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Nov 082014
 

madd-logo-colorMothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) next week will recognize State Representative Themis Klarides (R-114) as a “Community Champion” with its Public Policy Award for her work both in the legislature and in her community to curb intoxicated driving.

During the 2014 legislative session, Rep. Klarides co-sponsored new legislation that expanded mandatory use for Ignition Interlock Devices for those convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Rep. Klarides, along with a host of fellow legislators, attorneys, law enforcement officials, journalists and community activists, will be given the award during a ceremony in New Haven on Wednesday, Nov. 12. This is the second consecutive year Rep. Klarides has been named a “Community Champion” by Connecticut’s MADD chapter; she was recognized nationally, too.

“It is a great honor to receive this award,” Klarides said. “I am proud to support the initiatives of the MADD organization, who has worked tirelessly to keep our motorists educated on safe driving practices. I am pleased this new legislation will serve to further their cause and safeguard for future generations to come.”

 

Nov 062014
 

James Maroney and Paul Davis

James Maroney and Paul Davis

Voters across the country seemed to be sending a message to President Obama by voting in a majority of Republicans in this election. This reflected in our local (Orange) results as well.

With 100% of the precincts in (Orange, Milford and West Haven) the 117th House district, newcomer Charles Ferraro (R) took 51% of the vote with 4,281; Incumbent Paul Davis (D) received 4,138, reflecting 49% of the total votes.

Pam Staneski (R) defeated Incumbent James Maroney (D) by 161 votes for the 119th House Seat. She received 4,423 votes, a 51% share; Maroney stayed strong with 4,262 at 49%.

Both Maroney and Davis WON their races in Orange.

The only one of our State Representatives to retain a seat was Themis Klarides (R) in the 114th District who received a lot of support at 66% throughout her district with 5,822 votes defeating Aldon Hynes (D) for the second consecutive race. Hynes received 34% of the votes at 2,937.

Apr 212014
 

klarides state budgetOn April 17, Deputy House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114) unveiled a balanced budget fix that reduces spending, pads the Rainy Day Fund, does not create deficits and stays within the Constitutional Spending Cap – a plan for fiscal stability that sharply contrasts Legislative Democrats’ shadowy gimmicks.

“This budget reduces long-term liabilities, increases municipal aid by $26 million and responsibly reduces spending by $55 million,” said Rep. Klarides, a veteran member of the budgeting-writing Appropriations Committee. “We’re giving the people of Connecticut an alternative to the Democrats’ insatiable growth of government and dishonest tricks like raiding off-budget accounts to fund ongoing programs – which will unequivocally lead to large-scale deficits and tax increases.”

“Our plan provides modest tax relief to residents and businesses, including elimination of the $60 million surcharge thrust on employers resulting from the defunct unemployment fund, accelerated reinstatement of the tax exemption on clothing and footwear costing less than $50 ($133 million); and accelerated restoration of the sales tax exemption on non-prescription drugs ($16.5 million).”

The non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis certified today in writing that the Republican alternative budget is the only proposal that reduces the $1.1 billion deficit projected for the next budget cycle. They state that the plans offered by Gov. Malloy and Legislative Democrats add to that structural shortfall.

“We can’t keep continuing down this unsustainable path of more spending, more gimmicks and bigger deficits, which sets us up for future tax increases. Our budget is honest, and rejects the fiscal sleight-of-hand maneuvers the Democrats use to finance their overly bloated budget, such as raiding accounts intended for road repairs, tobacco and substance abuse prevention, and clean energy investment.

“If the Democratically-controlled legislature continues to spend more than they take in, taxes will continue to escalate, further hampering employers’ ability to create jobs and invest in our state. We continue to see the backward trend of growth in government, without growth in our state economy.”

Other details of the Republican alternative budget include:

Ø  Increased municipal spending by $26 million

Ø  Phased-in exemption of all pensions from the income tax, starting at 5 percent

Ø  Restoration of $18 million in transportation funding intended for road and bridge repairs

Ø  Restoration of $9 million to the retired teachers’ healthcare plan

Ø  Addition of $3.1 million in new mental health services

Legislative Democrats’ budget creates $1.1 billion in deficits for the next budget cycle, delays $346 million in scheduled debt payments, relies on $207 million in raided off-budget funds – including raided gasoline tax revenue intended for road repairs, underfunds retiree healthcare by an additional $51 million and grows government with the creation of 443 brand new government positions.

Rep. Klarides added “Ours is the only honest plan out there – Legislative Democrats’ proposal is padded with sneaky accounting gimmicks, and Gov. Malloy’s plan features an election year tax rebate in a tactless attempt to assuage outrage over his record-setting tax increase two years ago.”

 

Rep. Klarides voted against the Democratic majority’s budget package (HB 5030) that was passed out of the Appropriations Committee on a party line vote on March 27. It now moves to the House of Representatives for further consideration. The General Assembly must pass a balanced budget adjustment prior to adjournment of the 2014 Legislative Session onMay 7th.

 

For more information on the Republican budget alternative, click here:http://cthousegop.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Budget_Presentation_FINAL.pdf

Mar 132014
 

 Rep. Themis Klarides reads Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland to third grade students at Orange’s Turkey Hill School on March 13.

Rep. Themis Klarides reads Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland to third grade students at Orange’s Turkey Hill School on March 13.

Today State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) visited Ms. Ashley Bell’s third grade class at Turkey Hill School to talk with students about state government and read them books as part of Read Across America Day.

Klarides read Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland and Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship and Survival by Kirby Larson.

Klarides visits the school annually to talk about her experience in the legislature and encourage the students to cultivate a love for reading.

 

Rep. Themis Klarides (center) visits Ms. Ashley Bell (back right) and her Turkey Hill School third graders in Orange on March 13.

Rep. Themis Klarides (center) visits Ms. Ashley Bell (back right) and her Turkey Hill School third graders in Orange on March 13.

Mar 112014
 

State Rep. Themis Klarides reads to a first grade class at Race Brook School on March 7.

State Rep. Themis Klarides reads to a first grade class at Race Brook School on March 7.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) visited Race Brook School on Friday, March 7,  to read Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” to Ms. Corkindale’s first grade class and Ms.Escandon’s fourth grade class.

Rep. Klarides visits the school annually to take part in Read Across America Day, a celebration that encourages children to develop good reading skills.

Launched by the National Education Association in 1998, Read Across America Day involves more than 3.2 million athletes, celebrities, politicians, business professionals, neighbors and family members reading to an estimated 45 million children nationwide.

 

Feb 272014
 

Rep. Paul Davis, Dina Bajko, Georgie Chatzapouloa and Rep. Themis Klarides in Hartford on Wednesday.

Rep. Paul Davis, Dina Bajko, Georgie Chatzopouloa and Rep. Themis Klarides in Hartford on Wednesday.

State Reps Themis Klarides (R- 114), Paul Davis (D-117) and Tony Hwang (R-134) honored Chip’s Family Restaurant co-owners Georgie Chatzopoulos and Dina Bajko at the State Capitol Wednesday, Feb. 26. Chip’s Family Restaurant has a location in Orange at 321 Boston Post Road.

As co-owners of Chip’s, Chatzopoulos and Bajko were recognized on the floor of the State House of Representatives and received an official state citation.

Chip’s Restaurant in Orange has been a landmark for many years, known for its perfect pancakes, and being voted ‘best pancakes’ in Connecticut three consecutive years, the restaurant has grown over the years, meeting the needs of its large clientele. Chatzopoulos immigrated to the United States from Greece in 1987 and has worked in the restaurant business ever since.

“Chip’s is an iconic destination within the community, drawing thousands of visitors to Orange with its famously delicious food and family-friendly environment,”  Klarides said. “Small business owners like Georgie work tirelessly to please their customers while helping to drive our local economy, and I applaud his success and contribution to the town.”

“I have had the pleasure of knowing George since he began operating Chip’s Family Restaurant. He believes in the importance of making his business a part of the community,” Rep. Davis said.  “Over the years Chips has supported, sponsored, and participated in countless charitable events and provided job opportunities for numerous local citizens. In return, Orange has made Chip’s the number one destination for family dining. We congratulate George and Dina for their outstanding accomplishments and wish them the best in the future.”

Rep. Hwang applauded Chip’s commitment to the community. “As a fellow immigrant, we both love this country and are grateful for the opportunity to live the American dream,” Hwang said. “Working hard to succeed and maintain a commitment to this community is an unfailing value that we mutually share. Georgie’s focus has always been to give back to the community that has made his restaurants successful.”

Chip’s Family Restaurant also has locations in Fairfield and Trumbull and will open a new Chip’s in Wethersfield, CT – expected opening Nov. 2014.

 

Feb 062014
 

State Rep. Themis Klarides greets House Republican Leader Larry Cafero in the House Chamber on the opening day of the 2014 Legislative Session.

State Rep. Themis Klarides greets House Republican Leader Larry Cafero in the House Chamber on the opening day of the 2014 Legislative Session.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) ushered in the 2014 Legislative Session today with fellow legislative leaders at the State Capitol who took part in the traditional joint convention of the General Assembly.

 

The Opening Day ceremonies mark the beginning of a three-month-long “short session,” during which only bills related to budgetary, revenue and financial matters may be considered, or bills submitted by committees on any subject.

 

Rep. Klarides continues to serve as Deputy House Republican Leader – the second highest position in the 53-member caucus. This year she also continues to serve on the Appropriations, Judiciary, Legislative Management, Public Health and Screening Committees.

 

State Rep. Themis Klarides (center) listens intently as Governor Malloy delivers his State of the State address to a joint convention of the General Assembly on the opening day of the 2014 Legislative Session.

State Rep. Themis Klarides (center) listens intently as Governor Malloy delivers his State of the State address to a joint convention of the General Assembly on the opening day of the 2014 Legislative Session.

One of the most pressing issues facing the General Assembly is making adjustments to the state’s biennial budget. Despite a $500 million one-time boost of excess revenue expected this year, which largely exists on paper, non-partisan analysts project a $1.1 billion deficit for the next budget cycle.

 

“This year I will continue to focus on getting Connecticut’s fiscal house in order, and improving the state economy by making it easier for job creators to hire and make long term investments in our state,” Rep. Klarides said. “Families in our region are facing a lot of challenges, and I look forward to addressing those issues as the 2014 session gets underway. Please reach out to me with any questions or feedback regarding state government.”

 

Rep. Klarides will join her colleagues in the coming weeks to announce their caucus priorities for the 2014 session, which adjourns May 7th.

 

Constituents can follow committee meetings and House debates as they unfold live on Connecticut’s public affairs television network, CT-N, or by streaming the proceedings online by visiting www.ctn.state.ct.us.

 

Rep. Klarides can be reached at [email protected] or 800-842-1423. Constituents can follow her legislative activity throughout the session by logging on to her website, www.repthemis.com, by connecting on Facebook at www.facebook.com/repklarides and on Twitter with the handle @RepTKlarides.

Jan 312014
 

Klarides Passes Orange FundingDeputy Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-114) is reacting to Governor Malloy’s proposal to give $55 tax rebates to Connecticut residents, calling it an “election year about-face.”

Klarides emphasized that the “surplus” exists largely on paper, as non-partisan fiscal analysts continue to project a $1.1 billion deficit for the next budget cycle, which conveniently will be addressed after the election.

“I’m pleased the Governor has finally recognized that Connecticut families are in need of tax relief. One budget cycle ago he signed off on the largest tax hike in state history – increasing everything from income tax, to sales tax, to corporate tax – and now is doing an election year about-face, hailing tax relief as a priority. While I appreciate that his proposal won’t create a long-term budget hole, he continues to ignore the $1.1 billion deficit projected for next year. ‘Rebates’ sounds great in a sound bite, but we’re still stuck in a pattern of going from fiscal crisis-to-crisis, refusing to address the structural shortfalls at hand” said Klarides, a member of the Appropriations Committee.

“I support his newfound interest in paying down debt and funding the Rainy Day Fund – all of which are proposals I pushed for in past years. However, let’s not forget that Governor Malloy has doubled the amount of total bonding approved since Fiscal Year 2011, from $1.4 billion to an astounding $2.8 billion. I am pleased he is proposing these steps to pay down debt, but it seems he is talking out of both sides of his mouth,” Klarides said.

Last week the House Republican Caucus unveiled a fiscally responsible plan to pay down debt and provide tax relief to residents without adding to the state’s long-term deficit, by restoring $185 million in tax exemptions for clothing, footwear and over-the-counter medicine, and providing small business relief by eliminating a special unemployment assessment of $59 million.

Twice before tax rebates were given in 1998 and 1999; in both instances, the state was flush with cash, the Rainy Day Fund was full and Republicans refused to go over the state spending cap.

Klarides will join her caucus in the coming weeks to launch a full agenda for the coming legislation that beginsFebruary 5.

 

Jan 062014
 

Orange Town HallState Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) and other area legislators are inviting Orange and Woodbridge residents to attend an Office Hours event on Thursday, Jan. 9, where they will be available to answer questions about state government.

The event will take place in the First Selectman’s Office of Orange Town Hall, 617 Orange Center Road, Orange, from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Anyone unable to attend but would like to discuss state issues can contact Rep. Klarides at 800-842-1423.

The event is free and open to the public.

Dec 192013
 

A file photo of Themis Klarides ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

A file photo of Themis Klarides ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.

State Representative Themis Klarides (R-114) will help raise money for Derby residents in need by collecting with the Salvation Army and the Derby Wal-Mart this Monday, December 23.

The legislator will serve as a volunteer bell ringer alongside the Salvation Army kettle for one hour, and Wal-Mart administrators have agreed to match the money she raises, dollar-for-dollar.

Rep. Klarides welcomes everyone to stop by the store located at 656 New Haven Avenue, Derby, between 5:00pm and 6:00pm on Monday, December 23 to help make the fundraising event a success.

Over the past three holiday seasons, the House Republican Caucus has raised more than $60,000 for the Salvation Army, with the help of Wal-Mart.