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House Republicans Welcome Fundraising Transparency, Must Limit PACS

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Mar 292017
 

Responding to claims that Democrats want to reform campaign finance laws, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today welcomed greater transparency laws, but said the GOP proposal to crack down on individual political action committees would clean up the system that has been gradually subverted since reforms were put in place.

Klarides said that the Democratic approach ignores the intent of those reforms as the individual PACs run by rank and file lawmakers pump more money into campaigns and get around earlier restrictions. She referenced recent testimony from GOP State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton to the Government Administration and Elections Committee that explains how the system is being subverted.

“The PACs were supposed to be limited to leadership and each caucus. We have seen in the last election cycle that more and more sitting members have created their own PACs in order to funnel more money into their colleagues campaigns in contested races,’’ Klarides said. “We welcome any efforts to make the system more transparent, but the Democratic proposal does not address these glaring issues.’’

Republicans have proposed restrictions on PACs that would ban contributions as described by Perillo in his testimony.

Democrats today proposed limiting outside independent contributions and requiring organizations or unions to approve of those donations – the so-called “dark money’’ donations.

“There should be greater disclosure throughout the campaign finance system;’’ Klarides said. “But the funneling of money raised right here at home into targeted races that have already received maximum contributions under the law is an obvious attempt to get around the intent of the reforms.’’

What Should The Punishment Be For Hate Crimes?

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Mar 182017
 

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides this week reacted to the proposed increase in penalties for hate crimes.

No hate crime or attack on any person, target or symbol that has been singled out for their individual characteristics or beliefs should be punished to the fullest extent of the law – the penalties must be severe in order to deter future incidents,” Klarides said. “However, one of the categories that should be covered must also include law enforcement personnel who have also been targets of violence and aggression.”

“Police and first-responders have been noticeably excluded from this proposal but are covered in separate legislation that we will also pursue this session,’’ Klarides said. 

Do You Miss Your WFSB 3? Themis Klarides Seeking A Resolution

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Jan 272017
 

 

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today urged Altice and WFSB/Meredith to resolve their dispute over fees that has kept the state’s CBS affiliates off the air and consumers in the dark.

Klarides said that she has received complaints and questions from constituents who are angry that they continue to pay the same fees for programming but have had their service diminished since Optimum, Altice’s corporate parent, removed channels 2 (WCBS) and 3 (WFSB) from their lineup.

“Unfortunately the dispute continues between the two entities and customers suffer while they argue over broadcast rights fees,’’ Klarides said. “I would urge the companies to come to some equitable agreement and to do it soon.’’

The blackout has lasted since Jan. 13.WFSB refused to make the recent AFC Championship football game between the New England Patriots and Pittsburg Steelers available, further angering customers.

Klarides said that there was little that can be done a state level because they are private entities that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission. Altice USA claims that WFSB/Meredith is demanding exorbitantly high fees, a charge that the company denies.

“I think it is incumbent upon the FCC to get involved as this stalemate has already lasted two weeks. It is the federal regulators’ job to settle this to avoid a prolonged dispute,’’ Klarides said

Klarides Addresses Consensus Revenue Figures

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Jan 182017
 

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides issued the following statement on the latest Consensus Revenue Figures:

“Connecticut will continue to struggle to meet its financial obligations in the two years ahead. Today’s consensus figures underscore the very issues highlighted by the ratings agencies that have taken a dim view of Connecticut’s fiscal outlook: the volatile nature of our revenue streams. This will continue to hamstring our ability to erase perpetual deficits absent meaningful structural changes on the spending side.

Residents Learn About Lowering Their Electric Bills

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Sep 122016
 

 

State Reps. Themis Klarides, Pam Staneski and Charles Ferraro

State Reps. Themis Klarides, Pam Staneski and Charles Ferraro

State Representatives Themis Klarides (R-114), Charles Ferraro (R-117) & Pam Staneski (R-119) hosted an informational workshop for Orange residents about lowering your electric bill at the Orange Senior Center, September 8.

The workshop ‘Learn How to Lower Your Electric Bill’ included presentations by electric rate specialists from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).

More than 30 Orange interested residents were in attendance for the workshop.

Rep. Klarides said, “It is more important now than ever for consumers to search out ways to cut their monthly utility bills tapping into the competitive markets that exist. These community forums we believe will help them do that.’’

“This was a wonderful event to provide useful information to Orange constituents and electric ratepayers regarding their monthly billing statement,” said Rep. Staneski. “Everyone I talked to were very thankful for holding the workshop.”

Rep. Ferraro said, “The aim of the workshop was to empower electric consumers with the additional information which would help them make an informed decision about their generation supply rates and whether to choose a licensed supplier or remain with their current standard service generation supply, United Illuminating.”

The Orange Legislative Delegation had rate specialists from Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) come down to the Orange Senior Center and guide residents through the process of reading and understanding their electric bill. For those that missed the workshop please click on link for the PURA presentation.

For more information, call the Representatives at 800-842-1423 or you can send an e-mail to Themis.Klarides@housegop.ct.gov,Pam.Staneski@housegop.ct.gov and Charles.Ferraro@housegop.ct.gov.

Klarides Talks About Growing Deficit

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Jun 202016
 

thHouse Republican Leader Themis Klarides released this statement today on the Growing Deficit

“The state’s finances, of course, will continue to decay because we have failed to institute any significant changes to stabilize our finances. These new deficit numbers were foreshadowed by last month’s job loss report,” she said.  “But we do not have to accept the ‘permanent deficits’ as the OPM [Office of Policy and Management] chief has described the situation.”

She added, “Republicans offered reasonable alternatives to address the immediate deficit and added a five-year plan that would have resulted in actual surpluses.”

 

Klarides’s 3-D Breast Screening Bill Passes

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May 092016
 

Klarides Passes Orange FundingHouse Republican Leader Themis Klarides hailed the passage of her 3-D imaging breast cancer screening bill that has cleared the Senate and now heads to the Governor’s office for final approval.

The legislation would add Tomosynthesis screenings, essentially a 3-D profile, to the mix of options that would be covered by insurance policies. The procedure would make it easier to detect early signs of breast cancer. The measure does not require medical provider to use Tomosynthesis screening, but affords providers with the option knowing that a patient’s insurance will cover it.

“Connecticut has consistently been a leader when it comes to providing excellent coverage for breast cancer screenings,’’ Klarides said. “This bill adds to that legacy.’’

Tomosynthesis is an FDA approved method of mammography that produces three dimensional images of  the breast. Klarides urged support for the bill and asked that residents contact their respective lawmakers and the Governor to make it law. 

“Short of a cure, early detection of breast cancer is the best step we can take against cancer and help save lives,’’ Klarides said. “IU appreciate so greatly the support  that this legislation has received in both the House and Senate and from Democrats and Republicans.’’

Women’s Republican Club Hosts Luncheon For Women Who Make a Difference

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Mar 282016
 

running-in-high-heelsThe Women’s Republican Club of Orange cordially invites you to a “Running in High Heels” Luncheon honoring the women who make a difference in our State and local government.

Join them at St. Barbara’s Church Social Hall, 480 Racebrook Road on Saturday, April 16, 11:30 a.m.

House Republican Minority Leader Themis Klarides is the Key Note Speaker.

The luncheon will be catered by Chefs a l’Orange and feature a choice of Chicken Tarragon Crepe, Seafood Newberg Crepe or a Mushroom, Spinach and Cheese crepe with hors d’oeuvres, salad, vegetable, rice pilaf, Sangria punch, dessert and coffee. The cost is $40.00 per person.

They will be hosting their traditional door prize event and invite you to bring along a prize to donate.

RSVP by Wednesday, April 6 and make checks payable to: WRCO and mail to Beth Michael, 386 Drummond Road, Orange, CT 06477.

Klarides Addresses State’s Negative Credit Ratings

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Mar 102016
 

Themis_Speaking_MADD_CeremonyHouse Republican Leader Themis Klarides today commented on the state’s most recent credit ratings:

“Three out of four of the state’s ratings agencies have assigned a ‘negative outlook’ to Connecticut’s credit. This is not ‘bittersweet’ as the Treasurer suggests, but simply bitter news.” Klarides said. “Our state’s finances remain on shaky ground and Connecticut’s ability to meet its obligations is being called into question.”

She concluded, “This is just more evidence that significant changes in our budget process are warranted.”

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides Wants DMV Answers to Wrongful Vehicle Suspensions

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Jan 062016
 

CT Arms LogoSaying her office has fielded numerous constituent complaints from angry motorists who have had their vehicle registrations wrongfully suspended, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today called upon Department of Motor Vehicle officials to explain how the problems arose and come up with solutions to fix them.

Klarides said she will formally ask the Transportation Committee to conduct hearings into the matter as soon as the legislative session convenes. She said at the very least greater oversight of the DMV is needed.

“We have heard over and over again from our constituents about how their registrations were suspended for no reason, and how long it took to get them reinstated at great loss of time and money to the motorist. We cannot help DMV fix this problem until we know the root cause, how widespread it is and how it can be prevented in the future,’’ Klarides said. “We need to explain this more fully to the public and if that means timely reporting by the agency, so be it.’’

Klarides said many calls have been received by her office from people all over the state complaining that they received notice of the suspension despite having paid fees and registration costs as well as insurance. DMV has said that it appears the suspensions were caused when motorists changed insurance carriers.

The constituent complaints are varied:

 In one instance a motorist had the car impounded for days for no valid reason and sought to have the DMV pay for the storage.

 One man said he had his registration suspended on a car that is specially equipped to account for his handicapped wife

 An insurance agent claimed his clients were blaming his agency because of the numerous foul ups.

 Insurance verifications were never logged into the DMV computer system.

 Some cases take weeks to resolve.

 A number of people said they called their state legislators as a last resort to intervene.