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Saturday, June 03, 2017

House Passes Plan to Let Towns Adjust Tax Bills

By Keith M. Phaneuf


The House of Representatives today unanimously approved a bill to help cities and towns adjust their property tax bills as the state’s budget crisis plays out in the coming weeks or months.

The measure, which now heads to the Senate, would allow communities to more easily revise tax bills to reflect changes in state aid ordered later this year.

The product of a compromise between House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, and House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, the bill comes three months after another measure to offer communities budget flexibility bogged down in the Senate amid a partisan dispute.

The two leaders say they and their colleagues have been pressed constantly by municipal leaders for more guidance about how much aid their communities can expect from the state over the next two fiscal years.

More "House Passes Plan to Let Towns Adjust Tax Bills"


06/03/17 08:13 PM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, June 02, 2017

Connecticut Joins Alliance Committed to Paris Climate Accord

By Mark Pazniokas


Connecticut became one of the early states to rebuke President Trump’s disavowal of the Paris climate accord with a decision today by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to join a fast-growing coalition of states, cities, businesses and universities intent on ensuring the U.S. still acts to reduce greenhouse gases.

Malloy, the chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, joins the Democratic governors of California, New York and Washington state in the United States Climate Alliance, a group quickly organized Thursday by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others in the wake of Trump’s announcement the U.S. would stand apart from the world’s nations on the issue of climate change.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican who declined to support Trump or attend the Republican National Convention, signed on later today, according to the Boston Globe.

The decision was an easy one for a governor in Connecticut, a state with a long history of bipartisan support of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Gina McCarthy, a top advisor to the Obama administration on the issue, was the state’s top environmental regulator under Malloy’s predecessor, Republican M. Jodi Rell.

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06/02/17 08:06 PM Comments () • Permalink

Is 2017 CT Legislature on the Brink of Gridlock?

By Keith M. Phaneuf


The 2017 legislative session teetered on the brink of gridlock today as House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz accused Republicans of unfairly dodging all tough choices amid a huge state budget crisis.

And while Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, did not say majority House Democrats would block GOP bills, he reflected on that option as one of the few alternatives to stop Republican political posturing.

“It’s hard for me right now to go out there and … run bills that will allow people to move forward their proposals and their goals while my caucus continues — continues — to sacrifice things they care about for the greater good of the state but there’s no accountability on the other side,” the speaker said during a news conference in his Capitol office.

He made his comments after House Democrats failed Wednesday and Thursday to take up a bill to establish tolls — something Democratic leaders said was impossible because House Republicans offered virtually no support.

More "Is 2017 CT Legislature on the Brink of Gridlock?"


06/02/17 07:26 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, June 01, 2017

With GOP Opposed, Tolls Stall in Divided House

By Mark Pazniokas


By taking up the issue of highway tolls late in the session and linking it to the state’s desperate need for revenue, the House Democratic majority has muddied a complex public-policy debate over how Connecticut might maintain crumbling infrastructure as its Special Transportation Fund staggers towards insolvency.

The House adjourned for a second consecutive day today without an expected vote on a bill authorizing the Department of Transportation to implement a system of electronic tolls, a concession to the difficulty of tackling major controversial issues without bipartisan support in a closely divided General Assembly.

Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker and his chief of policy and planning, Thomas J. Maziarz, spent an hour briefing House Republicans on changing federal policy that allows the state to establish tolls on interstate highways as part of a pilot program to provide much-needed funding for infrastructure and to test how congestion pricing can change driving habits.

Their explanation of how tolls could be implemented did not overcome the GOP’s objections to a plan by Democrats to effectively borrow against the new revenue stream to help close a budget gap — even if the first toll might not be collected for another three or four years.

More "With GOP Opposed, Tolls Stall in Divided House"


06/01/17 08:47 PM Comments () • Permalink

CT Environmentalists Vow to Go It Alone

By Ana Radelat and Kyle Constable


Washington – Connecticut environmental groups and the state’s Democrats today decried President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement on climate change, but vowed to keep up their efforts in the state to cut greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.

“It will result in making America weaker,” said Chris Phelps, state director of Environment Connecticut. “It will harm and undercut the livelihoods of American workers and clean energy industries. And it will threaten the long-term future of our nation and the lives of millions of people around the world.”

At Hartford news conference, Phelps and others condemned Trump’s decision. Some said the state will take an economic hit, as federal policy shifts from support of clean and renewable energy sources to backing fossil fuel industries, like coal.

John Humphries, organizer of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, said the renewable energy industry has created “tens of thousands” of jobs in the state.

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06/01/17 05:48 PM Comments () • Permalink

Town Committees Plan Social Events

Westport Democrats and Republicans have announced pre-summer social events.

First up is the Democratic Town Committee’s fourth annual Summer Social on Thursday, June 15 from 7 to 9 p.m. at th Boathouse Restaurant at the Saugatuck Rowing Club, 521 Riverside Ave. Click HERE for ticket information.

The next evening, Friday, June 16, is the Republican Town Committee annual Spring Gala from 7 to 10 p.m. at Christ and Holy Trinity Church’s Branson Hall.

This year’s dinner and awards ceremony will honor First Selectman Jim Marpe with the Excellence in Leadership Award as well as Westport Board of Education member Jeannie Smith, and Former Westport Republican Town Committee Chairman Pete Wolgast.

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06/01/17 03:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Steinberg: ‘Public Service’ Precludes First Selectman Run

By James Lomuscio

State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg said today that he was ending his exploratory committee for first selectman in order to remain focused on the state, which “is going through very, very tough times.”

WestportNow.com Image
State Rep. Jonathan Steinberg:  Not this time. Contributed photo

The state’s fiscal malaise with a $1.4 billion deficit appeared heightened Wednesday with reports that Aetna, a Connecticut mainstay for 164 years, is looking at leaving Connecticut.

“I see myself as a public servant,” said Steinberg, a Democrat, adding that voters had re-elected him because they believed in his arguments as to what was best for the state. “So, how could I walk away because things are getting sketchy.”

Steinberg is now in his fourth term, which has more than a year left. His exploratory committee titled Jonathan for Westport was posted on the State Election Enforcement Committee site in early March.

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06/01/17 10:43 AM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

CT House Schedules, Then Postpones Debate on Tolls

By Mark Pazniokas


With passage far from certain, the House of Representatives postponed a debate promised for tonight on a bill authorizing the state Department of Transportation to install a system of electronic tolls on major highways in Connecticut.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said Democrats were considering changes that would give the legislature more control over the final process, a change that might pick up votes in the closely divided House.

Planning and installation of overhead toll gantries, which would record either the signal of an EZ Pass transponder or photograph a license plate, could take two years — meaning no revenue that could help balance next year’s budget.

But Aresimowciz said the passage of a law authorizing tolls would establish a reliable revenue stream in future years, allowing the state to reduce payments now into the Special Transportation Fund — essentially a temporary loan from that fund’s shrinking reserves.

More "CT House Schedules, Then Postpones Debate on Tolls"


05/31/17 10:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

House Passes Deficit Closure Plan Despite Sweep of Firearm Permit Fees

By Keith M. Phaneuf


The House of Representatives gave final approval today to a plan to cover the $317 million state budget deficit in the current fiscal year.

The House voted 75-74 to approve the plan, but only after Republican legislators narrowly failed to modify it to prevent the use of $300,000 in firearm and ammunition permit-related fees to help close the shortfall.

The bill, which the Senate passed unanimously Tuesday night, now heads to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who is expected to sign it.

The mitigation plan does avert several controversial proposals from the governor, including cuts to a municipal grant, hospitals and state parks.

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05/31/17 06:19 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Republicans Seek Municipal Candidates

The Westport Republican Town Committee (RTC) is seeking candidates interested in running for the various Westport boards and commissions in November’s local elections.

The RTC’s Municipal Boards Nominating Committee will be chaired by former Board of Finance member Ed Iannone, and will interview and recommend candidates for nomination for the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Education and the Board of Finance, an announcement said.

Candidates interested in being interviewed for the Board of Education and Board of Finance should contact Ed Iannone at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) by Friday, June 9.

The RTC’s Land Use Nominating Committee will be chaired by former Planning and Zoning Commission member Jack Whittle and will interview and recommend candidates for nomination for the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Assessment Appeals.

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05/24/17 06:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

House Dems Say ‘Budgetary Relief’ is the Price of a New Casino

By Mark Pazniokas


If the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes want the House to join the Senate in granting them the right to build a casino off tribal lands, they must pay for the privilege and give Connecticut a measure of “budgetary relief,” House Democratic leaders said today.

“The bill that passed the state Senate cannot pass the House as currently written,” said House Majority Leader Matt Ritter, D-Hartford.

The Senate bill imposes a 25-percent tax on gross gaming revenues, but no licensing fee or other upfront payments, a disappointment to House Democrats who were hoping for as much as $100 million in new gambling dollars to help balance the budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, said a majority of House Democrats support the expansion of casino gambling, but they believe the state should extract a licensing fee from whomever is granted development rights, whether it is the tribes or their competitor, MGM Resorts International.

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05/24/17 04:57 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tribes Win Casino Fight in Senate, Face Battle in House

By Mark Pazniokas


The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes early today won the first half of their home-court fight with MGM Resorts International over the rights to gaming expansion in Connecticut as the Senate voted 24-12 for a bill authorizing the tribes to jointly develop the state’s first casino off tribal lands.

The bill that now goes to an uncertain fate in the House of Representatives would allow the tribes to build a casino off I-91 in East Windsor in an effort to blunt the loss of gambling dollars to Massachusetts once MGM opens a gambling resort under construction in Springfield.

“We did what we had to do. We stood up for Connecticut workers,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said shortly before the final vote at 12:35 a.m.

The Senate unexpectedly took up the bill shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, a day when MGM intensified its opposition, buying $400,000 in television time to air a commercial saying the state would be forgoing millions of dollars in license fees and other revenue if it cut a no-bid deal with the owners of the tribal casinos.

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05/24/17 01:12 AM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

It’s Official: Malloy, Unions Have Tentative Concessions Framework

By Keith M. Phaneuf


After two days of leaks and speculation, state employee union leaders and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy struck a tentative framework to recommend a $1.5 billion concessions framework to member bargaining units.

The State Employees Bargaining Agent Coalition, comprised of representatives of all worker unions, voted to engage in formal discussions with the Malloy administration — a legal prerequisite to any tentative deal.

The governor’s office announced the tentative framework tonight.

Unions also began to notify their members today through posts on the bargaining units’ websites. And at least one union estimated concessions wouldn’t be voted upon until mid-July, about two weeks after the next fiscal year has begun.

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05/23/17 08:25 PM Comments () • Permalink

Democrats Seek Candidates for November Municipal Election

The Westport Democratic Town Committee (DTC) is seeking candidates for November’s townwide municipal races.

Vacancies are available on the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, the Board of Education, the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Assessment Appeals, an announcement said.

Those who would like to be considered, know of someone who would be a good fit for one of these boards, or have any questions, are asked to contact DTC Nominations Committee Chair Andrew Nevas (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)), or DTC Chair Melissa Kane (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)) on or before June 1.

Prospective candidates will be interviewed by the Nominations Committee during the month of June, the announcement said.


05/23/17 01:28 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, May 22, 2017

Westporter Off to Become U.S. Senate Page

Ethan Parker, 16, of Westport is off to Washington, D.C. this summer to work as a U.S. Senate page under the sponsorship of New York Sen. Charles Schumer, the Senate minority leader.

WestportNow.com Image
Ethan Parker: passion for politics. Contributed photo

The Greens Farms Academy honor roll sophomore is one of 30 students from across the country who will serve the 100 senators.

His passion for politics goes back to elementary school when he closely followed the 2008 presidential election won by Barack Obama over John McCain.

“I was this 8-year-old kid watching the debates, speeches and party conventions,” Ethan said. “I even had a map that I updated daily, marked with red and blue states, electoral numbers and the candidates.”

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05/22/17 05:22 PM Comments () • Permalink

Report: Malloy Near Union Concession Deal

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas


UPDATE The tentative concessions deal Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and employee unions were closing in on today would double pension contributions for most workers, create a hybrid pension/defined-contribution plan for future workers, and curtail health care benefits for existing retirees.

As more details of the potential deal became available, it was disclosed that the potential deal would save $712.6 million next fiscal year and $849.4 million in 2018-19 — effectively matching the $1.57 billion, two-year savings target Malloy set in February.

The proposed plan, according to a source, would freeze wages for each of the next two fiscal years. Employees, most of whom are working this fiscal year under a contracts that expired last June, also would forfeit any retroactive pay hike.

The cumulative three-year wage freeze, would provide nearly half of the total projected savings. Workers would receive pay hikes of 3.5 percent in 2020 and in 2021.

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05/22/17 11:55 AM Comments () • Permalink

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Himes: Trump ‘is Not Acting Like an Innocent Party’

By Ana Radelat


Washington – Rep. Jim Himes’  job as a minority member of the House Intelligence Committee usually wasn’t a path to the political spotlight – but all that changed with the election of Donald Trump and allegations his campaign may have colluded with the Russians to influence U.S. elections.

WestportNow.com Image
U.S. Rep. Jim Himes being interviewed by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Now Himes is a regular on CNN, MSNBC and other television networks, valued because he voices Democratic concerns about the Russia probe — which Trump derides as a “witch hunt — with a minimum of partisan histrionics.

The House Intelligence Committee, along with its counterpart in the Senate, took the lead in Congress’s investigation of Russian meddling in American politics. But Congress’s involvement in the probe is spreading – the House Oversight Committee and the Senate Judiciary Committee have begun their own investigations. Congressional investigators are seeking documents and information from Trump consultant Roger Stone, former campaign manager Paul Manafort, former NSA chief Michael Kelly and others.

The panels looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia expanded their reach this week and are now also investigating the circumstances under which Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey.

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05/21/17 09:01 PM Comments () • Permalink

Thursday, May 18, 2017

At the Legislature, Time is Short — But There’s Time to Kill

By Mark Pazniokas


It’s theater season at the Connecticut General Assembly, a time when all is not what it seems, when some debates are about delivering messages, not making law. Take the debate today in the Senate about bear hunting. Or the one in the House about electing future presidents by the popular vote.

In each case, a legislator was permitted to passionately argue for something controversial — allowing state wildlife officials to use hunting to manage a growing bear population, and electing a president in a new way. Opponents pushed back with equal fervor.

Neither passed. Their fates were pretty much known before each chamber devoted hours to debating them, even though time is quickly running out on the 2017 session. The popular vote bill didn’t get a vote, just a contentious debate.

What, you may wonder, is going on?

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05/18/17 08:41 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trump Says Lieberman Front-Runner to Head FBI

By Ana Radelat


Washington – President Donald Trump said today former Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman is his top pick to replace ousted James Comey at the FBI. WestportNow.com Image
U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman addresses a 2011 news conference in Stamford. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Douglas Healey for WestportNow.com

Speaking to reporters while meeting with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, Trump said he is “very close” to choosing a new FBI director. When asked if Lieberman, a Democrat turned independent, is his favorite choice, Trump said yes.

There has been no official White House announcement of the nomination, but one is expected soon. Trump said he’d like to name Comey’s successor before he leaves Friday for his first overseas trip as president.

Trump interviewed Lieberman, 75, Wednesday at the White House.  If his nomination is made official, Lieberman would have to be approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, then confirmed by the full Senate.

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05/18/17 07:45 PM Comments () • Permalink

Y’s Men Get Westport and Weston Update

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Weston First Selectman Nina Daniel told the Y’s Men of Westport Weston today that the state’s fiscal crisis, despite their best efforts, will impact their communities.

WestportNow.com Image
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe today answers a question at the Y’s Men of Westport Weston as Weston First Selectman Nina Daniel looks on. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo

Both agreed their towns are great places to live and until now somewhat immune to Hartford’s fiscal malaise, but they do not exist in a bubble.

In the group’s annual selectmen state-of-the-towns discussion – this year moderated by WestportNow Associate Editor James Lomuscio—Marpe noted that the Board of Finance Wednesday night left the town’s mill rate unchanged.

“It was five months of hard work, but it felt like five years,” he said. He said “very aggressive” actions by town departments and the school board assumed no revenue from the state.

More "Y’s Men Get Westport and Weston Update"


05/18/17 03:44 PM Comments () • Permalink

Marpe: Social Media Makes His Job Challenging

WestportNow.com Image
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe and Weston First Selectman Nina Daniel took part in a discussion today before the Y’s Men of Westport Weston at the Saugatuck Congregational Church in which they updated the audience on current issues facing their towns. WestportNow Associate Editor James Lomuscio (r) moderated the talk. Both said their towns were generally in good fiscal shape, but they were concerned about the impact the state’s budgetary problems will have on their towns. Marpe noted that social media has made his job more challenging as it has stepped up expectations of constituents for a quick response to their concerns. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


05/18/17 01:20 PM Comments () • Permalink

Greeting Next Generation

WestportNow.com Image
Dignitaries were aplenty today at the Saugatuck Congregational Church as Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe (r), Weston First Selectman Nina Daniel (c), and Westport Schools Superintendent Colleen Palmer addressed the Westport-Weston Y’s Men. During a break in the meeting, they took time to greet some of the students at the church’s nursery school. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) WestportNow.com photo


05/18/17 01:09 PM Comments () • Permalink

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

For Now, Mill Rate Remains the Same

After six arduous months of numbers crunching and uncertainty in the wake of the state’s fiscal crisis, the Board of Finance tonight unanimously kept the tax rate flat for 2017-18.

The mill rate remains the same as it is this year—16.86.

That translates into $16.86 of taxes for every $1,000 of a home’s assessed value determined by last year’s revaluation.

But the Board of Finance’s decision came with a sobering caveat.

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05/17/17 11:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Comey and Mueller Longtime Friends

WestportNow.com Image
While still a Westport resident, now former FBI Director James Comey traveled to the White House in June 2013 for President Obama’s announcement of his appointment to succeed Robert Mueller (c). They have been friends for years, including dinners and golf outings, a relationship that analysts said would not please the White House with the Department of Justice announcement tonight that Mueller has been appointed a special counsel to look into the Russia-Trump relationship. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


05/17/17 06:11 PM Comments () • Permalink

Trump Turns Coast Guard Address Into a Rally

By Kyle Constable


New London — For about 15 minutes at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today, President Donald J. Trump delivered the mix of praise, congratulations and acknowledgments traditional in a commencement address.

WestportNow.com Image
President Trump at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy today in New London. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Kyle Constable for CtMirror.org

Then, with the words, “I want to take this opportunity to give you some advice,” his tone shifted.

By its end, Trump had turned his commencement address into a combination rally and commentary on his present adversity. Much of the audience of about 4,000 people responded with applause after each line, and gave the president a standing ovation as he concluded his remarks.

“Over the course of your life, you will find that things are not always fair,” Trump said. “You will find that things happen to you that you do not deserve. … But you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight. Never ever, ever give up. Things will work out just fine.”

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05/17/17 03:16 PM Comments () • Permalink

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Democrats Would Slash Municipal Aid, Allow Casino, Legalize Pot

By Keith M. Phaneuf


House and Senate Democrats today recommended opening a new casino, legalizing marijuana, and imposing deep cuts to municipal aid and public colleges and universities to balance the next two-year state budget.

And while their plan begins the process of establishing tolls in future years, it strips transportation reserves in the short term while selling 35 acres in Hartford along the elevated Interstate 84 highway to keep the state’s transportation program afloat.

The Democratic plan consolidates several departments, retains but reduces the public financing program for state elections, and closes an unnamed prison, the Connecticut Juvenile Training School and the Southbury Training School.

Like Malloy, who submitted his latest budget proposal on Monday, the Democratic plan also relies on state employee unions to provide concessions worth $1.57 billion over the next two fiscal years combined.

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05/16/17 03:15 PM Comments () • Permalink

Monday, May 15, 2017

Towns Hit Hard in Malloy’s Latest Budget Revisions

By Keith M. Phaneuf, Jacqueline Rabe Thomas, Kyle Constable, and Jake Kara


UPDATE Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today recommended more than $700 million in cuts to municipal aid to help compensate for a $1.5 billion projected decline in state income tax receipts over the next two years.

[Under the revised budget proposal, Westport, which in this fiscal year received $1,673,011 in state aid, would owe the state $4,611,597 in the next year, according to the state Office of Fiscal Analysis.]

The adjustments Malloy proposed to the $40.6 billion, two-year budget he first unveiled on Feb. 8 also would add about $80 million in annual tax hikes to the $600 million in new yearly revenue recommended three months ago.

Most of the increase comes from boosting the real estate conveyance tax, though the governor also recommended ending the sales tax exemption on nonprescription drugs and imposing certain restrictions on business tax credits.

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05/15/17 01:29 PM Comments () • Permalink

Positive Results From Bond Sale; Aaa Rating Reaffirmed

Town of Westport officials today announced positive results from a $6.9 million bond sale.

The sale, which occurred May 9, yielded competitive interest rates on the strength of solid reviews from Moody’s Investors Service, an announcement said.

“I am very pleased that our bonds were in such a high demand,” said First Selectman Jim Marpe. “These great results will keep our debt service costs, and the burden on the taxpayers, as low as possible.”

The town received a total of eight bids on the bonds with Fidelity Capital Markets submitting the winning bid. Fidelity beat out firms such as Roosevelt & Cross, J.P. Morgan Securities, Janney Montgomery Scott, and FTN Financial Capital Markets, among others, the announcement said.

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05/15/17 10:19 AM Comments () • Permalink

Friday, May 12, 2017

CT Takes Another Credit Rating Hit on Wall Street

By Keith M. Phaneuf


Connecticut’s status on Wall Street took another hit today when a major credit rating agency downgraded the state’s bond rating — a move that could lead to higher borrowing costs.

The downgrade by Fitch Ratings Inc., from A+ to AA-, comes about one month after Treasurer Denise L. Nappier warned the General Assembly to adopt a new approach to borrowing or risk slipping further in the credit rating.

It marks the fourth time Connecticut has faced a downgrade since May of last year. Fitch and S&P Global Ratings downgraded the state at that time, while Kroll Bond Rating Agency did so just two months later.

The fourth major rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, hasn’t downgraded the state in recent years, but has given Connecticut a “negative” outlook, meaning its financed are being closely watched. Such outlooks often are a harbinger of a future downgrade.

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05/12/17 05:05 PM Comments () • Permalink

A Frosty Friday for Malloy, GOP Over $350M in Borrowing

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas


The battle to balance Connecticut’s budget spilled over onto its credit card today at the Bond Commission, where the prospect of more borrowing sparked what Gov. Dannel P. Malloy called one of his “weirder” confrontations with legislators.

Malloy and two Republican legislators who sit on the commission, Sen. Scott Frantz of Greenwich and Rep. Chris Davis of Ellington, sparred over the necessity for hundreds of millions of dollars in approved borrowing.

The commission gave the green light to borrowing $350 million for a wide range of construction, economic development and other initiatives. [The Westport Library received $1 million for its renovation project. See separate story.] Davis voted against each item, but Frantz refused to verbally cast a vote, saying the commission’s clerk knew his feelings.

It also directed Treasurer Denise L. Nappier to sell more than $1.5 billion in bonds on Wall Street to finance previously approved projects.

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05/12/17 02:50 PM Comments () • Permalink

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