FRIDAY EVENING UPDATE

MOODY’S ON NEW BUDGET

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A national credit rating agency says Connecticut’s two-year $41.3 billion budget restores revenue and spending predictability, but warns higher education will suffer from spending reductions. In a report released Friday, Moody’s Investors Service says the budget “adds to near-term operating challenges” for the University of Connecticut. UConn says the budget cuts at least $143 million over two years, a figure that includes the UConn Health Center. Moody’s downgraded UConn’s credit rating in July, citing the school’s financial reliance on the state and its thin operating cash flow. The same report warns the state “will continue to face significant fiscal challenges,” including high fixed costs and more deficits starting in fiscal year 2020. Moody’s says such pressures could “create significant credit challenges for local governments and higher education institutions.”

ACCESS HEALTH “ENCOURAGED”

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The CEO of Connecticut’s health insurance exchange says there’s been strong activity during the first full week of open enrollment. Access Health CT CEO Jim Wadleigh says it’s “really encouraging” to see large number of consumers signing up for coverage “despite the confusion in the news.” Officials at the health insurance exchange are pushing ahead with this year’s open enrollment period despite calls by President Donald Trump and fellow Republicans to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The enrollment period ends Dec. 22. Wadleigh said Friday the volume of customers renewing a policy or buying a new one is trending 15 percent higher than last year at this time. More information about locations for in-person help and enrollment support can be found at the agency’s website .

FELON CHARGED

David Small (The Bulletin)

A Norwich man who’s been arrested 25 times is now charged with breaking into numerous motor vehicles in the city during May and June. Police say 45-year old David Small burglarized at least 20 vehicles on the west side of the city during the overnight hours of May 24th and June 10th. Police say Small has been charged with similar burglary sprees in the past, and has been convicted on various charges, including burglary and larceny. He’s being held on 75-thousand dollars bond on his latest charges, and is due in court Monday.

BRIDGE LIT FOR VETS DAY

Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge (Connecticut Magazine)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – The Pearl Harbor Memorial Bridge in New Haven will be lit red, white and blue in honor of the nation’s veterans. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Friday the bridge along Interstate 95, known locally as the Q-Bridge, will be lit Friday and Saturday nights in observation of Veterans Day. Malloy’s office says the beacons, which are capable of projecting light nearly six miles into a clear night sky, will be lit until 1 a.m. both nights. Malloy says “veterans represents the very best of our nation,” noting how U.S. men and women in uniform and their families “have made immeasurable sacrifices in the course of their service.” He says Connecticut is “deeply grateful for their bravery and courage.”

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