Letter: Fiscal responsibility is needed in Hartford

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To the editor,

The 2015 legislative session is well under way. The Connecticut General Assembly convened the “long session” on Jan. 7, which goes from the first week in January through the first week in June.

For the 2015 and 2016 legislative terms, I have been selected to serve as ranking member of the Public Safety and Security committee, as well as the legislature’s General Law and Human Services Committees.

Connecticut faces significant challenges, namely a massive budget deficit. One of my top priorities this session is to continue fighting for fiscal responsibility. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the legislature in the coming weeks as we have an opportunity to pass a budget this session that spends taxpayer dollars in a responsible way and brings financial stability.

From the time we wake in the morning until the time we go to sleep, we are taxed on almost everything we do during our day. I’ve heard loud and clear that our residents simply cannot afford any tax increase. At a time when people are living paycheck to paycheck just to keep food on the table and pay their bills, it would be responsible of state government to fiscally behave as our residents do, which is to reduce spending of taxpayer dollars and live within our means as opposed to raising taxes because we have a spending problem.

As ranking member on the Public Safety and Security Committee, I will work with the co-chairs of the committee to draft committee legislation and schedule public hearings on proposals as well as be the point person for the House Republican caucus for all public safety legislation, keeping legislators not on the committee up-to-date on pending proposals. Following is a sample of bills that are being considering by this committee: SB261 An Act Concerning the Overtime Costs of Resident State Police Officers; HB 5106 An Act Concerning the Cost of Resident State Police Officers; SB 770 An Act Creating A Pilot Program for Police Body Cameras; SB 18 An Act Establishing a Task Force to Study Hoarding; HB 5327 An Act Concerning the Nondisclosure of the Residential Addresses of Police Officers on Municipal Land Records.

Another priority of mine for this legislative session is to work with my colleagues in the legislature to support bills through the legislative process that I’ve proposed on behalf of constituents. Following is a sample of the bills I’ve proposed that are being considered by the respective committee of cognizance: HB 5067 An Act Concerning a Condominium Unit Owner’s Liability for Property Damage to a Condominium Unit That is Caused By Such Owner’s Negligence; HB 5104 An Act Concerning the Collection and Disposal of Unwanted Medication; HB 5116 An Act Prohibiting the Collection of Certain Fees for A Motor Vehicle Operator’s License Indicating A Person’s Status As A Veteran; HB 5569 An Act Concerning the Double Taxation of Consumer Goods.

As your state representative, your feedback is very important as it allows me to represent your voice in Hartford to the best of my ability. During this part of the session, the committees of General Assembly are holding public hearings on proposed bills. The public hearing process is a great opportunity for members of the public to be directly involved in the legislative process. If there are proposed bills you may want to share your opinion or thoughts on, I encourage you to participate in a public hearing. You may do so by either submitting written testimony in support or opposition to a proposed bill, or you may testify before the committee in person.

To find out more information on proposed bills, please visit www.cga.ct.gov and click on the “Bulletin.” If you do decide to submit testimony in support of or opposition to a proposed bill, please also send me a copy so I may be aware of your participation. The public hearing agendas are linked to each bill proposal. For the rules in submitting written testimony please visit www.cga.ct.gov/asp/CGABulletin/Bulletin.asp. Please be aware that each committee has different rules and deadlines.

This promises to be a busy session with many important issues coming before the legislature. I will continue to host events in district, including office hours and town hall meetings to provide opportunities to share your views.

If you would like to share your opinion or thoughts on any of the above mentioned bills, the public hearing process, or any other legislative issue, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (800) 842-1423 or email Lezlye.Zupkus@housegop.ct.gov.

Lezlye Zupkus

Prospect

The writer is the state representative in the 89th House District.