Frey appointed Senior Republican Whip; Ferguson sworn in for first time
State Rep. John Frey (R-111), was sworn in to represent Ridgefield for a tenth term in the Connecticut House of Representatives, while State Rep. Michael Ferguson (R-138) was sworn in for his first term in the State House.
Rep. Frey, the longest-ever serving state legislator from Ridgefield, will continue to be an influential member of the House Republican caucus, having been appointed by House Minority Leader Themis Klarides (R-114) as Senior Republican Whip. This is in addition to his assignment as Ranking Member on the Transportation Bonding Sub-Committee, and positions on the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding; Banking; and Legislative Management committees.
“John Frey is a crucial part of our caucus,” said Klarides. “There are more House Republicans now than there have been in 30 years. We have several new members who will benefit greatly from John’s extensive experience in government and knowledgeable background of the legislative process from his many years of public service.”
“Connecticut has lagged behind New England and the rest of the county in its economic recovery from the recession,” Frey said. “Families in Connecticut are hurting from the mass exodus of business and capital from the state. I cannot wait to work with all of these fantastic new members, Leader Klarides, and House Democrats to get the job done to make Connecticut financially sound.”
Frey also maintained his position as Ranking Member on the Transportation Bonding Sub-Committee Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee. The Transportation Bonding subcommittee oversees bonding issues related to funding transportation infrastructure projects.
“Making badly needed improvement to the state’s infrastructure is made much more complicated by the ongoing state of fiscal crisis we find ourselves in this session, especially when there is no assurance that this money will not be diverted,” Frey stated. “We cannot allow these critical transportation funds to be raided by the governor and his party for other pet projects. Having a seat at the table where transportation dollars are allocated is important – especially to those of us in Fairfield County.”
Frey is also looking forward to his work on the Banking Committee, which has authority over all matters relating to the Department of Banking, and banks, savings banks, bank and trust companies, savings and loan associations, credit unions, the supervision of the sale of securities, fraternal benefit societies and secured and unsecured lending.
Frey will also join the Committee on Legislative Management, which conducts the business affairs of the General Assembly.
“This will be an interesting session,” Frey concluded. “We have to pull Connecticut back from the brink of financial ruin and restore the confidence of families and businesses. It is going to take both parties working together to provide accountability, predictability, and transparency."
Rep. Ferguson, who represents a part of northern Ridgefield, said he is honored to begin work in the Connecticut House of Representatives for his first term after being elected in November. Ferguson was asked by Rep. Klarides to serve on the Education Committee, which will be the center of debate over ECS funding, and concerns all matters relating to the Department of Education; local and regional boards of education and the substantive law of collective bargaining covering teachers and professional employees of such boards; vocational rehabilitation; the Commission on the Arts; and libraries, museums and historical and cultural associations.
He was also appointed to the Transportation Committee, which handles all matters relating to the Department of Transportation, including highways and bridges, navigation, aeronautics, mass transit and railroads; and to the State Traffic Commission and the Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as the Internship Committee, a statutorily created Committee whose principal responsibility is the development and administration of Connecticut General Assembly interns.
“As a member of the Danbury Board of Education, I have experienced how the state’s education policies and budget allotments directly affect students’ growth and development,” Ferguson said. “We owe it to every parent, student, and teacher – past, present, and future - to get the Education Cost Sharing right so that municipalities have all the resources they need. I cannot wait to begin work on this topic that is so critical to the future of Connecticut.”
Frey and Ferguson will serve in a House of Representatives with greater partisan parity, with 72 Republicans and 79 Democrats following the 2016 election.