QUICK LINKS:  "About Town" bills of interest;  C.G.A. site (tracking, etc.) ;  analysis of bills, Office of Legislative Research (OLR);  Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA).
LINK to Comptroller's search on CT budget elements.  CT General Statutes -
http://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/titles.htm
THE CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY LONG SESSION COMING SOON - January 7 - June 3Special Session(s) here after June 2012

CONTENTS:






Background:

LWVCT ED FUND 2011 Fall Conference...BACK IN BUSINESS:  Workforce Development for Connecticut's Economic Future

Discussion of the above topic online here:  http://www.lwvweston.org/FALLCONFERENCE2011.html





Plainfield at the opposite end of CT from Weston.  At right, link to Courant report on Plainfield here;  And at Plainfield High School an expert addresses 800 people.

State officials review earthquake plan at Hartford meeting
DAY
Izaskun Larraneta

Updated January 16. 2015 2:50PM

Hartford — Behind closed doors at the State Emergency Operation Center, state and federal officials met Friday to discuss how the state would respond to a damaging earthquake.

The meeting was triggered by a recent "cluster" of small earthquakes (typically less than 4.0 on the Richter scale) that have struck the Plainfield area since Jan. 8. There have been 11 quakes, the strongest of which peaked on Monday morning at a magnitude of 3.3, which some residents said sounded like an explosion.

There have been no reports of any new tremors on Friday, so far.

After the meeting, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was concerned about the earthquakes and wanted to make sure that the state was prepared if disaster struck.

"We looked at the status and reviewed the plans in place, which are quite robust, and then we took a look down the road and said if something extraordinary were to happen … in what way would we need to tweak those plans," said Schriro.

The town of Plainfield also plans to host a meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Plainfield High School to discuss the earthquakes...and for another report:  From the Day - newspaper from Plainfield area:
http://www.theday.com/local/20150117/experts-mystified-by-plainfield-swarm





State Contractors can’t make political donations – oh – except to benefit Malloy
What Wait blog
Jon Pelto
Jan. 15, 2015

...Whereas John Rowland’s campaign finance reports were filled with the names of major state contractors such as the Tomasso Brothers Corporation, the Gilbane Company and the Manafort Brothers, as a direct result of Connecticut’s landmark campaign finance reform legislation, every governor and gubernatorial candidate after Rowland would be prohibited from accessing state contractor money.

However, as the final round of campaign finance reports are submitted for Connecticut’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign, it is becoming increasingly clear that when it came the prohibition on state contractor donations, Governor Dannel Malloy and his political operation fundamentally violated the spirit of Connecticut’s campaign finance law and, quite possibly, the letter of the law as well...column in full:  http://jonathanpelto.com/2015/01/15/state-contractors-cant-make-political-donations-oh-except-benefit-malloy/





Local Elected Officials Press Malloy, Legislative Leaders On Priorities
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Jan 14, 2015 6:28pm


The COST story:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/local_elected_officials_press_malloy_legislative_leaders_on_priorities/




New Commissioner to be appointed - a politically active political appointee?
Docs back more ills for medical pot
Ken Dixon, CT POST
Published 10:34 am, Wednesday, January 14, 2015

HARTFORD -- Doctors overseeing the state's medical marijuana program this morning voted to expand the list of eligible ailments to include sickle cell disease, severe psoriasis and pain associated with back surgery.

But it may take months before the regulations are drafted and approved by a crucial legislative committee.

The state Department of Consumer Protection's Medical Marijuana Program's Board of physicians rejected a proposals to add Tourette's Disorder to the current list of 11 diseases and medical conditions for which 3,648 patients have registered.

Jonathan Harris, the new commissioner of the Department of Consumer Protection who has a seat on the five-member panel, said he would act thoughtfully and quickly, to make the final decision on whether the three new conditions should be included in existing regulations...story in full:  http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Docs-back-more-ills-for-medical-pot-6014763.php






Save for a Rainy Day - what a novel concept!  http://www.osc.ct.gov/brf/BudgetReserveFund_PolicyBrief.pdf





HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED IN 40 YEARS?


NOW
Ho ho - spending like Rockefeller?
  "12%-er" released this..."The Night Before Xmas".  An example (S.O.S. office); R.I. guy now and how long do you think the lines will be?.

As About Town sees it, there isn't any surprise about any of this.  However, it is distressing that in terms of major employment (CT industries which create other opportunities in support activities - a ratio of perhaps 1:2) nobody is even talking about it anymore!  The example of Tenet Health Care, for one.

Read about U.S. job creation here:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/jobs-day-unemployment-rate-lowest-since-july-2008/381083/







LOTS TO WATCH ON CT-N TODAY
- GOV. MALLOY UPSTAGED BY WIFE, WHO WAS VERY NICE.
Story here on Governor's brief speech:  http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_XGR_GOVERNOR_CONNECTICUT_INAUGURATION_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-07-16-51-15

All the tough questions and hard answers left for another day...and yesterday's FOI hearing on why Sandy Hook evidence is not open to view yet?  Somehow, we suspect the hearing was continued...




EAGLES HIRE LOBBYIST, HUSKIES GET SLUSH FUNDS?  APHASIA, PARALYSIS (TEMPORARY, WE HOPE), SEN. MAYNARD SWORN IN.  DELAY ON BUDGET.
Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/upload/2015/01/pre-filed-uconn-foundation-transparency-bill.pdf

Governor's address: 

Story here on Governor's brief speech:  http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_XGR_GOVERNOR_CONNECTICUT_INAUGURATION_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-07-16-51-15

Budget, transportation among top session issues
By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
Jan 4, 2015, 8:38 AM EST

...Malloy said it's time for a "mature and detailed discussion about what it will take to turn transportation around in Connecticut." He said taxpayers need to know how much it will cost to address projects like modernizing clogged highways and upgrading battered bridges.

"It's going to be a pretty broad discussion," Malloy predicted. "Get ready for it."  Story in full:  http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_CONNECTICUT_LEGISLATURE_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-04-08-38-21




Not likely.

Op-ed in full:  http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-fasano-connecticut-democrats-rule-1213-20141212-story.html




LIKE A MOVIE SET
If remembered correctly, which is not always the case, the DGA met here a few years ago...or was it the RGA?

Malloy Goes To Cali For DGA Conference
CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart
Dec 8, 2014 11:08am


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will be in Los Angeles, California for the next few days attending the Democratic Governors Association’s annual meeting and holiday party.

According to the conference agenda posted online, the event starts on Monday with a reception and tour of Universal Studios in Hollywood. On Tuesday, the governors will eat breakfast at the Beverly Wilshire, which will be followed by a roundtable policy discussion. Next it’s lunch and then a VIP reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which is followed by the holiday party.

The DGA blocked off rooms at the Beverly Wilshire where rates begin at $335 per night and the Hotel Montage where rooms start at $330 per night...Story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_goes_to_cali_for_dga_conference/





How to regain balance?  Check CT MIRROR story above in full.

Will Malloy be forced to send deficit closure plan to legislators?
CT MIRROR
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | January 26, 2015

...But given that Malloy’s cuts probably duplicated some of the savings already planned by agencies, OFA’s deficit projection – which will be updated at week’s end after a review of the governor’s cuts – could top the 1 percent mark.

Leaders of the legislature’s Republican minority have charged Malloy has been disclosing budget problems piecemeal since he won re-election in November in hopes of avoiding a deficit of $175 million – and the resulting legal mandate.

After reporting no signs of red ink from July through October, the administration projected a $100 million shortfall in mid-November, just after the election.

GOP leaders cried foul, noting that projection didn’t fully address concerns about surging retirement health care costs or miscellaneous revenue collections.

Malloy has limited authority to impose modest budget cuts unilaterally, and used it in November to reduce the deficit below $35 million.

Eroding fuel tax receipts and rising Medicaid costs pushed it back above $120 million, the administration reported last week, before ordering another $31.6 million in emergency cuts.

But according to nonpartisan analysts for the legislature, cost-overruns involving Medicaid and magnet schools are worse than the administration estimates. And a potential surplus in the debt service account is not as large as Malloy’s staff projects.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, who has been pushing for bipartisan negotiations with the governor on greater budget reductions, called again Monday for Malloy to acknowledge the state’s fiscal problems are worse than originally anticipated.

Do we really have to hit that (1 percent) threshold to say that there’s an issue?” Fasano said. “We can get everyone in the room and talk about this. Wouldn’t that be refreshing for the Capitol if we were a little proactive?”

Gian-Carl Casa, spokesman for the governor’s budget office, said, “We will continue to closely watch state spending and revenue. If necessary, the governor will take additional steps, or propose additional steps to the legislature, to keep this year’s budget in balance.”

Lembo’s next monthly budget assessment is due on Feb. 1.

Story from the CT Mirror:  http://ctmirror.org/2015/01/26/will-malloy-be-forced-to-send-deficit-closure-plan-to-legislators/



Lembo Pegs Budget Deficit At $31.6M

CTNEWSJUNKIE
by Christine Stuart | Jan 2, 2015 11:17am

The state’s 2015 budget deficit dropped $13.2 million since November, but it hasn’t been completely eliminated, according to state Comptroller Kevin Lembo.

On Friday, Lembo said the state is poised to end the fiscal year in June with a $31.6 million deficit. In order, to completely eliminate the deficit he said the downward spending growth trend must continue because revenues aren’t likely to improve...story in full:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lembo_pegs_budget_deficit_at_31.6m/#more





HO HO.  A MERRY CHRISTMAS 2014 (IN IMPLEMENTER BILL?)
How many years needed to have a pension vested in CT?  Commissioners too?  Some studies.
-----------------------

About 200 officials to receive $1.4 million raises

Greenwich TIME
Updated 5:24 pm, Tuesday, December 23, 2014

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — About 200 officials in Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's administration are getting an early holiday present: a pay raise ranging from 3 percent to 12 percent.

The increases for the appointed officials, including agency heads and governor's staff, will cost the state approximately $1.4 million annually. Funding for the raises was included in the state budget that took effect July 1...Story in full here:  http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/About-200-officials-to-receive-1-4-million-raises-5976293.php




A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE THE NEXT BIENNIAL SESSION (2015-2017) BEGINS IN HARTFORD...ABIDING TRUTH FROM CTNEWSJUNKIE OP-ED;  About Town will be watching the outcome of studies from Program Review and Investigation;  plus the issue of drones as the Public Safety Committee







IMPORTANT NEWS IF YOU ARE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL...

Well, there is hospital stay bill, and then there is...a hospital to stay in? 
Story in full: 
http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/tenet_withdraws_plans_to_purchase_connecticut_hospitals/



HEALTH CENTER/HEALTH DEPARTMENT (84) AND INSURANCE DEPARTMENT (76) MOST IN DEMAND AT CONFERENCES: 

As we read the full story, it appears that Connecticut's top administrators involved in Health and Insurance most in demand on the lecture circuit.  Does this mean that Connecticut is sharing its great success in these two areas with the rest of the world - or are we just supporting junkets and conference attendance so that bureaucrats can make connections for future employment or consulting?  To read the story in full:  http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-p-insurance-commissioner-travels-20140926-story.html#page=1





THIS IS HOW CONNECTICUT GOVERNMENT WORKS
Red ink and coal in our stockings...and here is a link to a new page we just built re:  CT Special Sessions of the C.G.A. Wednesday, December 19, 2012.




CHRISTMAS TREE BILL


TO GO TO OLDER REPORTS FROM PREVIOUS SESSIONS, CLICK HERE