LWV Forum On Gun Violence Laws Monday, 4/22, 7 pm, at Trinity on Main
The New Britain Area League of Women Voters (LWV) has organized a New Britain forum on the status of gun violence prevention laws following the passage of Connecticut’s law and the failure of the U.S. Senate to move basic “background check” legislation forward in Washington. Staff members from Senator Richard Blumenthal’s and Cong. Elizabeth Esty’s offices will speak on “federal and state gun violence prevention laws” on Monday, April 22nd, beginning at 7 pm. The forum will be held at Trinity on Main, Main and Chestnut streets. CT LWV Social Policy Director Alison Rivard will be joined by Richard Kehoe, State Director for Senator Blumenthal and Matt Abdifer from Cong’ Esty’s office.
DTC Meets Thursday, 4/25, For Economic Development Discussion and Resolutions On State Legislation
Economic Development and CT Fastraks (the busway) will be topics at the Democratic Town Committee on Thursday, April 25th, 7 p.m. at New Britain City Hall.
The April meeting is the third in a series of meetings on key issues the Town Committee has held in the run up to this summer’s endorsement of municipal candidates.
The meeting will include an update on the municipal candidate endorsement process and resolutions in support of raising the state’s minimum wage and opposing a ban on cross-party endorsements — measure now being considered by the General Assembly. (See updates on legislation below).
Endorsement information is available at the Town Committee web site.
A New Honor for “Coach” Brooks: Sports Writers To Recognize Alton Brooks With “Good Sport” Award April 28th At Gold Key Dinner
Brooks, who last year was recognized by the state African-American Affairs Commission for his lifetime achievement in civil rights and community service and by the city with the dedication of Alton Brooks Way, will receive the John Wentworth Good Sport Award at the Aqua Turf dinner that will begin at 4 pm.
Brooks, a founding director of the city’s Human Services Agency, is a longtime basketball coach and mentor to city youths.
Tickets to the Sport Writers dinner are $75. Contact Sports Writer Ken Lipshez at 860-673-6048 for a reservation.
Salvation Army Dinner, Tuesday, April 23rd For New Britain Chapter
New Britain’s Salvation Army chapter is holding a fund-raising dinner on Tuesday, April 23, at the Hawthorne Inn in Berlin with a social hour from 6 to 7 and a buffet dinner at 7 pm. WVIT Sports Announcer Kevin Nathan is the emcee and guest speaker is University of Hartford Women’s Basketball Coach Jenn Rizzotti. Information is available via the Salvation Army at 860-225-8491
@ The Capitol: Yea To Raising Minimum Wage, Nay To Cross Endorsement Ban
Key bills — one supported and the other opposed by the city’s legislation delegation, have made their way out of committees for further consideration by the state Legislature.
An act increasing the fair minimum wage (SB 387) was favorably reported out of the Labor and Public Employees Committee chaired by State Rep. Peter Tercyak (26) but both Senate and House Democratic leaders have been reticent about support for an increase that would address promote a more living wage for low-income and entry-level workers.
The bill raises the state minimum hourly wage from $8.25 to $9.00 on January 1, 2014, and from $9.00 to $9.75 on January 1, 2015. As of July 1, 2015, it requires annual minimum wage adjustments based on increases in the Consumer Price Index (CPI).
Cross Endorsements: Restricting Voter Access
A proposal that would ban cross-party endorsements is drawing strong opposition from ballot access and election reform advocates. Under current law political candidates can receive more than one line on ballots.
The restrictive measure (1146), supported by the Democratic State Senate President Donald Williams, would prohibit the right of the Working Families Party and other minor parties from endorsing major party candidates. In 2010, Governor Malloy narrowly defeated his Republican opponent, with votes from labor progressive voters who chose Malloy on the WFP line.
In testimony at the Government Administration and Elections Committee (GAE), New Britain State Rep. Bobby Sanchez (25) joined a chorus of opposition against the restriction: “The proposed bill infringes on the first amendment right of freedom of speech…would force individuals running for office to enroll as a member of a party to receive an endorsement. This will lead to situations where individuals cannot be endorsed by a party that shares their views and beliefs even if it is not their registered party.”
In his testimony, State Senate President Williams cited “over-voting” issues encountered by election officials when a candidate appears on more than one line. However, “over-voting” — meaning a ballot marked twice for the same candidate — has been addressed without problems using the relatively new optical scan voting systems. Optical scan voting detects the “over votes” and allows election officials to accurately record one vote for a candidate.
“Imagine that you were one of the family members of a victim of Aurora or Newtown sitting in the Senate gallery Wednesday. You would have watched as three gun-control measures were brought to the floor and easily secured the support of more than fifty senators: the main background-check bill (fifty-four votes), a mental-health bill (fifty-two votes), and a gun-trafficking bill (fifty-eight votes). But none of the bills passed because the Senate now operates as an institution requiring a supermajority of sixty votes for any legislation to move. Try explaining that to a mother whose child was gunned down in a first-grade classroom in Connecticut.”
Ryan Lizza The New Yorker, 4-18-13 “Four Reasons Why The Gun-Control Bills Failed”
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