Klarides Says Approval of GOP Budget Signals New Direction for Connecticut

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Sep 162017

Following the stunning bipartisan vote that passed the Republican budget by a 78-72 margin at 1:44 a.m., today, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides hailed the passage of the bipartisan package in the House and urged Gov. Malloy to reconsider his threatened veto
and sign the bill to avert massive cuts Democrats will inflict on Connecticut schools on Oct. 1, absent a two-year tax and spending plan.

“This is the first step toward getting the state back on the sane fiscal footing and putting Connecticut back on the road to solvency,’’ Klarides said. “We owe it to the state of Connecticut to act, and have the Governor sign this bipartisan legislation,’’ Klarides said.

The Republican budget does not raise taxes, restores funding for schools and towns and protects municipal aid. Klarides praised the five Democrats who joined the GOP to produce the bipartisan solution.

Three Democratic Senators voted for the Republican plan earlier in the day to pass it 21-15. The

The House then voted 78-72 to approve the budget. It also restores deep cuts for social services.

The Republican plan includes no new taxes, restores education funding and preserves municipal aid.

“It took months to get to this point, and despite the time needed to get this point by the
legislature, we have reached another level. Now we wait for the Governor,’’ Klarides said.

House Republicans to Offer Their Own Temporary 30-Day Budget to Keep State Running

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Jun 302017

House Republicans today moved to settle the budget stalemate by coming up with a revised temporary, 30-day budget to head off the looming fiscal crisis that protects vital social services programs, summer youth jobs, hospitals and restores middle-class tax credits for property owners.

The so-called mini budget proposed by Gov. Malloy was not acceptable to House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said and included major policy changes that had nothing to do with keeping the state running temporarily.

“If the Governor and the Democrats are serious about avoiding the pain and devastation that would be inflicted by running the state through executive order beginning this weekend, they will support our efforts to craft a compromise,’’ Klarides said. “House Republicans have put forth three separate budget proposals this spring and summer and now we have come up with a stop-gap measure because we had to protect those most at risk. We can act on this now and avoid the chaos that lies ahead if we don’t have a full budget.’’

The House Republican amended version restores funding for the summer youth programs and eliminates the proposed tax penalties that Gov. Malloy wanted to impose on hospitals. It also restores the $200 property tax credit for homeowners that would be lost under the Democratic plan.

Klarides said the mini-budget would only last for 30 days under the Republican plan, unlike Gov. Malloy’s which covers the first quarter of the fiscal year. In addition, the Republicans roll back scheduled raises for state judges that will take effect July absent any legislative action. The raises the amount to $1.4 million and the added money would increase pensions for any retiring judges.

“The idea that the state would be handing out pay raises to judges when we are in fiscal crisis and when teenagers across the state will lose their summer jobs is not acceptable. It is time for the Democrats to come forward with a plan and not abdicate their jobs. Do the jobs you were sent to Hartford for in the first place,’’ Klarides said.


Malloy has said he would not accept changes to his temporary plan and that it would expire at midnight on Friday. Klarides will approach rank-and- file Democrats and members of the Senate to support the House Republican plan in an effort to avoid the draconian cuts to services that Gov. Malloy has repeatedly warned will automatically take place if there is no budget agreement by Friday.

“We are running out of time and the Democrats are out of ideas. I urge them to do the responsible thing and act in the best interests of the State of Connecticut,’’ Klarides said.

Klarides On The Most Recent Budget Projections

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Apr 042017

The comptroller’s latest budget projections released today point to worsening news for Connecticut and could likely result in a year-end deficit, an outcome rejected by the Malloy administration, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said.

“Two of the three budget forecasters, the Office of Fiscal Analysis and Comptroller Lembo, are nearly identical in their projections at around a $45 million deficit for the current fiscal year. The Governor says we have a $22 million surplus. Someone is wrong,’’ Klarides said. “It is an ominous sign as we get into the real mechanics of putting together a budget for the next two years.’’

Klarides noted that the comptroller cited an erosion of income tax receipts as the chief reason for the apparent deficit. “It is always dangerous to bank on a really strong April for income tax receipts to bail out the state,’’ Klarides said. She added that she hopes Gov. Malloy turns out to be right in this matter.

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.’’