DEFINITIONS AND WHAT ABOUT CREATIVE BOOKKEEPING?  WESTON TEAM;  HANDY LIST OF ALL LEGISLATOR CONTACTS
Most of CT wants a blue solution - "Structural Change" alternative #2.  Example:  https://www.thehour.com/opinion/article/Editorial-Creative-thinking-needed-on-state-13411348.php

TABLE OF CONTENTS



THE CONNECTICUT LEGISLATIVE SESSION 2019-2021 COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS AND LINKS...
Senator Haskell: 6 Committees - Environment, GAE, Higher Education (Senate Chair). Human Services, Judiciary, Transportation
Senator Hwang: 4 Committees (Ranking Member on 3) - Higher Education, Housing, Public Safety, Transportation
Representative Hughes: 3 Committees - Aging, Human Services, Insurance & Real Estate


AS WE WAITED ON NEXT LEGISLATURE...AND ADMINISTRATION...




NEWS

EMERGENCY SESSION CALLED FOR JANUARY 22nd (TUESDAY) AT 1PM FOR BOTH SENATE AND HOUSE







Four members, 2 from each Party.  Familiar faces. 
The one lawyer is Chair. (l) - and he took the opportunity to make a case for one of the three reasons to hold or not a special election: 


Committee on Contested Elections, 1-18-19

ORGANIZING THE PROCESS FOR TESTMONY...  
 
SUBPOENAS TO BE ISSUED
If this is a several phase process, the first one starts Wednesday 1-23-19 at 10am, location TBA.  Continues Thursday, afternoon and finished Friday afternoon.




"LEGISLATIVE SESSION DAYS"

Our running commentary:


HOUSE

SENATE







OPENING DAY IS JANUARY 9 (Wednesday), 2019.
Swearing in preceded by Amazing Grace performance.  Swearing in done by former Chief Justice, friend of the family...

  
Joint Convention opened and conducted by LTGOV Susan Bysiewicz:  Public-Private deal:  Federal Workers in CT $$
Lamont address very personable....thanks Gov. Malloy (perhaps for having plagiarized Himself's previous messages)
--------------------

OPENING DAY OVER - KEN DIXON COMMENTS PLUS SOME GRAPHICS BY ABOUT TOWN

For the subject of what's in store for CT, Ken Dixon's take:  https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/Ken-Dixon-What-to-remember-of-Lamont-s-first-13528748.php


GOVERNOR'S BUDGET ADDRESS LATER IN FEBRUARY...



How does this fit into the "calendar?"  Or does it matter???




HOUSE



HOUSE COMMITTEE LEADERSHIP (D)
Feb. 26 Special Election for 2 House seats (elected candidates accepted positions in the Administration)



EMERGENCY SESSION CALLED JAN. 22, 2019- 1pm

Will the House be in on time for this Emergency Session? YES IT DID.and is now, 3 minutes later, "standing at ease."  Many empty seats.  Back in business at 12:10pm.

HB5765 An Act Establishing...Loan Program administered  3 loans/90 days T$5kx3/tax/deferment/


Credit-worthiness not mentioned.  90 days?  Back pay lag.  High rate on unpaid taxes (18%). No fiscal note on amendment - perhaps because it doesn't have one - its purpose in the first place.

MAIN MOTION
127-15 (7 absent);  Minority Leader praises Gov. urges passage,

House done.  Sends bill to Senate.



OPENING DAY

2 D not seated -



Here we go again...
above, House swearing in
not including two who took jobs in the Administration.
Lots of new Senators including ours.  LTGOV intro.  Most striking but really not a surprise - three not present for the same reason as above:
PLEASE note that the Governor seemed to us to be laying down the law on everyone being positive and inclusionary (both Parties) - see notes.




SENATE



SENATE 23-13.- 3 D not seated - Feb. 26 Special Election for Senators elected who chose to join the Administration).



EMERGENCY SESSION JAN. 22, 2019 AT 1pm


We note that both the House and Senate are scheduled to open Emergency Sessions at the same time - usually the Senate takes its time...waiting for the House to send ot the bill approved.



2:30pm.  First 20 minutes sympathy on death of Stanley Bysiewicz.  We note bew /senator who had previously been in House (r).

Several more Senators spoke, too...




32-1 in favor. "No" vote above - an very well spoken former House member.  Sent to Governor.







OPENING DAY
 
INTRODUCTION OF ALL NEW SENATORS
Senator Haskell was one of a lot of new faces in the Upper Chamber, Chair Higher Ed and member of G.A.E., seated next to Senator Duff, Majority Leader of Senate.








COMMITTEES ABOUT TOWN FOLLOWS LIKE A HAWK


PLANNING & DEVELOPMENT


Co-Chairs Cassano, McCarthy-Vahey, Ranking Member Zawatowski
P&D 1-16-19 Committee meeting - Ranking Member notes P&D works out conflicts between State and local governments.
Bills/Concepts raised at Planning and Development including "Shared Services" - https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/pddata/ca/pdf/2019CA-00116-R001115PD-CA.pdf



BILLS WE'RE INTERESTED IN
Link between transit and density - to be part of a Committee Bill eventually, we think:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5273&which_year=2019
Posting public notices on Town website:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5230&which_year=2019


---------

TO BE OR NOT TO BE, THAT IS THE QUESTION FOR C.G.A.  OR IS IT FOR THE BOND COMMISSION?
Tarry a little, there is something else.
This BOND doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are "a pound of flesh."
The Merchant Of Venice Act 4, scene 1, 304–307

Up in flames before the latest effort to revive got started - but no mind, Maybe fire insurance pay out can be set aside for any "match" required from a future grant? 

More here on fire:  https://www.nhregister.com/local/article/Latest-updates-on-Shakespeare-theater-fire-13532385.php

As of January 18th, bonding requested:  https://www.westport-news.com/politics/article/Lawmakers-request-bond-money-to-rebuild-destroyed-13544849.php





ENVIRONMENT 
Will they be tackling Trash to Energy Plant M.O.U. for the future?
 
     
JAN. 18, 2019
Committee Bills includes concepts raised:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/2019/envdata/ca/pdf/2019CA-00118-R001100ENV-CA.pdf
  1. Calf Pasture as preserved natural place:  Why a Committee bill?  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB00007&which_year=2019
  2. Elephant horns, rhino etc:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB00020&which_year=2019
  3. Animal shelters:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB00021&which_year=2019
  4. Flyers in driveway stormwater:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05092&which_year=2019
  5. Shark fins:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05251&which_year=2019
  6. Conveyance:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05254&which_year=2019
  7. Vegetation:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05308&which_year=2019
  8. Balloons:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05314&which_year=2019
  9. "Styrofoam":  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05384&which_year=2019
  10. Rhino horns:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05394&which_year=2019
PREVIOUSLY...
New Grant program:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5253&which_year=2019
No petshop animal sales:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5246&which_year=2019
No plastics:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBilShark fins:lType=Bill&bill_num=HB5245&which_year=2019
Expand fracking waste ban:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5244&which_year=2019
Prohibit use of artificial turf:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5249&which_year=2019
Free fishing licences seniors:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5187&which_year=2019
Free fishing licences (vets):  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5094&which_year=2019
HB5019 (bag tax):  5 cent tax of paper and plastic bags:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5019&which_year=2019
SB8 (hemp):  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB8&which_year=2019

  

CLIMATE CHANGE, PLASTIC BAG BAN, LONG ISLAND SOUND, EXPANDING FRACKING WASTE BAN
What our new Senator will push for in Environment this Session.- can't wait to hear what his plans are for the budget.  (R) New Stamford Representative backs anti-pet shop sale of animals.





ENERGY & TECHNOLOGY
Will they be tackling Trash to Energy Plant M.O.U. for the future?

Net Neutrality:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB6&which_year=2019
Tracking:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5091&which_year=2019






TRANSPORTATION






EDUCATION

BILLS WE NOTICED:
CLIMATE CHANGE:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5011&which_year=2019
Higher Education - eliminate the Board of Regents:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB05207&which_year=2019


PINK=decrease, GREEN=increase - percentage.
“We’ll see. Generally, I think that we ought to focus our money on the towns that are the most in need given the incredible achievement gap in this state,” he said. “I would keep the overall grant the same, not town-by-town, but the overall grant.”

One issue that Lamont will not face is legal uncertainty about whether the state is spending enough on education. The Connecticut Supreme Court in 2018 ruled that the state is providing students in Connecticut’s most impoverished school districts with the minimally adequate education the state constitution mandates...from CT MIRROR 1-7-19.


AT C.O.S.T.  RE:  TEACHER RETIREMENT
ON THE SAME SUBJECT:  https://ctmirror.org/2019/01/16/lawmakers-renew-teacher-pension-cost-sharing-debate/

-----------


BREAKING NEWS:  SENATE CHAIR. OF HIGHER EDUCATION - 26th District!. Ranking Member Sen. Hwang!




HOUSING




COMMERCE
Above, Weston's version of the subject - Weston Shopping Center.

Support local business:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5005&which_year=2019
Sudent loan reimbursement:  https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB5007&which_year=2019


Senate Co-Chair.
Members of the Committee include the one remaining Democrat who voted for the Republican Budget last Session.






GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION & ELECTIONS


Here comes Early Voting again...https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HJ5&which_year=2019







PUBLIC SAFETY AND SECURITY

ANOTHER ONE
https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB17&which_year=2019




CLOSEST LEGISLATOR TO WESTON
APPROPRIATIONS:  Ranking Member, Hon. Gail Lavielle (143rd District/Wilton, Norwalk, Westport); 



Appropriations














Finance









OPINION

https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20100107_op-ed_demand_that_lawmakers_take_action_on_plastic_bags/








BACKGROUND FROM A PREVIOUS SESSION
New HOUSE Chair. of Housing Committee McGee:  http://www.ct.gov/doh/lib/doh/analysis_of_impediments_2015.pdf








    

CHANGING KEYS
And we quote Sunday's COURANT

Len Fasano, the Republican leader in the state Senate, recently met with the governor-elect for 90 minutes and came away impressed.

"He’s not afraid to say ‘I know what I know and I know what I don’t know.'’' Fasano said. "He’s very honest about that and that is extraordinarily refreshing.''

But...“That’s the difficulty he’s going to run into. There are a lot of people who were elected and believe there’s a mandate for progressive/socialist policies when it was really more of a rejection of Trump...in the building that he’s operating in, there are many factors that could divert him from his mission."
Re:  Comment from CCAG leader, referring to 2006 campaign.  Which makes me think the Legislative Majority and the incoming administration may be playing the same tune, just on different instruments and with a different arrangement now. 






  
POT (l), HEMP (r) - Move to make both street legal by the end of this Session.
A much underrated way to help Connecticut residents ease the pain of fiscal burdens?  Hemp weaker.






MILLIONAIRES' TAX COMING?
Are we going to see Fiscal Stability's recommendations in another light in the Long Session?  "Trickle Up" economics?





REPORT
As some say, new administration "Malloy 2.0."  Meanwhile, "structural change" meaning robin hood approach and while he's at it, tolls cetaininly in the hopper.







By the way, is this one of the issues the new Governor will be facing?
One of our favorite topics.







CALIFORNIA DREAMING L.I.S.-STYLE?
https://www.courthousenews.com/california-intent-on-public-access-for-beach-in-ritzy-enclave/





PLAY THAT NUMBER IN 2019? 






 
A.C.A. THREAT
https://www.theday.com/nationworld-news/20181214/federal-judge-in-texas-rules-obama-health-care-law-unconstitutional
Speaking of the A.C.A., outgoing Lt. Gov most knowledgeable about this:


TAPPED TO BE HEAD OF CT DEMS
We note Nancy Wyman has been strong leader in health care.



December 14, 2018 COURANT article opens new front in "crumbling foundations" matter.



SHRINKING NEWS SOURCES
And the Hartford COURANT picked up CT MIRROR report as the lead story December 15. 2018 on CRUMB RUBBER BAN(D)


 

HOW ABOUT DARIEN?
"...Barnes said the state, sooner or later, has to deal more directly with the fact that more affluent communities such as Greenwich, Weston, and Westport need less state funding than poorer communities such as Hartford, New Haven, and Bridgeport."

WATCH OUT WESTON:  https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/ben_barnes_unplugged/




NOW THIS WAS AN EYE-OPENER
Well now, why are we surprised by this?  Nice interview.









END OF YEAR JOINT COMMITTEE - APPROPS & FRB - Nov. 27, 2018http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=15784
We're rolling in money.  Or are we?  "Fiscal Accountability Meeting" - debt service?  BONDING CAP.  Bond Covenants - school construction, infrastructure.  Major tax expenditures - foregoing revenue to support something else.  Motor carrier fuel.
Sales and use tax.  Major take-away?  Structural FY20.. Barnes next...

 

We came in for part two in Sec'y Barnes' presentation.  Good questions from Minority members.  No questions by Majority.
Hospitals:  What's the story about what happens after the two-year fix is up?  Drop in high-earner segment of population.  "Repatriation" - on-shore reporting never again?. Lots of thanks to State staff.  Especially by legislators who will not be returning.



TOLLS Others?

CONSOLIDATION OF GOVERNMENTS

We may be ahead of ourselves here...https://www.cga.ct.gov/2017/pub/chap_099.htm#sec_7-195

POLICY v. POLITICS:  https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181126_lamont_transition_gets_busy_on_policy/








N E W    A D M I N I S T R A T I O N
 
Governor-Elect Lamont carry-overs
PRESS CONFERENCE JANUARY 7, 2019

NEW DCF COMMISSIONER

Long time top regional administrator, Vannessa Dorantes, DCF




  

DO WE SEE A CONFLICT AHEAD?  FISCAL RESTRAINT UP IN SMOKE?
https://ctmirror.org/2018/11/19/rainy-day-fund-beckons-lamont-insists-fiscal-reforms/

Another CT MIRROR 1-7-19: 
Education Commissioner coming next???

“We’ll see. Generally, I think that we ought to focus our money on the towns that are the most in need given the incredible achievement gap in this state,” he said. “I would keep the overall grant the same, not town-by-town, but the overall grant.”

One issue that Lamont will not face is legal uncertainty about whether the state is spending enough on education. The Connecticut Supreme Court in 2018 ruled that the state is providing students in Connecticut’s most impoverished school districts with the minimally adequate education the state constitution mandates.



KEEPING UP WITH THE INCOMING ADMINISTRATION.  So far (Dec. 28th) COURANT reports...With more from other sources..

                 

 
Newly proposed O.P.M. Sec'y had served 8yrs in CT O.P.M. (17 yrs all in) - Admired and learned from Marc Ryan and also Ben Barnes.
Press corps try to eat all three for lunch - one question is about how tier 3 city financial officer can teach anybody about how to manage stuff


  
SCOTT JACKSON TO CONTINUE!!!

Hartford COURANT & New London DAY (A.P.):  https://www.theday.com/statenortheast-news/20181203/lamont-warned-about-unemployment-trust-funds-insolvency
CT MIRROR REPORT  NOV. 30:  https://ctmirror.org/2018/11/30/can-efficiency-save-state-government-1-billion-per-year/
CTNEWSJUNKIE REPORT NOV. 27:  https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181126_lamont_transition_gets_busy_on_policy/

   
Some members of transition team above:  https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-lamont-transition-20181115-story.html

      
MORE FROM THE C.G.A. JOINING TEAM
Inside baseball:  https://www.theday.com/local-news/20190107/martinez-expected-to-run-for-sotos-state-rep-seat
We missed pix of press aide Colleen Flanagan...Rep. Soto to join administration as legislative director. 
https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181219_lamont_picks_a_new_london_lawmaker_to_serve_his_administration/




OUTGOING GOVERNOR REPORT:  https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-poll-connecticut-tolls-how-much-20181116-story.html
    

GOVERNOR - ELECT FAVORS TOLLS FOR TRUCKS.  
What's in store for other modes of travel?  For some other related ideas such as:
  1. Never mind that idea - tolls for everybody every 6.6  miles:  https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-poll-connecticut-tolls-how-much-20181116-story.html
  2. Regional Schools,
  3. Taxing power to COGs after bill passes for "weighted" voting?
  4. STATE-WIDE PROPERTY TAX ON CARS.
  5. The last CT Governor from Greenwich brought us the State income tax...
  6. FWIW, this election proved to me that people are "relocating" for property tax purposes - we'll see what happened in local elections next year.









HAPPY THANKSGIVING CT!!!  OUTGOING A.G. JEPSEN SAYS "DRAFTING ERRORS" NO PROBLEM BECAUSE...
"It isn't reasonable to believe the Legislature knew what it was doing"...https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20181121_jepsen_budget_bill_errors_dont_change_legislative_intent/



Identity Politics. 

    

Cuban-Americans who are Republicans don't count?
https://ctmirror.org/2018/11/20/better-organized-latinos-try-shape-lamont-administration/




 
 
SHOULD BE INTERESTING
Governor-Elect says two things of note:  Chicken salad excellent in L.O.B. lunchroom and he will staying at his Gubernatorial residence during the week. 

COURANT article re:  Promises promises:   https://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pol-lamont-campaign-promises-20181116-story.html




CT SENATE AND HOUSE DISTRICTS MAP
The CT Senate is presided over by the Lieutenant Governor who breaks ties.  NOT THIS SESSION, WE WOULD EXPECT

    
WE ARE ABLE TO SPELL "BYSIEWICZ" BY NOW...

LINK TO CT SENATE & HOUSE RACES: 
In particular, the Senate has changed from a tie to veto-proof majority (but no one is even going to have to override a veto).  We observe that the turnover is enormous on both sides.

Some pix for CT 2019 SENATE FACES:  Depending on the final recount numbers, which were...23-13 (could have ended up 24-12, too).  91-59 in the House.
26 of 36:  Some familiar faces were either not re-elected, had not run for re-election, WON running to move upstairs;  or John Lindsay-like message ("He is fresh...and everyone else is tired")...and others never spoke up enough for a graphic!
Some of our favorite Legislators are in the House - whose Speaker won a re-election after a recount.  Some recounts still going on Wednesday morning November 14th).  The last disputed race is in the 120th HOUSE district..







 

THE PARADE HAS BEGUN...THIS IS NO SMALL MATTER
Ben Barnes goes from O.P.M. Sec'y  to C.F.O. of C.S.C.U. - announcement from the President, Mark Ojakian.  Who himself moved from the administration three years ago.




CT COMMISSION FOR EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY (LIVE)

           

ENTERPRISE & TECHNOLOGY (D.A.S.) - CT COMMISSION FOR EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY (Chair. left)
Executive Director opens meeting.  Connecticut Education Network discusses safety in network.  Standards.  For students no problem - how about the B.O.E. level?  Interesting discussion of survey.  And furthermore, these programs are designed for consultants to make entry into funding source.  Consultants are on this panel.  So this is a meeting where the experts are scratching their heads trying to translate the value of their work. 



State Librarian:  Libraries and the digital divide.  RESOLUTION:  Acknowledge that there are only available digitally.  There are people who are not able to do so.  The poor and senior community.  Libraries are the answer.  They have staff.  Located optimally.  It is their mission.  1) libraries should and 2) state should make libraries the key to solving the problem.  Public input - maker spaces, life-long learning.