Gov. Dannel P. Malloy set the stage Wednesday in his 2017 State of the State address for a protracted and difficult debate on how to further shrink state government, extract more concessions from unions on pension and health benefits, and better focus a smaller pool of state aid for education to the systems most in need. Any one would be difficult.
Opening day at the legislature combined ceremony, personal moments and a foreshadowing of the difficult session to come.
The two newly vacant state Senate seats quickly drew interest Wednesday in the House from Rep. Eric C. Berthel, R-Watertown, and Rep. Douglas McCrory, D-Hartford. Berthel says he is seeking the seat vacated by Rob Kane; McCrory, the one left by Eric Coleman.
In the first partisan fight of 2017, Democrats in the House of Representatives blocked a Republican proposal Wednesday that would have ended a longstanding practice of approving state employee contracts without a vote.
Republican leader Len Fasano said a power-sharing agreement between the parties in the evenly divided chamber was rooted in the friendship he has with Democratic leader Martin Looney, which dates back more than 30 years.
The two senators will join Rep. Toni E. Walker, D-New Haven, under a new arrangement in 2017 that will see three chairmen of the committee rather than the traditional two.
“Cuts in specific areas, or outright eliminations, should not be taken to mean that certain work is not valued. It simply means that we can no longer afford to do it all, and that our spending must be focused on the very core, essential services for our residents.
And to be clear, saving money isn’t just about cutting line-items, or reducing headcount. Agencies will continue to modernize systems, reduce waste, and increase productivity in order to cut costs as much as possible before impacting services, or the valuable employees who provide them.”
With six minutes to spare, Sen. Rob J. Kane, R-Watertown, and Sen. Eric Coleman, D-Bloomfield, handed in resignation letters Wednesday morning, consummating a carefully choreographed deal freeing each legislator to accept a new job while maintaining the balance of power in an evenly divided Senate.
In a few days the Mastery Examination Task Force will be submitting its Final Report and Recommendations to the Connecticut Legislature’s Education Committee which had asked for a study of student assessment practices in our public schools. Having monitored the progress of this task force during its one-and-a-half years of meetings, I contend that their findings were predetermined at or even before the task force began its deliberations.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will push to scale back spending on local school construction projects in the next state budget because Connecticut is on pace to exceed its borrowing limit.
The 2017 legislative session begins today, kicking off a five-month frenzy as lawmakers work to craft a budget in the face of bleak fiscal problems and debate topics ranging from school funding to legalizing pot. Here’s a look at what to expect.
Connecticut’s municipal leaders are watching closely to see how swiftly —if at all — lawmakers and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy release $30 million in promised-yet-withheld capital improvement funds for cities and towns once the new legislative session gets underway.