From left to right: Sylvain De Guise (Director, Connecticut SeaGrant at UConn), Nathan Frohling (Director, Connecticut Coastal and Marine Initiatives, The Nature Conservancy), Betsey Wingfield (Interim Deputy Commissioner, DEEP), State Representative Mary Mushinsky (D-85), State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28), State Representative Jonathan Steinberg (D-136), State Senator Christine Cohen (D-12), State Representative Mike Demicco (D-21), State Representative Geraldo Reyes (D-75)
CT-N Video of Informational Press Conference
Watch online: https://ct-n.com/ondemand.asp?ID=16141
Download file: http://ct-n.com/ondemand_download.asp?ID=bhekl
State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28), fellow lawmakers, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), and members of the Blue Plan Advisory Committee announced yesterday the release of the draft Long Island Sound Blue Plan and the commencement of the public comment period. To commemorate the release of the Blue Plan, DEEP, Senator Hwang hosted press, legislators, stakeholders, and members of the public at the Legislative Office Building on Thursday, March 21, 2019.
The event marks the start of the formal 90-day comment period, running through June 21, 2019. Proponents of the plan hoped to give an opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the Plan to ensure transparency.
Senator Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield), who worked with former Senator Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) and former Representatives James Albis (D-East Haven) and Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) in the passage of the Blue Plan legislation in 2015, hosted Thursday’s press conference saying, “The Long Island Sound is one of the most important ecological, economic and recreational assets that the State of Connecticut has, and it is critical that we fully understand its spatial bathymetry, ecosystem and impacts of human use to develop a comprehensive “Blue Plan” strategy to maintain and improve the long term health of the Sound”
“We all recognize the vital importance of Long Island Sound to our economy, environment and quality of life,” said Representative Joe Gresko (D-Stratford). “The Blue plan will protect the Sound for recreational and economic uses while ensuring its overall environmental health for future generations.”
DEEP Commissioner Katie Dykes, who was unable to attend the event, noted, “After three years of background research and preparation, unanimous bipartisan support from the General Assembly and the governor, critical outreach and engagement with stakeholders, ecological experts, and various partners, and countless hours of dedication from Advisory Committee members, the Long Island Sound Blue Plan is completed and ready for public review. We are thankful to Senator Hwang for his leadership on Long Island Sound issues and for the support of so many others in the General Assembly in moving this process forward.”
“The Blue Plan provides an opportunity for all with a stake in the future of Long Island Sound to be heard. We are proud to be part of a process that honors these perspectives, employs the best knowledge and protects what we love—places important for nature and for people. Despite differences, everyone wins in working together for what matters most,” said Nathan Frohling, Director of Connecticut Coastal and Marine Initiatives for The Nature Conservancy.
The Blue Plan, legislation created through Public Act 15-66, is not hard and fast regulation, but rather a roadmap or a guidebook that enables a process by which Connecticut can develop a marine spatial plan to protect Long Island Sound’s natural resources and traditional human uses, while allowing for compatible future use and development. The Blue Plan aims to achieve this goal by creating a series of resources and information that can help planners and applicants, make better coordinated and compatible decisions.
Click HERE to watch Senator Hwang’s Press conference with DEEP, fellow legislators to unveil the Long Island Sound Blue Plan and the commencement of the 90-day public comment period.
Can you believe this? As if our state didn’t place enough fees, surcharges, and taxes on your electric bills, the Democrats are proposing to raise them once again in order to create the Connecticut Earth Bank. The bank would be funded by a fee of NOT LESS than 1/10 of 1 cent per kilowatt hour on all our electric bills.
You can read the bill here.
If you’re sick of new taxes, send a brief email asap to ENVTestimony@cga.ct.gov
Say “NO to Bill 6646!
Include your name and town.
Feel free to copy me in the email at: Craig.Miner@cga.ct.gov
State Senator John A. Kissel (R-07) released the following statement after voting against several electronic tolling proposals during the Transportation Committee meeting on March 20th.
“Today I had the opportunity to take my first of many votes against tolls this session. Tolls simply don’t make any sense in Connecticut. People use our highways like local roads and if we institute tolls on Connecticut’s highways, drivers and truckers will just take an exit onto actual local roads, congesting our towns and cities,” said Senator Kissel.
“The major freeway in north-central Connecticut, I-91, was never meant to be a toll road. There are three smaller secondary highways directly parallel to 91 that people use if there are accidents or traffic jams. If we approve tolls, those secondary roads will become the main transit route for everyone trying to avoid that extra tax. Toll roads in other states were built to be toll roads. Our highways, like I-91, were not.”
“As a longstanding opponent of tolls, I will continue to fight these bills with every last breath that I have because it is a mileage tax, plain and simple. It is an $800 million regressive tax that will hit our struggling middle class and not only increase the cost of driving, but will increase the cost of doing business and the cost of goods in our state. How many times do we have to say it? Connecticut residents are over-taxed. Let’s invest in our infrastructure, and let’s add value to our state, but let’s not do it by over taxing our constituents every chance we get.”
Senator Kissel voted against all three toll proposals (HB 7202, HB 7280 & SB 423) during the Transportation Committee meeting on March 20th, 2019. All three bills were advanced to the floor with all Republican committee members voting against them.
Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Senator Henri Martin (R-Bristol), ranking member of the Transportation Committee, released the following statement in response to today’s Transportation Committee votes advancing legislation to establish tolls in Connecticut. All Republican lawmakers voted against the toll proposals. The three bills will now move to the full General Assembly where they will require approval by both the Senate and House of Representatives before they can become law.
“All three toll bills approved today have one thing in common, they allow lawmakers to completely abandon their responsibility to taxpayers and shift the blame to someone else. Those who voted in favor of these bills today do not have the courage to own up to the fact that their actions will be responsible for tolls across the state and massive new taxes on every resident. This is a total abrogation of responsibility that puts the fate of taxpayers in the hands of a select few. In typical fashion, Democrat lawmakers are punting. Instead of developing legislation to give lawmakers a direct hand in deciding where tolls will be and what they will cost, ensuring taxpayers have someone in the room looking out for them, they would rather give someone else carte blanche and never look back on how their decisions will hurt their constituents.
“Tolls are a tax – and a regressive one at that. Approving tolls seals the fate of our transportation system by allowing the governor to bankrupt our Special Transportation Fund and put all new infrastructure projects on hold for at least the next five years. When toll revenue eventually starts to come in, it will have an immediate negative impact on the middle class and individuals with low and fixed incomes.
“Today’s vote is disappointing, but there is still time for the public to speak out and urge their lawmakers to vote against this tax when it comes before the full General Assembly. The public has the power to make a difference. Please make your voices heard.”