Posts tagged ‘budget’

November 1st, 2015

Letter: Republicans Keep High Standards on BOE

by Christopher O'Brien

Letter to the Editor by Katie Ciarlo

Recent political mailings and articles criticizing the Wolcott Board of Education piqued my interest and prompted me to look deeper into the information that was addressed in these articles.

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October 8th, 2013

Election Choices: What Does That Person Do?

by Christopher O'Brien

vote clipartLocal politics are often the most personal engagement with our democratic form of government any of us will ever encounter. A President, for instance, campaigns for office only through our television sets and airways and most of us will never meet a Presidential candidate. However, we might bump into our local leaders on a regular basis in  IGA, Dunkin Donuts, church or a school function on any day of the week. We know their faces, but are you aware of the decisions they make that impact your life every day?

In many respects, your local elected leaders have a larger impact than the President or Congress. When politicians run for higher office, they often get their start on the local level as well. You can’t run a country with trillions of dollar budgets without first understanding million dollar budgets impacting a few thousand residents.

When you go into the voting booth on November 5th, will you know what you are selecting a candidate to actually do? Or will you choose them simply by name or facial recognition? Are they the best candidate for the job, and if so, what qualities matches that job applicant for that particular office?

This article is intended to help voters understand how Wolcott’s government works, and who does what.

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February 6th, 2013

Did Malloy Live up to His Previous Budget?

by Christopher O'Brien

by Dan Lovallo
This will be Malloy’s second, two-year budget and if it’s anything like the first, you can expect our esteemed chief executive won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story.

As is customary, the governor will make the rounds on morning radio and TV, the day after the speech.  More than likely, it will be the usual softball game, with hosts gushing over the fact the governor has given them some of his precious time.  Such was not the case, two years ago, when I interviewed Malloy, the day after his first budget address.  To begin with, he was six minutes late to the interview.  And then we got into it.

Continue Reading and Listening at CT Talking…

February 5th, 2013

Facing Deficit, Malloy Set to Increase Spending

by Christopher O'Brien
Hugh McQuaid, photo

Hugh McQuaid, photo

Based on current spending the state is expected to have a built-in $2.2 billion budget deficit over the next two years, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday that the budget he will present to the General Assembly on Wednesday will include a spending increase.

“Yeah. That would be correct,” Malloy said in answer to a question about whether the new budget will increase spending.

“But we are going to present a balanced budget with no tax increases,” Malloy insisted. “And we are going to support programs that are most likely to produce a growing economy in the future.”

Continue Reading…

February 5th, 2013

Town Hall Meeting With Legislators Thursday

by Christopher O'Brien
Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

By Chris O’Brien – Wolcott Whisper State Representative Rob Sampson and State Senator Joe Markley will be holding a Town Hall forum Thursday evening from 6:30-7:30. The meeting is being held one month into this year’s legislative session and one day after Governor Malloy is expected to give his proposal to a two year state budget on Wednesday.Sampson has introduced 30 bills for this legislative session. Many of these deal with criminal penalties for using a gun in certain crimes. He has also tackled many fiscal issues, calling for a state spending cap, ensuring tax refunds can be given with checks instead of debit cards, and repealing the state’s real estate conveyance tax.

Sen. Joe Markley

Sen. Joe Markley

Last year, Gov. Malloy enacted the largest tax increase in state history. Yet, while the tax increase was passed in April, the tax was applied retroactively to January 1st, creating some Cosntitutional problems. Sen. Markley investigated whether or not this practice was legal, and foudn out that it was. Both legislators have introduced a proposal that would prohibit the practice in the future.

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January 28th, 2013

Feds Looking into Misallocation of State Bond Money; Legislature Under Investigation

by Christopher O'Brien

By Kevin Rennie

A federal investigation of corruption at the state legislature had bureaucrats scrambling last fall to obtain legal representation for the Legislative Commissioner’s Office (LCO) and, weeks later, the Executive Director of the Office of Legislative Management (OLM) after Attorney General George Jepsen “declined to represent” the legislative offices, Daily Ructions has learned. LCO, which strained to keep the matter secret, settled on the Hartford firm of O’Brien, Tanski & Young, asking that competitive bidding provisions be waived, “after receiving a list of firms whom [Jepsen’s office] would recommend to provide the requested services.”

Documents obtained by Daily Ructions reveal that those bureaucrats have gone to extraordinary lengths to keep information from taxpayers about the actions they are taking to protect the interests of their agencies and themselves at significant public expense. In emails, they discuss ways of wording  their communications in such a general way as to provide no useful information that would inform a member of the tax paying public who might seek access to their emails or letters through the Freedom of Information Act.

Continue Reading…

January 7th, 2013

Sampson Votes Against State Budget Mitigation Plan

by Christopher O'Brien

By Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

Rep. Rob Sampson

First things first, Happy New Year!  I’m writing this month’s column on New Year’s Eve and it has me thinking about some of the important events of 2012 and also looking forward to how we can make 2013 a better year.  Without a doubt, the biggest issue that has been on everyone’s mind for not only 2012 but for the past few years is the poor state of our economy, both as a country and also right here in Connecticut.

Just before Christmas, the State Legislature was called back into special session ostensibly to clean up our previous budget mess and to vote on a deficit migration plan put forward by the Governor to plug a $415 million budget deficit created by his 2011 tax plan.   The Governor met with legislative leaders to craft a compromise and come up with a solution to the deficit.

Unfortunately, the final product was something I could not support.

I do want to make it clear that there are many well intentioned people that did vote in favor of that plan.  The problem is

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November 23rd, 2012

Connecticut’s Fiscal Cliff

by Christopher O'Brien

Sen. Joe Markley

By Sen. Joe Markley

You may have heard that our state is facing a ‘gloom and doom’ budget scenario: a $365 million hole this fiscal year, and deficits of over a billion dollars in each of the next two years.

The current budget took effect just four months ago, but already revenue is down sharply, and spending is up.  The causes are clear, and not surprising:

  • People are not buying goods, so sales tax collection is less than expect.  Corporation tax revenue and money received from the state’s casinos have also declined.
  • Medicaid costs have increased by over $260 million
  • Personal expenses, salaries, and overtime for state workers is up over by $10 million

A November revenue report by the Office of Policy and Management and the Office of Fiscal Analysis (the state’s number crunchers) has just announced the alarming $365 million shortfall. As recently as November 1, the administration projected a deficit of only $61 million.

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August 12th, 2012

Andrew Roraback

by Christopher O'Brien

Biography

Andrew Roraback is the 5th generation of his family to live in the northern Litchfield County and comes from a long tradition of Rorabacks schooled in law and politics. One of his relatives, Henry Roraback was the most power Republican from 1912 and 1935, having passed the State Bar without any schooling and also founding CL&P. Another prominent relative is Catherine Roraback who was the lead attorney in the landmark Supreme Court Case Griswold vs. Connecticut. That case established expanded privacy rights under the ‘penumbra of the Constitution” and is given credit for the later Roe v. Wade case in 1972 legalizing abortion.

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November 9th, 2011

Republicans Pledge To Work With Mayor; Landslide Against Dems; Turnout Low

by Christopher O'Brien

**Updated Thursday 8:30 am**
The VFW hall was filled with celebration as Republicans arrived from their Wolcott Rd. headquarters, learning what the next two years would bring. Across town at the East Street eatery, the mood was more somber as Democrats questioned what happened. For the first time in many years, long serving Democrats were ushered from office and replaced by a cadre of newcomesrs who pledged to work closely with Mayor Dunn. It is also the first time the Council has had a six member majority in at least a decade.

Dunn beat Democratic challenger Steven Olmstead 4180- 803.

The newly formed Town Council will be seated next Wednesday and have an entirely new dynamic. For the past two years, Council headed by four member minority Democrats Michael Santogatta and Steven Olmstead will see neither of the leaders. Fellow Democrat Michael Perrone lost re-election in a Row C gamble and even the fate of Charles Marsella hangs in the balance with a recount.

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