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Politics

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Westport Democrats Open Election HQ

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Melissa Kane (l) Democratic candidate for first selectman, with other candidates at her side, addresses supporters tonight at the official opening of the Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) election headquarters at 1757 Post Road East opposite Stop & Shop. She and other party leaders said the key to a Democratic victory in November is turning out Democratic voters who normally do not vote in municipal elections.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

09/19/17 09:16 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Himes: ‘My Head Buzzing’ Over Trump U.N. Speech

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U.S. Rep. Jim Himes today told a meeting of the Westport Rotary Club that “the political environment in Washington today is utter upheaval, confusion, and unpredictability.” Referring to President Trump’s U.N. speech today, he said, “I’m walking around my head buzzing a little bit because going in front of the General Assembly and threatening to destroy a country indicates an absence of prudence in the enormous (war-making) power the president has.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Malloy: It’s Time for ‘the Courage to Compromise’ on Connecticut’s Budget

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today reaffirmed his opposition to the new state budget, arguing it would raid the pension funds, decimate higher education and leave the City of Hartford vulnerable to fiscal insolvency.

And while the Democratic governor urged all sides to compromise — and said he probably would have to accept some GOP proposals he opposes — Malloy also said he would not accept a plan to scale back scheduled payments into the state employees’ pension fund.

“This is serious hard work to put the state back in balance with respect to its unfunded, long-term obligations,” Malloy told reporters. “And what do we get? We get an invitation to make it worse.”

That “invitation,” according to the governor, was included in the two-year budget that the Senate and House approved on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

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MGM Pitches Bridgeport Casino as Feds Delay Tribes’ Expansion

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Bridgeport UPDATE MGM Resorts International launched a glitzy new campaign today to expand into Connecticut, an effort that curiously coincides with the Trump administration, at least temporarily, halting the state’s two federally recognized tribes’ from building a casino in East Windsor to compete with a new MGM resort in Springfield, Massachusetts.

WestportNow.com Image
Mayors Toni Harp of New Haven and Joseph Ganim of Bridgeport talk to MGM CEO James Murren. At left, Uri Clinton of MGM.(CLICK TO ENLARGE) CtMirror.org photo

The Nevada-based gaming giant, after telling legislators for two years they would be foolish to approve the tribes’ plan without an open competition, now is seeking legislation in special session granting it exclusive rights to build a waterfront casino resort in Bridgeport, a gateway to the lucrative New York City gambling market.

“We’ve spent time, we’ve invested money, and we’ve come up with partners that will give them the best project, a project that really is shovel-ready, a project that really is already funded, a project that really already has partners and momentum,” said Uri Clinton, a counsel and senior vice president at MGM.

Led by James Murren, the Bridgeport-born chairman and chief executive of MGM, the company demonstrated its political support at a waterside news conference attended by legislators, Mayors Joseph P. Ganim of Bridgeport and Toni Harp of New Haven, union members and a local partner who owns the site, Robert W. Christoph.

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MGM Announces Plan for Bridgeport Casino Complex

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A rendering of the MGM Bridgeport casino complex.Contributed photo

Almost 15 years after former Westport First Selectwoman Diane Farrell led a Fairfield County coalition opposing a casino in Bridgeport, the possibility of gambling in the state’s largest city took on a new life today.

MGM Resorts International announced ambitious plans for a $675 million casino and entertainment complex in Bridgeport’s Steelpointe Harbor area that it said would create thousands of jobs.

The announcement came despite current state law that bars building a casino in Bridgeport as gaming is currently limited to the two federal Indian reservations. However, the General Assembly has approved a plan for a third casino in East Windsor that would be jointly operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

That did not seem to dissuade MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Office James Murren, a Bridgeport native, from announcing his plan.

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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Dems’ Solution to Combat Alt-Right: Win Elections

There was a packed Westport Library audience today for a Democratic Women of Westport forum on “How to Fight the Alt-Right” featuring U.S. Rep. Jim Himes and social media political specialist Melissa Ryan.

WestportNow.com Image
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes addresses today’s forum while fellow panelist Melissa Ryan and moderator Rob Simmelkjaer listen. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

With Rob Simmelkjaer, running mate of Melissa Kane for first selectman on the Democratic ticket, moderating the discussion, Himes said the emergence of the alternative right movement “has upturned politics in Washington.”

“President Trump is not a Nazi though he is on the alt-right spectrum,” he said.

The Democrat, who is serving his fifth term and is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the alt-right movement has resulted in the “shunting aside” of the Republican Party, minimizing the influence of leaders such as House Speaker Paul Ryan.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

A Surprising Day Ends With GOP Budget Heading to Malloy — For a Veto

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Republican legislators sent their first state budget proposal to the governor’s desk in decades early today, capping a strange day that didn’t move Connecticut any closer to a new fiscal plan, but raised new questions about the balance of power at the Capitol.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy already had pledged to veto the GOP budget hours before it cleared the House by a 77-73 vote shortly before 3:15 a.m.

Meanwhile, leaders from both parties left the Capitol resigned to resume bipartisan talks in hopes of reaching a deal before a series of fiscal calamities strike in two weeks.

House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, said Republican caucuses that have felt overlooked in too many budget debates in recent history, have a key role to play in crafting that final agreement.

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Friday, September 15, 2017

Democratic Budget Fails in Dramatic Senate Vote

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s state budget grew exponentially more complicated today as three moderate Senate Democrats bolted their caucus and teamed with 18 Republicans to pass a GOP budget plan that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has vowed to veto as unbalanced and gimmick-ridden.

Not only did the vote derail what Democrats saw in their best chance in months to end the budget impasse, but it raised questions about whether Democrats still have a working majority in the upper chamber. A chastened Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said, “That remains to be seen.”

With the Senate evenly divided, Democrats’ only edge has been ability of the presiding officer, Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, to break 18-18 votes in favor of the Democrats. Today, that advantage failed in the stunning defection of Democrats Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Gayle Slossberg of Milford and Joan Hartley of Waterbury.

Bolstered by the defections, the Senate voted 21-15 to adopt the Republican plan, which now heads to the House of Representatives, where House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, is unlikely to place it before the House for a vote.

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Compromise Budget Deal Collapses

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

A compromise to end Connecticut’s summer-long budget impasse dramatically unraveled Thursday night as House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, brusquely acknowledged to reporters he was postponing a vote after a day of cajoling reluctant Democrats.

Asked if the House would go ahead with a scheduled vote on a package that had yet to be fully disclosed, the normally genial Aresimowicz gave a sharp one-word answer as he quickly passed through a gaggle of waiting reporters:  “Nope!”

A spokesman for Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, said the Senate would return today to attempt to pass a budget that originally was to be debated first in the House.

Early today, House leaders notified their members to return at 5 p.m., a sign it would attempt passage if the budget cleared the Senate.

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Thursday, September 14, 2017

First Selectman Candidates’ Forum Set for Sept. 27 at Temple Israel

The four candidates for Westport’s first selectman are scheduled to square off at a candidates’ forum at Temple Israel at 14 Coleytown Road on Wednesday, Sept. 27, at 7:30 p.m., temple officials said today.

“This will be an opportunity for Westporters to hear the candidates’ views on some of the most important issues facing our community, and to pose questions of the candidates as well,” the announcement said. 

The four candidates vying for the town’s top post this November are current First Selectman Jim Marpe, a Republican, Melissa Kane, a Democrat, Jonathan Suggs, who is running as an Independent, and Timothy J. Elgin, who is unaffiliated.

According to Temple Israel, the event is free and open to the public and being co-sponsored with the Conservative Synagogue, Saugatuck Congregational Church, Green’s Farms Church, and United Methodist Church.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Marpe Urges Legislators to Vote ‘No’ on State Budget

In a letter to the four state legislators who represent Westport, First Selectman Jim Marpe today urged them to vote “no” Thursday on Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s state budget proposal, as it shifts the burden of teacher pensions to municipalities.

“I would like to state my strong opposition to such a proposal and urge you to vote against any final budget that includes this shift in responsibility for pension funding from the state to our towns and cities,” Marpe wrote in a letter addressed to state Sens. Toni Boucher and Tony Hwang, and Reps. Gail Lavielle and Jonathan Steinberg. All but Steinberg are Republicans.

“We should not be responsible for a pension liability that we did not negotiate,” Marpe said.

He added that the burden of the state costs shifted to municipalities would “likely grow exponentially overtime.”

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Coalition Nominates Jennifer Johnson for P&Z

Jennifer Johnson, a Representative Town Meeting (RTM) member and a former co-director of the Westport Transit Committee, has been nominated by the Coalition for Westport (CFW) to run as its candidate for the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in November, it was announced today.

WestportNow.com Image
Jennifer Johnson: ran unsuccessfully for P&Z in 2011. Contributed photo

Formed in 2013, CFW is a political party that focuses on land use issues and retaining the town’s distinctive character.

“Johnson is a well-known and respected Westport public servant who has a strong background in land use issues,” said Denise Torve, CFW chairwoman. “Her experience encompasses over 30 years throughout the tri-state area.”

Torve said that since Johnson moved with her family to Westport 11 years ago, she has been an active participant in many community issues with a focus on transportation, “and is well known for her experienced and informed advocacy of issues that impact residents such as traffic congestion, improved pedestrian safety, increased bicycle infrastructure, enhancing the vitality of the downtown, and greater connectivity of the Westport’s open and civic spaces.”

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Police: Election Season Signage Policy Reminder

With election season and the proliferation of candidates’ signs, plus temporary signs posted for charitable events, the Westport Police Department today issued a reminder of the town’s signage policy.

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A campaign sign vandalized on a Westport roadway. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

Police also warned that the vandalism and theft of these signs as experienced in the past are crimes that could lead to charges of larceny, trespassing and criminal mischief.

“Unfortunately we have experienced vandalism and theft regarding temporary signs in the past,” said Lt. David Farrell. “This type of behavior will not be tolerated.”

Farrell said that while election and one-time-only charitable event signs may be placed on public property, signs advertising a private business will be removed. Town property includes traffic islands and road rights of way. He added that the town may not approve, nor is it responsible for, any signs erected on state property.

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Monday, September 11, 2017

Bipartisan CT Budget Talks Run Out of Steam Again

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Sputtering bipartisan state budget talks, which hadn’t produced any unified plan over the past four months, appeared to have broken down for good — around the same issues that have plagued them in recent years.

Republican legislative leaders said today that their Democratic counterparts effectively ended any bipartisan talks by meeting Sunday with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — a meeting to which the GOP wasn’t invited.

But Democratic leaders have questioned openly for months whether Republicans ever would support the hard choices needed to close major deficits in the next two-year budget. And the GOP had sharp criticism for the compromise proposal Malloy, a Democrat, unveiled on Friday.

“If you don’t invite somebody to a room to have negotiations, you can’t have negotiations,” Senate Republican leader Len Fasano of North Haven said during a mid-day press conference. “It seems to both of us they’re not interested in having those conversations anymore.”

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Dems Shy from Sales Tax Increase in Effort to End Budget Impasse

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Democratic legislative leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made progress over the weekend toward a new plan to end the state budget standoff by week’s end — one that would abandon efforts to raise the primary sales tax rate of 6.35 percent.

The leaders said it was premature to say whether they also could avert any sales tax surcharge on restaurant transactions, but compromises proposed by the governor late last week have helped push lawmakers toward a consensus.

“I think we’re actually closer than we’ve been in a long time to actually having the possibility of closing this and having a product we can pass and the governor can sign,” said Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

The General Assembly begins the week just four days away from a potential budget nightmare. If a deal is not struck by Thursday, the Senate’s schedule may not accommodate another gathering until after Oct. 1 — when Malloy, absent a new budget, would impose huge cuts on municipal aid.

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Friday, September 08, 2017

Malloy’s Latest Budget Plan: Sales, Hospital Tax Hikes to Restore Town Aid

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today proposed a major increase in state taxes on hospitals to leverage federal dollars, along with a modest sales tax hike, in a compromise intended to end a budget impasse that’s in its third month and has left Connecticut as one of the last two states without a budget.

“It has inflicted more harm than should be tolerated by any of us in positions of leadership, Democrat or Republican,” Malloy said of the impasse in outlining his plan. “The time for compromise is now and the proposal I put forward today represents just that.”

Revenue from these tax changes, a new sales tax surcharge on restaurant transactions and a series of smaller spending cuts, would enable Malloy to greatly scale back what has been a major point of difference with legislators: A plan to cut municipal aid and shift big teacher pension costs onto cities and towns.

But the governor still is insisting that the next two-year state budget redistribute education aid to help poor communities.

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Thursday, September 07, 2017

Malloy Would Ease Cost Shift Onto Towns by Nearly $775M

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced today he would ease proposed municipal aid cuts and other cost-shifts onto cities and towns by nearly $775 million in an effort to end the state budget standoff that has extended 10 weeks into the new fiscal year.

Malloy, who will issue another revised two-year budget plan — his third — on Friday, released a few details one day earlier.

The governor, who said this week he would curtail his proposal to transfer teacher pension contribution costs onto municipalities, now wants communities to pay $92 million this fiscal year and $190 million in 2018-19. That’s $547 million less over the biennium than Malloy originally sought.

He also agreed today to scale back his proposals to reduce municipal aid considerably, restoring $137 million in the first year and $89 million in the second, or $226 million over the biennium.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Deal or Not, House Democrats Pledge Budget Vote Next Week

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

House Democratic leaders said today they intend to call a vote on a budget next week with or without a deal with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Senate, a ploy to force wavering lawmakers to decide between an imperfect spending plan and the “cataclysmically worse” choice of forcing Malloy to slash municipal aid by executive order.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said the arrival of Oct. 1 without a budget would guarantee cuts in municipal aid that would ripple through every public school in the state, instantly transforming a budget impasse into a full-blown fiscal and political crisis — with the blame laid at the feet of every lawmaker.

“We’ll make it very clear on the House floor, and I’ve said this before, If you are not part of the solution, you are voting for the executive order,” said House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford. “That’s the reality. That’s what’s going to happen.”

But missing from the scenario outlined by Aresimowicz and Ritter was a key element: What exactly would be in the budget up for a vote next week?

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Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Malloy Offers Big Compromise to End CT Budget Gridlock

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has offered a major compromise to end the state budget standoff, scaling back his proposed shift of teacher pension costs to cities and towns by half.

Malloy, who originally suggested communities cover one-third of the fastest-growing expense in the state budget, told The Mirror today he would accept their contributing only the costs tied to present-day teachers.

The massive-and-rapidly growing unfunded liability — compensating for decades’ worth of contributions not made by past governors and legislators — would remain the state’s responsibility.

And while the governor said he remains committed to a new, two-year state budget that does not “lead with revenue” to close major projected deficits, he is willing to discuss revenue options to hasten an agreement.

Click HERE for more of story

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Thursday, August 31, 2017

Save Westport Now Endorses Dem Slate for P&Z

Save Westport Now (SWN), a 37-year-old political party focusing on town planning and zoning issues, today announced is endorsement of the three Democratic candidates running for the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in November.

WestportNow.com Image
Announcing today’s endorsement: (l-r) Ian E. Warburg, Michael Cammeyer, Danielle Dobin, Greg Rutstein, and Valerie Seiling Jacobs. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

Valerie Seiling Jacobs, SWN co-chair, gave a ringing endorsement to candidates Michael Cammeyer and Danielle Dobin, appointees who sit on the current P&Z, and to newcomer Greg Rutstein, an attorney who works for Bridgewater Associates, the Westport-based international hedge fund.

Jonathan Olefson, a P&Z alternate, is the only Republican candidate running for the commission.

According to Rutstein, he and his fellow Democrats hope their win will give their party a true 4 to 3 majority on the current seven-member commission which, while technically Democratic-controlled, in fact is controlled by Republicans because Democrat Alan Hodge, who is not seeking re-election, voted for Republican leadership.

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Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Higher Income Taxes for CT’s Wealthy May Still be in Play

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Increasing taxes on the wealthy — a solution in several state budget crises — seemed off the table this year.

But the discussion may not be over yet.

With the state budget standoff about to enter its third month — and with towns about to lose hundreds of millions of dollars more in state aid — at least one moderate Democrat wary of taxing the rich is taking a second look.

And sources say other moderates that still oppose raising taxes on the wealthiest households — a nonstarter for Gov. Dannel P. Malloy — have approached legislative leadership to discuss the option.

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How Many CT Towns Face Insolvency? Malloy Begins Counting

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration is polling cities and towns to determine how many will run out of operating cash by this spring — or earlier — if the state budget standoff continues.

Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget chief, wrote to municipal leaders today asking them to provide information.

“I know that many towns would face solvency issues next spring if January and April ECS (Education Cost Sharing grant) payments continue at the executive order level,” Barnes wrote. “… I encourage any municipality that believes it will lack cash on hand to pay bills in 2017 to contact my office.”

In the absence of a state budget, Malloy has been running state finances by executive order since the new fiscal year began on July 1. With income and other tax receipts declining and retirement benefit and other fixed debt costs surging, the administration has said it has no choice but to dramatically reduce funds for municipal aid.

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Town Leaders Fight Back Against Budget Cost Shifts

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Municipal leaders today pushed back against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposals to shift costs onto cities and towns.

During a news conference at the Capitol, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities also contested a Malloy report earlier this month that aid to communities has surged 21 percent during his tenure.

“It’s naive to say that a cut in local government isn’t a property tax increase,” Coventry Town Manager John Elsesser said. “The plan that’s on the table is a major property tax increase.”

The governor’s plan to help close projected deficits of $1.6 billion this fiscal year and $1.9 billion in 2018-19 includes reducing major statutory grants to cities and towns by about $320 million per year.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Government Efficiency Tops Millennial Elgin’s First Selectman Candidacy

By James Lomuscio

Timothy J. Elgin, 28, and a 2008 Staples High School graduate, doesn’t think that the office of first selectman for the Town of Westport is beyond his grasp.

WestportNow.com Image
TJ Elgin: “Learning the gruesome details of local politics.” Contributed photo

“Well, there are a lot of millennials who really have a lot of faith in me in this town,” says Elgin, known as TJ to his friends.

Elgin, who never held a student government office while st Staples, filed as an unaffiliated candidate with the State Election Enforcement Commission (SECC) early this month after getting about 150 signatures of the 78 required.

“My toughest competitor will probably be Marpe,” Elgin said about Republican incumbent First Selectman Jim Marpe. “But, I respect all the other candidates. That’s just how the chess board is set.”

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Friday, August 25, 2017

As State Loosens Affordable Housing Rules, Milford Does the Same

Kyle Constable

www.ctmirror.org

Milford — Twenty-two days after the General Assembly voted to loosen the state’s affordable housing standards despite the governor’s objections, at least one community is following suit.

Last week, the Planning and Zoning Board in Milford voted 6-3 to end its existing affordable housing standards along a significant portion of the U.S. Route 1 corridor winding along I-95.

Town officials insist the move is unrelated to the state’s decision, arguing that no multi-family housing complexes have been built along the corridor since it and four others were established in 2004. Before last week’s vote, any multi-family complexes developed along the corridor were required to have 30 percent of their units designated as affordable.

The board’s decision was prompted by a developer’s proposal to build a 168-unit apartment complex – none designated as affordable – within the corridor. It could not be authorized until the provision was repealed.

Click HERE for more of story

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Thursday, August 24, 2017

Malloy Defends His Track Record on Aiding Cities and Towns

Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today tried to defend his efforts to shift more costs onto cities and towns, releasing a report asserting that municipal aid has grown 21 percent over the last five years.

The administration also said it would release a follow-up analysis soon on the financial health of Connecticut’s 169 cities and towns, including information on mill rates, budget reserves, bond ratings and the value of taxable property.

“As a former mayor, former member of local boards of finance and education, and as a father who raised three children here, I know just how important state funding is for every city and town in Connecticut,” said Malloy, who was mayor of Stamford from 1995 through 2009. “That’s why my administration has been highly protective of municipal aid over the past six years, as this report makes clear.”

Keeping a promise he made during the 2010 gubernatorial campaign, Malloy refused to cut municipal aid — as his counterparts in New York and New Jersey did — during his first year in office in 2011 as the region climbed out of the Great Recession.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

House Democrats Offer Modest Town Aid Shift in New Budget

Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

Majority House Democrats today unveiled a new budget that matches the town aid proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy while redistributing education funds more modestly from wealthy and middle-income towns and into poorer communities.

But the House Democratic plan, which still features a sales tax increase and surcharges on restaurant and hotel transactions, avoids taxing hospitals and billing cities and towns for teacher pension costs as proposed by the governor.

The caucus proposal also would reduce income tax credits for middle-income families and for the working poor, and defer a third consecutive income tax break for retired teachers.

Democrats, who hold a 79-72 edge in the House, say their plan would reduce overall municipal aid in the budget by 5 percent to help close major projected deficits in each of the next two fiscal years.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Legislators to Propose New Budget Plans to Break Gridlock

Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

With the state budget standoff nearing two months, Democrats and Republican legislative leaders announced plans today to unveil revised budget proposals soon.

Majority House Democrats remain focused on a sales tax hike to mitigate severe hits to cities and towns proposed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, and will unveil their latest budget plan Wednesday, said Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin.

And GOP leaders in the House and Senate, who were unable to block a labor concessions deal they still argue will hurt Connecticut in the long run, said they’re also developing a new budget that accepts the labor savings.

But after a nearly two-hour, closed-door meeting, top lawmakers said that while they still were working with the goal of adopting a new, two-year budget during the week of Sept. 11, they didn’t express any optimism this would happen.

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Monday, August 21, 2017

Marpe: ‘Disappointed” Over Trump Charlottesville Remarks

A week after President Trump touched off a firestorm with his amended remarks on the Charlottesville violence, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today expressed “disappointment” with the president’s response.

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Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe talks about President Trump’s Charlottesville remarks in a YouTube video. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) From YouTube.com video

In an email to Westport voters linking to a YouTube video of him making a statement along the Saugatuck River, Marpe said: “I want to express my personal disappointment with the president and his response to the white nationalist march in Charlottesville.”

He added: “There can be no ambiguity on this issue. It is incumbent on all of us to forcefully disavow those who stand for hate and intolerance.”

Marpe, a Republican who is seeking a second term as Westport’s leader in November, said, “Westport has always been a place where we live by and teach our children the values that we cherish, values that embrace equality, inclusiveness, open-mindedness and respect for each other.”

More "Marpe: ‘Disappointed” Over Trump Charlottesville Remarks"

08/21/17 10:17 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Friday, August 18, 2017

Malloy Would Reduce, Dramatically Redistribute School Aid in October

Keith M. Phaneuf and Jacqueline Rabe Thomas

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would reduce grants to school districts by 28 percent in October — if no state budget has been adopted —  and would dramatically shift funding away from wealthy and middle-income communities and into poorer ones.

Absent a new two-year budget, the governor’s plan would eliminate Education Cost Sharing funding entirely for 85 school districts [Westport would be cut from $465,334 to zero] and reduce funding somewhat for another 54. Grants to the 30 lowest-performing school systems, also known as Alliance Districts, would remain unchanged.

The governor, who released an updated plan today for running state finances by executive order, also announced he is in the process of restoring $40 million out of $100 million in reductions made since July 1 to private, nonprofit social services.

Malloy affirmed an earlier warning that hundreds of millions of dollars in non-education grants won’t be released this fall unless the General Assembly adopts a new budget for this fiscal year and next.

Click HERE for more of story

08/18/17 06:53 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

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