Repealing the Johnson Amendment would harm non-profits

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) is an association of grantmakers committed to promoting and supporting effective philanthropy for the public good. On behalf of the Board of CCP, we are writing to express our strong opposition to legislation that would repeal the Johnson Amendment, thereby politicizing the charitable nonprofit and philanthropic community by repealing or weakening current federal tax law protections that prohibit 501(c)(3) organizations from endorsing, opposing, or contributing to political candidates.

Is Uber playing fair?

It looks like the fate of Uber (and Lyft, the other popular ride sharing service in Connecticut) will be decided in Hartford in a lobbying war, not in the competitive marketplace.

Early childhood educators are under-appreciated, underpaid

As a student teacher in the Early Childhood Education program at the University of Connecticut, I am writing to spread awareness on the issue of inadequate teacher compensation for early childhood educators. When I talk about early childhood, I am referring to the care and education of children between birth and 5 years old, before they enter the public-school system in kindergarten.

Singling out solar: How Senate Bill 943 will hurt Connecticut

Recently, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Environment Committee approved Senate Bill No. 943, “An Act Concerning the Installation of Certain Solar Facilities on Productive Farmlands” that singles out the least-cost form of solar development by imposing a permitting process established for large-scale fossil fueled power plants. This bill penalizing solar development placed on farmland will jeopardize past and future energy solicitations intended to bring clean energy, low electricity prices, economic development and sound environmental policy to the state.

Bad assumptions threaten good bill raising the smoking age

Every conversation in Hartford these days comes down to two things—dollars and cents. Unfortunately, there’s not enough focus on dollars and sense. As a result, lawmakers face an unenviable task in developing working solutions to the financial crisis the state finds itself in. There is a proposal before the Connecticut legislature to raise the tobacco sale age to 21 (HB 5384) that deserves to pass because it will protect kids from tobacco, won’t hurt state revenues in the short run, and will save the state millions of dollars in health care costs in the long run.

Cuts to senior citizen programs don’t just hurt seniors

Supporting seniors at home is not just a senior issue, it’s an inter-generational one. As a college student —and family caregiver for my grandmother— I am deeply concerned about the governor’s budget cuts that make it harder for older adults to age with dignity at home.

Open carry pistol permit bill punishes the law-abiding

The General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee is considering H.B. 6200, a bill that would allow police officers to demand to see one’s pistol permit if they “observe” a pistol or revolver. The problem with this bill is that it targets only the law-abiding. The purpose of this bill is squarely to punish legal behavior — behavior that the advocates of this bill dislike.

Suzio, Linares bills on electoral vote put party above country

I am concerned about two bills proposed in the Connecticut General Assembly; SB 108 introduced by Sen. Len Suzio, 13th District, and SB 133, introduced by Sen. Art Linares, 33rd District. These bills would change how Connecticut awards its Electoral College votes to presidential candidates.

As online shopping grows, a sales tax hike becomes less viable

There are two universal truths to bear in mind as legislators in the Connecticut General Assembly negotiate the next fiscal-year budget. One is that every line of every budget of every government in human history has had a constituent. The other is that politicians are like water. They follow the path of least resistance. In the case of the governor’s proposed budget, Gov. Dannel Malloy wants spending cuts. He does not want to hear the word “tax” after having raised revenues twice in six years. But since every budget line has a constituent, and since constituents have a habit of opposing elected officials who take something away from said constituents, elected officials almost always try to find ways to punt.

Asking to see ‘open carry’ permits makes everyone safer

I submit that if a person has the proper permit to open carry in this or any state, they should also be expected to produce the valid permit to do so when asked by a law enforcement official. That isn’t too much to ask of a reasonable person who abides by the law, and it makes the state safer for everyone.