Governor Malloy says "take that!"
From the CTNEWSJUNKIE"
“...The governor’s brazen decision to ignore the intent of the compromise budget is bare sabotage, and the clearest indication yet that he’ll spend his remaining time in office working to punish anyone who has opposed his failed policies,” Klarides said. “He has no interest in reforming state government, rehabilitating our economy, or even considering the concerns of local leaders and the citizens legislators serve — the very people who appreciated our efforts to work together to avert his cruel cuts to schools and critical social services programs. Plain and simple, his sole focus is to break the budget and the lawmakers who supported it.”
One example of how Weston's election may have saved money...
FULL STORY IS SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN BY NEXT WEEK...
No more CT-N website at the present URL as of Nov. 8, 2017 - who done it?
"One of the proposals the legislature debated was whether they should assess a small fee on cable subscribers to pay for the service. The bill made it out of committee in 2016, but never got called for a vote..."
CT-N NOT DEAD YET: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/the_cameras_will_keep_rolling_as_negotiations_over_ctn_continue_10_31_2017/
E C O N O M I C S : G R A V I T Y O F C T S I T U A T I O N ( A S I N " W H A T G O E S U P ...")
Pardon my asking, but isn't this a bit like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? FR&B, Approps and Commerce.
PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION 101: Bureaucracy protects itself: THREE (3) HOUR "TITANIC" JOINT MEETING
- "'The idea that they can’t submit information because they can’t access information, fixing that doesn’t require new legislation...' Rep. Ziobron said.
- Comptroller Lembo at both meetings.
- Waste at D.E.C.D.? Garbage in garbage out. Blame the software which is not uniform across agencies.
- We listened to the Joint Committee (FR&B, Approps, Commerce) Auditor's Report live for a while - Commissioner said "sorry."
- It is true that auditors can make a mountain out of a mole hill but,,,FIRST FIVE morphed or metastasized and "silo" issue still present.
- Also embarrassing to me was to hear the Economic Development Commissioner have to admit that only now will they be making upgrades to reporting.
- And there was discussion of direct and indirect jobs - you might remember the many times we've written about this construct "(INPUT-OUTPUT TABLES" or regional economics)
Then...C.R.S.A. to provide retirement security to 21st Century CT Employees/workers - consultants???
Just a thought...
As Rep. Rojas pointed out, it will be the next administration that can change things (either way). "Economic Competitiveness" member present.
SOMEONE SAY "COMPETITIVE?"
Connecticut is a very small place. People now in places of importance were once young and carefree. And we knew them when.
Please note the 2019 Legislature got to vote on union contracts...
CT LEGISLATURE IN SESSION MONDAY JULY 31, 2017? SENATE TO DO UNION CONTRACT...
CARTOON ABOVE MAY BE ONE THOUGHT PROCESS FOR C.G.A.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's budget is the the most dishonest of them all? "Not including the Governor's.?" asks the Speaker...
L O N G S E S S I O N 2 0 1 7; ' S H O R T ' S E S S IO N 2 0 1 8.
How do CT's 169 towns resemble a pig pen? Lots of squealing to come this Session. "Top down" illustration (c). Cities' ideas guy (r)? Like a broken record department: https://ctmirror.org/2017/04/03/lembo-ofa-project-ct-budget-deficit-malloy-does-not/
Aetna moving out of CT to NYC mentioned...is CT falling apart at the seams???
LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP June 29, 2017 at Cannon Grange in Wilton: Last question - can't legislators in CT work together better than the U.S. Congress?
Always interesting to observe these events "out of town" - in this case, Wilton. We share Senator Boucher. Cannon Grange a fine spot, with a natural warmth and simplicity. Antithesis of Capitol - ornate, red plush wood paneled, gilded, marble/limestone, designed landscape. The question of how CT handles union negotiations as compared to other states was asked. Answer included the comment that the Legislature could vote to change the present method made.
Our State Legislators will be in Weston (Rep. Dunsby, Senators Hwang and Boucher) at Weston Public Library from 6pm to 7:30pm on July 11th (a Tuesday).
CCM credibility out the window. Or was he actually being sarcastic?
Anyone who would quote from a movie about lying, bullying and murder in the Marine Corps, (in his opening paragraph) should not be considered a serious player. Unless, of course, he meant to imply that the Democrats are represented by Jack Nicholson's character.
INQUIRING MINDS ASK...
Q: WHY ARE BEACH SERVICES NON-ESSENTIAL SERVICES IN NJ? http://nypost.com/2017/07/01/christie-orders-government-shutdown-amid-failed-budget-talks/
Another opinion/source: http://www.nj.com/opinion/index.ssf/2017/07/budget_blame_game_christie_says_he_cant_sign_a_bud.html#incart_river_index
A #1: BECAUSE THE 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: BECAUSE THE CT GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE ARE BETTING THAT THE UNIONS - MAKE THAT AFSCME - WILL APPROVED THE DEAL TO EXTEND THEIR CONTRACT INTO THE FUTURE YET AGAIN???
THERE ARE MANY IRATE WRITERS TODAY!
The above reference (that I first heard many many years ago) pops up at the very end of the 28 minute press conference wherein the Governor announces his signing of the Executive Order.
From The DAY: http://www.theday.com/statenortheast/20170630/malloy-prepares-connecticut-for-life-without-new-state-budget
The full description of what is to happen from OPM: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/upload/2017/06/20170626_Executive_Order_Resource_Allocation_Plan_1.pdf
Someone we think who knows what he's talking about.
From one of his sources: http://www.pwc.com/us/en/public-sector/publications/state-financial-position-index.html
And my favorite paragraph from the CT MIRROR June 23, 2017 OP-ED:
And then there is Aetna...
2016 article below:
“Coming so soon after the layoffs at ESPN, this (Alexion’s job cuts) is only going to cause more problems for Gov. (Dannel) Malloy,” Cadden said.
Emperor's new clothes again? http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20170314/alexion-pharmaceuticals-in-new-haven-to-lay-off-210-employees
ARE YOU SURPRISED?
The State of Connecticut can't handle statewide emergency service calls: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/state_borrowing_poised_to_climb_to_2.1b_for_the_year/
Click above for latest bad news about CT Government...and our rocky finances. And forget about either impartial financial or research investigations, either. But what's this? Some good news on Pratt and Whitney: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-middletown-leduc-pratt-and-whitney-0917-20160916-story.html
T H E C O N N E C T I C U T G E N E R A L A S S E M B L Y , O U R L E G I S L A T U R E , A S R E P O R T E D B Y A B O U T W E S T O N . C O M - P . R . I . L I N K
"School's Out for Summer" at the Legislature, as Election 2016 begins in earnest. Office of Legislative Research ("OLR") and Office of Fiscal Analysis ("OFA") neutered. Who, or is that "moo?" Just politics in the "Land of Steady Habits."
2016: Chalk up another win for Executive Branch!
O M G C O N N E C T I C U T A T H I R D W O R L D C O U N T R Y O R C A N W E B L A M E J O H N R O W L A N D F O R T H I S , T O O ? M O R E S T U D Y G O I N G O N H E R E
FILLING IN THE BLANKS IN THE BUDGET DEPARTMENT:
Things we notice as they dribble out, Summer 2016:
- Next Special Session?
- Unclaimed bodies - OMEC; read more here: http://www.theday.com/local/20160629/handling-of-unclaimed-bodies-is-latest-issue-brought-on-by-state-budget-cuts
- CT Court System again to be rejiggered;
- State Parks closed in part - limited or no lifeguards at State of CT beaches; Old State House closed: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/fate_of_the_old_state_house_is_uncertain/
- How many more CT Commissioners plan to retire (around the time that new Democrat administration takes office in D.C.)
An opinion from NOT-A-REPUBLICAN -see "disclosure"
Thumbs Down On The SEEC Settlement With State Dems
Dan Klau CT Good Governance Blog
June 17, 2016
Earlier this week the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) settled a long-running, high-profile case involving the Connecticut Democratic Party (CDP). Although the terms of the settlement are commendable in many respects–including imposing the largest election law violation fine (excuse me, “voluntary payment”) in state history–the SEEC exercised poor judgment in deciding to settle the case. Rightly or wrongly, justly or unjustly, the settlement creates the appearance that a major political party in Connecticut can “buy” its way out of an embarrassing investigation by the chief regulator of our state campaign finance laws. [Disclosure: I am a Democrat and have contributed to the CDP in the past.]...story in full: https://ctgoodgov.com/2016/06/17/thumbs-down-on-the-seec-settlement-with-state-dems/
FOR YOUR RESEARCH PURPOSES PRIOR TO LONG SESSION 2017
Link to C.G.A. website for lots of things including tracking bills. New page for the (Feb. 3) Short Session 2016;
- It is here, in the "List of Bills" that About Weston follows legislative ideas that originate in favorite Committees...P&D, Environment, Housing and others, and follow them through to their end!.
- C.G.A.: http://www.cga.ct.gov/
- LIST OF BILLS PASSED AND SIGNED, and when they BECAME LAW LINK
- Special Sessions;
- LINK TO COMPTROLLER NEWS
- Link to our reports on agencies in Executive Branch; Judicial Branch news coming?.
A D V I S O R Y C O M M I S S I O N O N I N T E R G O V E R N M E N T A L R E L A T I O N S
So what's up? Will they be carrying water for the Governor? We'll see!!! After listen to it from beginning to end, my thought is they might just be "disappeared!"
T H E P L A Y - - B Y - - P L A Y
A.C.I.R. MEETING ON CT-N! "WIN-WIN" IS A JOKE IN CT. ACIR GROWS A PAIR!!! WATCH WHAT HAPPENS...THEY WANT TO MEET EVERY MONTH DURING SESSION
Begins 3 minutes late. Session Mandates report. They don't know how long they have been doing mandate report! Since Sonja Googins. (And we note after that happened, once the Legislature found out they were supposed to wait to get ACIR's opinion, they changed the law next Session.)
New Chair. Dave LeVasseur still at OPM and this guy's boss. "Do they want to meet more often?" Partnerships with other agencies? Duplication - M.O.R.E. Commission members never heard of ACIR.
CCM State-Local partnership - Regional recommendations no yet ready (next week?).
De-institutionalization. COG by COG beat down. Tax-exempt clustered. Housing - "sober housing" distribution.
OPM staff working on State Plan of C&D not available. M.O.R.E. Commission??? What's up?
The first we participated in a program in Weston; the second we videotaped. And we did many others, too. By now, in "legacy media" - S-VHS and online w/Windows Media Player.
Jim O'Leary remembers ACIR having done a whole lot and met once a month. Asks for info. because he doesn't have it in one place. We have it all but are no longer a member of the organization. However, we will try to find recordings of "Symposia" - such as "Better Use of a Hidden Asset" in 2004...
SPENDING CAP: Two and a half % cap - can't manage it. (Litchfield). MOTION TO LIFT OR REPEAL 21/2% CAP ON LOCAL BUDGET. YES
Scott Shanley takes government to task about LOCIP $$. MOTION AND SECONDED - make good on already approved grants. YES
REQUIRE OPINION FROM ACIR AS WELL AS OFA AND OLR - no vote.
MOTION ON HEALTH DISTRICTS TO OPPOSE IT AS PROPOSED now - Unan.
WATERBURY MAYOR SCHOOL FUNDING comment.
ACIR will be meeting Fridays each month of the Session (as Jim O'Leary pointed out had been the case in the past).
VROOM, VROOM. KEEP IN THE DARK ABOUT REAL FINANCES
Don't you think Governor Malloy looks a lot like former Governor Rowland? Spending Cap Commission meets Wednesday, May 25, 2015...IMPLEMENTER makes them moot? Transparency = proving the point?
"Less is more" indeed! ... M.O.R.E. Commission link...and "CT 21st Century" (begun by former Gov. Rowland) planning, which, if the latest economic study appears to say, is stalling. .
SURPRISE!!! Somebody figured out that the Native American agreements didn't apply to non-tribal lands, perhaps?
NEWS FROM THE LEGISLATURE: Gotta read this op-ed on "shooting craps" (this website's name for present government at the top).
FROM CT MIRROR:
And coming in 2017...http://ctmirror.org/2016/03/22/estate-tax-measure-offers-preview-of-2017-state-tax-debate/
GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY? PROVERBIAL "RATS DESERTING A SINKING SHIP" NO RELATION TO THE INDIVIDUAL IN THE STORY
CHECK OUT OUR #4 RANKING NATIONALLY...FOR OUT-MIGRATION!
LOTS OF NEW YEAR'S PREDICTIONS...HOW ABOUT WHEN THE CCJEF LAWSUIT WILL BE DECIDED? S.E.E.C. V. CT DEMS RESOLVED BEFORE ELECTION DAY 2016?
WHEN THERE IS A SESSION, SPECIAL OR OTHERWISE, THERE IS NEWS. OTHERWISE IT IS POLITICS.More M.O.R.E. and even more of that - Education Task Forces; "B.E.S.T." efffort initiated by CCM;
CONNECTICUT NETWORK ("CT-N") programs we watched. And original graphic links for Governor's Transportation Panel (l) and CT Tax Panel (r) - we have followed both throughout 2015!
BUDGET WATCH FY16
Spending cap? What spending cap??? News from the CT MIRROR, in this more recent article noting rising interest rates following: NO MORE SPENDING CAP 2/3 VOTE TO EXCEED
Barnes Expresses Regret Over 2014 Budget Comment
by Christine Stuart | Nov 19, 2015 5:30am
Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes told the legislature’s two budget writing committees Wednesday that he regretted a comment he made back in 2014 following the re-election of his boss, Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy. In a meeting with reporters back in November 2014, Barnes said the state was in “a period of permanent fiscal crisis...” - story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/barnes_expresses_regret_over_2014_budget_comment/
Democrats’ campaign finance cuts losing steam
By: Mark Pazniokas, CT MIRROR | November 19, 2015Few trial balloons at the State Capitol have deflated as quickly as a proposal this week by Democratic legislative leaders to save $11.7 million by suspending Connecticut’s groundbreaking system of publicly financed campaigns...http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/19/democrats-campaign-finance-cuts-losing-steam/
AN ALTERNATIVE? DOES ANYONE HAVE ONE?
And are there alternatives to the Governor's suggestions on how to deal with deficits? One here: http://ctmirror.org/2015/11/06/nappier-find-a-less-radical-pension-fix-than-malloys-plan/
HOW THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE SAID "THE DOG ATE MY HOMEWORK" - ONLY IN CT STATE GOVERNMENT CAN YOU GET DO-OVERS
Read the same story from other reporters' eyes: http://ctmirror.org/2015/10/19/malloy-calls-for-bipartisan-talks-as-budget-hole-deepens/
Fasano Questions Malloy's Budget Numbers, Says He Will Reveal GOP Proposals at Negotiation Table
Oct. 19, 2015
Senate Republican Len Fasano said Monday he's pleased Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has invited the GOP to be part of high-stakes budget negotiations.
But Fasano and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides question the governor's numbers.
"We think the first thing we do when we get to the table, in my view, is that we all have to agree what this budget deficit is," said Fasano, R-North Haven. "You can't fix something...[when] you don't know what you're trying to fix...story in full: http://www.courant.com/politics/capitol-watch/hc-sen-len-fasano-says-budget-shortfall-nearly-double-malloys-estimate-20151019-story.html
GUESS WHAT? THE GOP WAS RIGHT ABOUT NEEDING A SPECIAL SESSION.
Form a Committee, hold a conference but heaven forbid call for a Special Session!
An Active Volcano
Out our hotel window, a graphic, in Seattle!!!
And then there is this item: http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-legislators-travel-1011-20151010-column.html
No approval needed for union contract re-interpretation? READ ABOUT ISSUE HERE.
A new meaning to financially underwater...or a "shipwreck"
Bond Commission Poised To Purchase Amistad Replica
by Christine Stuart | Sep 28, 2015 1:15pm
...The state is also a creditor and could receive priority among all creditors, providing reimbursement for some of the expense, Gian-Carl Casa, undersecretary for legislative affairs at the Office of Policy and Management, said.
“In the near future the plan is to keep the Amistad on land in order to reduce operating costs and to use it for educational programs aimed at K-12 students,” Casa said. “But the future of the Amistad will be determined by Discovery Amistad Inc., and the ship may return to the seas when finances and other opportunities permit.”
It’s currently located in Mystic Seaport where it will undergo repairs for a leak.
“The Amistad can help educate generations of Connecticut residents about the evils of slavery and what it means, in a tangible way that even children can understand,” Casa added. “For people outside of Connecticut it is also a powerful symbol of the liberties and human dignity that our state values.”
Very stern rebuke to Yelmini lawyer, meanwhile parties are working out an agreement, we think.
O.P.M. DATA COMMITTEE: September 24, 2015 - my bottom line...there is no easy way to do it - "IT" being statistical uniformity. For good reasons, too.
OPEN DATA PORTAL RULES DUMBING DOWN? WESLEYAN PROF GOOGLES - so we Googled "meta data" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata
FWIW - The answer is a webpage with a link! Regional districts a problem statistically - there must be a map the show the geographies - but guess what?
RESCISSION: I can't wait until someone asks if executives will take pay cuts...HAH - it was the last question!
CAPITOL NEWS BRIEFING: Special Session request...and now even the Democrats in the Legislature are complaining about recisions...time for a Special Session?
We have also added this story on the continuing saga of health care because CT is supposed to be ahead of everybody else...not so fast to the promised land, big deficits ahead!
Malloy Tries To Help 6 Hospitals, But Legislative Leaders Aren’t Impressed
by Christine Stuart | Oct 9, 2015 3:21pm
"...Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, said he appreciates that the governor listened to Democratic lawmakers and took “a first step in reversing these ill-conceived and devastating cuts to our community hospitals.”
"However, he said 'the restorations cannot end here. These cuts will have a multiplier effect — jeopardizing federal reimbursements — adding to my concerns about the financial viability of the smaller, community-based hospitals.'
"House Speaker Brendan Sharkey echoed his remarks..."
Story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_tries_to_help_6_hospitals_but_lawmakers_arent_impressed/
SURPRISE ON OCTOBER 1ST!
Despite Malloy’s assurances, last CT budget closes in deficit: http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/30/despite-malloys-assurances-last-ct-budget-closes-in-deficit/
By: Keith M. Phaneuf, CT MIRROR
September 30, 2015
Malloy’s Emergency Budget Cuts Face Growing Bipartisan Opposition
by Elizabeth Regan, CTNEWSJUNKIE
Sep 30, 2015 3:41pm
For the first time we, About Weston, can recall, an entity that needs help from CT speaks out: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloys_emergency_budget_cuts_face_growing_bipartisan_opposition/
Previously, as "veto" override session took place this summer...
"...Leaders of the Democratic majorities announced Friday that there wasn’t enough support in either chamber for an override. The only bill expected to possibly be under consideration was a vetoed measure that would require education commissioners to have experience as a teacher and school administrator. The legislation, sought by labor unions, was a reaction to teachers’ displeasure with Malloy’s first commissioner, Stefan Pryor, whose primary education credential was as a co-founder of a charter school in Connecticut but whose career was in economic development positions.
"But while House Republicans, who control just 64 out of 151 seats, knew they lacked the numbers to secure an override, they recognized Monday morning that they did have the right total for something else.
"The GOP had 46 members present at Monday’s veto session, while only 37 of the chamber’s 87 Democrats attended. And it takes only a simple majority of those present effectively to amend the agenda and force a debate.
"House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, then moved to debate the bill, and House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, deemed it approved after waiting for any objections from the floor.
"Klarides said it was important to discuss the education bill Malloy had rejected, even if that was all that was accomplished Monday..."
1 in 5 are Medicaid patients in CT. Do you think there will be one? Point made was that CT cuts would result in loss of Federal $$
Heart and hypertension will be impacted: http://www.ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=11996
MEETINGS OF THIS GROUP NOW ON CT-N
Conference Call minutes added to agenda and approved - "educational technology" staff hiring - for $2 dollars? Nope. But no one mentioned a six figure salary, we think. It was a 10.6% budget reduction. CT Education Network may be looking for revenue options. Budget may have to be reduced by 5% for next year...best thing in government, IIAC.
And local leaders in the part of "improvement" wonder...
LAST MINUTES ON FILE FROM 2017
I guess they decided to punt to others?
Seemingly operated at the Governor's will, or maybe the Legislature's? AND NOW POST ELECTION 2016...
BEGAN AT 10am Friday, December 1, 2017
WE MISSED VERY FIRST PART INITIALLY...
Worker training, competitiveness. "4x4" concept (?).
UPON WATCHING ON DEMAND WE LEARNED THAT THEY HAD CHOSEN PREVIOUSLY TO EMPHASIZE MANUFACTURING
Some very interesting data from D.E.C.D. in support. Exports of military and aerospace products from Connecticut industries to the global market - we are #2 behind Washington State.
THIS IS A N ARGUMENT FOR STATE TAKEOVER OF K-12 EDUCATION WE THOUGHT
Emphasis on community colleges. And moving job training even to middle schools. Local schools need to encourage technical educations. Trends in manufacturing - Hill House has technical training. "What's in it for the poor?"
NOW IT IS A MATTER OF INTRA-DEM COMPETITION ON THE POLITICAL POWER FRONT...
TOURISM DISCUSSION ROUNDS OUT COMMISSION MEETING...A NEW ENTITY CREATED BY LEGISLATURE (R). WORKING GROUP ON PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS TAKES THE FLOOR...
FWIW - No WC on the Merritt Parkway - welcome to CT! CT15, after 3:30pm in the afternoon "CT A PLACE TO "P.". D.E.C.D. .presents to "working group" on same subject or is it public-private partnerships???
WORKSHOP OF RECYCLED IDEAS
When the workshop deteriorated into more shooting the breeze,not turning on microphone is an example of this characteristic, I stopped watching - @2:30pm..
FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH THE PERFECT DAY FOR THIS MEETING.
NEXT MEETING IN NOVEMBER - REP. TONG (R) CHAIRS. THIS MEETING
- Clusters of manufacturing.
- A bit over an hour.
- Commissioner of DECD speaks (top row) including report on Amazon.
- Organizing for another meeting. And beyond.
BUY IN. ALSO BUY A LOTTERY TICKET - or maybe they have enough money...new State Senator (former First Selectman) says no way to sub-committees..
HOW TO ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING?
WHAT RESOURCES DOES THIS COMMITTEE HAVE? $750,000. Commissioner Smith, Sullivan. SUB-COMMITTEES suck. "Inclusive and productive" an oxymoronic.
WHAT DO WE WANT TO FOCUS ON? Use CT Tax Commission, CT Spending Cap.
We will watch this meeting in full later - but we note that the speaker to introduce others from the Boston Fed specifically explained this was for low income communities. Chair. of Commission stated that this Commission is focused on cities. To that end, he introduces four mayors of cities in the audience or their representatives: Litchfield, Bridgeport, Meriden and New Milford.
First hour done...more to come...
FORM A COMMITTEE...
And another gift from the IMPLEMENTER...Rep. Tong mentions that they are starting on time.
Kicking in Oct. 1, look what else we found in the IMPLEMENTER!
Sec. 104. Subdivision (57) of section 12-81 of the general statutes is amended by adding subparagraph (F) as follows (Effective from passage):
(NEW) (F) For assessment years commencing on and after October 1, 2015, any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body or, in a municipality where the legislative body is a town meeting, by vote of the board of selectmen, abate up to one hundred per cent of the property taxes due for any tax year, for not longer than the term of the power purchase agreement, with respect to any Class I renewable energy source, as defined in section 16-1, as amended by this act, that is the subject of such power purchase agreement approved by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority pursuant to section 16a-3f.
Sec. 106. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015, and applicable to assessment years commencing on or after October 1, 2015) Any municipality may, by vote of its legislative body or, in a municipality where the legislative body is a town meeting, by vote of the board of selectmen, abate up to one hundred per cent of the property taxes due for any tax year, for not more than twenty-five tax years, with respect to personal property of any gas company, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, in order to facilitate natural gas expansion projects in such municipality. The gas company shall include the amount of such abatement when calculating the hurdle rate pursuant to section 16-19ww of the general statutes for gas expansion projects within such municipality.
Executive Branch: http://portal.ct.gov/
"Green" promised to Aer Lingus: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-windsor-locks-aer-lingus-bradley-dublin-1022-20151021-story.html
LINK TO COMPTROLLER NEWS
Architect Of Titanic Higher Ed Fiasco Will Steer Ship
Sept. 11, 2015
Mark Ojakian is one of the nicest guys in state government. Everybody likes him, including me. Roberta Willis is a state representative. Like Ojakian, she's a Democrat, and she's a pretty tough cookie.
That's why eyebrows went up back in 2011, when a Hearst Newspapers special report on the new Malloy administration recounted how aides were teasing Ojakian about Willis, saying he "made her cry."
It wasn't quite true. Ojakian was Malloy's point man for a reorganization of higher education, a reorganization that has turned out to be a flaming, stinking, money-wasting, morale-crushing fiasco. Willis had the audacity, at the time, to say it was a bad idea, and Ojakian happened to be in the room when the disrespect, arm-breaking and power-brokering by her mostly male colleagues finally got to her, and she wept...story in full: http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-mcenroe-ojakian-wrong-man-for-higher-ed-job-0913-20150910-column.html
What is D.E.C.D. up to lately? Will G.E. be convinced by this presentation? Story here: http://www.newstimes.com/news/article/State-uses-photo-of-competitor-s-jet-engine-in-6484254.php
"Witt Associates' TWO STORMS REPORT 2011" now available at this link: http://www.wittobriens.com/external/content/document/2000/1883982/1/CT-Power-Restoration-Report-20111201-FINAL.pdf
“CTJS is not a dystopia and we are not ‘Clockwork Orange’,” Katz told the committee referring to the 1962 novel by Anthony Burgess about a subculture of extreme youth violence. Katz said that as of Wednesday there were 68 boys at CJTS and 6 girls at the Pueblo Unit...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lawmakers_begin_examination_of_dcfs_secure_facilities/
Judicial Branch: http://www.jud.ct.gov/
No more death penalty in CT: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/connecticut_supreme_court_rules_death_penalty_unconstitutional/
WHAT HAPPENED THIS SUMMER ...AFTER THE LEGISLATURE COMPLETED SPECIAL SESSION IN JUNE. AND BESIDES M.O.R.E. COMMISSION?
Links to bills that passed that became effective July 1, 2015 (and link to those that became effective upon passage/signature): http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/aearchives/20150701ActsEffective.asp
State Tax Panel and how it relates to Weston: http://www.cga.ct.gov/fin/taskforce.asp?TF=20140929_State%20Tax%20Panel
Special Session over now for the IMPLEMENTER bill #1502 as we think it passed (Hint: bills number "7000" and up were in Implementer) - http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=SB-1502
News today from the Stamford ADVOCATE about G.M.O. labeling...http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/House-passes-bill-to-prevent-mandatory-GMO-6401836.php
During Monday's session we did research online: So far we've seen some interesting proposals - our favorites here. Annotated with links to OFA and OLR, CTNEWSJUNKIE on all actions taken to change the original #1502. CTNEWSJUNKIE, thanks for clearing up SB1 matter for me!
And these passed, too! M.O.R.E. Commission Sub-Committee met to discuss transport regional entities 7/14/15 - our notes here.
Raising the minimum wage, something the 2015 "$15" Legislature did in CT, we think; http://www.nber.org/papers/w4509
2 0 1 6 : N O W G O N E W I T H T H E W I N D T O B O S T O N . . .
GE’s ego bruised by tax spat with state
By Neil Vigdor, Stamford ADVOCATE
Updated 1:04 am, Saturday, September 19, 2015
Nothing personal, Connecticut. This whole relocation thing, it’s just business.
So goes the company line of General Electric.
But despite GE’s efforts to control the message in its spat with Connecticut over corporate taxes, people behind the scenes say the company’s ego has been bruised and that could hasten GE’s exit from the state.
When the majority leader of the state House, Joe Aresimowicz, attempted to bring levity to raising taxes on the rich back in June, the Berlin Democrat’s rhetoric struck a nerve at GE, Hearst Connecticut Media has learned.
“I guess the difference between a weekend on the yacht and a regular trip to the grocery store — they can take a weekend off from the yacht,” Aresimowicz said at the time...story in full:
A PENSION BIGGER THAN THE DEFICIT?
Although we don't necessarily think this way, a good piece about the financial implications of feather-bedding. http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-ojakian-pension-boost-0906-20150905-column.html
ARE ANY OF THE IDENTIFIED SPOTS IN WESTON?
PA 15-204—sHB 6034
AN ACT AUTHORIZING BOW AND ARROW HUNTING ON CERTAIN PRIVATE PROPERTY ON SUNDAYS
SUMMARY: This act allows Sunday deer hunting with a bow and arrow on private land in overpopulated deer management zones, as the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) determines. The law prohibits any other type of Sunday hunting, and a violation is a class D misdemeanor (see TABLE ON PENALTIES).
The Sunday deer hunting (1) must be in accordance with DEEP's wildlife management principles and practices and (2) cannot take place within 40 yards of a blazed (clearly marked) hiking trail. The hunter must (1) have the private landowner's written permission to hunt there and carry it while hunting and (2) obtain the required DEEP permit to hunt deer with a bow and arrow.
The act eliminates a provision that makes possessing a bow and arrow outdoors on Sunday prima facie evidence of hunting in violation of the Sunday hunting law.
The law requires the DEEP commissioner to adopt regulations establishing standards for deer management and regulated areas for hunting deer with a bow and arrow, among other things. DEEP has identified 13 deer management zones throughout the state, and currently estimates that 11 of them are overpopulated (i. e. , with at least 20 deer per square mile).
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015
OLR Tracking: JLK; KD: VR; BS
Top legislative Republican wants 2012 research Malloy used on death-penalty repeal
By Ken Dixon, Greenwich TIME
Published 2:00 pm, Monday, August 17, 2015
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano on Monday asked Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to give reasons for his 2012 stance that the repeal of the death penalty would not affect the 11 murderers on Connecticut’s Death Row.
Malloy’s spokesman discounted Fasano’s request as political grandstanding.
“Based upon the Connecticut Supreme Court ruling made by an activist court banning the death penalty, despite the clear intent of the legislature to maintain the death penalty for those currently on death row, including the Cheshire killers, and based on the strong dissent which clearly explains how the majority of the court overstepped the boundaries of our Constitution and purposely hijacked the role of policymakers, I would like to better understand how you came to your conclusion in 2012 that this very situation would not happen,” Fasano said in a letter to the governor.
“In 2012, you emphatically guaranteed that the death penalty repeal bill would in no way be retroactive...” Story in full: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Top-legislative-Republican-wants-2012-research-6448924.php
And on another front, another "use it or lose it" this time in terms of experienced staff candidates:
Lawmakers seeking to change pension rule told to write a letter
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | August 13, 2015
Six legislators hoping to ask a state retirement panel – in person – to effectively rewrite municipal retirement rules in a way Gov. Dannel P. Malloy prevented last month – will have to settle for writing a letter.
State Employees Retirement Commission Chairman Peter Adomeit informed the legislators, five Democrats and one Republican, that their appearance would constitute an improper intervention in a specific retirement case that’s been the focus of partisan debate for more than two years.
But the legislators, located along Connecticut’s south-central shoreline, insisted Thursday they aren’t trying to intervene in any specific case. Rather, they said, they want the commission to ensure that municipal pension recipients are free to pursue work in other communities without delaying or suspending their pension payments.
Currently, retirees receiving a pension through the Municipal Employees Retirement System – which is administered by the state – cannot continue to do so if they go back to work more than 20 hours per week or 90 days per year in any other city or town that participates in the system. A bill passed last spring, but vetoed by the governor, would have ended that restriction...story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/08/13/lawmakers-seeking-to-change-pension-rule-told-to-write-a-letter/
Election agency files suit against Democrats
By Ken Dixon, Greenwich TIME
Published 1:03 am, Saturday, August 8, 2015
HARTFORD — The State Elections Enforcement Commission filed a lawsuit against the Democratic State Central Committee on Thursday in an attempt to force the party to surrender records on its use of a federal account that helped fund the endgame of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s 2014 re-election campaign.
Democrats have resisted a May subpoena from the SEEC in connection with a complaint by state Republicans in the final weeks of the fall campaign, over tens of thousands of dollars from the Democratic State Central Committee’s federal account that was used to supplement the $6.25 million Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman received in public financing. In particular, federal funding paid for a pro-Malloy mailing that Democrats say is protected under federal law because it included directions on where voters could cast ballots...story in full: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/Election-agency-files-suit-against-Democrats-6432440.php
State Dpt of Labor will lay off 95
Published 11:16 am, Wednesday, August 5, 2015
HARTFORD — The state’s decrease in the unemployment rate will result in nearly 100 job losses in the state Department of Labor because of a cutback in federal funding...
Story in full: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/State-Dpt-of-Labor-will-lay-off-95-6426293.php
From OFA: So how does this affect dying in CT?
IMPLEMENTER: Notes section §§ 456-467, & 531 — PROBATE FEES: The bill makes various changes affecting Probate Court fees, including raising various fees, establishing new fees, and eliminating the cap on maximum fees for settling an estate; § 130 — PROBATE COURT ADMINISTRATION FUND: Under current law, if there is a balance in the Probate Court Administration Fund on June 30 exceeding 15% of its authorized expenditures in the coming fiscal year, that excess is transferred to the General Fund. The bill overrides this provision for FY 15, by requiring any balance in the Probate Court Administration Fund on June 30, 2015 to remain in that fund. EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage
New CT budget gets mixed reviews from Wall Street
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | August 4, 2015
The state’s new biennial budget is getting mixed reviews from Wall Street’s credit rating agencies.
The four organizations that rate Connecticut’s creditworthiness praised Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature for adopting a $40.3 billion, two-year plan that is balanced – albeit “narrowly” – with few one-time revenues.
But the agencies also noted that Connecticut continues to struggle with “tepid” revenue growth and a small reserve that leaves the state vulnerable to “future fiscal shocks.”
The agencies all reaffirmed their respective, healthy bond ratings for Connecticut.
And while Fitch Ratings upgraded its outlook for Connecticut from negative to stable – matching stable outlooks offered by Kroll and by Moody’s Investors Service – Standard & Poor’s maintained the negative outlook it first placed on Connecticut back in March.
...Connecticut still faces big annual increases in the coming decade to meet its obligations to worker retirement benefits, and its bonded debt – used to finance major capital projects, but also sometimes to support operating budget costs – also was cited as a growing concern in several reports.
“Connecticut is a frequent borrower, and the state’s debt per capita and debt-to-personal income ranked first and second, respectively, among the 50 states." Moody’s wrote.
And Connecticut’s net taxpayer support debt of $5,491 per person, or 9 percent of personal income, is well over the national median of $1,054 per capita and 2.6 percent of personal income, according to Moody’s.
Story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/08/04/new-ct-budget-gets-mixed-reviews-from-wall-street/
Co-Chairs Bills Dyson and Nickerson...
CT STATE TAX PANEL MEETINGS WITH CONSULTANT ELECTRONICALLY AND THE PUBLIC CAN LISTEN IN: OUR NOTES HERE!!!
This is not the same thing as the State Transportation Panel, with Cam Staples as Chair. and Emil Frankel very much leading the way...which has been meeting in person at the L.O.B. with its meetings online at CT-N.
WHAT IS GOING ON HERE NOW?
M.O.R.E. Commission a creature of House Democrats
WHAT DID TUES. NOV. 17th REGIONAL ENTITIES MEETING DO?
Go direct to report from Regional Entities meeting:
M.O.R.E. more and more ideas about Education Funding...
Speaker Sharkey: MORE Municipal Subcommittee Meeting - this report expanded after viewing the first 30 minutes when online.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 10:00 AM, 1E - watched live from 10:35am on...until 12:07pm. Rep. Steinberg present. Rep. Steinberg is Chair, of the full M.O.R.E. Commission. Watched on CT-N Tuesday, July 21st.
Public-Private Partnerships - our notes.
STORRS: "Building a Downtown From Scratch"
- Storrs population 15, 344
- SPECIAL DESIGN DISTRICT by P&Z, special regs. then 2008...
- R.E.I.T. (E.D.R. for residence upper floors). Day, Pitney lawyers.
- Town would do parking 600 space garage and streets. Relocation for existing tenants. Developer ran garage for 7 yrs. Overrun. More. E.D.R. leasing 300 spaces. $30 million issued but not on the town. 4% grand list growth.
- Res/Commercial ratio before 85-15; after 75-25 (% of grand list). Town has to hire its own experts. Under statutes tax abatement - new owners want tax abatement, too.
QUESTION: #1 - What happened to stoers that had to relocate? #2 - Why a Special Design District instead of Village District? (Questions from Gayle). Ans. #1 - Relocated or folks retired. #2 - It was recommended to us by consultants we hired (Day Pitney?).
WINDSOR (30,000 pop). In the last 7-8 years incremental tax value. Adaptive reuse. Contributed public dollars for clean-up. Tax-increment bonds would have been good. Had to create a Redevelopment Authority. Hard to find volunteers without conflicts. Special Improvement District used. Debt does not apply to Town. 600 acres. Former Combustion Engineering site. New act this session simplified it.
...How taxes are abated before full impact - Storrs Center. Questions on types of stores in Storrs Center. Difficult to attract tenants for clothing stores and retail. Restaurants OK. Residential component. Smart Growth. Taxes related to M.O.R.E. "shared" formula not asked, we think.
We have now watched the full meeting. "Public-Private Partnerships" (which happens to be an area we have worked in previously in our professional career) at that time will be further developed..
Preserving rural character. Dense center, rural outer land.
Filchak - why competing - town against town? Ans. Revenue sharing. Windsor Locks guy refers to "Cannibal" effect. Windsor train station - used as an example. Windsor is my example from website background from 2007 - story no longer online here.
Regionalizing Financial Management:
Board of Education shared facilities - facilities management.
"Risk Management" coordinated. OUR NOTE: Weston does these things already.
Assumption of Liability - a tricky thing.
Madison (18,000): First Selectman says his presentation similar - will answer questions (and he did, very well).
Gayle asks about overworking staff during budget times? Ans. Staff from joint finance departments only provide data, decisions and presentations made by others.
Town - Board of Education
Combine budget management. Shared services committee to save money. Board of Education felt their autonomy would be compromised. Plainville (17,000) - outnumbered minority Republicans took over on the issue of combining duties. Town Charter revised for combined function. Pooling benefits. Offices merged. Consolidated function so - no more "us v. them." Openness between Town & School.
QUESTIONS: How does that work? Software costs?
How does one person prepare and defend both (Gayle)? Ans. Retirements. Nobody lost jobs in the regional example given.
Weston Town Administrator also there. Sounds like Weston is ahead of the game. NOTE: Town IT retirement made merging functions possible on IT.
Comptroller's Office not available, said Southington Rep., Chair. of Retirement Sub-Committee, reporting at the end of the agenda.
Gayle then asks to be on this sub-committee, as well as the one meeting today, too. Asks to have Weston Town Administrator Tom Landry speak to retirement issue.
Tom says issues are: Contribution levels. State Employees contract example. Actuarial: Vesting. Contribution rate. Variations on a theme.
M.O.R.E. Municipal Sub-Committee will reconvene in February 2016 prior to new Session.
Fireworks at Veto Session? Yup.
The Senate just adjourned "sine die" 18-12 with no discussion except for parliamentary procedure types of double-checking on the part of the Lt. Gov.
The agenda...debated was this bill: http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB06977&which_year=2015
It required to be overturned 2/3 votes of TOTAL House membership of 151; we watched the House actually have a debate Watch it here: http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=11784
M . O . R . E . M . O . R . E . after Special Session to pass Implementer. How did "sSB 1" turn out for addressing regional efficiencies? What's up on education efficiencies?
On CT-N: Immediately below, Rep. Brendan Sharkey, Speaker of the House.
REP. BRENDAN SHARKEY (C) NOW SPEAKER OF CT HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
About Weston video/photo from Smart Growth bill signing in 2007 at historic Windsor Train Station - an example of transit-oriented development...education here.
Municipal groups: Cuts in aid by another name hurt just as much
By: Keith M. Phaneuf, CT MIRROR
September 21, 2015
Such a great story! This was penned shortly after Governor's preemptive strike on this own budget - http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/21/municipal-groups-cuts-in-aid-by-another-name-hurt-just-as-much/
And for an interesting story that may or may not be an accurate interpretation of the original report, about envy and statistical graph-play: http://ctbythenumbers.info/2015/09/20/youth-face-substantial-challenges-in-fairfield-county-report-reveals/
M.O.R.E. echo: CT Voices for Children puts Weston in a club of high absentee rates equal to...Bridgeport! Read full report here: http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/FCYouth.pdf
And by the way, CT Voices for Children is color blind - go try figuring out the graphs and maps!
Connecticut Voices for Children report September 2014, on page 25, places Weston in the group "Very High Opportunity" with Darien, New Canaan, Wilton, Easton and Westport
"Overall, with no disconnected youth or high school dropouts, children in Weston have high levels of opportunity."
BUT..."The percent of students who are chronically absent is exceptionally high (13%), and third grade reading proficiency (79%) and SAT/ACT participation (79%) are low given Weston’s
Speaker Sharkey: M.O.R.E. Regional Entities Sub-committee Meeting
Tuesday, July 14, 2015, 11:00 AM, 1D. It finished at 12:52pm - we watched online.
Representative Steinberg is the Co-Chair. of the M.O.R.E. Commission. CT-N replay coming later - we will add comments to our notes from the first half-hour after the CT-N upload.
Our notes from watching live online.
Regional aspects to Transit Districts
GUEST PRESENTATION Redeker & Sanders.
GOVERNANCE: What is CT in terms of transit? Compared to NJ. 25% expansion of bus service "Let's Go CT!" State overseen bus transport (Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, New Britain) - 3/4 of bus service in CT. Transit Districts do the rest. Governance difference. 14 different transit districts. Handicapped service private, too...
Commissioner Redeker of DOT sees importance of local input but thinks centralized example worked better for CT transit. Bigger staff of planners needed to be able to get data. Transit Districts need to be expanded in area of service.
Sub-Committee Chair. Peggy Sayers: (Who thanked Rep. Steinberg for attending..). Like the Port Authority? Yes. Too many contracts to coordinate - centralize. Later, Co-Chair. remarks from her earlier ...sidewalks instead of open space set-aside (P&Z), Surveys - 5 areas identified, including Regional Tax collector, regional revenue sharing. Next meeting of sub-committee after Labor Day.
Filchak: Very small transit district in his area - connections to the outside world nil. Rep. Johnson: no way out either. Casinos employ her people as other job/business disappear.
Sanders, Transit Administrator DOT: Coordinated COASTAL LINK as an example of how transit has to work. Commissioner points out "transit districts" are not the best model now. Too much $$ spent on administration.
Westport: Jonathan Steinberg - Transit subsidy needed always, volunteers struggle...scheduling software needed (Redeker).
Glassman: Children, seniors? Marketplace could tell us how to do it - Redeker - nobody will give up control.
We think Redeker noted that one way to do it was via MANDATE: Portland, Oregon example...but you need density to begin with - School Bus question. Twenty percent over 65 in a couple of years.
Stamford Train station - an example of why public transit isn't the only type of transit and complications.
BUSWAY: "Branded" as "FASTTRAK." Coming soon: CTride...CTrail...bus-rapid transit Bridgeport-Norwalk in the plans.
Wray - Ten minutes to a latte - senior tsunami, complete streets - all things to work on.
Bob Godfrey, Danbury legislator: connections a problem. "What is tax policy if private companies have their own jitneys?" No one looking at all the moving parts of transportation. "What kind of a Czar do we need?"
Sharkey’s Property Tax Legislation Rides Through in the Budget Implementer
by Christine Stuart | Jul 9, 2015 2:53pm
A bill touted by House Speaker Brendan Sharkey that would put student housing and new medical facilities acquired by large hospital networks on the tax rolls for the first time was one of the many concepts buried in a special session budget bill last week.
Its passage means that, as of October 2015, municipalities can levy property taxes on any student housing that’s not considered a dormitory and any new medical facility acquired by a hospital network that netted patient revenue of $1.5 billion as of 2013.
“The affected private colleges and large hospitals are not your typical small, struggling non-profits — they are large entities, nearly indistinguishable from traditional private sector businesses, except they don’t pay property taxes,” Sharkey said Wednesday in a statement. “They put a strain on municipal services, but it’s the host town’s families and businesses that must pick up the tab in the form of higher property taxes. Under this new law, hard-working families and local businesses will see property tax relief.”
But the Connecticut Hospital Association doesn’t exactly see it that way.
“Because they have a long tradition of providing free charitable care to those in need 24 hours a day, a critical service that government doesn’t provide, hospitals were granted a property tax exemption,” Michele Sharp, a spokeswoman for the association said...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/sharkeys_property_tax_legislation_rides_through_in_the_budget_implementer/
A state tax on a state fee? Seriously?
Published July 20. 2015 3:57PM
Updated July 21. 2015 9:54AM
In their desperate attempts to find revenue to balance budgets without having to cut spending, Connecticut legislators have done some asinine things, but the recent decision to impose a sales tax on the fees to enter a state park may be the most outrageous policy decision yet.
If the idea was subjected to the normal rigors of the legislative process — committee review, a public hearing, input from the agency to be affected — there is no way such a sorry piece of policy would become law...
Editorial in full: http://www.theday.com/editorials/20150720/a-state-tax-on-a-state-fee-seriously-
MORE...not the Commission, here...
Connecticut has long history of studying its competitiveness
By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) -- When major employers Aetna and General Electric recently claimed that proposed tax increases might force them to leave Connecticut, state legislators turned to an old stand-by: They created a commission. In fact, they recently created two similar commissions - the Connecticut Competitiveness Council and the Commission on Economic Competitiveness - within a span of a few weeks...
Story in full: http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_CONNECTICUT_COMPETITIVENESS_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-07-18-10-46-13
Board of Regents planning for departure of its president
By: Jacqueline Rabe Thomas | July 13, 2015
The Board of Regents for Higher Education, the governing board of the state's largest public college system, is planning for the departure of its embattled president, Gregory W. Gray. It is unclear if the board intends to force his departure.
Gray has announced no plans to exit the college system that includes 12 community colleges, four regional Connecticut state universities and an online college, but sources say the board is working to find an interim successor as part of a transition plan...
Ojakian to leave as Malloy’s chief of staff
By: Mark Pazniokas | July 13, 2015
Mark Ojakian, the chief of staff to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy since the second year of the Malloy administration, is stepping down. But he may not be entirely departing: A source close to the governor said Ojakian will remain "a close adviser," and his name already has surfaced for an interim post...
Please search the CT MIRROR archives for the remainder of these stories.
Summer reading from a much earlier summer - is what made possible this year's Implementer?
"Smart Growth" from 2007 getting implemented in 2015 in a big way - "big" for CT! SWRPA/MPO event (r)
Windsor, CT held a T.O.D. ceremonial bill signing. M.O.R.E. such legislation in multi-hundred page Implementer here, too...
General Assembly Won’t Override Malloy’s Vetoes
by Christine Stuart | Jul 17, 2015 12:36pm
Despite pressure from one of the teacher unions, House Speaker Brendan Sharkey announced Friday that there wasn’t enough support to override any of Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s nine vetoes.
“The general consensus among our members, and in light of some of the governor’s concerns, is that these issues would be best re-looked at during the next regular session, therefore we will not be scheduling any override votes,” Sharkey said in a statement...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/general_assembly_wont_override_malloys_vetoes/#more
Connecticut’s Malloy could face veto override from fellow Democrats
By The Associated Press/New Haven REGISTER
Posted: 07/10/15, 1:18 PM EDT
HARTFORD >> For the first time, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy could face a real threat of one of his vetoes being overridden by fellow Democrats in the General Assembly...
Rank-and-file lawmakers and groups including the state’s largest teacher’s union and UConn students are putting pressure on legislative leaders...Legislative leaders have not announced a date for considering vetoes or whether they’ll attempt any overrides. Malloy continues to sign bills.
Please search the New Haven REGISTER archives for the remainder of this story.
Malloy’s transportation plan could require another special legislative session
By Neil Vigdor, Danbury News-Times
Published 11:31 am, Friday, July 10, 2015
Lawmakers could get called back to Hartford for yet another special session - this time to deal with a proposed constitutional amendment creating a transportation lock-box...“The governor wants to get a constitutional amendment done so we can protect that money for transportation,” said Mark Bergman, a spokesman for Malloy. “It might require a special session.”
The special session would take place in the fall if there is one.
Please search the Danbury News-Times archives for the remainder of this story.
Please re-read comments about C.B.I.A. Legislative Wrap-Up from July 2015, after Long Session...
SPECIAL SESSION DECEMBER 8, 2015 TO CONSIDER THESE MATTERS? http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/07/connecticuts-courtship-of-ge-goes-beyond-taxes/
November 28, 2015...http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_CONNECTICUT_UNIONS_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-11-28-09-34-52
"...Sharkey said he would like Malloy to ask the unions to reopen the pension and health agreement reached with the State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition in 2011, especially given the state's unfunded pension liability problems..."
LEGISLATIVE WRAP UP JUNE 15, 2016...
More on taxes - Union contracts not under Legislative review: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/tax_attorneys_skeptical_of_election_year_budget/
LEGISLATIVE WRAP JULY 7, 2015, W-W CHAMBER OF COMMERCE and C.B.I.A. (AT WESTPORT LIBRARY)
Thank you, W-W Chamber of Commerce!
Tough first questions from the Chamber itself. Actually. preaching to the choir all around.
Weston's delegation( as well as Westport's) answered question from the Chamber and the public. And we asked our question: "Considering the need to deal with limited resources (as several questions prior have suggested to be the case), since I believe part of the state employee contract is open to re-examination as of July 1, could you renegotiate it?" Jonathon Steinberg said "yes" and the rest were very pleased I had asked this - and they pointed out that there was a 30 day period in which to do it if the Legislature wanted to have a say.
The Wall Street Journal article "Worse Than Illinois: Connecticut Democrats are raising taxes again after promising not to" from May 29, 2015 was referred to.
And a link to a column from CTNEWSJUNKIE op-ed contributor: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/op-ed_greece_puerto_rico_connecticut/
GOP Senate leader: Malloy, unions ducked legislature on pensions
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | August 7, 2015
The top Republican in the state Senate charged Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state employee unions Friday with making an end run around the legislature to resolve a disability pension controversy that the state auditors said may have cost Connecticut millions of dollars in improper payments.
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, also called upon Democratic legislative leaders to insist Malloy submit the agreement reached with unions – which endorses a more lenient standard for awarding disability pensions – to the General Assembly for consideration. The auditors also recommended the legislature consider the issue.
“Untold millions of taxpayer dollars have already flown out the door in unwarranted disability benefits for ineligible state government retirees,” Fasano said. “Now, Governor Malloy has handed over rule-making authority to state employee unions and said, ‘OK, go ahead and write your own eligibility standards.’
“Can you say ‘conflict of interest'?” Story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/08/07/gop-senate-leader-malloy-unions-ducked-legislature-on-pensions/
State, unions agree on more lenient disability-pension standard
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | August 6, 2015
A new agreement that restores a more lenient standard for awarding state disability pensions will take effect immediately and won't be presented to the General Assembly for consideration in 2016, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration confirmed Thursday.
The agreement, signed by the governor’s chief labor negotiator and ratified Thursday by state employee unions, is considered a “clarification” of an existing labor-management practice, and legislative approval is not required, both parties said.
That runs counter, though, to the recommendation of the state Auditors of Public Accounts, John C. Geragosian and Robert M. Ward.
The auditors, who first notified Malloy in June of a “breakdown” in the disability pension system that may have cost the state millions of dollars in improper payments, had recommended that lawmakers rewrite the pension statutes.
And Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo said Thursday that his office would prepare for immediate implementation of the agreement, pending its own review of the matter...
“I certainly am pleased they have come to an agreement,” Lembo said of the deal ratified on Thursday.
The comptroller declined to comment on the details of the agreement other than to say, “We are in the process of reviewing the language.”
Story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/08/06/state-unions-agree-on-more-lenient-disability-pension-standard/
What is the latest on the Weston Public Safety Complex - we were reminded of this by the Hartford article below.
Will this relate to the Weston Public Safety Complex, an early visual above?
MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU THINK: Is the State of CT not required to follow this law? Are not all historic districts the same - and we know that they aren't - so what does this all mean?
Historic District Commission in Hartford - is the State of Connecticut exempt from local zoning and/or HDC regs? Read about it: http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-lender-malloy-roof-units-0705-20150704-column.html#page=2
Using Wikipedia, we found out that the Governor's Mansion dates from 1908 and is in the Georgian style - except it is basically a copy, so this building is a "contributing building" in the Prospect Ave. Historic District, and here is a map from Googling "Hartford Historic Districts" that came up in the search: http://www.hartfordinfo.org/issues/wsd/History/historic_district_map.pdf
Back to the Implementer...the place where bills that are political poison revive for passage, apparently:
GENERAL ELECTRIC GIFT IN THE IMPLEMENTER?
And an even more surprising piece of perhaps news (we think we knew this already): http://www.courant.com/business/dan-haar/hc-haar-ge-tax-favor-from-malloy-20151117-column.html
And YES the "car tax" in sSB1 found, never called during Session, found its way to the Governor's desk (Sec. 506 of the Implementer)...http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/TOB/S/2015SB-01502-R00-SB.htm
And also approved in this manner was, in Sec. 506, regional tax sharing:
The formula, to us, seems to favor Weston is two (2) ways: First, thanks to our high mill rate we qualify, theorhetically for more aid; second, thanks to not having sales tax revenue to speak of ourselves, we would gain some $$ from the rest of the region, if I understand the implications of this bill! Do you think all 18 towns and cities in WCCOG will agree to this? We have not included the verbiage for Town with higher than 32 mills here.
(e) For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2017, and each fiscal year thereafter, each regional council of governments shall receive a regional services grant. No such council shall receive a grant for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018, or any fiscal year thereafter, unless the secretary approves a spending plan for such grant moneys submitted by such council to the secretary on or before July 1, 2017, and annually thereafter. The regional councils of governments shall use such grants for planning purposes and to achieve efficiencies in the delivery of municipal services by regionalizing such services, including, but not limited to, region-wide consolidation of such services. Such efficiencies shall not diminish the quality of such services. A unanimous vote of the representatives of such council shall be required for approval of any expenditure from such grant. On or before October 1, 2017, and biennially thereafter, each such council shall submit a report, in accordance with section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to planning and development and finance, revenue and bonding. Such report shall summarize expenditure of such grants and provide recommendations concerning the expansion, reduction or modification of such grants.
(f) This is where the mill rates over 25 (read "Weston") gets the bonus!
(A) "For the fiscal year ending June 30,  2019, and each fiscal year thereafter, each municipality shall receive a municipal revenue sharing grant as follows: (1) (A) A municipality having a mill rate at or above twenty-five shall receive the per capita distribution or pro rata distribution, whichever is higher for such municipality."
(B) Such grants shall be increased by a percentage calculated as follows: Sum of per capita distribution amount for all municipalities having a mill rate below twenty-five – pro rata distribution amount for all municipalities having a mill rate below twenty-five. Sum of all grants to municipalities calculated pursuant to subparagraph (A) of subdivision (1) of this subsection.
(C) Notwithstanding the provisions of subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this subdivision, Hartford shall receive not more than 5.2 per cent of the municipal revenue sharing grants distributed pursuant to this subsection; Bridgeport shall receive not more than 4.5 per cent of the municipal revenue sharing grants distributed pursuant to this subsection; New Haven shall receive not more than 2.0 per cent of the municipal revenue sharing grants distributed pursuant to this subsection and Stamford shall receive not more than 2.8 per cent of the equalization grants distributed pursuant to this subsection. Any excess funds remaining after such reductions in payments to Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven and Stamford shall be distributed to all other municipalities having a mill rate at or above twenty-five on a pro rata basis according to the payment they receive pursuant to this subdivision; and
(2) A municipality having a mill rate below twenty-five shall receive the per capita distribution or pro rata distribution, whichever is less for such municipality...
Not suited to car wash anyway...
Connecticut car wash owners revved up over new sales tax
By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
Updated 12:01 pm, Saturday, July 11, 2015
MANCHESTER, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut car wash owners are revved up about state lawmakers suddenly imposing a new sales tax on their services, including coin-operated washes and vacuums, saying their machines can't collect the 6.35 percent levy.
The association that represents about 100 family-owned car washes across state wants the General Assembly to revisit the matter, concerned its members will have to absorb the cost...story in full: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Connecticut-car-wash-owners-revved-up-over-new-6379058.php
Newly signed state budget changes funding for cities and towns
By Carlos Virgen
Published 07/02/2015 12:00 AM
The state budget signed into law Tuesday increases state funding for cities and towns by $23.5 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year, which begins today. In the map below, click on each city to see how much the increase/decrease in state funding each city will be receiving...guess which color is biggest increase? The Day credits data from CT Mirror and the Office of Fiscal Analysis.
"SEWER AVOIDANCE" can mean what Weston has practiced...for 2 centuries!
AND IT PASSED!
Sewer avoidance areas to be required to be mapped in future Town Plans of Development - public hearing testimony: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2015/jfr/s/2015SB-01045-R00PD-JFR.htm
Waiting for the other shoe (locally controlled school districts subsumed into regions) to drop...see below.
EDUCATION: Achievement gap an issue as Congress considers new ed bill: http://ctmirror.org/2015/07/06/achievement-gap-an-issue-as-congress-considers-new-ed-bill/
Sec 266 Strategic Master Plan for public education in CT: (b) The commission shall articulate a clear vision and mission for developing a sustainable, equitable and high-quality public education system that coordinates the components of education reform, clarifies how such components of education reform work together and provides every child with access to an educational experience that meets such child's needs. The commission shall develop and recommend the implementation of a strategic master plan to carry out such vision and mission.
(1) In developing the strategic master plan, the commission shall address the following issues: (A) How to better organize the state public education system to streamline various and disparate mandates, initiatives and reforms that may compete with the articulated vision and mission; (B) the manner in which the public education system utilizes data and supports to inform and improve the provision of education in the state; (C) the extent to which the accountability system assesses the most worthy outcomes of public education; and (D) the identification and analysis of the most significant factors that effect and support the most worthy outcomes of public education for all students, including, but not limited to, poverty, socioeconomic and racial isolation, language barriers and parental engagement in a student's education.
(2) In addressing the issues described in subdivision (1) of this subsection, the commission shall consider: (A) What are the most worthy outcomes of public education and what means can be taken to achieve such outcomes; (B) the extent to which the public education system prepares students to meet the challenges of work, citizenship and life upon graduation; (C) strategies to develop state-wide education leadership goals and to enhance education leadership in conformance with such goals; (D) ways to ensure effective communication and partnership between school districts and the families of children who attend public school in such school district, with particular focus on diversity; (E) ways to share best practices within the public education system, including, but not limited to, learning across methodologies, models and structures of educational excellence; (F) what innovations are necessary to excel in both competitiveness and character; (G) the extent to which the public education system empowers students and educators to excel, innovate and build on strengths; and (H) best practices that ensure high quality instruction and promote continuous systemic improvement.
(3) The commission shall also examine and recommend changes to funding policies, practices and accountability in order to (A) align such funding policies, practices and accountability with the strategic master plan, (B) ensure that all school districts receive equitable funding from the state, and (C) determine and recommend measures to promote the adoption of ways in which resources can be most effectively utilized.
(c) (1) Not later than April 15, 2016, the commission shall submit a preliminary report on the development of the strategic master plan together with any recommendations for appropriate legislation and funding to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and appropriations, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes.
(2) Not later than February 15, 2017, the commission shall submit the strategic master plan, including specific goals and benchmarks for implementation, together with any recommendations for appropriate legislation and funding to the Governor and the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education and appropriations, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The commission shall terminate on the date that it submits the strategic master plan or February 15, 2017, whichever is later.
AN ACT CONCERNING A LABOR AND FREE MARKET CAPITALISM CURRICULUM
SUMMARY: This act requires the State Board of Education (SBE), within available appropriations and using available materials, to assist and encourage local and regional boards of education to include in their curricula (1) labor history and law, including organized labor, the collective bargaining process, and existing legal protections in the workplace; (2) the history and economics of free-market capitalism and entrepreneurialism; and (3) the role of labor and capitalism in developing the American and world economies.
By law, SBE must similarly assist and encourage boards of education to include in their curricula topics such as the Holocaust, the Great Famine in Ireland, and AfPA 15-155—sHB 6259
Planning and Development Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING THE BOUNDARIES OF REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DISTRICTS
SUMMARY: This act increases, from eight to nine, the maximum number of regional economic development districts (REDD) that can be established in the state. By law, regional planning and economic development organizations may establish REDDs to coordinate economic development projects and prepare comprehensive economic development strategies, which are required for certain types of federal Economic Development Administration (EDA) assistance (e. g. , infrastructure and business development assistance).
Under prior law, REDDs had to either align (1) with at least one planning region's boundaries or (2) to the extent practicable, with former county boundaries. The act eliminates the latter option, thus requiring REDD boundaries to align with at least one planning region's boundaries. Currently, there are nine planning regions.
The act eliminates the requirement that each REDD meet economic distress criteria established in federal regulations (see BACKGROUND). It also makes a technical change.
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015
Economic Distress Criteria
Federal regulations require recipients of certain types of EDA assistance to meet at least one of the following economic distress criteria:
1. an unemployment rate that is, for the most recent 24–month period for which data are available, at least one percentage point above the national average unemployment rate;
2. per capita income that is, for the most recent period for which data are available, 80% or less of the national average; or
3. a special need, as determined by the EDA (13 CFR 301. 3 (a)(1)).
OLR Tracking: JB: JO: VR: cmgrican-American History.
PA 15-220—SB 111
Public Health Committee
General Law Committee
AN ACT CONCERNING SUSHI RICE
SUMMARY: This act requires the public health (DPH) commissioner, by October 1, 2016 and in consultation with the consumer protection commissioner, to adopt regulations allowing the acidification of sushi rice as an alternative to temperature control, under circumstances specified in the regulations. It allows restaurants and catering establishments, if they conform to the regulations, to use acidification instead of temperature control.
The act allows the DPH commissioner to implement policies and procedures necessary to administer these provisions while in the process of adopting them as regulations, as long as she publishes notice of intent to adopt regulations on the department's website and the eRegulations system within 20 days after implementation. The policies and procedures are valid until the regulations are adopted.
Existing regulations establish time and temperature controls for potentially hazardous foods. Subject to the local health director's approval and other conditions, restaurants and catering establishments may leave these foods at room temperature for a maximum of four hours (Conn. Agencies Reg. , §§ 19-13-B42(m), 19-13-B49(m), & 21a-101-7(n)).
EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2015
OLR Tracking: JO; KD; TA; BS
Executive and Judicial Branches outside this website links found here.
- JUDICIAL BRANCH: Retirement issues for municipal and state employees - can you collect twice at the same time?
We always thought this was the case - the "I didn't know" defense in action!!!
Judge Upholds New Rules Against Municipal Pension Double-Dipping
January 4, 2016 8:07pm
In two cases involving double-dipping, a Superior Court judge Monday upheld state retirement officials' denial of pension benefits to East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo and Hartford public works official Marilynn Cruz-Aponte. Judge Carl J. Schuman dismissed separate lawsuits that Maturo and Cruz-Aponte had filed in appeal of the Connecticut State Employee Retirement Commission's denial of their requests to collect pensions, based on past municipal service, while working full time in new municipal government jobs...story in full: http://www.courant.com/politics/hc-pension-court-decisions-0105-20160104-story.html
PUBLIC UTILITIES REGULATORY AUTHORITY
Very interesting, believe it or not! Hazardville, CT presents its case December 30, 2015, attorney for PURA assigned to the case explains how confusing small water company business is. Why? Because cost of audits required make a nonsense of the assessment...on to a large company and we didn't watch, but it seems that they had two staff attorneys assigned (one to the case and one to watch the applicant's attorney - just joking).
D.E.C.D. (Department of Economic and Community Development)
What's up? Link to interview Sept. 3, 2015: http://ct-n.com/ctnplayer.asp?odID=11932
Comptroller's role - telling it like it is based upon OPM estimated numbers, we assume.
Lembo offers a detailed plan to cope with pension costs
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | January 14, 2016
...According to a series of actuarial runs included in the report, the state would have to maintain annual pension payments in excess of $1 billion for eight years after 2033 — a time when Connecticut was supposed to face costs well below that mark. For story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2016/01/14/lembo-offers-a-detailed-plan-to-cope-with-pension-costs/
CT has a good savings plan — though its bank balance is modest
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | December 28, 2015
Despite having a relatively modest emergency budget reserve right now, Connecticut's savings strategy is better than those in most states, according to a new study by Pew Charitable Trusts...story in full:
" But Malloy and his fellow Democrats in the legislature’s majority also have relied more on bonding to cover operating costs."
State must cut its borrowing to avoid maxing out credit card
By: Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas | December 21, 2015
Connecticut is on pace to exceed its credit card limit by more than $320 million in two years — a projection that will tighten available funding to build or renovate local schools, public colleges and state buildings and to support various other projects in legislators' districts. The legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis recently projected that the state government will exceed its statutory bond cap by $320.5 million in the fiscal year that begins July 2017, unless adjustments are made. The Office of Policy and Management, the Executive Branch's fiscal arm, projects a similar overage at $325.6 million...story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/12/21/state-must-cut-its-borrowing-to-avoid-maxing-out-credit-card/
Lembo Offers More Traditional Approach To Pension Woes
by Christine Stuart | Nov 17, 2015 1:30pm
...“We put forward a vetted report with 67 pages of research, data, and details,” Gian-Carl Casa, undersecretary for legislative affairs at the Office of Policy and Management, said. “The comptroller has issued a press release that raises more questions than it answers...” See CTNEWSJUNKIE for article in full.
Lembo joins dissent over Malloy’s emergency budget cuts
By: Keith M. Phaneuf, CT MIRROR
October 1, 2015
State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo distanced himself Thursday from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, calling his fellow Democrat’s emergency budget cuts premature and warning they could harm the state’s economy.
“Spending cuts may be warranted – but the economic impact of cuts, in this case mostly affecting hospitals, their most vulnerable patients and surrounding communities, may warrant a brief pause until after the state reaches its non-partisan consensus revenue forecast,” Lembo said.
Lembo, who was elected to two terms on statewide Democratic tickets led by Malloy, used his monthly budget report to respond to $102.8 million in cuts Malloy made two weeks ago. His unusual comments reflect the significant reservations among Democrats about the governor's action...
Despite Malloy’s assurances, last CT budget closes in deficit
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | September 30, 2015
“...'The general fund ended Fiscal year [2014-]2015 with a deficit of $113,168,010, which represents six-tenths of 1 percent of … budgeted spending,' Lembo wrote Wednesday to Malloy. (Though the last fiscal year ended three months ago, the comptroller doesn’t close the books until late September, since certain tax receipts received over the summer are applied to the prior budget.)
"Regardless of the deficit's size, Malloy insisted frequently last year during his successful re-election campaign that 'there isn't going to be a deficit.'..."
Story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/30/despite-malloys-assurances-last-ct-budget-closes-in-deficit/
Malloy plans $115 M in budget cuts
By Ken Dixon, Stamford ADVOCATE
Published 8:54 am, Friday, September 18, 2015
HARTFORD - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, citing the recent plunges in the stock markets, will cut the state budget $115 million.
“I’ve decided to take the step very early in the fiscal year, of announcing a series of rescissions,” Malloy said in an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media. “It’s significant.”
Malloy said the budget reductions will not result in employee layoffs. “Personnel lines had already taken a pretty big cut,” Malloy said.
Malloy declined to reveal the amount of the reductions...story in full: http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Malloy-plans-115-M-in-budget-cuts-6513483.php
Lembo says Wall Street, other factors, could strain budget
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | September 1, 2015
Though the new state budget is just two months old, Connecticut’s chief fiscal watchdog already is warning about several problems that could push state finances into the red...story in full: http://ctmirror.org/2015/09/01/lembo-says-wall-street-other-factors-could-strain-new-state-budget/
During "Veto Sesson" July 20th, we listened to contrarian voice, who ended up being right!.
2016 Budget On Track To End With Small Surplus
by Christine Stuart | Aug 26, 2015 5:30am
One month into the new 2016 fiscal year, Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes estimated that the state would end it next June with an $800,000 surplus.
In his monthly letter to state Comptroller Kevin Lembo, Barnes wrote that “at this time we project that both revenues and expenditures will be consistent with the budget plan.”
However, he did note that administration officials have overestimated the amount of revenue it will receive from licenses, permits, and fees because those categories all ended 2015 below expectations. He said that trend is likely to continue into 2016. Barnes also said the state will be keeping a close eye on the revenue it anticipates from the implementation of Keno...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/2016_budget_on_track_to_end_with_small_surplus/