Sen. Witkos, Rep. Case Hear from People in the Colebrook Area

September 16, 2015

Colebrook – This week Senator Kevin Witkos (R-8) and Representative Jay Case (R-63) hosted a Town Hall in Colebrook to meet with local residents from nearby towns and discuss the past legislative session. On Monday September 14 at the Colebrook Town Hall meeting room, the two lawmakers provided an update on new state laws, the state budget, and legislation that did not pass this year. They also led a discussion on state policies.

“I’m so appreciative of the warm reception we received in Colebrook from a community that was clearly excited to learn more about state government and what goes on in Hartford,” said Sen. Witkos. “This was a great opportunity to open up the conversation, ask questions and talk about the future of Connecticut. I want to thank everyone who was able to join us and I hope to keep the conversation going.”

“Events such as this town hall allow both Senator Witkos and I to discuss the political climate in Hartford and how legislative issues impact the community,” said Rep. Case, “It was great to see so much engagement from local residents and we will continue to represent their views at the Capitol.”

Topics of discussion included new taxes and the budget process, including how this year Republicans proposed their own alternative budget with no new taxes.

One tax that was discussed extensively was the almost 9 percent gross earnings tax on propane. Connecticut law says that in order to be exempt from this tax, the propane “must be used exclusively for heating purposes.” Because the propane to a generator system produces electricity and not heat, this tax is assessed on deliveries to tanks which supply generators. Therefore, if your propane tank is connected to a generator, you will have to pay a tax on your total propane purchase. This law has been on the books for a long time, but the definition was only recently clarified so it could be enforced. There is notable support to repeal the tax next session.

Witkos and Case also talked about other legislation we will probably see next year. For example, there is rising support for state laws to regulate drone usage, especially following incidents of drones causing problems and security questions in various cases nationwide including attempts to attach weapons to drones. Casino expansion and keno may also come up next year. New legislation that allows gaming expansion outside of the state’s two reservations is only the first step. More legislation will be needed to move any expansion forward, and challenges to the legality of expansion are sure to stir up some controversy and may block any new casinos. The very controversial ‘aid in dying’/‘assisted suicide’ legislation may also come up again.

The conversation also centered around ways to save in state government. Members of the public questioned whether or not the state understands how harmful it is to just keep bonding, essentially putting everything on a credit card. Others also raised questions about whether or not the state can alter the benefits, overtime expenses, and sheer size of state government workforce.

“Clearly our state has a long way to go to get back on stable financial footing,” said Witkos. “Republicans have outlined ways to curb spending now, prioritize our needs, cut the waste, and implement changes that will help get our long-term expenses under control. We look forward to bringing these ideas forward again next session, and hearing from constituents about their own ideas to better Connecticut’s finances and economy.”

To share your ideas with Sen. Witkos, visit his website at to complete his online survey and sign up for eblasts to stay informed. To contact Rep. Case visit

Sen. Witkos, Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore, represents the 8th District towns of Avon, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, Hartland, Harwinton, New Hartford, Norfolk, Simsbury and Torrington. Rep. Case represents the 63rd House District including Colebrook, Goshen, Winchester and Torrington.