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My Left Nutmeg

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My Left Nutmeg

Shine Comes Off GOP Golden Boy Tim Herbst

by: abg22

Thu Apr 16, 2015 at 10:00:20 AM EDT

( - promoted by ctblogger)

After last November's election, Trumbull First Selectman Tim Herbst finally came into his own as the Great White Hope of the Connecticut GOP. Herbst had been considered a top prospect for higher office since 2009 when he was first elected as Trumbull's top official at age 29 -- a shining exception to the party's miserably shallow 'bench' for statewide candidates. Now he had come within a hair's breadth of defeating longtime incumbent Denise Nappier and vaulted to the top of many GOP strategists' shortlist for the 2018 race for governor, as an experienced politician with solid elective experience at the local level, rather than a self-funding vanity candidate like Linda McMahon or Tom Foley whom the CT-GOP finally realized has been leading them to ruin. While ultimately unsuccessful, Herbst's run for treasurer proved that he was an able fundraiser (he easily qualified for public financing) and helped him build a statewide organization and name recognition.

But a series of disastrous mistakes over the last few months have taken the luster off Herbst's golden boy image, and left him looking like damaged goods. First there was his attempt to engineer a coup in the state party by deposing party chairman Jerry Labriola and installing his 2014 campaign manager JR Romano as Labriola's successor. Nobody in the GOP thinks Labriola has been the greatest fundraiser or electoral strategist, having led the party through another election without a single statewide or congressional victory, but the party faithful weren't ready to dump him six months before the end of his term in what would have been a humiliating and unprecedented statement of ingratitude. Labriola survived the coup attempt, making Herbst look not only like a jerk but also one without that much sway with party insiders. Romano may have been first out of the gate, but now a host of other potential successors to Labriola have thrown their hats into the ring with at least as much support as Herbst's handpicked choice.

Then Herbst stepped into the shrapnel of the 'Painting-Gate' clusterf---, in which the golden boy demanded that an "offensive" painting be removed from the walls of the Trumbull Public Library. Catholic groups objected that the painting showed Mother Theresa marching alongside pro-choice feminists like Margaret Sanger. Herbst claimed he wasn't bowing to political pressure and unconstitutionally censoring the work of art, but rather was responding to the fact that the painting wasn't properly insured. The trouble is that the painting had been on display for months without incident, and Herbst only took action when he started getting complaints from the Knights of Columbus and other anti-abortion groups. By taking down the painting under pressure, then agreeing to put it back up when the proper paperwork was obtained, Herbst basically managed to piss off everyone. His awkward, defensive and dishonest handling of the situation suggested a highly ambitious politician not quite ready for primetime.

Then last week there was a particularly petty, juvenile, and unflattering flare-up of the on-again, off-again war of words between Herbst and Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch. Herbst had tried to schedule a vote on moving the offices of a regional planning agency out of Bridgeport without notifying Finch beforehand, and when Finch found out, he had a tantrum at the planning agency's next public meeting. This prompted Herbst to write a nasty and accusatory letter to Finch saying that Finch would be thrown out of the room if he had another tantrum in the future. Finch responded in kind. The war of words continued for several days in the pages of the CT Post. Like similar episodes in the past, the details of this spat aren't really important; what is important is the extremely childish behavior of these two elected officials who should be working together amicably on very serious regional problems facing greater Bridgeport, and who are old enough to know better.

Tim Herbst has plenty of time before 2018 to recover from these mistakes. It would be foolish to suggest otherwise.  But by his own actions he has managed to seriously tarnish his image and diminish his prospects for higher office in a matter of months, going from the gubernatorial shortlist to a puerile, thin-skinned hack politician about whom many Republicans, not to mention centrists and independents, now have serious doubts.

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CT Teacher Unions - Please stand up for CT Parents and their right to opt out

by: ctblogger

Mon Apr 13, 2015 at 09:36:58 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

On behalf of parents, students and teachers across Connecticut, we are publicly asking the Connecticut Education Association, the American Federation of Teachers - Connecticut Chapter and local teacher union chapters to end their silence and take immediate steps to speak out and support the growing effort by Connecticut parents to opt their children out of the unfair, inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium SBAC test.

While the leadership of the Connecticut teachers unions have said they want to phase out the destructive Common Core SBAC testing, they have failed, to date, to join their colleagues in other states and at the national level in speaking out, passing resolutions and engaging in political action on behalf of parents and their fundamental, inalienable and constitutionally protected right to opt their children out of Connecticut's Common Core testing scheme.

In New York State, NYSUT - a federation of more than 1,200 local unions representing more than 600,000 members - a union that is affiliated with both the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and the National Education Association (NEA) has become a leading example of the critically important role that teachers and their unions can play in supporting parents, students and public education.

NYSUT and dozens and dozens of local teacher unions across New York are taking strong, principled action in opposition to the Common Core testing program and the right of parents to refuse to have their children bullied, abused, tormented or labeled by the disastrous Common Core tests.

NYSUT writes;

"Parents and teachers share deep concerns about over-testing resulting from the state's botched implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS). Concerns include: stress on students, appropriateness of tests, erosion of learning time and lack of state transparency on test content.

Parents who decide it is not in their children's best interests to take these assessments are part of an "Opt-Out" movement that is growing nationally and in New York state.

NYSUT fully supports parents' right to choose what is best for their children - including NYSUT members who decide as parents to opt their child out of state tests.

In addition, NYSUT encourages members to exercise their rights as professionals to speak out against the harmful effects of high-stakes tests - and will vigorously defend members if a district brings disciplinary charges in that event."


Not only is the New York Teachers' union speaking out, but they are putting their words into action.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on April 10, 2015, NYSUT is calling on its members to remind them that students can opt out of the Common Core tests.  The Wall Street Journal explains,

"In an aggressive move against testing, the New York State United Teachers union started robocalling members Thursday with a reminder they can have their children refuse next week's state exams.

"This is insanity," says the robocall's recording of union President Karen Magee."


The massive common core testing, a program designed to fail the vast majority of students is absolutely the definition of insanity and NYSUT's President Karen Magee is absolutely right when she urges parents to consider opting their children out of these Common Core tests.

American Federation of Teachers National President, Randi Weingarten, has done the same.

And National Education Association President Lily Eskelsen Garcia has written,

"Parents don't want their children to be treated with a one-size-fits-all education approach. And educators know that students are more than a test score, so let educators teach and put an end the toxic practice of punishing students, schools and educators based on test results."

In Connecticut the Common Core SBAC test is designed (rigged) to label more than 60 percent of all public school students as failures and the way the test is scored will mean the failure rate will likely exceed 90 percent for students who need special education services or aren't fluent in the English language.  Governor Malloy's administration approved "cut scores" that will discriminate against African American and Latino children pegging as many as 75 percent as failures.

But while New York teachers, along with teachers in Massachusetts, Chicago, Washington State, Oregon and dozens of other locations join parents in support of the opt out movement, neither the Connecticut Education Association (CEA) nor the American Federation of Teachers - Connecticut Chapter (AFT-CT) have taken any meaningful action in support of parents who are opting their children, or trying to opt their children, out of the Common Core SBAC test.

The candidates challenging the leadership of the CEA in this spring's union election, Martin Walsh (President) and Scott Minnick (Vice President) have been very strong supporters of the opt out effort.  Both have written commentary pieces in support of parents and their right to opt out and Scott Minnick's decision to opt his own children even made the front page of the Hartford Courant.

But at the very moment when parents need support, the present leaders of the CEA and AFT-CT have remained silent about the opt-out movement.

Now is the time for Connecticut's teacher unions to step up and speak out in support of the opt-out effort.

The following is just a partial list of New York teacher union chapters who have officially endorsed the opt-out movement. Connecticut's state and local unions need to do the same thing.

Amityville Teachers' Association
Amsterdam Teachers' Association
Associated Teachers of Huntington
Babylon Teachers' Association
Baldwin Teachers Association
Bay Shore Classroom Teachers Association
Bayport- Blue Point Teachers' Association
Bellmore Faculty Organizaton
Bellmore-Merrick United Secondary Teachers
Bellmore Teachers' Organization
Bellport Teachers Association
Bethpage Congress of Teachers
Brentwood Teachers Association
Brockport Teachers Association
Buffalo Teachers Federation (a variation of the I Refuse resolution)
Carmel Teachers' Association
Camden Teachers Association
Center Moriches Teachers' Association
Central Islip Teachers Association
Clarkstown Teachers Association
Commack Teachers Association
Connetquot Teachers Association
Cortland United Teachers
Deer Park Teachers' Association
East Aurora Faculty Association
Eastport/South Manor Teachers' Association
East Williston Teachers' Association
Elwood Teachers Alliance
Farmingdale Federation of Teachers
Freeport Teachers Association
Fulton Teachers Association
Garden City Teachers'Association
Garrison Teachers Association
Glen Cove Teachers' Association
Half Hollow Hills Teachers' Association
Hamburg Teachers Association
Hauppauge Teachers Association
Hastings Teachers Association
Hewlett-Woodmere Faculty Association
Hicksville Congress of Teachers
Holley Teachers' Association
Ichabod Crane Teachers Association
Islip Teachers Association
Kingston Teachers Federation
Lancaster Central Teachers Association
Lake Shore Central Teachers' Association
Lakeland Federation of Teachers
Lawrence Teachers' Association
Levittown Teachers Union
Lindenhurst Teachers Association
Little Flower Teachers Association
Locust Valley School Employees Association
Lynbrook Teachers Association
Mahopac Teachers' Association (adopted a variation of resolution)
Malverne Teachers' Association
Merrick Faculty Association
Middle Country Teachers Association
Middle Island Teachers Association
Miller Place Teachers Association
MORE Caucus (NYC)
New Hartford Teachers Association
New Paltz United Teachers
New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees
New York Mills Teachers' Association
Newburgh Teachers' Association
North Babylon Teachers' Organization
North Bellmore Teachers Association
North Merrick Faculty Association
North Rockland Teachers Association
North Shore Schools Federated Employees
North Syracuse Education Association
Oceanside Federation of Teachers
Oneonta Teachers' Association
Orchard Park Teachers Association
Ossining Teachers Association
Patchogue-Medford Congress of Teachers
Plainedge Federation of Teachers
Plainview-Old Beth Page Congress of Teachers
Port Jefferson Teachers Association
Port Jefferson Station Teachers Association
Ramapo Teachers Association
Rocky Point Teachers Association
Rockville Centre Teachers' Association
Rome Teachers Association
Sauquoit Valley Teachers Association
Sherburne-Earlville Teachers' Association
Smithtown Teachers Association
Spencerport Teachers Association
Springville Faculty Association
Shoreham Wading River Teachers Association
Somers Education Association
Teachers Association of Sag Harbor
Three Village Teachers Association
Troy Teachers Association
United Teachers of Harborfields
United Teachers of Northport
United Teachers of Seaford
Valley Central Teachers' Association
Valley Stream Teachers Association
Wallkill Teachers Association
Wappingers Congress of Teachers
Waterville Teachers Association
West Babylon Teachers Association
West Canada Valley Teachers Association
West Genesee Teachers' Association
West Hempstead Education Association
West Islip Teachers' Association
West Seneca Teachers Association
- See more at: http://www.nysape.org/resoluti...

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Thursday roundup

by: ctblogger

Thu Apr 09, 2015 at 09:25:15 AM EDT

The latest.

  • What happened to Dan Malloy being the most transparent governor in the history of Connecticut? Hmm....
    Key legislators say a directive restricting what agency heads can tell legislators about Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's budget proposal is hindering lawmakers in doing their jobs and will push more of the budget-writing process behind closed doors.

    "Our job is to negotiate and evaluate and build the best budget possible for the 3.5 million people of Connecticut," said Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, House chair of the Appropriations Committee. "Denying us the ability to do that is denying us our responsibility and our authority as the legislature."


  • The Church lobby's use of fear tactics and spin are at work again at the State Capitol.
    A bill that would have permitted terminally ill patients to seek a doctor's help in ending their lives will likely not win approval this year..

    Advocates said Wednesday the legislature's judiciary committee will not vote on the measure this year. In theory, the proposal could still be raised as an amendment to a related bill on the floor of the House or the Senate, but without the committee's endorsement, most observers believe that is highly unlikely.

    [...]

    "Each year that lawmakers fail to act, prolongs the suffering for thousands of terminally ill Connecticut residents and the people who love them,'' said Tim Appleton, Connecticut campaign director for Compassion & Choices, the leading proponent of the bill.

    "About 7,000 people will die from cancer this year in Connecticut without having this choice, many will endure painful deaths. They should have the choice - to die peacefully, with dignity, and on their terms," he said.


    I guess Danbury's part-time mayor was too busy on Twitter to intervene on a matter that will have a horrific impact on the city's downtown businesses.
    Arena officials have informed the Danbury Whalers -- a team that has led the Federal Hockey League in attendance each of its five seasons -- they are not welcome back next year and have until April 17 to clear out of the facility.

    Eagle Ice Sports, which owns the Danbury Arena, told the Whalers ownership in a letter dated April 3 it will not be renewing their second five-year term that was set to begin with the 2015-16 season.

    [...]

    According to the totals posted on the FHL website, the Whalers drew 49,435 fans over 30 home games at the Danbury Arena this past season, for a league-leading average of 1,647 fans per game. The Whalers have led the league in attendance every year since the league began operation for the 2010-11 season.


  • Smart move...
    The former congressman from southeastern Connecticut doused water on speculation within the GOP that he could challenge U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., in 2016.

    In 2010, Simmons was passed in over for his party's nomination, which went to professional wrestling executive Linda McMahon.

    "Our opportunity to win that seat was back in 2010. We blew it," Simmons told Hearst Connecticut Media.


  • ...and another smart move.
    The town may soon head to court against former United States Senate candidate Lee Whitnum now the Board of Selectmen refused a settlement offer.

    A Greenwich resident, Whitnum is suing the town and First Selectman Peter Tesei, claiming her civil rights were violated when a celebration of Israel's independence and a bar mitzvah were held at Town Hall.

    The suit was filed in 2012. Recently, Whitnum had offered to settle it for $11,000 but the Board of Selectmen formally rejected the offer this week after meeting with town counsel.

    Tesei abstained from the vote because he is part of the suit.

    Selectmen Drew Marzullo and John Toner voted against the settlement offer. No additional public comments were made on the suit.

    [...]

    This is not Whitnum's first brush with controversy. In 2008 she challenged U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th, in his first run for office. She lost the Democratic primary to Himes but not before her campaign, which heavily focused on her allegations of Himes being too closely associated with Israel and the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, earned her the condemnation of then Stamford Mayor Dannel Malloy.

    Malloy publicly called Whitnum anti-Semitic at a press conference. She later sued him for defamation. That case was ended in 2012 in Malloy's favor. He now has a court order in place protecting him from any lawsuits from her deemed frivolous by a judge. If she were to sue him again, she would first have to show merit.

    Whitnum also came under heavy criticism during her run for the U.S. Senate in 2012, where she lost to U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn. During a Democratic primary debate, Whitnum claimed Murphy's campaign had been bought off by AIPAC to put Israel's interests first -- and called him a whore.

    Additionally, Whitnum has been accused on multiple occasions of stalking critics and was arrested and charged with trespassing in Darien after she allegedly entered the property of an assisted living facility she had been barred from. Whitnum subsequently has sued Darien claiming she was falsely arrested, one of 12 ongoing lawsuits she has in Connecticut, including the one against Greenwich.

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The BIG LIE - What happens if schools don't get 95% to participate in Common Core Testing

by: ctblogger

Tue Apr 07, 2015 at 09:21:48 AM EDT

Cross post from Jon Pelto's Wait What?

Yesterday another Connecticut parent received a letter from their school district that claimed, "Both the State Department of Education and local school districts could jeopardize federal funding if we do not abide by the law."

The "law" they are talking about is the notion that schools will lose money if 95% of the students don't take the  Common Core SBAC test.

In Connecticut, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy has echoed that very point, as has the leadership of his State Department of Education.  Most Connecticut school superintendents have tried to use that claim to try and dissuade parents from utilizing their fundamental parental rights and opting their children out of the Common Core SBAC Test.

But these officials, including the governor of the State of Connecticut are absolutely wrong.

These officials either know, or should know, that such a statement is not accurate.

Their reference is to the federal No Child Left Behind Act.  However, according to the FairTest, a nationally respected organization working to ensure the development of fairer testing systems, "The penalties apply only to schools receiving Title I funds. Nothing in the law authorizes withholding of federal aid, though up to 20 percent may be required to be diverted to other uses, including tutoring or transporting students to different schools."

Secondly, more than 40 states, including Connecticut, have been given waivers by the Federal Department of Education.  As FairTest explains, "waivers remove NCLB punishments from all but the lowest-scoring ("priority") schools in a state."

And finally and perhaps most importantly FairTest, explains that it is, "not aware of a single school that lost federal Title I funds due to low test-taking rates, including many in New York that had large numbers of opt outs last year."

So Connecticut is not going to lose money and even if there was a requirement that a small portion of federal Title I funds were were diverted to helping individual students most Connecticut towns would not be impacted in any way what-so-ever.

Does Connecticut's Governor Malloy and the array of state and local officials who are saying that schools will lose money really not know what the federal law is or are their intentionally misleading, even lying, as a way to keep parents and the public from knowing the truth.

The actual truth about the 95 percent issue was clearly reported in a recent column by the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss that highlighted the fact that many school administrators continue to mislead parents into thinking that there will dire consequences if parents opt their children out of the unfair inappropriate and discriminatory Common Core Testing program.

Strauss used the words of Monty Neill, the executive director of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, known as  FairTest, to set the record straight about the implications to a school, school district or state for failing to get at least 95 percent of the students to take the Common Core test.

Monty Neill wrote;

Across the nation, tens of thousands of parents opted their children out of standardized tests in 2014, and this year, many more have or will do so. The testing resistance and reform movement is shaking up supporters of the test-and-punish status quo, who are fighting back.

Defenders of excessive and high-stakes testing rely on two major arguments: frequent testing is good for children and schools, and too many refusals will lead to a loss of federal funds for the students' district.

The first claim is increasingly ineffective. Growing numbers of parents recognize that standardized exam overkill does not improve educational quality or equity. On the contrary, it pushes schools into incessant test prep mode and emotionally damages many children. Each week, more and more parents choose to protect their children and schools by refusing the tests. They don't buy the argument that a small reduction in testing volume will solve the problem. Instead, they demand a fundamental overhaul of federal, state and district policies.

With the testing-is-good-for-you argument failing, authorities are turning to threats and bullying, often using the claim that schools will lose federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Title I funds. That threat is not based on any legal language in NCLB or in waivers states have received to avoid sanctions under the federal law. To understand why, consider the following.

The original text of NCLB, under its section on state plans, says that to make "adequate yearly progress" (AYP) a school must test 95 percent of its students. In the improvement section, the law establishes sanctions for not making AYP. The penalties apply only to schools receiving Title I funds. Nothing in the law authorizes withholding of federal aid, though up to 20 percent may be required to be diverted to other uses, including tutoring or transporting students to different schools.

However, AYP requirements are now irrelevant. More than 40 states have been given waivers by the Obama administration from the most onerous NCLB sanctions. While AYP reporting requirements remain, waivers remove NCLB punishments from all but the lowest-scoring ("priority") schools in a state. Thus, schools in waiver states no longer must transport or tutor. As a result, the only federal funding penalties specified in the original NCLB law have been suspended.

In states that do not have waivers, few if any schools report 100 percent of students scoring "proficient," NCLB's current requirement for making AYP. Since that means almost all schools face sanctions, it hardly matters if fewer than 95 percent of the students take the state exam.

FairTest is not aware of a single school that lost federal Title I funds due to low test-taking rates, including many in New York that had large numbers of opt outs last year. However, officials in a number of states still aggressively attack the opt out movement claiming that refusing to take the test puts federal aid at risk. Recently, the U.S. Department of Education  joined the battle by suggesting there is a danger of funding loss and threatening states, districts and schools.

The Department of Education's statements appear deliberately misleading. They confound the law's requirement that states administer a testing system that covers all children with the non-existent requirement that all children take the test. They imply that a state that allows opting out is at risk of violating NCLB, even though seven states (Utah, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and California) already have such provisions and none has lost a penny in federal funding due to these provisions.

Assistant Education Secretary Deborah Delisle recently indicated she expected state superintendents to pressure parents to comply. She added that the Education Department could consider other federal education requirements to use against schools that do not receive Title I. But she also acknowledged the U.S. government does not intend to take funding away from programs that serve children!

Clearly, some government officials are trying to bully parents into submission (see, for example,  Illinois, New Jersey and New York). By muddying the water with inaccurate statements about the intricacies of federal law and waivers, these officials seek to reduce opt-out numbers and buy time for discredited test-and-punish schemes. Overall, however, this tactic is failing as opt-out numbers increase and more parents and students get involved in the resistance movement.

Legislation allowing parents the right to opt their children out of state and district tests is moving ahead in at least 10 states, though none are likely to pass in time to affect this spring's testing season. Activists must continue to educate parents, the media, and officials about false federal funding cut-off claims. As public school stakeholders become more aware of disinformation campaigns, they are likely to grow angrier and more willing to fight the tests.

PS: Local advocates need to check the details of their state's NCLB waiver, if only to combat misinformation. Parents and students must consider potentially real sanctions in those states and districts that require students to pass a test to be promoted to the next grade or graduate. In addition, schools labeled "priority" under waiver provisions do have to meet the 95 percent test participation requirement to escape that category.

FYI:

* The NCLB law is http://www2.ed.gov/policy/else... specific points include:

95% requirement is at Sec. 1111(a)(2)(I)(2)(ii);*
exempt from the sanctions under NCLB is at Sec. 1116(b)(2)(A)(ii).
escalating sanctions are specified at Sec. 1116 for schools (b) and districts (c).

* For a FairTest fact sheet, see http://www.fairtest.org/why-yo...

But the question remains, is Governor Malloy and school officials in Connecticut ignorant of the truth or are they intentionally failing to tell the truth.

And when it comes to overseeing public policy, which is worse?

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Thursday roundup

by: ctblogger

Thu Apr 02, 2015 at 09:17:59 AM EDT

The latest...

  • For those who don't believe that a gender gap in this country no longer exists...
    Nursing may be a traditionally female field, but for men, it's more lucrative.

    The results of a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on the average, men make $5,000 a year more than women in the nursing field, a fact not lost on U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who met Wednesday with students and staff at the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing.

    "This was a pretty remarkable report," said Murphy, D-Conn., said. "The numbers are pretty remarkable."

    The study ran from 1988 to 2013, and only 7 percent of the nurses were male, according to the report. Yet those male registered nurses made more money than female registered nurses every year of the study, with an overall annual difference of $5,148.

    "This suggests there is still discrimination" between men and women when it comes to salaries, Murphy said, and the numbers are even more disturbing when broken into specialties. In an ambulatory setting, men make an average of $7,600 more than women, and in a hospital setting the difference is $3,800. The greatest disparity is in the field of nurse anesthesiologists, where men make an average of $17,000 more than women, he said.

    "This cannot be explained by anything other than discrimination," Murphy said. "In other words, women work for free up until March every year. It's not just an issue of interest to women, it's an issue for everyone if there is pay discrimination."


  • Comptroller Kevin Lembo signals the warning alarm.
    State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo agreed Wednesday with nonpartisan analysts that the budget deficit is worse than Gov. Dannel P. Malloy administration is projecting.

    But while Lembo also urged the governor and legislature "proceed without delay" to reduce the shortfall, his $172.8 million deficit forecast falls just short of the level that would compel the governor to prepare a deficit-mitigation plan.

    [...]

    The comptroller and nonpartisan analysts also are more pessimistic than the administration about potential state income tax receipts due later this month after the April 15 filing deadline.

    But Lembo also dug in on a problem he has warned the Malloy administration about repeatedly for the past 18 months. The comptroller estimates at least an additional $14.3 million is needed to cover the state's responsibilities.

    As early as October 2013, Lembo's office - which administers the health care benefits for retired state workers and their dependents - warned the governor of a likely surge in costs in the 2014-15 fiscal year, largely because of an anticipated jump in retirements among prison guards.

    Lembo repeated his warnings in March 2014 - when Malloy's budget proposal for 2014-15 didn't cover that projected surge in retirements - and in May, when the legislature and governor adopted a budget without those requested funds.

    "My requested funding level was reduced in the final version of the budget," Lembo wrote to Malloy in his April 1 report. "Had I received the requested funding, no cash shortfall would exist."


  • I guess the "leadership" within the State GOP are too busy to denounce Indiana's anti-gay law or one of their own who thinks that rapes on college campuses make for a great party.
    A contingent from Connecticut will travel to Nashua, N.H., in mid-April for the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit and a chance to have an early say on the GOP choice for 2016.

    Part cattle call and part audition for the New Hampshire presidential primary, which is still nine months away, the two-day conclave will feature appearances by Connecticut Senate race casualty Linda McMahon and embattled state GOP boss Jerry Labriola Jr. The sponsors include the Connecticut GOP, which contributed $500 to its New Hampshire counterpart to set up a table at the event.

    [...]

    The conference fees start at $99 per person and go up to $199 for an all-access pass to the event, which will start with a speech by Donald Trump and end with a dinner keynote by Walker, the governor of Wisconsin and public-sector-union lightning rod.

    [...]

    State Democratic Chairman Nick Balletto accused Republicans of cozying up to right-wingers such as Walker.

    "Connecticut Republicans used to buck the national trend and field sensible, moderate candidates, but that's changed," Balletto said in a statement. "They have turned hard right, toward a national GOP whose top priorities seem to be taking health care from millions of Americans, denying science and controlling women's health care choices."


  • I guess the silly season in Bridgeport started early...
    Former Mayor Joe Ganim, seeking to reclaim the job he lost in 2003 following his conviction on federal corruption charges, is expected to file an exploratory committee on Thursday saying "Real progress for our city can only happen if we improve the quality of life for all the people of Bridgeport in every neighborhood."
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Thursday roundup

by: ctblogger

Thu Apr 02, 2015 at 09:17:56 AM EDT

The latest...
  • For those who don't believe that a gender gap in this country no longer exists...
    Nursing may be a traditionally female field, but for men, it's more lucrative.

    The results of a study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on the average, men make $5,000 a year more than women in the nursing field, a fact not lost on U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, who met Wednesday with students and staff at the Quinnipiac University School of Nursing.

    "This was a pretty remarkable report," said Murphy, D-Conn., said. "The numbers are pretty remarkable."

    The study ran from 1988 to 2013, and only 7 percent of the nurses were male, according to the report. Yet those male registered nurses made more money than female registered nurses every year of the study, with an overall annual difference of $5,148.

    "This suggests there is still discrimination" between men and women when it comes to salaries, Murphy said, and the numbers are even more disturbing when broken into specialties. In an ambulatory setting, men make an average of $7,600 more than women, and in a hospital setting the difference is $3,800. The greatest disparity is in the field of nurse anesthesiologists, where men make an average of $17,000 more than women, he said.

    "This cannot be explained by anything other than discrimination," Murphy said. "In other words, women work for free up until March every year. It's not just an issue of interest to women, it's an issue for everyone if there is pay discrimination."


  • Comptroller Kevin Lembo signals the warning alarm.
    State Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo agreed Wednesday with nonpartisan analysts that the budget deficit is worse than Gov. Dannel P. Malloy administration is projecting.

    But while Lembo also urged the governor and legislature "proceed without delay" to reduce the shortfall, his $172.8 million deficit forecast falls just short of the level that would compel the governor to prepare a deficit-mitigation plan.

    [...]

    The comptroller and nonpartisan analysts also are more pessimistic than the administration about potential state income tax receipts due later this month after the April 15 filing deadline.

    But Lembo also dug in on a problem he has warned the Malloy administration about repeatedly for the past 18 months. The comptroller estimates at least an additional $14.3 million is needed to cover the state's responsibilities.

    As early as October 2013, Lembo's office - which administers the health care benefits for retired state workers and their dependents - warned the governor of a likely surge in costs in the 2014-15 fiscal year, largely because of an anticipated jump in retirements among prison guards.

    Lembo repeated his warnings in March 2014 - when Malloy's budget proposal for 2014-15 didn't cover that projected surge in retirements - and in May, when the legislature and governor adopted a budget without those requested funds.

    "My requested funding level was reduced in the final version of the budget," Lembo wrote to Malloy in his April 1 report. "Had I received the requested funding, no cash shortfall would exist."


  • I guess the "leadership" within the State GOP are too busy to denounce Indiana's anti-gay law or one of their own who thinks that rapes on college campuses make for a great party.
    A contingent from Connecticut will travel to Nashua, N.H., in mid-April for the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit and a chance to have an early say on the GOP choice for 2016.

    Part cattle call and part audition for the New Hampshire presidential primary, which is still nine months away, the two-day conclave will feature appearances by Connecticut Senate race casualty Linda McMahon and embattled state GOP boss Jerry Labriola Jr. The sponsors include the Connecticut GOP, which contributed $500 to its New Hampshire counterpart to set up a table at the event.

    [...]

    The conference fees start at $99 per person and go up to $199 for an all-access pass to the event, which will start with a speech by Donald Trump and end with a dinner keynote by Walker, the governor of Wisconsin and public-sector-union lightning rod.

    [...]

    State Democratic Chairman Nick Balletto accused Republicans of cozying up to right-wingers such as Walker.

    "Connecticut Republicans used to buck the national trend and field sensible, moderate candidates, but that's changed," Balletto said in a statement. "They have turned hard right, toward a national GOP whose top priorities seem to be taking health care from millions of Americans, denying science and controlling women's health care choices."


  • I guess the silly season in Bridgeport started early...
    Former Mayor Joe Ganim, seeking to reclaim the job he lost in 2003 following his conviction on federal corruption charges, is expected to file an exploratory committee on Thursday saying "Real progress for our city can only happen if we improve the quality of life for all the people of Bridgeport in every neighborhood."
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