Wednesday, May 16, 2012

DeLauro slams GOP over Violence Against Women Act

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) made the following remarks on the House floor this afternoon on the Republican proposal to dramatically scale back the Violence Against Women Act. The remarks are as prepared for delivery:
When one out of four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes, it is unconscionable that the Majority would try to roll back the protections in the Violence Against Women Act.
Since the Act first passed in 1994, it has changed the landscape for American women. Domestic violence has dropped by over 50 percent. And in an historic bipartisan fashion, the Senate passed a reauthorization that modernizes the Act for our times, consolidates programs, and takes additional steps to reach victims of domestic violence.
200 national organizations and 500 state and local organizations, including the National District Attorneys’ Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, and the Federal Law Enforcement Officer’s Association, support that bill. And our colleague Congresswoman Moore has put forward legislation that mirrors that bipartisan approach.
But instead of moving that bipartisan bill forward, the Majority has put forward a partisan alternative that in fact risks the lives of women.
The Department of Justice estimates that one of every three Native American women will be raped, and two out of five will be victims of domestic violence. Yet the Majority’s bill removes the provisions that are essential to ensuring Indian women have access to the Act.
Both the Senate and Congresswomen Moore’s bills strengthen protections in the Act for immigrant women. And yet the Majority’s bill would endanger the safety of immigrants.
In 2010 nearly half of lesbian and gay domestic violence survivors were turned away from shelters or denied the services because of their sexual orientation. The majority’s bill will continue to deny those individuals the community protections afforded by the act.
We are talking about women’s lives here. This is no place for partisan games. The rule before us would roll back the essential protections that have made a difference for so many women.
I urge the Majority to bring the reauthorization put forward by Congresswoman Moore reauthorization to a vote. And I urge my colleagues to vote no on this rule.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Roraback honored after nearly 8,500 votes, called “the legislature’s Cal Ripken Jr.”

The following is a release sent out today by the Senate Republican office:

On May 9 at the State Capitol, outgoing Republican Sen. Andrew Roraback was honored by state legislators for his 17 years of public service to the people of Litchfield County. 
Roraback’s colleagues in the Senate honored the Republican from Goshen, who will leave the legislature at the end of his term.
Roraback has the distinction of never having missed a roll call vote during his 17 years in the General Assembly. He’s cast 8,468 consecutively and is the only one out of 187 legislators who can claim this record. 
Some Capitol observers have referred to Roraback as “the legislature’s Cal Ripken Jr.” —  the Baltimore Orioles player who holds the record for most consecutive games played and was known as the Iron Man.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney presented Roraback with the American flag that flew over the Capitol that day, as well as a framed portrait of the Senate.  McKinney said Roraback, whose family has deep roots in western Connecticut, is, at heart, “a boy from Goshen” who brings “a Litchfield County sensibility with him to the state Senate.”
McKinney and other speakers recalled Roraback’s commitment to environmental causes, particularly farmland preservation. Colleagues praised him for his ability to work well with members on the other side of the aisle.
Roraback said he was proud to have served in the Senate, which he said is an amazing institution.
Roraback is serving his sixth term in the state Senate representing the 30th District communities of Brookfield, Canaan, Cornwall, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Morris, New Milford, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Torrington, Warren, Washington and Winchester.  Prior to his election to the State Senate, Roraback served in the Connecticut House of Representatives from 1994 through 2000.
As the Senate Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, Roraback has been at the forefront of opposition to Governor Malloy’s overreliance on tax increases to balance the state budget. He has consistently fought to eliminate unnecessary government spending and to lower the tax burden, particularly on middle class workers and small businesses. Senator Roraback has also been the voice of fiscal responsibility on the State Bond Commission, consistently voting against borrowing to pay for non-essential “pet projects.”
Born in Torrington, Roraback attended public schools in Torrington and Litchfield. A graduate of the Hotchkiss School, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from Yale University in 1983, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia Law School in 1987. He returned to Torrington in 1988 to work with his father, brother and sister at the family law firm of Roraback and Roraback, which was founded in 1883 by his great-grandfather.

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