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Malloy Signs, Then Promotes, Newly Tweaked Budget

by Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf | Jul 1, 2015 12:43 pm

CT Mirror Photo The rocky path to a fiscal plan for the next two years ended Tuesday with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signing the budget adopted June 3 in the closing minutes of the 2015 session — and tax rollbacks passed earlier Tuesday in special session to quell an outcry from business interests.

“Massachusetts doesn’t have a budget. Maine doesn’t have a budget. Illinois doesn’t have a budget. New Hampshire doesn’t have a budget,” Malloy said after signing the documents at a ceremony attended by the legislature’s top leaders and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman. “We got a budget.”

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Reed Seeks To Restore Major Energy Bill

by marcia chambers | Jun 12, 2015 12:01 pm

State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) will seek to restore a major energy bill that would modernize the electric grid, a bill that died before the tumultuous end of the recent legislative session.

She told the Eagle that the legislature is expected to hold a special session toward the end of June to discuss certain bills and she plans to fight to restore the bill, which passed in the Senate. Reed, the co-chair of the Energy and Technology Committee, plans to press for the bill, which was studied throughout the session and is considered a major piece of legislation. The bill died on the other side of the midnight deadline.

The bill may have fallen to the back of the pack because she voted against the budget. Click here to read the full story by Jan Ellen Spiegel of the Connecticut Mirror.

Reed, Scanlon Buck Party On Budget Vote

by marcia chambers | Jun 4, 2015 8:15 am

State Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford, one of 11 Democratic legislators voting against a bitterly contested $40 billion, two-year state budget, said in an interview yesterday that to the end, she fought for and was hoping for “a final budget proposal that I could support.” 

“Unfortunately, the budget we were asked to vote on gave me great concern that it would sabotage all of the incentives for economic growth that I have championed throughout my tenure at the Capitol.” The state budget runs to June 30, 2017.

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Kennedy Goes Green

by marcia chambers | Apr 30, 2015 11:22 am

Marcia Chambers Photo State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., co-chair of the legislature’s Environment Committee, moved on several major environmental and legislative fronts this past week in concert with the annual celebration of Earth Day.

He advocated for the “Long Island Sound Blue” plan, after the bill won unanimous passage in the House of Representatives. He pressed for passage of new bills to phase out single-use plastic bags and to prevent the sale of toothpastes and cosmetics that contain harmful microbeads. Kennedy and State Rep. James Albis (D-East Haven,) the House chair of the Environment Committee, said single-use plastic bags clog up “our waste stream and pollute our waterways,” including Long Island Sound.

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Sybil Creek Bridge: Sidewalks? What Sidewalks?

by Diana Stricker | Apr 23, 2015 8:42 am

With Permission Indian Neck residents and businessmen are relieved that the state plans to replace the 1921 bridge that spans Sybil Creek, but they would like the plans to include more improvements for pedestrian and traffic safety.

Several people said the intersection is dangerous because the sightline is limited and the sidewalks don’t extend far enough. They are asking why the $2.8 million project can’t include a few more safety provisions.

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Kennedy Takes On Tires

by marcia chambers | Apr 16, 2015 9:30 am | Comments (1)

Taking a cue from Pat Widlitz, his retired fellow legislator from Guilford who succeeded in passing new state laws to re-cycle mattresses, paint and computers, state Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., is now focusing on tires.

This week Kennedy brought his first bill out onto the Senate floor and and it passed in a unanimous and bi-partisan action. Its aim is to find a way to recycle tires found in towns and cities throughout the state and in so doing create new jobs.  The bill now moves to the floor of the House of Representatives. 

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Kennedy, Reed Seek ECS “Re-Jiggering”

by marcia chambers | Apr 8, 2015 7:56 am | Comments (2)

Branford legislators State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., a legislative newbie, and State Rep. Lonnie Reed, an experienced hand, agree on one word: When it comes to the state’s education cost sharing grant system (ECS), they say the system is broken and needs to be “re-jiggered.”

Kennedy, Reed and School Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez went before the state legislature’s Appropriations Committee last week in support of a Senate bill that would send more state education funds back to a number cities and towns, including Branford and the other five towns in Kennedy’s 12th District. The public hearing was televised by CT-N.

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Governor Presses For Greater Long Island Sound Protection

by marcia chambers | Feb 11, 2015 12:40 pm

With Permission Long Island Sound contributes more than $5.5 million for the local economy.  It is home to more than 120 species of finfish and countless varieties of birds and other animals.  Between New York and Connecticut, the Sound’s coastline stretches more than 600 miles, according to a state report. 

But this great natural resource has also been the scene of major environmental battles over the last decade, especially in Branford.

So it was it was fitting that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy came to Branford Monday morning to emphasize his support of legislation called a “Blue Plan,” which is designed to protect the future use of Long Island Sound waters and submerged lands in a number of different ways.

The Blue Plan directs the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and UConn to convene relevant state agencies, academic institutions, and stakeholders to compile an inventory of the natural resources and the human resources of the Long Island Sound, and to use that information to develop a plan to guide future uses of the Sound’s waters and submerged lands.

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Reed Targets Energy Rates, Taxes

by marcia chambers | Jan 12, 2015 9:44 am

Mary Johnson Photo State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-102), who was sworn in last week to her fourth term in office, wants the state to create innovative laws to reduce skyrocketing electricity rates. She also wants towns to work together on joint projects in order to reduce budgets and the high cost of property taxes, she said. She has other items on her to-do list as well. 

“When it comes to energy policy, skyrocketing electricity rates are bad for consumers, bad for business and bad for economic development of all kinds. We are tackling some huge energy issues this session,” she said in reviewing the reasons why companies often decide not to re-locate in the state of Connecticut.

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Taking Office, Kennedy Vows To Help Seniors, The Disabled

by marcia chambers | Jan 7, 2015 10:54 am

With Permission As he begins his first term as a state legislator, Ted Kennedy Jr. vowed to help more seniors and disabled people live at home instead of in institutions—and to support changes in campaign-finance laws that helped him get into office.

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