CT HELPING EB
GROTON, Conn. (AP) – The state of Connecticut is helping General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton make the improvements needed to accommodate a $5.1 billion contract with the U.S. military and grow its workforce.Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Tuesday it’s not just a “good deal” for southeastern Connecticut, but the entire state where over 700 supply chain companies in over 100 towns “will see increased demand from the best submarine-maker in the world.” Connecticut is providing a $35 million forgivable loan for machinery and equipment; up to $20 million in tax exemptions; $20 million for dredging; and $8 million for workforce development programs through community colleges, technical high schools and various organizations. EB plans to make $852 million in capital investments over 17 years and boost hiring by 1,881 workers.
SWIMMING AREA MAY BE CLOSED AGAIN
Proposed spending cuts of 5-percent to the current Norwich budget could once again threaten the opening of the Spaulding Pond swimming area, as well as offer no increase in city education spending. City manager John Salamone, at the city council’s request, has released various budget scenarios ranging from 1-to 5-percent spending reductions, as aldermen Monday night will adopt a preliminary budget for the next fiscal year. The 5-percent recommended cuts also include the elimination of more than sixteen staff positions, and delayed pension fund payments. Spaulding Pond would be closed under the 4 and 5-percent reductions. Aldermen considered such a move last year, then reversed it, but the city wasn’t able to secure any lifeguards to open the beach. Monday night’s council meeting is at 7:30 at Norwich City Hall.
AG DIRECTOR IN WILLIMANTIC
The state director of rural development for the U.S. Department of Agriculture says there’s a deadline of June 4th, for funding programs that tackle the opioid crisis. George Krivda was in Willimantic Tuesday, accompanied by congressman Joe Courtney, checking out progress on the construction of a 14-million dollar behavior health center for United Services on North Frontage Road. Krivda says rural communities have been hit hard, by the opioid crisis.
BUMP STOCK BAN DEBATED
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – The Connecticut House of Representatives is considering legislation making it a crime to sell, purchase, use or manufacture devices which enhance a firearm’s rate of fire, including bump stocks. Under a bill being debated Tuesday evening, violators would face a class D felony, punishable by up to five years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both. About a dozen bump stocks were found among weapons used by the man who carried out the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which left 58 dead and more than 800 others injured. Proponents say the bill is needed to keep the public safe, but opponents say it’s unnecessary. Republican Rep. Rob Sampson says the state would be banning an item that has “never ever been involved in a crime” in Connecticut.
TOO MANY JUDGES??
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s nominations of 32 judges over the past month are drawing scrutiny at the state Capitol. Republican lawmakers question the number of jobs the Democratic governor is offering in his final year in office, as well as the new costs that would be added amid a budget deficit. Many of the nominations are up for votes in the state House and Senate this week. House lawmakers on Monday approved nearly a dozen nominees for Superior Court judges by slim party line votes, with Republicans opposing them on the grounds of cost – not qualifications. Malloy says the current number of judges – about 160 – is the lowest in a decade and there will still be 21 judge vacancies when he leaves office.
STATE TAX COMMISSIONER LEAVING
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut’s longtime tax commissioner is stepping down in the coming days. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday that Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin Sullivan will leave his job effective May 10 to take a new job in the private sector. Sullivan has overseen the state agency since January 2011. Sullivan, a Democrat from West Hartford, has served as lieutenant governor and president pro tempore of the Connecticut Senate. Malloy credits Sullivan with using that governmental experience to make the agency more efficient and responsive to taxpayers. Sullivan will work for Arizona-based Verus Analytics, a firm that assists tax agencies to reduce the gap in uncollected taxes. Malloy’s office says the company does no work in Connecticut. Sullivan calls his time overseeing the department “the best professional opportunity of my life.”