NPU BOARD SEEKS LEGAL HELP
Norwich’s Board of Public Utilities Commissioners decides it needs to hire legal counsel before making any final determinations regarding recommended penalties against two city utility officials. The panel says it plans on completing its review by September. The resolution was approved unanimously Tuesday night after a 45-minute executive session. NPU General Manager John Bilda and Division Manager Steve Sinko have been told by the city’s ethics commission they should fully reimburse the city for their participation in an all-expense paid trip last year to the Kentucky Derby. It also recommends more specific guidelines as to NPU-related business travel. Bilda outlined some changes already in place, but says getting the Utilities panel’s pre-approval on all trips just isn’t possible, since some happen on short notice. Public comment at the meeting urged the utility commissioners to accept the ethics panel’s recommendations so that NPU’s reputation isn’t ruined any further.
GOVERNOR AUTHORIZES EAST WINDSOR CASINO
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signed legislation authorizing a new tribal casino in East Windsor, saying “it’s about jobs for the residents of Connecticut.” The Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes say the proposed facility will help them compete with the MGM Resorts Casino being built in Springfield, Massachusetts. They still need various federal and local authorizations, but hope to begin construction by the end of the year.
NO BUDGET DEAL IN SIGHT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — It appears more likely Gov. Dannel P. Malloy will run Connecticut government using his limited executive authority. With no deal in sight for a new two-year budget, House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz is not calling lawmakers back to vote on a mini budget. He says “kicks the can down the road.” Malloy warns he’ll have to make drastic cuts.
GOP HEALTH BILL COULD COST CT
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The governor’s budget office estimates the stalled GOP health care bill could cost Connecticut $2.9 billion annually by 2026. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell announced Tuesday that a vote on the legislation would be delayed until after the July 4 weekend. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy says he hopes the delay will become permanent, noting how tens of thousands of Connecticut residents could be adversely impacted.
COLUMBIA RESIDENTS – DON’T SCARE THE EAGLES
COLUMBIA, Conn. (AP) — July 4th traditions in one Connecticut town are clashing with an effort to protect an iconic symbol of the nation. Authorities in Columbia are asking residents to forgo shooting off fireworks for the sake of a family of bald eagles. Last summer, a pair of eagles became the first to call Columbia Lake home since the species returned to the state in 1992. This spring, an eaglet appeared. Officials say the noise of fireworks could be enough to scare the eaglet out of the nest before it is ready.
NEXT BUDGET STOP: RI STATE SENATE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A $9.2 billion budget plan for Rhode Island’s upcoming fiscal year is moving to a vote in the state Senate after being approved last week by the state House of Representatives. The Senate Finance Committee voted 9-1 to approve the budget plan Tuesday, sending it to a full Senate vote scheduled for Thursday. The proposal includes tax relief for car owners and a pilot program for tuition-free community college.
DOWN TO THE WIRE FOR PASSING BILLS
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island state lawmakers are working to pass dozens of bills in the final days before they adjourn for the year. One bill would protect farmers who want to host weddings and concerts. There are also union-backed measures to extend public employee labor contract agreements after they’ve expired, and to allow firefighters and police officers to get disability pensions if they have an illness.