Political Capitol

Brian Lockhart covers the Connecticut General Assembly in Hartford

DECD Commissioner: I’m not being groomed to be Rell’s new budget chief

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Not long ago State Budget Director Robert Genuario, a former Republican state Senator from Norwalk, dismissed rumors he was eyeing the early retirement package being offered to thin the ranks of state employees and help balance the budget. Turns out what’s been helping to fuel the rumor is the inclusion of Joan McDonald, the state’s […] [Read More]
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DEP schedules “don’t ask, don’t tell” day for residents to turn in “exotic animals”

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The state Department of Environmental Protection just announced it has teamed up with Beardsley Zoo in Bridgeport for an “exotic animal amnesty day” on July 25. The announcement comes on the heels of recent news coverage about some of the problems facing passage of a bill intended to ban a wide variety of exotic and […] [Read More]
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Chances appear slim for House Dems to raise Senate Dems’ “concensus forecasting” bill

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The state Senate in a party line vote last night approved the Democrats’ “concensus revenue forecasting” bill which, depending on whom you talk to, is either a.) the cure for future battles between the legislature and Governor over the size of the state budget deficit or b.) a transparent partisan attack on Republican Governor M. […] [Read More]
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Connecticut’s Chief Court Administrator to Governor on her proposed court closings: You ever hear of a phone?

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Yesterday Rhonda Stearley-Hebert, spokesman for the state’s Judicial Branch, told me that Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s administration never told the branch about its plans to shutter a handful of courthouses, including the one in Norwalk, as part of a revised two-year budget proposal. Today Stearley-Hebert issued a strong statement from Chief Court Administrator Judge […] [Read More]
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Will House Democrats support Senate Democrats “consensus forecasting” bill?

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It’s 8:40 p.m. The Senate just began debating the controversial “consensus forecasting” legislation Senate Democrats threw on the table last night. The debate is likely to last for hours. Senate President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, last night said House leadership was on board with the proposal even though House Speaker Christopher Donovan, D-Meriden, was conspicuously absent […] [Read More]
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Governor Rell: I’m now cool with borrowing.

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The revised budget Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell released today borrows millions of dollars to help cover the state deficit. Democrats quickly noted it was only a few months ago the Governor frowned upon a similar proposal the majority party made in its two-year budget. “They do nothing to address the bloat of state government,” […] [Read More]
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House Dems: Governor protecting state’s richest at the expense of the poorest

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Earlier this afternoon Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell issued a revised budget proposal to reflect the fact her budget staff are now estimating the two-year deficit at $7.95 billion as opposed to the $6 billion figure she used in February. What hasn’t changed is Rell’s insistance the budget be balanced without the tax increases proposed […] [Read More]
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Check and mate

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In response to the Democrats’ deficit forecasting proposal outlined below, the legislature’s Republican minority is trying to force the majority party to vote on its two-year budget proposal by adding that as an amendment. Many Democrats support their party’s fiscal plan, but some – particularly those from lower Fairfield County – have balked at the […] [Read More]
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Democrats’ proposal to end budget stand-off likely to continue budget stand-off

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Word began circulating this afternoon that Senate Democrats were poised possibly tomorrow to offer an amendment they believe will end the current and any future debates between the General Assembly and Governor over the size of the state’s deficit. In February Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell, after she and her budget staff said publicly the […] [Read More]
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“Hi. DEP? Yeah. Listen, where do I drop off my scorpions?”

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With the legislative session entering it’s final week, I started wondering what the heck was going on with the wild animal ban lawmakers proposed following February’s chimp attack in Stamford. Quick recap: Travis, a 400 pound chimpanzee who had been a local celebrity of sorts, suddenly attacked his owner’s friend, Charla Nash, causing grisly injuries. […] [Read More]
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