October 18, 2019
The latest from the folks across the street from the Capitol

From Paddi's Desk
by Paddi LeShane

This week, the Women's Campaign School (WCS) at Yale hosted a celebration for the establishment of the new "Nancy S. Wyman Scholarship Fund" to support bipartisan students. That's right! Democrats, Republicans and even independent-thinking students interested in learning more about how to seek public elected office can be served by the fund. They will learn what it takes to run for an elected office in local, state and national positions.
The goal was to raise $25,000 for the scholarship fund. Well, news update! As of three days since the reception to honor Nancy and celebrate the fund establishment, the amount of cash in hand has exceeded that goal and is reaching up towards $40,000 to date!
Why do I bring this up? We all feel that government can certainly benefit by having more women interested in elected office and learning the ropes of how to go about it. They will learn the good and bad about how campaigns will impact their personal life and the life of an elected official from day to day. The WCS at Yale does that and more. It is bipartisan, it engages currently elected folks from across the country as well as women who tried and didn't make it and the lessons they learned. It also includes consultants who know about the trials and tribulations of fundraising, messaging and researching and establishing positions on the issues of impact for the office they might seek. The end results of going through the program might make potential candidates rethink if they want to actually be the candidate. Maybe they decide they rather enjoyed the mechanics of the campaign process. Maybe they will use their new found skills to support a party organization or maybe continue in a volunteer role with an intensified understanding of the mechanics of it all.
On Wednesday night, the party was movin' and groovin'. Folks came by to support Nancy and pay respect to her for her years of public service and most importantly her sense of decorum, statesmanship and bipartisan nature in solving problems. She truly lives by the motto, "If you're not the solution, you might be the problem!" The room was filled with those who admire her from afar, those who have worked with her over her career, those who were there from the her Board of Education days and loads of former legislators who worked collaboratively with her to make CT better.
However, the remarkable thing about Wednesday night was the number of men and former Republican legislators who came to honor Nancy for her efforts to make it happen. Former Governor M. Jodi Rell couldn't attend, but sent a warm congratulatory note to Nancy and particularly noted the similarities in their careers, rise to leadership and focus on problem solving, not problem people!
It made everyone stop and think about where we are all headed these days with the rancor of modern political campaigns, the price one pays for running for office and the toll it takes on your family and professional life once elected. It's not easy, for sure.
I wanted to leave you with a favorite quote of mine. "I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you do but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou.
How true about campaigns, candidates and elected officials.

CT Agency Corner
Outstanding Legislative Issues to Resolve Before Santa Comes to Town
by Mike Johnson
Everyone who follows the Connecticut State Legislature always expects a few topics that were intended to be completed in the regular session not making it over the finish line in time. This year, however, there are more outstanding issues than normal to address. Here's a breakdown of where the major conflicts stand that are pending votes and signature by the Governor:

Hospital Tax:
-During the session, legislators and the Governor announced a compromise that would enable hospitals to be reimbursed at a higher rate by the state, not make the state budget insolvent and convinced the hospitals to drop a lawsuit against the state. Despite the agreement in principle, which involves how much is maximized in Medicaid reimbursements from the federal government, the official statutory language is still being negotiated and tweaked even after a deal was struck!

Restaurant worker classification:
-Legislation passed during the session that would have addressed the long standing law that says restaurants must segregate hours and pay rates, offering full wages for non-tip work and a reduced rate when gratuities are involved. This law, commonly known as the "80-20 rule", cites that someone spending at least 80 percent of his or her time on tasks that generate tips can be paid the reduced wage for all work. The Governor vetoed a pro-restaurant bill at the end of the session that would have tightened Department of Labor standards for this. Without the language change, workers are now in the process of suing restaurants citing the lack of clarity over tip-certified employment.

State Bond Package and Transportation:
-Our prior ITL's have kept you informed on the state's bond package, and now the state is fast approaching month five without a capital expenditure budget. Both state agencies and legislators hoping for local infrastructure investment dollars for their district are eagerly awaiting a capital budget deal. However, the legislature and Governor have yet to strike a compromise that would involve whether the state will put tolls on various bridges to help with the special transportation fund. The long impasse doesn't seem to be concluding any time soon, but the danger now lies with cities and towns that have not received any commitment from the state on when their road funds will be made available.

Did You Know?
This Week in CT History
October 13, 1931
The Modern-Day "Lolly Pop" is Born in New Haven

From world-famous pizza to the world's first hamburger, the city of New Haven is home to a remarkable amount of American food history. Among the city's lesser-known, but no less notable, food-related firsts was the invention of the modern-day lollipop.

In 1908, George P. Smith of New Haven's Bradley Smith Company submitted an application to the U.S. Patent and Trademark office in hopes of securing exclusive rights to the name "lollipop." A few years earlier, the Bradley Smith Company had started selling hard candies on a stick under the name "lollipops."

The U.S. Trademark and Patent office rejected his original application after a diligent clerk discovered that the term "lollipop" had been defined in early 19th century British dictionaries as "a hard sweetmeat, sometimes on a stick." For years, the Bradley Smith Company continued to sell their increasingly popular candies under the "lollipop" name while Smith tried to think of a clever way around his copyright conundrum. Finally, in 1931, Smith submitted the name "Lolly Pop," split into two words, and was granted a trademark for that name on October 13 of that same year.
In This Issue:

by Ryan Bingham

Cities in CT are vital to the state's economy, but as they have become more deindustrialized and have struggled to retain young people in the state, it has become increasingly difficult for them to thrive.

Governor Lamont recently toured the City of Waterbury with Mayor Neil O'Leary and saw scores of abandoned buildings and factories in what used to be "America's Brass City." As reported by CCM, "Uncertain is the extent to which the Lamont administration will be a partner to Waterbury or other cities. Nine months into his tenure, the governor's urban policy is a work-in-progress, intertwined with the administration's still-unfolding efforts to rebuild Connecticut's transportation infrastructure and grow its economy."

Urban area leaders have been encouraged by the governor's interest in urban issues as he has stated many times that CT's cities are key to the state's economy, but it has been unclear who in the Governor's administration is responsible for steering urban policy. While many mayors say the administration's accessibility has not be a problem, the lack of funds have been. Millions of dollars are still tied up in the state's not yet passed bond package, and the ever present issue of transportation infrastructure also hangs in the balance.

David Lehman, Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development, said that he "... sees the administration's urban policy taking shape through a focus on opportunity zones, transit-oriented development and brownfield remediation." While the administration may have a focus on what they want to get done to help CT's cities, the idea of how these things will get done are still in wait.

Legislative Scoop
by Chelsea Neelon

We're more than halfway through October and the legislature still has yet to vote on a state bonding package, and rumors of an actual date for a special session are few and far between. As you may know from prior week's "In the Loop," the bond package is tied up with Governor Lamont's negotiations on his transportation proposal.

On Wednesday, Governor Lamont spoke at the CT Retail Merchants Association Luncheon and was vague on where negotiations stand. "I'm trying to roll out a plan that is doable and finite and can make a difference now," said Lamont. "I want to make sure that when we roll this out we have as many people on board as we can," he added. Everyone knows that these talks are centered on electronic tolls in the state, and after his initial transportation plan was trounced during the legislative session, the administration wants to make sure they get it right the second time around.

Beyond the constant rhetoric surrounding tolls, Lamont is hopeful that his 2.0 plan will speed up Metro-North transportation times. While negotiations are seemingly constant over in the Capitol, Senate Democrats have said they're not interested in voting on a transportation plan without any Republican support. Municipalities are counting on the monies tied up on the state bonding package for local infrastructure, so the pressure is on to close the deal before the holidays.

Upcoming Events

State Representative Jeff Currey Fundraiser
Tuesday, October 22nd
Arch Street Tavern
Hartford, CT