WASHINGTON – Gun control remains stalemated in Congress, but Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday he’s optimistic a bill that would expand background checks of gun buyers will become law.
“The president and I – our team – have not given up,” Biden said during an event at the White House.
The Senate in April was four votes short on a bill that would expand FBI background checks, and there’s been no movement on the gun control issue since.
Connecticut’s congressional delegation wants to find a way to obtain federal dollars to replace Sandy Hook Elementary School with a new facility, but that will be a tough task.The biggest obstacle to finding federal money for the construction of a new school, estimated to cost $40 million to $60 million, is Congress’ ban on earmarks, or special projects. Earmarks once allowed lawmakers to steer millions of dollars to pet projects, but no more.
General Electric has provided a fourth loaned executive to the town, this time to provide added support to the school district and Board of Education. Joni Capoccitti, who has been with GE for 35 years, will serve as a project manager for the district, alleviating some of the 12/14 realted organizational and logistical duties taken on by district staff in addition to their regular responsibilities.
First Selectman Pat Llodra has announced that Newtown Cultural Arts Commission has received a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support HealingNewtown. Mrs Llodra made one of the first announcements about the grant on Friday, June 14, while a guest on CT Public Radio's "The Colin McEnroe Show."
State public utility regulators have scheduled a public hearing for this week on the Aquarion Water Company’s proposal to increase its water rates across the next three years, which if approved, would result in an overall 22.7 percent water rate hike.
Aquarion owns the public water supply which serves central Newtown, Sandy Hook Center, and the Mt Pleasant Road, Main Street, and South Main Street areas. The water supply system formerly was owned by United Water.
The State Board of Labor Relations has dismissed a complaint filed by Newtown’s owner-operators against the Board of Education. Carey Shierloh, a representative for the complainants and a former town owner-operator, said she and several other former drivers she spoke with were very disappointed by the decision.
The complaint made to the State Board of Labor Relations by the owner-operators, individually contracted bus drivers responsible primarily for regular education routes in town and maintaining privately owned buses, alleges the Board of Education failed to bargain with the contractors prior to deciding whether to open the 2012–17 transportation contract for bids.
Representatives from nearly a dozen different local religious communities on the evening of Friday, June 14, told a standing-room audience of about 400 people at the Newtown Congregational Church that spiritual healing is occurring, albeit sometimes slowly, among community members in the aftermath of the tragic events of December 14. The clergy members spoke to those gathered in the church sanctuary on the six-month anniversary of 12/14, commemorating the deaths of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook School at the hands of a rampaging gunman. The service initially had been scheduled for an outdoor site at Fairfield Hills, but was relocated to the church at 14 West Street in view of possible inclement weather.
Governor Dannel P Malloy has announced that an allocation of $750,000 towards the design of a new building for Sandy Hook Elementary School is slated for approval at next week’s meeting of the State Bond Commission. Governor Malloy explained that this funding is being made available now to help the project, which is still in its early stages, begin moving forward as quickly as possible. Earlier this month, the Connecticut General Assembly approved legislation authorizing a separate allocation of up to $50 million in bonding for the school's construction. That funding will be taken up for final consideration by members of the State Bond Commission in the coming months, as the project progresses and its needs are assessed. All funding will be issued on an expedited basis.
On the morning of Friday, June 14, which was the six-month anniversary of 12/14, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) staged a well-attended rally on the plaza in front of Edmond Town Hall to stress the group’s drive for increased gun control to reduce the violence in society. Several hundred people attended the event, many of whom were from the press doing coverage of Newtown in the aftermath of 12/14. Just before the MAIG rally started, at 9:30 am church bells could be heard tolling in the distance in remembrance of those killed on 12/14.