Lawmakers Engage Weston Residents on Key Issues

May 13, 2015

WESTON – The state budget emerged as a focal point Saturday when Weston residents engaged their legislators in conversation on a range of issues during a meeting at town hall.

The May 9th meeting was hosted by state Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) and state Rep. John Shaban (R-135).

As they explained, a priority of the 2015 legislative session is to adopt a new two-year state budget. There are currently three versions on the table – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s, Republican’s Blueprint for Prosperity, and one from Democrats – all of which must close a projected deficit of $1.3 billion over the next two years.


“While there are important differences in these three budgets and we feel strongly that our proposal is both fiscally and socially responsible, there is some common ground here,” Sen. Hwang said. “I am optimistic that we – Republicans, Democrats and the Governor – will work together for the people of Connecticut to come up with a budget that we can all support.”

Rep. Shaban said, “Years of fiscal mismanagement by the majority democrats landed us, once again, in fiscal crisis. Our priority now must be to serve the needs of our citizens first by finally reducing the incredible government spending rate inflicted on tax payers. The Republicans proposal – in contrast with the Governor’s plan and recent democratic proposals – does this while keeping taxes static and remaining under the State’s Constitutional Spending Cap.”

Conversation at Saturday’s meeting touched on several other issues, including two perennially important issues in the community – education and the environment. Lawmakers pointed to two pieces of legislation, in particular, that they believe have great value and meaning to Weston residents on those topics.

One, HB 6839, is An Act Concerning a Long Island Sound Blue Plan and Resource and Use Inventory. The bill, which unanimously passed the House on Earth Day, would ensure that Connecticut has a coordinated strategy for future use of Long Island Sound by requiring the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and relevant stakeholders to study and compile an inventory of the Sound’s natural and human resources and uses.

The other bill, HB 7019, modifies the Minimum Budget Requirement (MBR) statute so that municipalities have greater flexibility to make reductions to education budgets when facing declining student enrollment, as Weston is.

“I am extremely pleased to see these two excellent pieces of public policy move forward in the process,” Sen. Hwang said. “The Blue Plan is a prime example of how we can advocate for the environment and be pro-business at the same time, while the MBR bill provides our local leaders with a tool that they can use when crafting their budgets. I do want to emphasize that the MBR bill is about empowering our boards of education to work collaboratively with their municipal counterparts to address declining enrollment in a fiscally responsible manner but without sacrificing the quality education we have all come to expect and that our children deserve.”

Rep. Shaban said, “Preserving and protecting our environment, and especially Long Island Sound, is central to the lives, health and economy of our State. The Blue Plan will ensure both the responsible stewardship and responsible use of our greatest natural resource. Likewise, the MBR adjustment bill being considered will enable our local boards of education and finance to work in tandem to address declining enrollment, while ensuring that our public schools remain our top priority.”

The 2015 legislative session ends on June 3. Sen. Hwang and Rep. Shaban encouraged residents and business owners to stay engaged in the process and to stay in touch. Contact information, legislative updates and other useful information for each legislator can be found at the following links: