Rob’s Column in the Wolcott Community News: June 2012

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Jun 14, 2012 No Comments ›› admin

June 2012

 

The legislative session in Hartford officially ended on May 9th. Believe me when I tell you it’s a nice break as the last several weeks are fast and furious. There is a lot to read and very little time to sleep. I’ve been very happy to spend some time back home in the district and I’m using the time to get caught up on letters and calls from constituents.

I also have a few proposals in the work for next year. One in particular is something I am working on with Senator Markley. We have made a reputation for ourselves this past couple of years as being the most ardent protectors of the taxpayer’s hard earned dollar. We have stood strong and remained committed to eliminating wasteful spending and opposing even the slightest increase in taxes. Next year we hope to propose the elimination of a great many needless and costly regulations on businesses and town governments. In order to get our state’s economy moving in the right direction, we need to create jobs. I see the role of state legislature as helping to create the proper environment to allow and encourage that to happen. Making it easier for local business to function, stay compliant with the law, and compete without being handicapped by red tape is a step we need to take.

At the end of May, Senator Markley and I also held two Town Hall Meetings. One in Southington and the other right here at Wolcott Town Hall. We billed them as an opportunity to review the past legislative session and also get feedback from our communities. I was very pleased with the many nice folks that came out to greet us. We even got some new ideas for the project I noted above.

One thing that happened recently is some renewed attention to the New Britain to Hartford busway. Last week, Governor Malloy broke ground on the 9.4 mile on the project name renamed CTFastrak.

This is something I have adamantly opposed since the project began in earnest last summer. With Connecticut facing the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, Governor Malloy has continued to push forward with this $600 million project. That’s approximately $1,000 for every inch, $60 million per mile.

That’s not just it either. The estimated deficit to the state for operating costs is another approximately $22 million each year.  This is the wrong project at the wrong time. Our state is broke and it’s just plain irresponsible for Connecticut to spend money on this 9.4 mile busway. We should be working to fix our existing infrastructure which we have in Connecticut.

Of the 5,250 highway bridges in the state of Connecticut, it is estimated that nearly 1,800 are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The state has at least seven bridges that are more than 100 years old and thousands of bridges have far exceeded their life spans.

In a year where the Governor and majority party has just spent us into another deficit, even after passing the largest tax increase in the history of our state, this is simply the worst idea.

I will keep fighting this project until the end. In the meantime I would encourage you to visit www.blockthebus.com and sign the petition to stop this madness.

On June 12th, I will be back in Hartford when the legislature comes back into Special session to vote on bills which will implement the state budget just passed near the end of the regular session.

I voted against that state budget last month mostly due to the Governor and the majority party calling for borrowing $300 million to close the deficit.

Their budget increases spending nearly 2 percent while not accounting for newly revised revenue estimates which show the state budget deficit is now at $285 million.

I cannot support borrowing money and using budget gimmicks to pay for ongoing operating expenses the state cannot afford to fund. We don’t do this in our homes or businesses and we shouldn’t do at the state level.

This is no way to run a state government. I have consistently voted against spending and tax increases and have invested every effort in reducing wasteful spending in our state Government and will continue to make that case every chance I get.

As I said, it’s been great to spend some time back home in Wolcott. This month I had the opportunity to visit some local events like the Wolcott Special Games and also to march in the Memorial Day Parade. This past month, I also received my party’s nomination to be the endorsed Republican candidate and run for re-election. I will do my best to continue to work hard and make every one proud.