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Thursday, March 26, 2020 10:19 PM
Thursday, March 26, 2020 5:05 PM
COVID-19 statistics from the CT Department of Health for 3/26/2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 9:16 PM
Add your news summary here.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 7:23 PM
COVID-19 statistics from the CT Department of Health for 3/25/2020
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 6:59 PM
Report From The Airport Authority
A few people have asked me about Bradley Airport - if is open and what protocols are being followed. Yes, it is open, but routes have been significantly reduced and (as can be expected) usage as well. Here is a report from the Airport Authority about our airports' current operations (highlights were in the original). Please stay safe and healthy as we work together through this crisis. #CoronaVirusCT #CoronaVirusUSA #HopesAndPrayers
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 11:24 AM
Update from CT State College System; Federal Student Aid Assistance Information
In response to the Coronavirus and subsequent closure of colleges statewide, Connecticut State College and Universities (CSCU) system President Ojakian announced measures they are taking to assist families financially and to support relief efforts and medical staff responding to the crisis.
- Room and board refunds. The universities will credit student accounts for unused room and board by next week. Thereafter, any credit balance will be refunded to students. Each institution is currently in the process of reaching out to students to outline the timeline and procedures. We are taking this action under the CSCU system’s existing administrative authority. Our institutions will not refund tuition and fees because we are converting to an online instruction model for the remainder of the term in order to complete the coursework that our students have begun this semester.
- University housing. We have been working closely with the state’s emergency response team and have received specific requests to use residence halls at Southern and Western to temporarily house homeless individuals. The institutions are currently in the process of clearing those spaces and expect them to be available by the end of the week. Central and Eastern are also preparing for similar requests in coming days and will make residence halls available to meet the state’s emergency needs.
- Paying employees. We have made the determination that while the campuses and system office remain shuttered, employees are directed to telework and will receive their pay as normal. Student workers will continue to be paid through the end of the semester.
- Hosting blood drives. The COVID-19 crisis has led to a critical shortage of the nation’s blood supply because of a lack of donations. CSCU is working with the Red Cross to organize blood drives on our community college campuses during the outbreak. We will share additional details as they become available.
Help with Federal Student Aid
With the uncertainty surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak and suspension of classes at many schools, colleges and universities nationwide, Federal Student Aid (an office of the U.S. Department of Education) updated their website with information specifically for people with questions regarding student loans.
According to their site, “If you’re concerned about your studies or loan repayment, we can help you understand what to do in certain circumstances. We’ll be adding information for students, borrowers, and parents to this page on a regular basis, so please check back frequently.”
If you have questions about student aid, please go to: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/coronavirus
Please share this information with anyone you think it might benefit.
Wednesday, March 25, 2020 10:26 AM
UPDATE FROM THE JUDICIAL BRANCH
Below please find a link to a webpage that catalogs actions taken by the Judicial Branch in response to COVID-19. Please be advised that they are continuing to make contingency plans in order to conduct business especially for domestic violence arraignments and temporary restraining order applications. Please stay safe and healthy as we work together through this crisis. #CoronaVirusCT #CoronaVirusUSA #HopeAndPrayersJudicial Branch's COVID-19 Page
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 8:43 PM
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 12:59 PM
FREE WEBINAR: KIDS TEACH KIDS ABOUT COVID-19
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 12:35 PM
IMPORTANT MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE INFORMATION (Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Offering Loan Assistance
Federal loan companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have prepared options to provide relief to homeowners struggling with work slowdowns, layoffs and job losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Some of their modifications include suspension of foreclosures and evictions, delayed reporting to credit bureaus and loan forbearance for up to 12 months, and more.
It’s important to note: these measures are NOT automatic and must be applied for, and you must have a loan secured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. You must contact your lender or servicer directly.
Under Fannie Mae’s guidelines for single-family mortgages:
- Homeowners who are adversely impacted by this national emergency may request mortgage assistance by contacting their mortgage servicer
- Foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers are suspended for 60 days
- Homeowners impacted by this national emergency are eligible for a forbearance plan to reduce or suspend their mortgage payments for up to 12 months
- Credit bureau reporting of past due payments of borrowers in a forbearance plan as a result of hardships attributable to this national emergency is suspended
- Homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees
- After forbearance, a servicer must work with the borrower on a permanent plan to help maintain or reduce monthly payment amounts as necessary, including a loan modification
More information can be found here: https://www.fanniemae.com/portal/media/corporate-news/2020/covid-homeowner-assistance-options-7000.html
We are taking action to help make sure homeowners with Freddie Mac-owned mortgages who are directly or indirectly impacted by COVID-19 are able to stay in their homes during this challenging time. This includes offering the following mortgage relief options for those who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to a decline in income:
- Providing mortgage forbearance for up to 12 months,
- Waiving assessments of penalties and late fees,
- Halting all foreclosure sales and evictions of borrowers living in Freddie Mac-owned homes until at least May 17, 2020,
- Suspending reporting to credit bureaus of delinquency related to forbearance,
- Offering loan modification options that lower payments or keep payments the same after the forbearance period.
More information can be found here: http://www.freddiemac.com/about/covid-19.html
These measures apply to loans made with either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, but other lenders may have similar plans in place. If you need assistance please contact your lender directly.
This information is not intended to be legal or financial advice, as always, please check with your lender/servicer for relief options that may be available to you.
Monday, March 23, 2020 8:32 PM
Monday, March 23, 2020 4:11 PM
HOW TO APPLY FOR AN “ESSENTIAL BUSINESS” DESIGNATION
While many industries are listed and the guidance is seemingly straight forward, people with concerns about specific businesses that aren’t listed, yet may still provide essential services to our state, should contact DECD directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To apply for an exemption, please go to: https://portal.ct.gov/DECD/Content/Coronavirus-for-Businesses/Essential-Business-Designation-Form
If you have further questions, please submit them directly to DECD at email@example.com
Sunday, March 22, 2020 12:00 AM
Saturday, March 21, 2020 12:00 AM
Friday, March 20, 2020 12:00 AM
Thursday, March 19, 2020 12:00 AM
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 12:00 AM
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Thursday, February 6, 2020 12:11 AM
Rep. Fishbein Announces Proposals to Protect Animals, Homeowners
State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today joined his colleagues for the opening day of the 2020 legislative session at the state Capitol in Hartford.
After opening day formalities were finished, Rep. Fishbein took the opportunity to announce two pieces of legislation he proposed to protect animals that have been carelessly left in vehicles, and to reduce the prejudices against homeowners who own certain breeds of dogs.
Building upon legislation (PA18-164) passed in 2018 that holds Good Samaritans harmless if they free an animal in distress from a vehicle, Rep. Fishbein proposed legislation to reduce these protections by making it a crime to leave an animal in an unattended motor vehicle during extreme weather conditions that threaten its life or health.
“It’s absolutely unacceptable and wrong to leave any animal in a hot vehicle at the height of summer, and it’s just as wrong to leave them in a cold vehicle in winter,” Rep. Fishbein said. “This legislation will hold uncaring and irresponsible pet owners accountable and prevent needless tragedies.”
The second piece of proposed legislation would preclude insurance companies from denying coverage to homeowners merely based upon the breed of their dog.
“We’ve all heard anecdotal stories about certain dog breeds being dangerous and uninsurable and unfortunately insurance companies have bought into these stories without justification, denying coverage based upon prejudice instead of risk” Rep. Fishbein said. “It is unfair to prevent a family from having insurance coverages on their home and property merely because they own a dog of a certain breed.”
Similar legislation was introduced previously but failed to make it out of committee. Rep. Fishbein supported the previous measures and wanted to make certain the proposals were brought back again.
“This is important on several levels, and I will continue to fight for these rights until we can make a positive change in our law.”
Saturday, January 11, 2020 6:21 PM
From the Cheshire Herald Newspaper 1/9/2020
Wednesday, December 18, 2019 11:32 PM
Reps. Fishbein and Zupkus Raise Money for the Salvation Army in Cheshire
State Representatives Craig Fishbein (R-90) and Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) teamed up to ring bells and raise money for local residents-in-need while collecting for the Salvation Army outside the Cheshire Stop and Shop.
During their hour-long shift, the veteran legislators greeted shoppers and collected money in the red kettle from adults rushing in to pick up a quick holiday party snack and from children learning lessons about charity and helping others.
Monday, December 16, 2019 11:24 PM
Rep. Fishbein Talks With Lyman Hall High School Civics Classes
A strong proponent of civic engagement, State Representative Craig Fishbein spent a recent morning discussing state policies and the legislative process with more than 70 students from several Lyman Hall High School civics classes.
With a PowerPoint presentation to highlight major topics, Rep. Fishbein gave an overview of how a bill becomes a law and the separation of powers between the three co-equal branches of government while taking questions and having an open back and forth with students on various topics facing our state.
During the discussion, students brought up many important issues, including taxes and the state budget deficit, the potential addition of tolls to Connecticut highways and the plastic bag tax. They also spent time talking about the legalization of recreational cannabis and how possible legalization in Connecticut will be impacted by federal law.
Recent legislation regarding the restaurant industry which will be the focus of an upcoming special session was also a topic of discussion. The legislature will be in session this week to consider legislation to deal with discrepancies regarding the state’s minimum wage and “tipped wage” for restaurant workers.
The process of how a thought becomes a law was discussed at length. Rep. Fishbein explained that before a bill can be considered it must begin with a thought, but turning those thoughts into workable laws for the state is the difficult part, he said. Talking about the process, they discussed drafting a bill, the screening process to make sure it doesn’t duplicate current law and how it would impact other legislation locally or at the state level and getting the bill into committee. Rep. Fishbein explained that once a bill makes it to committee there are still no guarantees it will get out, or ever get to the full legislature. Public hearings, discussion among lawmakers, further revisions and committee votes come next, then if all went well, the bill moves to the calendar for consideration. After that, it’s a waiting game as the legislative session clock moves toward sine die, the adjournment of the session.
Rep. Fishbein said he thoroughly enjoyed the conversation, and that he looks forward to having similar discussions with students at Sheehan and Cheshire High School in the future.
Tuesday, December 10, 2019 11:27 PM
Rep. Fishbein Raises Money for the Salvation Army in Wallingford
An overcast Saturday morning and a little rain couldn’t dampen spirits outside the Wallingford Stop and Shop as State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) rang bells to raise money for local residents-in-need while collecting for the Salvation Army.
During his hour-long shift, Rep. Fishbein offered his thanks and best wishes for a happy holiday and Merry Christmas to customers and friends who stopped by to donate and say hello.
The Salvation Army responds to natural disasters such as wildfires and tornadoes, provides meals and toys to families in need, and conducts research and analyses regarding human needs around the country. They also provide adult rehabilitation, veteran services, elderly services, missing person searches, housing assistance, youth recreation, sponsorship, and support in the fight to end human trafficking.
Friday, December 6, 2019 11:18 PM
Rep. Fishbein Brought Together Panel for Discussion on Youth Vaping
State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) this week brought industry experts, medical professionals, community
leaders, school officials and a student representative to the Ulbrich
Boys and Girls Club for a panel discussion regarding the youth vaping
Trisha Dahl, senior Research Assistant at Yale University School of Medicine
Craig Turner, Director of Wallingford Youth & Social Services
Connecticut State Police Trooper Kate Cummings
Ken Welch, President of the Coalition for a Better Wallingford
Wallingford Superintendent of Schools Salvatore Menzo
Sheehan High School Senior Kris Jackson
Steven Civitelli, Wallingford Health Director
Carlos Collazo, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club
The increase in youth vaping is nearing crisis levels and it’s important for every community to have the most up-to-date facts regarding these devices and the potential harm they’re causing. As medical professionals and scientists learn more about the long-term effects of these products it is important to take a cautionary approach, increase educational outreach, especially to teens and young adults, and strongly urge people not to vape.
Tuesday, October 15, 2019 11:16 PM
Reps. Fishbein, Candelora, Yaccarino and Senator Fasano Host Business Forum in Wallingford
State Representatives Craig Fishbein (R-90), Vincent Candelora (R-86) and Dave Yaccarino (R-87), and State Senator Len Fasano (R-34) recently held a successful business advisory forum for local business leaders, employees and the public in the Robert F. Parisi Council Chambers of the Wallingford Town Hall.
The hour-long discussion began with a general overview of the main topics and quickly became an informative back and forth between the legislators and the more than 30 attendees. The legislators talked about several important pieces of legislation presented, debated or passed by the General Assembly this year, including the state’s new paid family medical leave program, an increase to the minimum wage and changes to the pass-through entity tax.
Each of these issues directly impacts Connecticut businesses, and will affect residents across the state.
Monday, September 23, 2019 11:13 PM
Rep. Fishbein Bags Groceries, Helps Raise Money for Partners in Caring
Volunteering to help raise awareness about hunger and food instability, State Representative Craig Fishbein bagged groceries for the second year at the Wallingford ShopRite in support their Partners in Caring program.
ShopRite’s annual Partners in Caring Help Bag Hunger Day takes place during the third week of September to bring awareness to the issue of hunger in local communities. Elected officials and community leaders spend part of their day bagging groceries for customers, discussing hunger and working to increase awareness while Shop Rite accepts donations for local charities. This year, Rep. Fishbein was joined on the checkout line by members of the Lions Club and Wallingford Public Library, among others.
“I’m honored to once again play a small role by volunteering with the Partners in Caring team to help raise awareness about food instability and hunger, and how those important issues affect the people of Wallingford and our state,” Rep. Fishbein said. “Thanks to incredibly generous donations from customers and the work of hundreds of dedicated volunteers, ShopRite has provided tens of millions of dollars in aid to local groups.”
According to the company website, Shop Rite, with stores in six Northeast states, has donated more than $3 million annually to qualified charitable agencies, and $48 million to more than 2,100 charities since its inception in 1999. ShopRite Partners In Caring supports emergency food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, child care centers, battered women’s shelters, senior citizen programs, drug rehab centers, programs for the mentally and physically disabled, after-school programs and other organizations that aid those in need.
For more information please visit www.shopritepartnersincaring.org.
Thursday, September 12, 2019 11:08 PM
Rep. Fishbein Opposes New “Grocery Tax” Passed by the Democrats
State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today joined his House and Senate Republican colleagues and decried a slew of new, and increased, taxes on grocery store foods and prepared meals passed in the Democrat state budget that takes effect on October 1, 2019.
“Despite promises to the contrary, Democrats passed, and the Governor signed into law, a budget that continues to bleed Connecticut residents dry with hundreds of small tax and fee increases on everything from cookies to wine,” Rep. Fishbein said. “People talk about how in the old days a dime would get you a cup of coffee, pretty soon that dime won’t even cover the cost of the tax!”
This week, the Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS)
released a statement clarifying the long list of restaurant meals and
food items the Democrat-approved 7.35% tax will be applied to, including
dozens of products that have not previously been taxed. DRS also
clarified that the total 7.35% tax rate will be effective in grocery
stores, “which previously taxed meals in a different manner than other
The new taxes apply to prepared meals like sandwiches, deli salads, pizza, and wraps, but also to small packages of snacks, cookies, bagels, small servings of ice cream, meal replacement bars, and dozens of other items. The taxes also apply to fountain drinks and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”
Substantial public outcry caused Democrats to publicly back away from their initial plans to tax grocery store foods, however, they essentially found a way to do so by implementing this additional tax.
“These increases may not seem like a big deal but these taxes add up to large amounts over time and that money comes out of every pocket, including those who are struggling to pay bills and can least afford another increase on needed day-to-day items like food,” Rep. Fishbein said. “Likewise, families that are pressed for time and running between work, school and extracurricular activities will now have to pay even more if they stop to grab a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken at the grocery store, or into a local restaurant for a meal.”
According to DRS, in addition to many beverages, examples of “Meals” that will be taxed at 7.35% in eating establishments and grocery stores includes, but is not limited to, sandwiches, grinders, and wraps; popsicles, ice cream cones; salads sold at salad bars; macaroni and potato salads; donuts, muffins, rolls, bagels, pastries and cookies; pies or cakes by the slice; chips, popcorn, kettle corn, nuts, trail mix, crackers, snack cakes, or other snack foods; pizza, whole or by the slice; cooked chicken sold by the piece, buckets of chicken and whole cooked chickens; hot dogs served on a bun or heated; all beverages provided with the sale of a taxable meal; hot buffet foods; cooked to order food; any other snack foods kept warm for purchase, and more.
Thursday, September 5, 2019 11:06 PM
Rep. Fishbein Earns Award for Excellence
Referencing his unwavering support of the Constitution, the American Conservative Union Foundation recently presented State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) with an award for Conservative Excellence.
Rep. Fishbein was selected for his strong “commitment to America’s core principals as written in our nation’s Constitution” and his 100% attendance and voting record on key legislation for the 2017 and 2018 legislative sessions.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for standing up for the Constitution and the Conservative principles of smaller government, lower taxes, and less interference in the day-to-day affairs of our law abiding citizens,” Rep. Fishbein said. “I will continue to advocate for responsible legislation that moves Connecticut forward, while railing against the policies that hurt businesses and force employers from our great State.”
The American Conservative Union Foundation’s goal is to educate
people while promoting conservative principles within five separate
political areas that includes the Center for Human Dignity, the Center
for Statesmanship & Diplomacy, the Center for 21st Century Property
Rights, and the Center for Criminal Justice Reform (CCJR), and the
Center for Arts & Culture.
Rep. Fishbein was one of only two legislators to achieve a 100% score for 2018, and he maintains a lifetime score of 88% with the Foundation, the highest percentage for the entire legislature.
The Foundation ranked all state lawmakers based on their support for Conservative positions on 13 important, select pieces of legislation. The bills all affect job creation, small business growth and economic stability in Connecticut. The complete scorecard can be viewed here: http://acuratings.conservative.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2018/10/Connecticut_2018_web-1.pdf
Some of the bills assessed were measures Rep. Fishbein opposed, including: HB 5591 that increases numerous fees that municipalities are required to charge and nearly doubles the surcharge placed on car, truck and machinery rentals, and HB 5209 that places a $12 surcharge on the insurance bills of all residential homeowners to pay for repairs to select New Haven homes surrounding the West River and abutting the Yale Golf Course that have crumbling concrete foundations. The Foundation also assesses measures Rep. Fishbein supported, including SB 13 that implements numerous reforms to the state’s criminal justice system to ensure that female inmates are housed in safe and sanitary conditions. It also includes guidelines for the treatment of pregnant inmates in order to guarantee the wellbeing of both mothers and their infants.
Rep. Fishbein currently serves as Vice-chair of the legislature’s 14-member Conservative Caucus, a group of legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, economic freedom and individual liberty, fostering open debate about the role of government in society, adherence to the Constitution, and the rule of law. They propose and advocate for legislation that promotes the freedoms, individual rights and prosperity of all Americans.
Thursday, August 22, 2019 11:03 PM
Rep. Fishbein Appointed to Council on the Collateral Consequences of a Criminal Record
State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today
joined colleagues and fellow appointees for the first meeting of the
legislature’s newly-established Council on the Collateral Consequences
of a Criminal Record.
At their convening meeting, the council, established during the regular session as part of a compromise on criminal justice legislation under Public Act No. 19-142, met to lay out their ground rules, create an outline for future work and to discuss the important topics facing the Council in the coming weeks and months. The group has been charged with studying “discrimination faced by people in Connecticut living with a criminal record and developing recommendations for to reduce or eliminate discrimination based on a person’s criminal history.”
Collateral consequences are generally defined as the legal or regulatory restrictions on housing, employment, voting rights, access to education and professional services and other opportunities for people who were convicted of a crime.
“There are many valid concerns regarding the continued pressures many people encounter after serving time in the criminal justice system, and how those lingering issues are dealt with can impact everyone in Connecticut,” Rep. Fishbein, a member of both the legislature’s Labor Committee and Judiciary Committee, said. “It is my understanding that this Council will endeavor to study these issues and develop recommendations to address various daily impediments facing previously convicted persons, and continue to press for policies that ensure all citizens are treated equally under the law. I am glad to be included in this process.”
Rep. Fishbein was appointed to serve on the Council as the designee of the ranking member of the Labor and Public Employees Committee. The 20-member Council is required to host at least three public forums in different Connecticut communities, and report their findings back to the legislature’s labor and Public Employees Committee no later than February 1, 2020.
Monday, August 12, 2019 11:01 PM
Rep. Fishbein Earns Perfect CBIA Score
Connecticut’s largest business organization recently honored State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) for his perfect voting record on key bills impacting Connecticut’s economic growth and business climate during the 2019 legislative session.
The Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA) ranked all state lawmakers based on their support for the business community’s positions on 10 important policies. The bills all affect job creation, small business growth and economic stability in Connecticut.
Some of the bills assessed include: SB 854 – which promotes manufacturing careers to high school students, and SB 64 and SB440 which would have allowed employees to forego workplace meetings if they believed “political matters,” including discussions regarding business-related legislation, were being discussed. It was also noted that Rep. Fishbein did not support the state budget which raised taxes by an estimated $1.7 million on everything from safety apparel to restaurant meals, plastic bags, rideshare services and much more.
“I’m pleased CBIA recognizes the impact these important pieces of legislation will have on our state, and I’m proud to be recognized for supporting our small businesses and voting against policies that are detrimental to Connecticut,” Rep. Fishbein said. “Instead of mandates and tax increases, we should focus on reducing state spending and the overall tax burden on the hard-working men and women who are the backbone of our economy. I will continue to fight for business-friendly legislation.”
The scorecard was calculated with selected pieces of legislation and may reflect votes from committee, the House, or both. The complete CBIA scorecard can be viewed here: https://www.cbia.com/resources/issues-policies/ct-voting-records/2019-ct-state-house-voting-records/
For more information on the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the largest most representative business organization in the state, visit www.cbia.com.
Monday, July 8, 2019 10:58 PM
Rep. Fishbein Hosts "Coffee and Conversation"
During a busy morning at Dad’s Restaurant on Route 5 in Wallingford recently, State Representatives Craig Fishbein and Vin Candelora, and State Senator Len Fasano hosted a coffee and conversation for constituents to drop in and discuss important state issues. More than 20 people came to chat during the morning meeting that included discussions over eggs, toast and coffee.
Conversations were varied and topics changed rapidly, but the overall discussions centered around the state’s budget issues, tax increases and the overall business climate in the state. They also discussed tolls and transportation infrastructure, vaccinations, reducing opioid dependence and use, and other topics.
Monday, June 24, 2019 10:54 PM
Rep. Fishbein Completes, Launches Flight at Annual Gaylord Gauntlet
Putting aside his usual suit and cowboy boots, Rep. Fishbein donned running shoes and shorts and took part in another Gaylord Gauntlet 5K obstacle run to raise money for Gaylord Specialty Healthcare. An avid runner and fitness enthusiast, Rep. Fishbein has completed several Gauntlet challenges and made sure to run this edition early enough to be able to help start the 10:00 a.m. flight that featured adaptive athletes, including Jay Ross.
Last year during the Gauntlet, Mr. Ross, who was paralyzed in a motorcycle accident, was an in-patient inspired by adaptive athlete Jillian Harpin. He set a goal to complete the Gauntlet and took the line with other athletes, including stroke survivors, amputees, and those with neurological, spinal cord injuries and visual impairments.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 10:52 PM
Rep. Fishbein Honored by New Haven Firefighters
During the annual New Haven Pizza Lobby Day at the Capitol, New Haven
firefighters recognized State Representatives Craig Fishbein and John
Fusco for their work on behalf of firefighters across the state.
Frank Ricci, battalion chief and President of New Haven Firefighters, IAFF, Local 825, was joined by more than a dozen firefighters who served pizza to legislators and the public, before taking a few minutes to present Reps. Fishbein and Fusco with citations recognizing their “dedication and fidelity to the State of Connecticut” and for their “efforts advocating for public safety.”
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 10:46 PM
Rep. Fishbein Meets Business Leaders During Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol
State Rep. Craig Fishbein recently met with business owners, leaders and their representatives during Connecticut Business Day at the Capitol. Sponsored by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA), Connecticut Business Day brings hundreds of business leaders and chamber of commerce members to the Capitol to discuss important legislation being debated during the session.
Rep. Fishbein toured the exhibits and talked with business owners and their representatives, including Frank DiCristina and Ginny Ryan, of Allnex, Doug Johnson and Katie Barry, of Marion Manufacturing, and Weston Ulbrich from Ulbrich Steel.
Wednesday, April 24, 2019 10:43 PM
Cheshire State Officials Hold Informative Toll Forum
State Representatives Craig Fishbein (R-90) and Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) invited
state Rep. Laura Devlin and Senator Henri Martin, ranking members of
the legislature’s Transportation Committee, to Cheshire for an
informational forum on the toll proposals working their way through the
legislature this session.
More than 100 concerned citizens filled the Cheshire Town Council Chambers as the legislators broke down each proposal and provided background and figures of each, as they’re currently known. After the Powerpoint presentation ended, dozens of people queued up to ask questions.
“I want to thank all of my constituents who came out to the forum last week to ask questions and to express their concerns about the future of transportation in Connecticut,” said Rep. Zupkus. “As you could see from our thoughtful transportation discussion, tolls are not the only answer to maintain and keep our roads, rails and bridges safe. We have a better solution; it’s time to prioritize how our state spends money on transportation projects.”
“It was great to see so many people at
the forum and I appreciate each and every person who came, called my
office or reached out via email to voice their concerns about adding
tolls to Connecticut highways,” Rep. Fishbein said. “The people
of Cheshire, like in many towns across our state, have stated
overwhelmingly that they cannot afford tolls and have flatly rejected
the Democrats’ flawed proposals to add them to our highways. People are
struggling to do less with more and cannot afford another onerous tax on
their roads. I remain firmly against adding tolls to our roads.”
Many of the audience members who spoke said they were concerned with the state’s reliance on raising taxes instead of cutting waste and streamlining government to find efficiencies and save money.
Republicans have proposed Prioritize Progress to fully fund the state’s transportation needs for the next 30 years without relying on tax increases or tolls.
The Cheshire legislators mentioned how tolling has bipartisan opposition, with a grass-roots ‘No Tolls CT’ group gathering more than 93,000 online petition signatures and resolutions passed by 17 communities expressing opposition to tolls, including one passed by the Cheshire Town Council.
Saturday, April 20, 2019 10:40 PM
Rep. Fishbein Hosts Wallingford Tolls Forum
Rep. Craig Fishbein and State Senator Len Fasano invited Rep. Laura
Devlin and Senator Henri Martin, ranking members of the legislature’s
Transportation Committee, to Wallingford for an informational forum on
the toll proposals working their way through the legislature this
More than 150 concerned citizens packed into the Robert F. Parisi Town Council Chambers as the legislators broke down each proposal and provided background and figures of each, as they’re currently known. After the Powerpoint presentation ended, dozens of people queued up to ask questions.
Many of the commenters said they were concerned with the state’s reliance on raising taxes instead of cutting waste and streamlining government to find efficiencies and save money. Republicans have proposed Prioritize Progress to fully fund the state’s transportation needs for the next 30 years without relying on tax increases or tolls.
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 10:34 PM
Reps. Fishbein, Yaccarino Tour North Haven and Wallingford Businesses
Looking to get a first-hand perspective on the major issues impacting
our state, State Representatives Craig Fishbein and Dave Yaccarino
toured four North Haven and Wallingford businesses, including
manufacturers, sales-based companies and a social services provider.
Despite both being invested in their own small businesses, the legislators were able to meet with owners and managers from Summit Handling Systems, Inc., Sarah, Inc., Connecticut Fresh Food and Produce Market and Holo-Krome Inc.
Though each company’s size, mission and industry are varied, the common theme was that the state’s constant budget deficits and subsequent tax increases are suppressing growth and forcing many to reconsider how they operate. Taxes, tolls, the cost of doing business and the state’s ailing budget topped the list of concerns being discussed, with the quality of an available professional workforce coming in right behind. Managers at both Summit Handling and Holo-Krome said they have a difficult time finding qualified technical or trade-skilled employees to fill open positions. Executive director of Sarah, Inc., Denise Henry said she is always concerned with how the state budget impacts her ability to provide services to empower and assist people with differing abilities.
After the tours, Representatives Fishbein and Yaccarino said they appreciated the managers taking time from their busy schedules to meet and discuss the important issues affecting small businesses across the state. The candid discussions and real-world examples of how policy made in Hartford impacts small companies in North Haven and Wallingford will continue to be on their minds as the legislative session continues, they said.
Wednesday, April 3, 2019 10:29 PM
Cheshire Officials Award Winners of Student Essay Contest
During a brief presentation Tuesday morning, State Representatives Craig Fishbein (R-90) and Lezlye Zupkus (R-89) were joined by principal Scott Jeffrey to honor Jake Tierney, for his women’s history month essay on activist Anne Stanback and runner-up Mairead Hall for her essay on former Gov. Ella Grasso.
The Women’s History Month essay contest titled, “Important Women in Connecticut’s History and How Their Contributions to the State and Nation Affect Me,” was organized by Reps. Zupkus and Fishbein to honor Women’s History Month. During the presentation before their 6th grade classes, both Jake and Mairead were given official state citations and explained why they chose the subjects they chose to write about before posing for pictures with their parents, the legislators, school officials and classmates.
“The quality shown in all the essays, especially Jake and Mairead’s essays, is impressive and demonstrates how thoughtful and engaged these students are with the world around us,” Rep. Fishbein said. “It’s an honor to recognize their talent, and I know we’ll see great things from them in the future. Congratulations.”
Friday, March 15, 2019 10:19 PM
Rep. Fishbein Reads to Kids at Fritz School
Representative Fishbein joined Mrs. Parisi and Mrs. Piccirillo’s 3rd grade classes at Mary Fritz Elementary School to read three Dr. Suess books as part of Read Across America Day events being held nationwide. Read Across America Day is held annually around the time of Dr. Seuss’s birthday – March 2 – and promotes literacy to children.
Rep. Fishbein has made this event an annual tradition that also includes him giving away the signature Suess “Cat in the Hat” hat he wears when reading to the kids. This year, 9-year-old Dylan Moynihan was the lucky recipient.
Friday, March 1, 2019 10:16 PM
Rep. Fishbein Joins Mayor to Welcome Governor Lamont to Wallingford
Rep. Fishbein joined Mayor Dickinson and town councilor Cervoni in welcoming Governor Lamont to Wallingford for a discussion and brief walking tour of the uptown area near Town Hall. The governor has been meeting with local officials from across the state to get a better feel for the issues facing the state. They were able to discuss the budget, deficit concerns, infrastructure, transportation and energy costs.
During the walking tour the governor stopped in to talk with employees and business owners at Fishbein Insurance, Gaetano’s Mr. D’s, and he he met with both the police and fire chiefs.
Friday, January 11, 2019 10:09 PM
Rep. Fishbein Attends Greater NH Chamber Legislative Breakfast
The morning before the start of the 2019 legislative session, Rep. Craig Fishbein joined his colleagues, including House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, for the Greater New Haven Chamber of Commerce’s annual Legislative Breakfast hosted by Quinnipiac University.
The event is a mix between networking with local and state business leaders and elected officials and discussions on legislative priorities for the Chamber and legislators. During his remarks, Rep. Fishbein stressed the importance of creating a more welcoming business climate in the state and reducing the tax burden on both citizens and businesses. The continual budget deficits continue to hurt the economy and hinder growth, he said.
Friday, November 2, 2018 8:28 AM
ENDORSED BY THE RECORD JOURNAL NEWSPAPER!
Thursday, November 1, 2018 9:36 AM
ENDORSED BY THE CHESHIRE HERALD NEWSPAPER!
THE CHESHIRE HERALD ENDORSES CRAIG FISHBEIN FOR A SECOND TERM.
Perhaps no local politician has been more true to his word than
Fishbein, who ran as a no-nonsense candidate two years ago, promising to
stand against almost all government spending and unnecessary
regulations. During his term, he’s secured a reputation as a leader who
takes a practical approach to issues and is unswayed by the emotions of
By and large, we believe this to be the attitude more politicians should take.
Fishbein’s experience as a business owner allows him to speak plainly about the effects of complicated government policy— specifically on the unforeseen consequences of government intervention. Fishbein doesn’t just look at what the bill predicts will happen but, rather, what the likely reaction to it will be in the real world—so often overlooked by politicians at every level.
We also commend Fishbein for speaking out against a rather common procedure, practiced by both political parties, of naming potential bills in such a way as to almost shame people into voting for them. For instance, bills with sweet-sounding names such as, “An Act To Save Puppies From Burning Buildings,” don’t always have very much to do with puppies or burning buildings. By attaching such wording, it ensures that a certain segment of the General Assembly will vote in favor, just to avoid being labeled a person who “hates puppies.”
Fishbein has gone to great lengths to explain why he’s voted against such legislation, and while one can disagree with him on the merits, his instinct to look at the whole bill and judge it based on practical application will likely lead to more right decisions than wrong ones.
His opponent Dan Fontaine is a newcomer and we
applaud someone so young—36—for wanting to get involved. The tone and
tenor of our politics has a nasty habit of driving good people out of
public service, so it is encouraging to see someone who wants to enter
Yet, we simply disagree on a fundamental level with Fontaine’s political philosophy, whether applied at the state or federal level, and while Fontaine may be new to politics, the ideas he has championed seem as old as the profession itself.
Fontaine seems to believe that Connecticut’s problems can mostly be solved by a “tax the rich” strategy. According to Fontaine’s telling, the wealthiest in Connecticut aren’t paying their fair share and, thus, the tax burden has been placed on the middle class. Yet, according to a recent article in
The Atlantic, for years the 0.02 percent of the wealthiest individuals in the state—many NEWSPAPERof whom work in the volatile finance sector—have accounted for 30 percent of the income taxes paid. That hardly seems like a “fair share” problem.
And how does raising taxes on the wealthy help a state that is experiencing a mass exodus of both businesses and residents? Those in the best position to leave Connecticut are its richest citizens, and they all but assuredly will do so if politicians signal that what lies ahead are more taxes and less freedom to earn and create and grow.
Fontaine seems genuine in his belief that the state can solve much of its problems with more progressive tax policies, but it seems to us that part of Connecticut’s problems stem from too much, not too little, of that very philosophy.
Thursday, November 1, 2018 7:53 AM
From the Cheshire Herald Newspaper - 11/1/2018
FISHBEIN'S INTELLIGENCE, INSIGHT AN ASSET IN HARTFORD
Editor: Cheshire deserves the best representation it can find. That would include Craig Fishbein as its State Representative.
I have known Craig and his family for many years. Craig is an intelligent person with uncanny insight. These two attributes alone put him near the top of the list. On top of that, his depth of knowledge of state legislation and statute language is great, and his desire to understand it and ability to learn it even greater.
Craig is a successful attorney, and it is no coincidence that those lawyer skills have proven invaluable as a state lawmaker.
Craig is the perfect man to continue on as our State Representative.
I hope that you join me in supporting him in his re-election.
Rob Brucato Cheshire
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 8:09 PM
From the Record Journal Newspaper - 10/31/2018
Editor: I am endorsing Craig Fishbein for State Representative. Craig has demonstrated fiscal responsibility in state matters. He represents the taxpayers in his district, as well as throughout the state, and is diligent in reviewing bills that are brought before the legislature. His background as an attorney has helped him understand the issues and allows him to make sure the correct statutory language is used in writing these bills. And we can count on him to make informed decisions, as he tackles the tough issues such as fixing roads and bridges without adding tolls, stopping tax increases, and getting spending under control. He serves admirably on many committees and takes all of his duties very seriously. Craig is the person that we need representing us; please vote for Craig on November 6th.
Robin Corrigan, Wallingford
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 8:30 AM
ENDORSED BY THE WATERBURY REPUBLICAN NEWSPAPER!
Friday, October 26, 2018 5:44 PM
From the Record Journal Newspaper - 10/26/2018
FISCAL SANITY NEEDED
Editor: For three consecutive years, Connecticut has ranked among the top states that people move away from, according to the Annual National Movers Study tracking state to state migration patterns. As reported by the AP, people move away from states like CT to find lower housing costs and higher job growth.
“Free” college tuition, a $15 minimum wage and tolls will do nothing to reverse this trend except raise costs on everyone and continue to drive people away.
We need representatives like Craig Fishbein to fight to restore fiscal sanity to Hartford.
Vote Fishbein for State Rep on November 6th.
Chris Shortell, Wallingford
Thursday, October 25, 2018 8:33 AM
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 12:02 PM
From the Record-Journal Newspaper - 10/24/2018
FISHBEIN'S WORK ETHIC
Editor: I am proud to endorse Craig Fishbein for his re-election to the state legislature. I pay fairly close attention to the candidates that represent Wallingford, and I am aware of how serious Craig is regarding his duties as a State Representative.
He puts an enormous amount of effort into meeting the obligations to his constituents, in both the committee process and in the House Chamber debating policy. He has tremendous desire for the facts, an incredible work ethic, and takes great pride in knowing all he can before he speaks or votes. That’s the type of continued representation we deserve.
Noma Beaumont, Wallingford
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 12:01 PM
From the Record-Journal Newspaper - 10/24/2018
RE-ELECT CRAIG FISHBEIN
Editor: Craig Fishbein was elected as our state representative in 2016 because he was the most qualified candidate. That fact has not changed, and he has my full endorsement in the upcoming election. Craig proudly and effectively serves on our Town Council too. He takes a no-nonsense approach to solving the issues surrounding our town, and faithfully maintains a positive direction for our state. I can think of no one who is more qualified to represent us, whether it be in our town or at the State Capitol. Please join me in supporting Craig Fishbein, he’s earned it.
Jo-Anne Rusczek, Wallingford
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 8:45 AM
From the Record Journal Newspaper - 10/24/2018
Friday, October 19, 2018 10:14 AM
From the Record Journal Newspaper - 10/19/2018
Thursday, October 18, 2018 11:07 PM
ENDORSED by the CBIA and NFIB!
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:03 PM
Tackling Our Toughest Problems...
Friday, October 5, 2018 11:00 PM
Friday, September 21, 2018 12:00 AM
State Representative Craig Fishbein donned an apron for an hour on Wednesday, September 19, and bagged groceries for charity at the Wallingford ShopRite.
“Hunger and food instability affect every community in our state and country and I’m happy to lend a hand and bring awareness to these important issues locally,” Rep. Fishbein said. “I want to thank ShopRite for always being supportive of our community and allowing me to play a small role in their charitable giving campaigns.”
Friday, September 7, 2018 9:45 PM
Meet and Greet
Thursday, September 6, 2018 5:44 PM
OPINION: "A Tolling Question" by Craig Fishbein
There’s a saying at the Capitol that no legislation is truly dead until midnight on the final day of session – when state law requires the legislature to stop working, and resets the calendar to zero in anticipation of the next session. This year, as is every year, many ideas were left to wither and die on the vine for a myriad of reasons that range from political to fiscal.
Thankfully, one proposal that died as the clock ran out, was to institute tolls on Connecticut highways. There were a few different bills, but the underlying theme of all was to install tolls all over the state, and tax drivers for (egads!) daring to travel to and from their work, their appointments, their shopping, or merely to visit friends or family who happen to live a few towns away. These were also made under the guise of bringing in revenue to repair Connecticut’s crumbling roads and bridges.
Now, some may argue a toll isn’t a “tax.” I wholeheartedly disagree; a toll is absolutely a tax. Drivers who use toll roads are paying an extra penalty – a tax – on top of the enormous taxes they’re already paying on gas, licenses and permits, and the property tax for merely owning a vehicle in the first place.
Proposals show as many as 80 toll gantries on nearly all of Connecticut’s major roadways, including Interstates 91, 95, 84, 395, 691 and Routes 15, 8, 2, and more. Toll fees would (presently) range between 3.5 cents per mile to 11.8 cents per mile. Therefore, an ordinary commuter trip between Hartford and New Haven would cost about $800 or more annually.
But even that estimate is controlled by the price charged by the tolling system, which is hard to know because they are also proposing a congestion pricing toll system. Congestion price tolling is where the toll prices raise or decline based upon the amount of vehicles on the roadway. Congestion pricing could mean an extra 25% more per mile for driving during designated “rush hour” times. Of course, taking into account that rush hour will be when most of Connecticut’s residents must get to and from work that means about 70% of all toll revenue collected will come from Connecticut residents.
Some say, how about just border tolls? No can do. When Connecticut agreed to remove its tolls in 1983, it was authorized to charge one of the highest gas taxes in the nation, and to receive a greater portion of federal transportation dollars. The installation of border tolls now would jeopardize $100s of Millions is past and future federal funds.
Toll proponents’ claim a “lock box” will be set up to ensure collected funds will be used for the proper purposes. History shows that a “lock box” is only as good as the lock that secures it. If everyone has a key, there’s no telling how long it will remain filled. In 1983, the current Special Transportation Fund was set up as a dedicated fund to finance the state’s transportation infrastructure program and operate the DOT and DMV. By 1987, the fund was being used for non-transportation purposes. Plus, any revenue gained from enacting and erecting tolls will be years away, have no impact on the state’s current fiscal crisis and will undoubtedly add more state bureaucracy and the associated salaries and pension costs that come with that expansion of government
Tolls are also a bad idea because people will naturally try to avoid them, putting greater stress on local roadways, leading to greater local congestion, and resulting in municipal tax increases
Just over a month ago, even though the legislature did not authorize tolls during session, nor did it appropriate any monies for the same, the Governor convened the 10 member State Bonding Commission (which he Chairs) for the purposes of borrowing $10 Million for another study of tolls. (FYI, there have been at least three such studies already completed within recent years.) Shortly thereafter, I joined my House Republican colleagues in signing a petition to go into special session to try and stop the borrowing. Unfortunately though, the House Democrats refused to sign the petition, a special session was not authorized, and the Governor’s continued reckless borrowing goes on, unchallenged.
Thankfully in 2018, tolls succumbed to the stroke of midnight. Unfortunately though, I’m confident they’ll be resurrected as early as January, 2019. As a very famous Yankee once said, “It ain’t over till it’s over.”
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 3:36 PM
ENDORSED by the CONNECTICUT REALTORS!
Stable (yet reasonably appreciating) real estate prices are a vital component to a thriving economy. Lower taxes help foster that stability. I am glad to have the support of this organization.
Tuesday, August 21, 2018 6:47 PM
I Signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge! #NoTaxIncreases #LiveWithinYourMeans
Monday, August 20, 2018 7:06 PM
Julen Lujambio is Troop 4's newest EAGLE SCOUT!
Very honored to be a part of Julen Lujambio's Eagle Scout Court of Honor today!
Many Eagle Scouts soar to great accomplishments in life. After hearing today about Julen, I know his future is one to behold.
CONGRATULATIONS to Julen for his current accomplishments and for very many yet to come!
Monday, August 20, 2018 7:02 PM
I Signed the House Republicans' "OPEN CONNECTICUT" Pledge
Wednesday, July 25, 2018 12:00 AM
State Representative Craig Fishbein (R-90) today joined his Republican colleagues and signed a petition calling for a special session to deal with Governor Malloy’s latest proposal to spend $10 million to study implementing tolls on Connecticut highways.
In a letter to the Governor last Wednesday, House Republican Leader
Themis Klarides and Representative Christopher Davis, Ranking Member of
the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee, urged him to “reconsider your
proposal to seek a $10 million bond allocation for a study of tolls at
the next State Bond Commission meeting.” The letter also pointed out
that his proposal to spend “taxpayer money on a study of tolls without
approval from the legislature is a blatant circumvention of our
Unfortunately, that request was ignored and the bond commission passed the measure at their meeting on Wednesday, July 25.
“Once again the governor refuses to abide by the will of the people and their elected representatives in the legislature and plans to push another $10 million expense onto the taxpayers,” Rep. Fishbein said. “With only a few months left in his term, and after previously suspending transportation-related projects due to a lack of funding, the governor now decides to waste millions to study an issue that has been soundly rejected by the people of the state. It doesn’t make sense.”
Over the last several years Republican lawmakers have proposed viable
alternatives to fund infrastructure in a sustainable way, including
plans to require the state to use a set amount of General Obligation
Bonds solely for transportation priorities, preserving Special Tax
Obligation bonds for transportation projects and re-establishing the
Transportation Strategy Board (TSB) to assess proposed projects and
identify community needs, Rep. Fishbein said.
“We can work together to fund important projects without adding even more pressure on taxpayers,” Rep. Fishbein said.
The petition signed today states that signatories deem it necessary
to hold a special session to prohibit the “expenditure of taxpayer funds
to study and evaluate the establishment of tolls on Connecticut
“No one knows what the future makeup of the legislature will be, or who will occupy the governor’s seat, but from my perspective it doesn’t matter because at this point tolls are not a viable option or priority,” Rep. Fishbein said. “The state has already wasted far too much time, resources and money in an effort to implement a system of taxation the people have said they do not want.”
Monday, July 23, 2018 8:34 AM
people believe that, whenever practical, government should be run like a
private business. One striving, not to make a profit, but rather to
provide for its customers’ (aka residents’) basic needs; to reasonably
plan for future basic needs; to responsibly
calculate the taxes demanded to meet those needs; and spending those
funds in a frugal manner. I happen to be one of these people. (CONTINUED...)
Saturday, July 14, 2018 8:02 AM
Rep. Fishbein and Sen. Suzio Hosts Successful Town Hall in Cheshire
Rep. Fishbein and State Senator Suzio recently hosted a successful town-hall-style meeting for constituents in the council chambers of the Cheshire Town Hall building.
Many Cheshire residents attended, and listened to a breakdown of the recently-ended 2018 regular and veto sessions, and to ask questions about specific issues. The conversation varied between topics, but most of the evening was spent discussing the state budget deficit, the SEBAC union contract, how those two are linked and how they affect Connecticut’s overall fiscal health. Other topics included the bump stock ban, road and bridge construction and repair, tolls and social safety net programs.
Thursday, July 12, 2018 9:36 AM
From the Cheshire Herald Newspaper, 7/12/2018: "Battle of Opposites as Fishbein, Fontaine Vie for 90th District Seat"
Over the past few years, Dan Fontaine has watched as members of both the Republican and Democratic parties have debated one another over Connecticut’s budget issues.
What Fontaine realized was that none of the state legislators were talking about issues he believes to be important, such as reducing the tax burden on the middle class or having the wealthy pay more to the state.
This year, Fontaine, a 35-yearold co-owner of a software development company, is hoping to help make his preferred changes in state policy a reality. He is running for the state House of Representatives 90th District seat, which covers areas of Wallingford and Cheshire. Fontaine, who previously canvassed for the Working Families Party, is running against first-term Republican Representative Craig Fishbein.
“We need to be honest about the situation we’re in,” stated Fontaine. “We need to be ready to fight for the living standards the working middle class people have been able to achieve in this state, because (they) are very much under attack.”
Fishbein, an attorney with Fishbein Law Firm LLC, serves on the public safety, commerce, and energy and technology committees, and is also a member of the Conservative Caucus. During his first term in office, Fishbein has been criticized for voting against numerous proposals. However, the Wallingford resident stands behind his votes and states that, most times, his stances on issues have been misconstrued.
As an example, Fishbein pointed to his opposition to the “move over”
law, which allows local authorities to impose fines on motorists who do
not move over for emergency vehicles. One of the bills set out to change
the language regarding the maximum fine that could be levied, from “up
to $1,500” to “up to $2,500.” Fishbein voted against the changes
because it did not increase the minimum fee. As a result of his vote,
Fishbein said, he has been painted as someone who opposes the law in its
“How do you deal with that?” he asked. “All I can know is that, in my heart, I know I did the right thing.”
Both Fontaine and Fishbein admit that they are opposites of one another. Fontaine wants to see the state’s minimum wage increased to $15 and for state colleges to be offered tuition-free. He said he was motivated to engage in the political process during the most recent presidential election by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who wanted to ensure health care access for the general public and to make college affordable.
“Connecticut’s really a microcosm of what’s going on in the broader United States,” Fontaine said. “We are the wealthiest state, the wealthiest country in the history of the world, and we can’t seem to do things that we were able to do 30 to 40 years ago.”
Fontaine argues that, in order to afford a basic apartment and live in Wallingford, the minimum household income needs to be $24 per hour. If two adults are working minimum-wage jobs, Fontaine argues, they cannot afford the apartment. If, however, the minimum wage is increased, that same family could reside Wallingford.
“Some of that value is lost to inflation but, overall, they end up substantially ahead,” Fontaine said. “For most people, there hasn’t been a huge inflationary impact from increasing the minimum wage. We just haven’t seen it.”
Fishbein, on the other hand, believes the minimum wage “should be repealed.” He said that, as a result of the previous minimum wage increases, two of his employees at his law firm were replaced by one part-time staff member. Fishbein added that he cannot afford to hire other employees unless he raises his fees.
“I think the fair market should determine wages,” Fishbein said. “…
What people don’t understand— who are proponents of that (the minimum
wage)—is things that they buy are then going to cost more, so then it’s
cyclical. They’re going to say, ‘My standard of living is such that I
need more.’ It just doesn’t make sense.”
Fishbein added that individuals who support a minimum wage that is a “liveable” wage are in favor of mediocrity in the workforce.
“When you say to someone the government is going to mandate you’re paid a living wage, on some level, you’re supporting
mediocrity,” he said. “When people are being paid what they are worth, I would think that people tend to work a little harder.”
To provide tuition-free schools, Fontaine believes that not only should state officials deal with “administrative bloat” at state colleges, but that the Connecticut’s wealthiest residents should be taxed more.
“If we can succeed in getting more tax revenue out of the wealthiest people, we can afford to do these things,” Fontaine said.
“We have the wealth here. We’re just not making use of the resources
that we have.”
Fontaine insists that the state’s wealthiest have been protected— taxed less than the working middle class for fear that they will leave the state.
“There’s a lot of money behind pushing this narrative that you can’t do anything in terms of taxes on wealthy people because they’ll leave. The data doesn’t bear that out,” he said.
Fishbein disagrees and states that, oftentimes it is “the rich” who are the ones who creating jobs. Increasing their taxes, he believes, will definitely result in them leaving the state.
“Why do we penalize the risktakers and entrepreneurs for being risk takers and entrepreneurs?” Fishbein asked. “Am I jealous for people who make a lot of money? Yeah, but do I try and harm them? No.”
To address the high cost of state colleges, Fishbein said he believes
universities should act as “enterprise funds,” with school
administrations determining how many students are admitted based on
standards such as salary and tuition costs, as well as school size.
“The current system is just wrong,” he said.
Friday, June 15, 2018 10:55 PM
Rep. Fishbein holds successful "Coffee & Conversation" event at Dad's Restaurant
This morning's Coffee & Conversation event at DAD'S Restaurant was filled with great food, great drink, great people, and great conversation!
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 10:34 PM
Recently, there has been much written about modifications to the Town
of Wallingford’s 2018-19 budget. Some of it inaccurate. This column
attempts to accurately state the facts, and explain how we got to the
present — a very small tax increase. (CONTINUED...)
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 10:49 PM
Rep. Fishbein participates in podcast conducted by Wallingford middle school students
A fantastic morning being interviewed by the students in Mr. Bikakis' Student Enrichment Program (STEM) for their podcast. Alot of interesting and probing questions from these inquisitive young minds! #WallingfordCT #STEM #WallingfordSchools
Thursday, May 31, 2018 11:07 PM
Rep. Fishbein and Fellow Lawmakers Applaud Wallingford's Efforts To Promote STEM Careers
State lawmakers recognized the Town of Wallingford and the Wallingford Public School District for launching a new campaign to boost interest in fields related to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) at Wallingford's "STEM Town" campaign kickoff at Wallingford HUBCAP on Thursday, May 31. State Senator Len Fasano and State Representative Craig Fishbein presented a citation on behalf of the entire Wallingford delegation to the town and school district.
"Supporting our students with smart investments in the STEM fields will prepare them for the future and make both Wallingford and Connecticut stronger,"Rep. Fishbein said. "I'm pleased Superintendent Menzo and the Wallingford School District are providing these opportunities and I'm confident our youth will excel in these in-demand fields. Manufacturers across the state have said they are struggling to find qualified employees because many applicants lack the specific skills taught in these very programs. By putting the focus on STEM education, our schools are saving the essence of manufacturing."
Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:00 PM
Rep. Fishbein and Cheshire Delegation Members Honor Essay Winner
During a brief presentation Thursday morning, State Representatives Craig Fishbein and Lezlye Zupkus were joined by principal Scott Jeffrey to honor Leila Hyder, 12, for her women’s history month essay on author Luanne Rice. Leila’s parents, Anita Sharif-Hyder and Fahmeed Hyder, surprised their daughter by attending the presentation.
The Women’s History Month essay contest titled, “Important Women in Connecticut’s History and How Their Contributions to the State and Nation Affect Me,” was organized by Rep. Fishbein to honor Women’s History Month. Unfortunately, due to the legislative session the legislators were unable to meet with Miss Hyder during March. During the presentation before her 6th grade class, Hyder was given an official state citation and explained who author Luanne Rice is, and how she overcame incredible difficulty to become a respected author, before posing for pictures with her parents, the legislators, school officials and her classmates.
Sunday, April 22, 2018 8:38 PM
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 — 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
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. 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
Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:00 AM
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
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.”(CLICK THIS NEWS ITEM'S TITLE FOR MORE)
Thursday, March 8, 2018 6:13 PM
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.”