Connecticut Republicans are again demonstrating a total lack of interest in the integrity of our elections, from the top of the party all the way down. Voter suppression, foreign interference, and false voter fraud accusations dominate the national Republican Party’s outlook on democracy in our nation, and Connecticut Republicans mirror these assaults on our democracy with their own. Attacking the Citizens’ Election Program is nothing short of attacking basic democratic values.
As the calendar turned from June to July last week, the legislature, controlled by Democrats, failed to accomplish the single most important job it had this session – drafting, negotiating, and calling the legislature back into session to debate, and eventually vote on a two-year state budget. Instead, the Democratic leadership ignored the zero-tax increase balanced budget prepared by the Republicans and chose to relinquish its duty to the governor, who now must run the state by executive order – a chilling proposition for towns, school districts, and core government services.
Let me start by stating the obvious: Our state’s budget process is broken. We live in a time of perpetual fiscal stress, and have been unable to deal with structural issues that face the state. Our existing budget framework is just not up to the job. We need to scrap our balkanized budget process and adopt a new approach that sets top policy goals and funds them within available revenues.
In a June 19, 2017 press release, Sens. Len Fasano and Kevin Kelly decried the partisan nature of Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy’s recent hearings on health care. Fasano and Kelly called for a bipartisan forum that includes insurance and healthcare professionals. Appropriate as that would be, the press release itself was a highly partisan statement that undercut the call for bipartisanship.
What is there to say about a civilization that ignores the quickening pace of climate chaos? When the margin available for preventing vast damage across a hundred generations is already gone, what is there to say about a people who again and again embrace habits and systems and ideologies that deepen the damage?
The political battle lines over globalism have created an unpredictable electoral climate that is perplexing the Ruling Class of the Western world. Fault lines have developed, with the Ruling Class outraged that the masses will not listen to their betters and vote accordingly. Thus, we have Ruling Class outrage over the Brexit vote in England and the victory of President Donald Trump.
As we try to address our state budget crisis, one option proposed by the Senate Republicans should be off the table: sweeping $136 million over the next two fiscal years from the utility ratepayer-funded Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to the state’s General Fund.
I read with interest Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Op-Ed in the June 19 edition of the Hartford Courant, in which he offered a spirited defense of his proposed labor agreement. Unfortunately, he left out some key facts that Connecticut taxpayers and residents need to know.
After months of tireless work to bring awareness to state legislators about the harm associated with solitary confinement, a bill was passed that doesn’t even scratch the surface of what must happen to humanize criminal justice in this state. When states as notorious for prisoner abuse as California and Texas are making changes in prisoner treatment, one must wonder why Connecticut is lagging behind.
It is incumbent for the Democratic Caucus to act as urgently as possible to advance an alternative health care bill that has better chance of covering 23 million more of our fellow Americans than the current AHCA regardless of their emotional attachment and political allegiance to the Affordable Care Act. We must repudiate the secretive process that is being pursued by the Senate leadership and prevent the AHCA from becoming the law of the land. We must take the initiative away from the majority leader of the Senate to enact an affordable, sustainable, innovative and equitable Health Care law based on the Patient Freedom Act.
Why did our government give away our rights to our browsing histories? We have a president who admires despots like Putin and Duterte and doesn’t believe in free speech unless it’s his own on Twitter. Could the search histories of today be used for blackmail tomorrow? With a warrant, the government can request our histories, but who will have access to it tomorrow? Your employer, your insurer, your neighbor? And what will constitute a crime in the future?