TRANSPORTATION WORK SUSPENDED
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) Gov. Dannel Malloy says he’s postponing indefinitely $4.3 billion in transportation projects until state lawmakers approve more money for them. He called on the General Assembly to immediately appropriate money to the state’s Special Transportation Fund, which finances transportation construction. He says the fund will be in deficit by July. The projects on hold include the widening of Interstate 95 between Old Saybrook and New London, and safety improvements on the highway between Mystic and the Rhode Island state line. Malloy says Connecticut has failed to properly fund much-needed transportation projects. He says he’ll release a plan later this month aimed at getting money into the transportation fund. Republican state Senate President Pro Tem Len Fasano blames Malloy and Democratic lawmakers for the Transportation Fund deficit, saying they took $164 million from it to balance state budgets.
HELP SOUGHT FOR DISPLACED PUERTO RICANS
Connecticut lawmakers are ramping up the pressure on Governor Dannel Malloy, demanding that he do more to help the 15-hundred Puerto Rican families displaced by Hurricane Maria who are now living in the state. Hartford State Representative Angel Arce says the government response to the crisis thus far has been shameful. State Representative Minnie Gonzalez says Puerto Ricans have come to Connecticut because they’re desperate. House Majority Leader Matt Ritter is requesting state assistance for the five hurricane relief centers across Connecticut. He’s also supporting additional funding for school districts that have seen a major influx of Puerto Rican students this year.
PRESTON, Conn. (AP) – Police have arrested two men in connection with the theft of firearms from a home on Lake of Isles Road in Preston. Authorities say a homeowner called to report one gun missing in March 2017. A police investigation later found three weapons were taken from the home. Police say the homeowner left to visit 23-year-old Frank Kelly at the time of the burglary. They say it appears Kelly distracted the homeowner so 21-year-old Jordan Lacey could take the guns. The two men were arrested Tuesday. Kelly has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to steal a firearm and other offenses. Lacey is facing charges including burglary, larceny and theft of a firearm. It’s not clear if the two men have lawyers who could respond to the allegations. Both are detained on bail.
MAKING SURE RATEPAYERS AREN’T LEFT OUT
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) – Attorneys general, consumer advocates and regulators in more than a dozen states are asking the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to ensure that utility customers also benefit from windfalls utilities will reap from corporate tax cuts included in the federal tax overhaul. In a letter sent to the commission Tuesday, the coalition calls for an investigation into the “justness and reasonableness” of utility rates now that the tax cuts approved by Congress last month reduce the corporate income tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent. The attorneys general who signed the letter are from New York, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. Public consumer advocacy offices and state regulatory agencies from Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont also are involved.
NO GENDER PRONOUNS IN STAMFORD
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) – A Connecticut city’s legislative body has removed gender pronouns from its written rules. Stamford’s Board of Representatives voted last week to remove “he/she” and “his/her” from its rules of order. It’s replacing them with specific titles, including president and clerk. The change was proposed by three Democrats elected to the 40-member board in November, including Raven Matherne, the state’s first openly transgender elected official. The measure passed unanimously with one abstention. Matherne says the move does not change the way the rules are followed but is “an act to acknowledge the members of this board, just as in each of our districts and the city at large, cannot always be described as he or she.”