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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.