Sen. Tony Hwang (left) on May 9 joined real estate professionals, state lawmakers and UConn Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma for a May 9 rally in Bushnell Park in Hartford.
The Connecticut Association of Realtors hosted the rally to urge state lawmakers to “give us a Connecticut we can sell” as they craft a new two-year budget.
Sen. Hwang, who is a member of the Greater Bridgeport Association of Realtors and serves as Co-Chair of the legislature’s Housing Committee, commended the hundreds in attendance for speaking out for pro-business, pro-taxpayer solutions to Connecticut’s budget problems. He noted that Republicans have put forth a thoughtful alternative budget plan which includes no tax hikes and is not balanced on the backs of property taxpayers. Hwang said that no tax increase solutions in solving Connecticut’s budget crisis will require discipline and courage.
Attached photo: Sen. Tony Hwang, Geno Auriemma, Sen. Toni Boucher, and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg.
The state Department of Insurance has announced that 10 health insurance companies have filed for rate increases for the 2018 individual and small group markets that range from nearly 4 percent to almost 34 percent.
Public hearings on the requests will take place at 9 a.m. on June 14 at the Insurance Department’s 7th floor hearing room on 153 Market St. in Hartford.
But you can weigh in NOW.
1) Testimony may be as brief as you like and can be submitted here: http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=4059&Q=585260
2) Include your name and town
3) Feel free to send me a copy of your testimony at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .
“After two major tax increases, obviously that’s not working. What’s left? Pain and suffering.”
“Yes, we did raise taxes, and maybe it didn’t necessarily have the effect that we were hoping for. We’re still in this situation.”
Both quotes are blunt. Both quotes are brutally honest. So, who said them last week?
The answers might surprise you.
The second quote is from another Democrat: Connecticut’s Speaker of the House of Representatives.
They are stark admissions from state Democrats that the tax more-spend more strategy has failed. In fact, those policies have brought Connecticut to a tipping point. Uncertainty reigns, even more crushing tax hikes loom, and the exodus of state taxpayers continues to occur.
Republicans have put forth a plan which seeks to break the vicious cycle.
It makes structural changes to the way state government spends your money.
It enacts a cap on state spending and bonding.
It requires the legislature to vote on union contracts.
It streamlines the state bureaucracy.
It begins a transition of critical social services to nonprofit community partners.
The Republican plan seeks to end Connecticut’s addiction to spending. At the same time, it does not raise taxes. Connecticut does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending discipline problem. Nutmeg State taxpayers pay enough in taxes as it is.
Breaking free of the quicksand won’t be easy. It will take discipline, courage and a willingness to confront state government’s systemic problems. It will require state lawmakers to take to heart the warning from Connecticut Business and Industry Association CEO Joseph Brennan, who said, “If this isn’t the wake-up call, I don’t know what is. If we can’t get this right now, I’m afraid we’re going to lose a generation.”
You sent me to Hartford to make tough decisions and fix our chronic budget problems. You did not send me to Hartford to raise your taxes and cut school funding. As your state senator, I remind myself of that every day.
For our children and grandchildren, we can — and we must — drag Connecticut out of the quicksand.
State Sen. Tony Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. Contact him at 800-842-1421 or Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .
Sen. Tony Hwang on May 3 voted in favor of legislation to strengthen state law regarding incidents of “swatting”.
“Swatting” is falsely reporting an emergency such as a home invasion, an active shooter, or a hostage situation to get law enforcement or emergency responders to immediately respond to a location where no emergency exists.
“This legislation follows last year’s school safety legislation against threats to our schools,” said Sen. Hwang, who serves on the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee where the swatting bill originated. “The bill aims to deter people from falsely reporting emergencies to law enforcement. These hoax threats lead to a massive and costly response from law enforcement and municipalities. It’s a huge public safety hazard when first responders are diverted away from actual emergencies. This bill increases the criminal penalty for swatting and it has financial implications for the perpetrators. Most importantly, it reiterates the message that such actions are not pranks and will be punished to the highest degree under our statutes.”
Under the legislation, violators could be sentenced to five years in prison and pay $5,000 fines in addition to paying the costs of the emergency response. The bill has the support of the Connecticut Police Chiefs’ Association and emergency personnel. It passed unanimously in the State Senate and now awaits a vote in the Connecticut House of Representatives.
In 2016, Sen. Hwang introduced legislation to increase the penalties for when a threat involves a preschool, K-12 school or an institution of higher education. The new law makes threats felonies which would result in a prison sentence.
* Sen. Hwang represents the 28th Senate District, which includes Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and at 800 842-1421. On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com
State Senators Toni Boucher (R-26) and Tony Hwang (R-28) yesterday voted to pass House Bill 7254, An Act Requiring Special Education Teachers to Complete a Program of Study in Evidence-Based Structured Literacy Interventions for Students with Dyslexia. Having passed both the House and Senate, the bill now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
As Co-Chair of the Education Committee, Sen. Boucher said the state must meet the needs of dyslexic students by ensuring that special education teachers have the right training.
“Evidence-based training is backed up by results,” she said. “We want to give all of our students the best opportunity to be successful and having teachers trained in these methods means they will have those opportunities. It’s critical in today’s budget environment that we not use deficits as an excuse to shortchange our children’s future.”
Sen. Hwang said an educated workforce is one of the engines that drives the state’s economy. Having dyslexia should not be a barrier to a child’s future career and financial success.
“We are long past the days when students, parents and educators interpret a learning disability as an inability to learn,” Hwang said. “We know that some children with dyslexia and other learning disabilities can be brilliantly successful. Our mission is to ensure that every child, regardless of any form of learning disability fulfill their opportunity for success.”
Sen. Boucher and Sen. Hwang said passage of the bill in both the House and Senate shows the state’s commitment to meeting the education needs of Connecticut’s children.
Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.
Sen. Hwang represents the communities of Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston, and Westport.
Sen. Tony Hwang on May 3 attended the Women’s Business Development Council’s (WBDC) 4th Annual Women Owned Business Day at the State Capitol The educational programs offered by WBDC support and empower women to achieve economic equity, helping to grow jobs and taxpayers in Connecticut and throughout the country. Annually, WBDC client businesses generate over $63 million and create or retain over 800 jobs. On the web: www.ctwbdc.org and www.SenatorHwang.com. Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .
Attached photo: Fairfield resident and WBDC Manager of Business Counseling & Access to Capital Janet Siegenthaler and Sen. Hwang.