Moving Connecticut forwardJune 8, 2017
In the day following the end of the legislative session, the legislature continues to be at odds on a budget. As we head into special session, it is our priority to pass a budget by June 30.
But if the legislature fails to craft a budget by June 30, Gov. Malloy has executive power to run the state based on last cycle’s budget appropriation with the power to cut within its confines. It would be uncharted territory. The governor could reduce municipal aid to certain communities but likely does not have the ability to reallocate funds to others. In that circumstance, we would have to cling to the hope that Hamden would not be impacted, and that the governor continues to recognize (as he has in his previous budget proposals) how underfunded our town has been in terms of Education Cost Sharing and our limited ability to raise revenue given our tax rate.
Continuing to protect our trees
Since 2013, I have led the fight at the Capitol to keep both the power companies and the Department of Transportation from removing trees on our highways and in our neighborhoods.
Furthering that effort, a bill I wrote, introduced and sponsored this year requires utility companies to provide further detailed advance notice to municipal tree wardens before conducting tree removal on town property. This legislation would also create consistency across the state by clarifying the required public notice concerning tree removal on town property. This bill stems from the growing concern that municipalities did not have enough control over the tree removal process. It is important to ensure that towns and their residents continue to have a say in what happens in their local communities so we can continue to protect Connecticut’s natural assets. House Bill 6356 now heads to the governor for execution into law.
No one can doubt that we have seen an awakening of political activism these last several months. Regardless of political party, many Hamden residents who have never followed local or state politics before now want to be more involved. This is undeniably positive for our community and state. In addition to exploring our various neighborhood groups and Republican and Democratic town committees, I would encourage any resident to get involved by speaking to other Hamdenites about the issues that matter to you. One terrific new group that encourages open dialogue in a thoughtful manner is the Hamden Progressive Action Network (HamPAN) welcomes and recognizes all Hamden residents interested in fiscal and social issues within our town, in our state, and beyond. Check them out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/HamdenPAN/ Or email the group at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other new Hamden groups that may be of interest include: