Time: 9:52 PM
Be back up to full speed REAL soon...and wait till you read what I have in store for ya!
CTDream Act moves forward
Time: 4:50 PM
The Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee seems to have forwarded a bill that gives in-state tuition to undocumented students to the floor of the House. The vote will be held open until 4 p.m. but a slim majority of lawmakers present voted in favor of the bill.
Sen. Gary LeBeau, D-East Hartford, had been on the fence, but a “passionate” public hearing earlier this week convinced him to vote in favor of the bill, even if it means losing his re-election bid.
He said this bill, which was vetoed in 2007 by former Gov. M. Jodi Rell, is even more difficult to vote for this year because there are divisions in society. But he said it was a moral issue and “if I’m not re-elected so be it.”
“We can’t afford to throw away this talent,” LeBeau said.
Once out of committee, the proposal to allow in-state tuition for undocumented students will come before the General Assembly for a final vote.
Here's something you don't see everyday
Time: 7:09 PM
A Danbury man's drive took a turn to the worse as the axle in his minivan suddenly fell off as he approached the corner of Triangle and Wildman.
...oh, did I mention that the guy driving the vehicle told police that he purchased the minivan three months ago!
Luckily I was driving by the scene and had my camera with me...
CT-N VIDEO STREAM: Committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement
Time: 2:42 PM
Today, the Committee on Higher Education and Employment Advancement will hold a public hearing on Gov. Malloy's proposal to allow in-state tuition for undocumented students. Click here to read my write-up on the recent rally held in New Haven in support of the legislation.
UPDATE: The public hearing is over. I'll post highlights from the event later.
A coalition of students, clergy members and elected officials held a news conference at the Legislative Office Building today to urge support for House Bill 6390, “An Act Concerning Post Secondary Education,” which would allow all state residents and graduates of Connecticut high schools to attend community colleges and state universities at the in-state tuition rate regardless of their immigration status.
The press conference was attended by a number of elected officials, including Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman; Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D-New Haven / Hamden); Senator Toni Harp (D-New Haven); Senator Edith Prague (D-Columbia); and State Rep. Juan Candelaria (D-New Haven). They were joined by Fr. James Manship Pastor St Rose of Lima, New Haven; Isaias T. Diaz, Chairman of the Latino and Puerto Rican Affairs Commission (LPRAC); and a few students who would be affected by the legislation.
Currently, Connecticut residents pay approximately one third of the “out of state” tuition rate charged to non-Connecticut residents and to Connecticut students who do not have U.S. citizenship. Nearly 10 other states, including Texas and California, have already passed bills allowing for in-state tuition for all their residents.
Some argue that it would be too costly to implement the in-state tuition bill but the General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Analysis said it wasn’t clear the 2007 version of the bill had any cost at all. The fiscal note predicted that the proposal could result in a revenue loss to some schools but a revenue gain at others, “… if additional students chose to attend school as a result of lower tuition rates.”
“These young people are the friends and classmates of our own children and grandchildren. They are Connecticut residents and are American in every way except for the circumstances of their childhood. They should not have to suffer for a decision that their parents made very long ago,” Senator Looney said. “It's also important to note that the legislation as passed but vetoed in 2007 did not provide any sort of scholarships or financial aid for these students--it simply allowed them to pay in-state tuition rates.”
“Some of those who argue against this initiative say we’ll be inundated with second-generation immigrants clambering to attend college and first of all, I see nothing wrong with that. Second, this new law would require them and their parents to pull their weight and pay state income tax, and third, the ten states that already have this policy don’t report that inundation,” Senator Prague said. “It just seems contradictory to me to deny in-state college tuition for the exact same students we are required to educate through high school. It would be to our advantage to have them go on and earn a college degree.”
“This new law would be a realistic acknowledgement that students from other countries are not going to suddenly disappear – many have grown up here and know no other culture – so they really should be given a chance to succeed and contribute to the best of their ability,” Senator Toni N. Harp said. “In Connecticut, regardless of heritage, it simply follows that college graduates are more likely to qualify for higher-paying jobs that in turn will attract a higher caliber of employers and generate more residual economic activity.”
Rep. Juan Candelaria said, “Access to affordable education is a moral issue. These students are not asking for a free ride - they are and have been paying their way with personal sacrifices and their willingness to improve themselves and become productive individuals. Their courage to stand up for what they feel is fair is commendable. I am with them in support of in-state tuition legislation on behalf of many excellent individuals who live in our great state and are forced to pay out of state fees because of their legal status.”
“It is essential in today’s society to provide opportunities for people to work hard in order to continue the process of maintaining diligent work ethic,” said Chairman Diaz.
Fr. James Manship said, “We’ve heard it over and over again the importance of education, for individuals, for communities, and for our state. It makes no sense to effectively deny access to higher education to students who have attended four years of a Connecticut high school and who have distinguished themselves academically, by treating them differently than their classmates graduating with them. HB 6390 makes sense for us as state to promote excellence in education at all levels. HB 6390 makes sense for the state because high achieving students will be high achieving graduates and contribute to the wellbeing of all in our state."
“All Connecticut students deserve the opportunity to go to college regardless of their immigration status,” said Tara Parrish, Lead Organizer for Hartford Areas Rally Together. “Passing in-state tuition can create additional revenue and it sends the message that if Connecticut students work hard, they will have access to higher education. Passing in-state tuition is good for all of us in Connecticut.”
SENATE 2012: CT Congressional delegation endorse Murphy for senate
Time: 2:41 PM
The quickly growing momentum behind Congressman Chris Murphy's campaign for the U.S. Senate continued today with the announcement that Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-3), Congressman John Larson (CT-1), Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-2), and Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) are all endorsing Murphy's candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Today's announcement continues a flood of early support for Murphy from both grassroots activists and Democratic officials throughout the state. In the last few weeks, Murphy has received the support of more than 2,000 Democratic and progressive activists from around the state and dozens of Democratic leaders in the 5th Congressional District. In addition, Murphy was recently endorsed by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, Secretary of the State Denise Merrill, and State Comptroller Kevin Lembo.
"My friend and colleague Chris Murphy has consistently fought to make Connecticut, and this country, a better place to live. Chris has made a name for himself as a leader and a skilled legislator, and building upon the health care efforts made during his time as Chairman of the Connecticut Public Health Committee, he played a critical role in the fight to pass the Affordable Care Act. He is a proven leader, and someone who knows how to get things done for the people of Connecticut. I am pleased to endorse Chris to be the next Senator from Connecticut," said DeLauro.
"Chris personifies the energy, vision and enthusiasm of what Connecticut needs from it government and public servants. From fighting for job creation and economic development to protecting working families, he has quickly become one of the most informed and educated leaders in the Democratic Caucus while working nonstop for his district and our great state. He is the perfect choice to represent the people of Connecticut in the U.S. Senate and has my full support," said Larson.
"When Chris and I ran as challengers in 2006, I saw firsthand his tenacity and tireless work ethic. Over the past four years, he has paid diligent attention to his district and constituents, while not yielding a bit of the energy that carried him to that first victory. Chris is a passionate and tireless advocate for our state, and I know he will make a great U.S. Senator," said Courtney.
"I am delighted to support Chris Murphy, one of my closest friends in the Congress, as he seeks to serve Connecticut in the United States Senate. He's a proven leader we know we can count on to fight to create jobs, grow our businesses, and build strong communities. He knows his constituents like he knows his own family, and I look forward to being represented by him," said Himes.
Murphy concluded: "These endorsements mean the world to me. Since I came to Congress, Rosa and John have been my mentors so I know their support in this campaign will be invaluable. Joe and I started these jobs together - we've grown to be close friends and I have tremendous respect for his work on behalf of the Second District. And as soon as Jim got to Congress, we hit the ground running, working together to advocate for our neighboring districts. I'm thrilled to have them on my team as we continue to build support from the grassroots and up leading into next year."
NYTimes editorial criticizes Boughton's handling of Danbury 11 case
Time: 11:52 AM
In September 2006, an undercover police officer in Danbury, Conn., who was driving a van and posing as a contractor, picked up 11 Latino day laborers at a park and delivered them straight to federal immigration agents. The men were arrested and placed in deportation proceedings. In another city, this would have struck officials as abusive policing and a gross violation of civil rights. Not in Danbury. Its mayor said the city had only supplied “logistical support” to the agents.
The city should have learned its lesson last week when it agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit brought by eight of the laborers. The federal government is paying another $250,000 to settle claims against six of its immigration agents. Plaintiffs’ lawyers say it is the largest settlement ever won by day laborers. Even now, Danbury’s mayor, Mark Boughton, insists the city did nothing wrong and that the settlement was agreed to only at the suggestion of an insurance company. “We are not changing any of our policies, practices or customs,” he told The Times.
Day laborers have waged struggles across the country for the right to assemble peaceably and look for work. Cities and towns keep passing ordinances to keep day laborers off the streets only to have them overturned by federal courts as violations of Constitutional rights. In Oyster Bay, N.Y., town officials are appealing a federal judge’s decision to block, on First Amendment grounds, an anti-solicitation law that critics say was specifically — and unconstitutionally — aimed at stifling the rights of a single group: immigrant Latino men.
Mr. Boughton was the co-founder with Steve Levy, a county executive on Long Island, of Mayors and Executives for Immigration Reform, which sought to channel suburban resentment through harsh — but costly and ineffective — crackdowns. Both men should have learned that tough talk and unconstitutional laws don’t do the community any good. Sometimes they also cost the taxpayers a lot of hard-earned money.
"Good Guys playing Bad Hockey"
Time: 9:18 AM
If you're looking for good entertainment today, I have the deal for you!
Today at 3PM, the Danbury Police Department will face off against the Danbury Fire Department in a charity ice hockey game.
Called "Good Guys playing Bad Hockey", proceeds from the 8th annual charity event will go towards the Fraternal Order of Police Survivors Fund and for the Connecticut Children’s Burn Camp.
Time: Sunday, March 13 · 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Location: Danbury Ice Arena
More Info: EVENT STARTS AT 3:00 PM 1 Independence Way, Danbury, Ct. 06810
After game party at Tuxedo Junction.
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