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Capitol Connection: A Local Approach 

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

At the annual Connecticut Council of Small Towns earlier this month, towns from the Litchfield hills to the Rhode Island border united to discuss their 2015 legislative priorities. Together, town leaders shared their ideas and made their voices heard. One united and strong voice clearly emerged – a voice that spoke out against burdens on municipalities.

Every time new costs are imposed on our towns by state agencies, towns are tasked with finding new revenue to fund the new requirements. More red tape often translates to higher local taxes, something both town officials and residents hate to see.

Connecticut is ranked as one of the worst states for property taxes, with our high fees putting us in the #2 spot, according to the Tax Foundation and Kiplinger. So this year at the Capitol, in addition to tackling our state budget, legislators need to focus on giving towns the tools they need to reduce property taxes and wrangle in their own costs. That means stopping unfunded mandates and making it easier for towns to fund their own projects. … Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: Starting the Conversation 

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

Last week marked the official start of the 2015 legislative session. With the pomp and circumstance of an inauguration and the swearing in of Connecticut’s lawmakers and leaders, Connecticut opened another important chapter in our modern day history.

It is the start of a conversation; the start of a discourse that will lead us to new bills, updated laws, and legislation that I hope will improve Connecticut for our families, our children and our futures.

I’m ready to discuss the key issues at play in our state, and ready to tackle state spending, rising healthcare costs, burdensome taxes, and access to the best education. I’m also ready to put forward some ideas that I know will brighten our futures. Here’s a closer look at just some of the ideas I plan to propose legislation for this year.  … Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: The Fight Against ‘Unfunded Mandates’ — Let the Towns be Heard!

December 31, 2014 Politics, State Capitol No Comments
State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

One of the most dreaded phrases for any city or town has got to be “unfunded mandate.” This term refers to any statute or regulation that requires a local government to do something, without allocating any money to cover the costs associated with the requirements.

Here in Connecticut, we have over 1,200 mandates on cities and towns, a vast majority of which are unfunded. These unfunded mandates are controversial because they are often very well intentioned, but they can also create huge problems for cities and towns that cannot afford the added associated costs. … Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: Understanding the Legislative Process

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

We are just weeks away from the start of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Legislative Session. It’s the time of year when new ideas abound and state lawmakers work furiously to address a wide variety of concerns across Connecticut. While the session can be a busy time, it also follows a very well defined process. Understanding this process is key to understanding how government works – and, more importantly, how we can work together to better Connecticut.

The Basics

The General Assembly is made up of 36 members in the State Senate and 151 in the House of Representatives. The legislative branch also has 27 different committees which lawmakers are appointed to. In my case, I was appointed to serve on the following committees for this session: General Law, Higher Education and Employment Advancement, Legislative Management, and Regulations Review. Each committee is responsible for examining bills in different categories and fine tuning legislative proposals before they make it to the floor of the House and Senate for a vote. … Continue Reading

Murphy Wins Seat on Appropriations Committee

December 12, 2014 Politics No Comments
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy

(Submitted) WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) has announced he will join two new U.S. Senate Committees in the 114th Congress. Murphy will join the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, which is responsible for funding all of the federal government’s agencies, departments, and organizations. As a member of the Appropriations Committee, Murphy will focus on securing funding for Connecticut’s priorities, such as defense manufacturing, transportation infrastructure, and federal safety net programs. Murphy will also be a strong voice in pushing back against Republican attempts to defund the Affordable Care Act, anti-gun violence programs, and U.S. diplomatic efforts abroad. Connecticut has not had a U.S. Senator on the Appropriations Committee since 1987. … Continue Reading

Witkos Named Ranking Member of General Law and Higher Education Committees

December 12, 2014 Politics, State Capitol No Comments
State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

(Submitted) Hartford – State Senator Kevin Witkos (R-Canton), incoming Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore, has been appointed by the Senate Republican Caucus to serve as Ranking Member of the General Assembly’s General Law Committee and Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee  for the 2015-2016 legislative sessions. Senator Witkos will also serve as a member of the Regulations Review and Legislative Management committees over the next two years.

“I am honored to be reappointed as Ranking Member of the General Law Committee and I am very excited to take on a new leadership role in the Higher Education Committee,” said Senator Witkos. “I look forward to leading the discourse on significant policy issues and questions facing the state of Connecticut. Along with my fellow committee members I hope to set a legislative agenda that will improve our state’s business environment and strengthen our higher education system. Together these two initiatives will aim to increase the availability of skilled jobs while strengthening and growing Connecticut’s workforce.” … Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: No More Coins Under the Sofa Cushions

State Sen. Kevin Witkos

State Sen. Kevin Witkos

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

The state budget is out of control. Overspending has sucked our operating funds dry and pushed state officials to desperate measures, shaking their piggy banks empty and flipping the proverbial sofa cushions on a hunt for spare change. Recent reporting from the governor’s own budget director indicates that our state has now entered into “permanent fiscal crisis,” and there’s nothing left to scrape up to pay our bills.

The situation is serious, but the first and most important step in getting our finances back on track is getting our state leaders to stop living in a fantasyland. … Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: Energizing the Spirit of Giving

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

The holiday season is officially here! It’s a time of celebration, appreciation and also an important time to give back to others.

While we all have much to be thankful for in this great country, poverty and hardship are still a sad part of everyday life for many. And when the holidays hit, and winter approaches, these issues are often brought to the forefront of the conversation. In each and every community there are people who need help, and there are also those who understand that and work very hard to give back. I am constantly inspired by the amazing individuals and non-profit organizations that dedicate themselves fully and completely to help others, especially in our own community. Now is the time of year to not only give back, but also to recognize those who do so on a daily basis. … Continue Reading

Capitol Connection: Support ‘Small Business Saturday’

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

State Sen. Kevin Witkos.

From the Office of State Senator Kevin Witkos

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities, and supporting them is vital to supporting a healthy economy and way of life.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2014 report, Connecticut has 329,307 small businesses that employ 710,034 people, or what was about half of the state’s private workforce in 2011. … Continue Reading

Witkos Re-Elected to Connecticut’s 8th Senate District Seat

Shortly after 9 p.m. Tuesday, state Sen. Kevin Witkos (R-8) declared victory over Democratic challenger Melissa Osborne.

“I’m looking forward to the next two years as your state senator,” Witkos told supporters at Saybrook Fish House in Canton.

Reached by phone shortly after 9 p.m., Osborne agreed Witkos was the winner. … Continue Reading

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9:00 am Wii Bowling @ Canton Senior Center
Wii Bowling @ Canton Senior Center
Apr 27 @ 9:00 am
Have you ever wished you could continue to bowl without putting on bowling shoes or lugging a heavy ball?  You’re in LUCK!!  Join the Canton Senior Center Wii Bowling Team, The Canton Rollers.  Show off your bowling skills or learn new ones at the Senior Center.  Mondays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays ...