Wins, Losses and Bills Left for OT at the General Assembly

by CT Mirror Staff | Jun 8, 2017 11:17 am

CT. Mirror Photo The 2017 session of the Connecticut General Assembly ended at midnight Wednesday, leaving the usual list of wins, losses and unfinished business.

The biggest item left on the to-do list, of course, is the matter of a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Here’s a quick rundown of some of the bills that made it to the desk of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, are on hold until the budget is resolved or got sidetracked in the session that opened on Jan. 4 with a membership nearly evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

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Senate Unanimously Adopts Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

by Staff | Jun 7, 2017 12:05 pm

File Photo State Sen.Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), last night led a unanimous bi-partisan state senate to adopt a series of major policy changes in how the state fights an ongoing opioid crisis. Kennedy, a health care attorney, said the bill will transform the way Connecticut fights the opioid epidemic on a variety of fronts. 

The new bill law establishes a “standing order” model, which will make it easier for friends and family members of opioid addicts to obtain Narcan, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. It also requires doctors to reduce the maximum opioid prescription for minors from seven days to five unless the doctor can document the need for an extended prescription. 

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Girls’ Lacrosse Heads to Semi-Finals in State Tournament

by Bill O'Brien | Jun 5, 2017 8:33 am

Bill O'Brien Photo The Branford girls’ lacrosse team emerged victorious in the first two games in the Class M State Tournament last week, defeating the Foran Lions 15-3 last Tuesday and the Farmington team in a home game on Thursday. Next is the semi-finals against top rated East Lyme on Wednesday, June 7 at Guilford High School at 7 p.m. Here Morgan Gillman has an intense look getting in position to score.

Bill O'Brien Photo Before the lacrosse team, coached by Jackie Ceccolini entered the state tournament, they were up against a series of strong teams, including Lauralton Hall, Cheshire, and Daniel Hand. These are the teams that made up the SCC final four and they played last week. Based on team records for the season Branford was the no. 4 ranked team and drew Cheshire, which was ranked no. 1.  Here Sophie Spencer celebrates after getting a big goal.

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Town Leaders Cushion Taxpayer’s Bill

by marcia chambers | Jun 2, 2017 11:03 am

Marcia Chambers Photo Faced with an as yet uncertain and unresolved state budget, Branford’s Board of Finance (BOF) this week agreed to take up to $6.4 million in funds from the town’s current $21 million undesignated fund balance in order to give the taxpayer a break.

In doing so the BOF set the mill rate at 28.47, up 1.06 mills over 27.41, which was last year’s mill rate. Taxes for homeowners will go up by 3.85 percent. The mill rate is the factor upon which property taxes are determined.

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House Passes Bill To Curtail Affordable Housing Act Abuses

by marcia chambers | May 31, 2017 12:13 pm

File Photo Shortly before midnight, the state’s House of Representatives passed an affordable housing bill aimed at curtailing exploitation by developers under the Affordable Housing Act. By a vote of 116-13, the House voted overwhelmingly to update the statute.

The bill now goes to the Senate, and if called, is expected to pass. However, the 2017 legislative session heads to mandatory adjournment next week on June 7 and often bills get stuck, dying on the other side of the midnight deadline. 

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Town Officials Seek Ways to Insulate Taxpayers

by marcia chambers | May 30, 2017 11:00 am

File Photo First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove, Finance Director Jim Finch and members of the Board of Finance (BOF) are working on ways to reduce a potentially stunning hike in the mill rate that could leave taxpayers in a financial pickle. 

As the setting of the mill rate draws near (it takes places tonight at Fire Headquarters when the Board of Finance holds a special meeting at 7:30 p.m.), the town’s top officials have sought to find ways to help insulate the taxpayer from unexpected budget increases brought on by a huge state deficit. The town is required by town charter to set its mill rate by June 1.The first payment is due by July 1 and is considered delinquent after Aug 1.

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State Budget Crisis Hits Branford; Soaring Mill Rate Possible

by marcia chambers | May 21, 2017 9:33 am

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s ’s latest budget proposal cuts an additional $2.1 million from Branford’s funding, creating a possible hike in the mill rate to 7.64 percent, town officials say. It’s an extraordinary jump that would have a far-reaching impact on the town.  Had the state not made drastic cuts in the town’s budget, the taxpayer’s bill would have gone up by 1.42 percent. 
 
To make matters worse, the three major Wall Street rating agencies downgraded Connecticut’s bonds in the last ten days, casting yet a longer pall over the state’s situation. They are S&P Global Ratings,  Moody’s Investor Services and Fitch Ratings. 

 

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RTM Adopts Whopping $111.8 M School-Town Budget

by marcia chambers | May 15, 2017 8:04 am

Marcia Chambers Photo The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) last week adopted a whopping $111.8 million school-town budget, the result of a state financial crisis that drove the legislative body to adopt a town budget increasing the taxpayer’s bill by 5.33 percent. Last year’s school-town budget was $105,891.217. But the process isn’t over.

“We are basically trying to assess the impact on us based on what we know, and we have made provisions to deal with it,” despite enormous uncertainty, Finance Director Jim Finch told the Eagle in an interview last week. The next and final step takes place a week from today, on May 22, when the Board of Finance (BOF) meets at Fire Headquarters to set the mill rate. At this juncture, the mill rate is currently estimated at 28.87 mills, but it could go lower if the BOF acts to do so. Last year’s mill rate came in at 27.41

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Should the RTM Decide the Site of Parkside Village?

by marcia chambers | Apr 25, 2017 7:28 am

Marcia Chambers Photo A group of Democratic Representative Town Meeting (RTM) members rose as one at this month’s RTM meeting to denounce the make-up, legality and the reach of a special RTM sub-committee set up to decide if the Parkside Village affordable housing project will be built at the former site of the Branford Hills Elementary School (pictured above).

The uproar about the RTM sub-committee and its purpose came after RTM Moderator Dennis Flanagan (R-5th) appointed Ray Ingraham (R-5th), RTM Republican majority leader, as chair of the sub-committee. Both Ingraham and Flanagan represent the Fifth District where Parkside Village has been located since the 1970s. The 30-member RTM consists of 19 Republicans and 11 Democrats, representing seven districts.

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