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Posted inNews

Fearing state funding cuts, town leaders press for expanded taxing powers

Anticipating a huge crash in state funding, municipal leaders urged legislators Monday to expand their ability to levy taxes and fees, particularly through a regional sales tax surcharge. But while members of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee agreed communities need new revenue sources, lawmakers from both parties expressed fears that Connecticut could be left […]

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Amazon threatens to fire state affiliates if Connecticut tries to collect sales tax

The nation’s largest online retailer threatened Monday to end its advertising relationships with Connecticut businesses if the legislature enacts a new measure to collect sales taxes tied to Internet transactions. And though Amazon.com did not disclose specific numbers, the head of a California-based marketing association that represents the online giant estimated nearly 2,000 Connecticut businesses – […]

Posted inNews

Legislators get message to reform state schools

An overflow crowd, including a parade of schoolchildren that marched past lawmakers, left little doubt Monday the General Assembly is under pressure to reform Connecticut’s public schools this spring. Dozens of spectators jammed a hearing room and hundreds of students, parents and educators filled the atrium of the Legislative Office Building while legislators heard hours […]

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Lawmakers vote for warnings on college tuition hikes

Public universities may soon be required to inform state legislators before they approve tuition increases under terms of a bill overwhelmingly voted out of committee Tuesday. “It’s appropriate for us to have this information,” said Sen. Mary Ann Handley of Manchester, co-chairman of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, before the vote. The proposal […]

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Democrats block health lab, Rell says election year politics at play

Democrats on the State Bond Commission blocked funding Tuesday for a new public health lab in Rocky Hill, prompting charges from Gov. M. Jodi Rell that lawmakers don’t want the long-planned construction to begin until after the November elections. Rell, a Republican, also said the 5-5 vote that blocked release of $69.4 million in bonding […]

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3-day power outages spurs Rell to launch investigation of utility companies

Thousands remain with out power following this weekend’s storm, and Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced today the state is investigating the response from the two largest electric companies. “I’m concerned about the response in the first hours of the storm,” Rell said during a press conference, noting that almost 40,000 customers remain without power. Rell […]

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Bill to scrutinize health insurance rates moves forward

A bill that would require public hearings and disclosure of data justifying health insurance rate hikes was approved by the legislature’s Insurance and Real Estate Committee today on a 14-5 vote. “It’s needed,” said Sen. Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. of Woodbridge, co-chairman of the committee, following the vote. The proposal was launched last year after […]

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Transportation Committee passes bill to require seat belts on school buses

A proposal requiring seat belts on school buses moved one step closer to reality, as the legislature’s Transportation Committee voted in favor of the bill Monday 29-7. A compromise was made prior to the vote that would require only new buses have seat belts beginning July 2012. Originally, co-chairman Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, sought […]

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Dodd proposes sweeping financial reforms

After months of hearings and negotiation, U.S. Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Connecticut, today proposed financial legislation that he called the “most significant reform since the 1930s.” “It creates a sound economic foundation to grow jobs. It protects consumers. It reins in Wall Street. It ends too-big-to-fail, and it prevents another financial crisis of this magnitude,” […]

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Lawmakers balk at electronic tolls, vote for study instead

The legislature’s Transportation Committee backed away from a proposal to immediately implement electronic toll collection at major state border crossings, but directed the Department of Transportation to study the idea. Rep. Antonio Guerrera, D-Rocky Hill, had been pushing for tolls to open immediately at seven state border locations, but said he did not have the […]

Posted inNews

‘Amazon laws:’ Connecticut joins the difficult fight for online sales tax revenue

A 2008 New York law that has sparked a growing feud between states and online sales giants such as Amazon.com is being considered by Connecticut’s legislature as officials scramble for new dollars to close growing budget deficits. But while taxing Internet sales could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, efforts by other states to […]