DEMOCRATS WANT BUDGET VOTE NEXT WEEK
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – At least one group of Connecticut legislators says it’s pushing forward with a possible state budget vote before the fiscal year ends June 30, even though there’s currently no agreement. Democratic leaders of the House of Representatives said Thursday their rank-and-file members prefer voting June 29 on a new two-year-budget rather than allowing Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to use his executive authority to temporarily run state government. If no budget agreement is ready next week, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz says lawmakers may instead vote on a “continuing resolution” to keep government running. But a Malloy spokeswoman says the governor won’t consider any budget – long- or short-term – that “adds to our fiscal challenges.” Senate Democrats have asked their members to reserve June 29 for a potential session.
CT DEMS DON’T LIKE GOP HEALTH CARE
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Top Connecticut Democrats are sharply criticizing the Senate Republican’s proposal to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, saying it will increase the cost of health care while reducing access. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday predicted “people will needlessly die” under the plan, which proposes cutting Medicaid for low-income Americans and erasing tax increases previously imposed on high-earners and medical companies to finance coverage expansion. Lt Gov. Nancy Wyman predicts the legislation has the potential to create a $1 billion funding hole in Connecticut’s budget in the next decade. U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are both blasting the proposal as cruel and expensive. The two are planning to hold an “emergency field hearing” on Friday at New Haven City Hall to receive public testimony on the Senate GOP bill.
NL CHILD OFFENDER SENTENCED
A New London man will spend the next sixteen and-a-half-years behind bars for trying to get a 13-year old New Jersey girl to meet him for sex. Bryan White is sentenced Thursday in U-S District Court. Authorities say White communicated with the girl on a video chat service, despite the fact the girl told him her age. The girl’s father discovered the messages, contacted police, who assumed the girl’s identity, and arranged her to meet White at the New London bus station on July 5th of last year, where police apprehended him. White has previous convictions in connection with sex crimes against children.
NEW DAY KIMBALL CHIEF
A new President and Chief Executive Officer has been named to lead Day Kimball Healthcare. Anne Diamond leaves her position as the CEO of the John Dempsey Hospital in Farmington to take over the Putnam-based medical organization. Diamond has been in the healthcare field for more than 30 years. She assumes her new job at the end of August. Her appointment was the result of a seven-month national search.
MILITARY SCIENTIST SENTENCED
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A scientist who pleaded guilty to taking sensitive documents from a Connecticut military contractor to his native China has been sentenced to the 2 1/2 years in prison he has already served. Former United Technologies Corp. engineer Yu Long was sentenced Thursday in federal court in Hartford. He had faced four to five years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Federal prosecutors say that Long’s work at United Technologies involved F119 jet engines used in Air Force F-22 Raptors and F135 engines used in Air Force F-35 Lightning II aircraft. After he left the company in 2014, prosecutors say Long brought sensitive information he stole from United Technologies to China, where he worked for a state-run university. Long’s lawyers say he did not give the documents to anyone in China.
RI HOUSE CUTS CAR TAX
The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted to cut the state’s hated car tax. The House voted unanimously Thursday to launch the first phase of a proposed 6-year process to eliminate the vehicle excise taxes imposed by cities and towns. The tax repeal has been a top priority of Democratic House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello and won bipartisan support. It now moves to the state Senate. The first phase is expected to cost the state $26 million to reimburse municipalities for the lost revenue. Fully eliminating the taxes by 2023 would cost about $221 million each year. The first phase would reduce the taxable portion of a car’s retail value and increase the minimum exemption. It also would exempt any car that’s more than 15 years old from being taxed.