SPECIAL SESSION DECEMBER 16, 17, 18 TO DO TOLLS, BONDING, HOSPITALS, RESTAURANT TIPS. NEVER MIND. "SINE DIE" MEANS 2020.
JOINT MEETING, AS REQUIRED, OF APPROPRIATION AND FINANCE, REVENUE & BONDING, DEC. 5, 2019
went: Presentations by OFA and OPM first, F,R&B rules -
presentations then legislators get 5 minutes each - Rep. Lavielle asks
about results of union agreements.
Rather long F,R&B and Approps joint meeting Dec. 5th. OFA
starts off (we came in mid-stream - watching first part 2nd)
- Current biennium OK - Cliff in 2022. Convergence (above) is what to watch for. High wealth taxpayers important.
- 70-80% union retirement - rate of increase in budget higher than others.
- Unfunded liabilities. OPM says rate of growth has been reduced. ("Flatten the curve")
- Restructuring government. Are you considering paying down debt?
- High income leaving? 401K? Local aid and social services. Pursuing cuts.
- Trends. Migration rate? Unfunded liability broken down by tier?
Greenwich 1st Selectman, also in Fairfield.
Special Elections to be held for Rep. Kupchick seat and the late Rep.
Orange's. for January 14, 2020, plus January 21st for Rep. Camillo's
R.I. turkey stuck in traffic, misses confab (c); American Trucking Assoc. v. Rhode Island news.
SPECIAL SESSION IN JANUARY 2020?
So after the meeting at the Governor's Mansion in Hartford, the press conference that followed was more of the same: CT MIRROR report here.
HERE'S THE GOVERNOR'S TRANSPORTATION PLAN NOV. 2019...
- First press part: Republicans as we heard it,
stuck to "no tolls" and use the "Rainy Day" fund to avoid a tsunami of
retirement payments from drowning CT to open up budgets in the future;
- Second part: Governor, flanked by House and Senate
Democrats plus OPM Sec'y, back to TRUCKS ONLY (no definition whether
Ford 150 is included, as Sen. Fasano pointed out);
- I thought that isn't legal ("interstate commerce clause") or have I missed
- R.I. won the opening round on a technicality...on appeal now.
- Speaking of being on appeal - Pennsylvania also in
the mix...their issue involves Amtrack and PA mass transit - can PA
Turnpike fees be diverted to these others? On appeal.
- One familiar press voice pushed Governor and OPM
responded as to how the $$ works in the Governor's plan. On paper,
The principle of "keep it simple stupid" works for this Plan. The problem is...R.P.A. doesn't even like it:
GOVERNOR & MINORITY LEADER
- “...'Right now, there is no incentive to
not drive in Connecticut, other than to be stuck in traffic, which
really isn’t an incentive because there’s no alternative,' said
Kaplan-Macey, the vice president at the Regional Plan Association. 'We
need to manage the choices people are making and encourage people to
- CTNEWSJUNKIE on CT Port Authority: The story - https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20191111_transportation_committee_co-chairs_schedule_hearing_on_port/
- And it is pretty funny - fixing the exit at Route 7/Norwalk on
the Merritt Parkway will take so long and cost so much (JMO) that the
"tolls" should come down in...???
- On the other hand, Governor Lamont is on the right track (pun
intended). He acknowledges that CT owns the rails/ROW - and he
suggests improving them all over the state not just commute in SWR.
- The NO TOLLS folks have a point - but more and more I sense the
administration & Legislature are saying "get out of the way..
please, or else."
Lamont - yes to tolls on bridges - GOP has a plan. Spend down surplus, pay off bonds.
LET'S GO CT BUT IN WHICH DIRECTION? A BRIDGE TOO FAR?
Same # of gantries except not on Merritt P'k'way, Route 9 and Wilbur Cross says House...
BACK TO TWO SLICES:
THE PRESENTATION - AND GOVERNOR MADE GREAT POINT ON R.O.W.
DEMOCRAT SENATE CAUCUS NEWS FIRST SHOE TO DROP
Republicans looking for no-toll alternatives if the press can be believed...
GOVERNOR LEFT TO CALL FOR TOLLING 2019 SPECIAL SESSION? RESTAURANT WORK MIDDLE-GROUND MAYBE? "SINE DIE" WHEN?
Run up to Thanksgiving...
WESTON NOT PICKED FOR ELECTION AUDIT. (C) STATE LIBRARIAN RETIRING; (R) STATE LIBRARY BOARD CHAIR.
Last week there was a "ballot lottery" run by the Secretary of the State
Denise Merrill (l) to determine which 38 races by polling location would be "audited;"
- CT State Librarian, soon, as well as longtime employee
who runs the CT intra-libraries book borrowing service, both retiring,
announced at most recent meeting;
- State Library grants in aid announced (which require matching funds)
PLUS these have to be placed on a Bond Commission agenda (by Governor) - and we note
that $$ isn't flowing right now.
NOTE: We noticed Rep. Currey at top right say this term as the
House adjourned...Sen. Fasano explained what "sine die" means and why
that had significance...
- Restaurant workers matter/Labor Department; Special Session as soon as they have written it.
- Labor deals not yet approved prior to budget approval. This is admitted here.
- Gov. Lamont signed the budget with no rescission, later VETOED 3 bills. No overrides (see above).
NOW THAT THE LEGISLATURE HAS REJECTED TOLLS ON PASSENGER CARS FOR SURE, WHAT'S NEXT?
CCM Exec. Director (l), Council of Small Towns' Exec. Director (c), and Sen. Osten (r).
"Transportation funding delay causing a ‘public safety issue’" - and we note, still no compromise...
“'...This is more than just politics,” said Joe DeLong, executive
director of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. 'It’s getting
to be a public safety issue'...
"...Now fall tree-clearing season has arrived, and towns again are
tapping their snow removal accounts — or the emergency reserves they’re
supposed to be building against the next recession. And no one knows how soon the first snowfall of the season will be,'
said Elizabeth Gara, executive director of the Connecticut Council of
Small Towns. 'We’re hearing a lot of concerns from small towns,' she said.
“'They’re going to be in a real difficult situation come any type of
snowstorm or other weather incident.'
“'...Not getting a bond package done has put a lot of municipal projects
in limbo,' Osten said, adding this not only has threatened winter snow
removal efforts, but stalled many local economic development programs
and weakened Connecticut’s construction industry..."
Read Keith Pfaneuf's story originally in CT MIRROR in full: https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/local/article/Transportation-funding-delay-causing-a-public-14544535.php?src=sthpcp
FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS DEPARTMENT MUSIC
We've been waiting for the "Special Session" on it ever since...the end of the Long Session in June 2019.
- Winning candidate said during the campaign, only truck tolls;
- Then tolls blossomed everywhere a few weeks after election...
- Now, since his own Party may not want it, some other manifestation of tolls at bridges only;
- Our question: When will the next Mianus River Bridge - like collapse happen?
- The latest proposal deals with "hub" intersections - that's where delays/accidents happen most frequently.
Now we know.
People who want to crack town on restaurant employee tips...are lousy tippers!!! "Service compris" here we come?
SPECIAL SESSION ON THE MENU...
JOINT LABOR & JUDICIARY COMMITTEES PUBLIC HEARING SETTING THE TABLE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH?
CTNEWSJUNKIE ARTICLE OCT. 9, 2019
"...The Department of Labor guidance said restaurant owners didn’t have
to keep track of servers time if they only spent 20 percent of their
time doing so-called “sidework” like filling ketchup bottles or rolling
"More than 15 class action lawsuits have been filed against various restaurant owners.
"Barry Jessurun, owner of Green Valley Hospitality, is one of the
restaurant groups being sued by a server. He said they didn’t even know
there were inconsistencies in the law until they were sued back in May.
“'We’re an important employer in our state,' Jessurun said. 'And
something like this could be very devastating to our business to the
point that we might have to close to pay the potential fines.
"Jessurun’s company operates several restaurants including the Vanilla
Bean Cafe in Pomfret and 85 Main in Putnam. The class-action lawsuit
filed by a server says that the restaurant didn’t keep track of the time
a server spent waiting on customers and doing side work like filling
ketchup bottles or rolling silverware so it should have paid its servers
the full minimum wage. The server also says the restaurant made her
share a portion of her tips with other employees."
Story in full here: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20191009_committees_ready_for_hearing_on_restaurant_legislation/
FIVE- G to strengthen urban corridors.
Discussion about technology. To the
Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce. Sponsored by Pullman Comley, LLC
Will GOP get a Special Session to change a couple of words in grocery tax affair?
We link to Hartford COURANT story on the same subject: https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-food-tax-petition-session-20190918-oml6b36givbkvksaesfvludva4-story.html
CT PORT AUTHORITY STORY HERE
I think I get it - only Republicans care about transparency and the problem with quasi-publics.
Special Session: Bonding package from Majority Party will pass - will Governor veto it?
PRIMED FOR SHORT SESSION
The answer to the question "why?" no action on PFAS in Long Session: https://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-news-pfas-pushback-20190812-rjycx53clfdohix73l72gqd3um-story.html
REMEMBER THE END OF THE 1000+pp NOVEL "GONE WITH THE WIND?"
Of course, there is the issue of transportation (read that as "tolls")...and a bridge too far...clock is ticking on this?
NOTE: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn" was the last line of the movie.
"LET'S MAKE A DEAL 2019"
Governor just blue-skying an idea again: https://ctmirror.org/2019/08/06/tribes-reject-lamonts-grand-bargain-on-gambling/
But seriously, folks...
We have to note for the record that we do not support, nor have we ever supported, gambling off-reservation.
Capitol News Briefing on Proposed Casino Expansion, Sports Betting and Other Gaming Issues in Connecticut
Recorded On: 7/31/2019
PRESS CONFERENCE: Sen. Osten outlines draft bill for a Special Session sooner rather than later, that includes:
Holistic approach: http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=16585
- State-wide entertainment zones plan - not for out-of-state interests;
- Lottery Games on-line bill to be included.
- Tribes get sports betting, also a bill to be included.
- Bipartisan support (Rep. Davis's press conference as well).
- DOES BRIDGEPORT DELEGATION (AND GOVERNOR) STILL PREFER MGM?
JULY 22, 2019 VETO SESSION - (We had to go out before any action and just returned...)
HOUSE "standing at ease" at 10:25am - we think having voted between then and 12 noon to approve holding the veto session 130-0.
SENATE "will convene shortly." And now after noon, voting 21-0 to convene the veto session HJ204.
By 12 noon CT MIRROR had reported no override attempted in the
House. Quote from Minority Leader - "“I can yell and scream as
much as I want, but that’s not going to change anything,' she said.
'Overriding a veto in one chamber is a moot point.'”
By 1pm, CTNEWSJUNKIE reported: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20190722_veto_override_stalls/
Who will come back into Session first? Senate. And why are
they still there since they aren't vetoing anything? To pass
school bonding. And now lunch
THE MEANING OF SPECIAL
C.G.A. IS MORE LIKE BOUILLABAISSE. No trout, no lobster nor salmon in the bouillabaisse recipe.
"Special Session ingredients" are fishy. Plus garlic, onion, pepper, cloves, over-ripe
tomatoes, olive oil, etc.
Best served in a dark room with candlelight.
- FROM A RECIPE: "Use firm fish for fillets such as sea bass,
red mullet, haddock, halibut, cod, conger, or red porgy. Small whole
fish can be added as well. Also traditional are mussels, squid, and
- NOTE: Trout, lobster and salmon need not apply for this
dish! Why? JMO, but they are so tasty and so special - maybe
too expensive, too, to be thrown into the pot!
CONSENT CALENDAR RARE IN THE HOUSE, MAJORITY LEADER (C) SAYS
House voting on conveyances as one - Rep. Godfrey (r) in the Chair.. Rep. France (l) gives dates voted upon previously.
THEN A "SPECIAL SESSION" (THESE ARE ALLOWED TO RUN
FOR 3 DAYS) SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION ONLY ON THIS DAY, ADJOURNED, "SINE DIE"
(translation - "whenever")
REP. MCCARTY MAKES THE CHANGE IN CONSTRUCTION GRANTS CLEAR (l)
Emergency certified bill on - SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION/SB1212. 93-35. Lame excuse (r)
IN THE SENATE, MEANWHILE...
Votes on conveyances, school construction bonding first....
Sen. McCrory says "neighborhood schools" although diverse, don't count.
“...'The diversity was only within one school in Greenwich so it
didn’t do what we actually wanted it to do,' McCrory said. 'It was
(The only one willing to question new "range" of grants Sen. Sampson [l])...
Go to lunch, then
WE KNOW HOW THIS ENDED, SINE DIE?
After lunch break, reconvened 2pm and then adjourned. 2:05pm.
TO BE DONE IN ANOTHER SPECIAL SESSION?
Will "servers" unionize? We would venture to guess that this is a distinct possibility.
HOW LONG A WAIT FOR THIS SPECIAL SESSION?
WE SPOTTED THIS ON THE C.G.A. WEBSITE TODAY. JULY 21st
Because, according to the CTNEWSJUNKIE, this July 22 date is for a VETO SESSION and none were expected but three happened
CT MIRROR reports it as the time for the "bond package approval" as
well, so maybe it will be on??? Yes. In a Special Session
called after the Veto Session.
SURPRISE! SURPRISE! SURPRISE! Governor Lamont vetoes three bills: https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20190712_lamont_vetoes_3_bills/
Well, now we know why the bipartisanship - Rep. Klarides authored the bill.
The hyper-partisan legislature never allowed it a Public Hearing. Full story here: https://www.ctinsider.com/local/thehour/article/CT-restaurant-workers-who-claim-they-re-14108805.php?_ga=2.139537463.540815295.1563631557-2125611160.1555678345#photo-17265022
COURANT EYES ETHICS: CAN YOU EXCLUDE THE PRESS FROM ANY EVENT IN THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE?
- Was there an exclusivity deal struck with the videographer and fentynl bill proponents?
- Was it a public meeting considering legislators
who were present (not a "caucus" because both sides of the aisle were
- If you look carefully at Lamont administration, you can see your freedoms being eroded...
- The idea of public-private partnerships has
always been flirting with transparency issues - the public's right to
know clearly taking the back seat. Should it?
CT reaches 2nd deal in three years to refinance employees’ pension fund
Just hits the wires...
By CT MIRROR's Keith Pfaneuf.
Moody's outlook now?
WHAT DID GOVERNOR LAMONT JUST SAY (7-15-19)? BACK TO TWO SLICES?
Comptroller Kevin Lembo spot on!!! Supported by Hartford COURANT editorial here
He notes that "Partnership for Connecticut" schools project begun by
$100M donation. Eventually requires an equal amount from the State
of Connecticut's taxpayers as well as expecting yet another $100M of
- IN EXCHANGE FOR WHAT?
- WHY THE SECRECY? AFRAID OF CRITICISM?
- WHY THE PACT TO EXEMPT ITSELF FROM C.G.A. CONTROL?
IF THE SHOE FITS...BETTER THAN A CEMENT OVERCOAT???
Half way into the program Gov. Lamont speaks: http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=16500
REST STOPS RE-OPEN 24/7 BEGINNING MONDAY JULY FIRST
STATE BOND COMMISSION PLAY-BY-PLAY 6-26-19, 33 items.
TRANSPARENCY WITH ROSE COLORED GLASSES. Some items approved...
- AGENDA (41pp): CT STATE BOND COMMISSION MEETING: http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=16496
- Here's the deal: If inflated revenue estimates and related
things doesn't come to pass, watch out for recisions down the road.
- OK - you have to wonder, who's running the show. Veto
Session the 22nd of. July? In 2019? Reporter heard about it
Education network re: $$, housing commissioner - better than private
sector? Deputy Commissioner (OPM???); CTDOT; DMV Dep.
Commissioner; new D.E.E.P. Commissioner answers...
Is this one of the closed prisons we wonder? So much for promises.
Senator Witkos asks specific question about this project of prison
architect...and Rep. Davis grilled others (Dep. D.A.S). We heard 2 Fire Training projects funded but not another
Rep. Davis asks the obvious question...after at press conference.
"So what happened to Governor/Lt. Gov pledge to establish fire training school in Naugatuck Valley?"
"CONGESTION PRICING" AS DESCRIBED BY FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION.
In Channel 12 report Saturday. this is their report: "Lamont says
no improvements are possible without at least some form of tolls."
PRIORITIES, PRIORITIES...TOLLS TO PAY FOR IMPROVEMENTS???
The argument for tolls: "Feds will take over our
spending priorities" if our infrastructure not on a road to improvement -
via another lock box?
Press conferences: http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=16471
So which bill was it - the Water Plan - attached to? Where does A.C.I.R. fit into sHB7192? Former Speaker Sharkey, (M.O.R.E. Commission) scores.
- Or are we talking about a "strike all and replace" of Sen. Bergstein's SB111? Which was sent to Environment, which Sen. Haskell sits on...so what if it didn't get a P.H., (joke)?
- Was it in the Implementer? We found in line 719 Sec. 73 of
the Implementer mention of water supply, but this is not what the
article means, we are sure...
- All's well (pun) that that ends...well. We have followed the CT Water Planning Council for quite a while: https://www.aboutweston.com/CTDROUGHT.html#ctwpc
- DOES CONNECTICUT QUALIFY AS A CITY ALL BY ITSELF? (Inspired by NYTimes article on cities Tuesday);
We note sHB7192 background from O.L.R.; seems to us as if we
have been ahead of the curve as it were re: predicting (c) getting
rid of local property tax! Which might have been the idea all along, right?
- Also it is important to note "fiscal impacts" caused the bill to be
"watered" down. In effect it now says that there are 5 regions for
taxing and there should be coordination by local assessors in method and
SHARING COST OF TEACHER PENSIONS TO RETURN? HOW ABOUT TOLLS?
So is House Speaker Joe planning to bail out before the Legislature does this? PUNCH LINE OF GOVERNMENT WATCH:
"...the provision in the now-dead bill would also have applied to
other legislative and executive branch officials...it would not have
been of any use to Aresimowicz...because the speaker has declared that he won’t seek re-election in 2020.
"Isn't this past July 1st and the new Fiscal Year?" Senate Minority Leader doubtful the Governor's plan is legal.
Press conferences (l) Governor and OPM Sec'y as we heard it could be up to 60 days although elsewhere from 2 reliable sources it is reported 30-45 days to get union agreement from SEBAC board.
"FREEDOM FROM INFORMATION" THANKS TO 2019 C.G.A. AND GOVERNOR?
Bipartisan? Or actually an example of "non-partisanship?"
Rep. Candelora said it first, and we believe, Sen. Flexer was 2nd. A 21st century version of the Trojan Horse story?
Minority Leader (R.) asks "Where's the $450,000,000 in savings?"
Governor's office says Union negotiator (c) “expressed a
willingness to jointly pursue,” reworking of agreement. And (l) by the way this commentary.