Reed Seeks Changes in Affordable Housing Laws

by Diana Stricker | Feb 23, 2017 7:50 am

File Photo State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) has introduced four bills to update the state’s Affordable Housing statute. The bills would prevent the statute from being exploited; and would also give Branford and similar communities credit for housing that is affordable even if it’s not on the state list.

“The support for these bills is bipartisan and building in strength,” Reed told the Eagle this week. A similar bill passed the House last year, but the legislative session ended before it could be taken up by the Senate.

However, she said there is some opposition to amending the state stature.

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Legislators Confront Budget Crisis with Few Answers

by marcia chambers | Feb 7, 2017 8:27 am | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers Photo At a lively legislative breakfast Saturday lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed that a legacy of debt, along with diminished legislative control over the state’s budget, has created a major fiscal crisis that may well result in rising property taxes for Connecticut’s homeowners. 

More than 50 people attended the annual League of Women Voters (LWV) breakfast at the Evergreen Woods retirement community in North Branford. There they listened and questioned the men and women who represent them in Hartford. Carol Reimers, president of the LWV of the East Shore, welcomed the group.

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Walsh School Renovation Makes It to Priority List

by Sally E. Bahner & Marcia Chambers | Jan 26, 2017 8:30 am

File Photo Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez reported at last week’s Board of Education meeting that he and First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove had met with state Reps. Lonnie Reed and Sean Scanlon and state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. regarding the progress of the Walsh Intermediate School renovation project. The project has now been listed on a priority list.

The underlying issue, all understood, was the uncertainty about the state budget and possible cuts to 49 projected school project grants across the state totaling $450,469,953. The estimated project costs for all 49 projects totaled $778,306,838. 

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Solar Pause Button?

by marcia chambers | Jan 19, 2017 9:43 am

Harry Droz PhotoAre Connecticut’s farms and forests being paved over by avenues of solar panels?

State Rep. Lonnie Reed, (D-102nd) and State Sen.Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-12th) are looking into that question. They have co-introduced a proposed Green Plan Law that is designed to figure out “best practices and rational approaches” to building grid-scale renewables and other energy infrastructure throughout the state.

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“We Are All Immigration Lawyers Now”

by marcia chambers | Jan 13, 2017 8:59 am | Comments (2)

Lucy Gellman Photo As the Trump administration prepares to take office, David Rosen, a longtime New Haven civil rights attorney, and fellow lawyers are preparing to tackle new areas of law in order to protect people who may need them. 

“We are all immigration lawyers, now,” Rosen said quoting a colleague responding to comments by president-elect Trump that he plans to round up and deport undocumented immigrants and penalize “sanctuary cities” like New Haven. Trump will have broad presidential powers to crack down on those cities, USA Today wrote this week.

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Kennedy Challenges ‘E-Cert’ Use for State Budget

by marcia chambers | Dec 12, 2016 8:08 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo In the view of State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., Connecticut’s use of an “emergency certification” procedure to deliver the budget as the legislative session ends is creating turmoil for legislators and abusing the budgetary process. It needs to be reformed, he said. .

In an interview, Kennedy said the budget arrives under an emergency certification or “e-cert,” a process that may be invoked when the state faces a natural emergency. Think hurricane clean-up funding, for example.  The use of “e-cert” enables legislative leaders to suspend rules applicable to regular bills, including that the budget be given to legislators 48 hours before they vote. The “e-cert” designation means an immediate vote on a bill is necessary.  Forty-eight hours is not a lot of time, especially with long, complicated budget items, but it is often more than they have now.

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State Grants Awarded to Preserve Branford, Madison Woodlands

by Staff | Nov 17, 2016 8:10 am

File Photo State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) announced yesterday that Branford and Madison would receive major state grants aimed at preserving nearly 100 acres of significant forest land within their towns.

Kennedy was joined by Representatives Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), and Noreen Kokoruda (R-Madison) as he announced that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program had approved $91,000 for Branford’s Red Hill Road property. The Red Hill property, located off Exit 56 at I-95, was recently acquired by the Branford Land Trust (BLT). This 29.1-acre undeveloped wood lot is within the Hoadley Creek watershed and contributes to an existing greenway of forest land.

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Reed, Kelly Clash On Budget, Regionalism, Special Ed

by marcia chambers | Nov 1, 2016 6:48 am

Marcia Chambers Photo At a lively debate last week, Democratic State Rep. Lonnie Reed of Branford and her Republican opponent Chris Kelly made it clear that each has fundamentally different positions on the idea of towns sharing services, on how special education is funded and in playing the blame game. 

Reed, who is seeking her fifth term in office as state representative of the 102nd District, and Kelly, who is new to politics, squared off in an hour-long debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Kelly, who arrived in Branford with his wife and daughter 16 months ago, is a first-time candidate for public office. The debate, the only one scheduled between the candidates, was held at Fire Headquarters and drew about 45 people.

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A Blue Ribbon Opening for Branford Train Station

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 29, 2016 8:09 am

Mary Johnson Photo Citing its asset to the town and beyond, state and local officials snipped the bright blue ribbon and declared the newly expanded Branford Train Station officially open.

However, not surprisingly, the station will not be fully operational until Saturday, Nov. 5. Delays in this railroad project have been a recurring theme since it got underway in 2013. 

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Kennedy, Wilson Differ On Tolls, Undecided On Right-To-Die

by marcia chambers | Oct 23, 2016 9:02 am | Comments (2)

Robert Rattner Photo Democratic State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. and Republican businessman Bruce Wilson, Jr. engaged in a brisk and lively debate last week, agreeing with each other that the state’s education financing structure is broken and disagreeing on the use of tolls at the state’s borders. Each candidate agreed that any proposed right to-die legislation needs to be examined carefully.

A number of the questions raised dealt with seniors in part because their first debate was sponsored by the AARP and the League of Women Voters. (LWV).

About 200 people came out to hear the debate between the two candidates, who were back on stage for the first time since they debated in 2014 when they first ran against one another for what was then an open State Senate seat.  The debate was televised by BCTV.

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