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Hwang In the News on Gambling Expansion Bills’ Advancement

Excerpts from the Article as it appears on News8.

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – The Public Safety Committee today moved forward with bills dealing with sports gambling.

Joe Verrengia, the co-chair of Public Safety Committee said, “I think that the fact that we are a gaming state in order to remain competitive we need to continue to look at big picture so that our stakeholders can remain competitive here in the state of Connecticut.”

The committee touched on every aspect of Connecticut gambling from the expansion of casinos to sports betting and internet gambling. Dennis Bradley, the co-chair of Public Safety Committee told NEWS 8, “We want to see the state of Connecticut be the playground of the region of the northeast that when they think of a good time they think of Connecticut.”

Lawmakers voted on whether to establish a competitive bidding process for another casino and whether to allow the casino proposed by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in East Windsor to open without federal approval. Senator Tony Hwang said there’s needs to be more research on the overall impact of gambling in the state.

Sen. Tony Hwang added, “How sports and college sports could be impacted. That fact that we could have impact on young college students that’s are scarce on money that could be very influenced in the integrity of the game. But the other component is Internet gambling how do you control that? How do you regulate that?” Bradley said, “Cars are dangerous, Highways are dangerous, if you work in the kitchen knives are danger all of these are dangerous we face on a regular basis we have to try your best to mitigate those negative consequences that happen with all of these activities that we face and make sure we take care of people who have issues. But the vast majority of ours who can handle this in a responsible way we have to create avenues for them to enjoy themselves.”

Some lawmakers say more gaming would generate more revenue in the state. But not everyone agrees gaming will be sustainable in the future. Verrengia said, “It would mean more revenue and secondly as equally as important it brings it out into the sun and we would be able to regulate it.”

Sen. Hwang said, “The fact is gambling revenue has proceeded to decline. We have eight consecutive quarters of declining slot revenue.” This is just the first vote in a long process that will be headed to the house and senate. 

 

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Excerpts from the article as it appears in The Day.

Hartford — A legislative panel endorsed more than a half-dozen gaming bills Tuesday, approving measures that would establish competitive bidding for a casino, jumpstart the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes’ stalled East Windsor casino plan, legalize sports betting, authorize online lottery sales and create a gaming commission.

The Public Safety and Security Committee votes ensured more debate is at hand, which, in some cases, was the reason committee members voted the way they did.

The bill passed by a vote of 20-4.

Rep. Tony Hwang, a Fairfield Republican, cited the “societal impacts” of casino expansion in voting against the competitive-bidding bill, joining Boyd in lamenting what they said was a lack of guidance from “the executive branch.”

 

 

 

Hwang 2019-03-19 Public Safety Committee (5 of 7)

State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28), Ranking Member of the Public Safety and Security Committee with cognizance in the area of gambling, released the following statement concerning his votes against casino, sports and internet gambling expansion legislation during the March 19th Committee Meeting.

“After the February 28th Public Safety and Security Committee vote to draft language on issues of casino expansion, sports gambling and internet gambling, I released a statement explaining my cautious vote to draft full legislative language before deciding whether to support these measures any further. Unfortunately, the well intentioned work of the Public Safety Committee still did not fully address my concerns on the legal, financial and societal complexities raised by proponents of gambling expansion in Connecticut,” said Senator Hwang.

SB 11 would approve the MMCT East Windsor Casino without a review and approval by the US Department of Interior, opening the state to litigation from the Federal Government. This bill runs counter to the official opinion of former CT Attorney General George Jepsen (Letter submitted 4-15-15). HB 7055 would create a competitive bidding process, or RFP, without a deal with the tribes that would likely end up eliminating the tax revenue the State receives from tribal casinos. HB 7331 would legalize sports betting, including intercollegiate games. SB 17 would legalize online gambling.

“SB 11 (MMCT) leaves Connecticut exposed to serious legal challenges and, as a legislator, I’m not willing to take that risk in a shortcut effort to expand an industry which has seen consistent diminishing returns, including eight straight months of declining revenue. HB 7055 (RFP Process) could jeopardize the tax revenue we do receive from the Tribal casinos’ slot revenue, and the tribes have already made clear they will cease the transfer of those funds if the legislature approves an RFP process, thereby violating the tribal compact agreement.”

“When it comes to sports betting, I am extremely concerned that the bill was hastily proposed as a reaction to the US Supreme Court case (Murphy vs. NCAA). I strongly believe that we should not be allowing betting and wagering on college student-athletes. I still oppose Sports gambling even with substitute language excluding UConn, all CT college, high school and minor league teams. Internet gambling seems dangerously attractive to our younger generation who are constantly online and innately familiar with internet based games. Internet gambling has the potential of creating a new generation of addicted gamblers. How would we verify their age? How can we ensure we are not facilitating early gambling addiction? Lastly, the legislative approval of credit card use for online gambling opens the opportunity for abuse.”

“The language, lack of implementation structure, and inadequate counseling services addressing gambling addiction in these bills tells me we have not taken the proper steps to address the implications of expanded gambling in our state. I will keep an open mind in future debates and look to maintain a balance between our state’s need for revenue and the societal impact on those affected by gambling addiction.”

State Senator Tony Hwang represents Connecticut’s 28th Senate District, including the towns of Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton, Newtown & Sandy Hook. Hwang serves as the Ranking Member of the Public Safety and Security Committee which has legislative cognizance in the area of gambling.

 

Article as it appear in the Fairfield Citizen:

The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Town of Fairfield, held its 5h annual Fairfield Health & Fitness Expo, promoting community wellness.

Held in the RecPlex at Fairfield University Saturday, and sponsored by Collins Medical Equipment, this free, annual event provides health, fitness and fun for the entire family. More than 85 participating exhibitors and hundreds of community members participated. The event was organized by a committee of local business leaders along with the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Beverly Balaz and event sponsor Bryan Collins.

Exhibitors demonstrated information on programs, services, and products, provided free health screenings and fitness demo’s (by DOJO Fairfield, Fairfield YMCA, Elliptical Studios, Fairfield Strength, Club Pilates Fairfield, Row House Westport), followed by Q & A sessions.

“This year we had over 85 exhibitors, a variety of free screenings, AED & hands-only CPR training, plus we held all day activities for children including the Shamrock Fun Run,” said Balaz. “Both the Chamber and Town are proud to host an event that promotes a healthy lifestyle experience for young and old, to have fun, watch fitness demos, listen to informative guest speakers, eat something healthy, and get answers from our local business owners about available services and learn about what is needed to stay healthy and fit.”

“This is a tremendous display of our local businesses addressing an essential part of our population,” said State Senator Tony Hwang. “To share what resources are available for the aging population and health care is such an important thing. Access to helpful information is critical and we need to do a better job of sharing these resources especially for our senior citizens so they can be active and engaged and healthy in the future. This event provides a unique combination of community service, small businesses and caring for our senior population. I want to compliment the Chamber of Commerce in Fairfield for putting it all together in one spot for the community to be able to participate and learn from. This is a wonderful display of community engagement.”

State Representative Crisitin McCarthy-Vahey also attended the event. “I think this is an excellent partnership, health and wellness is such a critical part of everyday life,” she said. “For me seeing the Fairfield Cares crew here who I work with and seeing the ways we have volunteers partner with businesses and town officials, the police, it’s an excellent showcase of all the ways people can keep themselves healthy. I’ll particularly note the partnership with Fairfield Cares and the police with the prescription drug take back and remind residents that it’s available in the Police Department lobby 24/7. We want to help people be healthy every day.”

“This is a great event for we exhibitors, members of the chamber who can expose their businesses and also for the population to get out here and get information and resources from,” said Paul Doyle, Owner of Oasis Senior Advisors. Sam Jen, Chamber treasurer agreed, “This event is terrific, it gets the community out and it makes them aware of healthier living options. There is plenty for the kids to do too so there’s no excuse.”

Event Sponsor Bryan Collins, Director of Sales and Marketing at Collins Medical Equipment said, “We are thrilled to be here today as the event’s sponsor, it’s an absolute blast.” Jay Kiley, owner of Synergy Home Care of Fairfield added, “We are thrilled to be here, we have a great crowd here today and an amazing number of booths.”

A Shamrock Fun Run and Popsicle Stick Challenge by SoundRUNNER, Touch-A-Truck, Kids Crafts, Hands-Only CPR & AED Training, a Prescription Drug Take Back operated by the Fairfield Police & Fairfield Health Department, local Girl Scout Troops selling cookies and Food Vendors added to the event.

 

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State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) hosted the Ms. President US organization on March 14th for a State Capitol Tour and panel discussion by female leaders of the State.

Senator Hwang welcomed over 45 middle school girls on Wednesday for a series of tours showcasing Connecticut’s legislative history including the Capitol building, the Supreme Court and History Museum. The day closed with a panel discussion and question and answer period featuring several female legislators and leaders.

At a time where the nation is seeing a rising tide of women running for office, Senator Hwang believe events like these allow young people to see firsthand how their voice makes a difference and that there are leadership opportunities they can strive for.

Ms. President US was founded in Ridgefield, CT in 2016 and is a non-partisan, non- profit, community-based initiative dedicated to inspiring and preparing girls to aim for the highest civic leadership positions with the knowledge that they can achieve them.

“Ms President US is fortunate to have the opportunity to show our 4th-8th grade participants, first hand, how CT government works. In their monthly meetings they have already met with their local leaders, and heard from their state leaders. This is a chance to now see them in action at their workplace,” said Amanda Cordano, Project Manager for Ms President US. “These girls are already passionate about politics, and will no doubt have many questions for the politicians they meet during their day in Hartford. This is the next generation of leaders in the making, and offering this level of personal political exposure affords them the chance to visualize themselves in the heart of the action. These girls are at the unique age of finding their voice, which hopefully leads to a lifetime of civic engagement. Ms President US hopes to instill in them the confidence and knowledge in themselves to follow their passions, right to the steps of the White House.”

“It’s wonderful to have these talented and ambitious young women at the Capitol to learn about the possibilities in front of them and to meet their role models in government,” said Senator Hwang. “Hosting Ms. President  members at the historic CT State Capitol was a really fun way to help inspire and empower another generation of political leaders and I am thrilled to be a partner with this great organization and want to thank the advisors and parents who support them.”

State Senator Tony Hwang represents Connecticut’s 28th Senate District which includes the towns of Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton, Newtown & Sandy Hook.

 

 

NZ Flag

 

“My heartfelt condolences go out today to the victims and families of those killed in the religious sanctuaries of the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday.”

 

“Religious hate and violence have no place in our world as we seek to bring all communities together as one Human Race. My sympathies and renewed support to the Muslim community, the city of Christchurch and the nation of New Zealand.  Our state, communities and each individual needs to speak out to ensure deterrence and zero tolerance for those seeking to spread fear, hate and violence.”


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March 15, 2019

 

“I am heartbroken today to hear of the passing of Bridgeport’s State Representative Ezequiel Santiago. It is truly shocking news, as I just had a productive conversation with him not two nights ago.”

“I am sending love and support to his family, his children and all others mourning his sudden passing. The Good Representative was a truly passionate advocate for his constituents, his community, his city and for the State of Connecticut. He was a thoughtful, humble and kind man and a statesman whom I appreciated the opportunity to know and work with in the General Assembly. I am saddened to have lost a friend. I will miss him greatly.”

Article as it appears on News12

Proposed bill would allow paramedics to work on and transport injured K-9s

CONNECTICUT – A proposed bill in Connecticut would allow paramedics to work on injured K-9 officers and transport them by ambulance to veterinary hospitals.

Right now, officers are allowed to treat their K-9s on scene and transport them using their squad cars.

State Rep. Brenda Kupchick and state Sen. Tony Hwang co-sponsored the bill. If passed, it would allow paramedics to treat K-9s injured in the line of duty on scene and also transport them in an ambulance to a veterinary hospital.

Only a handful of states, including New York, have passed similar legislation.

K-9 Bill Proposal

Those laws would allow the transport of K-9s only if people are not in need of an ambulance at that time.

Connecticut’s bill was introduced earlier this month at a Public Health Committee hearing.

If it makes it out of committee, the bill would need approval from both the state house and senate before heading to the governor’s desk.

WHAT: Anti-Bullying Informational Forum

WHEN: 7:00pm Thursday, March 14th, 2019

WHERE: Greenfield Hill Congregational Church, 1045 Old Academy Rd, Fairfield, CT

State Senator Tony Hwang is hosting and moderating an Anti-Bullying Forum on Thursday, March 14th at Greenfield Hill Congregational Church in Fairfield. The general public is welcome to share their experiences in a open and supportive environment and participate in question and answer segments with the following expert panelists:

 

  • Alida Ward, Co-Pastor, Greenfield Hill Congregational Church
  • Alice Forrester, Clifford Beers Mental Health Clinic
  • Linda Chaffin, Social Emotional Learning Alliance for CT (SEL4CT)
  • Steven Hernández, CT Commissions on Women, Children & Seniors and Equity & Opportunity
  • Cheryl Sharp, Commission on Human Rights & Opportunity
  • Faith Voswinkel, Office of the Child Advocate

The panel will focus their discussion on the causes of bullying, challenges associated with today’s world, and how we can combat bullying and foster a more secure and safe environment.

“In today’s dynamic and frenzied world, children and adults suffer from bullying in many ways, be it in person or online,” said Senator Hwang. “And in a time where we are expanding our understanding of mental health and brain development, informational forums like these, where we can educate children and parents about some of the serious concerns they may have, are crucial to ensuring the safety, security, and self-esteem of those in our community and especially our young people.”

Please join us and help spread the message and invite others to attend.  Register on Eventbrite HERE to ensure reservation.