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Sen. Hwang: New Oct. 1 Law Cracks Down on School Threats

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Sen. Tony Hwang is raising awareness about a new state law effective Oct. 1 which makes threatening a school a much more serious crime.

Right now, calling in a bomb threat, or any kind of threat, to a school is a mere misdemeanor.

The new Oct. 1 law will change that, making such threats felonies which would result in a prison sentence.

“In the more than three years since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, more than 40 threats of violence have been made against schools in Connecticut,” Sen. Hwang said. “Many of those threats have been perpetrated by adults. These threats have become an epidemic, not only in Connecticut, but across the country. This new law sends a message that Connecticut has zero tolerance for school threats.”

In recent months, threats of violence have forced lockdowns of schools in Stamford, Hartford, Fairfield, West Haven and Bristol. Sen. Hwang noted that school lockdowns and evacuations can have lasting consequences on the children and adults who endure them.

The new law received overwhelming bipartisan support and was backed by local school superintendents, law enforcement officials, and parents.

* Sen. Hwang represents 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

Attached photo: Sen. Hwang with Newtown Police Chief Michael Kehoe, St. Rose of Lima School parent Maureen Reidy, and Rep. Mitch Bolinsky at a 2015 press conference calling for increased penalties for threats of violence against schools. The new law takes effect Oct. 1.

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MADD Names Sen. Tony Hwang “2016 Legislator of the Year”

State Senator Tony Hwang appears on Meet the Leaders hosted by David Smith. CT State Capitol May 4, 2016.

The Connecticut chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has honored Sen. Tony Hwang with its “2016 Legislator of the Year” award for his work in the area of public safety.

“In 1980, Candy Lightner, a realtor from California, started Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) after her 13-year-old daughter, Cari, was killed by a drunk driver who had several previous DWI arrests,” Sen. Hwang said. “Thirty-six years later, Connecticut continues to build on what Candy Lightner started in her daughter’s memory. At the State Capitol, I continue to do all I can to work with Democrats and Republicans to make our roads as safe as they can possibly be.”

“Public safety must be our top priority and we need to continue to make Connecticut a national model in this policy area,” Sen. Hwang said. “I am humbled to receive this honor from the Connecticut chapter of MADD.”

Sen. Hwang (www.SenatorHwang.com) represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .

Attached photo: Cablevision’s “Meet The Leaders” host David Smith (left) with Sen. Tony Hwang during an interview this spring at the State Capitol. The Connecticut chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has honored Sen. Hwang with its “2016 Legislator of the Year” award for his work in the area of public safety.

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Sen. Hwang: Tuesday Luncheon to Highlight “Team Effort” on Helping Victims

Wednesday, September 21, 2016 3:54 PM
Sen. Hwang: “Speaking of Women” Luncheon
to Highlight “Team Effort” on Helping Victims

Sen. Tony Hwang said The Center for Family Justice’s (CFJ) annual “Speaking of Women” luncheon Tuesday, Sep. 27 at the Waterview in Monroe will put a well-deserved spotlight on the organization’s successful efforts to support victims of domestic and sexual violence.

“Healing and empowering victims into survivors,” Sen. Hwang said. “That’s the common goal at CFJ, and the free, confidential services it provides to people affected by violence in our region are second to none. Day in and day out, the professionals at CFJ make a positive impact in the lives of Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents.”

This year’s luncheon features Nancy Grace, CNN/HLN Legal Affairs Commentator and Victims’ Rights Activist. Corporate sponsors for the event include Verizon and Bigelow Tea.

CFJ completed a $1.2 million expansion this spring. The upgrade includes offices for police and prosecutors, rooms for childcare and client services, and computer stations for clients seeking to build employment skills. The State of Connecticut approved an additional grant of more than $470,000 for further expansion of the center.

“It was a pleasure to give Sen. Hwang a tour of Connecticut’s first Family Justice Center,” CFJ President and CEO Debra A. Greenwood said. “He has long been an unwavering advocate of the thousands of victims of sexual and domestic violence we serve annually in Bridgeport, Fairfield, Easton, Monroe, Stratford and Trumbull. We are grateful for his constant and enthusiastic support.”
Recently, Sen. Hwang stood with victims of domestic violence by supporting a new Connecticut law which temporarily removes guns from offenders’ possession while their criminal cases are pending; providing victims with greater protection when they are extremely vulnerable.

Sen. Hwang has also stood with CFJ and Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara as an advocate for the White Ribbon Campaign, encouraging men and boys to join the local and global movement which calls on them to take a stand against domestic and sexual violence.

“CFJ represents a true team effort regarding wellness and victim advocacy,” Sen. Hwang said. “The services range from counseling, shelter, and legal support – and they can all be found under one roof in one safe place. We are all looking forward to an inspiring event on Sep. 27.”

On the web: www.centerforfamilyjustice.org and www.SenatorHwang.com .

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Sen. Hwang, Commuters Speak Out Against Fare Hikes

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State Senator Tony Hwang’s Testimony on CT Public Transportation Proposed Fare Changes

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016
University of Connecticut, Stamford Campus, One University Place, Stamford

“Speak now or forever reach deeper into your pocket.”

That’s how my friend Jim Cameron, a tireless advocate for commuters in our region, put it in a call to action against these proposed fare hikes.

I am State Senator Tony Hwang.

And on behalf of the 100,000 residents I represent in Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Westport and Weston, I am speaking out against these fare hikes.

I am speaking out in order to put a stop to the State of Connecticut’s attempt to reach deeper into commuters’ pockets.

I am speaking out on behalf of commuters who have no alternatives other than Metro North. The men and women who ride the train are, as Jim Cameron notes, “a captive audience.”

I am joining with Democrats leaders like Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, who recently noted that “No one is for these hikes.”

I am joining with Republicans like Sen. Toni Boucher, Sen. Scott Frantz, and Rep. Laura Devlin, Rep. Brenda Kupchick.

These lawmakers are all champions for commuters. They agree that this proposal is bad.

I will also continue to push for reforms to help commuters. That includes the re-evaluation and possible re-negotiation of the Metro-North contract.

Because – unfortunately fares will continue to go up and up and up unless we re-evaluate that contract and make reforms and bring back accountability to our transportation infrastructure and service.

Fares will continue to go up and up unless and until we inject more predictability, sustainability and transparency into the system.

I would venture to guess that virtually every commuter in this audience tonight believes that CT DOT will raise fares no matter what we say, how we say it and how many times we repeat our opposition.

You know what that tells me?

That tells me the system is broken.

That tells me that there is no trust or respect for the consumer in the process. And that’s truly a shame.

I would like to offer my strongest support to be a part of the vision and solution moving forward and bring a world class level of transportation infrastructure and service for our valued commuting public.

Attached photo: Sen. Hwang listens to commuter advocate Jim Cameron during the Sep. 14 public hearing in Stamford on the state’s proposed rail fare hikes. Sen. Hwang opposes the hikes.

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(photo) Sen. Hwang Honored as “Legislative Environmental Champion”

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Sen. Hwang Honored as “Legislative Environmental Champion”
by CT League of Conservation Voters

Sen. Tony Hwang has been recognized by the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV) as a “Legislative Champion” in its 2016 Environmental Scorecard for his work in the Connecticut General Assembly to preserve Connecticut’s waterways and protect the Long Island Sound.

An annual report by the CTLCV, the Environmental Scorecard rates legislators based on their voting record for key pieces of legislation.

Lawmakers were scored on 13 bill votes. Sen. Hwang scored a perfect 100 during the 2016 legislative session in Hartford.

“The Connecticut League of Conservation Voters is widely respected for its bipartisan environmental advocacy, and it is again an honor to receive this recognition,” Sen. Hwang said. “We all want cleaner water and cleaner air. It is an ongoing battle, and I bring that commitment with me to the State Capitol. It is a commitment to improving and protecting our natural resources for future generations to enjoy.”

CTLCV (www.ctlcv.org) is a bipartisan, statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting Connecticut’s environment by making it a priority for our elected leaders. As a legislative watchdog, CTLCV helps to pass laws that protect our air, water, wildlife, open space, and our health.

Sen. Hwang (www.SenatorHwang.com) represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov .

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Sen. Hwang, Senate GOP Unveil Legislative Agenda: “A Confident Future”

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Sen. Tony Hwang and the Connecticut Senate Republicans on Sep. 15 unveiled their policy agenda for the 2017 legislative session.

The plan “A Confident Future” presents multiple policy proposals aimed at moving Connecticut in a new direction to grow jobs, renew business confidence, build opportunity, and restore people’s trust in government.

The plan outlines the Republican priorities the caucus will pursue in the 2017 legislative session which begins in January.

“These proposals will put Connecticut back on a predictable and stable financial path,” Sen. Hwang said. “The taxpayers and business owners I represent in Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport want to see Connecticut move in that direction. They are overburdened by ever-rising rail fares, electric rates, and health insurance costs. They have seen two record-setting tax hikes in five years. They have been pushed to the brink and they don’t trust the current leadership in Hartford to do the right thing. These ideas will confront Connecticut’s long- and short-term challenges, foster business confidence and make our state more affordable. I am proud to be a part of this Republican plan.”

“A Confident Future” identifies three main areas Republicans will focus their efforts:

1) Creating Financial Stability and Predictability. A reliable state with business confidence is the best environment to grow jobs. By reforming the state’s spending and borrowing, Republicans plan to improve the state’s financial health to support a more predictable business environment so that job creators don’t have to worry about what new tax proposals could be awaiting them in bad budget years.

Republican budget proposals include properly funding transportation needs without tolls or new taxes like the mileage tax, reducing the size of state bureaucracy, and making long term structural changes to government. The Republican priorities also include specific tax relief proposals to reduce the burdens on individuals and job creators, such as property tax relief and phasing out taxation of pension income.

2) Supporting Families and Growing Opportunity. Connecticut’s future depends on supporting our families and creating opportunities for all to succeed. The Republican plan includes policy proposals to strengthen Connecticut cities and help improve life for families in urban areas. It also includes reforms for the state’s child welfare agency, proposes restoring education funding that was cut in recent budgets, protects seniors and the developmentally disabled, and offers new ideas to improve health care and insurance quality and accessibility.

3) Restoring Trust in Government. The Republican legislative agenda contains proposals to ensure that government operates efficiently and transparently and uses tax dollars as wisely as possible. Proposals include ideas to reduce DMV wait times, eliminate waste, live within our means, strengthen campaign financing laws, and create a more transparent budget writing process.

Attached photo: During the Sep. 14 DOT rail fare hike hearing in Stamford, Sen. Tony Hwang tells a News 12 reporter why he opposes fare hikes. Sen. Hwang and the Connecticut Senate Republicans on Sep. 15 unveiled their policy agenda for the 2017 legislative session. Details of the plan can be found at www.ctsenaterepublicans.com and www.SenatorHwang.com . Sen. Hwang can be reached at 800 842-1421 and at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov . Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport.

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1 pm Thursday at Fairfield History Museum: How to Lower Your Electric Bill

Fairfield Legislators Hosting Workshop on How to Lower Your Electric Bill

FAIRFIELD– State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) along with State Representatives Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Cristin McCarthy Vahey (D-133) are inviting Fairfield residents to an informational workshop about lowering your electric bill.

The Fairfield Legislative Delegation will be having an informative workshop ‘Learn How to Lower Your Electric Bill’. Rate specialists from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will be on hand to guide you through the process.

DATE: Thursday, September 15th

TIME: 1:00pm to 2:00pm

LOCATION: Fairfield History Museum, 370 Beach Road in Fairfield

Please bring a recent copy of your electric bill.
For more information, call the Representatives at 800-842-1423 or send an email to Laura.Devlin@housegop.ct.gov Brenda.Kupchick@housegop.ct.gov and Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and Cristin.McCarthyVahey@cga.ct.gov

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(photo) Sen. Hwang: “Unaffordable” Health Insurance Rate Hikes Will Hurt CT Families

State Senator Tony Hwang gives testimony at a public hearing concerning Anthem's request for a premium increase for healthcare policies. CT Insurance Department Hartford, CT. August 3, 2016.

Sen. Hwang: “Unaffordable” Health Insurance Rate Hikes
Will Hurt CT Families

Sen. Tony Hwang released the following statement regarding the finalized double-digit health insurance rate increases approved this month by the Connecticut Insurance Department (related article: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/regulators_approve_more_double_digit_rate_increases/ )

“Despite our efforts, despite our testimony, and despite our outrage, rates are going up by double digits.

“That’s unaffordable. That’s excessive. That’s going to hurt Connecticut families and impact access to health care. And that’s truly a shame.

“I thank the many area residents who sent me their comments opposing the rate hikes. I hand-delivered those comments to state insurance officials in Hartford, but they have decided to hike rates by double-digits.

“Ever wonder just how high your rates have jumped, say, in the last decade? For a great many people, it’s been more than 100 percent. These rate increases are unsustainable, the reasons given for the increases are weak, and even garnering basic information about the public hearing required dedication, persistence and time.

“It is clear that the state’s health insurance rate process is broken. It lacks predictability, sustainability and transparency. Just try to predict and plan your future insurance costs in this state. It’s impossible. There is no rhyme or reason to it.

“I will continue to push for bipartisan reforms which will bring transparency and predictability to this broken system. Connecticut should change the specific definitions of what would disqualify insurers from excessive increases. And when proposed health insurance rate increases exceed 10 percent, state public hearings should be mandatory.

“These decisions are frustrating, but we should look to it as a key reason why the system must be fixed.”

A chart detailing the rate hikes can be found at: http://www.ct.gov/cid/cwp/view.asp?a=4059&Q=585062 .

Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport. He can be reached at 800 842-1421. On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com.

Attached photo:

At an Aug. 3 public hearing in Hartford, Sen. Tony Hwang (at podium) testified against proposed double-digit health insurance rate hikes. Sen. Hwang hand-delivered to state regulators the comments of many area residents who opposed the rate hikes. This month, the Connecticut Insurance Department raised rates by double digits. Sen. Hwang said he will continue to pursue bipartisan reforms to this “broken system.” He can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov or at 800 8

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