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Saturday, January 21, 2017

CT Marchers Join National Protest in Rebuke to Trump

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – Thousands of marchers from Connecticut today joined a massive protest the day after President Donald Trump took the oath of office, saying they have to protect the environment, health care, women’s rights and a wide range of issues they say are under attack in the new administration.

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Marta Ylane of Westport, who emigrated from Ukraine as a child after World War II, was among the marchers. She said Trump’s relationship with Russia is troubling. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ana Radelat for CTMirror.org

“It’s important to show that women aren’t going back in time,” said Jessica Cross of Stafford.

A Navy veteran who wore an American flag like a cape to show that the marchers were “true patriots, Cross was unable to participate in protests in the past. She called the Women’s March “amazing,” especially for its “positive energy.”

As Trump attended a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral on his first full day as president, a sea of pink-hatted protesters from across the country descended on the nation’s capital, arriving in buses, caravans and packing public transportation to gather near the National Mall.

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CT Marchers Rest on Capitol Hill

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Connecticut residents who traveled to Washington for the women’s march were welcomed today by the state’s House delegation for a bit of rest on Capitol Hill.  The lawmakers were able to snag the cavernous House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hearing room. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Suzzanne Stark for WestportNow.com

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Malloy Addresses Women’s March in Hartford

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy addresses the Women’s March on Connecticut in Hartford today. Capitol police estimated more than 10,000 persons were taking part. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Westport Will Send 250 to 300 to Washington March

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Some of the signs prepared by Democratic women in Westport for Saturday’s march on Washington. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Between 250 and 300 Westport women are set to take part in the Women’s March on Washington on Saturday, the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency, Melissa Kane, chairman of Democratic Town Committee, said today.

“We are going to make a very loud statement that we are watching, and that we are not going to stand for the overturning of any of the rights we have fought so hard for,” said Kane, who added that a sign making session was held on Monday.

She is one of Connecticut’s 20 women organizers who expect to turn out 5,000 to 6,000 women statewide for the rally. She said that about 200,000 women from across the country are expected.

Kane said two buses are set to leave from Westport at 1:30 a.m. Saturday, but she declined to disclose the location(s).

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

In Darien, Residents Hope Trump Will Bring Economic Growth

Editor’s note: This is part of a CTMirror.org series of visits to Connecticut towns leading up to the inauguration.

By Kyle Constable

www.ctmirror.org

DARIEN — The markets are up, and that is a comfort here in the ninth-wealthiest community in the U.S., one of the usually reliable Republican towns in lower Fairfield County that chose Hillary Clinton over Donald J. Trump.

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Downtown Darien is relatively quiet during normal working hours, as many residents commute to New York or one of its satellite cities. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kyle Constable for CTMirror.org

Some, even a few who didn’t vote for Trump, say they already are seeing a positive effect of his election on the nation’s economy. Ben Brightwell, a Darien lawyer, is one of the those people. While waiting in line at a Dunkin’ Donuts in town last week, he said he finds himself equal parts hopeful and fearful of a Trump presidency.

“Obviously, the market’s done well,” he said. “I’m hoping that we kind of stay on the upswing, but I’m scared, too.”

Brightwell is one of many Darien residents who have cast ballots for Republican candidates in past elections but could not vote for Trump last year. He wrote in Evan McMullin, an independent presidential candidate from Utah who ran as a conservative alternative to Trump.

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Malloy to Attend Inaugural

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democratic supporter of Hillary Clinton from her announcement through the primary season to her defeat on Nov. 8, said today he has decided after “much consideration” to attend the inauguration of Donald J. Trump, where he will be seated with other governors.

“While my first inclination was to decline, I’ve decided to accept the invitation,” said Malloy, who also is chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

A 200-word explanation of the rationale for accepting an invitation to witness a presidential inauguration itself is a comment on how little has been routine about the transition from the administration of Barack Obama to Trump, a billionaire developer and reality-TV star who once lived in Greenwich.

Since Trump’s victory, there have been a steady stream of stories about celebrities, A-list and otherwise, who have declined invitations to perform or attend the inauguration. Republican governors opposed to Trump, such as Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts, Larry Hogan of Maryland and John Kasich of Ohio, have come under extra scrutiny.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Blumenthal Will Oppose Sessions Confirmation

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal said today that he will oppose the confirmation of fellow Sen. Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General because his colleague from Alabama has a record that “reflects a hostility and antipathy and downright opposition to civil rights.”

Blumenthal is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which held its confirmation hearing on Sessions this week and may vote on the candidacy next week. He announced his opposition to Sessions shortly after Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said he also will vote against Sessions’ confirmation because he has concerns about whether the nominee would be a sufficient check on President — elect Donald Trump.

In a floor speech in the Senate Thursday, Blumenthal said the U.S. Attorney General’s powers are “awesome,” and he has witnessed this as Connecticut’s attorney general.

“In most cases there is no recourse to overrule his decision, unless there is political interference,” Blumenthal said.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Malloy Won’t Reassure CT Towns They Are Safe From the Budget Axe

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today offered worried municipal leaders no assurances they would be spared from cuts to local aid as he and the General Assembly grapple with another major deficit in the next state budget.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy speaks to members of the Council of Small Towns. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Keith Phaneuf for Ctmiorror.org

Addressing the annual meeting of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns at the Hartford Sheraton in Rocky Hill, the governor withheld specifics of the new two-year spending plan he will deliver to legislators on Feb. 8.

But Malloy hinted communities would not be shielded as state officials try to close a $1.5 billion projected deficit in the upcoming fiscal year, a gap equal to 8 percent of the General Fund.

And while municipal leaders pressed for fewer mandates and more control over their finances, Malloy noted COST member towns — 110 communities all with populations less than 30,000 — have more robust fiscal reserves than the state’s.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Blumenthal Slams Sessions for Links to Controversial Groups

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – Sen. Richard Blumenthal today provoked one of the liveliest exchanges in the daylong confirmation hearing of Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for attorney general, by pressing him on his links to controversial groups who have given him awards.

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Sen. Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate judiciary Committee on his nomination to be attorney general. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Senate Judiciary Committee video feed

At the hearing, Blumenthal asked Sessions why he accepted the Franklin Society Award from the Federation for American Immigration Reform, whose founder John Tanton said he hoped the United States would keep a majority white population and has made other racially insensitive remarks.

Session said he did not agree with Tanton and “didn’t know if he had anything to do with the award.”

Blumenthal also questioned Sessions’ relationship with David Horowitz, who has been praised by Sessions. The Alabama senator also received the David Horowitz Freedom Award.

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Steinberg Named House Health Committee Chair

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg of Westport, elected in November to his fourth two-year term, has been named House chair of the Public Health Committee, it was announced today.

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg: “I’m gratified.” Contributed photo

“I’m gratified to be appointed chair of a committee which will deal with a number of critical issues for both the state and the nation,” said Steinberg, a Democrat whose 136th District includes most of Westport.

Steinberg’s predecessor is Rep. Matt Ritter who is now House majority leader.

Steinberg’s background in health care includes both management and executive positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, American Home Products/Wyeth, Mount Sinai Medical Center and the Jewish Home Lifecare System in New York City. He also worked for MDVIP, Inc., a leader in concierge medicine.

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Thursday, January 05, 2017

Quinnipiac Poll Director: Polls Were Not That Bad

By Roy Fuchs

Doug Schwartz, Quinnipiac University poll director, told the Ys Men of Westport/Weston today that though few expected the presidential election’s outcome, “the polls were not as bad as is commonly assumed.”

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Doug Schwartz, poll director at Quinnipiac University, addressing today’s meeting of the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Larry Untermeyer for WestportNow.com

The “quality” polls, those done by the major television networks, by Pew Research and Quinnipiac, projected a 4-point popular vote victory by Hillary Clinton. She won by 2. “If you’re off by two or three points on the margin, that’s not bad,” he said.

The biggest surprises—Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania—is where the pollsters missed. Fewer than 80,000 votes — less than 1-point—decided these states. Had their 46 Electoral College votes gone to Clinton, she would be president-elect.

Polls in those states all tightened at the end. In Pennsylvania, for example, they showed Clinton in the lead, but none by wide margins.

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Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Steinberg Sworn in for Fourth Term

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg, a Democrat whose 136th District includes most of Westport, was sworn in today for a fourth term in Hartford. The native Westporter and Yale University graduate told a League of Women Voters of Westport forum Tuesday night he will continue to push for transportation funding for Fairfield County and seek relief from state education mandates. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Malloy Warns of Need for Concessions, Smaller Government, New Aid Formulas

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy set the stage in his 2017 State of the State address today for a protracted and difficult debate on how to further shrink state government, extract more concessions from unions on pension and health benefits, and better focus a smaller pool of state aid for education on the systems most in need. 

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy delivers his State of the State message today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jacqueline Rabe Thomas for Ctmirror.org

After recently negotiating significant changes to how the state will pay down its unfunded pension liability, Malloy alerted a half-dozen labor leaders before the speech that he will be seeking unspecified concessions that he says must be part of “a responsible and balanced solution to our budget problem.”

“These changes can and should be reached respectfully, and at the bargaining table,” Malloy told a joint session of the General Assembly. “Our state must honor its legal obligation to our public servants and state retirees, while at the same time keeping our promises to Connecticut taxpayers.”

In his seventh speech marking the opening of a General Assembly session, the Democratic governor eschewed his usual practice of pitching new initiatives, instead emphasizing concessions, the size of government and local aid as three broad areas he sees dominating a session certain to hinge once again on the struggle to the balance the budget in a state not fully recovered from the Great Recession of 2008.

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Tuesday, January 03, 2017

‘Pie and Politics’ Session Features Budget Slicing Talk

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On the eve of the opening of this year’s legislative session in Hartford, the League of Women Voters of Westport tonight hosted a two-hour “Pie and Politics” pizza session at the Veterans of of Foreign Wars Post in Westport attended by about 30 persons. The town’s four state representatives—Sens. Toni Boucher, Tony Hwang, and Reps. Jonathan Steinberg and Gail Lavielle —agreed that the session would be different since for the first time since 1893, Republicans and Democrats hold equal number of seats in the State Senate. They also unanimously condemned the cut in state education aid to Westport midway through the fiscal year and promised to work to free the town from costly state education mandates. “It’s ridiculous to have to use some (state-mandated) software system,”  said Steinberg, citing one example. “It doesn’t make sense at all.”  Said Hwang of the Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) state aid sytem: “No forumula, no predicability, no transparency.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

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Dems’ House Majority Slips by 1 With Resignation

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

The Democrats’ slim majority in the state House of Representatives grew slimmer at 1:31 p.m. today when Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, handed in a resignation letter, a precursor to accepting an appointment to the Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy intends to nominate Dargan, the long-serving co-chair of the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee, to a $92,500-a-year position on the board, filling the vacancy left by the resignation of Kenneth Ireland.

Dargan notified the secretary of the state’s office today he would not take the oath for a new term Wednesday with the rest of the General Assembly. Had he taken the oath, he would be barred from accepting a job in state government for his two-year term.

The House Democratic majority will shrink to 78-72, meaning the defection of three Democrats on any partisan vote would result in a 75-75 tie, at least until a special election is held to fill the vacancy.

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LWV of Westport Hosts ‘Pie and Politics’ Event Tonight

The League of Women Voters (LWV) of Westport kicks off the New Year tonight with a “pie and politics” event hosting Westport state legislators.

It will be held at 7 p.m. at the VFW Post, 465 Riverside Ave., an announcement said.

Guests are invited to share pizza courtesy of the LWV as moderator Pat Porio holds a discussion with the legislators on the eve of convening the new legislative session in Hartford.

Invited guests include Sens. Toni Boucher and Tony Hwang, and Reps. Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg.

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Thursday, December 29, 2016

State Cuts Additional $444K in ECS Aid to Westport

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The governor’s budget office said today Westport’s Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) aid from the state would be cut an additional $443,947, bringing the total reduction from the previous fiscal year to $1,517,602. In addition, Westport will see a $146,394 reduction in its Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP) grant. While every town is touched by the $50 million in reductions, the cuts to education largely fall on the state’s wealthiest communities. Administration officials said the cuts had to be made now to achieve the savings goals included in the current 2016-17 state budget. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org graphic

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CT Identifies $50 million in Mid-Year Cuts to Municipalities

By Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

City and town leaders today learned how much less the state will be sending their municipalities for education and construction projects for the fiscal year that ends July 1.

[The Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) aid to Westport would be cut an additional $443,947, bringing the total reduction from the previous fiscal year to $1,517,602. In addition, Westport will see a $146,394 reduction in its Local Capital Improvement Program (LoCIP) grant.]

The $50 million in midyear cuts announced by the governor’s budget office come after the legislature adopted a budget with $20 million in unassigned cuts to municipalities and $30 million from grants for local construction projects.

While every town is touched by the reductions announced today, the cuts to education largely fall on the state’s wealthiest communities.

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Deal Gives Democrats Edge in Evenly Split CT Senate

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Senate Democrats and Republicans finalized a deal today on how an evenly divided Senate will operate in 2017, agreeing that Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, will remain as the top leader, while sharing some authority with the GOP.

The deal came after weeks of fitful talks, including an unexpected telephone call Looney made to Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, on Wednesday night, a day after Looney’s kidney transplant at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Looney’s retention of the top spot reflects an edge Democrats kept as the GOP picked up three seats in November to turn a 21-15 Democratic majority into an 18-18 tie: The ability of Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, a Democrat, to break ties as the presiding officer.

Without a deal, Senate Republicans were prepared to file a lawsuit today seeking a declaratory ruling that the presiding officer’s ability to break ties did not extend to the election of the Senate’s top leader on Jan. 4, the opening day of the five-month session.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

In Subdued Ceremony, Connecticut Casts Its Electoral Votes

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Seven electors today dropped signed paper ballots into a wooden box in the state Senate, casting Connecticut’s seven Electoral College votes for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, the Democrats who carried the state, won the national popular vote and lost the presidency.

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Electors cast their ballots in Hartford today.. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Mark Pazniokas for Ctrmirror.org

A few dozen anti-Trump protesters stood vigil in the cold outside the State Capitol, some waving signs urging that the Electoral College abide by the popular vote, but their complaints lay elsewhere, with electors in the states carried by Donald J. Trump and Mike Pence.

With not quite 48 percent of the popular vote, the Republican nominee is set to be inaugurated next month with the third-worst vote margin among winning candidates since 1824. He won nearly 57 percent of the electoral college, the 13th-worst tally for a winning candidate.

The ceremony in Connecticut, a state that’s gone Democratic in every presidential election since Bill Clinton won in 1992, had a melancholy air. The electors accepted their roles in the hope they would be cast votes in another Clinton victory.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

State Comptroller: Retirement Obligations ‘Eating Our Lunch’

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State Comptroller Kevin Lembo told the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club today that Connecticut “must create stability and predictability moving forward to get us out of the doldrums.” Mentioned as a possible 2018 Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Lembo said post-employment obligations are “eating our lunch” and that “prior governors did not negotiate effectively on behalf of the residents of Connecticut, I can’t say it any other way.”  He lauded Connecticut as being one of the most “transparent states” when it comes to reporting what is going on at the state level, to the point that even payroll information can be requested by the public. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dems Recommend P&Z Replacement

The Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) tonight recommended Danielle Dobin, a real estate attorney, to succeed Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commissioner David Lessing, who resigned in October.

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Danielle Dobin: wants ro preserve Westport’s character.  WN photo

The six remaining P&Z commissioners must vote on the recommendation, but are expected to endorse it. She will serve out Lessing’s term, which expires in 2017.

“I want to serve on the P&Z because I love living in Westport and plan on living here as long as possible,” Dobin said in an interview.

“It’s really important to me to preserve the existing character of the town. I know we can’t avoid future development—and certainly wouldn’t want to avoid all development—but I think it really critically important that development be on our terms instead of something foisted upon us.”

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Wall Street Agency Gives CT Pension Deal a ‘Credit Positive’

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

The first review from Wall Street on a new plan to stretch out Connecticut’s spiking state employee pension costs is a positive one.

Moody’s Investors Service, one of the four major credit rating agencies, labeled the proposal negotiated by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration and state union leaders as a “credit positive” for Connecticut in the agency’s weekly credit outlook statement. The deal also reflects elements of proposals by state Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo and by state Treasurer Denise L. Nappier.

The declaration of a “credit positive” is not — by itself — a rating upgrade that often results in lower borrowing costs. But it is a development deemed to be a positive factor in the agency’s evaluation of the state’s finances.

“Connecticut’s pension burden as a percent of revenues is one of the highest of all 50 states,” Moody’s wrote. “The new agreement sacrifices the goal of amortizing the unfunded pension liabilities over a shorter period, but allows for more affordable pension contributions and a more conservative investment return assumption.”

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

GOP: CT Lawmakers Must Go On Record on New Pension Deal

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

The fate of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s plan to restructure the state employee pension system — which would shift billions of dollars in costs onto future taxpayers — mustn’t be resolved without votes by the House and Senate, according to the top Republicans in both chambers.

But whether Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, and Rep. Themis Klarides, R-Derby, get their way may hinge on sensitive negotiations between Fasano and the top Democrat in the Senate, President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney Jr. of New Haven.

“This plan absolutely must come before the legislature for a vote,” Fasano said.

“How could it not?” said Pat O’Neill, spokesman for Klarides, the House minority leader. “This is no trivial matter. This is literally going to be affecting generations to come.”

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Monday, December 12, 2016

Himes: Trump ‘Unhinged’ and Electoral College Should Block Him

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – Rep. Jim Himes said President-elect Donald Trump’s dismissal of U.S. intelligence agencies was “the last straw” that prompted the lawmaker to send out an incendiary tweet Sunday night saying Trump is “unhinged” and the Electoral College should stop him from becoming president.

In his tweet, Himes, D-4th District, said members of the Electoral College, which formally meets on Dec. 19 to officially cast its votes for president, must stop an unqualified individual from taking the oath of office. He wants the electors to vote for Hillary Clinton instead.

“We’re 5 wks from Inauguration & the President Elect is completely unhinged. The electoral college must do what it was designed for,” Himes tweeted.

He sent out the tweet just after Trump put out one of his own, bashing NBC’s Nightly News on Sunday after it aired a report that took a critical look at his split with the intelligence community.

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Friday, December 09, 2016

Malloy, Unions Strike Pension Deal

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced a deal with state employee unions that would allow Connecticut to dodge a fiscal iceberg by holding down annual pension costs otherwise set to spike over the next 16 years.

But to get that relief, Connecticut would shift at least $13.8 billion in estimated pension expenses owed before 2032 onto a future generation.

Under the deal, the state still would pay hefty pension bills for the next 16 years, with annual costs rising from $1.6 billion to $2.2 billion over that period. But pension expenses that were supposed to drop as low as $300 million per year after 2032 would hover close to $1.7 billion in the 2030s and 2040s.

The plan does not affect benefit levels for current or future retirees, nor does it change workers’ pension contributions.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2016

CT Lawmakers Torn Between Funds for Subs and Waiver for Mattis

By Ana Radelat

www.ctmirror.org

Washington – A stopgap measure to fund the federal government would allow work to continue on a new Connecticut-built ballistic missile submarine while also expediting the controversial nomination of retired Gen. James N. Mattis as the next secretary of defense.

That spending bill, which must be approved by Friday to avoid a shutdown of the federal government, poses a tough choice for Connecticut’s lawmakers torn between huge local military contracts and concerns over Mattis’ appointment.

For the most part, the $1.07 trillion “continuing resolution” would hold funding of the federal government at fiscal year 2016 levels. But the Pentagon’s budget has been boosted by $8 billion.

The resolution also contains other provisions aimed at winning Democratic support, including $170 million in aid to rebuild water systems in Flint, Mich., and $500 million for states to respond to the opioid abuse crisis.

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Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Steinberg: Bipartisan Efforts Needed on CT Financial Woes

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136), just re-elected to his fourth term, today painted a pessimistic picture of state finances in a talk to the weekly Westport Rotary Club meeting.

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State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg addresses the Westport Rotary Club today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

He said “cutting won’t be enough” to improve Connecticut’s financial woes and the only solutions must be bipartisan ones.

“We got into this mess together,” and the need is to come up with solutions both sides can agree on, said Steinberg, who presented a detailed slide show on state finances.

He said it would be “suicide” to make moves to raise the sales tax, for example, and warned that Westport should not expect much in state aid and will likely see additional cuts to educational cost sharing.

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Monday, December 05, 2016

Malloy Re-Elected to a Second Term as DGA Chairman

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was re-elected today to a second one-year term as chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, which lost ground in the 2016 elections, at the group’s winter meeting in New Orleans.

He will be succeeded in 2018 by Jay Inslee, the governor of Washington. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also was elected to the DGA leadership team: He will serve as policy chair for 2017.

Democrats did poorly in 2016 when they defended more seats than Republicans. The GOP won open races for governorships that had been held by Democrats in Missouri, New Hampshire and Vermont, but Democrats unseated North Carolina Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who didn’t concede the close race until today.

“Governor Malloy’s leadership in 2016 helped the DGA recruit strong candidates, set fundraising records and win the marquee governor’s race in North Carolina while protecting all three Democratic incumbents,” said Elisabeth Pearson, the executive director of the DGA.

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Educators, Town Officials Brace for Budget Woes

By James Lomuscio

A new state law requring total town budgets not be more than a 2.5 percent increase over the previous year beginning fiscal year 2018-19 took center stage tonight at the Westport Board of Education.

Joining the board in talks about the 2017-18 school budget were members of the Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) as well as First Selectman Jim Marpe.

The bottom line: such mandated fiscal belt tightening will increase budget woes as the town grapples with the state’s fiscal crisis, unfunded educational mandates, educational cost sharing (ECS) grant cuts, contractual obligations outpacing inflation and per pupil expenditures jumping 11 percent in the past three years, town and school officials said.

Towns where the total budgets, municipal and school, exceed 2.5 percent will be penalized in terms of state funding, according to the mandate. The total operating budget for the town and schools this fiscal year in $204 million.

More "Educators, Town Officials Brace for Budget Woes"

12/05/16 10:10 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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