improvements, vacuumed debris- covered ties, installed new rail and insulated joints, dumped 80 tons of stone ballast, welded tracks and removed trees.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) would like your input on the state’s next generation of rail cars. They will be purchasing a fleet of new rail cars to replace their exiting push-pull coaches operating on the Hartford Line, Shore Line East, Danbury Line and Waterbury Line and want to know what you consider to be reliable, comfortable, attractive, and sustainable.
Customers from each rail line will be selected through an open lottery process for an opportunity to participate in their…
HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) is standing by his House and Senate Republican colleagues and denouncing a slew of new, and increased, taxes on grocery store foods and prepared meals passed in the Democrat state budget that takes effect on October 1, 2019.
“This is entirely unsustainable,” said Rep. Smith. “How does our majority party think our residents are going to be able to keep paying more and more for everyday necessities? They are being unfairly taxed everywhere they turn.”
This week, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) released a statement clarifying the long list of restaurant meals and food items that the Democrat-approved 7.35% tax will be applied to, including dozens of products that have not been previously taxed.
I would like to notify you that the Department of Transportation (DOT) will be conducting a simulated rail accident training drill for the Shoreline East and Hartford Lines on Saturday, September 14th between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. at the Belle Dock rail yard at 435 East Street, New Haven.
Please do not be alarmed, as the drill will appear and sound like a realistic head-on collision. It will include volunteer passengers, including Boy Scout Troop 7 of Clinton, who will simulate injuries for the training of on-duty emergency responders (fire, police and Sponsor Hospital Area Reponse Physicians).
HARTFORD – A bill protecting the due-process rights of undocumented immigrants in Connecticut passed narrowly in Senate 20 to 15 and in House 79 to 61 last week. State Representatives Richard A. Smith (R-108) and Stephen Harding (R-107) were amongst the 61 lawmakers that voted against this bill.
Connecticut’s Trust Act was passed in 2013 and prohibits local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration officials. It was established to create trust between local law enforcement officials and undocumented immigrants so residents of that community would be more willing to come forward, without fear of deportation, to report crimes or cooperate with police.
Senate Bill 992 revises the 2013 policy by including the following individuals under its protection:
Individuals with C and/or D felony convictions or charges
Those with pending criminal charges in the state where bond has not been posted
Persons with outstanding arrest warrants in the state
Federally identified gang members
Persons subject to a final deportation order
Someone who local police view as an unacceptable risk to public safety.
HARTFORD — House Republicans, including State Representative Richard Smith (R-108), late last night voted against a mandatory payroll tax from Democrats that installs a new government-run paid family and medical leave program. The bill (S.B. 1) passed through the House on a party line vote 79 to 69.
The concept of paid family and medical leave allows workers to take paid time off from their jobs to deal with personal issues such as a sick family member or the birth of a child – a concept that has bipartisan support. However, the bill that passed forces every private sector worker to cough up one-half of one percent of their salary from every paycheck to support the program whether they intend to use it or not, with no choice to opt out. The mandatory payroll tax is expected to raise $400 million in revenue, and carries $13 million in startup costs. It would be run by a new quasi-government agency, which would hire more unionized employees to process paperwork, spend startup money on television advertisements and mailers, and dole out generous wage replacement benefits for up to 12 weeks of leave.
“When you ask folks on the street about paid family and medical leave, they tend to respond that they are in favor of it,” said Rep. Smith, who serves on the Labor Committee. “But when I tell them about the details about the bill, like the mandatory 0.5% payroll tax on every employee across the state, or the task of temporarily replacing an employee on leave for 12 weeks – and then having to pay that temporary employee unemployment benefits when they are let go, they very quickly change their outlook and ask me, ‘Why are we doing this?’
Connecticut is the proud host of the largest National Trails Day grassroots celebration in the nation! On the first weekend in June, the Connecticut Forest & Park Association (CFPA) brings together about 250 volunteers to lead events like hiking, biking, paddling, letterboxing, trail work parties, equestrian rides, and trail experiences of all kinds to get Connecticut residents outside and away from household chores, television, and the internet for a day.
I encourage you and your family to get outside and celebrate Connecticut Trails Weekend with CFPA! Enjoy a sense of community, tradition and stewardship for the environment.
200+ events will be taking place in more than 100 towns in Connecticut on the first weekend of June, but here is a list of some local events to participate in:
What: Trail Maintenance Where: Tarrywile Park, 70 Southern Blvd, Danbury Date: Saturday, June 1st Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Pre-Registration is recommended. Click here for more information.