Category Archives: CT Senate Republican Blog Feed

Senators Hwang and Boucher Vote in Favor of Dyslexia Education Bill

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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.

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Sen. Hwang: Supporting Women Owned Businesses

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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.

 

 

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Fairfield Lawmakers Back ‘No Tax Increase’ Budget Proposal

From the Connecticut General Assembly: State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Laura Devlin (R-134) & state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) stood side-by-side with House and Senate Republicans and put forth a balanced, no tax increase budget that sets Connecticut on a new fiscal course.

The proposed budget comes as Connecticut faces a $3 billion budget deficit that seems to grow by the day. The budget provides a blueprint to move the state away from years of tax increases and unsustainable budgets that have ultimately cost Connecticut businesses and residents.

The Republican budget spends $700 million less than the Democrats’ budget and $313 million less than the governor’s budget. The Republican budget establishes a real spending cap with tight restrictions and restores a balanced budget.

Unlike the governor’s budget which raised taxes by $200 million and the legislative democrat plan which would raise taxes by over $400 million, the Republican plan DOES NOT raise taxes.

Unlike the governor’s education plan, the Republican budget creates a fair and fully functional formula for the distribution of regular and special education funding. Under the Republican education formula, towns will receive adequate funding and can plan school budgets well into the future. The Republican budget also accepts full responsibility for paying teachers’ pensions, as opposed to the governor’s budget that shifted the burden onto municipalities.

“Clearly the policies that have been pushed on our state are not working. We have run out of time and structural changes need to be made now. This is our chance to seize the moment and chart a new course for our state. Continuing to raise taxes would only exasperate our current fiscal situation as more people and businesses would choose to go elsewhere. Connecticut needs a reliable and predictable vision for our business community and for our residents – not the current piecemeal annual process which has forced many businesses to shutter and residents to leave for other low cost states,” said Rep. Devlin.

Rep. Kupchick said, “Connecticut has been facing a serious fiscal crisis for years and thisbudget not only protects Fairfield taxpayers, it will put the state on a path of fiscal responsibility. I’m hopeful that for the first time since being elected in 2011, the CT General Assembly will work together in a bi partisan way to pass a budget that gives relief to overtaxed residents and will provide hope to the business community and residents who want to stay in Connecticut.

Sen. Tony Hwang said, “This Republican plan is about keeping our promise to towns, to schools and to Connecticut taxpayers. It contains no tax hikes, restores predictability for towns, and emphasizes our commitment to make their education mission whole. It provides a path to budget sustainability by making tough government spending cuts, and it emphasizes accountability through a spending cap and requiring votes on union contracts. This thoughtful, responsible document is the way forward for Connecticut, and Republicans will work with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Democrats to pass it into law.”

Other Budget Highlights include:

  • Consolidations of state agencies
  • Eliminates funding for UConn branch of FastTrack bus service
  • Eliminates taxpayer funded campaigns
  • Mandatory Approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly
  • Requires $700 million in union concessions
  • Enact a constitutional Transportation Lockbox
  • Phases out the income tax on pensions and annuity income
  • Exempts social security from income tax for middle income seniors

According to the latest report by the Office of Fiscal Analysis, the state budget is projected to run a $1.7 billion in deficit in 2017-18, and $1.9 billion in the red in 2018-19, according to Governor Malloy, for a combined biennial shortfall of $3.6 billion.

If the April income tax estimates hold, the deficit forecast would rise to $2 billion in 2017-18 and $2.2 billion in 2018-19 which would represent a potential gap of 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively.

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(Have you seen these videos?) CT Republicans propose no tax hike plan

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Please watch and share this News 8 story with fellow taxpayers: http://wtnh.com/2017/04/27/republicans-propose-no-tax-hike-budget-plan/

Email me your thoughts at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .

And as Sen. Fasano says in this next video, let’s solve the crisis rather than playing high school games! 

http://www.courant.com/politics/93164656-132.html

Let’s make this a bipartisan plan!

To urge Democrats to support our plan, you can:

Thank you!

 

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Newtown GOP State Lawmakers Unveil No Tax Hike Budget

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Protects Core Services, Boosts Education Aid, Creates Stability for Towns & Cities and Does Not Rely on Tax Increases

Area Republican state lawmakers on Apr. 27 unveiled an alternative state budget which closes the current projected state deficit over the next two years without new taxes and without pushing state expenses onto towns, cities or hospitals. The “Confident Connecticut” budget includes increased education funding with a new funding formula, restores money for core social services, and provides for significant structural changes to state government that roll out into the future.

Sen. Tony Hwang said, “This Republican plan is about keeping our promise to towns, to schools and to Connecticut taxpayers. It contains no tax hikes, restores predictability for towns, and emphasizes our commitment to make their education mission whole.  It provides a path to budget sustainability by making tough government spending cuts, and it emphasizes accountability through a spending cap and requiring votes on union contracts.  This thoughtful, responsible document is the way forward for Connecticut, and Republicans will work with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Democrats to pass it into law.”

“Today is the day I have been waiting for since the beginning of February.  Ever since the governor’s damaging budget was released, the House Republicans have been working on a budget that maintains most, if not all, municipal funding and does not raise taxes,” saidRep. J.P. Sredzinski (R-112).  “Connecticut’s fiscal crisis requires immediate action and severe, long-term structural changes to the budget that address the root of the problem, which is too much spending and passing the two largest tax increases in state history.  This Republican budget is the attitude adjustment we need to get our state back on track, reduce the tax burden on residents, and convince businesses to stay in Connecticut.  There are so many great concepts in this budget package and I’m ready to work with the governor and majority party to get this passed.”

 It is time for state legislators to lead and Republicans are up to the herculean budget challenge,” said Rep. Will Duff (R-Bethel).“Everyone I talk to, in the four towns I represent, whether it at a coffee shop or a gas station, ask me to work at making Connecticut more affordable, which is why I am thrilled that my proposal to end the state tax on pensions and Social Security is part of this budget plan.”

State Rep. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) said, “I am so excited about this zero tax increase budget document because it presents good solutions to balancing our state’s finances and shows everyone where we stand, transparently, without the trick of moving liabilities off the balance sheet, like the majority’s Appropriations Committee budget did, before they blew it up.  In my three-terms in Hartford, this is the first truly accurate look at where the opportunities exist to streamline government and make hard decisions about wasteful or wastefully run programs that need an overhaul or re-thinking. This is what Newtown needs the state to do, as the foundation for and beginning of an economic turnaround.  As a member of the Appropriations Committee and Ranking Member on a sub-committee charged with analysis of several of the state’s constitutional offices, we literally worked the process backwards, staying true to our principles of no new taxes, finding efficiencies and fairly funding state government’s core functions such as education, mental health services, senior services, public safety, health, environment, veteran’s services, economic development and more.  We made some bold decisions and assumed a leadership role, which is what the Republican budget proposal represents. Without increasing your taxes, and by streamlining state agencies as well as imposing a strict spending cap, we have produced a cohesive set of ideas that will bring Connecticut back to financial stability.”

Bolinsky continued, “As a Newtown resident, parent, taxpayer and neighbor, I understand the mix of our Community’s values and really understand the deep concerns about how the state’s financial issues would affect our community.  Considering the Governor’s proposed devastating cuts to education and other state payments to our local government, I am also very happy to report that our budget proposal preserves Newtown’s 2018 educational cost grants and actually increases them by about $500,000 in 2019, before entering a ten-year transition into a functional ECS formula in 2020 that will be far more favorable than the Governor’s starting-point proposal.  And – the conversations about us sharing in the cost of state-negotiated teachers’ pensions, is off the table, giving us stability and the ability to predict and plan for our future community needs, wants and initiatives.  Just a word of caution…our budget is like any other budget at this stage and not likely to pass without changes.  It is, however, a terrific, common sense starting point and, unlike the majority’s Appropriations Committee budget, it is ‘on-the-table’ and ready to serve as the new starting point in the negotiations to arrive at a consensus budget by June 7, 2017.”

(Details of the GOP plan are attached)

A Confident Connecticut Municipal Runs

A Confident Connecticut Budget Detail

Budget Summary

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