The Capitol Beat: September 2-6, 2013

From Gaffney, Bennett & Associates

September 2, 2013 – September 6, 2013

Greetings!  We hope you had a relaxing, enjoyable summer even though the weather in July and August seemed to have gotten reversed. Not to worry, the memory is already dimming now that we’re on this side of Labor Day and nighttime temps are dipping into the 40s.  A glance at the calendar also reminds us that we’re on the threshold of some 21 municipal primaries on September 10.

Below we’ve listed those towns where primaries are being held for First Selectman or Mayor. In addition, we’ve brought you a summary of some of this week’s news and information.  Enjoy.

September 10th  Municipal Primaries:  Bethel, First Selectman (R); East Haven, Mayor (D); Killingworth, First Selectman (R); New Haven, Mayor (D); Norwalk, Mayor (D); Norwich, Mayor (D); Stratford, Mayor (D); Stamford, Mayor (D); Torrington, Mayor (D); West Haven, Mayor (D); Woodbury, First Selectman, (R).

State Budget Surplus for 2013 Pegged at $400 Million

State Comptroller Kevin Lembo, in his monthly fiscal update, indicated the state will see a projected $400 million surplus for the 2013 fiscal year ending June 30.  Lembo said $220.8 million of the surplus will be dedicated to 2014 spending and $178 million will be deposited in the Rainy Day Fund. The announcement came September 2 with a caution flag.  Lembo said while the surplus is a good sign, it could be partially a result of one-time revenues.

“The growth was largely driven by strong stock market performance and an increase in the federal capital gains tax rate that pushed future year gains into Fiscal Year 2013,”said Lembo.  Interestingly, income tax revenues from payroll (which account for 60 percent of income tax receipts), were down slightly from 2012, according to Lembo. And before anyone gets too giddy, Lembo noted that the 2014 budget is predicated on significant savings being realized in the Medicaid program, but that “current spending patterns do not reflect the budgeted level of savings.”  Hope springs eternal.

Health Care News They Can Use

The CT Department of Health is holding forums statewide throughout September and October to gather information on the health status of Connecticut residents and to help identify resources that are needed to improve health and wellness. To learn more or to register call:  860-509-8070, or go online: .

On That Note:  Be Not Afraid of Health Exchange, Help is Here

Connecticut is steaming ahead with its plan to roll out a health insurance exchange that will provide consumers and small businesses with a choice of health care coverage and, depending on eligibility, different levels of premium subsidies.  For more detailed information, call: Access Health CT at 855-805-4325, between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. weekdays, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Did You Know…..

Carolyn Treiss, former legislative liaison at the Department of Social Services, has assumed a new role at the state Capitol.  Treiss has taken Ellen Scalletar’s place as Policy Director for the Senate Democratic Caucus.

In the news