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LWV hears about legislative issues

Published 12:02 pm, Saturday, February 22, 2014
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The Darien League of Women Voters hosted state Sens. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, and Carlo Leone, D-Stamford, and state Reps. Terrie Wood, R-Darien, and William Tong, D-Darien, at a legislative coffee Feb. 4.

Duff said he believed the 2013 legislative session was productive session, in particular the bill on the expansion of natural gas production and bipartisan efforts on clean energy at lower cost, according to a release from the LWV.

Leone suggested that even with a budget surplus there seemed to be enough funds to improve the transportation system, according to the league.

He said the Legislature had appealed to the federal government for funds. The bridges, he said, especially need attention.

Tong spoke of the gun control bill, which he felt needed more work. As co-chairman of the Banking Committee, he said worked with the banks to reform the foreclosure process, according to the LWV release.

Wood pointed out that the gun control bill was an highly emotional issue on both sides. She cited mental health issues as a highly significant part of the problem with "hundreds of millions of gun owners with possible mental health problems," according to the release. She also disputed the suggestion that Connecticut has a budget surplus.

The legislators also addressed affordable housing.

Wood maintained that the chairman of the Housing Committee doesn't really want changes and there is a feeling that Darien is not doing enough to provide affordable housing, according to the release. The town's moratorium expires in October 2014.

Legislation on regionalization was passed by the Legislature and became effective in January. Darien is now part of a region of 18 towns and cities.

Duff expressed his concern about taxes and control of the schools at the local level. There will be a regional school calendar with all districts having the same starting and closing dates and vacation times, according to the release. There will be potential regionalization of special education, he said. The legislators suggested that regionalization requirements are likely to be modified each year until the plan is firmly established.