A veteran lawmaker took the oath of office for his 5th term in the Connecticut General Assembly yesterday. New Fairfield Representative Richard Smith, whose district also includes parts of Sherman, New Milford and Danbury, is the House Republican Policy Chairman. In that position, Smith says he wants to develop forward-looking and common sense solutions that encourage economic growth and a balanced budget. This “long” session allows for bills on a variety of issues to be introduced, debated and voted on in committees and legislative chambers. Smith says priorities continue to include implementing long-term structural changes to restore sustainability and predictability to the budget. He says the “Prioritize Progress” transportation plan to fund and protect transportation dollars without tolls or tax increases will also be a priority. Smith will serve as a member of the Judiciary, Housing and Labor & Public Employees Committees.