As of last night, more than a million Americans will lose their unemployment benefits because the Senate fell one vote short of the 60 needed to extend unemployment insurance- a crucial safety net that helps out-of-work Americans pay their bills and make ends meet in this tough economy.
Linda McMahon should tell Connecticut families how she would have voted.
Earlier this year, McMahon praised Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning for blocking unemployment benefits to millions of out-of-work Americans, stating “‘[t]hat was brave.’ I thought that was really, very brave.”
On behalf of struggling Connecticut families, ask Linda McMahon how she would have voted.
Latest Report From The US Census Bureau Reveals Connecticut Leading the Region with highest voter turnout Increase Between 2004 and 2008 Presidential Elections
Hartford: Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz today is reporting that a new survey by the US Census Bureau shows that Connecticut experienced one of the largest nationwide increases in voter turnout percentage between the presidential election years of 2004 and 2008, representing the 7th highest increase in the nation. The census numbers reveal that the percentage of the adult citizen population in Connecticut who cast ballots in the general election increased by 4% from 2004 to 2008. Connecticut was one of only 19 states in the country and two in the Northeast region to see such an increase during that time period.
“The 2008 Presidential Election was historic for many reasons, and Connecticut voters went to the polls in unprecedented numbers,” said Secretary Bysiewicz, Connecticut’s Chief Elections official. “I’m proud of our success making democracy vibrant, and I am encouraged at the healthy increase in voter participation. Clearly, Connecticut voters are engaged in the issues and the candidates. With statewide primaries just around the corner, I hope Connecticut voters maintain their enthusiasm and go to the polls on August 10th.”
Though the proportion of registered voters who cast ballots in Connecticut was 78% in 2008, the new US Census Bureau report entitled, “Voting and Registration in the Election of November 2008,” looked at the total number of adult citizens (eligible voters) who voted. The survey found that 67.2% of adult citizens in Connecticut voted in the 2008 general election as compared to 63.2% who turned out for the 2004 Presidential Election. While the overall voting percentage for the adult citizen population dipped slightly across the United States, the growth of Connecticut’s adult voting percentage ranked 7th in the country, and 1st in New England for such an increase between 2004 and 2008. The rise in voter turnout is especially significant for Connecticut because only the states of Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Louisiana, Virginia, and the District of Columbia had larger increases. Many elections experts have attributed strong voter turnout in those states to the overwhelming response among the significant population of African American voters to the candidacy of President Barack Obama. A full version of the Census report is available at: http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/p20-562.pdf
Secretary Bysiewicz is also pointing out that in terms of overall voter turnout in 2008, Connecticut ranked 4th in New England behind New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island. Both New Hampshire and Maine have implemented Election Day registration, no-fault absentee voting, or early voting and turnout in both states was among the highest in the nation in 2008.
“I have consistently advocated for Election Day registration and no-fault absentee voting because making it convenient to cast ballots will increase voter turnout. This study clearly shows that states in our region that have adopted these reforms have between 5% and 10% higher voter turnout than Connecticut,” said Secretary Bysiewicz. “Enacting EDR and no-excuse absentee ballots in Connecticut could significantly increase our voter turnout and it’s long past time to make these reforms law.”
Secretary Bysiewicz is also urging anyone interested in casting a ballot in 2010 to register to vote before the August 10th statewide primary. Registration forms sent by mail must be postmarked no later than Thursday, August 5th. The deadline for in person registration at town offices is Monday, August 9th at 12:00 p.m. Unaffiliated voters also face those same deadlines if they wish to register with a party in order to vote in the primary.
CONNECTICUT ACTIVE REGISTERED VOTERS AS OF 6/16/10
A Better Future 5
A Sentinel Party 33
Canterbury First 3
Chatham Party 9
Concerned Citizens 225
Connecticut For Lieberman 102
Enfield Taxpayers Party 2
Friends Of Saybrook 12
Independence For Montville 10
Milford Independent Party 3
Norwich for Change 1
Realistic Balance 1
The Hampton Party 4
Waterford Independent 1
We The People 54
Winsted Independent 43
Working Families 120
NEW VOTERS REGISTERED SINCE 1/1/2010
Connecticut For Lieberman 2
We The People 1
Working Families 11
Starting July 1st thousands of seniors across Connecticut who are struggling to stay in their homes will have the opportunity to receive additional support from the state – and Senate Democratic leaders calls it a win-win for seniors and taxpayers. The newly passed budget reduces co-pays: will save seniors on average $90 a month and could save taxpayers even more
“This is a win-win for seniors and the taxpayers of Connecticut,” said Senator President Donald E. Williams, Jr. (D-Brooklyn). “This smart investment helps seniors afford the services they need to stay in their homes and stay out of costly nursing homes. The opportunity for savings is significant, considering that nursing home care costs state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars each year.”
“It is every senior’s nightmare to wind up in a nursing home,” said Senator Edith Prague (D-Columbia), Senate Chairman of the Select Committee on Aging. “We must do everything we can to keep seniors at home with homecare. Not only is it cost effective for the state, it is the right thing to do for seniors.”
“This is one more way that Connecticut is ensuring that our seniors can stay independent and active members of their communities for as long as possible, both as a savings to themselves and to state taxpayers as a whole,” said state Sen. Jonathan A. Harris (D-West Hartford), Senate Chairman of the Public Health Committee.
As many as 5,000 seniors participating in the Connecticut Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) will have their monthly costs reduced by an average of $90. This program helps eligible clients stay in their home and avoid nursing home placement by providing a variety of in home services.
The reduced co-pays are a result of changes made to the midterm budget – which goes into effect on July 1st. The revised budget includes $9.9 million in funding to reduce co-pays in CHCPE from 15% to 6%. Since January of 2010, seniors enrolled in the program have had co-payments of 15% for the services they receive. The co-payments were unaffordable for some seniors and many dropped out of the program.
According to program guidelines, “Applicants must be 65 years of age or older, be a CT resident, be at risk of nursing home placement and meet the program’s financial eligibility criteria. To be at risk of nursing home placement means that the applicant needs assistance with critical needs such as bathing, dressing, eating, and taking medications. The CHCPE helps eligible clients continue living at home instead of going to a nursing home.”
In an interview with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published yesterday, House Minority Leader John Boehner said that he would ensure that there’s enough money to pay for the war by increasing the Social Security retirement age to 70 for people who have at least 20 years until retirement, tying cost-of-living increases to the consumer price index rather than wage inflation, and limiting payments to those who need them.
“Leader Boehner’s comments serve as a powerful reminder of the failed Republican policies that created the Bush recession and an unfunded war in the first place,” said U.S. Congressman John B. Larson (CT-01), Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “Time and time again, hard-working Americans of all ages have said ‘no’ to cutting Social Security benefits. Forcing our seniors to use their hard-earned money to pay for the war is not only misguided, it is just wrong. The American public should not and will not stand for an injustice so egregious.”
So, fair warning, this is a sneak preview of what to expect, should Republicans take control of Congress in November: massive cuts to Social Security.
Boehner’s also called Wall Street financial reform. which the Republicans fought so vigorously, “killing an an with a nuclear weapon.”
Here’s Jim Himes’ response:
More from Jim Himes;
“Families in Connecticut and across the country lost their homes, their jobs, and their retirement savings as a result of the financial crisis,” said Himes. “We learned the hard way that what happens on Wall Street affects everyone’s economic livelihood, and this legislation will restore our financial security and faith in the system.”
“Lax regulation allowed big firms to make risky bets and offer loans to people who couldn’t pay them back. These reforms will put rules in place to monitor and clamp down on risky behavior that could endanger our financial system.”
“Our economy thrives when everyone—from consumers and small business owners to large corporations and financial institutions—has access to the necessary information to make smart financial decisions. Transparency is key to making any market work well. That means consumers need to understand their mortgages, and banks can’t be permitted to hide their riskiest activity from the people whose money they are managing or the regulators trusted with keeping our financial system safe.”
“Wall Street Reform addresses the causes of the financial meltdown while putting in place strong protections to prevent another collapse. I’m proud to have helped craft this legislation. It will protect consumers, increase transparency, control dangerous risk, and eliminate the possibility that the American taxpayer will ever again be asked to bailout irresponsible private companies.”
For too long, huge markets in complex securities such as derivatives were dangerously opaque and unregulated. This legislation will finally drag into the light of day these risky markets. In its prime, this market was six to ten times the size of the stock market. Himes worked hard to ensure that Wall Street Reform would hold derivatives dealers to strict standards while protecting end users like farmers and manufacturing companies that need to insure against risks such as fluctuations in the price of soy beans or foreign currency.
Also key to this reform is the creation of a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which will unite consumer protection rules under one roof. Currently, a variety of laws and the authority to enforce them are scattered throughout the regulatory structure, and no single entity determines whether products, features, or practices are unfair, deceptive, abusive, or unsustainable. The creation of the CFPB will, for the first time, establish a regulator tasked with the job of creating and enforcing one comprehensive set of rules to protect consumers. This consolidated approach will promote honest competition, protect the economy, and most importantly, provide a safety net for consumers. Moreover, this new agency will ensure that there is a quick response to emerging harmful practices, before they undermine a family’s financial stability or become a systemic risk. To ensure small businesses are able to meet these new requirements without undue burden, Congressman Himes passed an amendment to create an Ombudsperson within the CFPA.
The Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will end the concept of “too big to fail” so that taxpayers will never again be asked to bailout irresponsible private companies. The bill creates a process to shut down large, failing firms whose collapse would put the entire economy at risk. This program will operate much like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the organization that manages the seamless restructuring and sale of failing local banks.
The bill has been endorsed by the AARP, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Council of Institutional Investors, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Restaurant Association, Public Citizen, SEIU, and US PIRG, among other organizations. The bill was publicly debated for more than 50 hours, and includes over 70 bipartisan amendments.