Governor vetoes one bill, signs a bundle...
M.B.R. REQUIREMENT change in lines 5441 - 5444. IMPLEMENTER being discussed now (Friday the 13th, 9:30PM). Then
Rep. Lavielle has COG question on "study" and forced merging of services
(mandates) and introduces motion - L.C.0.
6490 House Amendment 'B': Details mandate relief.
Flexibility requested. 2/3
vote for new mandates request. April deadline for Legislature's
budget to make it relevant for Towns. All presently offered is
State control one size fits all. Home Rule.
Discretion. Give this
back to towns.
SESSIONS, CONNECTICUT GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Senate
Thursday and...Friday the 13th for the House (and the Senate).
Votes taken in Senate Party line.
- THE IMPLEMENTER:
It has been published at last, and includes new ideas. The
IMPLEMENTER passed the Senate with a few changes to fix up typos.
- Autism Spectrum Advisory Council, terminating in 2018
- Autism services extended (or not - sometimes legislative language can be confusing).
- Air rights/redevelopment/parking garage - Sec.32
- Arts funding thru State managing $$ for you - Sec. 34
Board of Mediation and Arbitration - No-quorum needed decisions (to be confirmed after) and as much as doubling pay, Sec. 41 - is
this to save money (i.e. if a quorum is 4 of 7 then 4 members or a
quorum x $175 is greater than $325 for single members)?..
- State will not issue services agreement for less than $15 per hour
- Joint Committee on Legislative Management does not need quorum
to do this.
- Fox guarding the chicken coop section lines 3032 - 3274 : All watchdogs
agencies under the Governor - Government Accountability Commission
appointed. Sec.68 - Sec. 74 strips watchdogs both staff and by-by
to commissions. Sec.78 cuts off the
OFA's independence from OPM, orders only one JOINT report to be given
annually (no doubt the day after the next election - and yes, I am close
- it refers to Nov. 15, as it is now for both the Legislature and the
Go vernor's offices t o do this). This was a "strike all and
replace with..." section of the Implementer.
- Hospitals - Sec.88 - again, we don't know whether this is a power
grab or not. HOWEVER, it was surprising that C.B.I.A. supports the
- Judges' salaries: Sec.90-93.
- Connecticut Retirement Security Authority: Sec. 96 -111.
- Transportation Sec.112 - establishment of "TIA' districts - FIVE in State. Sec.114 -120. Line 5008 to 5162.
- M.B.R. Sec.127 - lines 5441 - 5444 - we think this relates to this: https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/chap_172.htm#sec_10-262i
- AND whoa - by merging women, children and the elderly specific
Commissions into one, Sec. 131 - 167. Other mergers, too, for
racial and ethnic entities...
- WHOA Internet gambling - Sec. 197.
- DOUBLE WHOA MAYBE - is this taking away property tax (not yet real property) from towns? Sec.203.
- TRIPLE WHAMMY: What does this mean? (Sec.207.
- DIAPERS and TAMPONS TAX (removing the tax) 2018 - Sec.205. My definition of getting blood from a stone. WOULD YOU BELIEVE THIS WAS A TYPO - CORRECTED TO "2016"?
- Read more. And this...half-measure.
- Electronic notice of Special Session passes for next time.
made available mid-Tuesday but no sign of "Implementer" yet (that's
where the secret stuff is hidden away including bills or parts of bills
that never even were introduced in both house - and sometime parts
included from bills that never got out of Committee. In previous "Implementers" what hath the Legislature wrought?
How do these differ from Regular Sessions? For what purposes are they "called?" Who "calls" them?
D E B A T E O N T H
E B U D G E T A D J U S T M E N
T I N C T S E N A T
E ; H O U S E F R I D
SPECIAL SESSION FOR BUDGET REVISION AND IMPLEMENTER THURSDAY
5-12-16 AT 10:30AM...MORE LIKE 2PM. FINISHED BEFORE 11PM...WILL RETURN FRIDAY THE 13TH
S.B. 501 - Revision to FY17 Budget
2:25pm - in response to Sen. Frantz, Sen. Bye explains how the Democrats
have different priorities. Happy medium. Difference is this
(JMO): Democrats want to replace middle class with union
jobs. Puerto Rico $77 billion debt.
Sen. Bye response - separate the anecdotes from data. Sen. Frantz
rises to reply that 3 billionaires that left = tons and tons of
Addiction to spending; "The Children are Going to Suffer"
2:45pm Senator Kelly from Monroe, Seymour, Stratford - pointed out
the zero for school bus funding. "Good paying" jobs not service
industry jobs. AAC Act blamed. Hopelessness by announcing
new economic reality.
Sen. Linnares - rebuts Sen. Cassano. Points out that
budget should be done first, not at the last minute arm-twisting.
"Fraud in State Government." Zero based budgeting,
don't undermine COGs, reduce unfunded mandates.
Sen. Markley notes that government can't avoid the facts. How will the economy recovers? Spending cap? Bonding doubled in a few years. No voting on union contracts. Program Review cuts.
Sen. Gugliemo, Stafford etc. Blind sided. Shell game.
MOVING VANS AND REMOVING MBR
Sen. Bouche talks about budget killing towns. Mandate Relief -
380 mandates that raise costs. L.C.O. "B" 6412. Four major mandates -
unfunded mandates M.B.R. 14-22; no common calendar;
professional development halved; permissive in-school
suspension. Sen. Linnares rises to support; brief discussion
3:40pm - QUESTION SEN. BYE CAN'T ANSWER - "Standing at ease"
means staff has to get the answer. No problem - they'll just guess
they'll get it out ocf the budget ($14 million average claims).
L.C.O. - 6410 "C" OFA study each time raise taxes on business - Markley
and Linnares. Funds from Citizen's Election Fund. 15 - 21.
L.C.O. 6409 "D"
Explanation - why some towns got cut and others didn't. 15-21.
L.C.O. 6396 "E" from Sen. who is on Spending Cap Commission - Spending Cap amendment
Spending Cap Commission - pay cut etc. from legislors until Legislature implements Spending Cap. 15-21.
L.C.O. 6418 "F"
Rape Crisis $$ to come from Citizen's Election Fund. 15 - 21.
L.C.O. 6398 "G"
Sen. Fasano structural change with Sen. Witkos. (Require votes by
Legislature on labor contracts negotiated by Governor.) Bye
opposes it. 15-21.
Sen. Duff moves the Majority budget. Did we miss SB502 the Implementer???
WAGES ARE GOING DOWN AND PEOPLE ARE LEAVING WITH HIGHER INCOME ARGUMENT
Sen. Fasano stands to explain
balanced budget and why Republicans ideas are the best on this
matter. Sen. Looney brings up PILOT changes - we were out of the
room for 10 minutes and the budget may have been adopted, because when I
got back, Sen. Cassano was introducing this:
S.B. 504 State Conveyance of property
36-0; transmitted to House.
Senate Stands in recess for dinner we suspect, 5:08pm...it is 6:30pm
and no sign of resumption...House to meet Friday the 13th beginning at
READING THROUGH THE OFFICIAL MINUTES OF THE SPECIAL SESSION WE SEE THAT
IMPLEMENTER WAS CORRECTED FOR MISSED ITEMS IN EDIT (I.E. "DIAPERS" BILL
TAKES EFFECT IN 2016, NOT 2018).
So why do you think the House hasn't been called into session yet?
It is hard to believe that the Democrats can't keep their votes in
line, but what do we know??? There has been strong push back from
AFL-CIO folks...what is the margin in the House?
DEM 87- GOP 64. Those in the know claim that the "Second Chance"
options that the Senate would have passed did not have the votes in the
House so more arm twisting time needed; Senate called into Session
Friday just in case.
S P E C I A L S E S S I O N O F C T H O U S E
IN THE AUDIENCE THE DAY BEFORE...Kevin Sullivan, who has a plan to Hoover up taxes from online
Representatives from Minority Party explain why they are not pleased. OK - Let's Go Connecticut House!!! Oops, it is 11:05am and nobody
in evidence in the chamber. So we watch explanation from May 11
meeting on Second Chance employment rules and opportunities for
education and child care. "Dreamers" grant to Eastern Connecticut
State University from Federal Government next filler of time...
At 1:19pm, House called to order. Happy Friday the Thirteenth. Early comments...
Rep. Toni Walker presents budget. Adjusted budget.
Consecutive deficits. Cutting back spending. Can't go to the
bathroom without being taken aside for comment.
House votes on Senate Amendment "A" Looney/Duff. Corrections (see
above). Ayes have it after discussion (below).
Rep. Davis asks why: Line by line - sales and use question.
Recalculations. Cigarette tax. Inheritance tax
increases. Probate Court fees. Public service tax - what is
it? Increase in conveyance? How we will get $5 million more
in sales and use tax - credit card purchases will be gathered.
D.R.S. tax warrants. Balanced budget by increase in gambling,
- More about all of this in the Implementer bill.
- Rep. Ziobron: Seniors given short shrift. Populate
commissions. Spending Cap Commission. Att'y General finding
money??? Increase to motor fuel tax is assumption. DMV?
- Question about why income shown down, but gambling and sales making
up for it by sales and use tax. RICH PEOPLE DON'T GAMBLE,
JMO. Luxury tax on cars has helped.
Ziobron gives'm what they deserve:
April 2015 "Blue Print for Prosperity"
May - Public Hearing force
June - $1.8 billion new taxes.
Sept. asked for Special Session
Structural Changes??? Deficit Mitigation
February GOP policy document
March deficit again
April, in deficit
"Pathway to Sustainability" long-term 5-year budget plan.
MANDATE RELIEF - reduce number of Committees so they can work together (i.e. FRB and Approps).
House L.C.O. 6487 amendment "A" fails.
Getting real healing. Spending Cap Commission. Rep.
Srinivasen: No more defined benefit. Defined contribution
instead. Rep. Candelora points out bonding cap need.
House L.C.O. 6491 "B" 62 - 81
Rape crisis, child abuse $3.3 million Citizens Election fund
source. Rep.Srinivasin supports this - hipoceracy of voting for
programs and then not supporting them with $$. Cuts it by a third.
VOTE ON THE BUDGET DEBATE
Rep. Byron calls legislature hypocritical.
Rep. Shaban asks about suits against the state. Asks for aggregate. Subject to appeal?
And more. Including questions on social services. No way to
run a state. Rep. Willis retiring. "Get real" - highest
quality of life state. Great speech. Sounds like what we
should say about Weston's taxes.
House L.C.O. 6496 "C"
Re-do school budget. 65-79
House L.C.O. 6480
Mandate Relief Amendment 62 - 81.
SB502 includes study of changing voting on COGs. (The Stamford initiated part of this bill?)
Will there be legislative follow up? Yes, there will be after
OPM, which works for the Governor, does the study. Then there will
be "a public hearing" at the appropriate Committees.
THE "IMPLEMENTER" BILL ITSELF - 151 total members. 73 or 74 in favor, 70 against, 8 (?) not voting. So who didn't vote?
Rep. Lavielle leads off the comment on the underlying bill. Tax
base shrinking. The problem: Calls out the hypocrisy
- Mary Mushinsky calls out hypocrisy at
P.R.I. staff cuts. But she votes for underlying budget in the end
after being told P.R.I. will be spared a bit by Speaker of the House - but wait - he doesn't run for re-election...
- Another rep. - transfer power increased to Governor with no oversight.- checks and balances, giving away power.
- Rep. McLaughlan - ECS cuts. The system is broken. Should look at expenses and revenues first.
After 6pm and no vote on Adjusted Budget yet...not to mention
Implementer....we tuned in again @9pm to hot attack on some of our
"favorite" parts of the Implementer.
VOTE ON UNDERLYING BILL 73-70 with 8 not voting. Who voted which way?
FROM THE CT MIRROR
So much for 2016...Elections coming Nov. 8th for all members of the House and Senate.
Some Democrats opposed the budget , see below (73-70, 72 required for passage).
...But there also were some Democrats who objected to the budget.
Rep. David Alexander, D-Enfield, said the decision last
year to dedicate existing sales tax receipts to transportation and to
municipal aid – despite deficit projections – amounted to a promise that
government shouldn't have made, and can't keep. Instead it has led to
mid-year deficits, worker layoffs and reductions in services to the
"This budget continues the poor decisions from last year,"
Alexander said afterward. "We're obviously going to continue to run
Rep. Daniel Rovero, D-Killingly, also noted that the car
tax capping program had been scaled back so much that only 20
communities are projected to benefit from it. The rest of Connecticut's
149 cities and towns' property tax rates are not considered high enough
for their taxpayers to benefit.
"I believe this is unfair," Rovero said, noting that
residents of all communities pay the sales tax that provides the
resources for the car tax capping system. "Everyone deserves a break on
their car taxes."
Other Democratic representatives who voted
against the budget were: Brian Becker of West Hartford; John Hampton of
Simsbury; Cristin McCarthy Vahey of Fairfield; Russell Morin of
Wethersfield; Christine Randall of Killingly; and Jonathan Steinberg of
Who did not vote according to record? Baram, Fritz (ill), Magna, Lesser, Buck-Taylor, France, Liner and Urban
Are we tapped out yet? Can anyone understand how
the State of Connecticut runs numbers? A picture is better than 1000
pages worth of speed reading...an "omnibus" bill with purportedly uniform agreement was passed at 11:50pm...
Speaker: No Budget Vote Before Midnight
by Christine Stuart | May 4, 2016 5:36pm
House Speaker Brendan Sharkey and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz
announced that they were not going to vote on the 2017 budget before the
constitutionally-mandated midnight deadline.
“As a matter of democracy and fairness to all the members of the House,
it is not possible to do a budget this evening,” Sharkey and Aresimowicz
said in a statement at 5:30 p.m...
Connecticut Loses Investors' Faith by Blaming Stocks for Deficit
Brian Chappatta, BLOOMBERG
March 8, 2016
The swings in the stock market are causing headaches for both Connecticut politicians and investors in the state’s bonds...
“We’re losing confidence in the revenue estimating process, the
magnitude of the shortfall is concerning with reduced options, and the
underlying socioeconomic trends are also worrisome,” said Paul Mansour,
head of municipal research in Hartford, Connecticut, at Conning, which
oversees $11 billion in munis. “I’m looking for something good, and it’s
hard to find it.”
...The perpetual budget cutting belies the recovery that many muni
analysts were once expecting, Mansour said. The scenario they had
pictured was an economy growing in line with the U.S., allowing the
state to restore services and bolster its rainy-day fund. That hasn’t
Credit-rating companies have “been very patient with Connecticut at the
AA rating level and giving them the benefit of the doubt,” said Mansour,
whose company is looking to trim its holdings in state bonds. “But this
seems to indicate clearly that things are actually getting worse.”
Story in full: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-03-08/connecticut-loses-investors-faith-by-blaming-stocks-for-deficit
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PASS A LAW IN THE C.G.A.
WHAT ACTIONS FOR STUDY BY THE LEGISLATURE DO FOR YOU
Don't think government doesn't take seriously the needs of the
poor. What they end up doing about the problem nonetheless creates
work for many such as those above.
LOOKING FORWARD IN THE HEALTH CARE BIZ
Gov. Malloy’s task force may get a jump on coming price hikes
Fred Hyde, MD, Backus /hospital
May 16, 2016
Today is the second meeting of a task force established earlier this
year by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Connecticut’s Certificate of Need (CoN)
laws. Along with a parallel study by the Governor’s Health Care
Cabinet, the task force is supposed to help formulate a 21st century
body of laws to govern our complex healthcare system. The challenge to
both bodies is to place at the center of every discussion the interests
of patients; access, both geographic and financial, as well as
Commentary in full here: http://ctviewpoints.org/2016/05/16/gov-malloys-task-force-may-get-a-jump-on-coming-price-hikes/
NOTE: About Town has been keeping track of Special Sessions separately
from Regular Sessions since 2012. Prior to that time Special
Sessions were reported, but not differentiated from Regular Sessions.