Reps. Wilms Appointed to CT Pension Sustainability Commission

Posted on September 10, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORD –State Representative Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) has been appointed to the Connecticut Pension Sustainability Commission by House Republican Leader Themis Klarides. The appointment is effective immediately.

“I am honored to accept this appointment and I thank House Republican Leader Klarides for placing her trust in me,” Rep. Wilms said. “I believe that if we do not address our unfunded liabilities now, the impact on Connecticut’s economy could be irreversible. We need to make structural changes in the way Hartford has been doing business. I look forward to working with the other members of the commission to address our state’s pension system.”

The commission was established under H.B. 1502 (the budget) under section 180. The purpose of the commission is to explore the feasibility of establishing a trust composed of state assets for the benefit of the state pension system – the single largest component of the biennial budget. The commission is tasked with identifying state assets that may be suitable for the trust, studying the impact of placing those assets in the trust, and developing procedures for managing the trust.

The pension system, which is underfunded, has been a primary contributor to the perpetual budget deficit faced by lawmakers in Hartford. Rep. Wilms, a financial professional by trade, brings a wealth of experience and business acumen to the commission. In Hartford, Wilms is a key member on the legislature’s high-powered Appropriations Committee, which is responsible for allocating funds to the state’s various departments and agencies, and has significant budget oversight.

State Representative Fred Wilms represents the 142nd General Assembly district communities of Norwalk and New Canaan. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee.

“Tax-Free Week” 2018 – August 19 – 25

Posted on August 13, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

“Tax-Free Week” is right around the corner! Each year Connecticut residents receive a much-needed break from the hefty sales tax we pay for consumer goods.

From Sunday, August 19, through Saturday, August 25, shoppers will have the opportunity to purchase select items under $100, TAX-FREE. With the start of school just around the corner, this is a great opportunity for some back-to-school shopping for the kids while saving money for families.

Tax-Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use, including items put on layaway.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities – football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories – jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets and watches, etc.

The Connecticut sales tax rate is currently 6.35%, which can add up quickly when buying multiple items.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.

As always, Rep. Wilms is available at (800) 842-1423 or fred.wilms@housegop.ct.gov if you have any questions or concerns relating to state government.

Rep. Wilms Achieves Perfect Voting Record for 2018 Session

Posted on July 2, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORD – State Representative Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) finished the 2018 Session with a perfect voting record according to a report just released on Thursday.

“I take my job in Hartford very seriously,” Rep. Wilms said. “Public service is a part of who I am. My constituents voted me into office and they expect me to be present for each vote. Every bill we consider is important to someone in the State of Connecticut and it deserves our consideration. I am proud of my record, but even more proud to represent the 142nd House district.”

During the 2018 Session, which lasted from February 7th to May 9th, there were 317 total votes held in the House of Representatives. Only 52 members of the chamber, or roughly 34 percent, were in attendance for each of them. Achieving a perfect voting record is challenging and uncommon, especially when considering many legislators hold full time positions outside the part-time Connecticut legislature, including Rep. Wilms.

During the 2018 Session, Representative Wilms took leadership roles on the following bills:

  • The State Budget – no tax increases, fully balanced plus $1 billion placed into the Rainy Day Fund.
  • The Special Transportation Fund Crisis – by shifting the Car Sales Tax to this fund from the General Fund, MetroNorth and bus services cuts were avoided.
  • Education Cost Sharing Funding – protecting against funding cuts by the Governor.
  • Bioscience sector – creating a strategic plan for this promising economic sector.
  • Medical Telehealth services – updating our old laws to keep pace with new technologies.
  • Protecting children with food allergies while away at school.

Major Public Acts – 2018 Legislative Session

Posted on June 28, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Here you can find the 2018 Major Public Acts report from the Office of Legislative Research. This document contains legislative highlights from 15 categories:

  • Banking
  • Bonding
  • Budget Revisions
  • Criminal Justice and Public Safety
  • Education
  • Energy and Environment
  • Government Administration and Elections
  • Insurance and Real Estate
  • Labor and Economic Development
  • Municipalities
  • Public Health
  • Social Services
  • Taxes
  • Transportation
  • Veterans

The public and special acts listed in the document are the most significant, far-reaching, and publicly debated acts adopted by the General Assembly during the 2018 session.

Seven bills were vetoed by the governor this year. Despite an attempt by legislative Republicans to override these vetoes, all were sustained due to a lack of support for majority legislators. Here you can find a list of bills vetoed following the 2018 Session.

As always, Rep. Wilms may be contacted at any time to discuss legislation or any other state issue at fred.wilm@housegop.ct.gov or toll free at (800) 842-1423.

Reps. O’Dea, Wilms Tour Silver Hill Hospital

Posted on May 31, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

NEW CANAAN – State Representatives Tom O’Dea (R-New Canaan, Wilton) and Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) toured the Silver Hill Hospital for Mental Health and Addiction in New Canaan on May 29th, 2018.

“The opioid crisis in Connecticut has reached a critical level,” Rep. Wilms said. “Hospitals like Silver Hill will help us combat addiction and reduce the number of fatalities in our state. I would like to thank the hospital for allowing us to visit, and for their dedication to saving and changing lives. To assist in their efforts, I cosponsored a bill expanding telehealth services to treat addiction, which has passed the legislature this year. We will continue to do our part in Hartford to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets and to provide assistance to those battling addiction.”

“Mental health and drug addiction are complex problems that require the unique care that Silver Hill offers,” Rep. O’Dea said. “They provide a tremendous service to the community, especially during a time when the number of opioid deaths has reached unprecedented levels. Combating drug addiction in our state is a group effort. We must continue to educate the public on this crisis, pass legislation to help reduce the number of drugs on our streets, ensure that hospitals like Silver Hill have the resources they need to treat patients, and continue to support our first responders in any way possible. In addition, Silver Hill’s new President and Medical Director, John Santopietro, MD, DFAPA, has experience developing and growing large scale telehealth programs, which, I believe, are key to making affordable healthcare available to all.”

Silver Hill Hospital has been operational since 1931 when it was founded by Dr. John Millet and Nurse Elvira Parsons with the first patient being admitted that December. The non-profit hospital began treating addiction in 1971 where the conducted original research into the biological and psychological contributors to addiction. Today, the hospital treats over 3,500 patients annually. Their goal is to treat the addiction, or other conditions, and eventually transition patients into productive lives. Silver Hill is a nationally recognized psychiatric hospital that continually receives accolades for their success with patients.

Reps. O’Dea and Wilms supported P.A. 18-148, An Act Concerning Telehealth Services, which passed both chambers of the General Assembly with strong bipartisan support. This bill allows telehealth providers to prescribe non-opioid Schedule II or III controlled substances in the treatment of a psychiatric disability or substance abuse disorder. The bill also adds registered nurses and pharmacists to the list of health care providers who may provide telehealth services. The bill now awaits Governor Malloy’s signature.

State Rep. Tom O’Dea represents the 125th General Assembly district which includes New Canaan and Wilton.  He is Deputy Republican Leader At-Large and serves on the legislature’s Transportation Committee as well as the Judiciary, Legislative Management and Regulation Review Committees.

State Representative Fred Wilms represents the 142nd General Assembly district communities of Norwalk and New Canaan. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee.

Upcoming Coffee Hour and Town Hall Meetings

Posted on May 15, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

 

In the coming days and weeks, Rep. Wilms will be co-hosting the following events with other area legislators.

Please see below for details:

 

 

 

Coffee & Conversation

Norwalk Inn, 99 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06851

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 16, 2018 from 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

 

 

 

Norwalk Post-Session Town Hall

South Norwalk Library, 10 Washington Street, Norwalk, CT 06854

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

 

 

 

New Canaan Post-Session Town Hall

New Canaan Town Hall, 77 Main Street, New Canaan, CT 06840

Wednesday, May 30, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

 

These events are opportunities to discuss the issues from the 2018 Session that are important to you such as Transportation funding, education cost sharing and the state budget.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

If you are unable to attend one of these events, but will still like to speak with Rep. Wilms regarding any state government issue, please contact him at fred.wilms@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.

 

Rep. Wilms, Republican Lawmakers Release

Posted on May 3, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

HARTFORD – State Representative Fred Wilms (R-142) joined fellow House and Senate Republicans at the Capitol this afternoon to release their second complete balanced budget proposal this year to stabilize the state budget in fiscal year 2019 and beyond.

“Once again, Republicans have taken the lead with budget negotiations by proposing a second fiscally responsible, balanced spending and revenue plan for Connecticut,” Rep. Wilms said. “Our state needs stability. Instead of using an expected revenue surplus to create more lavish programs and offer more empty promises, we show fiscal restraint by putting that money towards our unfunded liabilities and the rainy day fund. Best of all, we fund core social services, such as the Medicare Savings Program, without introducing new taxes.”

The revised Republican plan fully balances next year’s budget, reduces future deficits, restores funding for core government functions, and accomplishes the above without new taxes. The plan also preserves grants for substance abuse treatment and mental health care, and provides $5 million for Emergency Placements for those with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Finally, the plan increases funding to Norwalk and New Canaan compared to the governor’s 2019 proposal. Overall, the Republican plan implements policies to achieve long-term savings for the state allowing stability and predictability in future years.

The 2018 Session ends at midnight on Wednesday, May 9th, 2018.

 

Please click here to read more about the Republican FY 2019 budget proposal.

Reps. Lavielle, Wilms, and Wood Detail Plan to Balance the Budget & Make Connecticut Fiscally Sustainable

Posted on April 23, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Budget Adjustments Prioritize Transportation, Education, Paying Off Liabilities

HARTFORD Norwalk’s GOP delegation of State Representatives Gail Lavielle (R-143), Fred Wilms (R-142) and Terrie Wood (R-141) joined their Republican colleagues in rolling out a budget adjustment proposal for Fiscal Year 2019 ahead of a meeting of the Appropriations Committee.

The proposal aims to eliminate Connecticut’s $200 million budget deficit without raising taxes while maintaining funding for transportation, Education Cost Sharing grants, core social services, and tax breaks for seniors, retirees, and working families.  More dollars are also dedicated to repaying the state’s unfunded liabilities, including the State Employees’ Retirement Fund, the Teachers’ Retirement Fund, and the Teachers’ Healthcare Fund.

The representatives will continue to advocate for further structural changes to state government and reduce funds that had been allocated to bailing out the city of Hartford.

“It is not appropriate ever for the state to make promises it can’t keep by undertaking things it can’t afford and neglecting the debts it owes and the services essential to its residents,” said Rep. Lavielle. “Our budget does not use one-time funds to close operating deficits for this year or next. It does not include new programs that we cannot afford. By simply revising our existing biennial budget, it makes the necessary adjustments to preserve funding for essential social programs, mass transit, education, and municipal aid, and then uses the one-time revenues in the budget reserve only to reduce the unfunded liabilities that are keeping the state from moving forward. This is the way to enhance predictability and stability, the keys to ensuring that the state keeps its promises now and for the long term.”

“Unfortunately, our state is running out of options to control costs and pay down unfunded liabilities without drastically cutting services,” said Rep. Wood.  “Income tax receipts were better than expected, but my concern is that the good news could encourage some of my colleagues in the legislature to go on a spending spree.  We cannot let this happen.  Any additional revenue has to be used to ensure Connecticut’s fiscal sustainability for the long-term while protecting local education and making necessary investments in transportation.”

“Once again, we have produced a budget that is balanced, without tax increases, contains no financial gimmicks plus protects our social safety net,” said Rep. Wilms.  “Furthermore, the one time revenues from overseas tax repatriations are being placed into our unfunded retirement plans.”

Reps. Lavielle, Wilms, and Wood emphasized the prioritization of transportation funding in the budget adjustment proposal by fully funding the Special Transportation Fund (STF) and preventing rail fare increases not already in statute from being implemented in 2018 or 2019.   It protects funding for local transit districts for the entirety of the budget cycle without calling for any new taxes or tolls.  In the proposal, funding is eliminated from the planned expansion of CT FastTrak to UConn and used to enhance existing infrastructure.

Lawmakers have until the 2018 legislative session adjourns on May 9 to complete and pass a budget plan.

State Representative Gail Lavielle represents the 143rd district, which includes parts of Norwalk, Westport, and Wilton. She is Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s Education Committee and a member of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee and the Transportation Committee.

State Representative Fred Wilms represents the 142nd General Assembly district communities of Norwalk and New Canaan. He is a member of the Appropriations Committee, the Planning and Development Committee, and the Transportation Committee.

State Rep. Terrie Wood represents the 141st General Assembly district which includes Darien and part of Norwalk.  She is Ranking Member on the legislature’s Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee, and serves on the Human Services and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees. 

Norwalk Transportation Forum on Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Posted on March 22, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Reps. Fred Wilms, Terrie Wood, Gail Lavielle and Transportation Commissioner James Redeker are inviting residents to attend the Norwalk Transportation Forum on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Norwalk City Hall – Common Council Chambers

125 East Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06856

Wednesday, March, 28, 2018 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

This is your opportunity to present your suggestions and voice your concerns about Norwalk area transportation issues. Issues such as proposed bus and rail fare increases, proposed changes to services, and local transportation projects will be discussed. Commissioner Redeker and your legislators want to hear your input.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact Rep. Wilms if you have questions relating to transportation or state government at fred.wilms@housegop.ct.gov or (800) 842-1423.

Rep. Fred Wilms Reads to Students at Brookside School in Norwalk

Posted on March 6, 2018 by admin


Facebooktwittergoogle_plusmail

Rep. Fred Wilms (R-Norwalk, New Canaan) read to students at the Brookside School in Norwalk during Read Across America Day, Friday, March 2, 2018. The annual event is held across the country to promote literacy among youth. Rep. Wilms will continue to fight for fair and equitable education cost sharing for Norwalk and New Canaan to ensure that each student has the resources and opportunities to succeed.