A bill Sen. Blumenthal cosponsored to change the way military sexual assaults are prosecuted met defeat in the Senate Thursday.
The measure, introduced by Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY, would remove the prosecution of sexual assaults and other crimes punishable of up to more than a year from the military chain of command. Blumenthal has been driving efforts to overhaul the military justice system, and earlier this year invited Staff. Sgt. Sandra Lee, an Iraq War veteran and assault victim from Manchester, to Washington as his State of the Union guest. Supporters of the measure point to statistics that indicate sex assaults in the military are increasing but fewer are being reported. Continue reading
The state’s largest teachers’ union on Wednesday released the results of a small-scale field study that they said demonstrates an alternative exists to standardized testing as a measure of teachers’ performance.
The model presented, however, only was tested on 11 teachers in four schools. It allows teachers to engage in their own evaluation progress by working with the evaluator throughout the school year – showing them a collection of student work to demonstrate improvement. CEA President Sheila Cohen said at a legislative press conference that they were not presenting the model as something to implement statewide.
“Something that works in New Haven is not necessarily something that is in the best interest in Weston or in Bethel or in Orange or in East haven or anywhere else,” she said. “Local autonomy is absolutely essential in determining what is best for the teachers – and the children, and the parents – in that district,” she said.
She described evaluating teachers based solely on one standardized test as “ludicrous.”
The five highest-earners in the state last year each made over $1 million in 2013.
The Yankee Institute on Thursday released their annually-compiled list of highest paid state employees. Here’s who made the top 5:
1. Geno Auriemma, UConn Women’s Basketball Head Coach. $1,992,430.
2. Paul Pasqualoni, UConn Football Head Coach. $1,629,134
3. Jim Calhoun, Former UConn Basketball Head Coach. $1,485,614.
4. Hanspaul Makkar, UConn Health Center Chief of Pediatrics. $1, 485, 614
5. Kevin Ollie, UConn Basketball Head Coach. $1, 182, 984
Gov. Malloy wrote a letter to the president Wednesday voicing opposition to proposals that would loosen requirements Indian tribes must meet to obtain federal recognition.
Malloy took issue with a certain proposal, referencing state reservations, that is part of the draft revisions being considered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The proposal would affect five tribes, and three are groups in Connecticut who previously have been denied federal recognition. The three Connecticut groups – Eastern Pequot Indians, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, and the Golden Hill Paugussett Tribe – could become federal reservations under the proposed changes, which would exempt them from state and local regulations and result in a significant loss of tax revenue for Connecticut. Malloy said residents could suffer economic hardship as the groups file land claims, and added that the groups previously have expressed interest in developing casinos.
Malloy’s letter to Obama asked him to eliminate two proposed provisions. The first is one that would allow groups who previously have been denied recognition to re-apply. The second would allow state reservations, like the three in Connecticut, to automatically qualify for federal recognition.
President Obama today is announcing two new advanced manufacturing institutes in Detroit and Chicago, and later this week a General Assembly committee will hear testimony on a bill the governor proposed to fund innovation here in Connecticut.
Gov. Malloy drew attention from national democrats after he called for a $10.10 state minimum wage, an idea first proposed by Obama at the federal level. But that’s not the only policy they both have made a priority this year. Obama during his State of the Union announced his plan to use existing federal funds to launch three high-tech manufacturing hubs – two of which the White House said he will announce Tuesday. Malloy, in his state of the state address, proposed a fund to spur manufacturing that he said would help state businesses keep up with new technologies and attract more companies to Connecticut.
The Commerce Committee will hold a public hearing Thursday on Malloy’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund bill. The proposal would put $25 million into a new DECD fund that would be used to modernize Connecticut’s manufacturing sector. The fund would allow companies – with a priority to those in communities that are historic manufacturing hubs in the state – buy equipment, develop new technologies, and provide specialized training for employees.
The Government Administration and Elections Committee today will hear testimony on a bill that could lead to presidential elections being determined by the national popular vote, rather than the electoral college system, if other states take similar action.
A public hearing on the bill is scheduled for 1 p.m. If Connecticut passes the measure, it would join an interstate pact to award its 7 electoral votes to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote. Once enough states join the initiative so they collectively have a 270 electoral vote majority, the national popular vote winner would be guaranteed the presidency. So far, the proposal has support from eight states and D.C.–132 votes in total.
Gov. Malloy is in Washington this weekend, and attended a White House meeting on Friday where the president praised him for his efforts to raise the minimum wage.
“Governor Malloy is doing extraordinary work in Connecticut to lift their minimum wage and give more hardworking Americans a raise,” President Obama said, according to a release from the Malloy administration.
After signing a minimum wage hike into law last year that will raise the state’s minimum hourly rate to $9.00 by 2015, Gov. Malloy this year echoed the call Obama made in his State of the Union address for a minimum wage above $10 an hour. The governor has asked the legislature to raise the level to $10.10 by Jan. 1, 2017. Under his proposal, the minimum wage would increase to $9.15, rather than $9.00 next January, then $9.60 the following year, and after that jump 50 cents to reach $10.10.
Below is a White House photo of Malloy and other governors meeting with Vice President Biden.
Carlos Soto, the teenage brother of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Teacher Victoria Soto, is among over 100 participants in a National Youth Gun Violence Prevention Summit, which opens Friday.
The event is sponsored by Generation Progress, the youth branch of D.C.-based liberal advocacy group Center for American Progress. The three-day conference brings together young aspiring policy advocates passionate about the issue of gun control, which has been met with resistance in Congress.
The Center for American Progress released a report Friday that the organization says highlights why gun control is an important issue for youth. The report projects in 2015, gun deaths will surpass car accidents as the leading killer of Americans under the age of 25 for the first time.
Gov. Malloy will travel to D.C. this weekend for the National Governors Association Conference, where he will meet with other governors to explore ways to improve the partnership between the state and the federal government.
Malloy serves as vice chair of the group’s Natural Resources Committee. According to the governor’s office, Malloy also will attend events at the White House, including a Council of Governors meeting, which he was appointed to by President Obama last year. The conference takes place at the St. Regis Hotel.
The governor will be in Washington Friday through Sunday. Among the events scheduled are a news conference with other Democratic governors, a variety of meetings focused on different policy topics – including jobs, homeland security, and energy – and a news conference with a bipartisan group of governors.