A Victory for Plum Island Advocates in latest COVID Relief Bill

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After 12 years, Plum Island is off the auction block because of a provision in the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 relief bill that passed on Monday.  It’s been 12 years of fighting to prevent the sale of the island, said U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, during a public zoom call that included members of Preserve Plum Island Coalition, an alliance of more than 116 organizations  “We fought for years to prevent the sale to a developer. We tried locating it, at first, with the National Park Service then with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,” Schumer said.  Since 1954, the 840-acre

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Courtney Sponsors Bill to Aid Districts with Tribal Lands and Military Bases

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A federal bill introduced by Congressman Joe Courtney to protect education funding for districts like Groton and Ledyard with children living on tribal lands and military bases was signed into law by President Donald Trump on Dec. 4. “This is a big deal for us,” said Michael Graner, superintendent of Groton school district. “Groton has about 1000 military-dependent children who live in military housing, and because their parents don’t pay property taxes on their military housing, the town misses out on that revenue.” The bipartisan “Impact Aid Coronavirus Relief Act” will allow school districts to receive the same federal Impact

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In Interview, DeLauro Sketches Priorities as Appropriations Chair

House Democrats elected Rep. Rosa DeLauro, who represents the greater New Haven area, to chair the House Appropriations Committee for the 117th Congress. The veteran congresswoman will take over the committee in January following the retirement of Rep. Nita Lowey of New York. The vote from the full caucus ratified the Steering and Policy Committee’s vote on Tuesday to recommend DeLauro for the position.  On Friday, DeLauro told Connecticut Examiner that she is thrilled and humbled by the new role.  “To be chosen by my peers as chair of the Appropriations Committee is an honor,” DeLauro said. “The committee holds

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Courtney Sketches Out Agenda Under a Biden Administration

CT Examiner spoke with Joe Courtney, Connecticut’s 2nd District representative, about his legislative priorities heading into the lame duck session and the next administration.  The following transcript has been edited for clarity and condensed.  Stimulus and the Lame Duck CT EX: What are the prospects for a stimulus package and COVID relief bill in the new Congress?  COURTNEY: First off, we’re still seeking to get a COVID relief bill done in the lame duck session. No one’s given up on that, and Plan A is still to get relief out as soon as possible. COVID is picking up speed, and

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$2.6 Million in Federal COVID Funds Earmarked for 65 Libraries Across Connecticut

Since the Governor’s Office allocated $2.6 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to public libraries last week, local librarians have been brainstorming creative ways to use the funds.  The funding, which will be distributed to 65 library districts across the state, is designated for the purchase of PPE, furniture, cleaning services and internet expansion.  Susan Rooney, the librarian at Deep River Public Library, said she had a lot of ideas about how to use the funding, including an outdoor tent with a heater and furnishing for people to sit and study, air purifiers and wifi hotspots on either side of

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With One Month to Go, State Officials Seek to Boost Census Numbers for Connecticut

With one month to go before the reporting deadline for the U.S. Census, eight percent of Connecticut households still remain uncounted, currently the ninth-best completion rate in the country and the second-best response rate in New England after Maine.  In August, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that it would stop collecting responses for the census on September 30, a month earlier than previously stated.  According to Elizabeth Porter, chair of the Complete Contact Committee in Groton, the abrupt change in the deadline for collecting responses has created some challenges. “That, to me, was just unfair,” she said. “If you set

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