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Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:38 PM

OPINION: How has Connecticut become so screwed up? by State Representative Craig Fishbein

People ask a lot of questions about my role as a legislator.
They ask about the Capitol building, the district and the process of moving bills through committee, among others. The question I’m asked most frequently is, “how has the state become so screwed up?” Anyone who has given even a cursory look into the process knows that question is
difficult to answer.

However, one of the more important reasons the state is in the mess it’s in is because of emotion. Many legislators vote on items based upon the title of the bill instead of what is written in the legislation, what it means and what it will ultimately do.


Saturday, April 21, 2018 8:43 PM

Come Join Representative Fishbein for CT Trails Day 2018!


Tuesday, April 10, 2018 12:00 AM

Wallingford state lawmaker to address gun rights rally at Capitol on Saturday

WALLINGFORD — The state’s largest pro-gun rights group will hold a rally at the state Capitol on Saturday in response to rallies held following the Florida school shooting. The Connecticut Citizens Defense League will hold a “Rally for Our Rights” on the north steps of the Capitol, facing Bushnell Park, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The group’s president, Scott Wilson, said the rally is “at least in part a response to the recent gun control rallies.”

The rally will have several speakers, including state Rep. Craig Fishbein, R-Wallingford.  Fishbein said “Unfortunately, some people are misinformed as to guns and gun laws. Unfortunately, some people blame guns for tragedies where in other instances they blame the person. I know. I used to be one of those people, but have since learned differently.”

 


Tuesday, April 3, 2018 12:00 AM

Rep. Fishbein Named Affordable Utilities Champion by AARP

State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) was presented with the 2017 AARP Affordable Utilities Champion for his leadership and support of policies that aim to reduce the burden of utility costs for all people, especially seniors, across the state.


“I’m honored AARP chose to recognize my work on behalf of seniors across our state, and I remain committed to policies that promote fiscal restraint while serving all residents, including Connecticut’s elderly population,” Rep. Fishbein said.

“AARP’s 600,000 members in Connecticut applaud the efforts of Representative Fishbein to help keep utilities affordable in Connecticut,” John Erlingheuser, AARP Connecticut director of advocacy and outreach, said. “His strong voice in opposition to the subsidization of the profitable Millstone Nuclear Power Plant was admirable.”

The AARP Affordable Utilities Champion award was presented in recognition of Rep. Fishbein’s “leadership on affordable utilities and his steadfast advocacy in helping to protect Connecticut ratepayers from unreasonable rate hikes, including his opposition to proposed changes to the Millstone plant,” AARP said.


Monday, March 26, 2018 12:00 AM

Rep. Fishbein Attends Annual Agricultural Day at the Capitol

Rep. Craig Fishbein recently spent time touring displays and speaking with representatives of multiple agricultural groups and organizations during the annual Agriculture Day at the state capitol. During the event, Rep. Fishbein ran into longtime friend, and former Wallingford school district employee, Sharlene Wong, of the School Nutrition Association of Connecticut, before trying a cup of New England clam chowder provided by Kane’s Market in Simsbury. Other groups at the event included, Connecticut DEEP, The Agriculture Experiment Station, apple growers, maple syrup producers, dairy farmers, among others.


Thursday, March 22, 2018 12:00 AM

State finance committee not buying tax break for gun safes


Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:00 AM

Rep. Fishbein Honors Eagle Scout Joseph Bernick

State Representative Craig Fishbein presented an official state citation to Eagle Scout Joseph Bernick during his Eagle Court of Honor at St. Paul’s Church in Wallingford on Sunday, March 18.

Joseph Bernick follows in the footsteps of both his father, John, and older brother, Mark, who also attained the highest rank of Eagle Scout.

The celebration included candle lighting traditions, the Boy Scout Oath, Eagle Oath, presentations from local, state and Boy Scout dignitaries and family remarks.

Joseph’s Eagle Scout service project was the design, planning and installation of a new fence behind the Franklin Johnson Mansion on South Main Street.


Friday, March 16, 2018 12:00 AM

Rep. Fishbein: Let Fiscally Prudent Municipalities Protect Reserves

State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today testified before the Planning and Development Committee in support of legislation he co-sponsored that would hold municipalities harmless for maintaining or building financial reserves during arbitration matters.

Senate Bill 421 – An Act Concerning Municipal Budget Reserves For The Biennium Ending June 30, 2019 – would mandate arbitration panels “give priority to the public interest and the financial capability of the municipal employer, including consideration of other demands on the financial capability of the municipal employer” and maintain “an irrebuttable presumption that a municipal employer’s budget reserve of fifteen per cent or less of the municipal employer’s operating budget [reserve] is not available for payment of the cost of any item subject to negotiation or arbitration under this chapter.”

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Thursday, March 8, 2018 6:13 PM

Rep. Fishbein Reads to 5th Graders at Mary Fritz Elementary

In honor of Dr. Seuss’ birthday and donning a “Cat in the Hat” hat, State Representative Craig Fishbein recently spent part of a morning reading to 5th graders at Wallingford’s Mary Fritz Elementary School.

Despite a winter storm, Rep. Fishbein was able to read two books – the Seuss classic “What Pet Should I Get” and “What Do You Do With An Idea?” by Kobi Yamada and illustrated by Mae Besom – to Michelle Jones and Jenn Leonard’s classes that were assembled inside the media center.

After he finished reading and talking to the students about his role in the legislature, Rep. Fishbein donated the Seuss book to the school and gave his hat to one lucky student.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:26 PM

Rep. Fishbein Testifies in Favor of Stronger Opiate Laws

In further efforts to reduce opiate abuse statewide, State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) this week testified in favor of strengthening current state law to hold opiate prescribers accountable for improper record keeping with regard to distribution of controlled substances.

Under Public Act 13-172, passed in 2013, the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP) requires weekly “prescription information reporting by out-of-state pharmacies that ship, mail, or deliver prescription drugs into the state and any other drug dispensing practitioner.” Practitioners are defined as “certain medical professionals, researchers, pharmacies, hospitals, and other people or institutions permitted to dispense drugs in the course of professional practice or research.” These statistics are used by the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to collect prescription information to prevent improper or illegal drug use. Unfortunately, not all prescribers are following the law.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:25 PM

Rep. Fishbein, Legislators Host Cheshire Town Hall Meeting

State Representatives Craig Fishbein and Lezlye Zupkus, and State Senators Joe Markley and Len Suzio recently hosted a pre-session, town-hall-style meeting for constituents where they discussed the long 2017 regular and special session and the recently convened 2018 session.

A large part of the conversation was centered on Connecticut’s continual budget crisis, state spending and taxation, and how the state can reduce the deficit while also funding critical state services. Transportation, especially with regard to the potential for the implementation of tolls, also took up a large part of the meeting.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:23 PM

Rep. Fishbein Continues to Vote Against Increasing State Budget Deficit

Continuing to vote against measures that add to the state deficit, State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today voted against a veto override to restore Medicare Savings Plan funding until July 1.

The legislation, initially passed on January 8 and vetoed by Governor Malloy, restores funds for the state Medicare Savings Plan for half of the budget cycle but fails to address the program’s future, unbalances the present budget and creates an additional $17.8 million deficit for 2019.

The Medicare Savings Plan (MSP), a state program to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums, was reduced with passage of the bipartisan budget late last year. The program is administered to qualified individuals based on income eligibility limits. In the meantime, Governor Malloy delayed implementation of the cuts until the beginning of the next fiscal year in July.

“I support the program and its recipients but I could not cast a vote to increase the state budget deficit, and certainly not when it only creates a 5-month, temporary reprieve,” Rep. Fishbein said. “When I voted against the original bill I said the program needed substantial overhaul to better serve the people it is intended to serve.”


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:22 PM

Rep. Fishbein Honors Joe Dacunto

State Representative Craig Fishbein and State Senator Len Fasano joined dozens of firefighters, family, friends and well-wishers to honor Joe Dacunto for 53 years of service as a Volunteer Fire Chief and Firefighter to the Town of Wallingford.

Inside the large apparatus bay at Wallingford Fire Department’s Company 7 on North Farms Road, local elected officials and former coworkers shared heartwarming, and sometimes hilarious, stories of his time serving the town as a firefighter, fire chief and public works employee.

During the formal portion of the event, Mayor Dickinson announced January 22, 2018, as Joe Dacunto Day in the town and Rep. Fishein and Sen. Fasano presented an official state citation on behalf of the entire Wallingford delegation.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 5:20 PM

Rep. Fishbein Votes Against Increasing State Budget Deficit

State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today voted against legislation which restored funds for the state Medicare Savings Plan for half of the budget cycle, pointing out that it failed to address the program’s future, unbalances the present budget and creates an additional $17.8 million deficit for 2019.

The Medicare Savings Plan (MSP), a state program to help seniors and the disabled pay for Medicare coinsurance, deductibles and premiums, was reduced with passage of the bipartisan budget late last year. The program is administered to qualified individuals based on income eligibility limits. In the meantime, Governor Malloy delayed implementation of the cuts until the beginning of the next fiscal year in July.

“I am supportive of this program and its recipients but voted against this temporary fix because it increases our already ballooning state deficit and became irrelevant once Governor Malloy suspended the cuts through the end of the current fiscal year,” Rep. Fishbein said. “Adding to the state deficit without making substantial changes to offset those costs is the definition of kicking the can down the road and is not how the legislature should treat the people of our state, or manage the budget. We’re currently facing another projected $224 million deficit, and with the governor’s six month delay it made little sense to take today’s action especially considering we’ll be debating this very issue in the coming months as we wrestle with our current deficit, and projected future deficits.”

The current budget banks $17.8 million from the FY18 and carries that money forward into FY19. By the action of the legislature today, this carryforward was repealed.
“Eliminating the carryover alone would create at least another $17.8 million hole in our state budget,” Rep. Fishbein said. “Moving forward, I am hopeful we will be able to better anticipate such expenses and create a truly balanced budget that provides for continuation of important services while also being fiscally viable.”


Fishbein for Connecticut - Jo-Anne L. Rusczek, Treasurer - Approved by Craig Fishbein
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