November 22, 2019
The latest from the folks across the street from the Capitol

A Debate That's Taken It's Toll
by Mike Johnson

Our lead columnist Paddi is enjoying time with her family in the sun and with six books she intends to read while away. We wish her well this week!

Most pivots from elected officials occur when there's a road block in their way or when the current set of circumstances are as unavoidable as traffic in Hartford during rush hour ( Spoiler Alert: this article is full of transportation puns).

The most unique pivot that's occurred on tolls is not pursuing the statewide solution that was pitched this past February or even the latest CT2030 proposal that would have created 14 toll locations for all vehicles in areas of targeted investment. The pivot that will become a cornerstone during the 2020 legislative races will be that Governor Lamont pitched a truck-only toll plan during the election, pivoted to a statewide vehicle toll plan and (if the House Democrats' plan is approved) sign into law a plan that fulfills his original campaign promise of tolling trucks in 12 locations in the state.

While all sides seem to have exhausted the debate on how to fund the Special Transportation Fund (STF) long term I think each side agrees that this discussion on whether to toll vehicles in the state has been taking much longer than anticipated and the real question becomes when time will run out on the discussion. 

The legislature and executive branch have a tradition in early January to start to roll out their major initiatives that they hope will "pass go" during the 2020 session. Republicans have officially made their decision to not support any plans that include tolls which means Democrats will have to pass any proposal that includes tolls with solely votes on their side of the barrier. Republicans have also floated the idea of using a portion of state budget reserves (also known as the "rainy day fund") to help mitigate borrowing funds to fix highways and bridges.

Democrats certainly do not want the toll debate to carry past the holidays and time is running out quicker than a yellow light to strike an internal compromise, move forward on a plan that has bipartisan support or scrap the proposal until the next cycle.


This Date in History
President Kennedy Assassinated  
November 22, 1963

On November 22, 1963, President Kennedy was assassinated in downtown Dallas while riding in a motorcade traveling to a public event. 

President Kennedy was one of the few presidents to have visited Connecticut's major cities (Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven and Waterbury) and will forever be admired in history as a leader who steered our country with ambition, pride and hope.

Here is an excerpt from the JFK Presidential Library accounting of the day he was taken from his family and nation far too early in life:

"Crowds of excited people lined the streets and waved to the Kennedys. The car turned off Main Street at Dealey Plaza around 12:30 p.m. As it was passing the Texas School Book Depository, gunfire suddenly reverberated in the plaza.

Bullets struck the president's neck and head and he slumped over toward Mrs. Kennedy. The governor was shot in his back. 

The car sped off to Parkland Memorial Hospital just a few minutes away. But little could be done for the President. A Catholic priest was summoned to administer the last rites, and at 1:00 p.m. John F. Kennedy was pronounced dead. 

Though seriously wounded, Governor Connally would recover.  The president's body was brought to Love Field and placed on Air Force One. Before the plane took off, a grim-faced Lyndon B. Johnson stood in the tight, crowded compartment and took the oath of office, administered by US District Court Judge Sarah Hughes. The brief ceremony took place at 2:38 p.m.
Less than an hour earlier, police had arrested Lee Harvey Oswald, a recently hired employee at the Texas School Book Depository. He was being held for the assassination of President Kennedy and the fatal shooting, shortly afterward, of Patrolman J. D. Tippit on a Dallas street.

On Sunday morning, November 24, Oswald was scheduled to be transferred from police headquarters to the county jail. Viewers across America watching the live television coverage suddenly saw a man aim a pistol and fire at point blank range. The assailant was identified as Jack Ruby, a local nightclub owner. Oswald died two hours later at Parkland Hospital."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our office will be open next week but closed on Thursday and Friday. We hope you enjoy Thanksgiving with your friends and family and thought it'd be fun to share the most googled Thanksgiving side dishes in each state for those celebrating around the country.


Alabama: Squash casserole
Alaska: Green beans
Arizona: Pumpkin roll
Arkansas: Sweet potato pie
Colorado: Pecan pie
Connecticut: Sausage stuffing
Delaware: Butternut squash
Georgia: Squash casserole
Hawaii: Sweet potato
Idaho: Sourdough bread
Illinois: Sweet potato casserole
Indiana: Roasted sweet potatoes
Iowa: Corn casserole
Kansas: Yams
Kentucky: Broccoli casserole
Louisiana: Yams
Maine: Mashed squash
Maryland: Collard greens
Massachusetts: Butternut squash
Michigan: Roasted brussel sprouts
Minnesota: Thanksgiving sweet potatoes
Mississippi: Cornbread dressing
Missouri: Thanksgiving rolls
Montana: Cranberry sauce
Nebraska: Sweet potatoes
Nevada: Pecan pie
New Hampshire: Homemade stuffing
New Jersey: Butternut squash soup
New Mexico: Pecan pie
New York: Acorn squash
North Carolina: Corn pudding
North Dakota: Sweet potatoes
Ohio: 7 layer salad
Oklahoma: Cornbread dressing
Oregon: Ambrosia salad
Pennsylvania: Candied sweet potatoes
Rhode Island: Stuffing
South Carolina: Cornbread dressing
South Dakota: Ambrosia salad
Tennessee: Mac and cheese
Texas: Broccoli rice casserole
Utah: Yams
Vermont: Butternut squash
Virginia: Corn pudding
Washington: Green beans
West Virginia: Broccoli salad
Wisconsin: Garlic mashed potatoes
Wyoming: Sweet potatoes

In This Issue:

by Ryan Bingham

Walkable towns and cities might have seemed like a trend in the mid-August, but the idea has been around for quite some time as a response to suburban sprawl. Since towns and cities have started to make walkability a more permanent feature, city planning aspects like zoning took a front seat, but truly the most important thing is pedestrian safety. Cities have been putting in painted bike lanes and cross walks for years now, but recently the trend has been to say: why not have some fun with it?
In New Haven, their "Safe Routes for All" program started painting certain intersections with bright colors and polka dots. The idea suggests that bright colors would make drivers more alert in certain sections that are heavily trafficked by pedestrians.
The "Safe Routes For All" took inspirations from locations across the country, including Jersey City, Miami, and New York according to a presentation stored on their website that was part of a workshop this past June. Locations were discussed for the painted areas with an emphasis on the community that needed them the most.
Walkability might as well be a synonym for community building, as proponents of the concept believe that seeing your neighbors out and about in a neighborhood helps foster a relationship and duty to the area that you live in. You take ownership of where you live and you support that community, so it's no surprise that towns and cities are using colorful crosswalks.

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