Category Archives: Education

Sen. Hwang Welcomes Fairfield Country Day School Students to State Capitol

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Sen. Tony Hwang on Jan. 12 welcomed Fairfield Country Day School students to the State Capitol’s historic Senate Chamber. Sen. Hwang thanked the school’s teachers and administrators for scheduling the tour of the State Capitol complex in Hartford and urged students to continue to take an interest in their state government. On the web: www.fairfieldcountryday.org and www.SenatorHwang.com . Sen. Hwang can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and at 800 842-1421. He represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.

Sen. Hwang: “We will fight these misguided education cuts until they are fully restored.”

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Sen. Tony Hwang (pictured) issued the following statement regarding the State of the State and Gov. Malloy’s recently announced surprise cuts to state education funding:

“For the first time in 125 years, there are even numbers of Democrats and Republicans in the Connecticut State Senate.

“It’s a new era, and the more balanced state legislature represents good news for Connecticut taxpayers.

“In his State of the State speech, Gov. Malloy said that when we come together, hold realistic expectations, and seek common ground, we can deliver results. I agree wholeheartedly.

“To deliver those results, we must work together to:

  • restore business confidence by getting Connecticut’s finances in order through common sense, long-term structural changes to the state budget
  • enact a cap on runaway wasteful state government spending
  • eliminating burdensome unfunded state mandates

    make certain that state employee union contracts actually get voted on by the legislature (Believe it or not: No vote has been taken on these contracts for more than two decades!)

    protect vital services the most vulnerable in our communities: our children, our seniors, the sick and the disabled.

“In addition, we must work to ensure the academic success of every child in every city and town in Connecticut. That requires protecting towns like Fairfield, Westport, Weston and Easton from having education funding taken away. That includes grants and school construction money that towns have been promised and have relied upon. For example: we have two school construction projects currently under review in Fairfield.

“It is simply unfair and wrong to change the education financing rules now, in the middle of a budget year.

“Working with Democrats, Republicans, and education advocates in Fairfield County and across the state, I believe we can – and will – prevail.

“We will fight these misguided education cuts until they are fully restored.

“Our message to the governor will be that yes, we agree that Connecticut must be put on a more predictable path. However, pulling the fiscal rug out from underneath fiscally responsible towns and educational institutions that are effectively managed is no way to go about attaining that predictability. Diminishing educational opportunities for students anywhere in Connecticut is a non-starter.

“To restore the funding cuts and implement a predictable and equitable solution toward education, I urge Connecticut residents to speak out.

  • Contact me at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and at 800 842-1421.
  • Sign up for my State Capitol e-updates at www.SenatorHwang.com .
  • Tell me your thoughts about the education funding cuts or any other issue.

“I look forward to the weeks and months ahead. It is an honor to be a voice at the State Capitol for the people of the 28th Senate district. I think we have an excellent opportunity to turn our state around and put Connecticut back on a stable, predictable, equal opportunity educational pathway.”

*Sen. Hwang represents the 28th Senatorial District.

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(photo) At Fairfield U., Sen. Hwang & Vets Advocates Spend “Day in the Boots of a Hero”

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Sen. Tony Hwang on Oct. 27 took part in an event held at Fairfield University which raised awareness of the challenges faced by veterans and their families who are homeless or living below the poverty line.

The event, called “A Day in the Boots of a Hero”, brought together lawmakers, community stakeholders, medical professionals and students to better understand the struggles of our nation’s heroes.

Sen. Hwang, who serves as Ranking Senator on the legislature’s Housing Committee and also serves on the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said the discussion was enlightening.

“Our veterans and their families have made tremendous sacrifices for our nation – they are our heroes,” Sen. Hwang said. “I commend Fairfield University on hosting this gathering, which shined a bright light on the significant challenges our vets face each and every day. We are all one community. We are all blessed to live in this great country and to enjoy its freedoms. That’s why we can never stop striving to improve the quality of life for our vets. That quality of life involves health care, housing, job training, and many other issues. The focus in Washington, DC and at the State Capitol in Hartford must always be on our vets and their well-being.”

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: Among the participants in the Oct. 27 “A Day in the Boots of a Hero” event at Fairfield University were, from left to right: Volunteer Najja Salmon, Pastor John Diamond of the Cathedral of Faith in Bridgeport, Sen. Tony Hwang, Sandra Salmon of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and Fairfield University Assistant Professor Kathryn Phillips.

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(photo) In Newtown, Sen. Hwang Hears from Students

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“How Does a Bill Become Law?”

Sen. Tony Hwang (at right) on Oct. 27 visited Newtown Middle School to speak to an assembly of students and answer their questions.

Sen. Hwang told the students about his background as an immigrant from Taiwan, his duties as their state senator and his passion for serving the community.

Sen. Hwang commended the students, teachers and administrators at Newtown Middle School for their emphasis on civics and urged them to continue to stay apprised of the debates taking place in Hartford and in Washington, DC. Sen. Hwang introduced legislation this year which increases the penalties for when a threat involves a preschool, K-12 school or an institution of higher education. The new Safer Schools state law makes threats felonies which would result in a prison sentence.

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.

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Sen. Hwang Lauds Grant for Easton Public Library

Sen. Hwang Lauds Grant for Easton Public Library;
“Idea Factories” Provide Opportunities for All

Noting the recent state grant to the Easton Public Library, Sen. Tony Hwang today praised libraries in the region as community treasures, idea factories and key education resources.

On Oct. 5, the State Library Board approved a $24,250 grant to fund a high-speed fiber connection between the Easton Public Library and the Connecticut Education Network (CEN). The connection is expected to be completed in early 2017.

“This improvement will allow all residents in Easton and surrounding communities to access the World Wide Web,” Sen. Hwang said. “That access will be there for those who do not own a computer, those who are not yet computer-savvy and for anyone who simply wants to learn. I carefully weigh each dollar that is spent in a difficult budget, and I thank the state for recognizing the need for this wise investment.”

Sen. Hwang said he remains committed to helping local libraries flourish in Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.

“What was once simply a place to read books and conduct research has evolved into full-fledged idea factories, business incubator lab, job search central, meeting place, and an all-around hub of economic activity, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Sen. Hwang said. “In Easton and across the state, our libraries are helping to usher in a new grassroots level of economic development and social enrichment.”

* 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

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Sen. Hwang Welcomes St. Rose of Lima Students, Faculty to State Capitol

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Sen. Tony Hwang on June 6 welcomed students and educators from St. Rose of Lima Catholic School. Sen. Hwang, who represents Newtown, brought students into the historic State Senate Chamber and discussed his duties as their state senator. Sen. Hwang took questions from students, explained the legislative process, and discussed how senate debates are conducted.

The students were allowed to sit in the Charter Oak Chair, which stands on the dais in the Senate Chamber. The chair, also called “The Wishing Chair,” was carved in 1857 from the fallen Charter Oak tree, which in 1687 hid the self-governing charter given to the Connecticut colony by King Charles II in 1662. The Charter was hidden to prevent British officials from returning it to King James II. One by one, students were allowed to briefly sit in “The Wishing Chair” and make a special wish.

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“We had a great time and I thank everyone at St. Rose of Lima for the visit,” Sen. Hwang said. “I encourage anyone who is considering a visit to our beautiful State Capitol to contact me at 800 842-1421 or at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .”

On the web: www.senatorhwang.com .

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Sen. Hwang: Legislation Cracks Down on Ongoing Threats to Schools

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With school threats taking place this week in Ansonia, Norwich, and South Windsor, Sen. Tony Hwang noted that legislation passed earlier this month by the Connecticut General Assembly aims to make schools safer in Connecticut.

The legislation, which was passed overwhelmingly by the House and Senate, increases the penalties for when a threat involves a preschool, K-12 school or an institution of higher education.

“Clearly, Connecticut needs to get tougher,” said Sen. Hwang, “These threats have a devastating impact on the psyches of parents, educators and students. In a school environment, this is absolutely, positively unacceptable. If someone does commit such a despicable act, they should face severe penalties. Those penalties should bring the punishment more in line with the crime.”

  • By law, 1st degree threatening includes threats to commit a violent crime, or a crime using a hazardous substance, with intent to cause, or with reckless disregard of the risk of causing, (1) evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or public transportation facility; (2) serious public inconvenience for hazardous substance crimes; or (3) terror. The bill increases the penalty for such 1st degree threatening, from a class D felony to a class C felony, if the threat was made with intent to cause the evacuation of a building or the grounds of a public or private preschool, school, or higher education institution during instructional hours or when the facility or the grounds are being used for school- or institution-sponsored activities. By law, a class D felony is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. A class C felony is punishable by imprisonment for one to 10 years, a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
  • By law, a person is guilty of 2nd degree threatening when he or she (1) by physical threat, intentionally places or attempts to cause someone to fear imminent serious physical injury or (2) threatens to commit a violent crime with intent to terrorize someone or in reckless disregard of the risk of doing so. The bill increases the penalty for this crime, from a class A misdemeanor (punishable by imprisonment for up to one year, a fine of up to $2,000, or both) to a class D felony, if the threatened person was in the building or on the grounds of such a school facility during instructional hours or when the facility or the grounds is being used for school- or institution-sponsored activities.
    The new legislation has an effective date of Oct. 1. It awaits the governor’s signature.

Sen. Hwang said local school superintendents, law enforcement officials, and concerned residents from across Connecticut supported the measure.

Sen. Hwang (www.senatorhwang.com) represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.

Attached photo:

Sen. Tony Hwang (right) was joined by the Reidy family of Newtown on Feb. 26 at the State Capitol to raise awareness about the need for safe schools legislation in Connecticut. Safe Schools legislation has been approved by the state legislature now awaits the governor’s signature.

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(photo) Sen. Hwang: Wednesday Public Hearing on Safe Schools Bill

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Bernard Reidy, Seamus Reidy, Siobhan Reidy, Maureen Reidy and Sen. Tony Hwang.

A Bipartisan Pitch for Safer CT Schools Legislation

Residents Encouraged to Submit Testimony

Following a wave of bomb and violent threats made recently at schools across the state and throughout our country, area state lawmakers and a Sandy Hook family on Feb. 25 spoke at the State Capitol in favor of making schools safer in Connecticut.

Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28th) and Rep. William Tong (D-147th), said that proposed Senate Bill 246, An Act concerning the Zero-Tolerance Safe School Environment would increase the penalties for when a threat involves a preschool, K-12 school or an institution of higher education. The bill would make threats made against a school a class C felony that carries up to 10 years in prison. A similar bill last year secured the unanimous backing of the Senate but never came up for a vote in the House.

“These threats of violence against schools highlight the need to get tougher,” said Sen. Hwang, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “The threats have been made in Fairfield, Stamford, Newtown and across Connecticut. The devastating impact to the psyches of parents, educators and children in a school environment is absolutely, positively unacceptable. If someone does commit such a despicable act, they should face severe penalties that bring the punishment more in line with the crime. The threats in Connecticut and around the country reinforce the need to strengthen our laws in this area.”

Sandy Hook residents Bernard and Maureen Reidy urged passage of the proposal, noting that the state can “send a strong message that we will not tolerate threats of violence against our schools and that we’re serious about protecting our children, teachers and administrators.”

The bill receives a public hearing Wednesday, Mar. 2 at 1:00 P.M. at the Gen Re Auditorium, University of Connecticut, 1 University Place, Stamford.

To testify via email:
1) Submit testimony via email to: JUDtestimony@cga.ct.gov
2) Testimony can be brief and personal.
3) Include your name and town.
4) In the subject line, refer to the bill as Senate Bill 246
5) Feel free to copy Sen. Hwang at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov

To review the full bill text: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/TOB/s/2016SB-00246-R00-SB.htm

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Sen. Hwang Renews Call for Safe School Legislation

On Mar. 20, Sen. Hwang joined Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe, St. Rose of Lima School parent Maureen Reidy, and Rep. Mitch Bolinsky in calling for increased penalties for threats of violence against schools. Sen. Hwang will re-introduce the proposal in 2016.

After the nation’s second-largest school district shut down Dec. 15 as a result of a school board member receiving an emailed threat, Sen. Tony Hwang said he will re-introduce legislation in Connecticut to increase state penalties for threats of violence against schools.

The anonymous Dec. 15 threat shut down the Los Angeles school district and is being investigated.

New York City officials say they and many cities nationwide received the same threat and determined it was a hoax.

Sen. Hwang noted that in October, Fairfield locked down all 17 of its public schools due to a series of called-in threats.

“These threats of violence against schools highlight the need to get tougher,” Sen. Hwang said. “And if someone does commit such a despicable act, they should face severe penalties that bring the punishment more in line with the crime. The threats in Connecticut and around the country reinforce the need to strengthen our laws in this area.”

Sen. Hwang’s proposal would set a new standard on how states can respond to the growing rate of threats of violence against schools.

In the last legislative session, he introduced and championed The Zero-Tolerance Safe School Environment Act.

The bill, which passed unanimously in the State Senate but was never called for a vote in the House of Representatives, called for the creation of a new section under the state’s existing threatening laws.

Under that new section, first-degree threatening would become a Class C felony and second-degree threatening would become a Class D felony.
Under existing law, first-degree threatening is a Class D felony and second-degree threatening is a Class A misdemeanor.

The felony charges carry stiffer sentences.

The 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly convenes on Feb. 3.

Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport in the state Senate.

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(Listen) Fixing CT’s systemic budget problems, ABCD Early Education, and a Dec. 5 Fairfield Food Drive. Sen. Hwang updates WICC’s Mike Bellamy.

Sen. Hwang updates WICC’s Mike Bellamy.

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