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Norwalk political notes: Take action on ECS, absentee ballots

Screengrab of a State guide to testifying at a public hearing. Click the photo to go to the guide.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political notes for you:

  • State public hearings Friday – your input requested on:
    • ECS funding; ‘will affect NPS students’
    • Absentee ballot provisions
  • MoneyGeek calls CT and IL ‘the least tax-friendly states in the nation’

‘Now is the time for Norwalk to act!’

Norwalk ACTS issued a “urgent” appeal for advocacy action Wednesday, saying that the State legislature is considering a bill “that would deliver a student-centered funding system that will help our students get the funding they need to thrive in school.” Citizens are asked to testify at a public hearing Friday. You need to register by 3 p.m. today, Thursday March 3, to speak tomorrow. If you don’t make that deadline, you can submit written testimony and Norwalk ACTS has supplied a template.

H.B. 5283 has been raised by the Education Committee. It’s titled “An Act Concerning the Education Cost Sharing Grant Formula and the Funding of other Educational Programs.”

It “recognizes the need to create a more equitable Connecticut, both racially and socio-economically, and will take steps to bring {Norwalk} closer to that reality,” the Norwalk ACTS template states, after explaining that 68% of NPS students are identified as high needs while Norwalk is set to lose its Alliance District status.

“This means that while our school district is performing better than before, and has outperformed the metrics of the program, this results in a gradual decrease of funds received annually,” the template states.

Norwalk ACTS is also publicizing a testimony workshop offered tonight by the School + State Finance Project. More information is here.

 

‘Expanding access to the ballot’

Laura Smits and Deb D’Arinzo of the Norwalk League of Women Voters draw your attention to another State public hearing held Friday: at 10 a.m., the Government Administration & Elections Committee is discussing two bills:

  • S.B. No. 184 (Raised) An Act Extending Through November 8, 2022, Several Changes Regarding Election Administration as a Result of Covid-19 and Concerning Eligibility to Vote by Absentee Ballot.
  • H.B. No. 5262 (Raised) An Act Revising Certain Absentee Voting Eligibility Statutes.

 

“We encourage all proponents of expanding access to the ballot to sign up to testify and make their voices heard,” the pair say.

Again, there’s a 3 p.m. deadline.

  • Register to testify via Zoom. You must register before Thursday at 3pm.
  • Register to testify by phone by calling (860) 240 – 0557.
  • Email written testimony in Word or PDF format to [email protected]. Clearly state the bill number and your name.

 

The hearing will be on the GAE YouTube Channel.

Smits and D’Arinzo also direct you to a “easy-to-follow guide” on testifying at a State virtual hearing. They say, “Don’t worry!”

 

Not so tax-friendly?

MoneyGeek, another website claiming to offer financial expertise, has “analyzed tax costs across all 50 states to measure those with the lowest tax burden, considering sales, income, and property taxes.”

Unhappy Connecticut taxpayers might be surprised to learn that Illinois “has the highest tax burden in the U.S.,” not the Nutmeg State. But Connecticut and Illinois both “received a grade of E for being the least tax-friendly states in the nation,” according to MoneyGeek. “Illinois experienced a population decline, while Connecticut’s population grew by just 0.1% — lower than the national average of 0.2%.”

You can find more information here.

2 comments

Diane Lauricella March 3, 2022 at 9:53 am

Thanks to NON for publishing upcoming CT Legislative virtual hearings.

For those planning on testifying at the Education Committee on Friday for this very important school equitable funding bill, please consider also mentioning (which is absolutely fine) a brief nod of support for HB 5285 An Act Concerning Public School Curriculum….to include Climate Change Science Instruction as well as a Pilot Program of Financial Literacy.

Text about this Bill is found at https://www.cga.ct.gov/2022/TOB/H/PDF/2022HB-05285-R00-HB.PDF

These are two subjects that need to become part of our children’s day-to-day lives. You can also sign up independently to speak on behalf of HB 5285 by 3 pm today. Please use the same sign-up method in the Education Committee.

J. P. Coleman March 3, 2022 at 10:42 am

Student Funding – Before any additional funding is mandated, it is critical for the teacher union to take a more student centered approach. This means that students should come first not the teachers union. The harm done to students, by the teachers union, during the Covid pandemic is a DISGRACE. Their refusal to have in person learning is CRIMINAL. It has set back learning that may never be recouped, as well as inflicting emotional & mental harm.
SHAME on the union!

“Expanding access to the ballot” – Last time I looked there are many opportunities to make voting easy for all. Expanding absentee ballots & increasing the number of days to vote is opening up more possibilities for fraud & illegality. Some quarters want this for that exact purpose. Other countries & states have done this with proven, disastrous results. PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE VOTE DON’T DIMINISH IT !!!

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