IS WESTON AT RISK? At ZBA Public Hearing on gun range, we note the bust of Dave Geismar, founder of Weston EMS.
During the terms of George Guidera, Dave was the spokeman and initiator
of the idea for Weston-Wilton-Norwalk Hospital Paramedic Service
Weston to have this situation soon? Norwalk Hospital and intercept program shared with Wilton in danger?
We quote from The Day article in part:
care in southeastern Connecticut could be among hospital services in
jeopardy under Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed two-year state budget.
Story in full: http://www.theday.com/local/20150228/hospitals-balk-at-latest-tax-increase-other-malloy-budget-moves
That message was
delivered to the General Assembly's Appropriations Committee Friday by
Ron Kersey, coordinator for emergency medical services at Lawrence +
Memorial Hospital in New London. Kersey, who also manages the paramedic
intercept program at L+M, told lawmakers during a public hearing in
Hartford that the 27-year-old paramedic service is running a $500,000
annual deficit and will not be able to continue providing mobile medical
care services without financial support from the seven shoreline area
towns it serves.
The seven towns - East
Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington, Stonington and
Waterford - are also facing significant financial challenges, he said.
"Once upon a time," he said in his testimony, "the hospital was able to absorb this loss. Not anymore, however."
Others who followed this policy.
They Hate The Cuts, But Malloy Doubts They Will Increase Taxes
by Christine Stuart and Hugh McQuaid | Feb 27, 2015 12:26pm
(Updated 1:20 p.m.)
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy acknowledged Thursday that the legislature hates
cuts in his proposed budget and lacks consensus to raise taxes. But the
governor said a lot can change in the three months before a budget plan
must be approved.
...In addition to canceling tax credits for various programs, Malloy
proposed increasing the tax on hospitals. The tax was implemented
by the Malloy administration a few years ago.
“I had to scratch my head wondering why we’re taxing a virtuous
activity,” Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich, told Malloy’s budget
director Ben Barnes Thursday.
“It’s like why do you rob banks?” Barnes interjected. “It’s where the money is.”
“That’s on the record sir,” Frantz replied...
WALL STREET INVESTORS WILL BE IMPRESSED..AS TREASURER SAID...
Three takes on the same thing:
#1 -CT MIRROR: http://ctmirror.org/2015/02/24/more-cuts-needed-malloy-budget-bursts-spending-cap/
#2 - Calculation Error Puts Malloy’s Budget Over State Spending Cap
by Hugh McQuaid | Feb 24, 2015 3:09pm
A calculation error acknowledged Tuesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s
budget office puts the governor’s budget proposal $54 million over the
state spending cap in 2016 and will force the administration to propose
adjustments...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/calculation_error_puts_malloys_budget_over_state_spending_cap/
#3 - Miscalculation Changes Spending Cap; Cuts Needed
By Christopher Keating
Feb. 24, 2015, 5:31pm
Due to a complicated miscalculation, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's proposed
budget is currently $54.5 million over the state's spending cap for the
next fiscal year.
Malloy's budget office is changing the number for the cap - meaning the
state will have less money to spend than expected n the next fiscal
State budget chief Ben Barnes made the announcement Tuesday, saying it
was related to a miscalculation in the growth in personal income - a key
statistic that is used to calculate the amount of the state-mandated
spending cap each year...story in full: http://www.courant.com/politics/capitol-watch/hc-miscalculation-changes-spending-cap-cuts-needed-20150224-story.html
Cuts to UCONN story in full: http://www.theday.com/article/20150224/NWS12/150229864/1047
His plan may be to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to balance CT budget - a lot coming home to roost (r).
Treasurer: Malloy plan could harm state’s reputation with investors
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | February 20, 2015
State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier warned Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Friday
that one component of his new budget could harm Connecticut’s
reputation on Wall Street.
In a letter released to the media Friday evening, Nappier – a Democrat –
called the Democratic governor's plan to rely on $325 million in
borrowing to cover operating costs “too aggressive...”
Both Malloy and Nappier have faced increasing criticism from Republican
legislative leaders over the past year for the state’s growing reliance
on what are commonly referred to as “bond premiums.”
The state, in some instances when issuing bonds, will pay a higher
interest rate than originally planned in return for a premium – extra
money to the state in addition to the bonds’ face value. This is a
tool that helps the treasurer market bonds, particularly when interest
rates are low.
But rather than using those premiums to accelerate debt reduction, the
governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature have used them in
recent years to build up the state’s fiscal reserves, or to close past
budget deficits. Critics argue this not only involves borrowing to
cover operating expenses, but it drives up the interest rates the state
pays on many of its capital projects.
The state has taken more than $400 million in bond premiums since Malloy became governor.
And Benjamin Barnes, Malloy’s budget chief, confirmed Thursday when
questioned by the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, that the
proposed budget would rely on bond premiums to cover the $325 million
gap in the biennial debt service account.
“This has been a longstanding practice,” Barnes told the committee,
adding that the administration would expect critics to find spending
cuts elsewhere in the budget to replace the anticipated bond premiums.
But Nappier warned Malloy in her letter that interest rates are expected
to rise this fall – a development that traditionally reduces investors’
willingness to pay premiums. To count on those funds, “before
they are realized,” she added, “is equivalent to counting one’s chickens
before they hatch.”
GOVERNOR MALLOY SETS OUT HIS VISION...his speech - click here.
Governor's Budget Address depends on this? We hope not. Note high percentage of debt payment in this budget. He said:
"...But there are a few things I will not do.
Please note the immediate comment in full, objecting to by the Judicial Branch
- I will not support any effort to exceed our spending cap by emergency declaration.
- I will not support an early retirement incentive – an idea that may save money now, but costs us much more in the long run.
- And I will not sign a budget that is balanced on the backs of our towns or our public schools.
- Within this framework, I will listen to anyone who has serious ideas on how we can make this budget better.
- If you’re willing to offer detailed proposals for saving money and
growing our economy, you will be heard. But if it’s just about partisan
gamesmanship, I’m not interested – and I don’t think Connecticut
families are interested either..."
. Below a direct quote from CTNEWSJUNKIE:
"Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers issued a statement
objecting to Malloy’s effort to 'dismantle' the judiciary’s Court
Support Services Division.
'Our concern is that we have seen no evidence substantiating
how this proposal will result in greater efficiencies or better outcomes
in the criminal justice system, the juvenile justice system or the
family court system,” she said. “Additionally, we do not agree that the
proposal will result in budgetary savings'
Rogers said the division’s programs and their assessment tools have been crafted over 30 years and are nationally recognized.
'These programs and tools are fully integrated into the court
process and are utilized by judges every day to best serve the criminal
justice system, the juvenile justice system and the family court system
in Connecticut,' she said."
Report in full from Comptroller here
Lembo Predicts Bigger Deficit, Doubts Personal Income Growth
by Christine Stuart | Mar 2, 2015 1:09pm
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo is projecting that the state budget will
end the year with a $101.2 million deficit, which is $40 million more
than Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget office projected last month.
Malloy’s budget office projected that the state would end the year with a $61.2 million deficit.
The difference? Lembo told Malloy he disagrees with his budget office’s
estimates of personal income growth...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lembo_predicts_bigger_deficit_doubts_personal_income_growth/
ANOTHER VIEW IN CT MIRROR:
The story in the CTNEWSJUNKIE explains the smoke
and mirrors aspect of any economic projections nowadays.
...“It was brutal,” Barnes said. “I believe the decision to land here is one of conscience.”
The administration pegs the first-year shortfall at $1.1 billion, while
legislative analysts say the state is facing a $1.3 billion budget gap
in the fiscal year that begins July 1 and $1.4 billion the following
year, based on projections of available revenues and the funding
required to maintain current services.
A cuts-only approach also would have been an abrogation of sorts, a de
facto invitation to the Democratic legislature to set aside the
administration’s proposal and instead consider a significant tax
...His new proposal makes no major demands of labor: It has no
across-the-board layoffs, no furloughs and no early-retirement
incentives, but he intends to keep positions open longer to save an
additional $25 million.
Some labor force dislocation seems inevitable from the closing of a
prison. Barnes said Scott Semple, the commissioner of correction, would
decide on which institution to close.
More than half the $39.96 billion, two-year budget is beyond the reach
of cuts, because of labor contracts and entitlements. The Department of
Developmental Services, whose programs for persons with intellectual
disabilities are largely discretionary, would get only a minimal
increase, even though demands for its services are growing.
"That will hurt," Barnes said.
Public colleges and universities, which already lost about 2 percent of
their funding this year to emergency cuts ordered by Malloy, would lose
another 1 percent in the fiscal year that begins July 1. The spending
plan falls under the constitutional spending cap by a narrow margin,
roughly $6 million in the first year, though it’s about $125 million
under in the second year.
...The administration can expect heat over proposed changes to
corporation tax credit rules that would cause businesses to pay an extra
$100 million over the next two years. The state’s business lobby has
argued for years that this approach represents a tax increase, albeit
one achieved without changing the corporation tax rate.
It also wants to broaden a controversial hospital provider tax.
The administration insists extra payments by hospitals – about $150
million per year – all would be returned to the industry in an effort to
leverage more federal aid. But it took the same approach in 2011 when
it imposed the original $350 million provider tax – only to gradually
reduce payments back to hospitals starting one year after it was
An industry that once paid $350 million to the state and received $400
million back the same year, still pays the same this year, yet gets less
than $100 million back.
Neither a borrower nor a lender be...
New Haven Alderman Jorge Perez To Head Banking Department
by Hugh McQuaid | Feb 13, 2015 1:01pm
“...Yes, I’ve been a banker for over 25 years. But I will
remind you that prior to being a banker, and still today, I’ve also
been a community activist. I have always been an advocate,” Perez
said. Story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/new_haven_alderman_jorge_perez_to_head_banking_department/
When in February were Presidents Washington & Lincoln born? Ans. Feb. 22 and Feb. 12 (LOB closed)
Malloy Proposes Sales Tax Cut In Next Fiscal Year
By Christopher Keating
Feb. 15, 2015
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy proposed a cut in the state's sales tax both this
year and in the future - surprising legislators and insiders Sunday in a
tough budget year.
The sales tax would be reduced from its current rate of 6.35 percent
down to 6.2 percent in November - after the new fiscal year starts. The
tax would then drop to 5.95 percent in 2017 - to its lowest level since
The move marks a reversal from 2011 when Malloy and the
Democratic-controlled legislature raised the 6 percent sales tax to the
current level of 6.35 percent as part of the largest tax increase in
Malloy made the announcement during a taping of the weekly "Face The
State'' program with longtime host Dennis House on WFSB-TV...story in
Biennial budget to be delivered and it was and then...
Budget Chief: Malloy Will Keep No-Tax Pledge
February 3, 2015 12:38pm
...Barnes spoke Tuesday at the annual budget forum of New
Haven-based Connecticut Voices for Children, an advocacy group that
closely studies state spending. During a question-and-answer session,
Barnes spoke in detail about the ramifications if the state raised taxes
on the wealthiest residents or tried to tax their assets.
If taxes are raised too high on the wealthiest, "they would leave,''
Barnes told the group, which has advocated in the past for tax increases
on the wealthy. "They are highly mobile, and they have the resources to
pick up and leave.''
The fact that Connecticut has so many affluent residents, including
billionaires, is "a blessing, in my view, and something that we should
nurture,'' Barnes said.
At the same time, he said it is "distressing'' that the United States
has an economic system that allows creation of huge income gaps between
the richest and the poorest.
"If we were to start taxing the assets of individuals, they would go,''
Barnes said, adding that such a tax "hasn't been done in this country.''
Connecticut clearly competes with other states for residents,
particularly among the elderly, and some of that is based on taxes, he
"Florida has sunshine 365 days a year and no state income tax and no
inheritance tax,'' Barnes said. "There are a lot of reasons to be
Story in full: http://www.courant.com/politics/capitol-watch/hc-budget-chief-malloy-will-keep-notax-pledge-20150203-story.html
LWVCT ED FUND 2011 Fall Conference...BACK IN BUSINESS: Workforce Development for Connecticut's Economic Future
Discussion of the above topic online here: http://www.lwvweston.org/FALLCONFERENCE2011.html
Plainfield at the opposite end of CT from
Weston. At right, link to Courant report on Plainfield here; And at Plainfield High School an expert addresses 800 people.
State officials review earthquake plan at Hartford meeting
Updated January 16. 2015 2:50PM
Hartford — Behind closed doors at the State Emergency Operation Center,
state and federal officials met Friday to discuss how the state would
respond to a damaging earthquake.
The meeting was triggered by a recent "cluster" of small earthquakes
(typically less than 4.0 on the Richter scale) that have struck the
Plainfield area since Jan. 8. There have been 11 quakes, the strongest
of which peaked on Monday morning at a magnitude of 3.3, which some
residents said sounded like an explosion.
There have been no reports of any new tremors on Friday, so far.
After the meeting, Department of Emergency Services and Public
Protection Commissioner Dora B. Schriro said that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
was concerned about the earthquakes and wanted to make sure that the
state was prepared if disaster struck.
"We looked at the status and reviewed the plans in place, which are
quite robust, and then we took a look down the road and said if
something extraordinary were to happen … in what way would we need to
tweak those plans," said Schriro.
The town of Plainfield also plans to host a meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m.
at Plainfield High School to discuss the earthquakes...and for another
report: From the Day - newspaper from Plainfield area:
State Contractors can’t make political donations – oh – except to benefit Malloy
What Wait blog
Jan. 15, 2015
...Whereas John Rowland’s campaign finance reports were filled with the
names of major state contractors such as the Tomasso Brothers
Corporation, the Gilbane Company and the Manafort Brothers, as a direct
result of Connecticut’s landmark campaign finance reform legislation,
every governor and gubernatorial candidate after Rowland would be
prohibited from accessing state contractor money.
However, as the final round of campaign finance reports are submitted
for Connecticut’s 2014 gubernatorial campaign, it is becoming
increasingly clear that when it came the prohibition on state contractor
donations, Governor Dannel Malloy and his political operation
fundamentally violated the spirit of Connecticut’s campaign finance law
and, quite possibly, the letter of the law as well...column in
Local Elected Officials Press Malloy, Legislative Leaders On Priorities
by Christine Stuart | Jan 14, 2015 6:28pm
The COST story: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/local_elected_officials_press_malloy_legislative_leaders_on_priorities/
New Commissioner to be appointed - a politically active political appointee?
Docs back more ills for medical pot
Ken Dixon, CT POST
Published 10:34 am, Wednesday, January 14, 2015
HARTFORD -- Doctors overseeing the state's medical
marijuana program this morning voted to expand the list of eligible
ailments to include sickle cell disease, severe psoriasis and pain
associated with back surgery.
But it may take months before the regulations are drafted and approved by a crucial legislative committee.
The state Department of Consumer Protection's Medical Marijuana
Program's Board of physicians rejected a proposals to add Tourette's
Disorder to the current list of 11 diseases and medical conditions for
which 3,648 patients have registered.
Jonathan Harris, the new commissioner of the Department of Consumer
Protection who has a seat on the five-member panel, said he would act
thoughtfully and quickly, to make the final decision on whether the
three new conditions should be included in existing regulations...story
in full: http://www.ctpost.com/local/article/Docs-back-more-ills-for-medical-pot-6014763.php
Save for a Rainy Day - what a novel concept! http://www.osc.ct.gov/brf/BudgetReserveFund_PolicyBrief.pdf
HOW HAVE THINGS CHANGED IN 40 YEARS?
Ho ho - spending like Rockefeller? "12%-er" released this..."The Night Before Xmas". An example (S.O.S. office); R.I. guy now and how long do you think the lines will be?.
As About Town sees it, there isn't any surprise about any of
this. However, it is distressing that in terms of major employment (CT
industries which create other opportunities in support activities - a
ratio of perhaps 1:2) nobody is even talking about it anymore! The example of Tenet Health Care, for one.
Read about U.S. job creation here: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2014/10/jobs-day-unemployment-rate-lowest-since-july-2008/381083/
LOTS TO WATCH ON CT-N TODAY
- GOV. MALLOY UPSTAGED BY WIFE
, WHO WAS VERY NICE.
Story here on Governor's brief speech: http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_XGR_GOVERNOR_CONNECTICUT_INAUGURATION_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-07-16-51-15
All the tough questions and hard answers left for another
day...and yesterday's FOI hearing on why Sandy Hook evidence is not open
to view yet? Somehow, we suspect the hearing was continued...
EAGLES HIRE LOBBYIST, HUSKIES GET SLUSH FUNDS? APHASIA, PARALYSIS
(TEMPORARY, WE HOPE), SEN. MAYNARD SWORN IN. DELAY ON BUDGET.
Story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/upload/2015/01/pre-filed-uconn-foundation-transparency-bill.pdf
Story here on Governor's brief speech: http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_XGR_GOVERNOR_CONNECTICUT_INAUGURATION_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-07-16-51-15
Budget, transportation among top session issues
By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press
Jan 4, 2015, 8:38 AM EST
...Malloy said it's time for a "mature and detailed discussion about
what it will take to turn transportation around in Connecticut." He
said taxpayers need to know how much it will cost to address projects
like modernizing clogged highways and upgrading battered bridges.
"It's going to be a pretty broad discussion," Malloy predicted. "Get ready for it." Story in full: http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CT_CONNECTICUT_LEGISLATURE_CTOL-?SITE=CTNHR&SECTION=STATE&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2015-01-04-08-38-21
Op-ed in full: http://www.courant.com/opinion/op-ed/hc-op-fasano-connecticut-democrats-rule-1213-20141212-story.html
LIKE A MOVIE SET
If remembered correctly, which is not always the case, the DGA met here a few years ago...or was it the RGA?
Malloy Goes To Cali For DGA Conference
by Christine Stuart
Dec 8, 2014 11:08am
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will be in Los Angeles, California for
the next few days attending the Democratic Governors Association’s
annual meeting and holiday party.
According to the conference agenda posted online, the event starts on
Monday with a reception and tour of Universal Studios in Hollywood. On
Tuesday, the governors will eat breakfast at the Beverly Wilshire, which
will be followed by a roundtable policy discussion. Next it’s lunch and
then a VIP reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which is
followed by the holiday party.
The DGA blocked off rooms at the Beverly Wilshire where rates begin at
$335 per night and the Hotel Montage where rooms start at $330 per
night...Story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/malloy_goes_to_cali_for_dga_conference/
How to regain balance? Check CT MIRROR story above in full.
Will Malloy be forced to send deficit closure plan to legislators?
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | January 26, 2015
...But given that Malloy’s cuts probably duplicated some of the savings
already planned by agencies, OFA’s deficit projection – which will be
updated at week’s end after a review of the governor’s cuts – could top
the 1 percent mark.
Leaders of the legislature’s Republican minority have charged Malloy has
been disclosing budget problems piecemeal since he won re-election in
November in hopes of avoiding a deficit of $175 million – and the
resulting legal mandate.
After reporting no signs of red ink from July through October, the
administration projected a $100 million shortfall in mid-November, just
after the election.
GOP leaders cried foul, noting that projection didn’t fully address
concerns about surging retirement health care costs or miscellaneous
Malloy has limited authority to impose modest budget cuts unilaterally,
and used it in November to reduce the deficit below $35 million.
Eroding fuel tax receipts and rising Medicaid costs pushed it back above
$120 million, the administration reported last week, before ordering
another $31.6 million in emergency cuts.
But according to nonpartisan analysts for the legislature, cost-overruns
involving Medicaid and magnet schools are worse than the administration
estimates. And a potential surplus in the debt service account is not
as large as Malloy’s staff projects.
Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, who has been pushing
for bipartisan negotiations with the governor on greater budget
reductions, called again Monday for Malloy to acknowledge the state’s
fiscal problems are worse than originally anticipated.
Do we really have to hit that (1 percent) threshold to say that there’s
an issue?” Fasano said. “We can get everyone in the room and talk about
this. Wouldn’t that be refreshing for the Capitol if we were a little
Gian-Carl Casa, spokesman for the governor’s budget office, said, “We
will continue to closely watch state spending and revenue. If necessary,
the governor will take additional steps, or propose additional steps to
the legislature, to keep this year’s budget in balance.”
Lembo’s next monthly budget assessment is due on Feb. 1.
Story from the CT Mirror: http://ctmirror.org/2015/01/26/will-malloy-be-forced-to-send-deficit-closure-plan-to-legislators/
Lembo Pegs Budget Deficit At $31.6M
by Christine Stuart | Jan 2, 2015 11:17am
The state’s 2015 budget deficit dropped $13.2 million since November,
but it hasn’t been completely eliminated, according to state Comptroller
On Friday, Lembo said the state is poised to end the fiscal year in June
with a $31.6 million deficit. In order, to completely eliminate the
deficit he said the downward spending growth trend must continue because
revenues aren’t likely to improve...story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/lembo_pegs_budget_deficit_at_31.6m/#more
HO HO. A MERRY CHRISTMAS 2014 (IN IMPLEMENTER BILL?) AND HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO NEXT BIENNIAL BUDGET?
How many years needed to have a pension vested in CT?
Commissioners too? Some studies.
About 200 officials to receive $1.4 million raises
Updated 5:24 pm, Tuesday, December 23, 2014
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — About 200 officials in Connecticut Gov. Dannel P.
Malloy's administration are getting an early holiday present: a pay
raise ranging from 3 percent to 12 percent.
The increases for the appointed officials, including agency heads and
governor's staff, will cost the state approximately $1.4 million
annually. Funding for the raises was included in the state budget that
took effect July 1...Story in full here: http://www.greenwichtime.com/news/article/About-200-officials-to-receive-1-4-million-raises-5976293.php
A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE THE NEXT BIENNIAL SESSION (2015-2017) BEGINS IN HARTFORD...ABIDING TRUTH FROM CTNEWSJUNKIE OP-ED; About Town will be watching the outcome of studies from Program Review and Investigation; plus the issue of drones as the Public Safety Committee
IMPORTANT NEWS IF YOU ARE GOING TO THE HOSPITAL...
Well, there is hospital stay bill, and then there is...a hospital to stay in?
Story in full: http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/tenet_withdraws_plans_to_purchase_connecticut_hospitals/
HEALTH CENTER/HEALTH DEPARTMENT (84) AND INSURANCE DEPARTMENT (76) MOST IN DEMAND AT CONFERENCES:
As we read the full story, it appears that Connecticut's top
administrators involved in Health and Insurance most in demand on the
lecture circuit. Does this mean that Connecticut is sharing its
great success in these two areas with the rest of the world - or are we
just supporting junkets and conference attendance so that bureaucrats
can make connections for future employment or consulting? To read
the story in full: http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-p-insurance-commissioner-travels-20140926-story.html#page=1
THIS IS HOW
Red ink and coal in our
stockings...and here is a link to a new
page we just built re: CT Special Sessions of the C.G.A.
Wednesday, December 19, 2012.