MDC Consumer Advocate Bill Passes Unanimously!

19138058264Thanks to Sen. Beth Bye, Rep. Derek Slap, and the many members of Save Our Water CT who stood up for their public trust waters, HB 6008: AN ACT ESTABLISHING AN INDEPENDENT CONSUMER ADVOCATE FOR THE MDC has now unanimously passed the CT General Assembly.
The advocate will be appointed by the Office of Consumer Counsel, be independent of the MDC board, and be financed by the MDC. It’s a good first step in helping residents of MDC-served towns advocate for protection of their water and for wise decisions about its sale and use.
Hopefully, decisions such as the one to offer Niagara Bottling of CA water and clean water project charge rates lower than residential rates, will come to public attention BEFORE they become policy. Even though these discounts have been rescinded, watchful eyes will be needed to insure they don’t reappear.
Save Our Water CT is also hard at work behind the scenes at the legislature. Its a frustrating session, complete with budget deadlocks and the political reality of a tied senate. BUT negotiations are ongoing with our legislative champions, the MDC, water utilities, and our environmental allies to createoversight of the large water-bottling industry in CT:
  • require a renewable permit system for large water-bottlers so we know we have enough water for present and future needs
  • prohibit discounts on water or clean water project charge for large water bottlers; residents should not pay more for their Class A water
  • protect our watersheds during drought; when residents conserve, ask large water bottlers to cut back too
We know many of you are engaged in the national struggle to maintain our environmental standards. We’ll let you know when your voices are urgently needed here to help move our legislative agenda forward. For those of you who can lobby with us these next few crucial weeks, please email us at: info@saveourwaterct.org. With the loss of federal water protections, it’s ever more important we stand up locally to preserve our most important natural resource.


Save Our Water CT
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Email us at: info@saveourwaterct.org

Retirement Workshops

If you are considering retirement or would just like to learn more about the process, please join us on Thursday, May 11 from 4 – 6 pm in the Sedgwick multi purpose room.

Please RSVP using the Google Form

Here is a brief description:
CEA’s Retirement Workshops

Who should attend?
Any CEA member who wishes to begin planning for retirement is encouraged to attend. It is never too early to educate yourself!

What issues will be covered?
This comprehensive workshop will cover all issues related to the State Teachers’ Retirement System such as retirement eligibility, purchasing additional service, how Social Security may be affected, retiree health insurance, and choosing a retirement plan.

Will the workshop provide a question and answer session?
Yes, although many of your questions likely will be answered during the presentation, there will time for group and individual questions.

Is there a fee to attend?
No, this workshop is offered free of charge to any CEA members and is funded by CEA dues dollars.

Presenter: Robyn Kaplan-Cho, Esq.

Length: 2 hours

Budget Battle is Over

Dear Members
As you may have read in the Courant this morning, our local budget battle may be over.  Town Council voted along party lines last night to adopt a budget.
They are asking for an additional $300,000 in cuts from the School Board (on top of the $2 million in tightening cuts) while making no personnel cuts on the Town side, adding a new assistant fire chief, and purchasing the UCONN property for $1 million.
This new budget will result in a small property tax increase in town of 2.6%.  A referendum at this point is still possible but unlikely.  So in the end, the school district is cutting costs and 16 positions…some due to declining enrollment, but the massive cuts that we were all worried about are not going to happen this year and our contractual agreement will be honored next year.  (Step movement, etc…)
Links::
Town Budget:
UCONN purchase:
State Level (Partisan disagreement, lack of progress)
Link to Town Council meeting video:

SBAC Decoupled from Teacher Evaluation

139_1952701It has been a long fight but it is now official.
The state mandate to include SBAC scores as 22.5% of your teacher evaluation has been permanently killed.
The mandate has been delayed for several years in a row and in March of last year, you may recall that many of us gave testimony on Senate Bill 380 which attempted to permanently decouple standardized tests from TeVal.  Many of you replied to a Survey Monkey survey and 90% of you were in favor of permanently decoupling the two.  This data was presented to the Education Committee on the same day that key education leaders claimed that most teachers were in favor of SBAC being used in Teval.  Your timely feedback was invaluable.
The Courant ran this article today: