Serving the 127th Assembly District
Legislative Office Building, Room 5002
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
I am very pleased to tell you that we did a lot of great things this past session. We brought more money back to Bridgeport and some will go toward reducing the property tax on automobiles. As House Chairman of the Veteran’s Committee, I am proud that we passed many bills into law helping our veterans. We also passed a “second chance” bill that will reduce incarceration rates for nonviolent offenders - rather than the costly and, often times, counterproductive act of incarceration.
Another year has passed in my unsuccessful attempt to pass my “conflict of interest” bill. With support from the two Bridgeport senators, my bill was unanimously passed in the Senate on consent. Unfortunately, my bill was not called because it did not have enough support in the House. I will continue to champion and fight for this legislation and hope to have the entire Bridgeport delegation’s support next session. To review the issue, our city charter specifically states that city employees cannot serve on the City Council. But due to a loophole in state statute, the city is able to ignore the city charter’s prohibition and allows city employees to serve on the City Council. This creates a major conflict of interest. At the state level, state employees cannot serve in the state legislative body. This prohibition is written into the state constitution. Likewise, at the federal level, the United States Constitution prohibits federal employees from serving in Congress. If this isn’t allowed at the State and Federal level, why should it be allowed in Bridgeport? We will try again next year.
I am happy to report that we passed a state budget that makes transformative changes to our regressive property tax structure. As a result of a statewide mill rate cap on automobiles, Bridgeport taxpayers will see a 30% reduction in their car tax by 2017. This same law also pledges .5% of the annual state sales tax to our cities and towns, resulting in Bridgeport not losing any revenue due to the car tax reduction and, in fact, receiving roughly $12 million in increased state funding to offset the burden of residential property taxes.
I hope you find the information in this newsletter helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.