New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury


Rep. Smith Votes Against Controversial Minimum Wage Hike

Posted on May 10, 2019 by admin


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HARTFORDState Representative Richard A. Smith (R-108) said on Thursday that the state’s business community can’t afford the crush of anti-employer policies pushed by Democrats and voted against a controversial proposal to increase the state’s minimum wage to $15 over a four and a half year period.

Cheering was displayed in the House Chamber both when House Democrats cobbled together to roll out a ramshackle bill (H.B. 5004) late Wednesday, providing neither Republicans nor the public adequate time to review a proposal that will drive state spending hikes and trigger cost increases for businesses small and large, and when it was passed this morning – a reaction deemed inappropriate according to House Rules.

“I wonder if we will hear those same cheers as businesses continue the exodus out of Connecticut? I wonder if my Democratic colleagues were cheering when the reports came in that we lose 3,400 jobs in the first quarter of the year? Should we cheer that we have only recovered 80% of the jobs lost starting with the 2008-2010 recession, making us the only state in New England to not have reached full recovery, while Massachusetts is currently experiencing a 600% job growth spurt,” asked Rep. Smith, who said that he respects the differences shared across the aisle but found this behavior to be disrespectful.

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Rep. Smith Hears Constituent Concerns Regarding Paid Family Medical Leave

Posted on April 29, 2019 by admin


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Paid Family Medical Leave (FML) is a program that allows employees to take paid time off in order to heal from an illness or care for loved ones and close family friends. Current proposals to implement this type of program in Connecticut call for it to be funded by a 0.5 percent payroll tax, which based on the answers from a recent online survey, the majority of my constituents say they cannot afford.

Of course, if the 0.5 payroll tax is not enough to fund the program, the Commissioner of Labor can increase the amount deducted from your paycheck. Under the current proposal, if more than two percent of the labor force uses the program, it will become insolvent, thereby requiring the tax to be raised.

All private-sector employees in Connecticut would have to contribute to this state-run trust fund from which qualified employees on leave would draw their salary for up to 12 weeks. Concerns regarding the sustainability, cost of administration, and potential fraud and abuse of the program have majority leaders at odds even with their own caucus as to how to make paid FML happen.

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Southwestern Connecticut Residents Learn the Facts About Tolls at Recent Informational Forum

Posted on April 12, 2019 by admin


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Hosted by Rep. Smith and Colleagues  

DANBURY – House and Senate Republican ranking members of the Transportation Committee, State Rep. Laura Devlin and Senator Henri Martin, were invited to Danbury last week by their colleagues, State Representatives Richard Smith (R-108), J.P. Sredzinski, Mitch Bolinsky, and Stephen Harding, to present a transportation funding plan to their constituents that does not rely on tolls or tax increases.

“I am grateful to Rep. Devlin and Sen. Martin for coming out to my district to meet with my constituents,” said Rep. Smith. “Please contact me at 1-800-842-1423 or Richard.Smith@housegop.ct.gov if you have any further questions regarding tolls, our alternative plan, and the future of transportation in Connecticut.”

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