LINK TO IMPLEMENTER AS SUMMARIZED BY OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH



V E T O    S E S S I O N


SPECIAL SESSION RULES, 11:17am;  Resolution 401, 501, 502, 503, adopted by Senate, 12:30pm...Senate stands at ease...7601 move for reconsideration.


Sen. Osten makes the case for override. Sen. Formica stands to support her motion.  Done.


  

SPECIAL SESSION RULES, 11:17am;  Resolution 401, 501, 502, 503, transmitted to Senate

Emergency Cert.7601 called, reconsider vote (11:23am);  at right, only 4 "no" votes - those who might have gone on record but chose not to were absent, as well as legislators who couldn't make it. 11:38am adjourned.  





SLAM DUNK
The 2017 Special Session that never ended may not have ended if the Governor vetoes the Medicare Savings Program fix approved by both House and Senate Monday, January 8, 2018...

HOUSE Emergency Certified bill - 7601

Medicare Savings Program

           
Interesting debate. 
Bipartisan concern that this was not part of a holistic approach.  Seniors let their legislators hear it and that made a difference!


PASSES IN BOTH
One vote no in Senate and three in the House.  Veiled partisan debate.





IN THE NEXT WEEKS...HOW ABOUT MONDAY, JAN. 8th?
Squeezing in just one more Special Session day.  About Town reads this as no problem, but what do we know?  A report here on the Special Session that never ends...

      
IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL ITS OVER - THE CALENDAR YEAR LEAKS INTO 2018...
AS IN SPECIAL SESSION WILL COME IN 2018 AFTER BEING EXTENDED ON DEC. 29, 2017 BY...MOTION FROM REP. CURREY.





H O U S E

DO WE FINALLY HAVE A BUDGET FOR THE BIENNIUM BEGUN JULY FIRST?
NOVEMBER 15 HOUSE APPROVES SENATE BILL AND SENDS TO GOVERNOR FOR HIS SIGNATURE.  AGAIN.  AND YET AGAIN.

SPEAKER PRESIDES THE ENTIRE TIME

  
SESSION DAY BEGINSReminder of the out years. 
Renters rebate complaint begins the Session and GOP reminder of the out years.   .


CT-N SUSPECT
CT-N diss (echo of Sen. Bye by Dep. Speaker Pro Tempore) ends it with what sounded like a threat.... 

Vote:  See interesting pattern of yes/no - Republicans free to vote no - only one Democrat goes against compromise...



Others stayed home...or did not vote.   All over in maybe 50 minutes.


S E N A T E
Tuesday November 14, 2017

In caucus for an hour.   When they are called, 34 of 36 Senators are present.


Sen. Hartley opens session day, and runs the meeting until the end, when Lt. Gov. steps in.



10:38 - Emergency Certified bill #1503
Roll Call - 34-0
Transmittal to House.



Explanation:  #1503 is correction in lines T4-11 of previous document.  Hospital change.  Voice vote.


Sen.  Looney leads the pledge, speaks later re:  World Series.

Adjourned 10:55am subject to the call of the Chair.







Special Session continues into late autumn - let us hope it is online - YES!!!

Nov. 14 (Senate - 9:30am) & Nov. 15 (House - 12:30pm) announced on CT Legislative website Sunday.



CT-N  "
INSTANT" coverage of the Governor getting antsy not helpful.
Legislative leaders thus, perhaps, not sympathetic?  Their closed door negotiations, caused by his veto of bipartisan budget Sept. 16 imperiled.  And the latest on Crumbling Foundations...



         
@3PM, OCT. 31, GOVERNOR SIGNS BUDGET, LINE ITEM VETOES HOSPITAL TAX FUNDING;  SIGNS MILLSTONE BILL.  MORE ON SECURITY AT MILLSTONE.  PLANS ARE TO PUT A BANDAID ON VARIOUS BOO-BOOS.




A storm is brewing.  Good reason for the Governor to veto the bipartisan budget...by today or tomorrow or Thursday?
Governor Malloy is timing his veto to make it drown in the noise of the Russia investigation and CT resident, perchance.  Check this out:  http://www.thehour.com/local/article/Malloy-to-lawmakers-fix-hospital-tax-in-budget-12317167.php


Links to who voted which way above.
WORD FOR WORD HERE.


READ OFA DESCRIPTION ABOUT WHAT'S IN IT - BUDGET PASSES
  AND SPENDING CAP GETS 60% (MORE THAN THAT EVEN!!!)   Separate vote of Dominion (nuclear power station) Bill passed as well.
SPECIAL SESSION TO GET STARTED AFTER REVENUE ESTIMATES ADOPTED BY FINANCE, REVENUE & BONDING. . .


LATE LAMENTED SPENDING CAP COMMISSION MENTIONED AS A WAY NOT TO DO IT
Rep. Ziobron is lead speaker supporting Republican, now Senate, budget.  No earmarks.  New clarity in reporting we might add!!!





What do the Republicans see as the path out of the fiscal mess?

Our two-dozen or so favorite parts of the Implementer:

Diversions, encroachment and a plan for the next biennium school funding formulae.  We are preparing the next About Town column to give a full report.



DOMINION
CT MIRROR is presently going over the 1000 pp Implementer for "rats".  Bonding for crumbling foundations, XL center and Hartford the City on the Brink, we think.



OCTOBER 26, 2017

Fasten you seat belts...
Taking bets on when the gavel calls it in and out;  how many caucuses;  which amendments pass if any...ANS:  On time, 5 hrs. including wait for Dominion debate, lots of questions, no caucuses.


House called into Session at 10 AM promptly...

1502 State Budget, OLR ANALYSIS:    https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/BA/2017SB-01502-R00SS1-BA.htm


-----------------------


1501







IMPLEMENTER
 
  On Dominion/Millstone. Small mind argument but we ask who would profit?  Redistribution of profits.  DEREGULATION is back. DEEP, PURA.  What's next?  So that is how the budget will fall apart?

FIRST Amendment (not freedom of the press...) fails.  55 - 87


Another amendment
Nuclear industry, 53-87.  Very good debate and NONpartisan. 

VOTE ON THE BILL: 75-66; 10 absent.  Transmit 1502 and 1501 to Governor.

ADJOURN 3pm




...Enabling the American Family to Thrive

Yesterday, Ivanka Trump joined Senate and House Republicans at the Capitol to discuss the importance of increasing the child tax credit to benefit working families of America. Our tax code must recognize and support the reality that the majority of parents in the United States are a part of the workforce. As wages have stagnated over the years, the cost of raising a family has grown exponentially, creating a critical need for tax reform to ensure that all American families can invest in their children and thrive.








SO WHAT DID THE COMPROMISE BRING?

Democrat caucus called at 9:41pm...we went to sleep and awoke to find this agreement!






How to pay for budget comes first...Rep. Rojas calls FR&B to order and goes into recess..."CLARITY OF CHAOS" Sen. Leone.  YES - 33,  NO - 2 (out of 51 members)


Play-by-play as we watch it...who's on F,R&B
Answer:  Everybody!  Above, Rep. Rojas, House Chair. and Sens. Fonfara and Frantz are Co-Chairs. (not shown).  This is where we find out how the Legislature is planning to fund the bottom line of their budget.  .

Last time this Committee met was prior to the Sept 15-16 votes to approve the Republican budget with some Democrats joining because of deep seated concerns about financial situation going forward...and now we see that all Republicans do not agree.

        
We're taking bets...this will not be a "rat free" Implementer:   Answer - no.   At least they are bipartisan rats on our sinking ship?
VOTE:  33-2, 16 absent.



OOPS.  Is it going to unravel?  Nope.  Will it be vetoed?  Yup.


BREAKING NEWS FROM NEWSPAPER OF RECORD, OR LEGISLATIVE NON-NEWS
Suddenly people are worried about what is in the Implementer - like, OMG they expect Democrats to read a 900 page document on the fly???  1000pp?  Enough support for a veto override?






WHAT IS THE "HARTFORD DEAL" - CONNECTICUT WANTS TO KNOW.  AND HOW WILL ENDING CAR/PERSONAL PROPERTY TAX HELP?

So the municipalities have been saved from funding  (first) Teachers' Pensions...but how will communities live without the car tax - and does this apply to other personal property too?  Taunting exchange.

MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY...AGAIN


WE PREDICT ANOTHER VETO IF YOU CONSIDER HOW THE ACTUAL FACTS AS OPPOSED TO MANIPULATED FACTS ARE ROLLING OUT IT SEEMS EVERY OTHER DAY...
"...The tax on teachers is meant to offset the loss of revenue caused by rejection of a proposal by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to have cities and towns begin contributing to the underfunded pension system for public school teachers, a cost now borne by teachers and the state."  This was in the Republican budget the Legislature passed Sept. 16 and the Governor vetoed subsequently.


              
"So where's the budget agreement?" Governor Malloy asks.   Anything doing at C.G.A. today?  Surprise!  Legislative leaders agree...
Do you think the Governor suffers from addition and subtraction deficit disorder?  (Like not understanding the significance of the 18-18 tie in Senate)?

         

NEWS:  
Government is a three-legged stool or was the four or five?




" G O O D    B U D G E T    F O R    D A N B U R Y "




"Our Union, right or wrong" means something else in CT.


V E T O    S E S S I O N    A T    H I G H    N O O N
Or not.  And immediately into caucus.  Recommence after 1:30pm...already 1:45pm.  The Legislature's music is very easy to take.


So how will this go down? 
New glasses for the Governor - can become warm and fuzzy as a new grandfather?  "The House will convene immediately..."  Pledge, prayer...blame game.

VETO MESSAGE by Governor (second from left) read in total.  Budget and Implementer rejected by him (reasons for veto) because pensions, limits on States unilateral SEBAC powers and fiscal cliff created.  And also takes away from all the new  programs he created.

7501

STRATEGY 101

"...Under the rules, only members who voted in favor of the budget last month could make the motion. As such, the vast majority of the House Democratic caucus was unable to make the motion."  (Hartford Courant report 10-3-17)

Motion for reconsideration (has to be made by someone who voted for the budget that had passed previously) simple majority;  second, 2/3 vote for repassage.  Path forward?  Oct. 31st is the drop dead date.  Majority Leader (above right) says $850 million identical.  Pass this part.  Meet next week...Minority Leader says WTF or legislatively more correct,. "so why did we drag everyone out today?"  Since the Republicans weren't going to move for reconsideration until the issue had been properly aired (Oct. 10th their date).  To me the significant point was that NO DEMOCRAT WHO HAD VOTED FOR THE BUDGET BROKE RANKS.

Adjourn 2:30pm.




SPECIAL SESSION TUESDAY AT NOON IN THE HOUSE TO (NOT) OVERRIDE GOVERNOR'S VETO
"Quick pitch" by House Democrats in order to cut short debate and assure no override (2/3) during "Veto Session."  Thus Governor to run Connecticut by himself.

BUT WAIT A MINUTE - QUICK CALL FOR HOUSE VOTE TO OVERRIDE VETO (BY DEMOCRATS) AND AS THEY SAY, REMEMBER THIS IN NOVEMBER...

“Vetoing the only state budget at this time is blindly accepting the governor’s executive order,’’ said Fasano. “It’s accepting hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts to towns, cities and schools. It’s accepting a $56 million cut to Hartford. It’s accepting teacher layoffs and property tax increases. It’s accepting additional cuts to nonprofits and social services. The worst part about all of this is it doesn’t have to be this way.’’

V E T O   S E S S I O N
October 10th correct date... WestCOG speaking for us all...

          
TO BE OR NOT TO BE...THAT IS THE QUESTION FOR TOWNS WITH CHARTERS

One guess is that the House Speaker and his minions will try to include a "Veto Session" - http://www.thehour.com/local/article/House-session-for-veto-override-accelerated-12241369.php



A "BAND-AID APPROACH" TO THE BIENNIAL BUDGET, DON'T YOU THINK
Governor Malloy is  1)asking the hospitals to give up their lawsuit and  2)at the same time, getting permission (not in writing) from the Feds for missing the Oct. 1 Medicaid deadline...hmmm...






SO HERE'S THE PLAN:  SPECIAL SESSION  BEFORE OCT 1st TO APPROVE THE HOSPITALS ARRANGEMENT TO MAKE CT ELIGIBLE FOR $$ FROM FEDS...
"Crumbling foundations" time bomb for Grand Lists.  Bipartisan concern to Eastern CT.   Marble floors and at CT Capitol out of step?  Perchance an override to veto if necessary?







Connecticut journalists interviewing the Republicans leadership (above).   "Side by side" comparisons coming?
Believing that the Republican - no, the Legislature's - budget has a scorched earth policy on hospitals and UCONN, the fourth estate parrots the Democrat criticisms.  "Structural change" can include merging stuff, among other things, to achieve less bureaucracy  and duplication - removing more Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners (political appointees who then get retirement $$ down the road).





Governor has four option including line item veto, full veto, not sign it and of course the other alternative, to sign it or just let it become law.
 






THE SENATE SESSION ON THE 925pp Implementer  to The BUDGET 7501
First doing Dominion...lots of  bi-partisanship.  And what a surprise to come!


CCM IN FAVOR OF GOP BUDGET
Point of personal privilege;  Announces bill.  Senate Rule 15 exodus.  1501 lco amendment - Dominion.  Must look to the future.  Must have storage for intermittent power.  Millstone Nuclear Power Station.  Questions

E-Cert 7501
Senate 'A'
Amendment.  Voice vote. 



S T R U C T U R A L    C H A N G E S
 


REPUBLICAN BUDGET INTRODUCED...IS THERE IS A TRICK BEING PLAYED BY NOT HAVING THE LCO NUMBER

Mic check.  Clerk is in possession of amendment - GOP budget introduced.  New formula.  Education.  Municipal mandate relief.  Transportation $$ plan stabilized.  Tourism a multipier..
Spending Cap, Mandate Relief.  Sen. Osten speaks against republican budget.  Sen. Witkos.  Teachers' Pension.  "Give us a seat at the table" - Senate Amendment 'A' "vacation homes" ride share, cellphone, teachers pension shift.  LCO 10072

HOW ARE THE GOP MANAGING THE MUNICIPAL RELATIONSHIP?
Senate Amendment 'B' - special education cost sharing changes.  Town Aid Road.

THINK DIFFERENTLY
Senator Fasano thanks non-Partisan staff.  Tolls do not raise funds.  Congestion Pricing not a revenue producer.  Quasi-public agencies not needed.  Tax on Fantasy sports...NEW FORMULA FOR SCHOOL AID.

 
FISCAL HEALTH, FIXED COSTS, STRUCTURAL CHANGE
Highlights:  State is living beyond its means.  We need a bipartisan budget.  Legacy deficit.  Over bonding.   Abdication of responsibility.  Doyle voting for 'B' - Slossberg 'B' and Hartley 'B' - including "rats" is more than problematic.
Ability to pay.  Bold action needed.  And furthermore, I think these three Democrats will be punished.


  
7501 - 21-15
Sen. Looney threatens...the only way to get a budget was to vote for 'A' because the Governer is going to veto 'B'

SENATE VOTE 21-15 for 'B'


------------------------

Chalk up a win for Senator Osten - where is it in the 925 page Implementer?  Pays for it by added a surcharge of 12% on all home owner insurance bills.  "Pay for Crumbling Foundation fix or we'll put you in solitary confinement" said a Majority Party officer..

THE 925-page "IMPLEMENTER" shorter than both "Gone With The Wind (more than 1000pp)" and "Anna Karenina(950 approx)."  Both too long to keep the attention of younger generation not to mention legislators - mine will read it!


https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/lcoamd/2017LCO10069-R00-AMD.htm


What was in 'A' that we noticed.

-----------

R E G I O N A L    A S S E S S O R S
Sec
. 66. Section 7-100k of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) [Any] Notwithstanding the provisions of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, any town, consolidated town and city or consolidated town and borough, regional council of governments or any combination of towns, consolidated towns and cities or consolidated towns and boroughs may, by town or borough meeting vote, or, in those municipalities in which there is no such meeting, by a two-thirds majority of the members of the legislative body thereof, provide for the appointment of one or more [but not more than five] assessors. Any such municipality or municipalities or regional council of governments may establish the qualifications and compensation of such assessor or assessors, and may provide for the appointment by the assessor or board of assessors of clerical and other assistance within the limits of the appropriation therefor, provided, if there is more than one assessor, such assessors shall choose one of their number to be chairman of the board of assessors.

(b) Any assessor appointed pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be sworn to the faithful performance of his or her duties by the clerk or clerks of the [town] municipality or municipalities that provided for the appointment of such assessor, or, in the case of a regional council of governments, by the clerk of each participating municipality.

E X C E S S    C O S T    E D U C A T I O N    G R A N T  ?

(NEW) (46) "Base grant amount" means the equalization aid grant a town was entitled to receive for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, as enumerated in section 20 of public act 16-2 of the May special session, minus any reductions to said equalization aid grant during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, resulting from lapses to the funds appropriated for said equalization aid grant attributable to the recommendation made by the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, pursuant to section 12 of public act 15-244.

Y O U T H    S E R V I C E S

Sec. 109. Subsection (a) of section 10-19o of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Commissioner of Education shall establish a program to provide grants to youth service bureaus in accordance with this section. Only youth service bureaus which (1) were eligible to receive grants pursuant to this section for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2007, [or which] (2) applied for a grant by June 30, 2012, with prior approval of the town's contribution pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, [or which] (3) applied for a grant during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2015, or (4) applied for a grant during the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, with prior approval of the town's contribution pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, shall be eligible for a grant pursuant to this section. [for any fiscal year commencing on or after July 1, 2012. ] Each such youth service bureau shall receive, within available appropriations, a grant of fourteen thousand dollars. The Department of Education may expend an amount not to exceed two per cent of the amount appropriated for purposes of this section for administrative expenses. If there are any remaining funds, each such youth service bureau that was awarded a grant in excess of fifteen thousand dollars in the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, shall receive a percentage of such funds. The percentage shall be determined as follows: For each such grant in excess of fifteen thousand dollars, the difference between the amount of the grant awarded to the youth service bureau for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1995, and fifteen thousand dollars shall be divided by the difference between the total amount of the grants awarded to all youth service bureaus that were awarded grants in excess of fifteen thousand dollars for said fiscal year and the product of fifteen thousand dollars and the number of such grants for said fiscal year.

W A T E R
Sec
. 129. (NEW) (Effective from passage until June 30, 2019) (a) As used in this section:
Sec
. 130. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in this section:


C O U N C I L   O F    G O V E R N M E N TS  empowerment

Sec. 210. Section 8-31b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) On or before January 1, 2015, each regional planning agency created pursuant to sections 8-31a to 8-37a, inclusive, of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2013, and each regional council of elected officials created pursuant to sections 4-124c to 4-124h, inclusive, shall be restructured to form a regional council of governments as provided in section 4-124j.

(b) A regional council of governments may accept or participate in any grant, donation or program available to any political subdivision of the state and may also accept or participate in any grant, donation or program made available to counties by any other governmental or private entity. Notwithstanding the provisions of any special or public act, any political subdivision of the state may enter into an agreement with a regional council of governments to perform jointly or to provide, alone or in cooperation with any other entity, any service, activity or undertaking that the political subdivision is authorized by law to perform. A regional council of governments established pursuant to this section may administer and provide regional services to municipalities and may delegate such authority to subregional groups of such municipalities. Regional services provided to member municipalities shall be determined by each regional council of governments, except as provided in subsection (b) of section 9-229 and section 9-229b, and may include, without limitation, the following services: (1) Engineering; (2) inspectional and planning; (3) economic development; (4) public safety; (5) emergency management; (6) animal control; (7) land use management; (8) tourism promotion; (9) social; (10) health; (11) education; (12) data management; (13) regional sewerage; (14) housing; (15) computerized mapping; (16) household hazardous waste collection; (17) recycling; (18) public facility siting; (19) coordination of master planning; (20) vocational training and development; (21) solid waste disposal; (22) fire protection; (23) regional resource protection; (24) regional impact studies; and (25) transportation.


D EN T I S T S  ("dentists, dental conditions" added)

Sec. 160. Subsection (a) of section 17b-259b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) For purposes of the administration of the medical assistance programs by the Department of Social Services, "medically necessary" and "medical necessity" mean those health services required to prevent, identify, diagnose, treat, rehabilitate or ameliorate an individual's medical condition, including mental illness, or its effects, and dental conditions in order to attain or maintain the individual's achievable health and independent functioning provided such services are: (1) Consistent with generally-accepted standards of medical practice that are defined as standards that are based on (A) credible scientific evidence published in peer-reviewed medical literature that is generally recognized by the relevant medical community, (B) recommendations of a physician-specialty or dental-specialty society, (C) the views of physicians or dentists practicing in relevant clinical areas, and (D) any other relevant factors; (2) clinically appropriate in terms of type, frequency, timing, site, extent and duration and considered effective for the individual's illness, injury or disease; (3) not primarily for the convenience of the individual, the individual's health care provider or other health care providers; (4) not more costly than an alternative service or sequence of services at least as likely to produce equivalent therapeutic or diagnostic results as to the diagnosis or treatment of the individual's illness, injury or disease; and (5) based on an assessment of the individual and his or her medical condition.

-----------------------------


Wonder what the House is going to do...

  



Thursday's House Session...nope - a House Democrat "caucus" called at 4:20pm.  Will the Senate be in Session at 6pm???  It is now 10:10pm, and no movement in either House or Senate.
So how will we keep track throughout the night?  Periodically we will check CT-N, CTNEWSJUNKIE and other sources to see what's going on...silently.  And what a surprise!  At 12:30am we checked the web and...

An oops moment for Majority Party.  This morning the HOUR reports Government pleased with the compromise he worked with his own Party.

CTNEWSJUNKIE
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/house_and_senate_adjourn_before_raising_budget/#more

CT MIRROR
https://ctmirror.org/2017/09/15/compromise-budget-deal-collapses/

It appears they'll have to try again!


Republican Press Conference explains what was meant by Majority putting Governor's Budget as placeholder...
The dog ate their homework department;  Democrat Speaker short with words as he left after dragging everyone through a day of hurry up and wait - the Finance Committee should have kept asking questions!!!


NOW IT IS FRIDAY LATE...





FINANCE, REVENUE & BONDING, 2PM Thursday
"We're in for a bumpy night" (with or without the seatbelts) - Co-Chair. recalls line from "All About Eve" - spoken by a former Westport resident (I actually saw her at Chez Pierre one night in the early 1970's).
 
AND HERE WE GO...SENATOR FONFARA ON THE HOOK.  
26 to 25 adopted.




PARTY CAUCUS at 11:15am.  Looks like 2pm is the magic time!  On your mark, get set go!!!
Apologies for cancelling yesterday...and here we go - Senate now to meet three hours later, at 6PM.  First to the plate for Revenue estimates is the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee - Co-Chair. on Senate side, Sen. Frantz;  Weston's Senator Boucher.  House Chair. Rojas opens meeting, mentions absence, and orders caucus.



Well said, Senator Boucher and perhaps there will be one for the Saturday LWV of Weston "Legislative Wrap?"
I think we can all guess what the Legislature is going to do on we think Thursday, September 14 at 10am 0r some time after F, R & B meets - (make no one happy). 

On the table:
Ask why it took so long at the LWV of Weston Legislative Wrap Up Sept. 16th!






House 10am and Senate 3pm Sessions Thursday.  CareCentrix is one of the "First Five" or so.
REMEMBER HOW "OBAMACARE" WAS PASSED?  AND THE ADVICE OF SPEAKER PELOSI?  THAT'S WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN...vote first, then read it.



C.G.A. GOING TO PUNT? 
Two First Selectmen serving in the Legislature respond to OPM ("Office of Pickpockets and Mendacity").

Legislative "Robin Hood" Majority sees Fairfield County as "Sherwood Forest" (circled in with green).
Possible movement?   Tick, tock...now way says GOP.
GOP to introduce their budget as an amendment if there is a House Session.



Higher cellphone tax?  Nope, no increase to that in House Dem's budget - our's is the 43rd lowest.


H O W    M A N Y    V E R S I O N S    O F    A   B U D G E T  ?




"FLASH" NEWS ON SESSION"
  HERE
SO WHERE DOES THIS GET US?  CT MIRROR take on it...GOVERNOR USES THIS REFERENCE .
"...Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, D-Westport, said the education funding isn’t necessarily holding up budget negotiations. He said he doesn’t trust a proposal that would ask all municipalities to contribute to teacher retirement costs for the first time.  'We don’t trust the state to not increase that amount...'"

S P E C I A L    S E S S I O N    H I A T U S   -    C T N E W S J U N K I E S
"...In the meantime, Malloy’s staff is continuing its efforts to get information about budget reserves from a number of municipalities. Malloy asked for information about the fiscal health of municipalities ..."  HoHo - old but thoughtful paper..
CCM Speaks:  https://ctviewpoints.org/2017/08/17/municipal-fund-balances-fall-far-short-of-needed-financial-buffer/

C.A.P.S. Superintendents - check Rep. Steinberg's quotes:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/school_officials_try_to_pressure_lawmakers_to_reach_a_budget_deal/

CT MIRROR
does the math...although not completely or necessarily fairly, JMO.

And Weston Board of Finance (8-10-17) discusses this as well


From WestportNow 8-9-17:
  Marpe: Responding Cautiously to State Request for Budget Information

First Selectman Jim Marpe said today Westport is responding cautiously to a state request for town budget information for fear it may be part of an effort to “picking our pockets” to help solve state budget woes...

FYI - could Legislature intervene?
Another reminder of why CT is going or is already broke:  http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-quinn-retirement-20170803-story.html





SEBAC DEBATE HERE
PLAY-BY-PLAY
"beginning soon" - 1:21PM now -   New music and new legislative details that do not work -  JAZZ (8) AND CHAMBER/CLASSICAL MUSIC (5) RATIO IN MIX IN NEW SYSTEM...AWESOME!!! 
Remember last week when the Senate had to re-vote during Veto Session?



We note that CT Senate is better able to plan because they have only 36 members.  But the sound in the new system is "flakey" and I fear for having access to unfiltered play-by-play.  Digital  overlay on analog wiring maybe the problem? 


"MEMBERS ARE IN CAUCUS" - thank you CT-N for the message - smart timing!  So they fixed the new system of sound and internet connectivity in the Senate???  "LIVEU" means not working at 1:15pm?
Altho' we are sure we had nothing to do with fixing it (only reported to our favorite online news bureau that this was what we saw) the fix was made - a "KLUDGE" - by turning off the Legislative channel and only leaving CT-N running - and it worked!!!

CALL TO ORDER, PLEDGE, PRA
YER at 1:22pm; Special Session agenda #1

FIRST UP WAS TRIBAL COMPACT CHANGES



FYI - Sen. Cassano (l) absent.  Is this significant?  It was reported to us by a source that he had a dentist appointment - this debate is like pulling teeth.  HJ301 = Tribal compact  27-8. 

"NO" VOTES:  Hwang, Boucher, Frantz, Flexer, Bye, Markley, Kissel plus Guglielmo?  Now we are "standing at ease" while the Democrats try to find out where Senator Cassano is???  2:23pm still "standing at ease" and we wonder what all this means???

----


SEBAC DEBATE AND VOTE FROM 2:23pm to 7:30pm



CT-N oops moment - by accident or on purpose?   Here is a test:  Which of the faces below is not in the Legislature?
As you can see, we were following with trepidation only doing "snaps" so as not to contribute to losing the sound and picture or both.
   

A sharp eye might note Sen. Looney twice - the first time was to call for reprimand for referring to "others in the building with union connections" or something like that.  One of the three "holdouts" spoke in the middle of the debate "yes"

    
              
And everyone fell in line or did what was expected.  Former Governor Rowland was blamed by Sen. Duff.  Sen. Fonfara thanked by others for explaining things to them.

                



Text below from CT MIRROR article 8-1-17;   Sen. Doyle, Hartford rainbow (go directly to Fairfield County)


19-18 with Lt. Gov. breaking the tie.  Press conference by both sides.

 


Still no biennial budget - perhaps because AG's opinion requested by Democrats left room for interpretation?



EMERGENCE ("SPECIAL") SESSION IN SENATE, THE MORE DELIBERATIVE BODY, MONDAY JULY 31ST

July 24 VETO SESSION for override of Gubernatorial veto of bills (2/3 vote necessary)
And there was also an Emergency ("Special") Session to vote to approve union contracts negotiated by the Governor - in ONLY the House...
  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/content/Adjourn.asp

I was right - don't close the beaches and no pressure to agree on a budget. 
We are being run by Executive Order - no budget.  Not in the Regular Session, not on any of the days threatened as Special Session days, looking now to a vote on union contract in the Senate July 31 (?) to clear the way for voting on a biennial budget after/or if the Senate approves union contract.  I would hope that the Republican Budget will be offered in the Senate and the Democrat Budget will be introduced in the House and then the games begin;  beware any IMPLEMENTER bill for RATS.

JMO - the Robert F. Wagner approach to government seems to be taking hold here - i.e.  If the budget woes are put aside for the summer, when they have to be faced in the Fall, maybe half of the problems will have been solved.  But this may not work.  Why?  Because unlike NYC problems, Connecticut's have financial over-commitments to banks and credit rating organizations...and the Capitol City is on the verge of going bankrupt

S O    Y O U    T H O U G H T    I T    W A S    O V E R   J U N E    7 t h  ? 
A reporter asked him, and CT Governor says "parks and beaches will remain open" because fees pay for the service.  Our question is this:  In the event that CT continues to be run via Executive Order for one reason or another, may this not continue?  Perhaps closing by Labor Day (if that is before school opens)?

Q:  "Life, liberty and the pursuit of a sun tan" an inalienable right? http://www.courant.com/nation-world/ct-chris-christie-new-jersey-beach-20170703-story.html
Three days with beaches closed and Maine gets a budget:  http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-shutdowns-idUSKBN19O1U0
A #1:  NJ GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE ARE OF OPPOSITE PARTIES - BUT WAIT A MINUTE, THIS MEANS CT DEMOCRATS CAN'T GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER...OR...
A #2:  CLOSING BEACHES WAS THE WAY TO GO IF YOU WANTED TO GET A BUDGET IN PLACE - OTHERWISE:  
"...Illinois is in its third year without an enacted budget. In Connecticut and Pennsylvania, lower-than-anticipated income tax collections exacerbated budget gaps and led to disputes over how to close them..."
CTNEWSJUNKIE: Some CT unions have begun voting - last day for their part is July 15th..."Connecticut is one of 11 states that started the 2018 fiscal year without a budget in place."






V E T O    S E S S I O N    I N    B O T H    H O U S E    &   S E N A T E  . . .  A N D    T H E N


Representative Floren prays for divine intervention in VETO SESSION;  and she was right to do that, as the House overrode the Governor's veto by the shallowest of margins.



HOUSE BACK IN SESSION FIRST (@1:45pm).  Introductions and announcements.  Rules of Veto Session & Special Session...
142-0 nine missing.
Who's not there yet?  More D missing than R.

201 - Rules of Reconvened Session
202 - Expenses
203 - Journals of reconvened session


HB6880 - reconsidered.  PA - 170.  Generally, questions asked in order (l - r) of graphic portraits of legislators.  Not all who spoke are represented above.

Question on why elderly included instead of only low income.  Bar set so high it is impossible to get there.  What if after moratorium is over, they still don't meet the 10%. Puts onus on Towns and Cities to prove they have met the 10% or just more affordable housing in five years.  Make honest attempts.  Where does creation of a zone or plan instead of housing itself come from?  Where does predatory lending/developers get involved???  Changing burden of proof. 

Rep. Steinberg:  Slices up (my phrase for tone of explanation) Governor's veto.  If you truly believe in affordable housing, this is a good bill.  "Put up or shut up." 

Rep. Arce asks for difference between various bills (his bill to keep students in CT)?  Rep. Kupchick says units exist and can be now included.  Blackmail.

Rep. Candelaria asks which body will adopt the plan?  Land Use will recommend to Selectmen/Council.  Repercussions?

Rep. Staneski points out why to override.

Rep. Ferraro for override.

Rep. Miller:  Incentive Housing Zone for T.O.D. near rail?  Areas on infrastructure, we think.  Makes it easier to get approval with less community strife.
 

101-47; 3 not voting - override passes.







SPECIAL SESSION - Labor Contract only discussed in the House.


201 passes party line (we are not sure what 201 is)
100 rules - adopted.
102 - Journal-adopted.


  
202
- union agreement...Rep. D'Agostino sells it...like a haberdasher.


Question politely pointing out that he got hundreds of pages that morning; and other legislators saying the same thing but politely with some simmering anger - "I got that"...
71-74 appeal of decision of the chair does not pass to permit discussion of the biennial budget Republican budget.


More discussion of details.  Such as they had been provided with pathetic analysis from OFA.  Multiple votes. Several tries to get budget discussion included in the union contract .  The first vote "voice vote" was won by "NAY" but Speaker called it as "YEA."
After getting a phone call, Speaker then put all other votes on the machine after "NAY" continued to be louder than "YEA."  How is Weston ATBM like the legislature?  Same reasoning - people are afraid of retribution by, in Weston, teachers union?
Party Line voting only after that. 
Make that smoldering anger. 

UNION CONTRACTS NEGOTIATED BY GOVERNOR APPROVED ON PARTY LINE VOTE 


Amending contract to East Windsor casino - done.

Adjourned 9:03pm.
 





S E N A T E    V E T O    O V E R R I D E


We concentrated on the House but kept an eye peeled on Senate all day...
Senate had to vote twice - because the board (make that the technology) wasn't working...Sen. Cassano's vote was the last one for "yes" - in 24 to 12 vote - altho' the clerk called out 24-11 and one abstention - I wonder who that was? (24 needed to confirm override.)  Senate adjourned earlier than the House.

Adjourned @8pm.



IF IT WANTED TO, THIS IS HOW CT COULD GET CONTROLOF ITS FINANCES BACK...


SPEAKER REMINDS DEMOCRATS WHO ARE THINKING OF STRAYING TO THE OTHER SIDE...*
Over the weekend, from coast to coast, statewide underwater news, the word sounds like this to Connecticut's Legislature: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2aqvKY6zLc
Remarking upon the Senate bill that approved "bee inspections" the Speaker pipes up that this was his version - having rejected the "'A' inspections" proposed as too expensive and for the rich only, anyway.

*
STAMFORD ADVOCATE
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/business/article/Property-Rounds-Underwater-homes-a-stubborn-11219579.php

CT MIRROR
https://ctmirror.org/2017/07/14/house-speaker-no-vote-on-new-ct-budget-on-tuesday/

CTNEWSJUNKIE
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/no_budget_vote_on_july_18/





THE TWO CONNECTICUTS - HARTFORD AND EVERYONE ELSE


AND YET AN IDEA THAT SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN FROM...MAYOR MARK, [R.].
ONE SOLUTION (L, ABOVE) & ITS STATISTICS (C) SEEM LIKE MORE MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/standard_and_poors_downgrades_hartford_bonds_to_junk_status/






Governor Malloy has aggressively critiqued House Republicans (r.), but guess what?  His doesn't add up!
Governor plays "rope-a-dope" until union vote finished...House Republicans should be proud of their plan presentation!  So here's the plan...*
We missed the presentation and or hand wringing at The Lyceum.  All shades of grey in Governor's budget - clear black and white and clarity from...Minority Leader Rep. Klarides.  However, thanks to the  Weston Legislators making themselves available  to the constituents of the 135th, 26th and 28th I was able to make sure I understood what the story was about legality of the Governor's Budget proposal to shift the costs of teacher pensions to municipalities.  Mind you, everyone had made clear that this was teacher retirement (for those who are wondering where Social Security fits in - it doesn't, because from the very beginning the Teachers' Union decided on higher wages as a trade-off from Social Security taxes on those wages.  Believing that the State of Connecticut would provide for their retirement as had been pledged years ago.**

Teachers and administrators being "not dummies" through the years, made sure to lobby their way out of any changes and now, when the amount is so huge that it cannot be faced head on, the State, which does not have the option of declaring bankruptcy, is attempting to pass the costs (first 30%...) on to the 169 towns.  Who are legally able to go bankrupt.  Although no one in their right mind wants to do that, we think.  We specifically asked Weston's 3 legislators if the State of Connecticut could declare bankruptcy and not being lawyers, they didn't give me lawyerly mumbo jumbo.  Rep. Dunsby looked me right in the eye and said maybe he could, but certainly his (the Governor's) proposed budget wherein that cost shifting is proposed must be voted upon by the Legislature. 

And right now all four caucuses do not include the cost shift directly in their proposed versions of the biennial budget.

-------

=  Parade of the horribles as it is known in law school begins here:  Since anything that costs money appears in the up or down voting in a Special Session, the Majority has to be sure it has the votes especially this year with reduced margins.  Towns get a choice - vote for the Governor's budget or "mini-budget" or otherwise  a)lose all your State of CT funding for everything including even road construction projects (the "pulling the wings off a fly approach" or  b)take other emergency action equally unpleasant but not to their constituents.
**
= OLR research report from 2006:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/2006/rpt/2006-R-0547.htm






H O U S E    M I N O R I T Y    B U D G E T
We watched it live on CT-N Tuesday afternoon at 2pm - in preparation for attending Legislative Wrap Up for the Long Session by all three Weston Legislators.

How does the Republican House Budget differ from other tries at this?  The Governor has claimed that the four caucuses do not agree with each other - and indeed, there are some differences.  One will be after the union deal is approved both Republican budgets will be discounted because they both call for "give backs."  We watched the q&a of the Governor most recently done after his veto of the loosened affordable housing bill approved by both houses of the Legislature.


              
Rep. Ziobron and Rep. Davis:
Presented itemized budget.  Single Deputy Commissioner per agency.  Lots of ideas borrowed from others' budgets and based upon the Agencies' 10% reductions given to the Governor last year.

At the Legislative Wrap in Weston that very evening, Representative Dunsby was asked to explain why the House Republicans chose to eliminate Campaign Finance Reform funding - we had heard about this from another legislator earlier in the day.  Both Republican Senators pointed out that the Senate Republican budget  proposal had left in the funding - either way, no one bothered to tells tales on S.E.E.C.'s "deal" where the CT Dems had to pay more than $300,000 in a fine concerning a State Senate seat from the eastern part of the State.  So any violations of the once ground-breaking tough rules of the C.E.P. ("Citizen's Election Program") can be watered down with enough money...or so it seems to us. 





I M P L E M E N T E R ?

What do you think will reappear???


TO MAKE AN APPEARANCE IN THE EVENTUAL IMPLEMENER?  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/battle_over_millstone_nuclear_plant_rages_on/





INTERESTING COMMENTARY BY KEVIN SULLIVAN:  http://ctbythenumbers.info/2017/07/08/perspective-beyond-the-land-of-unsteady-habits/

Summary:  Taxation ain't what it used to be, from a collection point of view.  It takes creativity to squeeze $$ out of what remains of corporations.  So he's in favor of changing the tax code???








F I N A N C E    R E V E N U E    A N D    B O N D I N G   F O R U M 
CT-N ONLINE FOR ALL TO WATCH AT THEIR LEISURE - WE WATCHED IT LIVE 2 1/2 hrs. on CT-N. - http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=14257


LUNCH BOX SCORES
Very worthwhile q&a and Mike really presented beautifully!!!  And full 2015 report from Boston College here.


Rhode Island H.R. policy and Kansas experience as well as Detroit issues.  
Rep. Petit asks my question ("why the choice of percentages returns?") and Rep. Lavielle nails it too.   Policy questions.  And guess what?  When all is said and done it ended up with what we always say - government decision-making makes it twice as expensive (or difficult) to accomplish anything.







  
DECISIONS BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
Voting on the Biennial Budget, the Bond package and "THE IMPLEMENTER" to come...discussed in interview that explains why these matters cannot be addressed in a hurry.


Left to right:  Governor, House Speaker, Senate Majority Leader, House Minority Leader, Co-Presidents of the Senate.  Lt. Governor presides over the Senate.

What are Gov. Malloy's plans for running the State of CT in the absence of a budget
Will the Legislature get a biennial budget they can agree to and send it to the Governor in time to avoid throwing it into his hands?  Does the Governor really want this opportunity as a test of his leadership skills?

Another source:  https://ctmirror.org/2017/06/21/whose-plan-would-guide-ct-government-after-july-1/

And from this report:

"...Fiscal capacity must be considered.

"When weighing potential reductions in funding, particularly in terms of municipal aid, the state must consider the fiscal capacity of each group, the governor said.

"For example, Malloy noted, some of Connecticut’s wealthiest communities have taxable property assessed at an average of $770,00.00 per person while some of its poorest are closer to $45,000 per person..."

Where is Weston on this scale?  Well, divide the Grand List by 10,000 individuals (approx.)...$2,372,862,954 divided by 10,000 = $237,286 per person (approx).




This lawsuit has been going on since 1989.  And then there is C.C.J.E.F.


ON COURT TV.  CT MIRROR article:  
https://ctmirror.org/2017/06/16/judge-magnet-schools-cannot-be-made-more-segregated/
FYI - June 13 did not happen, but Court was in Session on June 14 (which we watched on CT-N) and now Friday!  Perry Mason-style attorneys - will they do the closing arguments?  I was right - they did go toe to toe.

READ THE OFFICE OF LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH EXPLANATION OF HB7201 - awaiting the Governor's signature.  According to the C.G.A. website, HB7201 passed in both House and Senate on the last day of the Session.





"Let me finish" says brave Sen. Fasano to former Lt. of Corrections Officer-SEIU and State Senator, who is also First Selectman of the Town of Sprague.
Perhaps the stand-in for Speaker (the Speaker gets paid by AFSCME).  Speaker's stand-in is planning for state-wide "Potemkin Villages" or little prisons for the elderly and a unionized aide. "Temporary Health Care Structures Zoning" a bill that passed in the waning hours of the 2017 Session.  It began as a study:  http://www.aboutweston.com/Budgetprocess%20newFY18.html#temp

How will the Governor run a state without enough income to support demands?:  https://ctmirror.org/2017/06/13/budget-talks-testy-as-deadline-nears/





What ever became of Connecticut, the Land of Steady Habits?  Now it is just "habits."

SPENDING HABIT
Our "habit" was spending more than we had, assuming capital gains taxes from Greenwich would smooth things out.





So it is going to be the same old nonsense - legislators have to vote "yes" or "no" on a 600 page laundry-list bill, same on  Bonding as well as the Biennial Budget - by June 30th.
MILLSTONE BILL, CRUMBLING FOUNDATIONS N.E. CORNER IN "IMPLEMENTER"...CASINO IN BRIDGEPORT IDEA GOING TO COURT?  LEGAL WEED?  AND EVEN MORE THAT  NEVER GOT CALLED...

Clear difference between what Democrats want and what Republicans want and there doesn't seem to be room for compromise.  However, will eitherside or some hybrid plan get the needed votes? 

And a lot more to do before the Special Session - we have to check the 68 bills that passed both House and Senater against the ones we thought were important to land use...did any of our bills of interest even get a public hearing???











SOUTHWESTERN CT...LIKE IN BRIDGEPORT
"'...That means MGM would be unable to build a casino in most Connecticut municipalities, except for the ones in the southwestern portion of the state nearest to New York...".
CTNEWSJUNKIE:  http://www.courthousenews.com/mgms-connecticut-casino-wrangle-crashes-appeal/


Appeals court upholds dismissal of MGM’s claim against 2015 law favoring tribes
By Brian Hallenbeck   Day staff writer
Published June 21. 2017 1:32PM | Updated June 21. 2017 5:59PM

"...'If Governor Malloy signs into law the recently passed Senate Bill 957, the hypothetical immediately becomes reality,' Clinton said..."