Public Comments Can Now Be Submitted for Feb. 16 Hearing
Housing Committee Co-Chair Sen. Tony Hwang and Ranking Member Rep. Brenda Kupchick today issued the following statement:
“Area residents can now tell state lawmakers what they think of the controversial affordable housing state law known as 8-30g.
“The CT General Statute section 8-30g law:
“This year, we have an opportunity to:
“The Connecticut General Assembly’s Housing Committee will hold a public hearing on the 8-30g law on Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
“You can email your comments about the law today to the Housing Committee at HSGtestimony@cga.ct.gov . The comment may be as brief as you like.
“Make your voices heard in Hartford!
“For more information on the law: www.cga.ct.gov/2017/rpt/pdf/2017-R-0013.pdf . Feel free to call us with questions at 800 842-1421 (Co-Chair Sen. Hwang) and 800 842-1423 (Ranking Member Rep. Kupchick).”
Should Connecticut get rid of the state’s personal income tax on Social Security benefits?
I think so!
If you agree, here’s how you can join me in speaking out in favor of providing tax relief to seniors across Connecticut.
A hearing will be held this Tuesday on Bill No. 6987: www.cga.ct.gov/2017/TOB/h/2017HB-06987-R00-HB.htm
Those wishing to submit testimony in favor of the bill can do the following:
Those who wish to testify in person may attend the hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 10:00 A.M. in Room 2E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Please contact me with any questions – thank you!
Lists 12 Reasons Why Another CT Casino is a Bad Idea
Sen. Tony Hwang on Jan. 24 joined with a newly formed, non-partisan, 12-group alliance to oppose the legalization of off-reservation commercial casino gambling in Connecticut.
The Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut www.NoMoreCasinosInCT.org held a press conference at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to announce the group’s intention to educate the public about the economic and social costs of more legalized gambling and to oppose efforts to open a commercial casino in the Hartford area.
The 12-member coalition listed 12 reasons why they oppose casino expansion in Connecticut:
Coalition members include:
*Sen. Hwang represents Fairfield, Newtown, Westport, Weston and Easton. He can be reached at 800-842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov. To sign up for his State Capitol e-alerts, visit www.SenatorHwang.com .
Sen. Tony Hwang is serving in multiple new leadership roles for the 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly.
An Assistant Republican Majority Leader, Hwang will serve as Co-Chair of the legislature’s Housing Committee. The panel has cognizance of all matters relating to housing programs, particularly in the area of homelessness.
“Our goal must be to prevent and end homelessness in Connecticut,” Hwang said. “Co-chairing the Housing Committee will allow me to work on a bipartisan basis with lawmakers to continue what has already been a successful effort. Homelessness affects everyone and every town in Connecticut and we can come together to address and fix this societal issue. Connecticut is already viewed as a national leader in addressing homelessness, and we have an opportunity to make even more progress.”
Hwang also stressed the need to reform the state’s controversial community and workforce housing statute 8-30g. The 1990 law has been used by developers to bypass local zoning laws and caused controversial housing decisions throughout Connecticut.
“The 8-30g law, while well-intentioned when it was passed, has since been used as a way to bypass local control and zoning regulations,” Hwang said. “This can forever alter the unique and historical character of neighborhood architecture our communities. We should take a close look at this law, how it can be improved and adapted, and how to encourage increased development of workforce housing. I will be seeking input from local zoning officials, community leaders and impacted neighborhoods on this important issue. I want local voices to be heard in Hartford. We should be able to come to a solution which provides municipalities’ much-needed control and flexibility while also achieving the goal of increasing our stock of workforce housing.”
Hwang will also serve as Vice-Chair of the Aging Committee. The committee has cognizance of all matters relating to senior citizens.
“My priority is to protect, preserve and promote the invaluable contributions of our seniors and sustain them in Connecticut,” Hwang said. “I will be focusing on the impact of taxation, health care and housing on our fastest growing Connecticut demographic. I encourage seniors in our region to reach out and share their thoughts and concerns with me at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov or at 800-842-1421.”
Hwang will serve as Vice-Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee.
“My priority will maintain the balance of providing reliable energy solutions for businesses and consumers in an environment that is predictable, sustainable and transparent” Hwang said. “We also need to support towns in our region in their energy efficiency efforts. Legislation like virtual net metering and renewable energy can save taxpayers and businesses money while reducing our carbon footprint.”
Hwang will also serve on the Planning and Development Committee, which has cognizance of all matters relating to local governments.
“My goal is to help our communities adapt to a challenging and critical budget session, along with creating solutions which will lead to innovative urban, suburban and rural renewal. We’ve got to support efficient planning and economic development programs for our local governments.”
Hwang will also serve on the Judiciary Committee, which has cognizance of all matters relating to courts, judicial procedures, and criminal law.
Hwang represents Fairfield, Newtown, Westport, Weston and Easton.
To sign up for his State Capitol e-alerts, visit www.SenatorHwang.com .
Activity at the State Capitol is heating up. Please watch and share this brief video update:
After years of being in real minority positions, Weston’s Republican legislators are seeing the opportunity to wield some power this legislative session as political parties are at parity in the state Senate and approach equal numbers in the House of Representatives.
Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26) has been elevated from ranking member to sharing the chairmanship of the education and transportation committees. She will also serve as vice chairman on the Banking Committee, and as a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. In addition, she is the chief deputy Senate Republican majority leader, which puts her third on the leadership ladder on the Republican side of the Senate.
Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) is a ranking member on the Housing and Labor and Public Employees committees, and a member of the Commerce and Veterans’ Affairs committees.
One of the new opportunities Republicans will have this legislative session is the ability to split committee votes. Unlike in the federal Congress, all Connecticut legislative committees include both House and Senate members.
Since Democrats are still in the House majority, they will hold a majority of House committee members, but with the Senate tied, Republican senators can threaten to kill a bill by forcing separate House and Senate votes.
“That gives you a lot of influence on the agenda and public hearings,” Boucher said.
The senator said any bills she will submit will focus on the budget, education, and transportation this session, and Lavielle has already submitted a bill that would reverse the way the state approaches its budget formation process.
She said each town’s finance board looks at how much revenue it believes can be raised and then offers guidance to the boards of education and selectmen.
“In the legislature, you do the spending first and then the Finance Committee always has to ask where the revenue is coming from,” she said. “Revenue estimates have not been anywhere close to realistic. I want to be involved in that process.
“We should be defining what our revenue potential is before we actually define spending. If you don’t know how much you have to spend, how can you spend it?”
At the top of her education list, Boucher said she would like to ensure the Education Cost Sharing formula “does not further disadvantage our towns and communities,” she said. Weston’s ECS grant was further reduced by just over $180,000 in mid-fiscal year cuts.
She would also like to see many of the education mandates eliminated, stronger penalties for academic truancy, after-school help for students who cannot read after the third grade, elimination of the common calendar, and increased support for gifted and talented students.
On the positive side, Boucher said she felt Gov. Dannel Malloy, who gave his State of the State speech on Jan. 4, “appears to have been listening to us.”
She approved of his comments about forming a “predictable budget process,” adding, “He did talk about structural costs of the state, and it’s about time we talked about that.”
Hwang expressed interest in working together with other state legislators to effect change.
“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,” Hwang said.
To deliver those results, Hwang said, legislators must work together to:
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