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Case assigned to legislative committees

HARTFORD — State Representative-elect Jay Case will serve on three committees during the 2013 legislative session. The new 63rd District state House member begins his two-year term Jan. 9, replacing outgoing two-term Republican John Rigby of Colebrook.Reached by phone this week, Case said he is excited to get to work on his three committee assignments, which are Human Services, Appropriations and Energy and Technology. “I will do my best on the committee assignments I’ve been given, and I still want to work with other committees to get things done for our community.”Case said House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-142) of Norwalk gave him his committee assignments and that the leader is aware Case wants to work on budget issues.“He said these assignments fit me best as a freshman representative. Being on the Appropriations Committee is pretty big because we get to see where the funds are placed throughout the budget. I’ll really be able to see where the money is going, and that’s where I want to be.”Cafero said in a statement that “Jay will make an excellent addition to these committees, and I know he will serve the House Republican caucus with distinction. We all rely on our key committee members to be our strongest advocates, our eyes and ears, when it comes to shaping critical legislation.“Committee rooms are where the laws of our state are shaped, and where we can make the most difference for the people of the state of Connecticut,” Cafero added.Case said he continues to believe the state needs to rein in unnecessary spending and that he wants to be particularly active on the Human Services Committee by helping less fortunate residents get access to programs and services.“We need to make sure programs are funded and that the money is being spent in the proper way,” he said.The former Winsted selectman added that being on the Energy Committee will allow him to talk about issues he’s dealt with in the past as an employee of local oil and natural gas companies. “I’m interested to see how we are going to fund the governor’s energy programs. We have more than 600 small oil companies throughout Connecticut. They’re small businesses that are the backbone of our communities.”In his official announcement of his committee assignments, Case said he is anxious to begin work for Colebrook, Goshen, Torrington and Winchester at a time when the state faces significant challenges balancing its budgets.“People out there are certainly frustrated with a government that’s long viewed tax increases as the solution to our state’s financial problems,” Case said. “Those so-called ‘solutions’ have failed over and over, and now we’re facing yet another massive state budget deficit.”Legislators during a recent special session closed a projected $250 million deficit for this fiscal year, and analysts say Connecticut already faces deficits of $1 billion in each of the next two fiscal years. Tackling those budget problems will begin next month. Case’s role on the Appropriations Committee will have him working on issues related to the spending side of the state budget, including the budgets of state agencies. Other issues under the committee’s jurisdiction include matters tied to state employee salaries, benefits and retirement, and collective bargaining agreements and arbitration awards for all state employees. The Human Services Committee deals with programs and institutions under the jurisdiction of the state’s departments of Social Services and Children and Families and the Energy and Technology Committee oversees matters relating to the Department of Public Utility Control.

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