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Politics

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

CT’s Top Taxpayers Took a Big Earnings Hit Last Year

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s 50 largest state income tax filers reported nearly $3 billion less in quarterly earnings this spring than they did one year ago — which resulted in a $217 million hit to the state’s coffers, the legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal staff reported today.

That drop represents a 30 percent plunge in earnings, a trend that sparked fierce debate within the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee as members approved a revenue schedule for next fiscal year’s state budget.

“If we’re losing $3 billion (in adjusted gross income) the impact is going to be across the whole budget,” said Sen. Stephen T. Cassano, D-Manchester, who first questioned nonpartisan analysts about the revenue trend.

Connecticut’s income tax, which provides nearly half of the revenue needed to support the annual budget, gets about 60 percent of its receipts from paycheck withholding and about 40 percent from quarterly filings.

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05/04/16 06:06 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Dems Abandon Plan to Adopt Budget in Regular Session

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Majority Democrats in the House of Representatives conceded late today that they would not adopt a new state budget before the legislature’s mandatory midnight adjournment deadline.

In a joint statement, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, both said it would be unfair to force a vote in the session’s waning hours.

“As a matter of democracy and fairness to all the members of the House, it is not possible to do a budget this evening,” the House Democratic leaders said.

“The time it took to reach an agreement, combined with the challenge of staff to physically get a printed bill to the floor, and then achieve passage, would likely require a cutoff of discussions. That scenario would not be fair for the purpose of allowing a complete and reasonable debate, and at this point would be a disservice to House members and the public they represent to move forward tonight.”

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05/04/16 05:58 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Democrats, Governor Strike Budget Deal

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Democratic legislators ended a tense day of negotiations today by announcing a deal on a new state budget that the General Assembly will race to adopt Wednesday before the constitutional adjournment deadline of midnight.

Passage will require the cooperation of the Republican minority, an uncertain prospect after House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, exchanged insults outside the Capitol press room.

Sharkey and Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, largely glossed over the spending cuts necessary to balance the budget, focusing instead of positive aspects: No tax increases, more money for transportation funding and revenue-sharing with towns, albeit at lesser amounts than originally planned. It also avoids tapping Connecticut’s emergency reserve.

Each said they have votes for passage in the House and Senate.

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05/03/16 11:35 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Saturday, April 30, 2016

CT Budget Talks Remain Gridlocked

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

State budget talks continued to stall today as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration and Democratic legislative leaders remained at odds over how to resolve a nearly $1 billion shortfall in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

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House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey’s tweet on the final Saturday of the legislative session captured the mood between his caucus and the governor. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

And though talks — which bogged down late Friday — remained in limbo, Democratic legislative leaders insisted they are ready to resume talks with the governor at any time.

Still, both sides in the standoff concede time is running short as the General Assembly nears its constitutional adjournment deadline of midnight on Wednesday.

“We are absolutely still ready to talk,” Sen. Beth Bye, D-West Hartford, co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, said around 3 p.m. today. “We’ve said we will go over the budget line by line.”

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04/30/16 09:42 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tesla Sales Ban in Connecticut Stands

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

The effort by Tesla to win legislative approval to directly sell its electric cars to consumers in Connecticut has failed for the second consecutive year in the face of opposition from car dealers and competing manufacturers, a Senate leader said early today.

“I think the car dealers and others have been very effective in lobbying in their favor,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, the sponsor of this year’s Tesla bill, told the Connecticut Mirror. “We’ll come back again and try in another year.”

A similar bill passed the House last year, but never came to a vote in the Senate. Duff signing on as lead sponsor this year gave Tesla an influential ally in the upper chamber, but Duff told The Mirror his caucus was divided.

“I didn’t go into this to twist arms to pass it that way,” Duff said. “My job is to protect the caucus and the interests of the state.”

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Friday, April 29, 2016

Malloy Says Budget Talks Have Hit the Wall

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

A somber Gov. Dannel P. Malloy declared late tonight that budget negotiations with legislators “are hitting a wall,” and he predicted the General Assembly would adjourn Wednesday without adopting a budget he could sign, thereby failing to avert a nearly $1 billion deficit.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy assesses the state of budget negotiations tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

And unlike recent statements when the governor warned he would force lawmakers into special session indefinitely until they agreed to cut spending, Malloy struck a more uncertain tone about Connecticut’s fiscal future.

“Unless something changes dramatically in the next few hours, I supposed what I’m saying is I don’t think we can get to a negotiated settlement” on the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, the governor told reporters in his Capitol office.

“In which case,” Malloy continued, “folks can either decide to come back to the table or take whatever steps they need to take.”

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04/29/16 11:45 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

CT: Trump Wins Big, Clinton Narrowly

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut today propelled Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton closer to their parties’ presidential nominations, with Trump winning a landslide and Clinton holding off a tenacious Bernie Sanders.

WestportNow.com Image

Trump won in all five primaries today along I-95: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Clinton lost only Rhode Island. Connecticut was the last state placed in her column, a win declared around 10:30 p.m. by the Associated Press and most networks.

“I consider myself the presumptive nominee,” Trump said in televised remarks from New York City.

Rep. Tony D’Amelio, R-Waterbury, one of the few elected officials here to endorse Trump, said it was time for other Republican officials to shake off their reservations about the brash billionaire, who has belittled foes, demonized Muslims and undocumented immigrants, and accused GOP leaders of trying to rig what may yet be a contested convention in Cleveland.

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04/26/16 11:30 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Clinton, Kasich Win in Westport

2016 Democratic Primary Results
2016 Republican Primary Results

UPDATE While Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald J. Trump swept Connecticut in today’s presidential primaries, Republican John R. Kasich bested Trump in Westport by 1,098 to 1,053, according to results released by the Town Clerk’s office tonight.

WestportNow.com Image
Republican presidential candidate John Kasich addresses a crowd in Glastonbury High School on Friday. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kyle Constable for ctmirror.org

According to Town Clerk Patricia Strauss, 60.8 percent of the town’s 7,577 registered Democrats and 52.3 percent of Westport’s 5,583 registered Republicans voted today.

Clinton bested rival Bernie Sanders by more than double, 2,661 to 1,087 (70.3 percent to 28.7 percent), while Republican Kasich, who has remained in third place nationally, beat Republican front runner Trump by 45 votes.—46.15 percent (1,098) to Trump’s 44.26 percent (1,053).

Republican Ted Cruz received only 165 votes here. Ben Carson, whose name was on the ballot even though he is no longer in the race received 11 votes, and 50 Westport Republican voters checked that they were uncommitted.

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04/26/16 11:15 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

State to Post Primary Results ‘in Real Time’

When will supporters know how well Bernie, Hillary Trump, Kasich and Cruz—or Ben Carson, for that matter, since his name appeared on the Republican ballot—did in Westport and all of Connecticut today?

Once the polls close at 8 tonight and a soon as the numbers are tabulated, Westport’s—and the state’s—results will be available in real time from moderator tapes at http://ctemspublic.pcctg.net/

According to Deputy Town Clerk Ruth Cavayero, Westport in one of a handful of Connecticut municipalities participating in the primary posting as a prelude to the November presidential elections.

“We’re doing something new this year, and the numbers will be posted to a statewide website, a new statewide database that’s in real time as soon as the numbers become available,” Cavayero said.

04/26/16 07:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Voter Turnout Hits 40 Percent by 7 P.M.

UPDATE As of 7 p.m. today, 5,298 of Westport’s 13,160 registered Democrats and Republicans—about 40 percent—turned out to vote at the town’s five polling places, the Registrar of Voters office said.

WestportNow.com Image
Voters today at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

The Registrar of Voters office had predicted that the numbers would increase after 5 p.m. since parking spaces would be freed up at four of the polling places, which are schools that were in session today. The polls close at 8 p.m.

Only registered Democrats and Republicans, not unaffiliated voters, can cast ballots in today’s primary since Connecticut is a closed presidential primary state.

Of Westport’s more than 16,000 registered voters, there are 7,577 registered Democrats and 5,583 Republicans, said Marla Cowden, Democratic Registrar of Voters.

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04/26/16 07:45 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

A Search in Vain

WestportNow.com Image
Election officials Dick Lowenstein (l) and Garson Heller today search the voter lists for a resident who showed up at Saugatuck Elementary School to vote in the presidential primaries. It turned out he was an unaffiliated voter and therefore ineligible to vote in the party elections. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/26/16 08:15 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Rain Does Not Deter Voters

WestportNow.com Image
Early morning rain did not deter presidenital primary voters today at Westport’s Coleytown Middle School. School was in session during today’s voting. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/26/16 07:45 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Early Voters

WestportNow.com Image
Some of the early voters today at Westport’s Long Lots Elementary School for the presidential primaries. Polls are open until 8 p.m.  (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/26/16 06:30 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, April 25, 2016

House Passes ‘Comprehensive’ Opioid Bill

By Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

After a floor debate laced with stories of the toll drug addiction has taken across Connecticut, the House today unanimously passed what legislators described as a comprehensive measure aimed at curbing the epidemic of opioid and heroin abuse.

WestportNow.com Image
Sue Kruczek, wearing her son Nick’s memorial hockey jersey, speaks earlier this year in favor of a bill to cap the supply of opioid prescriptions. Nick died at age 20 of a heroin overdose after initially taking prescription opioids. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Arielle Levin Becker for ctmirror.org

The proposal, approved 144-0, would require first responders to carry overdose-reversing drugs, limit initial opioid prescriptions to seven-day supplies in most cases involving acute pain, make changes to a prescription monitoring program aimed at helping prescribers identify patients who could be misusing drugs, and charge the state’s Alcohol and Drug Policy Council with developing a plan to reduce the number of opioid-induced deaths in the state.

Drug overdoses now kill an average of two people in Connecticut each day – more than car accidents. Last year, 723 people died from accidental drug overdoses in the state, and more than 60 percent involved opioids.

“They’re digging graves in every town in Connecticut,” Public Health Committee Co-Chair Rep. Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, said. He noted that more than 50 bills on the topic were submitted to the committee at the start of the session – a sign of the level of concern among lawmakers across the state.

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04/25/16 10:26 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

GOPers Unveil Budget Plan With Dramatic Cuts

By Keith M. Phaneuf, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, and Arielle Levin Becker

www.ctmirror.org

Republican state legislators today unveiled a $19.7 billion budget for 2016-17 that would set in motion dramatic cuts to spending and borrowing over the next five years — a blueprint leaders insisted would close massive future deficits without tax hikes.

WestportNow.com Image
State GOP lawmakers announce their budget plan today. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Jacqueline Rabe Thomas for ctmirror.org

To do that, though, the GOP minorities in the House and Senate would dilute the two big initiatives Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Democratic majority launched last June: a 30-year investment in transportation and a plan to share sales tax receipts with cities and towns.

The Republican proposal would cap general obligation bonding — the pool of financing the pays for municipal school construction, capital projects at colleges and universities, state building maintenance and numerous community-based projects — at $1.2 billion per year, or about 60 percent of the level of financing issued last fiscal year and expected to be issued this year.

The GOP has been increasingly at odds with the Democratic governor over his intensifying use of Connecticut’s credit card, arguing it too frequently is used to cover operating costs from the budget — and not for capital projects.

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04/25/16 03:43 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Making the Case for Hillary

WestportNow.com Image
Former President Bill Clinton addresses a fundraiser tonight at the Westport home of financier Marc Lasry (l) as Sen. Rchard Blumenthal looks on. According to guests, some of whom paid $2,700 to atttend, Clinton made a strong case for his wife Hillary as the only qualified candidate to be president. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

04/21/16 10:12 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Westporters Welcome Bill Clinton

WestportNow.com Image
Former President Bill Clinton poses with longtime Westporters Lee Greenberg (c) and Martha Aasen at tonight’s fundraiser for his wife at the Beachside Avenue home of financier Marc Lasry. Aasen, former Westport Democratic Town Committee chair, said about 80 persons attended the event with Clinton speaking for about 30 minutes and then spending another 30 minutes mingling with guests, some of whom paid $2,700 to attend. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

04/21/16 10:07 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Getting the President’s Ear

WestportNow.com Image
Westporter Kristan Peters-Hamlin, a member of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), makes a point to former President Bill Clinton tonight at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at the Westport home of financier Marc Lasry. Peters-Hamlin hosted Hillary Clinton on her last visit to Westport on March 25, 2008. Hillary Clinton will appear at a Stamford fundraiser on Sunday in advance of Tuesday’s presidential primaries. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

04/21/16 10:00 PM Comments (1) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wanting a Photo Keepsake

WestportNow.com Image
Many guests at a Westport Hillary Clinton fundraiser tonight featuring husband Bill Clinton pulled out their cell phones for a photo keepsake. Clinton was hosted by financier Marc Lasry, who for a while employed Clinton daughter Chelsea at his hedge fund. (He is also a co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.) Guests said Clinton praised his wife for her record and abilities, making her the best qualified candidate. He also said it took three times asking to finally get Hillary to marry him. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Contributed photo

04/21/16 09:55 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Security Tight as Bill Clinton Visits Westport

WestportNow.com Image
There was tight security tonight at the Beachside Avenue home of financier Marc Lasry as he hosted former President Bill Clinton in a fundraiser for his wife, Hillary. No media coverage was allowed of the event. It was the fifth visit to Westport by Bill Clinton in the past 18 years. He made three fundraising visits here while president. Earlier today, Bill Clinton made an unannounced visit to Pepe’s Pizza in New Haven, which he frequented while a student at Yale Law School. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

04/21/16 07:14 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

A Compromise on Firefighters’ Cancer Relief

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Firefighters left the State Capitol last year in a fury over the refusal of House leaders to call a vote on legislation providing them lost-wage coverage for work-related cancers. Just after midnight Wednesday, they watched a bipartisan compromise pass unanimously with the blessing of the municipalities that once thwarted them.

WestportNow.com Image
Firefighters at Capitol on Wednesday.Ctmirror.org photo

The story of the cancer bill is one of flexibility by the firefighters, who originally demanded an expansion of workers’ compensation coverage, and a willingness by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to negotiate what typically is left to collective bargaining.

“It’s been a work in progress since last legislative session, and CCM had promised me if we let the bill go last year, they would come to the table and work with us to get a piece of legislation that we all could get behind,” said Rep. Michelle Cook, D-Torrington, who led the negotiations. “We’ve done that.”

The result is a relatively modest relief fund to be used to pay lost wages of firefighters during their treatment for cancers that have been linked to the chemical fumes generated when the synthetics used in modern construction and furnishings catch fire.

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04/21/16 01:04 AM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Eroding Tax Receipts Add to Deficit

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Less than one month after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and legislators closed a $220 million deficit in the budget that ends June 30, eroding tax receipts helped punch a new $141 million hole in finances, the administration reported late today.

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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy: “No Band-Aid solutions.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Ctmirror.org photo

The last-minute shortfall in the outgoing budget threatens to intensify a bitter, fight over how to balance the next state financial plan.

“The question is no longer whether we’re in a new economic reality; it’s what we’re going to do about it,” Malloy wrote in a statement that accompanied his latest monthly budget forecast.

“Today’s projections make clear that we can’t wait and hope that future revenue projections will save us from making tough decisions. We need to solve our whole fiscal problem, and not with Band-Aid solutions like using the Rainy Day Fund for next year’s problem. This year can’t be business as usual – we need to do things differently.”

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04/20/16 09:27 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Sandy Hook Echoes Throughout Clinton Campaign in CT

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Over the air and on the ground, Hillary Clinton is closing her Connecticut primary campaign with an emphasis on gun control, an issue of special resonance here and one on which she appears closer to the Democratic base than her rival for the presidential nomination, Bernie Sanders.

WestportNow.com Image
Marc Lasry (at 2014 Westport Library talk): hosting Bill Clinton in Westport.Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Erica Smegielski, the daughter of the principal killed in the massacre of 26 children and educators at Sandy Hook elementary school, is to campaign Thursday with Clinton in Hartford and is featured in television ads that went on the air today in Connecticut and Rhode Island, two of the five states with primaries next week.

[Meanwhile, Bill Clinton will campaign for his wife Thursday in Westport, attending a private fundraiser for her at the Beachside Avenue home of financier Marc Lasry. He previously has held fundraisers for the Clintons and President Obama at his New York home. (See WestportNow, March 26, 2016)]

“Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who has what it takes to take on the gun lobby. No one is fighting harder to reform our gun laws than Hillary,” Smegielski says in one ad. “She reminds me of my mother. She isn’t scared of anything. And that’s how I know she is the person who can actually make a difference.”

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04/20/16 09:01 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Registrar: Registrations ‘Hot and Heavy’ for Primary

By James Lomuscio

WestportNow.com Image
Marla Cowden:  20 came to register today. Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

Westport’s Democratic registrar of voters said just today 20 persons, unaffiliated and first time voters, came to her office to register with a party so they could vote in Tuesday’s presidential primaries.

“And we had 50 today who registered online,” said Marla Cowden.

“It’s definitely been hot and heavy for the past three weeks,” she added.

Republican Registrar of Voters Kevin White agreed that this election cycle has generated more interest than in the past.

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04/20/16 06:22 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

A Tale of Voter Confusion at Brown Bag Lunch

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The League of Women Voters of Westport had a brown bag lunch today with First Selectman Jim Marpe who opened the session with an anecdote. He said a woman came up to him today complaining that her voting place was closed Tuesday when she went to vote. With all the publicity about the New York primary, she thought it was voting day in Connecticut, Marpe said. Connecticut votes Tuesday in presidential primaries, and Marpe said, “I do think it will be a big turnout.” (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Phyllis Groner for WestportNow.com

04/20/16 02:38 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Poll: Trump, Clinton Leading in Connecticut

By Mark Pazniokas

www.ctmirror.org

Fresh off decisive home-state wins in neighboring New York, Republican Donald J. Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton each have significant leads among likely voters in next week’s Connecticut primary, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

A thirst for an outsider helps Trump top a three-way GOP field with 48 percent to 28 percent for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and 19 percent for U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. Only 5 percent are undecided, but 25 percent with a preference say they could change their mind before Tuesday.

With strong support from women and black voters, Clinton was preferred over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont in a closer race, 51 percent to 42 percent, with 6 percent undecided and 19 percent with a favorite saying they could change their mind.

The poll did not measure general election match ups in Connecticut, a state that has gone Democratic in every presidential race since Bill Clinton won the first of his two terms in 1992.

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Malloy Cools Rhetoric, But Stalemate Continues on Budget

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy struck a conciliatory tone today, a day after House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey likened his latest budget proposal to “a personal hit list,” conceding legislative leaders have a difficult task building a consensus around deep spending cuts.

But the Democratic governor remained at odds with the Democratic legislative majority leadership over significant stumbling blocks to an agreement over how to close a $930 million budget gap before the session ends May 4 and the new fiscal year begins July 1. And by the end of the day, Malloy expressed renewed frustration with Sharkey.

Speaking to reporters in his office after a brief meeting attended by Republican minority leaders and skipped by Sharkey and other Democrats, Malloy said he is not taking personally the budget fight or the cancellation by the Democrats.

“I don’t feel jilted. I think it’s really hard – adjusting to a new economic reality of slow growth is very, very hard. And they have big constituencies,” Malloy said, noting he only needs to negotiate with the leaders, not diverse caucuses. “My constituency in these negotiations is largely six people.”

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04/19/16 09:40 PM Comments (0) • PermalinkEmail Favicon Facebook Favicon LinkedIn Favicon

Monday, April 18, 2016

Town Clerk’s Office to Open Saturday for Absentee Voters

Westport Town Clerk Patricia Strauss announced today that her office will be open Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon to accommodate voters applying for absentee ballots for the presidential primaries Tuesday, April 26.

The primaries are open to all voters registered withthe Democratic or Republican parties.

Absentee ballots are also available today through Friday and Monday, April 25, at the Town Clerk’s office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Strauss said ballots must be returned to her office no later than 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 26, when the polls officially close. 

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Friday, April 15, 2016

Trump Plays Hartford, and He’s Coming Back

By Mark Pazniokas and Kyle Constable

www.ctmirror.org

Donald J. Trump took the stage in Hartford and leaped into his greatest hits today, sounding notes of patriotism, suspicion of Wall Street, disdain of the media, pity for protesters. He promised a wall on the U.S-Mexico border, an end to the heroin epidemic, an economic recovery in Connecticut and the defeat of Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton.

Every line rocked the Connecticut Convention Center, where Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, estimated the crowd at 5,500 people in a hall with a capacity of 8,800. There were another estimated 1,000 who did not make it inside, said Brian Foley, the deputy police chief.

Lewandowski told The Mirror that Trump, whose focus is the northeast for the next 10 days, would return to the state at least twice before the primary on April 26, when voters in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island go to the polls.

“Folks, we need a change,” Trump called out. “We need a real change. We don’t need Hillary Clinton, who is a real disaster. We don’t need Bernie Sanders.”

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Thursday, April 14, 2016

CT Unemployment Rate Rose Slightly in March

By Keith M. Phaneuf

www.ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percentage point in March, climbing to 5.7 percent, as job growth essentially remained flat, the state Department of Labor reported today.

The state has added 5,600 jobs since the start of 2016, but still has not fully recovered from The Great Recession. Through the most recent report, Connecticut has regained 91,400, or 76.7 percent, of the 119,100 jobs it lost during the last economic downturn.

“Although the rise in the unemployment rate this month was unexpected, there are some positive aspects to the move,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research for the Labor Depatment. “The rise in unemployment occurred in a growing labor force, meaning it was driven by more people entering the labor market looking for work rather than a decrease in the number of employed. Job growth is occurring, but not fast enough to employ all of those recently entering the market.”

Six of the state’s 10 major industry super-sectors sdded jobs in March led by trade, transportation and utilities, which gained 1,300 positions. Gains also were recorded in: leisure and hospitality, government, professional and business, information, and education and health services.

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