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Posted inMoney, Politics

Federal budget deal boosts defense projects, other programs in CT

WASHINGTON — Connecticut’s defense industry is a big winner in a new budget deal that will keep the federal government running through September. It allows the Pentagon to increase the number of F-35 fighters and nearly double the number of Sikorsky Black Hawks it purchases this year. The bipartisan bill also funds a number of domestic programs important to the state, including the National Coast Guard Museum.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Soda sweetener, cigarette tax — infringements on civil and constitutional liberty

The Malloy budget proposes an additional 45 cents per pack tax on cigarettes which studies show have higher rates of use in poorer communities who are addicted to the product. The tax is being billed as a way to recoup money the state so desperately needs and as a public health benefit. However, economic burdens on addicts will only further cripple the people who need cessation help the most. The latest Democratic ploy to infringe on personal choice comes in the form of House Bill 7314. This is an act concerning a potential once cent per ounce tax on any beverage which has added sweetener, to go toward “health related causes.”

Posted inCT Viewpoints, Talking Transportation

Free parking isn’t really free

Our obsession with automobiles is not only creating gridlock and ruining the quality of our air, but it’s eating up our real estate and sending land costs upward. Because, once we drive our cars off the crowded highways, we assume it’s our constitutional right to find “free parking.” Why are Connecticut’s towns slaves to antiquated zoning mentalities that assume all humans come with four tires rather than two legs? Why do we waste precious land on often-empty parking spots instead of badly needed affordable housing?

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Lawmakers should consult the disabled community on this

Barriers faced by people with disabilities are often not understood by those who are not disabled; living with dignity, respect, and independence is a daily challenge. … An important but less obvious barrier is the use of inappropriate language; words such as “lame,” or “retarded” remain in popular use. Disabled people are among the last minority groups where discrimination and inclusion are under-recognized issues. …
Drafting SB796 “An Act Concerning the Use of Respectful and Person-First Language,” the state attempts to encourage the use of respectful language.