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The Wheelhouse Digest
Thu September 26, 2013
Lembo's Fiscal Review; Wind Turbine Ban Extended; Hemp Bake Sale Denied
Connecticut is doing a little bit better getting ready for rainy days, we learned from Kevin Lembo this week, but when there's fair weather, the state legislature made sure we won't be generating energy from wind turbines anytime soon. Read about that and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest... where UConn has us thinking about the legality of digesting hemp brownies.
LEMBO CITES SOME FISCAL PROGRESS FOR CONNECTICUT
The state comptroller points to modest growth, but no economic boom is coming.
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo delivered an annual review Wednesday, showing Connecticut had a surplus of $400 million at the end of the fiscal year, and is rebuilding its rainy day fund. Lembo cautioned that the increase in revenue is modest at best, and the state needs to address unfunded liabilities. Keith Phaneuf also reports a "glaring sign of weakness" in the state's heavily relied-upon income tax.
NO NEW WIND TURBINES
A federal tax credit expires at the end of the year, but developers can't use it.
A day after the state announced a contract to buy wind power from a Maine company, the state legislature voted to continue a ban on wind turbines. The move rejected regulations that may have allowed for new construction of renewable energy projects. A dispute between Colebrook residents and developer BNE Energy led to the extended ban, Brad Kane reports, pending the creation of wind-specific regulations.
HEMP-THEMED BAKE SALE DENIED
At UConn, a proposed sale triggered ample discussion of state law.
Students at UConn hoping to highlight "the oddities of U.S. drug policies" tried to have a bake sale featuring hemp products early this week. Permission to do so was denied by the school. Even the students' effort to fly in the face of that decision was thwarted, because they couldn't find hemp-based food products in stores. In several states, industrial hemp has been redefined as an agricultural product authorized for regulated production, Greg Hladky reports, and bills to do the same are pending in Congress.