PROPOSED AGREEMENT MAY BE ‘HISTORIC”
A proposed agreement between Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state employee union leaders is being billed by the administration as “an historic agreement” that will save more than $1.5 billion over the next two years. Those comments are included in a draft summary compiled by Malloy’s office. The Associated Press obtained the document Monday. The estimated savings match what Malloy has been seeking to help balance the new two-year state budget, which is projected to have a total $5 billion deficit. Malloy is trying to reach a budget agreement with state lawmakers. But House Republican Leader Themis Klarides contends the proposal “falls short of where we need to be.” Union leaders still need to agree to offer the tentative framework for an agreement to rank-and-file members for their consideration.
EMPLOYEE UNION NOT HAPPY ABOUT JUDGE APPOINTMENTS
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A state employee union is criticizing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for appointing more judges in the middle of a budget crisis. American Federation of State and Municipal Employees Local 749 President Charles DellaRocco says the state is “spending money unwisely on essentially lifetime appointments for managerial level employees” while asking the lowest wage judicial employees for wage and benefit concessions. The Democratic governor recently appointed 13 Superior Court judges. There are plans for four more judges to be nominated. Chris Collibee, a spokesman for Malloy, says the appointments “represent a fraction of the current vacancies” and they will help ensure the state’s court system conducts its business in a timely fashion. DellaRocco voiced his concerns Monday, the same day the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing on judicial appointments.
COMMISSIONERS SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS ETHICS FINDINGS
Norwich’s Board of Public Utilities Commissioners is scheduled to discuss Tuesday the city’s Ethics Commission’s recommendations against NPU officials. The Ethics panel in February decided that NPU General Manager John Bilda, Division Manager Steve Sinko, and the now former chairman and vice-chairman of the Utilities Board Dee Boisclair, and Robert Groner, violated ethics rules when they went on an all-expense paid trip in May 2016 to the Kentucky Derby. All four officials have been told they should fully reimburse the city for the trip costs, and have letters of reprimand put in their personnel files. The ethics group says Bilda should be required to file full reports to the utilities board on any future business travel. Boisclair and Groner resigned from the board earlier this month. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 PM in the Public Utilities conference room on South Golden Street.
HARTFORD ID PROGRAM
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Residents in Connecticut’s capital city can obtain identification allowing them access to city services regardless of their housing or immigration status under a new program. Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin says the Hartford City ID program launched Monday is of no cost to the city. While documents will be used to establish identity and residency, the city will not retain them. It will, however, keep the cardholder’s name and their card number. The Democrat says the program is intended to ensure no one has to live “in the shadows,” including people who are without a permanent residence. Residents can obtain the cards at the city clerk’s office and the Hartford Public Library’s downtown branch. The cards will be valid for two years and will cost $15 for adults and $10 for children.
EVENTFUL YALE COMMENCEMENT
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) – Graduation day at Yale University included the awarding of degrees, a union demonstration and a man who unexpectedly took the podium and had to be tackled. Yale on Monday conferred more than 3,600 degrees, including eight honorary doctorates. The recipients included civil rights leader John Lewis, former Secretary of State John Kerry and musician Stevie Wonder. The commencement was interrupted briefly when a man ran onto the podium and grabbed the microphone. He was able to get out a few words about loving Yale before being tackled by security. Union officials say that man wasn’t connected with a protest outside the ceremony by graduate teachers. More than 1,000 people marched to demand the Ivy League school begin negotiations with a union formed by graduate students in eight departments.