We found Chris Perone. He’s cashing his checks.
When he missed the most important vote in the Connecticut legislature this year dealing with Police Accountability, Chris Perone complained he had new job training to attend and if he missed the training, he’d lose the job.
I sympathize with that choice, but the fact is, Chris Perone was elected to show up in Hartford and represent his district. That is his job. He applied for it, he got it and he is paid for it.
Choices must be made. And Chris Perone chose his private job over the job he was elected to do.
As one legislator put it, “Floor votes in the House of Representatives are the most important. You have to be on your death bed to miss a floor vote.” Chris Perone has only been called on three days this year to participate in House of Representatives votes. He missed the first day entirely, attended the second, and attended part of the third before exiting to attend his other job. He was one of only seven representatives in the 151 member House of Representatives to miss the vote on Police Accountability. And he was the one-and-only legislator to miss floor votes on two occasions this year.
Legislators don’t make it easy to find their attendance records and in Chris Perone’s case there is good reason.
Chris Perone is a member of the Energy and Technology Committee—that is the legislature’s oversight committee dealing with, among other matters, regulation of Eversource, our electric provider. Following the horrible performance by Eversource in restoration of power after Tropical Storm Isaias, the Energy and Technology Committee met via Zoom. Chris Perone was one of only four representatives not to attend that meeting. The Energy and Technology Committee met on 11 occasions during this session. Chris Perone was absent five times.
The $28,000 base salary paid annually to Connecticut’s representatives and senators ranks 20th highest nationally. The state also provides another $4,500 to representatives for expenses they don’t have to document. Add to those dollars the medical insurance benefits provided for legislators and their families—with just a $15 deductible—and the compensation begins to look like its worth going to work. Don’t forget there is a guaranteed retirement benefit given to legislators who have served as long as Chris.
Even if one were not to think of legislative financial reward as generous, elected officials accept their job and that pay with an expectation among constituents that when there is work to be done, they will show up to do the work.
Chris Perone has accepted more nearly half a million taxpayer dollars during his time in Hartford, not including health care benefits and his anticipated pension. That is not small change. This year there was no more important nor consequential vote than that on police accountability and Chris missed it. There was no more important matter pertaining to public health, safety, and cost than the performance of utilities this summer and Chris missed that one, too.
As Chris Perone pointed out in assessing his private job, he expects to get fired if he does not show up. He ought to think the same way about the job we taxpayers pay for.
Republican Candidate to represent the 137th District in the Connecticut Legislature, endorsed by the Connecticut Independent Party.