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:
TRUMBULL– State Representatives David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) hosted their Fifth Annual House of Representatives Women’s History Month Essay Contest at the Trumbull Library on Saturday March 22nd.
In the spirit of March being Women’s History Month, sixth grade students from Trumbull schools submitted essays on the topic, Important Women in Connecticut’s History and How Their Contributions to the State and Nation Affect Me.”
Each student wrote a 300-word essay on the topic with the focus on one notable Connecticut woman, detailing her life and accomplishments and what those contributions mean to them. During the ceremony, the winning and runners up students read their winning essays to the audience, sharing what historic woman was important to them.
“This essay contest is always one of my favorite legislative events of the year. Trumbull students and teachers are so awesome; they embrace every learning opportunity, and do such a great job. These students are great representatives of the Town of Trumbull. I, along with Reps. Devlin, McGorty, are truly inspired by them,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
Hillcrest Middle School
First Place: Paige Rudich (topic: Emily Dunning Barringer)
Second Place: Layla Chaves (topic: Helen Keller)
Madison Middle School
First place: Vanessa Maignan (topic: Anika Noni
Second place: Anne Codd (topic: Glenna Collett Vare)
HARTFORD- State Rep. David Rutigliano (R-123) testified in the Insurance and Real Estate committee on his proposal to stop insurers from denying coverage or charging a higher premium if an individual has previous claims histories concerning Naloxone Hydrochloride (Narcan).
Rep. Rutigliano was pleased by the positive reception the legislation, HB-6087 An Act Restricting the Use of Prior Claims Histories Concerning Naloxone Hydrochloride received by members of the Insurance committee during the public hearing.
“We are receiving reports that some people who have filled the prescription for Narcan are being denied life insurance and disability insurance or are being quoted an increased rate for health insurance,” Rep. Rutigliano said.
According to Rep. Rutigliano state residents are being red flagged for possible drug addiction or simply as the ‘use of drugs.’ We must educate that Narcan cannot be self-administered; it is one of the only prescriptions that you have to have filled for others.
“Connecticut has been encouraging people to carry Narcan and we have done our best to make it more available to first responders in the general public,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “We believe the people should be encouraged to carry this life-saving drug and we ask that you remove what could be a potential barrier to this goal.
Our neighboring state of Massachusetts has recently taken action advising life and disability insurers not to deny coverage to Good Samaritan’s who carry the overdose reversal drug.
In 2018, I joined my legislative colleagues to pass two provisions (included within the bi-annual budget) regarding Social Security Income Deductions and Retirement Income Deductions designed to provide seniors with much-needed tax relief. The first eliminated the income tax on Social Security and the second will phase out the income tax on pensions over the next few years.
**Social Security Income Tax Deduction
**Effective for tax years beginning after 2019, individual taxpayers may deduct 100 percent of Social Security income, if federal adjusted gross income (AGI) is less than:
• $75,000 for single filers and married taxpayers filing separately;
• or $100,000 joint filers and heads of household
Taxpayers with incomes equal to or greater than the thresholds qualify for a 75 percent deduction. The income thresholds are increased from $50,000 and $60,000, respectively.
**Retirement Income Tax Deductions
Effective beginning with the 2019 tax year, individual taxpayers may deduct a portion of retirement income that is included in federal gross income, if federal AGI is below:
• $75,000 for single filers, married taxpayers filing separately, and heads of households;
• or $100,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly
To read more about these changes, you can read the Research Report provided by the non-partisan Office of Legislative Research – https://www.cga.ct.gov/2018/rpt/pdf/2018-R-0005.pdf
It is recommended that you consult a certified tax preparer regarding any deduction.
HARTFORD- State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123 today came out against the legislative concept of applying a state sales tax to groceries and non-prescription medicine.
The concept is under consideration by Gov. Ned Lamont, according to published news media reports.
“This ‘grocery tax concept’ is just one of hundreds of terrible pieces of legislation this session which will look to take money out of our family checkbooks. Unfortunately, the majority party has decided to use their election victories to punish middle class working families,” said Rep. Rutigliano.
Groceries and non-prescription medicine are not subject to the 6.35% sales tax currently. The proposal would add both non-prescription medicine and groceries to the taxable items with the ‘promise’ to lower the overall sales tax.
Lamont’s review of sales tax exemptions comes as majority party Democrats are floating additional ways to collect more revenue for the state, including a statewide property tax and bringing tolls back to the state.
HARTFORD – In the House of Representatives on June 6, State Representative David Rutigliano (R-123) stood in strong opposition to a proposal that would take the first steps towards implementing electronic tolls throughout Connecticut.
The proposal, offered as a strike-all amendment by the legislature’s Transportation Committee, would have requested the Commissioner of Transportation to prepare a state-wide plan to implement electronic tolling systems on the highways of this state.
One of the proposed plans pushed by the Department of Transportation would have ten tolls on the Merritt Parkway from Greenwich to New Haven, twelve tolls on I-95 from Greenwich to New Haven, and potentially 72 tolls throughout the state. These tolls to not affect some of our federal funding would be have to be a controversial congested priced scheme which means the toll would increase during high traffic times.
“At last week’s presentation by DOT, I was shocked at the enormous breath and scope of their tolling proposal. They seem to want to toll every limited access highway from I-95 to the Merritt Parkway to Route 8, Route 25 and Route 7. Also the findings that 70% of toll money would be paid by Connecticut residents flies in the face of trying to get the out-of-state drivers and instead is just another tax on our already overburdened residents,” said Rep. Rutigliano. “Connecticut does not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. Until we seriously reconsider how we spend taxpayers’ dollars, we cannot impose yet another tax upon the residents of Connecticut.”
The requested plan would seek to identify the highways, or the portions thereof, where such electronic tolling systems may be located and the toll amounts that may be charged; including the use of dynamic pricing witch could potentially penalize commuters as toll pricing would change during peak use hours or periods of heavy traffic.
The bill was tabled after a few hours of debate when it became apparent that the toll proposal would not have enough votes to pass in the House of Representatives.