Fazio calls for “broad-based middle class and working class tax cut.”

December 9, 2022

Fazio calls for “broad-based middle class and working class tax cut.”

GREENWICH — With the start of the new legislative session in Hartford only a few weeks away, elected and outgoing members of Greenwich’s legislative delegation spent an hour explaining what they — and town residents — will be addressing in the coming months: increased utility bills, mental health problems and inflation and income inequity.

Greenwich United Way gathered the politicians Thursday for a roundtable breakfast discussion with a focus on what they can do to meet human service needs. On hand were First Selectman Fred Camillo; State Sen. Ryan Fazio, R-36; State Rep. Stephen Meskers, D-150; outgoing State Reps. Harry Arora, R-151, and Kimberly Fiorello, R-149; and State Rep.-Elects Rachel Khanna, D-149, and Hector Arzeno, D-150. Khanna defeated Fiorello in last month’s election and Arzeno won the election to succeed Arora.

Energy costs

Since the focus of the breakfast was to bring  attention on the needs of the town’s most vulnerable residents, much of the discussion centered on the potential for a major spike in rates from Eversource Energy .

The utility has proposed, and is expected to be approved for, as much as a 48 percent hike in rates that could see the average customer pay $85 more per month starting Jan. 1.

The rise in energy costs this winter is a disaster,” Fazio said. “But Connecticut’s electricity grid has been far too expensive for far too long. Connecticut has the third highest electricity rates in the country after New Hampshire and Hawaii…We need to focus on long-term reform that bends the cost down for everybody. We can’t put money from one pocket to the other.”

Fazio said more had to be done to create and get people jobs, a move needed to reduce poverty, and called for a “broad-based middle class and working class tax cut.”

He also said there should be an increase in the amount of apprenticeships in the state and eliminating college degree requirements for “some state jobs that don’t actually need them.

“Over the last 30 years, Connecticut has experienced the highest increase in poverty of any state in the country,” Fazio said. “That’s not acceptable, I think, to any of our residents. We need a change in direction to create opportunity and lift people out of poverty.”