State delegates get sworn in January 9

Milford’s state delegation will be sworn in Jan. 9, along with other members of the state House and Senate, and this year’s Milford panel includes one new face: Democrat James Maroney, who was elected to the 119th District seat.

Maroney will take over the seat long held by state Rep. Richard Roy. Roy did not run for re-election this year because after redistricting lines were drawn, he no longer lived in the district he represented.

“My biggest goal is to carry on the tradition of the Milford and Orange delegations, and represent Milford well,” Maroney said. “I know there is a lot to learn, and I have been attending various meetings throughout the state and touring some local businesses to learn more about their needs and how best to represent us in Hartford.”

Roy has offered his advice and offered to be a resource for the younger politician.

“I feel I will be able to benefit greatly from his knowledge, especially when it comes to environmental issues,” Maroney said.

Maroney is currently serving his first term as majority leader on the Board of Education.

He can technically serve on the school board and as a state representative at the same time, said school spokesperson Kathy Bonetti. But Maroney said he will step down at the end of January, once 2013-14 budget discussions have wrapped up.

The Democrats will then be able to appoint a Democrat from the 1st District to fill his unexpired term.

On the state level, Maroney joins Milford’s all-Democrat panel: incumbent state Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-14th District) and incumbent state Reps. Paul Davis (D-117th District) and Kim Rose (D-118th District).

Before the election, Slossberg said she planned to focus on getting the economy moving forward.

On jobs, she said, “We’re not there yet.” Work has been done, from streamlining regulations, to creating tax incentives and loan and grant programs, to helping businesses, but more needs to be done, she said.

After winning the November election, Rose, who sits on the state’s storm task force, said she plans to bring some storm preparation suggestions to the table this term in response to Hurricane Sandy damage.

Davis said earlier that he will be keeping an eye on taxes and trying to keep them in check while maintaining funding for municipalities and education.

School safety and related issues will come up for discussion in light of the Newtown shootings, said Davis, who is a retired schoolteacher.

“I can’t imagine there wouldn’t be a lot of discussion on this topic when you have a tragedy that impacted the way we look at the world,” Davis said.

He said talks will cover school safety, mental health issues and gun control. As a former teacher, he believes he has information to bring to the table, such as simple safety measures — the types of doors that are used within the schools, for example — that might cost money but would likely increase safety.

The 2013 regular legislative session runs Jan. 9 until June 5.