New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury


Rep. Smith Update: Saying “No” to the Governor’s Request for $10 Million to Study Tolls

Posted on July 19, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

As you may have heard, Governor Malloy this week announced he is requesting $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the impact of electronic tolling in Connecticut.

Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly each of the past five years, and it has never gotten a floor vote.  Thus far, significant public opposition to putting another financial burden on Connecticut taxpayers has prevented its passage in the legislature.

In the face of that opposition and despite several studies done prior, the governor nonetheless issued an Executive Order to proceed with a study that he says will show us what a toll proposal would look like and how much it would cost commuters.  I can tell you right now we don’t need a $10 million study to figure out that tolls will place yet another serious financial burden on our residents.

What we should be studying are ways to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses, not more ways to collect revenue from them.

In that vein, Republicans sent a proposal to Governor Malloy to address our transportation needs without imposing tolls – proposals that have clearly been ignored.

To that point, I would like to share with you a letter my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – wrote to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bonding Commission’s agenda.

I stand with my Republican colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request as well.

The Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.

Click on the image below to read the full letter:

 

Rep. Smith: Storm Recovery Update

Posted on July 3, 2018 by rjoslyn


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As our communities continue to recover from the unexpected and devastating storm that hit our part of Connecticut in May, I wanted to update you on the status of storm recovery efforts and clarify the degree of anticipated help from FEMA.

Here are the estimates of the storm damage I received from New Fairfield (subject to change):

  • Debris Removal (assumes 50,000 yards of chipped debris, final disposal  and monitors)  $3,250,000.00
  • Storm Related Costs (Shelter, overtime, equipment, fuel, etc. as of 6/15)  $144,000.00
  • Estimated Home Damage (provided by approx. 220 homeowners, includes property damage estimates and tree removal estimates) $2,500,000.00

 

In the Town of Sherman, $50,000.00 – broken out by public roads and does not include volunteer hours.

New Fairfield, Sherman, and New Milford have each hired contractors and cleanup is underway.

  • Sherman has finished clearing debris from all town roads and some private roads
  • New Fairfield’s debris removal began on Monday and is estimated to continue until August 8, though this could change
  • In Danbury, cleanup is expected to begin after the Fourth of July holiday

 

Officials in New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury have been in touch with FEMA in regards to obtaining federal assistance for public land, roads and utilities.We hope to know soon how much FEMA funding each town will qualify for.

Private/non-profit organizations can also attempt to secure federal assistance for disaster management and recovery.  Visit this link for information from the State of Connecticut on how to apply.

FEMA also has information on applicant eligibility and the steps involved with receiving assistance, available here. Relevant information can be found on pages “9” and “54.”

I have been working in concert with local officials to make sure we receive as much aid as our communities will need.

If you are aware of an unresolved issue from the storm or have questions about applying for federal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office and I will be happy to help. You can send me an email at richard.smith@housegop.ct.gov or give me a phone call at 800-842-1423.

Rep. Smith Challenges Legislative Democrats for “Failing to Stand Up” to Governor Malloy

Posted on June 28, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) criticized legislative Democrats on Monday for refusing to override Governor Dan Malloy’s veto of a bill prohibiting future governors from making cuts to education aid in the middle of a fiscal year.

Although there was enough support in the House on a 103-33 vote margin to override the governor’s veto, the override effort failed to achieve 2/3rd support in the Senate and was unsuccessful, meaning Governor Malloy’s veto will stand.  The legislature also failed to override vetoes on several other pieces of legislation that passed this year when Senate Democrats sided with Governor Malloy.

Public Act 18-35 was legislation intended to prevent a Connecticut governor from withholding Education Cost Sharing funds promised to a municipality for the school year, and was a key priority for Rep. Smith.

“This was a common-sense bill that took an executive power away from the governor that severely hurt towns and school district in our community by cutting funding in the middle of the fiscal year, so it is unfortunate these Democratic members chose to stand with Governor Malloy in opposition,” said Rep. Smith.  “The legislature needs  to take steps to ensure predictability and stability not just for the sake of local schools, but for taxpayers and businesses who are trying to remain in Connecticut.  Failing to override other vetoes – like offering a tax credit to manufacturers who train new workers – shows misplaced priorities.  I am determined to pursue common sense policies like this one to support families and businesses in upper Fairfield County.”

All seven of the governor’s vetoes were sustained in a special session of the General Assembly on Monday.