HARTFORD – State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) along with Senate and House Republican colleagues announced newly released details on a grocery store tax included in the Democrat state budget set to go into effect October 1, 2019 which could potentially encompass all cooked food.
The Democrat-approved 7.35% tax will be applied to a long list of food items that have never been taxed when sold in grocery stores before, according to the state Department of Revenue Services policy statement issued this week.
The tax will apply to not only prepared meals such as sandwiches, deli salads, pizza and hot buffet items, but also small packages of snacks, loose baked goods, wrapped salads, small servings of ice cream, and meal replacement bars. It also applies to fountain drinks including coffee and any beverage sold with a taxable “meal.”
In February, Gov. Lamont assured Connecticut residents that grocery tax proposal was dead. In fact, Gov. Lamont says it was ‘never alive.’
Earlier this year, Democrat lawmakers labeled the new tax as only a 1% tax increase on items already taxed at 6.35%, but the DRS statement clarifies that the new 7.35% tax will also apply to many food items that have never been taxed at all before when sold in grocery stores.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “I voted no on these tax hikes in June, because I did not believe Trumbull families should be forced to pay more for their groceries, this budget also leaves businesses wondering how to manage the confusing mess of newly taxed items. As predicted these new taxes are significantly more than was first told to Connecticut residents. Gov. Lamont and the Democrats continually pick our pick our pockets believing they know better on how to spend our hard earned money.”
The DRS document explains that items sold at restaurants and eateries currently taxed at 6.35% will see a 1% tax increase. It also clarifies that the total 7.35% tax rate will also be effective in grocery stores, “which previously taxed meals in a different manner than other eating establishments.”
TRUMBULL- State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123) and Laura Devlin (R-134) presented Lisa Cerulli with an official state citation in recognition for being selected as the 2019-20 Madison Middle School and Trumbull Teacher of the Year.
Lisa Cerulli has been a teacher for 27 years. She teaches social studies at Madison Middle School and is co-team leader for grade 7 social studies curriculum.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “We commend Lisa Cerulli’s tireless level of commitment to our children in all that she does. The Town of Trumbull is proud to join in celebration to recognize your unique talents, enthusiasm, and selfless dedication in honor of this great accomplishment.”
TRUMBULL- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) is requesting that Governor Ned Lamont rescind his recent budget cuts to the Connecticut nursing homes, these cuts are effecting many Trumbull facilities, notably St. Joseph’s Center in Trumbull.
Rutigliano opposed the state budget with these nursing home cuts in June. The language in the budget limits reductions to 2% but if nursing home facilities (1) do not meet the minimum 70 percent occupancy rate requirement utilizing 2018 cost reports, under other circumstances some facilities will see cuts in excess of 2%, some as high as 15%.
“I did not support the budget that contained these devastating cuts. I call on the governor to revisit these cuts to our nursing homes immediately. These cuts only end up hurting our most vulnerable citizens” said Rep. Rutigliano. “State officials should be working with state nursing homes with low occupancy and quality ratings and help them correct these issues before being crushed with dramatic cuts.”
HARTFORD- To make sure the interests of Trumbull families were represented to their fullest, State Representative David Rutigliano earned a one hundred percent voting record for all roll call votes taken on the floor of the House of Representatives during the 2019 Regular and Special Sessions. The House Clerk’s Office released the data on members’ votes this week.
Rutigliano was present and voted for all 392 votes taken on the state House floor during the 2019 session, according to voting record data released last week by the House Clerk’s Office. Perfect attendance is very difficult to achieve, with only about 26 percent of legislators able to do so this year.
“As a member of the House Republican leadership team and senior Trumbull legislator, I always try to set a good example for my colleagues. It is important to listen and hear all the debate before coming to a final conclusion, Trumbull residents deserve our full representation at the State Capitol,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
The next regular session of the legislature will convene in February 2020.
For an overview of legislation passed this year, visit the Office of Legislative Research website: https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/rpt/pdf/2019-R-0120.pdf.
TRUMBULL- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) joined forces with the Trumbull Memorial American Legion Post 141 in collecting worn, faded and tattered American flags during their Annual Flag-Collection Drive and participated in the VFW Flag Day ceremony retiring the old flags on June 14th.
Rutigliano had collection boxes stationed around Trumbull for town residents to turn in their American flags for retirement.
“It was an honor to have had the opportunity to stand with Trumbull veterans on Flag Day,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
The Second Continental Congress adopted the first American flag on July 14, 1777, and President Woodrow Wilson declared June 14 to be Flag Day in 1916. National Flag Day was then established by an Act of Congress in August 1949.
HARTFORD- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) co-sponsored a proposal which would amend the definition of narcotic substance to include fentanyl, which currently is only listed as a synthetic drug, meaning it carries a lesser sentence. The measure passed the House of Representatives.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, which is more addictive and deadly than opioids or heroin. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl depresses central nervous system and respiratory functions and is estimated to be 80 times more potent than morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin.
The legislation, HB-5524, An Act Increasing the Penalties for the Sale of Fentanyl would increase penalties for the dealing and manufacturing of fentanyl and its derivatives adding them to the same category as heroin.
“We need to punish the street dealers harshly for selling this deadly drug. Fentanyl seems to be finding its way into so many other substances, sometimes instantly killing its users. Changing the definition will permit state prosecutors and judges to level heftier sentences,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
Individuals convicted of selling narcotics generally face longer prison sentences and greater fines than those convicted of selling non-narcotic controlled substances.
Under current law, a person convicted for a first offense of selling narcotics may be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, fined up to $50,000, or both. In contrast, a person convicted for a first offense of selling non-narcotic controlled substances may be sentenced to up to seven years in prison, fined up to $25,000, or both.
There were 1,038 overdose deaths in Connecticut in 2017, according to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner. In nearly two-thirds of those deaths some trace of fentanyl was found in the person’s system. Last year, there were 1,017 overdose deaths and 760 of those deaths involved fentanyl, which is up from 677 in 2017, 483 in 2016, and 189 in 2015.
In a state Department of Public Health ceremony for Connecticut Emergency Medical Services (EMS), State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) recognized Trumbull Volunteer EMT Jen DiJoseph who was named the recipient of the Connecticut George A. Ganung Award.
Jen DiJoseph received the award for her volunteer dedication to the service of others.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “EMT/EMS volunteers, like Jen go above and beyond to assist our Trumbull residents in many life or death situations. Connecticut and Trumbull EMS/EMT services always have an advocate here in Hartford and I will continue to speak up on matters that affect our community.”
Trumbull- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123 voted against a new two-year contract Wednesday for newly unionized lawyers working for State Attorney General William Tong that includes raises costing the state an additional $3.3 million starting in the second year.
Rep. Rutigliano said, “I am disappointed that the Democrats in Hartford decided to rubber-stamp these exorbitant and lavish union agreements without consideration of the impacts on taxpayers or the programs. We simply do not have the money in our state budget to pay for these contracts, no wonder they need to raise taxes.”
The contract was decided through arbitration earlier this week.
In addition to a no-layoff agreement, the arbitration award between the state and the brand new bargaining unit created for 185 Assistant Attorneys General and 14 department heads results in more than $3.3 million in new spending each year. Included are $2,000 lump sum bonuses and base salary increases of 5.5% each year.
Current average annual salaries are in excess of $120,000 as a result of this contract the average annual salary will increase to $133,000. Additionally the agreement applies to department heads who will receive additional $18,000 stipends over two years.
The agreement was approved by votes of 77-67 in the House and 19-17 in the Senate. It covers at least 185 Assistant Attorneys General, including 14 that serve as department heads, whose average annual salaries will be increased to nearly $133,500.
TRUMBULL- Each year State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-Trumbull) visits the 4th graders at Daniels Farm School and has a discussion with the class about state and local government issues, this year was no different.
“It is always fun and engaging conversation with the students. The kids asked many smart questions and seemed really interested on state government. I look forward every year to their visit to the State Capitol in the spring,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
Rep. Rutigliano and the students talked about the duties of a state representative and how a bill becomes a law from concept and idea to final signature by the Governor, and how the General Assembly is a part-time legislature.
Many of the students were surprised the Connecticut Legislature was a part-time job. Rep. Rutigliano used the example of how as a part-time legislator, he is also a small business owner in Trumbull and must take time off to go to Hartford for a vote.
HARTFORD- Today State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) stood side-by-side with Trumbull First Selectwoman Vicki Tesoro testifying against proposals that would strip local control away from our school district with plans to force districts to regionalize.
A public hearing of the Education committee drew thousands of state residents opposed to the proposals which would force school districts to regionalize.
The bills are: