Archive for April, 2013

April 26th, 2013

Markley: Democratics Requesting More Than Malloy

by Christopher O'Brien

By Joe Markley

Back in February, the Governor claimed his budget reduced spending by $1.8 billion. In fact, his proposed budget actually increased state spending by nearly 10% over two years.  All he did was trim the rate of government growth; he made no actual reduction in spending.  In fact, the state will spend an additional $2.9 billion over the next two years under the governor’s proposal.

 

Now the Appropriations Committee has made a bad budget worse, spending approximately $55 million more than the Governor requested.

 

It bears repeating: we need to get our fiscal house in order. The Appropriations proposed budget not only increases spending but is also imbalanced. The majority party wants to redefine the budget cap, which is the height of hypocrisy. The spending cap has been changed repeatedly since it was put into place over twenty years ago, in the aftermath of passage of the state income tax.  In every case, spending has been removed from the cap—it’s a one-way deal, designed to thwart the clear will of the taxpayers.

 

While the Appropriations Committee was making its budget recommendations,

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April 24th, 2013

Foley Still Seeks Ethics Overhaul

by Christopher O'Brien
Tom Foley with Sen. Joe Markley

Tom Foley with Sen. Joe Markley

By Hugh McQuaidPresumptive Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley doubled down Tuesday on an ethics bill the Government Administration and Ethics Committee let die earlier this month after it was comdemned by lawmakers of both parties.

Foley and Sen. Joseph Markley, R-Southington, held an afternoon press conference in the Legislative Office Building, to reiterate the need for legislation to curb conflicts of interest in state government.

 

Foley, who lost a close election to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2010 and has been positioning for another run next year, testified before the legislature’s open government committee in March in support of a bill prohibiting lawmakers or a members of their immediate family from being paid more than $1,000 from an employer that benefits from state funding.

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April 24th, 2013

Supreme Court Hears Death Penalty Repeal Arguments

by Christopher O'Brien

By Hugh McQuaid

If Connecticut’s Supreme Court finds the prospective nature of last year’s capital punishment repeal unconstitutional, then it should throw “the baby out with the bathwater” and strike down the entire law, a state’s attorney argued Tuesday.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday morning on a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of 2012 legislation that took the death penalty off the table as a sentencing option for crimes committed after the law was passed.

Attorney Mark Rademacher argued the case on behalf of Eduardo Santiago, who was sentenced to death after he was convicted of murder-for-hire in 2000. Last year, the Supreme Court overturned Santiago’s initial death sentence and ordered another penalty hearing after the legislature had already repealed capital punishment for future crimes.

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April 24th, 2013

Governor’s Budget Office Predicts Surplus

by Christopher O'Brien

While lawmakers and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy work on the $2.2 billion deficit over the next two years, things are beginning to look better for this year’s budget.

According to Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes the state will end the year with $2.8 million surplus. That’s an improvement of more than $36.4 million over last month’s projections.

But that’s before April tax collection revenues have been calculated.

 

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April 24th, 2013

After Years of Delay, State Breaks Ground on Veterans’ Memorial

by Christopher O'Brien

By Christine Stuart
After several years and two failed groundbreaking attempts, state officials and veterans picked up their shovels and tossed some mud Monday at the future site of the first statewide veterans memorial.

Conceived in 2008 under former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell the veterans memorial wasn’t an easy sell. Veterans, who were looking for an annual place to celebrate their service and remember those lost, were unable to get behind the idea of building an amphitheater in a Rocky Hill cemetery, Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda Schwartz said Monday.

After spending about $100,000 on designing the amphitheater and two failed attempts at a groundbreaking, the Connecticut State Veterans Memorial Inc. finally decided to move the memorial. They settled on a spot in Minuteman Park outside the state Armory in Hartford.

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April 23rd, 2013

Meteorite Strikes Home

by Christopher O'Brien

By LeAnne Gendrea, Ryan Hanrahan, and Amanda Raus | NBC Connecticut

Jeevan Vittal, Fox CT / April 23, 2013

Copper residue shows where the Meteorite struck a copper pipe. Jeevan Vittal, Fox CT / April 23, 2013

Larry Beck, of Williams Court, called police at 10:20 a.m. on Saturday and said a rock crashed through the roof of his house on Friday night and damaged the roof and copper piping, and cracked the ceiling in his kitchen.

That was around the time that people from several towns along the shoreline called police and reported a loud boom that rattled windows. Beck told police that he’d heard a loud crash and thought that a joist or rafter had broken.

Media descend on Williams Ct.

Media descend on Williams Ct.

Continue Reading…this report by NBC Connecticut…

Continue Reading a report by Fox 61’s Jeevan Vittal…

April 19th, 2013

When Tragedy Hits Home – and Money Doesn’t Run My Life

by Christopher O'Brien

By Jenn Strathman

There’s been a lot of talk this week about all the American tragedies that occurred in the month of April. Events like Columbine, Oklahoma City bombing, and Virginia Tech shooting come to mind. We all remember where we were at that moment in history when we heard the news of destruction and lives lost. Now, we’ll add the Boston Marathon to the list.

During moments of national tragedy, we all pause aghast at the images we witness on television. We then grieve. Finally, we unite and rally for the victims. These events paralyze us for a few days. Newtown perhaps paralyzed America for a few weeks because so many children were lost in a senseless crime.

When I witness a tragedy like this, I am lost for words. The tears flow freely when I hear the families of victims speaking about their unthinkable loss. Their grief is often raw and palpable as they try to speak through heavy breaths. Their thoughts often rambling. It’s a moment I know all too well.

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April 2nd, 2013

Strongest Gun Control Bill in Nation Set For Vote Wednesday

by Christopher O'Brien

Christine Stuart photoBy Christine Stuart | CTNewsJunkie

When rank-and-file lawmakers emerged from closed-door meetings at the Capitol on Monday, many weren’t entirely happy with the post-Newtown gun control legislation package they’d hammered out.

That’s the nature of a bipartisan bill — no one ever gets everything they want.

But one thing is certain — those same rank-and-file lawmakers said their proposal was the “most comprehensive” package of gun control legislation in the country.

“In Connecticut, we’ve broken the mold,” Sen. President Donald Williams said Monday at a press conference. “We just put together Democrats and Republicans in a bipartisan process on one of the most divisive issues in the United States.”

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said some lawmakers were still making up their minds on the bill, but there was “no doubt” the legislation would pass both chambers on Wednesday. McKinney said there was strong support among Senate Republicans.

“I think we may be around 50 percent of our caucus,” he said.

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