Lawrence ("Larry") Cafero, leader of the Republicans in the Connecticut General Assembly's House of Representatives, will be the guest speaker at The Republican Club of Darien's 2011 Speakers' Forum on the morning of March 5 at the DCA. Doors will open at 8 a.m. (for coffee, pastries, fruit and conversation) and the program will start at 8:30 a.m.. All Darienites are welcome to attend. RSVP via e-mail to DarienRepublican@aol.com.

In keeping with the club's 2011 forum theme "Tightening the Belt," Cafero will speak on the topic of the state's fiscal woes and, particularly, on the state budget. Governor Malloy's proposed budget would increase Connecticut's top gross income tax rate to 6.7 percent. Cafero will be available for a question and answer session after his talk. The club's annual meeting and election of directors will follow.

Representative Cafero (142nd District), a life-long resident of Norwalk, has served in the state legislature since 1992. Cafero was selected by his colleagues to be the House Republican Leader for a third term following the 2010 elections. In addition to serving as Minority Leader for two prior terms, he previously served as Deputy Leader for six terms. Prior to being elected to the state legislature, Cafero was a member of the Norwalk Board of Education for six years (serving as chairman of the board in his final term).

In 2010, Cafero authored and then led Republicans across the state to embrace what he calls the "Common Sense Commitment to Connecticut," a five-point plan to put Connecticut back on solid fiscal ground. The common sense approach relies on reducing state spending and borrowing, making government smaller and more responsive to its residents, and achieving greater efficiencies in the delivery of state services. Visit http://commonsensecommitment.com/.

As minority leader, Cafero and his fellow Republicans were successful in 2007 to getting the legislature to adopt their "No Tax Increase Budget." In 2008, the budget presented by the House Republicans under Cafero's leadership would have eliminated the state's deficit at the time without raising taxes. That 2008 budget was not the one adopted by the Democrat-controlled legislature, however.

Throughout his legislative career, Cafero has been instrumental in crafting legislation to support education. Cafero has served as the Ranking Republican House member on the Education Committee and was a member of the Judicial, Appropriations and Labor Committees.

Cafero is a graduate of Norwalk High School, University of Connecticut with a bachelor's degree in political science and Western New England College School of Law. He is a partner in the law firm of Brown Rudnick of Hartford. He and his wife live in West Norwalk where they raised three children.

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