WESTPORT, Conn. - State Reps. Gail Lavielle (R-143) and Jonathan Steinberg (D-136), along with state Sen. Toni Boucher (R-26), hosted a town hall-style meeting recently at Westport Town Hall to keep constituents up-to-date on the latest at the State Capitol
The Westport lawmakers discussed the current state budget crisis and answered questions from attendees about issues concerning the community and the state. Among the topics discussed were:
- the possibility of highway tolls;
- Connecticut’s continued increase in state borrowing and spending even while the state is in deficit;
- proposed cuts to the Department of Developmental services; and
- privacy of student data.
There was also discussion of the governor’s failed proposal to create a statewide transit-oriented development board that would be able to circumvent local authorities.
“Town Hall meetings like this one demonstrate that our constituents are informed and interested in state government. People are very concerned about the increasing costs and declining availability and quality of state services and infrastructure,” said Rep. Lavielle.
"They are also worried about the state’s growing involvement in their daily activities and their towns. They want to know that their families’ personal information can remain private and that their local governments can retain the authority to shape the character of their towns and cities. We so appreciate when constituents take the time to share their concerns with us.
Boucher praised the size of the crowd.
“The great turnout of engaged people in the community was nice to see. Our discussions covered a lot of ground. Most notably the governor's proposed budget cuts to the state's library system, cuts to special needs programs for our children and young adults, especially those 18 to 21 years of age, and cuts to state parks," she said.
"Many asked, 'Why are we cutting the smaller budget items and not curbing spending?' The legislative process will continue and it is unclear which cuts will remain and what the final budget will look like."
Steinberg was pleased to meet with so many residents.
“Connecting with Westport residents and hearing their concerns on issues important to them is always a privilege,” he said. “The feedback received is valuable when it comes time to cast votes at the Capitol.”
Anyone who was unable to attend the event but would like to speak with the legislators may call Lavielle at 800-842-1423, Boucher at 800-842-1421 or Steinberg at 800-842-8267.
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