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My Left Nutmeg

Thursday roundup

by: ctblogger

Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 14:26:47 PM EST

The latest...
  • Only in Bridgeport!
    Christina Ayala is due in court on a domestic violence charge the same day she's supposed to be sworn in as a state representative, raising questions about whether she should be sworn in at all.

    The Bridgeport legislator's mounting problems -- this week's arrest, coupled with hit and run charges in August, and revelations she does not live in the district -- have some prominent Democrats urging Ayala to consider resigning from her 128th House District seat.

    "I think I would talk to her about it and say it might not be the right thing for her to stay in now because of all that's taken place," said Dottie Guman, Bridgeport's Democratic vice chairman, who had met with Ayala over the summer when the latter was pursuing her candidacy.

  • CTNJ: "U.S. Voters Trust Obama, Democrats To Avoid 'Fiscal Cliff'"
    A majority of voters believe President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats are better equipped to avoid the looming "fiscal cliff" than their Republican colleagues, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

    Quinnipiac surveyed 1,949 voters nationwide between Nov. 28 and Dec. 3 and found Americans trust Obama and Democrats to avoid the fiscal cliff 53 percent to 36 percent. Voters also approved of the president's job performance 52 percent to 40 percent.

    "Nothing like winning an election to boost your job approval," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. "President Barack Obama hasn't had a score this good since his 52-40 percent approval rating May 5, 2011, right after the death of Osama bin Laden."

    On the fiscal cliff, a combination of self-imposed austerity measures and expiring tax cuts, a slim majority - 48 percent to 43 percent - believe Obama and Congress will be able to strike a deal before the end of the year.

  • Oh boy!
    The state turned to some creative accounting Wednesday to help pay the bills, raising concerns among minority Republicans in the General Assembly.

    Cascading financial problems became even more complicated when Republican members of the Assembly found that an additional $260 million borrowed for long-term capital projects had been moved to the monthly cash pool to pay for operating expenses.

    The $260 million was transferred by Treasurer Denise Nappier on Monday, the same day she announced that as of the end of November, $366 million in bonding funds had been transferred to the cash pool because of low balances driven mostly by the growing shortfall in the budget. That gap ranges from $365 million to $417 million.

    Nappier also announced that because of a "significant decline" in the cash pool, she was establishing lines of credit with banks totaling about $550 million -- in case more money was needed to float monthly expenses.

  • Pelto is on a roll!
    They said it was all about adding faculty for Connecticut's public colleges. While the number of students had increased dramatically, the number of full-time faculty had declined by 10 percent over the past eight years.

    First came Malloy's merger of the Connecticut State Universities and the Community Colleges.  The promise was that the plan would save at least $4.3 million, money that would then be use to hire new faculty.

    State Senator Beth Bye, the legislator's strongest advocate for the merger, echoed Malloy's claim, writing in a commentary piece that, "One financial benefit of the governor's proposed overhaul is that an estimated $4.3 million is saved by eliminating duplicative administrative costs..." Senator Bye added that the savings would be used to add faculty.

    Then came the tuition increases.  The cost for an in-state student attending one of the Connecticut State Universities and live on campus jumped to $19,119.

    But Mike Meotti, Governor Malloy's point person on the merger, and the Executive Vice President of the Board of Regents promised, "This recommended increase will allow our state colleges and universities to hire additional faculty..."

    Meanwhile, Governor Malloy's own spokesman called the increase "fairly modest" and defended the decision to raise tuition during a recession saying that the money would be spent on new faculty.

    But today, the Board of Regents announced that the $5.5 million that they pledged to use to hire at least 47 new faculty is being eliminated as a result of Governor Malloy's recent $14.4 million cut to the new system.

  • The latest drama from my neck of the woods...

    A woman described as an aspiring pornography star and her father were arrested after a complaint from the woman's former girlfriend led to the discovery that the father and daughter were having a sexual relationship, Bethel police said.

    George Sayers Jr., 46, and Tiffany Hartford, 23, of Nashville Road, were charged with third-degree sexual assault after DNA tests proved they were father and daughter and the parents of a child, according to an arrest warrant affidavit made public Tuesday in state Superior Court in Danbury.

    They were also charged with obscenity and conspiracy to commit obscenity for allegedly distributing photos and videos of Hartford and the former girlfriend having sex. Both pleaded not guilty to all charges during their court appearances.

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