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Letter: Orange Republican State Reps Push Back on Legislative Proposals

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Earlier this week, we attended “Morning Jolt”, an event hosted by the Milford and Orange Chambers of Commerce to talk about the 2019 legislative session and to answer questions about bills that could and probably will have an impact on local businesses and nonprofits.

With a little more than a month to go to the end of the legislative session, Chamber members expressed their concerns with the anti-business concepts being proposed by the governor and legislative Democrats.

The four legislative proposals drawing the most kickback were:

  • Raising the minimum wage to $15
  • Implementing a forced Paid Family Leave Program. The state-run program would deduct 0.5 percent of pay from employees’ paychecks and give them up to 12 weeks off per year.
  • Placing over fifty tolls throughout the state
  • Shift Change Scheduling

If all of these bills are passed, Chamber members said it would impact their businesses and force them to consider reducing staff or increasing the cost of their services.

We don’t believe businesses and nonprofits can afford these crippling jobs proposals and have offered numerous ways to both fund transportation infrastructure fixes and help working families.

House and Senate Republicans have proposed an alternative to tolling called “Prioritize Progress,” which secures $65 billion dollars for transportation projects over the next 30 years without relying on tolls or tax increases. We do this by re-prioritizing funding from pet projects and other quasi-wants to fund infrastructure improvements. The plan operates within Connecticut’s new bond cap, borrowing no more than allowed under the cap. Last year, the bipartisan budget placed a cap on state bonding.

We also have proposed a Paid Family Leave bill that will give employers a tax credit for offering paid family leave, rather than the bill from majority legislators that calls for a state-run program with a payroll tax.

With 3,000 plus jobs lost since the beginning of the year, it is not the time for lawmakers to be punishing business owners. We have offered to work with our business owners and leaders to get our local and state economies thriving once again.

As your voices in Hartford, we will continue to push back on these proposals and the many others that will cost taxpayers and businesses more and more.

State Representatives
Themis Klarides
Charles Ferraro
Kathy Kennedy

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