What we are watching this week ...
Latest on Connecticut Budget Struggle
By Angela Varney
Gov. Malloy and Connecticut legislative leaders are scrambling to compromise on the budget deal this week to meet the Oct. 1 deadline. The battle to agree on a budget deal has been raging since the the fiscal year began on July 1 while the potential loss of more than $1 billion in local aid on the line.
“For me--and for any of us--we wanted a budget by July 1,” Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, said Sunday morning. “October 1 is certainly another deadline. A bipartisan budget is the goal. Whether it’s possible or not is anybody’s guess.”
Without coming to an agreement on the budget deal, dozens of the state’s wealthier towns will receive an executive order from the governor, causing them to miss out on the first four scheduled payments for local schools.
However, sources said Sunday that if there isn’t a compromise made on the budget deal isn’t cleared through the House and Senate, or signed by Gov. Malloy, by Oct. 1, a special one-day session will be held this week to “assure that $70 million in federal Medicaid reimbursement funding flows to state hospitals,” according to the CT Post.
Connecticut Notified of Possible Russian Voting Hacking
By: Julius Saporito
Connecticut claims to have had their voting system targeted by Russian hackers during the Presidential campaign last year between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. According to the federal government, “Russian agents attempted to breach Connecticut’s election system before the 2016 election."
After feeling their state’s voting system had been hacked, many were worried their votes were not safe and action was needed to prevent this from happening again. The Department of Homeland Security did however notify Connecticut as 1 of 21 states that were possibly being targeted by russian hackers before the election even started.
According to the Hartford Courant Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said news that Connecticut’s system was targeted “reaffirms the urgency and importance of the ongoing federal investigations.
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla has also voiced his opinion over how the Department of Homeland Security has responded to states over potential voter hacking. “It is completely unacceptable that it has taken DHS over a year to inform our office of Russian scanning of our systems, despite our repeated requests for information.”
Senate Republicans Propose New Health Care Bill
By: Angela Varney
Senate Republicans are making a last-minute effort to pass a bill to repeal Obamacare this week before the deadline to pass repeal with a simple majority ends on September 30th.
The bill also referred to as the Cassidy-Graham bill, has been updated multiple times throughout the weekend with the latest version providing increased federal funding and other benefits to Alaska, Arizona and Kentucky. All three of these states are also home to vital GOP swing voters that have opposed or voiced concerns with the bill.
The revised version of the bill would “reduce federal funds to states by $120 billion between 2020 and 2026”, according to Politico.
It is still not clear whether or not the bill will be voted on this week before the deadline. However, if it does, the Cassidy-Graham health care bill will need 50 of the 52 Senate Republicans to vote in favor of it if no Democrats vote on it, as is expected. The Congressional Budget Office is expected to come out with an analysis of the bill on Monday.