FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

HOSPITAL TAX CONCERNS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Legislative staff and attorneys are reviewing concerns raised by Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy about whether the bipartisan state budget that passed the General Assembly on Thursday puts hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding at risk. The governor’s communications director says Malloy’s staff met Friday with the group to discuss why the administration believes the bill fails to create a federally compliant health care tax. Under the complicated proposal, the state receives federal reimbursement tied to the tax paid by hospitals. Ben Barnes, Malloy’s budget director, says if the federal government invalidates the tax, Connecticut could face a $1 billion shortfall. Legislative leaders have said they’ll fix the problem, if it becomes necessary. Malloy has until Wednesday to sign the two-year, $41.3 billion budget into law.

U.S. ATTORNEY FOR CT LEAVING

Deirdre Daly

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s top federal prosecutor says she is resigning now that Attorney General Jeff Sessions has named her replacement. U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly announced Friday she will leave her post effective midnight after serving four years. Sessions signed an order appointing John H. Durham as the Interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut. Durham was sworn in Friday in New Haven by Chief U.S. District Judge Janet Hall. Daly is part of a small group of career prosecutors who were not immediately ousted in a purge of President Barack Obama’s appointees. In March, she and some others were given more time to reach service anniversaries that are important for retirement benefits. Daly says the job has been “a great honor and privilege,” and that Connecticut is “in excellent hands” with Durham.

RED BARN GROUNDBREAKING

New London’s Mitchell College is beginning its reconstruction of the 4800 square-foot iconic Red Barn, re-creating the Montauk Avenue structure into a large flexible space that can be transformed into a black box theater, classroom, banquet facility, student activity space and event space for community use. State representative Chris Soto spoke at Friday afternoon’s groundbreaking ceremony commending Mitchel President Janet Steinmayer and everyone else involved in the undertaking. Soto reminded those in attendance that this project was not happening by a large corporation, or an outside investor but by someone that’s committed to the New London community: Mitchell College.

FOUNDATION HELP

The state budget plan approved by lawmakers this week, and awaiting action by Governor Malloy, contains 40-million dollars to help homeowners plagued by failing foundations. Tim Heim, president of the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements, believes more affected homeowners are likely to come forward, if the budget’s enacted, and there’s real money on the table to help make repairs. The foundation problems— largely in northeastern Connecticut— have been linked to the mineral “pyrotite” in the concrete.

EVERSOURCE SEEKS RATE HIKE

Power distribution rates would increase under a three-year plan from Eversource Energy. Spokesman Mitch Gross says the average increase for all customer rate classes would be nearly 6.8-percent, starting next May. He says the utility would use the money to continue efforts to harden the electric grid through stronger poles and wires, “smart switches,” and other measures. The company plans to file its formal request with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, next month.

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