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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.

Dec 072013
 

sex offenderState Representative Themis Klarides (R-114) and State Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-17) are continuing their efforts to restrict where sex offenders can reside by announcing they will introduce legislation to keep them away from schools and daycare centers.

The policy, which Rep. Klarides originally proposed in 2007, would establish “Child Safety Zones” – a 1,000 foot radius around schools, daycares and other locations where children typically gather – and prohibit any registered sex offender from residing there.

The proposal would also carry more severe penalties and increased fines for crimes committed within the zones.

Rep. Klarides has proposed similar legislation in the past, but was met with resistance from majority party legislators who instead voted to dilute the policy.

“The last thing a parent should have to worry about when they send their child to school is whether a depraved sex offender is lurking around the corner from the jungle gym or classroom,” said Rep. Klarides, Deputy House Republican Leader. “Keeping sex offenders away from kids is a common sense policy that many people assume is already in place, but has been met with inexcusable opposition from other legislative leaders in the past several years. I call on my colleagues to do the right thing for our communities and support this legislation when the 2014 Session convenes.”

“State statutes require known sex offenders and predators to register their whereabouts for very good reason – to safeguard residents and protect them from any recurrence of previous behavior that prompted registration in the first place,” Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge) said. “This initiative is a straightforward extension of these safeguards and protections and if enacted, will help separate those on the registry from schools and daycare centers where children congregate.”

 

The lawmakers plan to push for the legislation during the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session, which convenes February 5, 2014.

Nov 182013
 
Rep. Themis Klarides speaks about recent legislation before more than 100 community leaders at the MADD annual dinner in New Haven on November 13

Rep. Themis Klarides speaks about recent legislation before more than 100 community leaders at the MADD annual dinner in New Haven on November 13

State Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) was honored for her commitment to safe driving policies by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which presented her with the Public Policy Award during its annual Community Champions dinner on November 13.

Rep. Klarides was applauded for introducing a bill earlier this year to strengthen drunken driving penalties when there is a child in the vehicle.

The Public Policy Award is presented to individuals who have dedicated their time to promoting safe and sober driving through effective legislation.

State Rep. Themis Klarides, State Rep. Al Adinolfi, MADD Legislative Liaison Skip Church, State Sen. Leonard Fasano and State Rep. Gerald Fox.

State Rep. Themis Klarides, State Rep. Al Adinolfi, MADD Legislative Liaison Skip Church, State Sen. Leonard Fasano and State Rep. Gerald Fox.

Oct 302013
 
State Rep. Themis Klarides

State Rep. Themis Klarides

State Representative Themis Klarides (R-114) is congratulating Orange residents Eeman Abbasi and Yiwen Bao after they were each awarded a $2,500 Connecticut Higher Education Trust (CHET) Advance Scholarship during a ceremony at the State Capitol on Wednesday, Oct. 30.

The first annual CHET Advance Scholarships were announced by State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier, and are being awarded to 200 randomly selected high school seniors from a pool of 3,635 applicants that hail from 85 high schools in Connecticut

“It is becoming more and more difficult for young people to achieve their college dreams as the cost of higher education continues to increase drastically,” Rep. Klarides said. “I applaud Eeman and Yiwen for pursuing scholarships as an alternative means of financing their education, and wish them the best of luck in the journey ahead.”

No state funds will be used for awards issued under CHET Advance Scholarships, as they are administered under the banner of the Connecticut Higher Education Trust, Connecticut’s 529 college savings plan. TIAA-CREF Tuition Financing, Inc., The Hartford and plan managers for CHET Direct-Sold and CHET Advisor-Sold, contribute annually into a Scholarship account to finance the program.

For more information about CHET, visit www.aboutchet.com or call the customer service center at (866) 314-3939.

— This is a press release from State Rep. Themis Klarides

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