S T A T E    O F    T H E    S T A T E
  -  C T    A N    O P P O R T U N I T Y    A R E A  :    And what about ethics?  What about tampons?

HOW DO YOU THINK THE BLOCK GRANT IDEA WILL PLAY OUT?  AFTER ELECTION DAY 2016, FOR SURE...ONLY OUR IDEAS IN THE "GRAPHIC" COMMENTS ABOVE.

WATCH OUT:  THIS MAY BECOME A LINE IN ANOTHER FUTURE "IMPLEMENTER"...

S H O R T    S E S S I O N    2 0 1 6 :   B I L L S    O F    I N T E R E S T    T O    A B O U T     W E S T O N

What to watch for on the Land Use front:  MORE, MORE and yet MORE attempts to regionalize  activities.  We have been attending all open public meetings of the WestCOG organization, as well.

We watch several Legislative Committees:  Planning & Development, Environment, Housing as well as Transportation and related entities working in these areas.  And we have been watching the CT Tax Panel meetings as well as the Transportation Finance Panel ones, too.  Thank you, CT-N!!!

A good link we have confidence in using:  http://cthousegop.com/gail-lavielle/
Or try here for a different take on issues:  http://www.housedems.ct.gov/rojas/

F O U R T H    E S T A  T E    R E P O R T S : 

Pre-Session bills filed (usually by Minority Party) - http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/early_bills_for_2016_session_focus_on_tax_reform/











WestCOG voice (picture from a WestCOG meeting).  And don't forget the Yale tax story - constitutional or not, we would bet C.G.A. would be dumb enough to try:   http://www.newhavenindependent.org/index.php/archives/entry/yale_evict_symphony/

        

FROM CT MIRROR ARTICLE...

“Get rid of that (sales tax) money, get rid of the (municipal spending) cap, and just leave us alone,” Ridgefield First Selectman Rudy Marconi, a Democrat, said during a municipal lobbying event at the Capitol on March 1.  And the same message from CCM President Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury just after the Regular Session and on the cusp of Special Session May 12, 2016.




B U D G E T    R E V I S I O N    S U G G E S T I O N S


VOLUNTEER TO BE FIRED - THAT SEEMS TO BE WHAT THIS WOULD END UP AS...story in full:  http://ctmirror.org/2016/04/14/college-president-encourages-employees-to-take-unpaid-time-off/

MAS  MACHO DEPT:  http://www.nhregister.com/government-and-politics/20160412/malloy-releases-plan-to-cut-922m-budget-deficit-with-deeps-cuts-to-education-town-aid

Finance Revenue and Bonding as well as Appropriations can't make the numbers work.


"...Connecticut to become both the richest and the most unequal state in the nation" - AFL-CIO on the G.O.P.  suggestions.

And the Governor uses a knife - his actions and rescission story

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TRANSIT CORRIDOR BILL RETURNS...INCLUDES "DEVELOPMENT DISTRICT" TAKING POSSIBILITY
From SB90:  "Development district" means an area around a transit station, determined by a memorandum of agreement between the authority and the chief executive officer of the municipality where such transit station is located and approved by the legislative body of the municipality where such transit station is located, provided such area shall not exceed a one-half mile radius of such transit station..."  FYI - The New Britain-Hartford Busway is considered a transit corridor.


CHARTER THE SHORT SESSION:  Is this related to C.C.J.E.F. lawsuit?  http://ctmirror.org/2016/02/05/malloy-increase-charter-school-cut-neighborhood-school-funding/
So the big thing is to do the budget implementer before the eleventh hour...speaking of the eleventh hour, it is sometimes significant even more what happens along the way as bills turn into...sausages.

TOPICS: 





You have to look for this - https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/pddata/cbr/cbr11.asp
Governor's S.B. No. 19 Session Year 2016
AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE TRANSIT CORRIDOR DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE AUTHORITY.

To implement the Governor's budget recommendations.  And boy do they ever!  What was it that Patrick Henry said?  "Give me libert or gove me the transit corridor development assistance authority with an emphasis on AUTHORITY."  Check this part out:

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE TRANSIT CORRIDOR DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE AUTHORITY.
Governor's Bill # 19

6) "Transit station" means any passenger railroad station or Hartford-New Britain busway project station that is operational, or for which the department has initiated planning or that is included in the state-wide transportation investment program.

(a) section is missing???

(b) There is hereby established and created a body politic and corporate, constituting a public instrumentality and political subdivision of the state established and created for the performance of an essential public and governmental function, to be known as the Transit Corridor Development Assistance Authority. The authority shall not be construed to be a department, institution or agency of the state.

(c) (1) The powers of the authority shall be vested in and exercised by a board of directors, which shall consist of fifteen members: (A) Five appointed by the Governor; (B) one appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives; (C) one appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate; (D) one appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; (E) one appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; (F) one appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; (G) one appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; and (H) the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, the Commissioner of Transportation, The Commissioner of Housing, and The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development, or their designees, who shall serve as ex-officio members of the board, with the right to vote.

(2) In addition to the members listed under subdivision (1) of this subsection, the chief elected official of each municipality in which an authority development project is planned, or such official's designee, shall serve as an ad hoc, voting member of the board solely for matters directly affecting such municipality and not including matters pertaining to the general operations of the authority.

(3) In addition to the members listed under subdivisions (1) and (2) of this subsection, the executive director of the regional council of governments for the planning region in which an authority development project is planned, or such executive director's designee, shall serve as an ad hoc, nonvoting member of the board solely for matters directly affecting such region and not including matters pertaining to the general operations of the authority.

(4) In addition to the members listed under subdivisions (1), (2) and (3) of this subsection, the legislative body of the municipality in which an authority development project is planned shall appoint a representative of the minority community to serve as an ad hoc, nonvoting member of the board solely for matters directly affecting such community and not including matters pertaining to the general operations of the authority.

(5) The Governor shall designate the chairperson of the board from among the voting members. All initial appointments shall be made not later than November 1, 2016. The terms of the initial board members shall be as follows: (A) The five members appointed by the Governor shall serve terms of four years from the date of appointment; (B) the members appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives and the president pro tempore of the Senate shall serve a term of two years from the date of appointment; (C) the members appointed by the majority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall serve a term of two years from the date of appointment; and (D) the members appointed by the minority leaders of the House of Representatives and the Senate shall serve a term of two years from the date of appointment. Thereafter, all members shall be appointed by the original appointing authority for four-year terms. Any member of the board shall be eligible for reappointment. Any vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment for the balance of the unexpired term. The appointing authority for any member may remove such member for misfeasance, malfeasance or wilful neglect of duty.

(6) Each member of the board, before commencing such member's duties, shall take and subscribe the oath or affirmation required by article XI, section 1, of the state Constitution. A record of each such oath shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of the State.






H.J. No. 1 - Session Year 2016
RESOLUTION PROPOSING A STATE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT TO PROTECT THE RESOURCES OF THE SPECIAL TRANSPORTATION FUND.






Governor's H.B. No. 5047 Session Year 2016
AN ACT CONCERNING EXEMPTIONS UNDER THE PROPERTY TAX:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05047&which_year=2016










                 

READ STORY HERE:  ADJUSTMENTS TO PROPERTY TAX SYSTEM?


So do you think this board game is too close to reality?  What are the odds?  From CT MIRROR today, Feb. 1, 2016:

"Republican legislators offered a blueprint Monday to curb future state spending by, among other things, no longer guaranteeing worker retirement benefits by contract.

"The plan offered by minority Republicans in the House and Senate also recommends:




"VALUE CAPTURE" FOR DUMMIES - THE CONNECTICUT WAY
 Big Changes On The Horizon For How The State Budgets
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Jan 27, 2016 5:30am

...House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, said Tuesday that the state has to get serious about recognizing the need to change how government operates at both the state and local level...That means taking steps to require performance measures for grants that are doled out to cities and towns..For Sharkey that means requiring towns to combine their emergency call centers. He said it’s absurd that the state allows every single town and every single municipal police department to run their own call center...story in full:   http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/big_changes_on_the_horizon_for_how_the_state_budgets/




Barnes Was Vague, But Spokesman Said Malloy Is Not Proposing Tax Hikes
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Jan 26, 2016 1:16pm

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director tried to be as vague as possible about whether the governor will propose a tax increase when he releases his budget next week to the General Assembly...

Sharkey said the state needs to fundamentally change how it thinks about funding services. He said municipalities should not get the same level of state funding, if they continue to avoid achieving efficiency through regionalization. He suggested the state could even save some money, if cities and towns don’t agree to share services.

The days of subsidizing cities and towns with state funds without accountability is over, according to Sharkey.   Story in full:   http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/barnes_was_vague_but_spokesman_said_malloy_is_not_proposing_tax_hikes/







    
                

WHAT WILL GLOBAL WARMING MEAN FOR THE CORRIDOR EAST-WEST?

DRONES?  Which Committee?  No bills there yet...what's up?  http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Legislators-to-float-drone-laws-6827527.php

SMOKIN' POT, NEVER MIND THE MEDICAL KIND, LEGALIZED???  BEING RE-INTRODUCED.

BEES & BUTTERFLY ISSUE:  http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_POLLINATOR_HEALTH_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-01-25-09-19-41

What will Transportation Committee be up to?  Finding a new Commissioner of Motor Vehicles?

COURANT:  "Andres Ayala Jr. has submitted his resignation as state Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner after a nightmarish year of problems – including snafus with a new computer system, a tripling of wait times for DMV customers, erroneous revocation of drivers' vehicle registrations, and the release of false information to the public."  More here:  http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-dmv-0120-20160120-story.html

Senate Chair. of CT Transportation Committee: http://www.theday.com/local/20160119/police-confirm-sen-maynard-was-driving-wrong-way
  

Any ideas?  Two comments - number one:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op-ed_failed_leadership_taxes_contempt_ushered_ge_out_the_door/#cmt

And number two:  “...The driving boom is over,” he said. “If we’re going to attract talent to the state, if we’re going to keep young people in the state after they graduate from college, we need to be providing people options that allow people to not depend on their cars.”  Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/transportation_advocates_lawmaker_lobby_against_plans_to_widen_i-95/




  
YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP - GUESS WHO IS THE 2016 TRANSPORTATION COMMITTEE'S CO-CHAIR?


Police: Investigation continues in two-car crash involving Sen. Maynard
DAY
By Julia Bergman
Published January 16. 2016 7:17PM | Updated January 16. 2016 8:09PM

Waterford — Police continue to investigate a two-car accident involving state Sen. Andrew Maynard, D-Stonington...more to come on this one?





NO JOKE.  HOW WILL THEY "ADJUST" THE BUDGET NOW, IN LIGHT OF OUTFLOW OF HIGH $$ JOBS?  BINGO!!!  HAVE THE PROPERTY TAX BE AN EXTRA % OR SO PER COMMUNITY ABOVE SOME LINE, TO REWARD THOSE BELOW???  JUST ASKING!


"INSTEAD OF G.E.?"-  CT'S ECONOMY FLICKERING...






How many ideas from the M.O.R.E. Commission will become bills by switching tenses in existing statutes?  Or dumping more unfunded mandates on Towns?

       
In Connecticut donkeys are bigger than elephants...and it is down the rabbit hole again - one way to describe the process of "how a bill becomes a law."  At right, heron cringes.

"GETTING THEIR DUCKS IN A ROW" AN EXPRESSION USED IN POLITICS FOR VOTE COUNTING - THE HERON FINDS IT RATHER TACKY:
http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_HUNTING_SURVEY_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-12-31-12-51-40






COMING IN FEBRUARY:  A BILL ABOUT CHANGING THE PROPERTY TAX, PERHAPS?  OR WILL THIS COME IN SPECIAL SESSION INSTEAD WITH NO PUBLIC HEARING, IN THE IMPLEMENTER?


      


SHARED PROPERTY TAX?
Surprise!  No, first the Executive Branch will be pulling pulling our the teeth, or financial power, from the Legislature.  Following on "zero based budgeting" which to Democrats means having Fairfield County get...ZERO, the Governor will seek to get all people in Fairfield County's passwords to their finances (just joking)...







FOLLOWING BILLS IS AN ART;  CT MIRROR VERSION HERE - SEEING THEM BECOME LAW, OR NOT, IS MAKING SAUSAGES.
About Town follows land use related subjects.  This might be a hot session for us!  We note that $$ in the form of property tax, that communities depend upon, is on the chopping block. 

Usually, the Short Session is for budget adjustments, but as the OPM Secretary said, we are in a state of permanent fiscal crisis...but in any case:

If you don't believe me, just follow a bill as it goes from Committee to Committee, to the Floor and back again (of each house) first - like a square dance caller's "DoSaDo" and then a quiet death for many in the GAE Committee...



Public Health Committee Bill Record Book - "WATERING DOWN" BILL ON...WATER?

Not really applicable to Weston, but interesting!  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5350&which_year=2016

An example of a "what's that again?" bill
Fluoride bill for (reducing amount of it in) public water supplies:  http://ctmirror.org/2016/04/13/session-notes-house-passes-new-water-fluoridation-standard/





      


Planning & Development Committee Bill Record Book

Transit Corridor Development Authority back - SB19.

This bill is a travesty.  And right out of the block, having been JF'd to the floor, it is sent to...the Transportation Committee.  However it is on the Senate Calendar #275.  It has been worked over by P&D as well as Transportation...not on the House calendar yet.

Please read here why:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/PDdata/Tmy/2016SB-00019-R000304-Francis%20Pickering,%20Executive%20Director%20Western%20CT%20Council%20of%20Governments%20-TMY.PDF


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GOVERNOR MALLOY NEUTERS WATCHDOGS AND PUNISHES ANYONE WHO VOICES OPPOSITIO

Head Election Regulator Warns Support For Bill Could Prove Fatal To Landmark Campaign Law
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Mar 8, 2016 5:30am

The head of Connecticut’s election enforcement agency warned lawmakers Monday that a piece of legislation they’re considering would change how political parties operate in Connecticut...S.E.E.C. suing Democrats over the Gubernatorial Election of 2014...will that be moot after Legislature passes this bill?  Read more here:
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/head_election_regulator_warns_support_for_bill_could_prove_fatal_to_landmar/#more

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Here it comes again!  Transit Corridor Development Authorityhttps://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=19&which_year=2016


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And not to be ignored, a camel-like covering bill for all things sustainable:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/2016/TOB/s/2016SB-00090-R00-SB.htm






     


Environment Committee Bill Record Book




PUBLIC HEARING AT CONNECTICUT LEGISLATURE

Environment Committee entertains, in a daytime public hearing March 14th, one of my favorite personalities of Legislative lore - "The Silver Fox"

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ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE FEB. 5, 2016:  WE SUSPECT EARLY PUBLIC HEARINGS, BUT WHAT DO WE KNOW?  PLASTIC BAGS REDUX?
Environment Committee raises 41 bills - appropriately, they met (leaving the meeting open for votes later in the day) while other Committees cancelled - Wednesday Feb. 10 next meeting.









Housing Committee Bill Record Book









Transportation Committee Bill Record Book

Two bills to check out - the first is what I call the TESLA BILL
Second is Proposed H.B. 5041, privatize the D.M.V.





    
Photo by M.S. Wirtenberg
Governor Malloy (pictured [l] when Mayor Malloy) at Legislative Breakfast held by SWRPA;  2016 Malloy.. 

The Governor's State of the State speech here. 
Our summary below, that we think can be simply called  "The Five Pillars of CT Government" as expressed by Governor Malloy in his State of the State 2016 speech.

First:  "...Going forward, we need to limit our spending to available resources. We can do it by changing our 'current services' budget approach."

Second:  "...Here’s the second principle: We cannot structurally balance our budget for the long run until we have addressed the primary driver of our long-term unfunded obligations."

Third:  "...The third principle is this: We need to prioritize funding for core services."

Fourth:  "...The fourth principle is this: State agencies must be held accountable to the public and the legislature for their results."

Fifth:  "...Here’s the fifth and final principle: We’ve talked about limiting our spending, we’ve talked about our pension and post-employment cost, we’ve talked about setting priorities, and we’ve talked about focusing on results."






B U D G E T   I M P L E M E N T E R    B I L L S