State

A Deal With The Devil

coreIt seems like  parents can’t even look out and do what they think is in the best interest of their own children without the threat of blackmail looming over their heads. If they allow enough of them to opt out of the Common Core testing, then Washington (The Devil) could revoke the waiver to the punitive requirements of the No Child Left Behind law. It’s pretty sad when students and parents are put in a position where their option is to either capitulate, or feel the effects of the Federal Government’s blackmail. Our children’s educational agenda should not be based on threats of losing funds. 

 

From Ct. Mirror:

 

Malloy: CT could lose money if many students opt out of standardized tests
By: Jacqueline Rabe Thomas |

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Monday that federal law restricts students from opting out of taking standardized tests, and if the state were to give students that option, it would put the state at risk of losing millions of federal dollars.

“From a guy that grew up with dyslexia and had real physical as well as perceptual difficulties, I understand people’s anxiety about testing. I certainly had my own,” the Democratic governor said Monday on “Where We Live,” a public affairs radio show on WNPR.

“I’ve given my read of what the law is, and we must be compliant with the mandates of No Child Left Behind as it is currently implemented, and that requires all of the states to be engaged in some form of testing,” he said.

Malloy said he is concerned that if too few students take the Common Core-aligned standardized test, the U.S. Department of Education may rescind the state’s waiver to the punitive requirements of the No Child Left Behind law.

As we start to implement Common Core Standards, instead of playing the blame game, we should concentrate on moving those districts that are behind in implementation forward.

When students start taking Common Core exams, the results will “expose that we have a middle-class crisis in this country,” said the CEO of a charter school network at Monday’s annual Yale School of Management Education Leadership Conference.

While 42 states have received waivers, Malloy pointed to Washington state, which became the first state to lose its waiver last week as proof that the federal government will not hesitate to revoke waivers and limit what federal funding can be spent on.

“I read over the weekend that at least one state is about to be defunded to the extent of about $40 million for their lack of compliance… I certainly don’t want to see our state fall into that situation,” he said.

Connecticut districts received $107.7 million this school year in Title 1 grants from the federal government that could be targeted if the state loses its waiver, a spokeswoman for the State Department of Education said last month.

The State Department of Education reported in December that a “greater number of parents [are] desiring to remove their children from participation in the statewide testing program.”

In previous years only a handful of parents statewide sought an exemption from the state and federal requirements that every student be tested in math, reading and writing in Grades 3 through 8 and 10th grade. Science tests are administered in selected grades as well.

As the new standardized tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards come on line this year, some parents and anti-testing advocates have been urging parents to pull their children out of taking the test.

But Malloy said he has no choice but to require students to be tested.

“I didn’t adopt Common Core. My predecessor did. Like handling the deficit, I was also handed the problem of seeing this implemented. Some districts are far ahead of other districts. Some districts folded their arms and said we’ll wait and see,” he said.

While former Gov. M. Jodi Rell entered the state into an agreement with other states to implement Common Core, the Malloy administration signed an agreement in 2012 with the federal government to implement the new standards and tests in order to receive a federal waiver to the No Child Left Behind law.

State

Veterans Face Another War When They Come Home

claimsAnd it’s not one that they should have to. Veterans who apply for disability claims have to wait in the average seven months, some even longer, to have those claims processed. An excellent article from the ctwatchdog

Gene Trotman, 59, of Waterbury, has been fighting for so long to get disability benefits from the Veterans Benefits Administration, he now wonders if “maybe they’re waiting for me to die.”

Trotman, an Air Force veteran who served in the early 1970s, initially sought benefits in 1991 for a psychiatric condition. After several denials, he was finally approved for disability compensation last July. But, he still hasn’t received any money. He is waiting for the VBA Hartford Regional Office to complete the process which determines how much he will get.

Connecticut veterans typically wait more than seven months, an average of 213 days, to have claims processed, according to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs figures compiled by the Center for Investigative Reporting.

As of Jan. 28, a total of 1,364 state veterans’ cases were backlogged out of 2,750 who have filed claims, the numbers show. Waits longer than 125 days are considered backlogged. For appeals of VBA decisions, the average wait is more than three years – 1,181 days.

Nationally, there are 821,966 claims pending, and 71 percent (585,234) are backlogged with an average wait time of nine months, figures show.

The VA has vowed to improve. ”We recognize that too many veterans are waiting too long to get the benefits they have earned, and this is unacceptable,” VA Undersecretary for Benefits Allison A. Hickey said in a recent press release.

The VA’s goal is that no veteran will wait more than 125 days for a disability claim to be processed by July 2015. However, much skepticism has been expressed about whether that can happen.

The Congressional Government Accountability Office (GAO), which issued a December report on the delays, and State Veterans Affairs Commissioner Linda S. Schwartz are among those raising questions about whether the goal can be reached.

“At least, they have a goal,” Schwartz said, but she pointed out the VA’s plan to take an “archaic” paper system to a computerized one is an enormous task. “While the rest of the world has moved on to higher technology, the VA has a very large curve. They’re really behind the 8-ball,” she said.

As of mid-January, 18 VBA regional offices, including Hartford, have begun the switch to a new computerized system, while the other 38 are expected to do so by the end of this year, according to a recent VA press release.

The GAO warned that backlogs could continue because Read More

State

Amazon Set To Collect Sales Tax In Ct.

amazon

kachingAmazon’s standoff with the State of Connecticut is coming to an end with the announcement that Amazon will spend $50 million building a facility in the state, and creating hundreds of jobs.

 

Amazon has long argued that it wasn’t required to collect sales tax in Connecticut because they did not have a physical presence (nexus) in the state. The state argued that sales reps constituted that presence and Amazon then ended its relationship with the affiliates in the state. A move that cost the state tax dollars from the income those affiliates would have reported as income. It’s a step in the right direction attracting new business and revenue. But a lot more needs to be done in attracting good, well paying long term jobs. Link

State

Common Sense Dept: Higher Fines & Confiscation

saveWho hasn’t been annoyed at drivers who are yakking on their cell phones or texting while driving? Well state lawmakers are considering raising the fines for violating the ban on cell phone use while driving but I don’t think it goes far enough. Make the first violation $500 and the second violation $1,000 and confiscation of the device. Harsh? Well yes it is, but that’s the point. When the risk of getting caught and having to pay that price, it may well serve as an effective deterrent.

 

To be fair, law enforcement has been cracking down on cell phone use. Nabbing the texting violator is harder as law enforcement officials have a harder time determining the position of use by the driver. Raising the fines is only going to work if the fine is large enough to make the driver think twice before engaging in such activity.

 

From The Litchfield County Times:

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — State lawmakers are holding a public hearing on increasing the fines for violating Connecticut’s ban on using hand-held cell phones while driving.

The Transportation Committee has set the hearing for 10 a.m. Monday in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.

The proposed bill would double the fines for talking on cell phones without hands-free devices, texting and other cell phone use while driving.

The current fines are $100 for a first violation, $150 for a second violation and $200 for subsequent violations. Some lawmakers want to increase the penalties to $200 for a first violation, $300 for a second violation and $500 for subsequent violations.

 

State

McKinney Hints At 2014 Run For Governor

mckinneyFairfield State Senator John McKinney got on Governor Dannel Malloy’s case during an appearance on Face the State with Dennis House, set to air Sunday on WFSB-TV, Hartford.

From The Hartfordite:

During the taping McKinney said he wants to run for governor to reverse Malloy’s policies. “Governor Malloy has brought us nothing more than higher taxes and more spending…..the state is going in the wrong direction,” McKinney said. The Fairfield native, who also represents Newtown, defended Malloy’s predecessor, Jodi Rell, and blames the state’s financial crisis on Democrats, who have controlled the General Assembly for nearly two decades. McKinney blamed Malloy for raising “sales, income, and property taxes.” Read Full Story

State

Switched At Birth?

                                             

 

 

 


 

Dannel Malloy                                                  Stephen Colbert

State

Anyone Can Enact A Tax, But What Good Is It If You Can’t Collect It?

The Amazon tax passed last year in Connecticut is a bust. As stated in a column here (Opinion: Amazon Tax Backfiring In Connecticut May, 25, 2011), the move to implement the tax only succeeded in having those online retailers pull out of Connecticut. In addition, all those companies that had affiliates in the state pulled out in protest. Thereby putting all those affiliates out of work which reduced the amount of taxes the state would have otherwise collected. A lose, lose situation.

 

Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said the tax has brought no appreciable revenue to the state’s coffers. From Ct News Junkie

 

State Unable To Collect Amazon Tax

by Hugh McQuaid | Nov 16, 2012 5:30am
(7) Comments | Log in to Post a Comment
Posted to: Business, State Budget, Taxes

 

Christine Stuart photoChristine Stuart photoRevenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan

It’s been more than a year since the state’s so-called Amazon tax went into effect, requiring all online retailers to remit sales taxes to the state. But so far the state’s been unable to collect revenue from it.

Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan said the tax has brought no appreciable revenue to the state’s coffers. Sullivan made the comments Thursday before the governor’s monthly commissioners meeting where his budget secretary gave a presentation on the state’s current $365 million budgetary shortfall. The gap was caused in large part by declining revenue.

So far, the Amazon tax has been about as effective as Sullivan predicted it would be in April 2011, when he wrote to budget Secretary Ben Barnes. At the time, the Office of Fiscal Analysis was projecting a $9.4 million revenue bump as a result of the tax. Sullivan told Barnes not to expect the added cash because the tax was uncollectible.

Although people are required to pay a use tax for goods purchased online from companies in other states, the tax is ignored by most.

But following the passage of the Amazon tax bill, major online retailers like Amazon and Overstock.com pulled their business from affiliated companies in Connecticut.

 

Hugh McQuaid photoHugh McQuaid photoTim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association

So has the tax been a total loss? Not if you ask Tim Phelan, president of the Connecticut Retail Merchants Association. Phelan said that if nothing else, the tax has sent a symbolic message to brick and mortar stores who are at a disadvantage having to compete with online stores not charging sales tax.

“States like Connecticut have said ‘We don’t know what kind of impact this is going to have but goddamnit we’re going to do it because it’s not fair,’” he said. “. . . At least it’s sent a signal to Connecticut retailers that the state of Connecticut cares about them.”

But Sen. Andrew Roraback, the ranking Republican on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, said that while the tax sent a message, he wasn’t sure passing the bill was a fruitful exercise.

“I’m very sympathetic to my local bookstore. I want to help it succeed but I think we should help them by doing something constructive. If we’re sending messages that are ineffective, I’m not sure how constructive that is,” Roraback said.

Roraback said he thought the state had essentially thrown its hands in the air and given up on the tax and hoped Congress would pass a solution. Sullivan said both the state and federal government are pursuing avenues to resolve the situation.

The state is hoping to get major retailers to agree to collect and remit the tax. Sen. Eileen Daily, co-chairwoman of the Finance Committee, predicted last May the state would soon have some sort of agreement with Sears. So far that hasn’t happened. But Sullivan suggested the state was in talks with a major retailer.

“Nothing will happen until we can get one of the major retailers to bite,” he said. “That’s as much as I can say right now.”

The other prospect would be an act of Congress. Sullivan said there have been a few pieces of legislation aimed at getting online stores to pay sales taxes to states. Though they have yet to pass, he said the lawmakers who were pushing the bills have been re-elected.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he expects Congress to act during next year’s legislative session, in part because of pressure created by laws like the Amazon tax.

“I believe and predict that there will be a resolution of that issue in this Congress as a result of what we and other states have done,” Malloy said. “When we have a global answer to this . . . I think it will be very good for brick and mortar retailers.”

Malloy said that if Congress acts quickly in its first few months, online sales tax may even be able help raise revenue during the next fiscal year when the state is projecting a $1.18 billion shortfall.

“If we can build it into our July 1 assumptions, there’s a plus side for us,” he said.

State

Some Post Election Thoughts

 

 

For a year President Obama said that Gov. Mitt Romney wants to take us back to the old policies and ideas that got us into this economic mess…. yet the very first thing he said after being reelected was his desire to sit down face to face with Romney to explore ways to get the economy going. Huh?…..Huh?

 

 

Linda McMahon spent $50 million in her quest for Joe Liebermans Senate seat, which she lost to Chris Murphy. This is on top of the $50 million she spent in her run against Richard Blumenthal in 2010. In both campaigns McMahon ran on the issue of jobs and how she was a job creator who knows how to get things done. Now I voted for McMahon both times but I also feel that if she was such a jobs creator (which she was), then I would have thought she could be more productive by taking that $100 million along with access to just as much if not more in credit lines,  and either buy, start or transplant a company to Ct and create more jobs. Because quite frankly Linda that $100 million is now just pissed away.

 

 

The Monday morning quarterbacks were out in full force Wednesday spouting off on why Romney lost the Presidential election. Oh Romney ran a bad campaign, obama ran a good one, voters still blame Bush for the bad economy, the hurricane knocked the wind out of Romneys sails, that lovefest between Gov Chris Christie and President Obama was somehow interpreted to mean Christie was endorsing Obama, blah, blah, blah. The reason Obama won was because more people voted for him. It’s that simple.

 

 

The worst thing about the election? As of yesterday the race for 2016 is now in play.

 

 

State

If You Think Fuel For Your Car Is High Wait Until You See What Fuel For Your Body Could Be. Got 7$?

 

A gallon of milk $7? Could be. Due to the failure of Congress to approve its version of a farm bill, they recessed last month without reauthorizing billions of dollars in federal programs. Action isn’t expected to take place if at all until after the election when a lame duck congress session reconvenes. Talk about milking the consumer.

 

From The Ct. Mirror:

Washington — The price of a gallon of milk could top $7 soon, and if that happens Congress would be to blame, the nation’s milk producers say.

The reason the price of milk and other dairy products could skyrocket is that the two federal programs that help regulate dairy prices expired Sept. 30 because Congress failed to reauthorize a five-year farm bill.

“We’re facing a ‘dairy cliff,'” said Chris Galen, spokesman for the National Milk Producers Federation.

The Senate did approve a new farm bill, on a bipartisan basis, earlier this year.

That bill would scrap the old dairy programs in favor of a new one that would provide farmers a subsidy when prices are low and cost of production — including feed, fuel, labor and shipping — is high.

The bill would also allow dairy farmers to increase their financial protection by buying new federally subsidized insurance coverage that would pay out when profit margins dip. Connecticut’s $1 billion a year dairy industry backed the bill.

But the House failed read more

State

Ct Foreclosure Victims Can Now File A Claim

 

Nearly 9,000 notices are going out to Connecticut borrowers enabling them to file a claim for a payment for homes lost to foreclosure. The payments are from the $25 billion National Mortgage Foreclosure settlement. Payments will be at least $840 and possibly higher. From Ct Watchdog

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said today that payment claim forms are going out to thousands of Connecticut borrowers whose homes were lost to foreclosure between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2011, and who may be eligible for payment under the $25 billion National Mortgage Foreclosure settlement.

Eligible borrowers were foreclosed upon during that period and had mortgages with Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation’s five largest mortgage servicers who agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia. read more

State

Get Ready For The Tax Fireworks On Friday

 

Beginning on Friday it will cost more to purchase clothing and shoes when the sales tax exemption for those items under $50 goes bye bye. If you think you’ll save money by making your own clothes, that will also cost you more as those items were previously exempt but will now be subject to the 6.35% sales tax.  Also taxed will be consignment store purchases, yoga classes, spa services and pet grooming. It’s enough to drive you to drink. Forgetaboutit! That’ll cost ya more too.  For more of Gov. Malloys arranging the chairs on the Titantic read ctnow:

 

Planning to buy new summer clothes or footwear? Getting a manicure or pedicure? Taking ayoga class? Getting Rover groomed? Stocking up on your favorite libation?

You might want to do it before Friday.

To help balance the budget, lawmakers have increased the state sales tax, levied taxes on items formerly exempt and raised taxes on a range of goods and services. more

State

A Little Bit Of Mary Jane, No Big Thing

The state House of Representatives today gave final legislative approval to a bill that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The decriminalization bill would make the possession of a half-ounce of marijuana or less–about 30 joints — akin to receiving a speeding ticket rather than a criminal offense. First-time offenders would face a $150 fine; second and subsequent offenses would draw a penalty of at least $200 but no more than $500. Some were against the measure like Rep. Frank Nicastro D-Bristol who said “There is no doubt in mind that marijuana is the gateway to future drugs. What we’re saying to the youth of our state is it’s not a crime anymore and they’re going to take advantage of that because they don’t realize how dangerous marijuana can be”.

Rep. Brenda Kupchick R-Fairfield disagreed saying  she has family members who were drug addicts and state law had nothing to do with their addiction.

“I’ve known a lot of people over my lifetime who’ve used marijuana, and who grew up to be productive citizens and never used drugs again,” Kupchick said. “And I know people who took drugs out of their parents’ medicine cabinet and became full blown drug addicts and lost their lives.”

The bill now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who immediately hailed its passage and pledged to sign it when it reaches his desk. For full article read CAPITOLWATCH

State

Opinion: The State Is Sick And This Law Is Not Making It Better

blogs.courant.com

The Senate voted 18 to 17 Wednesday to pass the nation’s first state mandate on private employers to offer paid sick days. The measure has Gov. Dannel Malloys support as it goes to the House where it is expected to pass. This act by the General Assembly and the Governor is just another hostile move towards small businesses in Connecticut.

The law requires affected companies to give one hour of sick time for every 40 hours of work, up to a maximum of five days a year. It is effective Jan. 1.  It applies to dozens of specific types of service workers at companies with more than 50 employees.  Exempt are manufacturers, municipalities, and YMCAs.

Senate Minority Leader John P. McKinney, R-Fairfield, noted that benefit is required of a large restaurant, but not the school cafeteria where his children eat daily.

“It’s OK if our kids are served food from someone who is sick, but it’s not OK if someone goes into a restaurant?” McKinney said. ctmirror

In a perfect world all the arguments for this bill would make sense, but as anyone in the workplace that has sick days already know, it’s a free day off with pay. How many of us have used that privileged day for things other than illness? So under the guise of letting mommy stay home to care for her child or daddy to stay home as not to share his germs with fellow workers, the small business owner is being mandated to pay them whether that is the reason or not-it’s theirs to use.

Once again the fine print in these bills are never explained either. Why are manufacturers exempt? Why? What makes them different than the small business owner when it come to the argument of paying employees to stay home when they are sick? Ditto municipalities. Do theses employees have non contagious germs or something? This is deja vu where the healthcare reform was passed and mandated for the public but wasn’t good enough for Congress to be part of.

The course the State of Connecticut is on is one of ruin. Higher taxes which will suppress if not depress growth, a state Earned Income Credit (EIC), which on the federal level is the most abused tax policy in place and can be expected to become abused here as well,  and the counterproductive estate taxes for small business owners. In addition the Governor has implemented policies that have already been proven in other states and at the federal level has having been failures such as the Amazon Tax (virtually unenforceable as even acknowledged by Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan), and the luxury tax tried at the federal level back in 1991, which had such a devastating affect on those industries that it was eventually repealed.

It’s clear in my mind that the financial course the state is on is a recipe for disaster, and should come as no surprise when our neighboring states begin to see signs of recovery while we wallow in the stranglulation of regulations and higher taxes.

State

Opinion: Amazon Tax Backfiring In Connecticut

The passage of the so called Amazon Tax that requires retailers with no physical presence in the state , but have advertising contracts with Connecticut based websites, to collect 6.35 percent sales tax from consumers who buy from them is already showing the negative consequences of doing so.

Overstock.com and literally dozens of other retailers have canceled their contracts with affiliate marketers in Connecticut and more are sure to follow. Prior to passing the new law online retailers were not required to collect sales tax if they did not have a “nexus” (physical presence) in the state. The state argues that affiliate marketers act as sales reps for the retailers thereby giving them a physical presence in the state.

It is obvious that the companies that are pulling out are finding it to be not cost effective to comply with this law and the losers in this whole thing are the affiliate marketers just trying to make a living and the state which will not wind up with the projected revenue.

From Hartford Business.com

In its assessment of the bill, the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis said the measure would raise $9.4 million a year, but only if online retailers don’t terminate their affiliate agreements in the state.

If other companies follow Overstock.com as well as these 50 others the state can kiss that $9.4 million goodbye.

State

Your Take Home Pay Is Going To Shrink Come August

With the implementation of the new state income tax rates as well as the property tax credit reduction, the withholding tables for Connecticut tax will be revised in August. The new rates and credit reduction is retroactive to Jan. 1, 2011 so what that essentially means is taxes will have to be made up for the full twelve months in only five months. From The ctmirror

The tax legislation enacted earlier this month makes a number of changes, including creation of an earned income tax credit for the poorest working families and a reduction in the maximum property tax credit from $500 to $300. But the key to the withholding changes for most taxpayers is the addition of three new income tax rates, including a new top rate of 6.7 percent.

Though the new fiscal year starts July 1, Malloy and lawmaker reached back to the start of the calendar year to impose those new rates. Whatever increased tax burden falls on a worker in 2011 will be withheld from paychecks between Aug. 1 and Dec. 31.

“I expect it will be shock to some,” Rep. Patricia Widlitz, D-Guilford, co-chairwoman of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, said Thursday. “But I don’t know how…Read Full Article

State

Commentary:When Reaction Is Worse Than The Circumstance

In a column by Jon Lender in courant.com, former  Governor Jodi Rell‘s chief of staff M Lisa Moody has been approved for retirement at age 51, and has begun collecting a $55,200-a-year lifetime pension, according to information obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request from the Office of the State Comptroller.  She is also eligible for lifetime health benefits. The narrowly drawn provision was inserted into the state’s retirement laws in 1992. From courant.com

The provision grants retirement, at a reduced rate, before age 55 for 25-year state employees under certain conditions. One condition is if they are “terminated from state service because of … lack of reappointment to a position in the unclassified service” — which is the category of state service that political appointees such as Moody fall under. Read Full Article

While this has outraged many taxpayers of Connecticut, the fact is that Moody did nothing wrong, illegal, or unethical, as she followed everything allowed by law. You and I would do the same thing if available to us. Since it’s not available to most of us, I suggest now that the cat is out of the bag for the current governor and General Assembly to immediately introduce legislation to repeal this provision toot sweet. Are you listening John McKinney?

The real shame here is the response by the posters on courant.com to this story. By far I am no fan of political correctness, having grown up in an era where pretty much a lot of what is taboo to say today was said back then, and quite frankly we all got along just fine. But the remarks unfortunately resort to cheap personal attacks dwelling on Moodys weight instead of a collective intelligent discussion of the issue at hand. That’s just ignorant at best and insensitive at worst. Funny how you can call someone a pig and not get called on it, yet say anything  relating to the color of their skin or sexual orientation and boom you are called on the carpet over it.

The sad part of it, is this was a great opportunity to vent outrage over the PROVISION and it is being diverted by imbecile remarks. Read

 

State

Opinion: Malloy Still Doesn’t Get It

Or should I say he gets it….WRONG! Another example of how the three states in the tri state area are dealing with budgets that separates Connecticut from New York and New Jersey, is the announcement made yesterday by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo ,that Waterbury based AmkaiSolutions, a healthcare software company is relocating out of Connecticut to Armonk in Westchester County creating 103 jobs.

“I commend AmkaiSolutions for their investment in New York and for joining a growing community of high-tech industries in the Hudson Valley. I look forward to their further prosperity and expansion”, Cuomo said.

The major difference between what the governors of New York and New Jersey are doing and Malloy is focusing on the weak spot of the economy-jobs, jobs, jobs! Cuomo and Christie see the wisdom in laying the groundwork for the basis of much needed revenue to close their respective budget gaps. Malloy however is taking the road of more and higher taxes as the way to deal with the budget shortfall, further tapping an already exhausted tax base of individuals and businesses. Whoever  thought  a company would relocate of all places to New York with a governor named Cuomo?

Until the governor and State Legislature start adopting a more business friendly atmosphere, I’m afraid we can expect more of Connecticuts business resources to relocate out of state. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on record of being critical of Malloys tax and spend budget, said he’ll be waiting at the border for Connecticut jobs. His only problem will be stopping Governor Cuomo from getting them first.

State

Consumer Dept: Be Careful When Buying Gift Cards

With Mother’s and Father’s Day coming up, a lot of gift cards will be purchased as gifts. Depending on what you buy and from where can make the difference between a memorable gift or a nightmare of disappointment.  Recently the Attorney Generals office received complaints from consumers who tried using gift cards purchased from a New York company SimplyCertificates. Apparently the company went out of business and left cardholders with cards that weren’t being honored.  From ctwatchdog.com

 

The Better Business Bureau lists three firms named Simply Certificates in upstate New York, apparently all connected to each other. Two of them have an F rating while the third one which lists gift certificates as its business, has the following alert: “According to information in BBB files, it appears that this business is no longer in business.” Read Full Article

State

That Next Phone Call From Your Cell Phone May Be For A Ride Home

The Connecticut legislature’s judiciary committee passed a bill on Thursday that would allow police to confiscate the drivers licenses for 24 hours for texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. The bill is intended to discourage drivers from using their cellphones while driving by making the penalties tougher. Some lawmakers argue whether the bill could be enforced and whether police have the logistics to seize motorists licenses.  The bill still needs approval of the House of Representatives and the state Senate, as well as the signature of the governor before becoming law. Full story courant.com

State

In April, Connecticut Taxpayers Are The Fools

And then again in October. When state employees stay on the job for 10 years or more they get a little give-away called Longevity pay. It is simply compensation for staying with the state for a period of time and this pay is awarded twice during the year, in April and then again in October.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield is calling for elimination of these outrageous payouts that cost the taxpayers of Connecticut tens of millions of dollars every year.  For more read Capitol Watch


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