SENATE APPROVES CONCESSIONS DEAL
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut Senate has given final legislative approval to a state employee concession deal that’s supposed to reduce the projected $5 billion state budget deficit by $1.5 billion over the next two years. The evenly divided Senate voted 18-18 Monday in favor of the agreement. That required Democratic Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman to break the tie, casting the deciding vote in favor of the deal Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy negotiated with union leaders. Democrats say the deal includes significant savings, which add up to $24 billion over 20 years. But Republicans say it doesn’t solve the state’s long-term fiscal problems and locks future governors and legislators into a pension and health care agreement until 2027. Democratic Senate President Martin Looney said the deal moves lawmakers closer to a two-year budget.
SENATE OKAYS CASINO BILL
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The state Senate has approved amended agreements that could lead to Connecticut’s first casino on nontribal land. Monday’s 27-8 vote comes exactly one week after the House of Representatives voted in favor of the amended compacts and memoranda of understanding between the state and the two federally recognized tribes, the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans. It’s now up to the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to sign off on those same changes. The revised agreements ensure that a proposed satellite casino the tribes want to build in East Windsor to compete with MGM Resorts’ casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, will not compromise the state’s current revenue-sharing arrangement with the tribes, which own Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. MGM has said it will continue to challenge the state’s process in court.
HEARING ON SEASIDE
Members of the public offer their thoughts on several proposals to convert the former Seaside property in Waterford into a state park. There are four plans on the table, one of which would turn the 32-acre site into a so-called destination park. Waterford resident Gullina Smith says she’s not sold on the concept, worrying about trespassing and environmental impacts. Waterford resident Bill Sheehan says he doesn’t think the state could fund a destination park at Seaside and should sell to a private developer. The state is also considering a passive park, an ecological park, and a hybrid park for the property. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is accepting public comment on the proposals until August 25th.
NO SEXUAL ASSAULT
Officials from the West Thompson Fire Department are objecting to the arrest of a former lieutenant on sexual assault charges. In an e-mail statement yesterday, those officials stated that an in-house investigation of Dylan Hamill turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. Hamill is accused of having sex multiple times with a juvenile member of the station. He appeared, briefly, yesterday in Danielson Superior Court where his case was continued until August 28th.
SATTI WANTS TO PRIMARY
New London City Councilor John Satti is hoping to force a primary and win a spot on the November ballot. Satti, a Democrat, has obtained a petition from the registrar of voters. He wishes to run for another term, but was not among the top seven vote-getters at last week’s caucus. He must obtain signatures of five percent of the registered Democrats in the city by August 9th to successfully force a September 12th primary.
MOHEGANS ELECTING LEADERS
Ballots are being distributed this week as five of the Mohegan Tribal Council’s nine members seek re-election. According to “The Day”, unidentified sources have confirmed that the secret ballot voting among members has begun and will conclude on August 27th. In addition to those seeking re-election, there are five new candidates. Council members serve staggered four year terms.
The Norwich Salvation Army will undergo a leadership change this week. Captains Jerry and Mindy Utley have been transferred to Rochester, New York. The Utleys have been leading the office that serves Norwich, Griswold and Preston for the past five years. Lt. Cheryl McCollum will take over on Wednesday.