Archive for June 24th, 2011

June 24th, 2011

Oral Argument on State Budget Lawsuit Begins Friday

by LonSeidman

By Hugh McQuaid

A Hartford Superior Court judge will hear oral arguments Friday on a motion to dismiss a lawsuit disputing the constitutionality of the state budget—the same day unions are expected to officially reject the labor agreement the budget is contingent upon. The lawsuit, filed by two Republican lawmakers, two former lawmakers, and a conservative think tank called the Roger Sherman Liberty Center, claims that the budget signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy violates a constitutional provision requiring the state’s expenditures to match its revenues. The budget was signed with a $2 billion placeholder set aside in the bill for union concessions.

Last month the governor announced a plan to fill a $400 million gap in the budget, obtained largely with unanticipated increased revenues, but the remaining $1.6 billion was expected to come from the savings and concessions included in the tentative labor agreement.

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June 24th, 2011

Malloy Calls for Special Session to Close Deficit

by LonSeidman

Malloy looks over a business plan Thursday morning at a meeting at the University of Hartford. Courtesy: Christine Stuart

By Christine Stuart

Despite the union’s best efforts to put a positive spin on the situation, any hope that the concession deal could be salvaged dissipated from the State Capitol on Thursday when Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called for a special session of the legislature. “Calling both chambers into session next week is necessary to close the budget deficit that we will be facing,” Malloy said in a prepared statement. Malloy’s statement assumes the unions were unable to ratify the two-year, $1.6 billion concession package.

The call for the special session schedules it for 10 a.m. Thursday, June 30.

“I am loathe to make the decisions facing us at this juncture – including layoffs, programmatic and municipal aid cuts – but I am left with no choice,“ Malloy added. “Working with the legislature, we will have a balanced budget and one that, while making painful cuts and difficult decisions, will be balanced honestly without tricks or gimmicks.”

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June 24th, 2011

Lighting The Path To New Bulbs

by LonSeidman

By Jenn Strathman

For years, we’ve been buying bulbs based on the wattage. We look at the light fixture, and figure out which bulb we need whether it’s a 40 watt or 150 watt bulb. The Federal Trade Commission says all that is changing in 2012. We’ll know a lot more about a light bulb than you probably ever needed to know.

Starting in 2012, the old incandescent or traditional light bulbs will be pushed off store shelves and replaced only with compact fluorescent bulbs (CFL’s). CFL’s have been around for a few years now, but to mark the switch to CFL’s soley, there will also be packaging changes. You’ll no longer choose a 40 watt bulb, but a 450 lumen bulb.

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