Recent Posts by CT Senate Republican Blog Feed

Hwang and Kupchick Host Affordable Housing Forum on Updated 8-30g Law

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FAIRFIELD –  State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) and State Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132) hosted a Sep. 18 public forum at the McKinley School Cafeteria to discuss recent changes to the state’s 8-30g affordable housing law and next steps for Fairfield’s Affordable Housing Commission.

Sen. Hwang, who serves as Co-Chair of the General Assembly’s Housing Committee, and Rep. Kupchick, who is the lead House Republican on the Housing Committee, were integral in the bipartisan negotiations to craft the new law which gives towns like Fairfield more incentives to achieve a moratorium on affordable housing.

The new law makes several critical reforms to restore the ability of many communities throughout Connecticut to make comprehensive zoning and planning decisions.

For more information, contact Sen. Hwang at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov or Rep. Kupchick at Brenda.Kupchick@cga.ct.gov .

Attached photo, left to right:

Sen. Tony Hwang, Fairfield Director of Community and Economic Development Mark Barnhart, and Rep. Brenda Kupchick address area residents during the Sep. 18 Affordable Housing Forum in Fairfield.

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Hwang on MGM Bridgeport Casino Plans: Diverse Coalition to Continue to Oppose CT Gambling Expansion

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State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, issued the following statement after MGM on Sep. 18 announced plans to build a casino in Bridgeport:

“When Gov. Malloy signed the casino expansion bill into law, I noted that a casino somewhere in Fairfield County could one day be our reality.

“I said that Gov. Malloy placed his bet.  He signed a bad bill.

“When he signed it, Gov. Malloy should have said, ‘See you in court,’ because that’s where this issue will be for years and years.

“Economically, it makes little sense to expand casino gambling when the Northeast faces a growing casino glut.  You can’t base a successful, sustainable economy on gambling.

“And what about the human costs?   Casinos spread gambling addiction, debt, bankruptcies, and crime. We cannot ignore the societal costs that gambling has brought to Connecticut: The families that have been torn apart, the lost hopes, and the suicides.

“I will continue to raise awareness about the costs of expanded gambling and speak out for the victims.

“A diverse coalition of religious and grassroots groups has joined me.  The Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut(www.NoMoreCasinosInCT.org) is comprised of Catholics, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Muslim, Methodists and Baptists.

“We have undertaken what many call a ‘David vs. Goliath’ fight, but this is a fight worth having, and we will not give up.”

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport .  On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com.  He can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and at 800-842-1421.

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Contact Malloy ASAP!

Our bipartisan no new taxes budget bill is now on Gov. Malloy’s desk!

This plan restores education funding for our schools, restores funding for services for the most vulnerable, and has NO NEW TAXES.

Please do the following on Monday morning:

Call the governor’s office at 860-566-4840.

Tell Malloy to sign this bipartisan bill!

Tell him: “Don’t veto this budget!”

Email him at Governor.Malloy@ct.gov

Copy me on the email at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov

Keep calling and writing!

SHARE this info with Fed Up CT Taxpayers who don’t want Malloy to tax our cell phones and hike taxes by more than a billion dollars Yet Again!

 

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Sen. Hwang Applauds Bipartisan Approval of Republican Budget Proposal

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Sen. Hwang Applauds Bipartisan Approval of Republican Budget Proposal

State Senator Tony Hwang on Sep. 15 applauded the Connecticut State Senate’s bipartisan approval of the Republican budget proposal.

Three Democratic lawmakers joined Republicans in voting for the amended state budget, which passed by a vote of 21 to 15.

The amended budget now goes to the state House of Representatives for a vote

“Our plan moves Connecticut in a new direction,” Sen. Hwang said. “We want to generate a predictable, sustainable and transparent ecosystem where Connecticut businesses can thrive and grow. We can do it with no new taxes.  Time is of the essence to protect our schools, our communities and our most vulnerable and at-risk residents.”

The Republican proposal contains:

  • No new tax on cell phones
  • No real estate conveyance tax hike
  • No sales tax hike
  • No tax hike on restaurants
  • No property tax hikes
  • No income tax hikes
  • No tolls or mileage taxes
  • No home heating oil and propane energy taxes.
  • No new tax on “seasonal” homes

The plan:

  • Reduces taxes for retirees
  • Restores funding for local education
  • Restores funding for core social services for our neediest residents
  • Provides property tax and educational funding stability for towns and cities
  • Makes structural budgetary changes, such as an enforceable state spending cap, requiring voting on state labor contracts and an effective bond cap
  • Prioritizes progress to upgrade and innovate our transportation infrastructure.

(Budget Details Attached)

Republican How the Deficit is Solved

Final Republican Municipal Runs

Final Republican Budget

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.  He serves as Co-Chair of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Housing Committee. He can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov or 800-842-1421. On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com.

 

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Taxation Without Representation!

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Connecticut taxpayers:

Majority Democrats at the State Capitol have rendered you voiceless.

The Democrats at the State Capitol are going to approve more than a billion dollars-worth of tax hikes. (Again)

For example:

Those tax hikes include a new monthly tax on cell phonesa proposal which never received a public hearing.

What other items are buried in the budget that you had no opportunity to weigh in on?

I have no idea, because I have yet to even see a single page of the huge budget bill that I will be asked to vote on in a matter of hours.

That’s outrageous.

That’s disrespectful to you.

Call them in the morning.

Then call them next week.

And next month.

Ask them why they did this.

  • House Democrats at 860 240-8500.
  • Senate Democrats at 860 240-8600.
  • Gov. Malloy at 860 566-4840.

Show them that you do have a voice.

Light up the phones.

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Senate & House Republicans Release Revised No-Tax-Increase State Budget Proposal


Hartford – Today Connecticut Senate and House Republicans joined together to release a revised two-year state budget proposal with no new taxes that would put a stop to the governor’s executive order, restore funding for education and core social services, and provide stability for towns and cities.

The revised budget includes no tax increases and rejects the governor’s proposal to shift teacher pension costs onto towns and cities that would further burden municipalities and lead to increased property taxes. The Republican budget proposal combines elements of the Senate and House Republicans’ multiple prior budget proposals, feedback from Democrats, and factors in the legislature’s passage of the state employee labor concessions deal that is now law. The original Republican budget was first released in April and updated throughout the year as the state’s financial situation changed.

“Connecticut is at a crossroads and we are facing one of the greatest financial challenges our state has ever seen. In this time of hardship, it is imperative that we send a clear message to the people of Connecticut that we are moving our state in a new direction. We cannot do that with a budget that increases taxes by nearly $1 billion and continues the same policies that have failed our state in the past. We have to rebuild people’s confidence in Connecticut by sending a strong message that we are pursuing change,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby). “Connecticut Republicans are once again offering a complete, balanced budget proposal that does exactly that. We are offering structural changes to achieve savings in the long term. We are prioritizing funding for the core functions of government, education, transportation and services for individuals with disabilities. We are fairly funding education with a real formula that factors in population, poverty, and need. We are creating stability and predictability for our cities and towns. And we are doing all this by making strategic reductions in the size of government, not by increasing revenue with new taxes on the backs of working and middle class families or our state’s healthcare providers.”

“Republicans have once again demonstrated that the state’s multibillion dollar deficit, caused by runaway spending and high taxes that stymied economic growth, can be eliminated without raising taxes or gutting social services for the needy. While the SEBAC deal further tied the hands of lawmakers and took many long-term structural changes off the table, there are still steps we can take today to rein in costs, reduce future spending, and create an environment that promotes economic growth and opportunity for all people. That is what this budget proposal seeks to do. Budgeting is about priorities and the Republican budget prioritizes the core functions of government, makes tough choices to reduce spending, and avoids increasing taxes – a strategy that has only created bigger deficits over the last six years.”

“We believe it is in our state’s best interest for lawmakers to come together and pass a bipartisan budget, which is why we have worked for months to try to negotiate a deal with Democrats that truly moves our state forward. But Democrat legislators made it clear they would rather work with Gov. Malloy than their Republican colleagues and pass a budget that relies on the same policies that have failed our state in the past,” the  Republican leaders added.

“Republicans want a bipartisan solution, but we cannot vote for something that will only bring us right back into deficit in a few months time. Unfortunately that is the path Democrats are choosing to pursue. They have rejected our proposals to implement long needed structural changes such as an enforceable state spending cap and effective bond cap. Nevertheless it is our responsibility to continue working until the very end and pushing for the policies that we were elected to fight for. That’s why we are yet again offering our ideas in a complete budget and a better path for the people of our state that we hope Democrat rank and file lawmakers will see the value in.”

The budget proposal released by Republicans today includes the following:

No New Taxes

The Republican budget contains no new taxes. It does not increase or expand the sales tax, hospital tax or income tax. It also rejects the governor’s proposal to shift teacher pension costs onto municipalities as such a policy change would likely result in property tax increases.

Reduces Taxes

The Republican budget enacts two policies that will reduce taxes for retirees by phasing in a tax exemption for Social Security and pension income for middle income families. In addition, the Republican budget also restores the entire $200 property tax credit for all qualifying families and individuals. Under Governor Malloy’s tenure this tax credit has been reduced from $500 and we believe that property owners deserve a break on their taxes.

Increases Education Funding

The Republican budget rejects the governor’s devastating education cuts contained in his budget proposal and executive order entirely. It instead includes a fully revised Education Cost Sharing Formula that takes into account factors regarding CCJEF and Meskill court decisions, enrollment, poverty, wealth and number of English Language Learners, among other factors. This budget dedicates $33.6 million more to education in FY 2018 and $136.6 million more in FY 2019 and phases in a new formula over 10 years. It also establishes a council to analyze and make changes to the new formula within the next year if deemed necessary. In 2018 all cities and towns’ base ECS grants will either be held harmless or gain more funding.

Municipal Support and Mandate Relief

This budget provides predictable municipal aid so that towns and cities know what they can count on from the state. This plan rejects the Governor’s proposal to force towns and cities to pay hundreds of millions in teacher pension costs. It implements significant mandate relief for cities and towns to help municipalities achieve efficiencies, foster cooperation between school boards and local government, and pass savings on to taxpayers. Instead of drastic and deep cuts to core municipal aid that towns rely upon each and every year such as education funding, and instead of adding new expenses, this budget would eliminate the unsustainable MRSA diversion, and stabilize funding so that towns know what they can count on each year. This comprehensive approach will establish predictable and sustainable aid for small towns and large cities and take into account the challenges faced in all communities.

Funds Core Social Services

This revised budget maintains Republican proposals to restore funding for core social services and programs that benefit people most in need. It fully funds day and employment services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, reopens Care4Kids, protects funding for SAGA that supports disabled residents who are unable to work, funds school based health clinics and family resource centers, restores funding for mental health services among many other programs.

Prioritizes Transportation

The Republican budget recognizes the importance of a safe, modern transportation system to public safety and economic growth throughout our state. Therefore, this budget prioritizes the state’s transportation needs and stabilizes funding without tolls or new taxes. It implements the Republican “Prioritize Progress” transportation funding plan and stabilizes the state’s Special Transportation Plan by dedicating transportation-related revenues to fund transportation needs and protects monies in the state’s Special Transportation Fund from being diverted for other uses.

Supports Seniors

The Republican budget lowers taxes for retirees by immediately eliminating the tax on social security and phasing in an elimination of taxation of pension income for single filers with an AGI below $75,000 and joint filers below $100,000. It also helps seniors age in place by restoring funding for programs such as Meals on Wheels, the personal needs allowance, non ADA dial a ride, and the CT Home Care Program.

Employment and Day Opportunities for the Intellectually Disabled

Our budget fully funds employment and day opportunities for new high school graduates over the biennium, nor does the Republican Budget carry forward reductions imposed by Governor Malloy to employment and day opportunities services for the intellectually disabled. 

Funds State Parks & Tourism

Acknowledging the multiplier effect that tourism has on our economy, the Republican budget proposes to transfer 1.5% of the current hotel occupancy tax to a new Marketing, Culture and Tourism account. This is not a new tax as Democrats have proposed. Rather, it dedicates a portion of the current tax for its intended purpose to boost tourism funding. This budget also implements the Passports to Parks program that has garnered bipartisan support in the legislature.

Reduces Size of Government

The Republican budget proposal implements overtime savings of 10 percent, a hiring freeze on non-24-hour non-union positions, and makes cuts to the legislature such as reducing the number of legislative committees. The budget also makes targeted spending cuts, 10 percent reductions to certain agency accounts, and rolls forward lapses made last year except for cuts to core services such as grants for mental health and substance abuse and youth service bureau funding.

Includes Structural Changes

In addition to balancing the budget over the next two years, this budget includes policy changes that roll out into future years to achieve significant savings. Changes include items such as a spending cap, bonding cap, municipal mandate relief, and other policy changes for long term savings. The budget also implements pension reform beginning after the SEBAC deal ends in 2027 to achieve $270 million in savings over the biennium from the following changes to state employee benefits: requiring workers to pay the national average towards their retirement benefit, eliminating COLAs until the fund balance of the state employee retirement system is deemed healthy by national standards, eliminating overtime from calculation of final average salary, ceasing the current practice which allows higher paid employees to receive a larger portion of their final average salary as lower pain employees, commonly referred to as a break point.

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Sen. Hwang: Give Realtors a Connecticut They Can Sell

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Give Realtors a Connecticut They Can Sell

 By Sen. Tony Hwang

As your State Senator and a Connecticut Realtor, I want you to know that Democratic state legislators are considering accepting Governor Malloy’s plan to significantly increase taxes on real estate sellers (conveyance taxes).

Governor Malloy’s latest proposed budget includes an increase to the conveyance tax for the sale of real estate. When you sell your home, the state taxes you on the sale price of the property. Currently, for all sales $800,000 or less, sellers are charged a .75% tax on the price. For all sales over $800,000, sellers pay .75% on the first $800,000 and then 1.25% on the overage.  The Governor’s proposed budget would increase the rates to 1% and 2% respectively.

Democratic legislators need to remember the importance of the housing market to the overall state economy.  This new tax will make it even harder and more costly for people to buy or sell a home. The fragile economy will not recover until the housing market and valuation recovers. As legislators and policymakers, we should be making it easier for families to buy a home, not harder and more expensive.

By increasing the sales tax on real estate, state Democrats would effectively penalize homeowners and landlords for selling their property. This is another example of why, even though we live in a wonderful state, people and companies are leaving. Just a day ago, an innovative biotechnology company that was given major state economic incentives decided Connecticut was not the proper ecosystem for them.  The company plans to move to Boston, just as GE did.

Another tax is not the way to entice corporations to move here and stimulate our economy.  It sends the wrong message.

In Fairfield County, the impact is especially devastating as there will be expanded tax increases for the portion of the home sale over $800,000.  This tax would be especially burdensome to our residents due to our highly competitive property values. There are many benefits to the community when real estate sells. Jobs are created.  Banks, home improvement contractors and furniture stores all benefit from a new home sale.  This additional tax would have a negative impact on all of these businesses and the Connecticut economy.
So please, let your voices be heard.  Get active.  Get loud.

Now is the time.

Let the Governor, the Democratic leadership and your state representatives know that taxing home sales will only further damage Connecticut’s already fragile economy.

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.  He serves as Co-Chair of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Housing Committee. He can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov or 800-842-1421. On the web:www.SenatorHwang.com.

 

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No New CT Taxes!

SenHwang

Republicans have unveiled a detailed solution to move Connecticut in a new, sustainable, predictable direction.

Our Republican proposal contains no new taxes:

  • No real estate conveyance tax hike
  • No sales tax hike
  • No tax hike on restaurants
  • No tax hike on hospitals
  • No property tax hikes
  • No income tax hikes
  • No tolls or mileage taxes
  • No home heating oil and propane energy taxes.

Our plan:

  • Reduces taxes for retirees
  • Restores funding for local education
  • Restores funding for core social services for our neediest residents
  • Provides property tax and educational funding stability for towns and cities
  • Makes structural budgetary changes, such as an enforceable state spending cap, requiring voting on state labor contracts and an effective bond cap
  • Prioritizes progress to upgrade and innovate our transportation infrastructure.

All of this will generate a predictable, sustainable and transparent ecosystem where Connecticut businesses can thrive and grow.

Time is of the essence to protect our communities and our most vulnerable and at-risk residents!

The line-by-line details can be found here:

http://ctsenaterepublicans.com/2017/09/our-ct-republican-revised-no-tax-increase-budget/#.WbhMi4KovL8

 

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