Tag Archives: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

Updated: State Sen. Suzio Pins Meriden Murder On Early Release Program

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\"\"More than 600 people have signed a petition calling for Gov. Malloy to suspend and investigate for problems a program that allows some inmates in the state to earn credit toward an early release from prison, a Republican state senator says.

Appearing at a press conference in Meriden, state Sen. Len  Suzio publicly launched a petition drive to suspend the law as he stood with the eldest son of Ibrahim Gazal, a 70-year-old convenience store owner killed in a June robbery.

Suzio again pointed to the case of Frankie Resto, who is accused of killing Ghazal, as an example of the system\’s problems. Resto earned 199 days of credit in the program while serving a sentence for robbery. He was released and put on probation in April. Continue reading

Suzio, Store Clerk\’s Family To Petition To Suspend Early Release Program

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State Sen. Len Suzio and the family of a convenience store clerk killed during a June robbery will be starting a petition calling for the state to suspend a program that allows inmates to earn credits toward an early release from prison.


Suzio and the victim\’s family will launch the petition drive Friday afternoon outside of the EZ Mart on East Main Street in Meriden, where 70-year-old Ibrahim Ghazal was shot on June 27.

Frankie Resto, the man accused of killing Ghazal, was able to earn 199 days of credit while behind bars for a 2006 robbery conviction. Resto was released from prison in April and Suzio said Wednesday that those credits might have allowed him to walk free sooner than he should have.

Suzio\’s office did not immediately say how many signatures the Republican state senator hopes to collect.


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Suzio Points To Resto Arrest As Reason To Suspend Early-Release Program

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A Republican state senator pressed his case Wednesday against a program that lets convicts earn credits toward a possible early release from prison, earning a rebuke from the Malloy administration, which accused him of playing politics and twisting the facts of one prominent case.

Sen. Len Suzio said Democratic Gov. Dannell P. Malloy should \”suspend\” the program, which Suzio said has allowed some 7,600 inmates to be let out early since its inception. He accused the administration of being involved in a \”cover up\” about problems with the credits system.


Suzio cited the case of Frankie Resto, a former inmate now charged with felony murder, as the \”poster child\” for the problem, because Resto had been allowed to earn 199 days of credit toward early release while serving prison time for a 2006 robbery conviction. Suzio argued that the credits allowed Resto to get out of prison earlier than under previous state law requiring that violent offenders serve at least 85 percent of their prison sentence before being eligible for parole.

But Michael Lawlor, the state\’s under secretary for criminal justice policy and planning, said that Resto had actually served 91 percent of the original prison sentence he was given for a robbery conviction in 2006 and was on probation when he was arrested for murder.

Get the full story here.

Malloy Names Dennis Murphy Acting Commissioner Of Labor Department

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The state Department of Labor has a new temporary commissioner.\"\"

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday that is naming Deputy Commissioner Dennis Murphy to the role of Acting Commissioner of Department of Labor. Murphy is taking over outgoing Commissioner Glenn Marshall, who submitted his resignation on Friday, citing \”family reasons.\”

According to a news release from Malloy\’s office, the search for a permanent labor commissioner will begin soon.

Go here for more on the departure, and a copy of Marshall\’s resignation letter.

Live Blog: Reactions to Roll In on Health Care Ruling Throughout the Day

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This just in, from Republican Fifth District candidate Andrew Roraback, who spoke this afternoon at the state Capitol in Hartford:


 “The Supreme Court’s decision was quite a finesse,” he said. “There’s no disputing that our health care system is not well, but there’s also no disputing that Obamacare is not the right medicine to address the problems we face.”

“I think that what we need to do as a society is go back to square one and begin to develop a health care policy that we can afford as a nation and that will not lead to the government growing more, costing more and intruding more into our individual lives.”

“I think the mandate is a cleverly described tax increase. That kind of policy really changes the realtionship between the federal government and the people and I think we can do much better.”


The first reaction of the day to the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the federal health care law was from U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro, of Connecticut\’s 3rd congressional district.


“This is a victory for the American people,\” DeLauro said in a statement. “The uncertainty created by the false questioning of the Act’s legality has been settled and states, insurance companies and businesses can move forward and keep carrying out the important health care and consumer protection provisions contained in the law.  With this decision Congress can focus on what matters most to American families—strengthening our economy, creating jobs, generating economic growth and building a stronger middle class.”


From Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy on Twitter:



Just in from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon, one of our first Republicans to respond:


\”Today\’s decision by the High Court is extremely disappointing,\” she said in a statement. \”The American people were told that this legislation would lower costs. It hasn\’t. They were told that it would not increase taxes. It does.

\”The tax increases that finance this will devastate small businesses and middle class families.\”

\”Our choice this November is all the clearer. The majority of Americans oppose the President\’s health care plan because it raises taxes on small businesses, cuts Medicare by $500 billion and increases costs. I opposed it because Connecticut small business owners have told me about the negative impact it has had on their ability to create jobs. But now the real work begins, and that\’s why it is so important for Connecticut voters to send someone to Washington who will implement common-sense, market-based solutions that increase patient choice, control costs, and expand access to coverage for all Americans.

\”I know what it’s like for the millions of Americans who lie awake at night worried about what they would do if, God forbid, something happened to a loved one and they couldn’t afford the medical care they need, because I’ve been there. When I found out I was pregnant with my son Shane, we didn’t have health insurance because we couldn’t afford it. As we reform our health care system, we should always remember those Americans, including many here in Connecticut, who every day face the uncertainty and fear of being without insurance or access to quality care.




Now from Chris Donovan, Democratic candidate in the fifth district race, in an interview with Capitol Watch:

\”It upholds the promise of health care for every for every American,\” he said.

He said he was not worried about Republicans now pivoting from court challenges to instead using the ruling as campaign tactic–telling voters that they will repeal the law in an effort to get voters\’ support in the Fifth District:

\”Everyone where I go, people want quality affordable health care and I look forward to touting this proposal and when I get to congress, working to carry out the provision and make it even better,\” he said. \”We have medicare that\’s been around for many years and it falls in line with Medicare, which people have a very positive opinion of,\” he said.



From Democratic U.S. Senate candidate and 5th District congressman Chris Murphy:

\”The Supreme Court did the right thing, and today, Connecticut residents can have confidence that they will get better and more affordable care in the years to come,\” he said in a statement. \”I was a strong supporter of the bill because it was the right way to begin fixing a very broken health care system. Though this was a split decision by the court, it’s now time for Republicans to stop their attempts to repeal this bill, so that we can come together to implement it in a way that benefits Connecticut patients and taxpayers.\”




But Republican U.S. Senate candidate Chris Shays is calling for repeal and even took a shot a Murphy in a statement:

\”The Supreme Court\’s decision to uphold the constitutionality of the individual healthcare mandate just reaffirms the need to send someone to the United States Senate who has the ability to repeal this destructive law.  Obamacare is the single greatest infringement on our individual liberties and personal freedoms that we have seen in my generation. This was a power grab of the U.S. health care system by Chris Murphy, a Democratic Congress and the Obama Administration.\”




Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz said the law and today\’s ruling represent \”the single largest step forward for health care in a generation\”:

\”Despite today’s ruling it is clear that the effort to provide affordable and accessible health care to every American is far from over,\” she said in a statement. \”Over the next few months Republicans will use every tool they have to take apart the Affordable Care Act. I will stand with the millions of American families and 300,000 Connecticut families who desperately need the quality and affordable care which is provided by this law.\”




Mark Greenberg, Republican candidate in the fifth district race, is vowing to fight for a legislative repeal:

\”Despite the Supreme Court decision ObamaCare is still a disaster for working families, and I am outraged that the government takeover of our healthcare system has been upheld by the Court.  Unless ObamaCare is repealed millions of American families will lose their current healthcare coverage and will be forced into new government-run healthcare programs.

\”Several new ObamaCare taxes and burdensome regulations on small businesses will take effect over the next two years.  We must repeal ObamaCare before it can do any more harm to the economy, and if elected to Congress I will fight for immediate repeal.\”




Justin Bernier, another Republican candidate vying for the fifth district nod, said he hadn\’t read the entire ruling yet, but said he has some \”initial impressions\” of it:

\”The first is that, with the ruling focused on the ability of Congress to tax the American people, this decision essentially makes a liar out of President Obama, who promised to never increase taxes on the middle class,\” Bernier said in a statement. \”Secondly, it seems to me that the issue has been returned to the legislative branch. The next Congress will have the opportunity to repeal this burden on the American people and that\’s the first thing I will be fighting for as Representative to the people in the 5th District.\”




Elizabeth Esty, Democratic candidate in the fifth district race, praised the ruling and said it\’s time to move on:

\”The Supreme Court has made the right decision both legally and morally, and I applaud the President\’s courage in taking on much needed reform,\” she said in a statement.  \”Now that the Court has ruled, it\’s time for both parties to stop bickering and start solving problems – making quality healthcare more affordable and, most importantly, creating jobs and rebuilding our middle class.\”




Republican Fifth District candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley felt the same as her rivals, that the should be repealed, but said doing so was especially important because of the current down economy.

\”[T]he Supreme Court has, in effect, given Congress an unlimited ability to tax families and businesses to create a huge federally driven system,\” she said in a statement. \”With a deficit of $16 trillion, it is hard to imagine how our economy can survive and create opportunity with this decision.\”

She praised some universally popular portions of the law–those dealing with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents\’ insurance plans–but said her experience in the health care field makes her the best candidate to help craft the law\’s repeal:

\”The Supreme Court has exercised its Constitutional role but now is the time for Congress to work together on a health care plan that will give every American confidence that this critical issue will be addressed while not destroying our economy,\” she said.



Now from Dan Roberti, another Democratic candidate in the fifth district race, in an interview with Capitol Watch:


\”It\’s great and of course, it\’s made all the more stronger that Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the decision. That should put to rest the issue of the
constitutionality of this.\”

\”It appears that there have been comments that Republicans will still challenge the affordable care act. But it\’s a big  win for Democrats and president Obama to be able to say that this is constitutionally sound. More importantly, it\’s an extremely big win for millions of Americans who will be able to have access to health care.\”


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Malloy Touts Effort To Curb Gun Violence In Cities

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Less than two weeks after 10 people were shot in a single weekend in the capital city, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said the state will step up enforcement efforts on known criminals in an effort to curb gun violence in Connecticut’s urban areas.

Flanked by Hartford’s mayor, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut and other officials from around the state, Malloy said Thursday that crime in Connecticut has been decreasing, but that gun violence in the large cities remains “unacceptably high.”

Malloy said the state will spend at least $500,000 to implement in Hartford and Bridgeport a program known as “Focused Deterrence,” which would increase enforcement on a small number of people who have been arrested before who police believe are responsible for most of the gun violence.


Malloy said police in New Haven have started implementing the Focused Deterrence program in “recent months,” though he said the program would likely have its “greatest effectiveness” next year. The initiative is modeled after efforts to curb violent crime in Boston, Chicago, Providence and Cincinnati.

“The vast majority of gun crimes are being committed by a fairly small number of individuals within each of these cities,” Malloy said. “It is going to be our focus with that group of people to lower violent crime and homicides.”

According to statistics provided by Malloy’s office, 94 of 129 homicides statewide in 2011—about 72 percent—occurred in either Hartford, New Haven or Bridgeport.

Through last Saturday, there had been 55 shootings in Hartford this year (PDF), a number that was about 20 percent lower than the same point in 2011.

“Young people are killing other young people, often for no discernible reason,” said Malloy, a Democrat. “As a result, we’re losing young people, and children are growing up without parents. It’s got to stop.”

A spokeswoman for the Hartford Police Department said Interim Police Chief James C. Rovella would not be available for interviews Thursday and was still reviewing the governor’s announcement. But Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra also endorsed the program Thursday.

“I know that this program won’t give every unemployed person a job. It’s not going to eliminate all the crime for our communities,” he said. “But it does accomplish one important thing: that is to keep our young men and women alive.”

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Updated: Democrats Back Away From FOIA Disclosure Law Exception

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As lawmakers grind through dozens of provisions in the two bills considered in Tuesday’s special legislative session, Democrats have scrambled to back away from one proposal to block public access to information about tax breaks and other benefits that the state gives private businesses.

The measure–tucked inside of 468-page bill (PDF) that Democrats say will implement the state’s $20.5 billion annual budget–would exempt from public scrutiny information about money the state gives out through economic development programs if disclosure of such records could “adversely affect the financial interest” of the state or the business.

Rep. Toni E. Walker, D-New Haven, who is the chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, put forward an amendment to remove the provision from the omnibus bill before it went to a final vote. The amendment was approved on a voice vote.

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Updated: Malloy scraps state bond proposal for New Haven center after controversy

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The Courant was able to get in touch with the group that owns the New Haven Peoples Center, as well as a veterans\’ group that had opposed funding the center\’s renovation with state dollars. Their comments are in the updated version of the story below:

A proposal to use state money for a New Haven community center that includes a tenant affiliated with the Communist Party was blocked Monday following objections from two Republican leaders as well as veterans.

The $300,000 in state bond money for improvements to the New Haven Peoples Center had been opposed by state Sen. Andrew Roraback, R-Goshen, and state Rep. Sean Williams, R-Watertown because the building houses a bureau of People’s World, a Communist Party newspaper. They said the state shouldn’t fund any project that is connected to partisan group.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who runs the State Bond Commission panel, said Monday that panel members would not vote on it because of the controversy surrounding the renovation project, as well as push back from veterans.

“I am particularly concerned about the opposition of veteran groups and want to take that into consideration, so therefore I\’ve decided that we should not go forward with this project,” said Malloy, a Democrat. “There are some important activities that occur in this building in question, I don\’t deny that, but at this time they should find other ways to support those projects.”

Click below to listen to Malloy\’s remarks from the Bond Commission meeting:

Malloy did not say which veterans’ groups had approached him about the proposal. But last week, state Sen. Len Suzio, R-Meriden, held a news conference in Waterbury with several members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars at which he signaled his opposition to the project. And members of the Waterbury-based Rat Pack Motorcycle Club blocked the entrance to the Peoples Center last week. 

“It\’s a free country, and I wouldn\’t have it any other way,” VFW District Commander Greg Smith, of Milford, said in an email Monday. “But having seen first-hand the devastation and misery that communism has brought to the world, I\’m glad Hartford relented and decided not to help fund the Connecticut version with hard-earned taxpayer money.”

The People\’s World has not returned several messages left for their bureau by the Courant.

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CL&P ups spending on tree-trimming after October storm outages

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Connecticut Light & Power says it has nearly doubled how much it is spending to clear trees and branches back from power lines after an unprecedented snow storm swept through the state last October.

Spokesman Mitch Gross told the Courant Friday that the utility is spending $53.5 million this year to trim back trees that are near distribution lines, or the small power lines that carry electricity into people’s homes. He said the utility spent $27 million on such maintenance in 2011.

“Tree trimming is a major part of our emergency-preparedness response preparation,” Gross said of the increase.

Falling trees and branches were the main cause of power outages from the October storm, according to a report (PDF) put out Thursday by the Federal Energy Regulatory Committee (FERC). The storm dumped more than two feet of snow on parts of New England.

Leaves had not fallen off of some trees in the region and the weight of the wet snow broke off branches or toppled some trees altogether, many of which struck power lines.

FERC said in its Thursday report that utilities in the region need to do a better job of clearing back “danger trees,” trees that are big enough to take down a power line if they fall over or if one of their branches falls off.

Power companies typically have easements around their lines that allow them to trim or remove trees that are close to the lines. The FERC report said companies like CL&P need to do a better job clearing out trees that are inside of their easement—but it also said that utilities need to do more to prune back danger trees that are outside of their easement but still pose a threat to power lines.

FERC said “fall-ins” from trees outside of the easements accounted for about 75 percent of all vegetation-caused outages. More than 807,000 CL&P customers were without power at the peak of the October storm, according to an inquiry  into CL&P’s response ordered by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy after the storm.

Jette Gebhart, a FERC attorney who helped write the agency’s report on the storm, said the agency wasn’t calling for a full clearing of trees around power lines, but instead wants utilities to be more cautious in examining which trees should stay intact.

“We’re not saying they should cut down every tree but taking a hard look at danger trees around their lines,” she said.

The FERC report acknowledged that some easements around power lines were established decades ago and that broadening their boundaries or negotiating with property owners who have danger trees could be an expensive and difficult process.

Another CL&P spokesman, Frank Poirot, said the utility is doing more negotiation with property owners whose trees are danger trees that are outside of the power company’s easements. He said one reason the effort costs millions of dollars is that there are many parts of Connecticut with dense swaths of trees that could damage lines in a storm.

“Some of these areas, it’s like going through a tunnel because the tree canopy is so thick overhead,” he said.

Calls to the Connecticut chapter of the Sierra Club and the Norwalk Tree Alliance seeking their comment on FERC’s recommendations were not immediately returned.

Supreme Court Says State Violated Law By Disbanding Bridgeport School Board

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Here is a breaking news report from Courant staff writer Edmund H. Mahony:

The state Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the state violated the law when it abruptly disbanded Bridgeport’s elected board of education last summer and replaced it with an appointed board.

The decision could have a disruptive effect, at least in the short term, on the public school system in the state’s most populated city.

Any decisions on spending and hiring by the appointed board since August could be called into question. There also could likely be difficulty in replacing the disbanded, elected board of education. The terms of three members have expired since the elected board was disbanded.

The state moved to replace the old board last July under a law which allows the state to take over chronically underperforming school systems. But the Supreme Court said in its decision that the state failed, as the law requires, to provide the elected board of education remedial training before disbanding it.

The training requirement in the law was written as a last chance for elected boards to protect themselves from state takeover.

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch and the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy support the state takeover of then city board and have proposed legislation with the General Assembly that would retroactively legalize the takeover.

If the proposed legislative fix is approved by state lawmakers, it would essentially nullify the effect of Tuesday’s Supreme Court decision, legal experts said.

It was unclear Tuesday when the legislature would act on the bill.

In its decision, the Supreme Court returned the case to the Superior Court where lawsuits challenging the state takeover were filed last year.

The Supreme Court ordered the trial court to set a date for a special election to replace the four seats on the Bridgeport Board of Education that expired in November. As a result of the takeover, the local election for board seats was canceled.

The state’s high court ordered that the appointed board members remaining in office until a special election takes place and the results are certified.

“Therefore, the trial court shall direct that the seven current members of the reconstituted board remain in office until the special election has been completed,” the court’s majority said in a decision written by Justice Peter Zarella. “At that time, the trial court shall reinstate the five members of the local board whose terms of office have not expired, to serve along with the four newly elected members.”