Recent Posts by CT Senate Republican Blog Feed

(Listen) Don’t want 33.8 % health insurance rate hikes, Connecticut?

Don’t want 33.8 % health insurance rate hikes?

  1.      Listen to my (attached) interview with WTIC 1080’s Ray Dunaway
  2.  Email me your brief comments about these outrageous proposed hikes at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .
  3. Include your name and town in the email.
  4. Comments can be as brief as you like.  (Example:  “NO to rate hikes!”)
  5. I will get your comments to the State Department of Insurance by close of business this Friday.

Please share this info with other consumers who are FED UP!

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Wow…have you seen this Hartford Courant Editorial?

(Please read and share the following July 28 Hartford Courant editorial for an update on the CT state budget.  Send me your comments at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov – thank you!)

Mr. Aresimowicz, Get The Democrats To The Capitol

It’s on you, Joe Aresimowicz.

For many months, the Democratic Speaker of the House of Representatives has known that the state was facing a multibillion-dollar problem. He knew legislators would have to make painful cuts and find creative and fair ways to raise revenues if they had a prayer of solving it.

And they had a deadline. The fiscal year ends Friday.

But now, after mustering zero workable solutions over the past few months and with only hours to go, Mr. Aresimowicz has refused to call for a vote on a reasonable stop-gap budget offered by the governor and supported by the Senate‘s Republican and Democratic leaders.

Why? Because, Mr. Aresimowicz said, a temporary solution isn’t good enough — but also because the Democrats are on vacation.

“I believe my members are less than likely to hop on planes and leave their families at vacation places all over this country and other countries to come in and do a temporary fix,” he told reporters on Tuesday.

He refused to identify for The Courant those Democratic state representatives who chose to go on vacation at a critical time in one of the most serious budget crises the state has ever faced. Leaving town this week is a stunning dereliction of duty.

Mr. Aresimowicz and the rest of the House Democratic caucus are instead choosing to accept spending cuts so drastic that basic social safety nets for some of the state’s most vulnerable will be lost. Cuts to town aid will be so deep that local officials might have to recast their entire budgets. The move also puts the state’s shaky credit rating at further risk.

Apparently realizing that the legislature is incapable of finding its own elbows, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy earlier this week wisely offered legislators the option of passing a “mini-budget” for the next quarter that would allow for some new revenue (much of it already earmarked for certain programs but not yet spent). Without a budget, the governor can’t raise revenue or shift funds. He can only slash millions, cutting services for the sick and the poor and eviscerating school funding grants to towns.

The vote on the mini-budget would have to take place Thursday or Friday. If nothing passes by the end of Friday, the governor’s executive order budget goes into effect.

If Mr. Aresimowicz continues to refuse to call for a vote, the impacts will be felt immediately. It will eliminate services to some clients of the Department of Developmental Services and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. Rental assistance will be slashed by millions. Funding for summer youth jobs will be completely eliminated.

School funding will see the biggest cuts if the legislature can’t come up with a budget before the fall. How big? Take West Hartford. In the last fiscal year, the city received $20.9 million in state funding for schools. Under the governor’s proposed executive order, West Hartford would receive $4.3 million. Simsbury, which received about $6 million last year, would get zero dollars.

Do the math.

The most frustrating thing is that through these past few months, the legislature wasted time debating and amending bills that didn’t stand a chance of becoming law, and leadership knew it. Mr. Aresimowicz placated members of his caucus by entertaining floor debate on bills such as marijuana legalization that were soon enough left to rot.

How could House Democrats have gone months without coming up with a workable, clear, full-spectrum solution to the state’s $5 billion budget shortfall? Did they not realize that that was their job? Or did their own internal politicking get in the way?

One Democratic effort to fashion a budget failed spectacularly in April when a 262-page detailed spending plan couldn’t even get a vote in the Democrat-controlled appropriations committee. In May, Democrats offered a one-page sketch of a plan, along with a spreadsheet containing more details. Since then, nary a peep from the party nominally in control of the legislature.

Others had their priorities in order.

The Senate and House Republicans, and Mr. Malloy, came up with actual spending plans. Their respective strengths and weaknesses are debatable (Mr. Malloy’s budget director Ben Barnes told The Courant’s editorial board that the House Republican’s plan contained “large pieces of baloney”), but that’s the point — they have offered something to debate.

What have House Democrats offered?

Shamefully little.

And now they refuse to vote on a measure that would at least keep some basic protections in place.

Mr. Barnes warned that if the legislature refused to vote on the mini-budget, there would be a “significant risk” of another bond rating downgrade from Wall Street. “They are paying close attention to what we are doing,” he said.

Mr. Aresimowicz’s failure to call for a vote, to say nothing of his failure to craft a complete budget proposal that was at least palatable to his own caucus, is an abrogation of a serious responsibility, and the consequences for the people of Connecticut are going to be profound.

It’s mystifying how legislators could be so cavalier about solving the budget problem, the most important thing they have to do.

Connecticut’s Democratic leaders need to ask themselves: Whom do you serve?

Mr. Aresimowicz, call for a vote.

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“A Bad Bet” – Sen. Hwang on Gov. Malloy Signing CT Casino Expansion Bill

State Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, issued the following statement after the governor signed the casino expansion bill into law:

“When the governor signed the casino expansion bill today, he should have said, ‘See you in court,’ because that’s where this issue will be for years and years.  

“Has Connecticut now violated the Equal Protection and Commerce clauses of the Constitution by refusing to consider other groups for the state’s first commercial gaming license?

“State taxpayers will now be asked to pay for those significant legal bills as courts determine that answer.

“Economically, it makes little sense to expand casino gambling when the Northeast faces a growing casino glut.  

“Socially, the picture is even bleaker.   It is well-documented that casinos spread gambling addiction, debt, bankruptcies, broken families, and crime.

“It’s a bad bet all around.

“Make no mistake: A casino somewhere in Fairfield County could one day be our reality.

“This is a David vs. Goliath fight.  The forces that want expanded gambling are extremely powerful, but I am proud to say that the following groups have joined me in the fight:

Connecticut Catholic Conference

Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ

Episcopal Church in Connecticut

Connecticut League of Women Voters

Family Institute of Connecticut

New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Connecticut Association for Human Services

Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport

Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.

Farmington Valley American Muslim Center

Resident Bishop New England Conference of the United Methodist Church

American Baptist Churches of Connecticut

“I will continue to work with anyone who does not want to see more people’s lives ruined by expanded Connecticut gambling.  

“Visit www.nomorecasinosinct.org to learn how you can help us.”

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33.8 % rate hikes?!? You can speak out…through Friday.

CROPHwang 2017-06-14 Insurance Rate Hike Testimony 15 of 17

Health insurer Anthem is requesting an average increase of 33.8 % for policies marketed both on and off the state exchange, Access Health CT.

Yes, 33.8 %.

Health insurer ConnectiCare has requested an average increase of 17.5 % for policies sold exclusively on the exchange.

Yes, 17.5 %.

I have spoken out repeatedly against these outrageous, unaffordable rate hikes, and so can you…this week.

Public comments on the rate hike proposals are being accepted through Friday.

  • Send me your comments at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .  Include your name and town.
  • Comments can be as brief as you like.  (Example:  “NO to rate hikes!”)
  • I will get them to the State Department of Insurance by close of business Friday.

Please spread the word to other concerned ratepayers!

Thank you.

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In Fairfield: Sen. Hwang Participates in Route 59 Safety Discussion

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Sen. Tony Hwang (at far left) participates in the discussion during a June 19 traffic safety and community update held at Sacred Heart University’s Martire Business and Communications building.  The informational forum, hosted by Sen. Hwang and the Stratfield Village Association, brought together state and local officials to discuss issues such as speeding and distracted driving and what can be done to make Route 59/Stratfield Road safer.  Those who could not attend may contact and share their concerns with Sen. Hwang at 800-842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov . Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.  On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com .

Attached photo, left to right:  Sen. Hwang, Bill Hurley of the CT Dept. of Transportation, Fred Kulakowski of the CT Dept. of Transportation, William Britnell of the CT Dept. of Transportation.

 

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Sign The Petition: A New Direction for Connecticut

New Direction[2]
Sign the petition to support a new direction for Connecticut!

It’s clear that we need to change the direction our state is headed.

Connecticut is a great state. But we are facing a financial crisis, businesses and people are leaving, and people are struggling.

We have heard your concerns. Now, we are taking a stand.

The Connecticut Senate Republicans have a bold plan to change the direction of our state and restore confidence in Connecticut so that we can attract businesses and grow jobs.

This is about a new vision. This is about protecting our state for future generations.

This is about survival.

 Our revised no-new-tax state budget makes the tough choices necessary to cut spending, reduce the size of government, and make necessary changes to state employee benefits – all while protecting core services.

 Here’s how you can help. Stand up with us. Sign the petition to urge state leaders to move our state in a new direction.

Click to learn more

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In Advance of Independence Day Weekend Celebrations, Sen. Hwang, Area Officials Raising Awareness of Road Safety

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In preparation for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, Sen. Tony Hwang and area officials are raising public awareness about drunken driving prevention.

Hwang, along with representatives from Uber and the Fairfield Police Department, will participate in a press conference with MADD CT at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 29 at Luigi’s Restaurant, 170 Post Road, Fairfield.

The press conference will review MADD’s new data on the Ignition Interlock Device and discuss smart decisions area residents can make to prevent senseless tragedies on Connecticut’s roadways.

“Drunken driving tragedies can be prevented,” Sen. Hwang said. “We are urging folks to make responsible decisions and avoid drinking and driving while celebrating.”

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

Attached photo:

The Connecticut chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on Nov. 17 presented Sen. Tony Hwang (at podium) with its “2016 Legislator of the Year” award for his work in the area of public safety.

 

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You Can Compare the CT Budget Proposals

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The CT Senate Republicans have put forth a detailed, thoughtful, vetted, balanced, line-by-line update to the Confident Connecticut Republican state budget proposal for fiscal years 2018 and 2019.

Our proposal continues to provide funding for vital services to our most vulnerable residents and increase funding for education to towns and cities across the state.

We protect hospitals from being hit with more taxes.

We protect taxpayers from being overburdened by new taxes or policies that would result in significant increases to property taxes.

Read the CT Senate Republicans’ plan budget summary and line by line budget attached.

Compare the CT Senate Republicans’ plan…

Contact me with any questions you may have at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .

Please sign our CT Senate Republican petition to support a new direction for Connecticut athttp://ctsenaterepublicans.com/2017/06/51405/#.WUv8LYKovL8 .

Thank you!

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Nighttime ramp closures on I-95 in Fairfield, Bridgeport

The project involves milling bridge decks, repairs to exposed bridge decks and paving a section of I-95 between the New England Avenue overpass  (near Exit 24) and the Wordin Avenue overpass (near Exit 26) for a total distance of 2.3 miles. The contractor will then reverse direction proceeding southbound on Interstate 95 all within this construction season.

There will be milling and paving of on-ramps and off-ramps and repair of existing concrete bridge decks. Detour routes will be provided should ramps need to be closed for construction activities.

LANE CLOSURE INFO:

The following ramps are scheduled to be closed:

Week of 6/19/2017 –

  •  I-95 NB On-Ramp 25 will be detoured to NB 26 On-Ramp
  •  I-95 NB Off-Ramp 25 will be detoured to SB 25 Off-Ramp
  •  I-95 NB On-Ramp 26 will be detoured to NB 25 On-Ramp
  •  I-95 NB Off-Ramp 26 will be detoured to SB 26 Off-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB Off-Ramp 25 will be detoured to SB 24 Off-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB On-Ramp 25 will be detoured to SB 24 On-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB Off-Ramp 26 will be detoured to SB 25 Off-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB On-Ramp 26 will be detoured to SB 27 On-Ramp

Week of 6/26/2017 –

  •  I-95 SB Off-Ramp 25 will be detoured to SB 24 Off-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB On-Ramp 25 will be detoured to SB 24 On-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB Off-Ramp 26 will be detoured to SB 25 Off-Ramp
  •  I-95 SB On-Ramp 26 will be detoured to SB 27 On-Ramp

The times for all ramp closures will be from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. Message boards will display a few days in advance of each ramp closure.   Only one ramp will be closed per direction at one time.

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