November 20, 2020
In This Issue:
From Paddi's Desk
CT Agency Corner
Municipal Roundup
From Inside The Golden Dome
This Day in CT History
There’s so much to be thankful for these days...

I am thankful for the trust and support of each member of the Sullivan & LeShane Team, our terrific group of clients and the many, many folks we work with each and every day across the street at the Capitol and within state and municipal organizations. 

2020 is one for the record books and I think we are all ready to call it a wrap! I think we are also ready to call the election a wrap as well—and start to look at the months ahead as Connecticut gears up for a new year, new issues to tackle and new elected officials coming to Hartford—as well as familiar ones— who work hard every day to serve the people of our state and who are having to tweak old, traditional processes to fit this new, current state of affairs we’re all in.

At S&L we always say that it’s about the people, the process, the perspective and the politics that makes us love what we do. We are challenged each day and look for win-win solutions to both solve our clients’ issues and move toward a stronger Connecticut where we can all work, live and play.

We’re excited about the new year and the upcoming session that begins on January 6th, and we hope that we can continue to work collaboratively with each of our key folks with grace, trust, respect and with certainty that the best of days are ahead of us.

With that—here’s to a terrific Thanksgiving! Certainly different from the usual loads of family, friends and food—but nevertheless filled with hope, kindness and a sense of community.

You’ll miss our weekly edition of IN THE LOOP next Friday, since we celebrate Thanksgiving on both Thursday and Friday, so we’ll be back catching you up with what’s IN THE LOOP the first Friday in December. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

Sustainable CT Sees Growing Success Delivering Funds to Communities

Sustainable CT, a non-profit that maximizes grant dollars for communities that are launching long-term renewable projects, have found an increasing need to continue successfully delivering funds for innovative projects most in need for stable funding.

Their Community Match Fund is a program that provides fast, flexible funding and support for engaging your community on wide-ranging sustainability projects. Eligible projects receive dollar-for-dollar matching funds from Sustainable CT and anyone in a Sustainable CT registered municipality can participate in this program.

The biggest advantage of this program is that it’s not just limited to town buildings - Municipalities, nonprofits, community groups, schools, libraries, and individual residents can all propose projects and double their impact with our match funding.

The one-year-old Sustainable CT Community Match Fund has just surpassed $1 million in investment.
These funds support more than 90 community-led sustainability projects in over 55 Connecticut cities and towns. For those interested in applying here’s a link to the program.
New Proposed Ordinance in New Haven

Local governments are where the rubber meets the road and with the rising infection rates of COVID-19, the state has asked that local municipal leaders step up to help stop the spread. Early on in the pandemic there were enterprising Mayor’s and city leaders that took certain restrictions a step further where they saw fit. Those were mostly the urban centers and large population areas where the infection rates seem to correspond with college activity and a robust nightlife. One of those communities that has been ahead of the game in terms of prevention is New Haven. That seems to be the case now on the second run of the virus, but in this case it was New Haven stepping up to help certain businesses that were impacted more significantly the others. 

The City of New Haven is proposing a new ordinance that would give laid-off hotel workers a leg up on the potential to return to work when it’s an option. The ordinance is crafted in a way to impact individuals who have been laid off as a result of COVID-19 and give them the right to their jobs back once those businesses are able to. Oakland, CA has proposed a similar ordinance, known as “Right to Recall.” Workers in the New Haven ordinance would be recalled based on their seniority within the organization. There has been pushback from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, which has suggested the these types of “mandates” would create “new operational burdens as employers are trying to get back to business and reopen as best they can.” 
House Continues to Announce Committee Chairs & Insight from the Governor

House Democratic leadership announced additional chairs this week, and also continued with the trend of re-appointing previous chairs to continue serving in the same roles. Here’s a list of who was announced this week:

·        Rep. Dan Fox (D-Stamford) as Government Administration & Election Chair,
·        Rep. Robyn Porter (D-Hamden) as Labor & Public Employees Chair,
·        Rep. David Arconti (D-Danbury) as Energy & Technology Chair, and
·        Rep. Roland Lemar (D-New Haven) as Transportation Chair.

Governor Lamont, appearing virtually at the CT Retail Merchants Association Annual Meeting this week, shared more of his thinking about how the state will respond to the surging number of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter. He indicated that the state is currently much better prepared for this second surge than when COVID-19 first hit, primarily with PPE stockpiles and more testing capabilities, as well as with more information about how the virus is transmitted. Because of this, his administration is able to allow certain sectors to stay open while others, where transmission is more likely, will see continue to be restricted. This week for example, he announced that all club and team sports in Connecticut will be paused until January 19, 2021, but that retail will likely be allowed to continue to operate at 50% capacity through the holiday season.

Additionally, Governor Lamont offered a few comments about how he plans to tackle the next biennial budget. Even though the state is facing a deficit, he indicated that he doesn’t expect to raise taxes. Both the Governor and Legislative Leaders will be looking to work with Congress on additional federal stimulus funds in the coming weeks. 
November 20, 1887 - A Fire, A Fiery Lady, & A Hungry Lion

On November 20, 1887, fire raged through the winter quarters of Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth. The five-acre compound in what is now Bridgeport’s Went Field Park housed circus animals, staff and equipment during the chilly off-season. Unfortunately, if there was anything to be said about the nineteenth-century circus, it’s that it was extremely flammable. The compound’s main building, an expansive two-story shed, was packed to the rafters with stores of tent canvas, advertising paper, costumes, parade equipment and hay. The fire started at the north end of the building in a horse training area, and within minutes the complex was an inferno, raining cinders down upon trainers as they tried to release animals from their enclosures. Despite their efforts, the vast majority of the circus’s animals were lost. The New York Times grimly reported that, “Three elephants and all the menagerie excepting one lion and hippopotamus were burned.”

Amidst the intense heat and chaos of the fire, that lion managed to slip away into greater Bridgeport, prowling its way in the wee hours of the morning to the backyard cowshed of one Christina Gilligan. The shed was home to Gilligan’s prize dairy cow and the cow’s new calf, who quickly became the hungry lion’s late-night snack. The lion’s meal-preparation awoke Mrs. Gilligan, who strode into the shed stick in hand, thinking a dog had gotten into the barn and was harassing her cow. Gilligan poked in the dark at the rough shape of the intruder. Getting no response, she drew back the stick and smacked the offender full force. The unnerving roar-of-a growl she got in response instantly convinced her the now-angry intruder was not a dog, but the veritable king of beasts. Undaunted, Gilligan fought gamely with broomstick in hand, until the lion roared a little too fiercely for comfort, at which point a conveniently armed neighbor arrived and shot the beast.

Thanks to her Yankee blend of spit and polish, Mrs. Gilligan became an instant celebrity. Newspapers nationwide fawned over the woman who had fought off Barnum’s lion. “As between any given Connecticut woman and any given African lion,” one paper advised, “it will always be safe to bet on the woman.”

Here is a link to the full article - Provided by CT Humanities Council
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