A U.S. Senator from New York is calling for increased funding for school security, saying that federal spending on school safety has declined in recent years and local budgets carry the burden of keeping their campuses secure.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer on Monday pointed to several recent school shootings, which he said “remind us that we simply must invest more, not less, to keep our children safe at school.”
“Sadly, federal support for school safety initiatives has declined steeply over the past few years, putting a strain on local school budgets and leaving important safety projects unfunded,” Schumer said. “We must do everything in our power to allow our schools to bolster their safety programs to make sure we have the tools at our disposal to better prevent the next Sandy Hook.”
Schumer also wrote a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan asking that the Department of Education “also do its part and create a national plan that will provide necessary resources to our already financially strained schools so that they may plan for emergencies, best equip their school environment and address instances of violence when they occur.”
Republican gubernatorial candidate and Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton on Monday released his 2013 tax returns and called on others running for governor to do the same.
The returns show that Boughton and his wife, Phyllis Boughton, paid $25,950 in taxes on a combined income of $179,533 for an effective tax rate of 14.5 percent. Their income was divided between the salary Boughton earns from the city of Danbury and his wife’s earnings as owner and manager of Connecticut Kitchen & Bath in Danbury.
“In the interest of personal financial disclosure and giving the public as much information as possible, I call on every candidate for Governor to join me in releasing their tax returns,” Boughton said in a statement.
“Being Connecticut’s Governor is a privilege, not an entitlement, and people expect everyone to play by the same rules,” said Boughton. “I encourage every candidate, including Governor Malloy and Ambassador Foley, to release their tax returns as I have done.”
Last fall, former U.S. Ambassador Tom Foley, the 2010 Republican nominee who is seeking a rematch against Malloy, called on the governor to release his tax returns to prove that he did not receive any money from entities associated with environmental consultant Dan Esty, former Connecticut DEEP Commissioner.
Ted Kennedy Jr. is expected to announce Tuesday that he is running for state senate.
According to a release from his press office, Kennedy will hold an event Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the James Blackstone Memorial Library in Branford to announce his decision about the open 12th district senate seat.
The 12 district includes the towns of Branford, North Branford, Guilford, Durham, Killington, and Madison. The seat currently is held by state Sen. Edward Meyer, who announced last month that he would not seek reelection. Kennedy’s name immediately was raised as a potential successor.
Gov. Malloy previously said that he hoped Kennedy would run. “I urged him to give it consideration,” Malloy said, just four days after Meyer announced that he would step down. Meyer’s public service began 50 years ago when he was appointed as a federal prosecutor by Robert F. Kennedy.
State Sen. Toni Boucher, a Republican who recently dropped out of the race for governor, announced on Friday that she is endorsing Senate Minority Leader John McKinney in the crowded primary race.
\”This is a critical election for Connecticut and for the Republican Party, and I believe John McKinney is the most qualified candidate to put both our state and our Party back on solid ground,\” Boucher said in a statement.
\”The economy is going to be an important issue in this election and no one has been more aggressive at taking the fight directly to Governor Malloy on fiscal issues than John McKinney,\” she said. \”But, education, transportation and women’s issues also need our attention and, on these issues, which are a priority for me and my constituents, Sen. McKinney reflects the views of the vast majority of Connecticut Republicans better than any other candidate.\”
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League has scheduled a rally at the State Capitol Saturday to protest the sweeping gun control measures the General Assembly enacted one year ago.
The CCDL\’s rally is scheduled for April 5, one year and one day after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a strengthened assault weapons ban, a universal background check requirement and a limit on large capacity ammunition magazines into law, amid support from Newtown families and objections from passionate gun owners.
Over 3,400 people have confirmed attendance on the group\’s Facebook page. The event page encourages protestors to legally carry handguns, which is permitted on Capitol grounds but banned in the adjacent Bushnell park.
Gun control advocates have launched a campaign asking the public to contact legislators who voted in favor of the measure and thank them for support.
As lawmakers in the General Assembly are preparing to vote Wednesday on a bill that would hike the state minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, a report released this week says minimum wage workers in Connecticut would need to earn $23.02 in order to afford a two-bedroom apartment.
According to the report, released annually by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom in apartment in Connecticut is $1,197. In order to be able to afford that without spending more than a third of his or her income on housing, a single earner must make $47,890 a year – or $23.02 for a 40 hour work week, the report says.
If someone making the minimum wage in Connecticut wanted to afford an apartment at that level, he or she would have to work 106 hours a week, the report said. 2.6 minimum wage earners working 40 hours/week would be needed to make the apartment affordable.
According to the report, Connecticut is one of just 14 states in which minimum wage earners would need to work 98 hours or more a week to afford a 2-bedroom at fair market rate.
Henry Kissinger is slated to appear Friday at an event hosted by Yale University\’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs.
The Nixon national security advisor and secretary of state is the featured speaker at the event, Europe at a Crossroads: The Future of Europe and its Role in the International System.
In a confidential email sent to Yale students and obtained by Salon, university officials instructed a private listserv of Yale graduate students to keep the event confidential, describing Kissinger\’s address as a \”high-security event.\” A university spokeswoman confirmed that the event is closed to press and the public.
A measure that would require private institutions of higher learning and hospitals to pay local property taxes cleared its first legislative hurdle Tuesday.
The proposal, introduced by House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, would restructure the state\’s PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) program. Colleges and hospitals are exempt from local property taxes, and as PILOT is currently designed, the state offers municipalities partial reimbursement for revenue lost. Under the bill, private colleges and universities as well as any hospital facility would pay property taxes, and the state would reimburse them for a portion of what was paid.
The General Assembly\’s Planning and Development Committee appeared to approve the measure Tuesday, with the vote still open until late afternoon. But lawmakers were not without hesitation in sending the bill to the floor. Committee co-chair Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Hebron, said she would \”vote to move it forward to have the discussion\” but was \”very concerned about the unintended consequences.\” Continue reading
Charla Nash, the victim of a brutal 2009 mauling by a chimpanzee, is led into a hearing Friday on whether she has the right to sue the state for $150 million. Read more.
U.S. Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Elizabeth Esty on Wednesday wrote to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel asking him to use President Obama\’s Ukraine sanctions to terminate a contract with a Russian arms dealer.
The Department of Defense purchases helicopters from Rosoboronexport. In the letter, initiated by DeLauro and Esty and signed by three other representatives from both sides of the aisle, the members of congress say that the executive order signed by the president Monday subjects to sanction companies operating in the Russian arms sector.
\”Given Russia\’s recent escalation of the crisis in Ukraine, current contracts with the Russian arms dealer must be terminated as well,\” the letter said. \”We strongly urge you to cancel contracts with Rosoboronexport for the delivery of Mi-17s to the Afghan National Security Forces, for supplying spare parts or for the sustained maintenance of these helicopters.\”