Rep. Sredzinski Construction Update: Scheduled Closure and Detour of Rt. 25 in Monroe Postponed to Next Week

Posted on August 3, 2018 by rjoslyn


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The CT Department of Transportation has announced that the scheduled closure and detour of Rt. 25 in Monroe has been postponed and moved to next weekend.  The closure will be from Aug. 10 to 13, instead of this weekend as originally scheduled.

As required for the project to replace two culverts and raise the roadway along that stretch of Route 25, the project contractor will close the road from 8 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 10, to 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 13.

While traffic will be detoured onto Pepper Street and Old Newtown Road, truck traffic will not be permitted on local roads and instead be detoured to routes 111 and 34. This is the first of three weekend closures planned this year, but those additional dates have not been finalized.

Access to all businesses in that area will remain available during the road closure.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have further questions about DOT projects or any other state issue.

Rep. Sredzinski Signs Petition to Call a Special Session and Stop Governor’s $10 Million Toll Study

Posted on July 24, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Rep. Sredzinski Signing Petition to Convene Special Session

HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) signed a petition this week to request a special session for the purpose of prohibiting the expenditure of taxpayer funds to study and evaluate the establishment of tolls in Connecticut.

Last week, Governor Dan Malloy issued an Executive Order directing the state Department of Transportation to prepare a plan implementing tolls and study its impacts. He is requesting to borrow $10 million for the study from the Bond Commission, which he chairs.

The study would explore tolls on all major Connecticut highways, including Interstates 95, 91, and 84, along with the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways. This past spring, the legislature refused to consider a similar study costing only $5 million.

“In an effort to prevent expenditure of taxpayer money on something so unnecessary, I am joining my colleagues in attempting legislative action to explicitly prohibit using taxpayer money to study tolls,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “To proceed with a $10 million toll study when the legislature refused to consider a similar study – that only costed $5 million – this past spring, is to ignore the public opposition against another layer of revenue collection on the people of Connecticut.  While the governor has the power to issue executive orders, as he did to commission the study, the legislature still has the power to block funds in response.  We have to protect taxpayers and commuters from a plan that would make Connecticut even less affordable.”

Rep. Sredzinski Calls on Bond Commission to Remove Governor’s $10 Million Toll Study from Agenda

Posted on July 18, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) today urged the State Bond Commission to remove from their agenda an item bonding $10 million to study the impact of electronic tolling on Connecticut highways. The agenda item would borrow money to pay for the study and is a request from Governor Dan Malloy, who chairs the Bond Commission and decides which items are on the agenda.

The study would explore tolls on all major Connecticut highways, including Interstates 95, 91, and 84, along with the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways.

Rep. Sredzinski offered the following statement in response to the announcement.

“The governor has again displayed how totally detached he is from Connecticut’s reality and the State Bond Commission must not enable his fantasies. We have seen studies about the impact tolls would have.  We have seen the proposals toll proponents are pushing in order to raise the most amount of money possible.  It is unconscionable to ask Connecticut taxpayers to pay for another study that studies how the state can extract even more money from them.  Ultimately, the study will find that tolls will make life for commuters and their families even less affordable.

“The $10 million price tag on this particular study is suspicious enough – plans I had seen before the legislature costed only $5 million to study tolls. Why is this one so expensive?  Further, asking for millions of borrowed dollars is particularly brazen, considering Governor Malloy and his administration will be gone in January and the legislature could look completely different.

“The state needs to be studying how to lessen the tax burden on our residents, not add an additional fee. If you think that tolls are a magical solution to the deep fiscal hole our state is in, fine!  Show us your proposal and we can debate it.  Don’t ask for $10 million to study it.  However, without decreasing the gas tax and making an honest effort to lower the laundry list of taxes and fees Connecticut taxpayers endure every day, I cannot fathom even exploring the concept of tolls.”

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 25.

Rep. Sredzinski Votes to Override Governor’s Veto of Bill Preventing Mid-Year Cuts

Posted on June 25, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) voted on Monday 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 to override the governor’s veto, the override effort failed to achieve 2/3 support in the Senate and was ultimately unsuccessful, meaning Governor Malloy’s veto will stand.

Public Act 18-35 was legislation intended to impede a Connecticut governor from withdrawing Education Cost Sharing funds already promised to a municipality for the school year. The bill was a key legislative priority for Rep. Sredzinski because Monroe has been targeted for mid-year funding holdbacks by the governor in recent years.

“Our current governor has gotten into a destructive habit of irresponsible spending on pet projects, then withdrawing funding from local school districts to make up the difference for the spending – this new law was intended to put a stop to these unprecedented actions,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “Making unanticipated mid-year cuts to municipalities causes chaos for town officials who must scramble to plug the holes in their budgets left by the cuts.  This means making cuts to school districts and scaling back core government services that families rely on, and relying on property taxpayers to make up for the rest.

“I am disappointed that there are still legislators who vote in lockstep with Governor Malloy in spite of the impact his cuts have had on schools across the state. Our current governor’s use of his executive powers is irresponsible and without precedent.  The legislature should have acted to take this power away from this governor as well as any future governor,” said Rep. Sredzinski.

The veto was sustained in a special session of the General Assembly after the Senate fell two shorts of the 2/3 support needed to override, although the House override effort successfully passed on a 103-33 margin.

Monroe Town Hall Forum with Rep. Sredzinski & Sen. Kelly

Posted on May 15, 2018 by rjoslyn


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MONROE State Rep. JP Sredzinski (R-112) and State Sen. Kevin Kelly (R-21) are holding a post-session town hall meeting on Thursday, May 24 at Monroe Town Hall. They will discuss legislation that passed this year and other issues pertaining to the conclusion of the 2018 legislative session, including the status of the state budget.  See attached flyer for further details.

 

Anyone who is unable to attend but would still like to speak to the legislators can contact Rep. Sredzinski at jp.sredzinski@housegop.ct.gov or Sen. Kelly at kevin.kelly@cga.ct.gov.

Rep. Sredzinski Votes for Compromise Budget to Protect Local Education, MSP Funding

Posted on May 10, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) on Wednesday praised the passage of a budget adjustment plan for the 2019 fiscal year.  The budget plan, which passed on a bipartisan vote before the end of the 2018 session, is the result of negotiations between Republican and Democratic leaders in the House and Senate to make adjustments to the budget passed last October.

The Republican budget plan was called for a vote earlier in the day, but was defeated.

Rep. Sredzinski emphasized the budget adjustments fulfill several of his key priorities for the session, including the protection of ECS funding for Monroe & Newtown, fully funding the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for seniors, adding money to teachers’ healthcare accounts, and increasing funding to the Special Transportation Fund. The budget adjustments do not contain any tax increases, a critical requirement Republicans insisted on.

“With Connecticut stuck in this ongoing fiscal crisis, it is critical we support our seniors and students, which is why Republicans led the push to restore cuts made to MSP and preserving ECS funding,” said Rep. Sredzinski. “This budget was a compromise with the majority party, so it does not do everything I would have liked. However, our state needs to have a balanced budget in place and we need to continue the progress made in the historic budget we passed last year.”

The plan will also provide $29 million more to the Special Transportation Fund for road projects by accelerating the existing tax on new cars. The funding will ramp up dramatically in the coming years.

Republicans were able to negotiate several provisions from their original budget proposal into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million.

Among the provisions in the compromise budget are:

  • $5 million for emergency placement for Department of Developmental Services patients
  • Reduce Energy Efficiency Fund sweeps by $10 million
  • $9.5 million for cost of living increases for private providers

 

Republicans also were successful in including some provisions for long-term structural changes, such as allowing for volunteerism at the local level to ease burdens on towns and cities, and hiring a consultant to come up with $500 million in savings for Connecticut.

Republicans also secured language in the legislation that would inhibit Gov. Malloy’s ability to cut funding for towns and cities as he did under his authority following the passage of the bipartisan budget last October.

“The budget we passed last year showed the progress Republicans can make in Hartford given more power, and this year our goal was to build on those achievements and keep the state moving in the right direction – even while working in the minority,” said Rep. Sredzinski. “These are all encouraging developments for families and business in our state. I am eager to continue working in the coming months to finally open our state for business again.”

The new budget adjustments go into effect at the beginning of FY 2019 on July 1.

Rep. Sredzinski Statement Following Remarks by Majority Leadership

Posted on May 8, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Rep. Sredzinski takes Speaker Aresimowicz up on his offer to “bring a highlighter” to the dais and mark up all of the House bills he would want to shelve so the budget can be discussed.

HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) made the following statement in response to remarks made by Speaker Joe Aresimowicz and Majority Leader Matt Ritter criticizing his comments requesting a House debate on the GOP budget and threatening to withhold his towns’ ECS funding as an alternative to debating a budget.

“My top priority for this session is the same as it has been since I was elected – to craft and pass a state budget that helps Connecticut emerge from its persistent fiscal crisis while protecting core social services. This priority flies in the face of the majority’s traditional one-size-fits-all approach to the legislative process.

“Today, it became obvious that Democratic leadership is finding themselves in the same unfortunate position as they were in all of last year when their caucus could not agree on a sensible budget proposal. For the Speaker and the Majority Leader to make flippant remarks that threaten a municipality with mid-year education cuts is inexcusable and does a disservice not just to my constituents in Monroe and Newtown, but to taxpaying families across Connecticut. Then, for the Speaker to make an offhand comment about my wife’s service to the City of Danbury is bizarre and goes against the professional decorum of the General Assembly.

“Last year’s budget standoff where towns had to endure draconian funding cuts all summer and fall cannot be a template for this session or any session in the future. We must do better.

“Finally, with all due respect to my colleagues in the General Assembly, the answer is, yes, I do think there are several issues on the House calendar that should be shelved if it means we can finish a budget. The Speaker needs to realize that to my constituents, the state budget is the most critical issue facing themselves, their families, and their livelihoods. That’s what I was sent up here to do and I believe we do need an open dialogue on the budget as soon as possible.”

Rep. Sredzinski Encouraged by House Support for Protecting Local Educating Funding from the Governor

Posted on May 4, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative JP Sredzinski (R-112) hailed the House passage of a bill to prevent the executive branch from reducing Education Cost Sharing grants in the middle of a fiscal year.

HB 5171 was passed by the House on a bipartisan 117-32 vote and would prohibit the governor from cutting ECS funding that had already been promised to a municipality to spend elsewhere. Although HB 5171 still needs to pass the State Senate and it is likely to be vetoed by the governor if it gets to him, Rep. Sredzinski called its support in the House “an encouraging sign” for municipalities that there is bipartisan opposition to the governor withdrawing previously allocated funds.

“Our current governor has shown particular insensitivity to the budgeting challenges faced by smaller municipalities in Connecticut like Monroe and Newtown,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “Local leadership takes great measures to build fiscally responsible budgets from their limited funding sources, but in recent years their budgets are blown up when the governor has announced sudden funding cuts mid-year.  This is not fair to local leaders and not fair to the property taxpayers who are on the hook to make up the difference.  If the governor cannot restrain himself from dipping into local education money in the middle of the fiscal year, then it is up to the legislature to end this practice in statute.”

“I urge the State Senate to take up and pass HB 5171 as soon as possible so we can begin work on gathering enough votes to override the governor’s inevitable veto. Legislators have a duty to stand up for their local leaders and this bill allows us to do that,” added Rep. Sredzinski.

HB 5171 now sits on the Senate calendar where it awaits action.

Rep. Sredzinski Celebrates Polish Day at the State Capitol

Posted on May 2, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – Rep. JP Sredzinski (R-112) honored the contributions of Polish-Americans to Connecticut in a celebration at the State Capitol on the annual Polish Day on Wednesday.  Every year, the Polish Legislative Caucus recognizes Polish-Americans who have positively impacted the state by their service, academic work, and community involvement.

“Polish Day is one of my favorite days of the year up at the Capitol because it allows the whole legislature to take time to recognize the contributions the people of Poland have made to the State of Connecticut,” said Rep. Sredzinski.  “Today’s honorees are no exception to the great people we have honored in the past; they have made significant contributions to the historic and cultural heritage of our state over the years.  I am honored to have participated in the ceremony.”

Rep. Sredzinski presents a state citation to Jan Niebrzydowski along with Chair of the Polish Legislative Caucus Rep. Peter Tercyak

Rep. Sredzinski presented a state citation to Jan Niebrzydowski and thanked him for his contributions on behalf of the State of Connecticut. The citation honored Niebrzydowski for his concerted efforts to preserve Polish history through his books and articles on World War II. 

The citation read: “Through your personal experiences and your historical depictions of the Anders Army, you have created a vital link for Polish cultural and historical legacies.  Your contributions to the preservation of Holocaust artifacts are of lasting historical significance and give the world a richer understanding of Polish history.  Thank you for all that you have done to show the importance of teaching the past in order to improve our future.”

Rep. Sredzinski & Newtown Delegation to Host Town Hall in Newtown on May 10

Posted on May 1, 2018 by rjoslyn


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NEWTOWN – State Rep. JP Sredzinski (R-112) is joining fellow state reps. Mitch Bolinsky (R-& Will Duff as well as State Sen. Tony Hwang are to host a post-session town hall forum in Newtown on May 10 from 6pm until 7:30pm at the Cyrenius H. Library.

The legislators will be discussing developments following the 2018 legislative session, updates to the state budget, legislation that became law, and other issues attendees would like to hear addressed.  Residents should come prepared with questions about state issues and how they affect the community.

 

If you are unable to attend this forum but would still like to discuss the 2018 legislative session, Rep. Sredzinski can be contacted at jp.sredzinski@housegop.ct.gov or by calling 800-842-1423.