Category Archives: Hartford

Nonpartisan Office Projects Next Year\’s State Budget Deficit At $69.4 Million

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Beth Bye, General Assembly, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Hartford, John McKinney, Larry Cafero, Tom Foley Date:

Top Republican leaders said Monday that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s budget was unbalanced from the moment he delivered it last month, citing a new report by the legislature\’s nonpartisan fiscal office.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis says the projected deficit for the fiscal year that starts on July 1 is $69.4 million. The latest fiscal report focuses on the next fiscal year that starts July 1, and it does not have an impact on the current year\’s budget.

In the current year, which ends on June 30, the state has a projected surplus of more than $500 million partly because the state reaped huge capital gains from taxpayers due to the skyrocketing advances on Wall Street in 2013 that state officials believe will not be duplicated in 2014.

Senate GOP leader John McKinney of Fairfield and House GOP leader Larry Cafero of Norwalk said that Malloy\’s proposed state budget would have broken the state-mandated spending cap if it included all the items that are now being considered, including additional money for magnet schools and retirees\’ healthcare.

“It is clear now that the governor willfully disregarded what people in his own administration presented to him in their budget requests last October and November, months before he put out his budget,\’\’ Cafero said Monday. “We know now the budget was out of whack the moment he dropped it and exceeded the spending cap.’’

Citing documents from the nonpartisan fiscal office, the Republicans said that Democratic state comptroller Kevin Lembo had sought nearly $52 million on October 12, 2013 for health insurance for state retirees. The reason is that more than 800 employees in the Department of Correction are eligible to retire, but the governor\’s budget anticipates that fewer than 300 employees will retire.

The Republicans also cited a request by the state education department on Nov. 13, 2013 for nearly $34 million in additional funding for magnet schools. The fiscal office now estimates a shortfall of nearly $19 million in the account for magnet schools.

“The governor had a fiduciary responsibility to present the legislature and the people of Connecticut with a balanced budget and he failed to meet that responsibility,\’\’ McKinney said. \”What’s worse is that the omitted expenditures look intentional. How else can [state budget director Ben] Barnes and Governor Malloy explain shortchanging two areas of their budget they said were priorities?\’\’

Malloy\’s spokesman, Andrew Doba, responded, “The governor’s budget proposal is balanced. If it were passed today, we would live within it.”

\”In contrast to previous administrations, Governor Malloy has shown that he can manage to the bottom line. That’s why we’ve held growth to less than 2.8 percent over the course of his term. It’s clear that many in the Republican caucus will say anything to score cheap political points,\’\’ Doba said. \”If they were serious about managing the state’s finances, they would put forward a budget. But we all know they aren’t going to do that.\’\’

Administration officials believe they can manage the budget within the current totals, and they do not consider the projected deficit to be a major issue. A projected deficit of $69 million represents a tiny fraction of an overall budget of about $22.3 billion, including off-budget accounts, that is managed by commissioners, budget officials, and the governor. Continue reading

Son Of State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez Dies Suddenly At Windsor Motel

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Democrats, Hartford Date:

State legislators are mourning the sudden death of the son of state Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, a longtime Hartford representative.

Josue Maldonado, 33, of Amity Street in Hartford, was found dead at about 1:30 p.m. Sunday at the Flamingo Inn at 29 Windsor Ave. in Windsor.

The Courant\’s David Owens reports that Maldonado was discovered by a housekeeper, and police were called at 1:28 p.m. Maldonado was pronounced dead by a paramedic at the motel that is north of the Hartford line.

An autopsy that was performed on Monday did not determine a cause of death, and now the chief medical examiner\’s office in Farmington will be waiting for weeks to learn the results of laboratory tests.

Windsor Police Capt. Tom LePore said detectives would like to question a woman who was at the motel with Maldonado and had been seen leaving at about 6:30 a.m. Sunday. He had checked into the motel at about 2:30 a.m.

\”She\’s not a suspect, but we would like to speak with her, find out if she could provide us with any information,\” LePore told Owens.

In 2008, Maldonado had been sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Tuesday for possessing the drug PCP with the intent to distribute, officials said.

He had pleaded guilty in April 2008 in federal court to one criminal count of possession after being indicted by a federal grand jury in New Haven in July 2007, according to the U.S. attorney\’s office. The office said that Maldonado \”knowingly possessed 18.5 grams of PCP with intent to distribute a portion of that quantity\” in a case that was investigated by both the FBI and the Hartford police. Continue reading

GOP\’s Larry Cafero Questions UTC Deal; CBIA, AFL-CIO, Suppliers Support Plan

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Hartford, United Technologies Corp. Date:

House Republican leader Larry Cafero questioned the state\’s proposed deal with Hartford-based United Technologies Corp. that is designed to help the company build a new headquarters for Pratt & Whitney in East Hartford.

Cafero compared the deal to one written by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy\’s administration for Maine-based Jackson Laboratory, which is under construction on the University of Connecticut\’s health center campus in Farmington. Republicans have criticized the Jackson Labs deal as essentially providing $1 million per job as the state is spending $291 million for a project in exchange for 300 jobs created by Jackson Labs. But Malloy says the Jackson deal will have major spillover effects and lead to a new era of well-paying jobs in bioscience.

Cafero made a rare appearance Monday at the finance committee, using his authority as a legislative leader to sit as a member on the General Assembly\’s tax-writing committee.

Cafero asked state and UTC officials if he was reading the bill correctly that \”if you never hire one extra person\’\’ that UTC could still receive 90 percent of the tax credits.

\”Yes, that is correct,\’\’ responded Peter Gutermann, the general counsel of UTC Propulsion and Aerospace Systems.

In addition, UTC could lay off 1,750 workers and still receive 35 percent of the tax credits, Cafero said.

\”Is that the best deal for us?\’\’ Cafero asked, saying that the deal on the credits is \”what\’s sticking in my craw.\’\’

While bills at the state Capitol traditionally do not mention any companies or individuals by name, Cafero said this bill is \”pretty much specifically for UTC\’\’ as it covers \”tax credits that they would never be able to use otherwise\’\’ under \”the structure we have in current law.\’\’ Continue reading

Senate President Don Williams Not Seeking Reelection This Fall

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Donald Williams, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Hartford, John McKinney, John Rowland, Larry Cafero, Lowell Weicker, M. Jodi Rell Date:

Donald Williams, the longest-serving Senate president pro tem in state history, surprised his caucus today by announcing that he is not seeking reelection this fall.

Williams, 56, has served in the highest-ranking position in the state Senate for 10 years – surpassing all others in a position that dates back in the legislature to 1845.

At the center of the biggest issues of the day, Williams negotiated state budgets and crafted laws with the past three governors and the past four House Speakers – covering the biggest issues from the death penalty to gun control to improving education.

“It’s been a very difficult decision because I love the institution of the legislature and the Senate,’’ Williams said Wednesday in an exclusive interview with The Hartford Courant. “For a lot of reasons, I feel that this is the right time to move on to other challenges. There’s a little anxiety in that, on the one hand, but I also find that exciting.’’

After declining several times to say exactly what he will be doing, Williams flatly said “no’’ when asked if he would become a lobbyist like other previous lawmakers.

When asked if he would run for higher office, Williams said, “You should never rule something out for the future. I certainly will not be a candidate this fall’’ for any office.

“I’m not leaving this job to take a specific assignment,’’ Williams said. “I plan on exploring thoroughly what my next step will be.’’ Continue reading

Hartford: It\’s Hard Out There For a Yuppie

by Categorized: Hartford, Uncategorized Date:

Why don’t more yuppies – the notorious young urban professionals – settle in Hartford?

\"girls\"Data collected by Locality.com, a website that allows users to compare prices of services in their community marketplaces, suggests it might be because Hartford is too expensive for the average yoga-going, brunch-eating yuppie. Using data from one million local businesses nationwide, the website created the Yuppie Price Index – an economic indicator that tracks the annual cost of an array of typical yuppie services in the top 30 U.S. cities.

Locality.com found that the annual cost of being a yuppie in Hartford is roughly $6,140. 

Out of the top 30, Hartford is ranked the 10th most expensive city for young professionals. It’s more expensive to be a yuppie in Hartford than it is in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Boston.

Services incorporated in calculating the price index included haircuts, dry cleaning, yoga classes, massages, manicures, gym membership, blow outs and dog boarding – all of life’s essentials.

Here are the complete U.S. rankings with the annual cost of “yuppiness” in parentheses:

1.  San Francisco ($6,718)
2.  Denver ($6,640)
3.  Washington DC ($6,414)
4.  Phoenix ($6,382)
5.  Raleigh ($6,282)
6.  Minneapolis ($6,271)
7.  Seattle ($6,228)
8.  San Diego ($6,220)
9.  Miami ($6,187)
10. Hartford ($6,140)
11.  Los Angeles ($6,119)
12. Chicago ($6,025)
13. New York ($6,017)
14. Boston ($5,995)
15. Pittsburgh ($5,887)

Allan Taylor Returns To Hartford City Hall

by Categorized: Hartford Date:

\"allanAllan B. Taylor, the Hartford lawyer, politician and long-time city activist, returns to Hartford City Hall this week. Taylor told friends on Facebook that he has taken the job of legislative and legal advisor to the city council. It is a newly-created job.

Taylor served on the city council in Hartford during the booming 1980s. He later moved to the Hartford Board of Education and more recently the state Board of Education, where he serves as chair. He also served as a law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Taylor, who left his legal practice at Day Pitney, said:

For the first time in 36 1/2 years, I start a new job tomorrow. I have retired from Day Pitney and the private practice of law … The decision to leave was hard to make, but the opportunity to spend full time on public issues during the last few years of my working life is something I couldn\’t pass up. I look forward eagerly to tomorrow.

Tom Foley, GOP Call on Malloy To Make New Year\’s Resolutions; Dems Have List For Foley

by Categorized: 2014 Election, Gov. Dannel Malloy, Gun control, Hartford, Tom Foley Date:

On the final day of 2013, both Republicans and Democrats offered New Year\’s resolutions for the other side Tuesday, saying they need to change their ways.

Gubernatorial aspirant Tom Foley and the state Republican Party called upon Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to make resolutions on multiple issues.

Foley released a list of seven resolutions Tuesday, including asking the governor to stop using \”Malloy Math\’\’ that involves creating \”facts and figures to mask the failures of his administration.\’\’ He also called on Malloy to push for his often-stated goal of governmental transparency \”instead of being the biggest enemy of Freedom of Information and transparency in generations.\’\’

The state GOP also released six resolutions for Malloy that include, \”I resolve to spend less time at luxury ski resorts and Hollywood fundraising galas. … I resolve to stop lying to Connecticut families about my record on jobs.\’\’

Both Foley and Republicans say that Malloy has distorted the number of jobs created as the state and national economies recover from the deepest recession since World War II.

The Democratic Party responded with its own list of resolutions for Foley, calling on him to revisit his position on gun control, avoid pandering to the National Rifle Association, and denounce the conservative Tea Party.

Foley has repeatedly refused to say whether he would have signed the same gun-control bill as Malloy following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six female educators by Newtown resident Adam Lanza at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012. Instead, Foley says the bill would have been much different if he was governor, adding that the legislation would have focused on more changes to mental health programs because Lanza was clearly mentally disturbed. 

Foley\’s list of New Year\’s resolutions for Malloy are as follows:

1.      He will stop blaming \”everyone else, anyone else\” for every problem that crosses his desk.  No more \”he started it, it was like that when I found it\” evasions of responsibility.  He\’s been Governor for 3 years, authored 3 budgets, and signed hundreds of bills into laws.  It is time to take responsibility. Continue reading

The Heroes of Edgewood Street

by Categorized: Hartford Date:

\”I don\’t really worry about Christmas. I\’m just glad we\’re here. I\’m very grateful for everything, for everyone. From how far it\’s come since 3 o\’clock on Wednesday morning until now, Monday afternoon; I\’m here. I\’m grateful.\”

Read the story of the Heroes of Edgewood Street

\"heroes

An account to aid families displaced by the fire has been set up at the Hartford Firefighters Federal Credit Union, 776 Maple Avenue, Hartford, CT, 06114.