September 23, 2018

Jeannine Lewis Sworn In as Judge of Probate for Saybrook District, Includes Town of Lyme

Atty. Jeannine Lewis is sworn in as Judge of Probate for Saybrook Probate District by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

On Monday, July 23, Essex Attorney Jeannine Lewis was sworn in as the next judge of probate for the Saybrook Probate District in a ceremony held on the town green in Old Saybrook. The swearing-in was performed by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.

Attorney Lewis was elected in November to fill the remaining term of Hon. Terrence B. Lomme, who retired the same week after eight years in service to the district. The Saybrook Probate District encompasses the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Attorney Lewis has focused her legal career on the types of cases typically handled by the probate court. She is particularly concerned with ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable individuals who appear before the court are respected and upheld including the rights of the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, and minor children. She has been actively involved in educating other attorneys regarding elder law and estate planning as immediate past chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee. 

In addition, she is a contributing author of the manual used online by Connecticut’s Probate Court Administration to help train attorneys on how to properly represent clients in probate court. As a result of these accomplishments she was appointed to the Probate Court Administration’s Conservatorship Guidelines Committee, which developed standards of practice for Connecticut conservators that were published on July 1 of this year.

As a 17-year-resident of Essex, Lewis is also an active community member. She is a board member for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries and has been a meal site server for the organization for more than 10 years. In addition she is a community lecturer on end-of-life issues and the pro bono attorney for Sister Cities Essex Haiti.

Judge Lewis is running unopposed in the upcoming November election for a full four-year term as probate judge for the Saybrook Probate District.

For more information about Lewis and her qualifications, visit www.lewisforprobate.com.

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Courtney Joins Others in Cautioning President Trump Not to Undo 73 Years of European Stability

Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT Second Congressional District)

Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, joined 43 other members from the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees in releasing a joint statement regarding President Trump’s attendance at the NATO Summit and his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As I have made clear over the last two years, our committees have been briefed by military and diplomatic personnel, as well as outside experts about the non-stop, focused efforts of the Russian government to disrupt the stable, democratic unity that has prevailed in Europe since the end of the Second World War,” said Courtney.“Whether it is election interference, the illegal annexation of Crimea, or the uncalled-for provocations at sea and in the air in the Baltics, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, Russian military and intelligence forces are actively undermining the NATO alliance at every turn. My colleagues and I issued this statement to express our strong desire to the president that he should aggressively challenge President Putin on his government’s intentional violation of international law and norms.”

The 44 members said in their joint statement: “President Trump must not seek to undo the work that generations of American men and women have done to help defend and uphold democratic values throughout the transatlantic region. Europe returned from the devastation of the Second World War to prosperity largely due to the North Atlantic community’s commitments to its shared values and to collective defense. 

“The signals regarding potential outcomes that are coming from this administration in advance of the President’s upcoming trip to Europe are deeply concerning. Without question, in his upcoming meetings with NATO and President Putin, President Trump must continue to affirm America’s commitments to our allies, especially Article V of the Atlantic Treaty. He must not praise, condone, or abet any Russian efforts to undermine the sovereignty or democracy of any of our allies and partners. He must take a genuine stand against Russia’s cyber campaigns and its efforts to interfere in our elections. 

“President Trump must recognize the importance that our forward military presence and joint exercises play in deterring Russia and ensuring military readiness. He must not weaken this posture or suspend or cancel these crucial activities, nor emulate Russian propaganda attempting to discredit them.

“He must stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and against the illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory and maintain sanctions until the conditions in the law are met. He must follow the law passed every year through the National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting military-to-military cooperation with President Putin. And he must continue to stand by NATO’s open-door policy on the admittance of new members. The substance and symbolism of these upcoming meetings will matter. The future of the Atlantic alliance and the international order, which has helped make the world safer and more prosperous is at stake.”

The other 43 members who signed the statement are:

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Rep. James R. Langevin (D-RI), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Seth Moulton, (D-MA), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Rep.Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA), Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX),Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Rep. Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-CA).

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Rep. Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record During 2018 Legislative Session

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) earned a perfect voting record during the 2018 legislative session. There were 317 votes taken this year according to information released by the House Clerk’s office.

“I have always made it a priority to be present for every vote,” said Rep. Carney. “In my opinion, the most important part of my job is to ensure the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook are heard on each and every piece of legislation that comes before the General Assembly. I am proud to have achieved this distinction for the district for the fourth year in a row.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as ranking member of the Transportation Committee, is on the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2018 legislative session, visit the Office of Legislative Research website at www.cga.ct.gov/olr.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Local DTC’s Host Reception Today in Old Lyme for Congressman Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney

The Lyme Democratic Committee (DTC) – together with the DTCs of Old Lyme and Old Saybrook – is holding a reception to honor Congressman Joe Courtney on Saturday, June 30, from noon till 2 p.m., in Old Lyme.

The event will be held at the home of Alison Mitchel at 21 Lieutenant River Lane, Old Lyme. All are welcome but RSVP’s to Nick Boreen at nicholas.d.boreen@gmail.com are requested.  Suggested contribution levels start at $25.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be grilled, there will be some entertainment, and Congressman Courtney and other invited mid-term election candidates will address the attendees.

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Carney, Formica Hold Office Hours in Old Lyme This Morning

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) will hold office hours at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, located at 2 Library Lane in Old Lyme on Saturday, June 16, 2018 from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This session will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government, the state budget as well as the 2018 Legislative Session, which concluded in May.

For more information, contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or by email at devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov and Formica at 860-842-1421 or by email at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov.

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‘Run for Something’ Endorses Matt Pugliese for Connecticut General Assembly

Matt Pugliese

Matt Pugliese has received the endorsement of Run for Something (RfS), the groundbreaking organization that recruits and supports strong voices in the next generation of progressive leadership.

“I am excited and honored to be endorsed by Run for Something. Hearing about the work that was being done by this organization to help encourage candidates to step forward was a motivating force in my own decision to run for office. I want to work to make a difference in our community.  This is a crucial moment in our state and our nation. I’m proud to be among the candidates stepping forward,” said Pugliese.

“RFS endorses candidates on two major criteria: heart and hustle. That’s what defines viability to us,” said Ross Morales Rocketto, RFS co founder. “These are candidates who are going to work hard to run grassroots, community-led campaigns. We are a critical time in history and the momentum these candidates generate will have a lasting impact for years to come.”

A selection of statistics from RfS are:

  • 40 first or second time candidates endorsed this month
  • RFS has endorsed 409 candidates total, from 45 states. 256 candidates have upcoming elections.
  • Campaign budgets range from $3000 to $300,000
  • Win numbers range from 645 to 100,000 votes

The endorsement process includes an extensive internal review with background check, staff interview and insight from local state experts.

Amanda Litman and Ross Morales Rocketto launched RfS on Jan. 20, 2017 with a premise to help young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future. RfS aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to trainings needed to be successful. So far, about 18,000 young people from across the country have signed up as candidates and gained access to RfS resources.

Run for Something recruits and supports talented, young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.

Matt Pugliese is running for State Representative in the 23rd District.  Pugliese is a non-profit theatre arts administrator and Chair of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.  He holds his Masters in Public Administration from UCONN and lives in Old Saybrook with his wife and their two daughters. Learn more at mattpugliesect.com and at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at mattpugliesect.

For more information, visit www.runforsomething.net

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Carney Receives Republican Nomination for Re-Election to the 23rd District

Celebrating Devin Carney’s unanimous endorsement as Republican candidate for the 23rd District are, from left to right, Cathy Carter, Dave Evers, Dan Montano, Carney, and Jackie Miano.

State Representative Devin Carney received the unanimous endorsement of the Republican delegates representing Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook at the 23rd District convention on Wednesday, May 16. The convention was held at the Teresa Mulvey Municipal Building in Westbrook.

“It is truly an honor to be nominated for a third term by the Republicans of the 23rd District,” said Carney. “I have worked incredibly hard over the past four years as State Representative and always put the people of the district first. In these past two terms, I have advocated for small businesses and small towns, opposed massive tax increases, and worked across the aisle in order to achieve the best legislative results for the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Connecticut still faces significant budgetary hurdles, so I plan on continuing to work to stabilize government finances while helping  to create an economic environment that provides opportunity for all.”

Carney was nominated by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

“As First Selectman of Old Saybrook, I often interact with the state legislature on issues that affect small towns and I always know I can count on Devin,” Fortuna said. “In these past four years, Devin has always stood up for his municipalities by supporting local education, pushing back against unnecessary unfunded mandates, and opposing legislation that would negatively affect the quality of life in shoreline Connecticut.”

In only his second term, Carney was named the highest ranked House Republican of the Transportation Committee where he has advocated for roadway improvements, local public transportation, and highway safety. In addition, he used that role to campaign against the Federal Railroad Administration’s NEC Future plan bypass, which would have devastated Southeastern Connecticut.

“Serving in leadership on the Transportation Committee has given me the unique opportunity to fight for local transportation concerns, including Shore Line East and 9-Town Transit, and also to call attention to issues that affect the region such as I-95 safety and the FRA’s NEC Future proposal,” added Carney.

Carney also serves on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and the Environment Committee. Last year, Carney was recognized by the Connecticut Counseling Association with their “Legislative Service Award” for his work in support of licensed professional counselors and for supporting efforts to curb elder abuse and to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Carney also co-founded the legislature’s bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus and the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus. Carney is active in many community organizations including serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, on the Board of Saye Brook Village senior housing, and as a member of both the Old Saybrook and Lyme-Old Lyme Chambers of Commerce.

“As the next phase of the election begins, I look forward to discussing my accomplishments and bringing my message of fiscal stability and economic growth to each and every doorstep in the 23rd District,” said Carney.

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Pugliese Accepts Democratic Nomination for 23rd District, Will Challenge Carney in November Election

Last Wednesday, delegates from the 23rd District unanimously nominated Matt Pugliese (fourth from right) as the Democratic candidate for the 23rd State House District. Photo by Janis Esty.

On Wednesday, May 16, at a convention held in Old Saybrook at the Vicky Duffy Pavilion, Matt Pugliese accepted the Democratic nomination to represent the 23rd House District in the upcoming November election. The District includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern portion of Westbrook.

Democrat Matt Pugliese will challenge Devin Carney on Nov. 6.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, announced his candidacy in early March. He is challenging incumbent Devin Carney-R, who is running for a third term.

He was formally nominated by Karen Brodeur, a member of the Old Saybrook Board of Education.  In her remarks, Brodeur said, “Matt has experience as a business leader, as a community leader, as a civic volunteer, and as a caring husband and father. Matt is focused, disciplined, hard-worker.  He is an empathetic listener.  Matt cares about his family and he cares about his community.”

In accepting the nomination, Pugliese said, “I’m a Democrat. I’ve always believed that the Democratic party valued everyone, especially those didn’t have a voice. I will represent everyone in our community. I believe in communication, in compromise and consensus building. That is the style of leadership and the values I promise to bring to Hartford.”

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Pugliese, the Executive Producer and Managing Director of Connecticut Repertory Theatre, serves as the Chair of Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission.  He holds his BA in Theatre and his Masters in Public Administration, both from UConn.

Pugliese’s formal nomination drew praise and remarks from others in attendance including Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal and Mary Stone from Lyme, who was herself a candidate for the 23rd District in 2014. The delegates in attendance unanimously voted to select Pugliese as the candidate.

Pugliese, who is participating in the public funding option in the Citizen’s Election Program, announced that he had raised the required funds to qualify.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

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Courtney Comments on Trump’s Decision to Pull Out of Iran Nuclear Deal

Rep. Joe Courtney (D)

Today, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02) made the following statement after President Donald Trump announced he would be unilaterally imposing sanctions on Iran in violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action:

“Despite repeated confirmation that Iran is following the nuclear deal from UN weapons inspectors on the ground, to the President’s own Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, and our closest allies, President Trump has recklessly decided to pull the U.S. out of the agreement,” said Courtney.

He continued, “This isolates our nation at the very moment we should be rallying international support to denuclearize North Korea. I will support every option possible in Congress to reconstruct and strengthen the progress we have already made toward keeping nuclear weapons out of Iran’s hands. Unfortunately, the President has seriously undermined that effort today.”

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State Rep. Carney Votes in Support of Pay Equity Legislation

State Rep. Devin Carney testifies in the House.

Bill Passes CT House with Bipartisan Support

On Wednesday, April 19, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23), voted in favor of H.B. 5386An Act Concerning Pay Equity and Fairness.

The bill aims to strengthen labor protections for employees in an effort to discourage gender wage discrimination in Connecticut.  The bill would prohibit employees from asking about a prospective employee’s wage history, unless the prospective employee voluntarily discloses the information or the employer is authorized by law to ask.

In Connecticut, the average woman will make $529,000 less in earning over her lifetime than a male and it is estimated that women in Connecticut lose a combined $5.5 billion due to the wage gap.

“There is no justifiable reason why women receive less pay for the same work,” said Rep. Carney. “This proposal aims to eliminate discriminatory hiring practices that still exist and instead seeks to create an equal playing field within the 20thcentury workforce. I am hopeful that this proposal will pass out of the Senate chamber as well.”

Although the law makes changes to the hiring process, the Connecticut Business & Industry Association helped the lawmakers reach the compromise and supports the measure.

H.B. 5386, as amended by LCO 3879, passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 142-4-4. After its passage in the House, H.B. 5386 now heads to the State Senate for consideration.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Representative Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Bill to Study State Employee Compensation Moves to Senate

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares announced that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee has approved a bill he requested to study the long-term financial impact of state employees’ and elected officials’ pay and benefit compensation on the state. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.

“Connecticut has been in a state of fiscal crisis for the last several years with budget deficit after budget deficit. This is despite the two largest tax increases in the state’s history,” Sen. Linares said. “We have to look at the state’s fixed costs and why they have gotten so far out of control.”

Sen. Linares said a review of state employee and elected officials compensation could examine ways to save money when the current state employee contract ends in 2027.

“I believe one area that should be considered is capping pension payout at $100,000 a year. The number of retirees receiving pension payments in excess of $100,000 has been growing at an unsustainable rate,” he said. “What do we tell the rank-and-file employees receiving smaller pensions when the pension fund is drained by retirees receiving six-figure payments? We have to make sure the pension plan stays solvent for all retirees.”

Currently, more than 1,400 retirees collect annual pensions in excess of $100,000, Sen. Linares said. The highest paid retiree received more than $300,000 a year.

“Retirement payouts like this were unheard of in the private sector even before most businesses moved away from pensions. Now employees and employers contribute to 401K-type plans,” he said. “We also have to remember that pensions are not the only form of retirement income state retirees receive. They contributed to and can collect Social Security.”

Sen. Linares said he also believes the lowering the expected return on investment in the fund from 8percent to 6 percent should be considered. The 10-year return for the 41 largest state pension funds was 6.59 percent.

“State employees, like their private sector counterparts, work hard to earn the paychecks they receive. We need to ensure that each of them receives the retirement funding they earn, by making sure the pension fund does not run dry due to the excessive pensions of a few,” he said. “I believe a comprehensive review of benefits that includes a $100,000 cap on pensions after 2027 will do that.”

Sen. Linares represents the community of Lyme as well as those of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

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State Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Hold Legislative Update This Morning; All Welcome

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Representative Devin Carney and State Senator Paul Formica will hold a Legislative Update at the Vicki Duffy Pavilion, 150 College Street, Old Saybrook on Thursday, April 5, from 8 to 9 a.m.  This event is being hosted by the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and all Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce members are welcome to attend, as well as the general public.

Admission is free but registration at this link would be appreciated.

The event will be an informal discussion highlighting legislative issues and bills, and State Rep. Carney and State Sen. Formica’s hopes for what might be achieved

in Hartford. Time will be allotted for Q&A.

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Carney (R) Seeks Third Term as State Representative, Democrat Pugliese Announces Challenge

State Rep. Devin Carney

UPDATED 3/7 10:09pm: Devin Carney, a Republican who ran unopposed for a second term in 2016, has announced his intention to seek a third term as State Representative for the 23rd General AssemblyDistrict, which includes the towns of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook. But this November, Carney will be challenged by Old Saybrook resident and Democrat Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a non-profit arts executive, notes in a press release that, “The frustration that our community feels is palpable.  The community wants change, wants new voices.  I’m running for state representative to help lead that change.   I’m a listener, and a leader who believes in building consensus, finding compromise and getting things done.”

Carney, who works as a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Old Saybrook. explains his decision to seek a third term in a press release in this way, “Over these past two terms, I have always put the people of the 23rd District first.This community is everything to me. I was raised here and I understand the unique values and needs of my constituents. In these difficult and divisive times, it is important that the state has leaders with a proven track record of putting people over politics and who will work together to get Connecticut’s fiscal house in order.”

Matt Pugliese.

Pugliese, a resident of Old Saybrook, has spent his career working in the non-profit theatre industry, beginning at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  He served as the Executive Director at Oddfellows Playhouse Youth Theatre in Middletown, CT and now is the Executive Producer at Connecticut Repertory Theatre, based on UConn’s Storrs campus. Pugliese holds his BA in Theatre (’04) and his Masters in Public Administration (’17), both from UCONN. Pugliese said, “My work in the arts has been about activism.  It is about bringing together diverse audiences and creating opportunities for dialogue.  That is how we solve problems.  Every day running a theatre is about creative, problem solving and strategic thinking. The intersection of the arts and government – that is community.  That has been my professional career for 15 years.”

A lifelong resident of the district, Carney graduated from Old Saybrook Public Schools and currently lives in Old Lyme. He is the Ranking Member of the Transportation Committee, meaning he is the highest-ranked House Republican on the committee, and he serves on the Environment Committee and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee. In addition, Carney chairs the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus, was the founding House Republican of the bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus, and serves on both the bipartisan Tourism Caucus and bipartisan Intellectual and Developmental Disability Caucus. He has also served as the Connecticut House Republican State Lead for the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators.

Pugliese comments in the release, “Non-profit organizations need to run efficiently and effectively.  We know how to get the most out of every dollar.  My experiences in the non-profit sector in Middlesex County really opened my eyes to the incredible need we have in our community.  We have young people and families facing the most extreme and basic risks.  But we also have incredible resources in our community to draw upon.  That is what makes our district a wonderful place to live, work and raise a family.”

Over his first two terms, Rep. Carney says he advocated for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, seniors, tourism, small business, local public education, and improving I-95. In 2015, he voted against the second largest tax increase in Connecticut’s state history. In 2017, he voted against the SEBAC agreement, but supported the bipartisan budget compromise in October.

Pugliese’s community involvement includes Old Saybrook’s Economic Development Commission since 2015, of which he was recently elected Chairperson.  He served on the Board of Directors for the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce for two years.  He served as the co-chair of the Community Foundation of Middlesex County Live Local Give Local 365 initiative when it was launched in 2011.  In 2012, Pugliese was named to the Hartford Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his professional work and civic involvement.

Carney’s community activities include serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center and the Board of Directors at Saye Brook Senior Housing. He is a member of both the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce, a lector at Grace Episcopal Church in Old Saybrook, and serves on both the Old Lyme Republican Town Committee as a member and the Old Saybrook Republican Town Committee as an honorary member.

Public education is a key issue for Pugliese. He comments in the release, “When I think of our communities, I think of our strong public education systems. I will fight for the funding we deserve from Hartford necessary to support our schools.  I believe we need to invest in our higher education system. We want to have a vibrant university system to educate our young people, ensure their access to this education, and keep them here as part of our workforce in Connecticut.”

Commenting on his achievements in the past four years, Carney says, “I have pushed back against drastic tax increases to residents, defeated a federal rail proposal that would have devastated the region, supported bipartisan initiatives to combat our opioid crisis, and fought Governor Malloy’s proposal to push teacher pension costs onto local school districts. I have always put the taxpayer first and engaged with the community.”

Pugliese is an advocate for paid family leave, ensuring rights for women and minorities and championing arts, culture and tourism.  He adds, “Part of the identity of our community is the incredible cultural resources we have in the 23rd district. These resources drive tourism, which is critical to the economy of the towns in our region.  We need to ensure the viability of our cultural assets, and the public infrastructure needed to support tourism.”

Carney highlights in his press release, “I have never missed a vote,” adding, “Connecticut is at a crossroads and our residents and businesses cannot afford the same tax-and-spend policies that have put the state into this mess. It is imperative Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook continue to have a strong voice at the table during this tough fiscal reality.”

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Rep. Carney Declares Testifies to Government Administration and Elections Committee,

Rep. Carney testifies Feb. 26 in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) testified during a public hearing of the Government Administration and Elections (GAE) Committee on Monday, Feb. 26, in support of SB 180: An Act Requiring Executive and Legislative Review of Certain Quasi-Public Agency Contracts. This proposal would require greater executive and legislative oversight of quasi-public agency contracts by requiring the submission of certain contracts to the Attorney General and relevant legislative committee

Rep. Carney said, “Connecticut is currently in the midst of a fiscal crisis due to overly generous employee contracts and poor management of said contracts. Folks throughout this state are feeling the pinch of higher taxes and poorer state services while at the same time reading about quasi-public agencies giving away six-figure salaries and bonuses without any oversight from the General Assembly.”

He continued, “It is time to change that culture and this legislation, if passed, would allow the people to have a voice before contracts over $100,000 are approved.”

While testifying before the GAE Committee Rep. Carney pointed to the Connecticut Airport Authority and the CT Lottery as two examples of this current issue with “quasi-public” agencies.

Rep. Carney said that this proposal would allow for more transparency and oversight, which Connecticut residents desperately need as they are feeling the burden of the state budget and, at times, asked to pay more.

He added, “There is no reason these quasi-public agencies are allowed to avoid tough questions about their practices and provide answers surrounding bloated pay and benefits while others are asked to cut and save wherever possible.

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Republican Ziobron Joins Race for 33rd State Senate Seat, District Includes Lyme

State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) who has announced her candidacy for the State Senate 33rd District seat.

Republican State Rep. Melissa Ziobron (R-34th) has announced her candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District a day after Democratic Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman (D) had announced his campaign for the same district. which includes the Town of Lyme.  This is Ziobron’s first run for a State Senate seat while Needleman ran unsuccessfully in 2016 for the 33rd District seat against then incumbent State Senator Republican Art Linares.

Linares is not seeking re-election in 2018 and has announced his candidacy for State Treasurer.

Ziobron is in her third term as State Representative for the 34th District comprising East Hampton, East Haddam and part of Colchester. Needleman is in his fourth as Essex First Selectman.

Ziobron explains in a letter to her supporters that her decision to run for the Senate seat represents, “a change in course,” so that she can rise to , “the greater challenge of serving as State Senator in the 33rdDistrict.” She notes, “This larger, 12-town district includes three towns I’ve been honored to represent — East Hampton, East Haddam and Colchester – and nine more in the Connecticut River Valley that I will be spending many hours meeting new friends and voters this spring.”

Ziobron says in her letter that the reason why she is running is simply, “Because I love the 34th State House District, and the CT River Valley Towns of the 33rd State Senate District, and our entire state – I want to see all of our friends and neighbors prosper.”  She mentions the challenges of the current budget situation and states, “It’s no secret we urgently need to address the state’s chronic over-spending!”

Laying out what she sees as the requirements of the incoming 33rd District State Senator, Ziobron writes, “We need a strong voice in the State Senate who: 1) is a proven fighter and has a reputation for putting their constituents first, fighting full-time for their small town communities, and 2) can immediately and effectively navigate the difficult legislative landscape, with the proven and dedicated commitment needed to focus on the budget, and 3) fights for fiscally conservative policies and has a record of implementing them, with bipartisan support, at the Capitol.”

Ziobron comments that she has, “thought a lot about one question,” which is, “How can I best help my state first survive over the near term, and then thrive over the long term?” She responds to her own question, “No matter which legislative chamber I serve, I will work to protect my district and offer the same high level of constituent service, and active community involvement – along with a laser-like focus on reducing wasteful and unneeded state spending,” concluding, “The bottom line: I can help more people in our state in service as your State Senator.”

Noting how well she knows the 33rd State Senate District, Ziobron describes it as, “an amazing treasure,” saying, “I’ve never imagined myself living anywhere else,” adding, “I’m thrilled for this opportunity to expand my many years of dedicated public service to this beautiful part of the state, I love.”

For more information on Ziobron, visit www.melissaziobron.com

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Norm Needleman Announces Campaign for State Senate, 33rd State Senate District Includes Lyme

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman who yesterday announced a second run for the 33rd State Senate District.

Yesterday, Essex First Selectman and successful businessman Norm Needleman announced his campaign as a Democratic candidate for the 33rd State Senate District, promising to use his business and small town leadership experience to bring people together to get Connecticut back on track.

The seat will be vacant due to the incumbent Senator Art Linares (R) moving out of the District and announcing his candidacy for State Treasurer.

“Leading a small town and building a business taught me that the best way to get things done is to put people and their needs ahead of party politics,” said Needleman. “I respect taxpayers’ dollars because I know how hard you’ve worked to earn them.”

He continued, “That’s why as First Selectman, I brought Democrats and Republicans together, found consensus, solved problems, and kept property taxes among the lowest in the state without cutting services. If elected State Senator for the 33rd District, I will make a clean break from the decades of bickering and harmful policies that have come from Hartford, and I will get Connecticut working for the towns in our district.”

“As an elected town official, I’ve seen the work Norm does as the First Selectman of Essex,” said Colchester Selectman Rosemary Coyle. “Norm governs in a fiscally responsible manner, making sound decisions. His hands-on, small town government experience in the legislature will benefit our communities and help us build a brighter future for our children and families.”

Needleman, who campaigned for the seat in 2016, is currently in his fourth term as Essex First Selectman. He has over 20 years of experience advocating for his small town, having previously served as an Essex Selectman, a member of the Essex Zoning Board of Appeals, and a member of the Essex Economic Development Commission.

Needleman is also a member of the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, helping the 17 member towns coordinate various government functions. He is also a board member of Valley Shore Emergency Communications, a center formed by local pubic safety professionals to handle emergency call processing and dispatching needs for communities throughout the region.

“Building a company from the ground up has given me invaluable experience on how to grow jobs and create a region where businesses want to start and thrive,” said Needleman. “I will be a State Senator who will create good-paying jobs in our towns and throughout Connecticut.”

Needleman founded Tower Laboratories, an Essex manufacturing company, 38 years ago. The company has grown to become a leader in its field, employing over 250 people. As a leading CEO in the region, he serves as a board member of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a board member of Valley Shore Emergency Communications, a center formed by local pubic safety professionals to handle emergency call processing and dispatching needs for communities throughout the region.

“Norm asks the right questions, and is willing to listen to all options,” said Centerbrook businessman and Clinton resident Gary Stevens. “I believe that with Norm’s insight into the way that a successful business (his) is run and considering the wasteful and unnecessary spending habits of the State, he could go a long way to make the government a more responsible entity.” Stevens, an unaffiliated voter who has known Needleman since the 1980s, owns Stevens Excavating, Inc. and has worked with Needleman on numerous projects.

The 33rd State Senate District consists of the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Portland, Westbrook, and a portion of Old Saybrook.

Needleman lives in Essex with Jacqueline Hubbard, the Executive Director of the Ivoryton Playhouse. His two sons and their families also live in Essex.

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Carney Hosts Office Hours This Evening in Lyme

State Rep. Devin Carney (R- 23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Rep. Devin Carney will hold office hours in a number of locations in the 23rd District between Thursday, Jan. 11 and Thursday, Jan. 18. This evening, he will be at the Lyme Public Library, Community Room, located at 482 Hamburg Road from 6 to 7 p.m.

These sessions will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government.

State Senator Paul Formica  joined State Rep. Carney at the Old Lyme and Old Saybrook Office Hours.

Details of the times and locations are as follows:

Old Lyme: Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, located at 2 Library Lane from 7 to 8 p.m.

Old Saybrook: Tuesday, Jan. 16, at the Acton Public Library, Grady Thomas Room, located at 60 Old Boston Post Road from 6 to 7 p.m.

Lyme: Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Lyme Public Library, Community Room, located at 482 Hamburg Road from 6 to 7 p.m.

Anyone with questions about these events can contact Carney’s office at 860-240-870 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov, or Formica at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov. You can also sign up for their respective e-news by visiting www.senatorformica.com or www.cthousegop.com/carney.

State Rep. Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that covers Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

State Senator Formica represents the 20th State Senate District that includes Old Lyme along with Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville (part), New London, Old Saybrook (part), Salem, and Waterford.

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Courtney Hosts Town Hall Meeting in Waterford Today to Discuss New Tax Laws, Listen to Resident’s Concerns

Rep. Joe Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney will hold a public town hall-style meeting today at 10 a.m. in the Waterford Town Hall auditorium to hear local residents’ concerns about the newly passed tax overhaul.  All are welcome.  Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

He will discuss the recently passed GOP tax law — the largest such change in tax law in 30 years — and its potential impact on Connecticut residents. Courtney’s office has heard from thousands of residents from across the Second Congressional District concerned about how the new tax law will affect their families, businesses, and communities.

The Waterford Town Hall auditorium is located at 15 Rope Ferry Rd, Waterford.

Courtney represents the 2nd Concressional District, which includes both Lyme and Old Lyme.

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Courtney Releases Statement on Final GOP Tax Overhaul

Congressman Joe Courtney

Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), whose Congressional District includes Lyme and Old Lyme, released the following statement after the GOP released the final draft of a tax overhaul that was negotiated between Republican leadership in the House of Representatives and Senate:

“It’s no surprise that the Republicans are introducing their massive tax overhaul late on a Friday because this entire process has been one secret, backroom deal after another,” said Courtney. “They want to get this bill passed before the holiday break because they need to get it done before the American people know what hit them.”

He continued, “This bill is one gigantic gift for corporations and the wealthiest Americans in exchange for next to nothing for average middle-class and working families. Passage of this bill will create a new structural deficit that is a prelude to an assault on Social Security and Medicare, which Speaker Ryan has brazenly promised.”

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Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record for 2017 Legislative Session

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23),, whose district includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and the southern section of Westbrook, earned a 100 percent voting record for the 2017 legislative session according to recently released data from the House Clerk’s office. There were 417 votes cast during the 2017 regular session and special session. This marks Carney’s third year in a row with a perfect voting record.

“It is my duty to be present for every vote and I am glad to have accomplished that for the third year in a row,” said Rep. Carney. “My first priority is to ensure that the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook always have a voice in Hartford.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as the top House Republican on the Transportation Committee and is also a member of the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

The next regular legislative session will convene in February 2018.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2017 legislative session visit the Office of Legislative Research website:www.cga.ct.gov/olr/Documents/year/MA/2017MA-20170620_Major Acts for 2017.pdf

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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