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Power Restored to Hundreds in Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford


Power has been restored to hundreds of people in Shelton, Trumbull and Stratford after being knocked out Wednesday morning.

According to the United Illuminating website, 1,778 customers were without power as of 5:15 a.m. Over 1,300 of those were located in Shelton. Police said the power issues were not weather related, but rather some kind of transmission issue.

As of 6:20 a.m. power was restored of all of those customers.

No other details were immediately available.

Photo Credit: United Illuminating

Old Lyme Resident Looking to Muffle Waves to Protect Beaches


While Jose arrived in Connecticut without the punch people feared, all along the shoreline, businesses and residents still prepared for the worst.

Elsewhere, surfers could be seen out on the water hoping to take advantage of any waves the storm brought.

But at the Old Lyme Beach Club, something most people haven't seen before is planted along the beachfront. Large corrugated pipes are bolted to the ground with anchors parallel to the water. Their inventor hopes the pipes will catch some waves as well.

"As the tide rises and the waves come in, we're going to try and stop them," said Sloane Danenhower.

The Old Lyme resident says his patented "Wave Muffler" will cut 4-foot waves down to just a foot.

"The water comes in, the energy gets absorbed in the pipe, the water comes out the ends of the pipe," said Danenhower. "The cuts in the pipe, what they do is let the water in to fill the pipe up, and if there's extra water it spills out the back."

Danenhower says he came up with the idea following Superstorm Sandy which left a foot of sand on the deck of the Old Lyme Beach Club. For more than three years, Danenhower says he's worked on the Wave Muffler and tested it in labs. He's waiting to test it against the power of an actual hurricane.

Danenhower says the pipes on the beachfront of the Old Lyme Beach Club can be set up in about four hours and taken down in about three. The goal is to one day see the system deployed before a hurricane to protect property and beach erosion.

“The idea is to be able to scale it up so we could do hundreds, if not thousands, of feet within a day or two of an oncoming catastrophe," said Danenhower.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Earthquake Flattens Mexico City School, Killing 21 Children


Firefighters, police and local volunteers pulled at least 25 bodies, all but four of them children, from a Mexico City school partially flattened by a powerful earthquake Tuesday, NBC News reported. 

At least 217 people were killed by Tuesday's magnitude-7.1 quake and scores of buildings were destroyed.

Crews wearing hard hats worked their way through pancaked concrete slabs in what had been the Enrique Rebsamen school in the south of the capital. Family members and teachers searched through lists of children to try to work out who was unaccounted for.

Dr. Pedro Serrano, one of the volunteers, told The Associated Press that he managed to crawl into the crevices of the tottering pile of rubble. He made it into a classroom, but found all of its occupants dead.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Gerardo Carrillo

Former CT Resident Riding Out Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico


UPDATE 8:30 a.m. Sept. 20: Hurricane Maria made landfall near Yabucoa around 6:15 a.m. Melinda Echevarria tells NBC Connecticut she has not heard from her mother Janette Hernandez since 7 p.m. on Tuesday and that there is no cell service in that area of the island. In the last message Echevarria sent her mother, she told her to stay safe, that she loves her, and that she is praying. The family is waiting for news.


As Jose heads further out to sea, the concern for many is now Hurricane Maria.

The Category 4 Hurricane continues to clobber small islands in the Caribbean – and Puerto Rico is bracing for a direct hit.

NBC Connecticut spoke with Janette Hernandez via Facetime while inside her home in Puerto Rico. She is originally from the island, but lived in the Hartford area for about 35 years, until she moved back to her native Puerto Rico five years ago. Now, she lives in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico – about 45 miles southeast of San Juan.

“I’d be lying if I say I’m not a little nervous,” she said.

With Hurricane Maria just a few hours away from reaching the island, she showed us her view from the porch of her home. It was eerily quiet then with hardly any wind – barely any cars on the street.

Hernandez knows Maria is coming. At times, the clouds and winds are hinting at Maria’s soon arrival.

“It’s starting to rain but I know that’s going to be coming, this weather is going to be coming – there’s a little wind coming as well.”

While Hurricane Irma caused some damage and flooding, the island was lucky for the most part as the eye skirted north of Puerto Rico.

It appears they won’t be so lucky this time. Hurricane Maria is forecasted to be a direct hit on the island.

“Sooner or later, we’re going to lose electricity and water because the system here is really behind in that type of service,” she said. “We’re trying to take care of each other. We had already covered the windows.”

Hernandez’s family is even going as far as keeping their chickens inside the house, where she plans to ride out the storm.

Meanwhile, in Connecticut - Janette’s daughter, Melinda Echevarria of East Hartford is glad her calls are still getting through to her mother.

“For (Hurricane) Irma she was able to call us within a few days. This time around I don’t think we’re going to be that lucky,” said Echevarria.

Echevarria does not know how much longer they’ll be able to stay in touch. It’s what both mother and daughter are worried about.

“Without electricity, communications for a while with our family so that I worry about but I want to tell my family that I’ll be OK,” said Hernandez.

Photo Credit: Contributed Photo

Milford Native Becomes Advocate for Hurricane Relief in Virgin Islands


In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Jenn Manes has become a sort of public advocate for relief assistance in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She grew up in Milford, but has lived on the island of St. John for several years and now considers it home. 

She was on the island as it was battered by Hurricane Irma earlier this month and said the storm left behind historic amounts of destruction. 

“St. John is known as a happy little island. So many tourists come there, especially from Connecticut and this part of the country. To see it turned into a war zone is just heartbreaking,” she said. 

Hurricane Irma's destruction forced Manes to evacuate the island. 

She and her boyfriend left St. John with the help of the U.S. Coast Guard and then a cruise ship that brought them to Miami before they took a flight to Bradley International Airport. Now at her parents' home in Madison, Manes is worried about how her island home will fare because of Hurricane Maria. 

“Sitting 2,000 miles away just watching it get battered again it breaks my heart,” she said. 

Hurricane Irma leveled parts of the island, destroying houses and tossing boats onto land. 

“When I drove around I didn’t even know where I was. That’s how devastated this island is. We’re alive, we’re safe. But we’re not OK. We might physically be okay, but our life was taken away from us" says Manes who is waiting for Maria to pass so she can figure out how soon she can return to St. John. 

Manes said while she’s here in Connecticut she plans to use her website, www.NewsofStJohn.com, to keep people informed about what’s happening on her beloved island. 

However long it takes St. John to rebuild, Manes remains committed to being on the island to help bring back the place locals know as “The Love City.” 

“The second we can get back and the second we can help, we will be there,” she said. 

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

Cloudy, Gusty Day as Jose's Fringe Effects Reach Connecticut


UPDATE: 11 a.m. Wednesday: Connecticut is back in the possible path of Tropical Storm Jose, but the only expected impact here is breezy, sunny and warm weather by the weekend.

5 a.m. Wednesday Update:

While Tropical Storm Jose isn’t expected to cause major issues in Connecticut, the storm will pass off the coast of New England and the effects will be felt in Connecticut and our neighbors in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Connecticut will only experience some fringe effects, especially for the southeast corner. A tropical storm watch was issued over the weekend for southern Connecticut, but it was canceled at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday Jose was a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds around 65 mph. The storm is expected to pass around 150 miles southeast of Nantucket, sparing Connecticut the worst of its power. Nantucket will see the strongest effects in the area, with rain and the possibility of wind gusts around 50 mph.

The southeastern portion of our state will see some strong wind. Winds were gusting over 30 mph in southern New London County Tuesday night and wind gusts are expected to reach up to 45 mph along the southeastern Connecticut shoreline. The rest of the state will see more moderate winds and some showers Wednesday.

Just over the Connecticut border in Rhode Island Jose is causing stormy seas. Waves are currently 6 to 8 feet, wave heights will increase with potential for waves of 10 to 14 feet. While the weekend forecast calls for sun and warm temperatures, with Jose mingling off the coast there is the threat of dangerous rip currents.

Photo Credit: National Hurricane Center
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Gas Leak Evacuated Apartments in Manchester


A few apartments on Rachel Road in Manchester were evacuated because of a gas leak in the Oakland Street area of Manchester, according to police.

Oakland Street has reopened, but Rachel Road will remain closed until further notice. 

Photo Credit: Manchester Police

Loaded Gun Magazine Found Outside North Haven School


A loaded gun magazine was found outside a school in North Haven Tuesday night and police said they have identified a person of interest in this case as well as a vandalism incident at the school over the weekend.

Police officers were alerted about the loaded gun magazine when the principal of Clintonville Elementary School called them at 7 p.m. Tuesday after finding it on the ground outside the school.

Officers and detectives responded and searched the area, but did not find any firearms.

As the investigation continued, police were led to believe the incident might be connected to two early morning incidents on Sunday. The first was when a planter was thrown at a glass window of the school, police said.

The other incident was on Old Forge Road when police found an unoccupied damaged vehicle parked on the lawn of a home.

The police department has identified a 31-year-old North Haven man as a person of interest and said he has no apparent connection with the school.

They said they have accounted for the firearm they believe to be connected with the magazine they found.

Police are continuing to investigate but said they have not identified any security threats.

Photo Credit: NBCConnecticut.com

5 Post University Employees Fired After Theft Is Discovered


Post University in Waterbury has dismissed five associates amid an investigation into allegations about the theft of almost $47,000.

Police started investigating on Feb. 6 after a staff member discovered the thefts and reported it, according to a police report. Police said several university employees were cashing Post checks for money they were not owed.

In an emailed statement, officials from Post University said they discovered “irregular associate activity” in February, immediately started investigating and reported the issue to the Waterbury Police Department.

“We are grateful for the work of Post Associates in discovering this theft of non-student, Post University funds, and we refer all future questions to the Waterbury Police Department,” the university said in a statement.

Connecticut College and Universities Getting Doses of Narcan


Campus police and medical personnel at 16 Connecticut State Colleges and Universities will begin carrying a life-saving medication this semester. 

The FDA-approved nasal spray known as Naloxone or Narcan reverses the effects of an overdose. 

In the first six months of 2017, 1078 people died of overdoses in Connecticut compared to 917 deaths in 2016 and 729 deaths in 2015

CSCU officials said on-campus instances of drug overdoses are extremely low, but the opioid-related deaths nationwide initiated the decision to have Narcan available. 

“It is an amazing medication because it fixes in a fairly efficient way, very frequently, a problem that would otherwise kill somebody,” said Richard Kamin, the EMS medical director for the Connecticut Department of Public Health. 

First responders like Hartford Deputy Fire Chief William Kerr have seen first-hand the life-saving effects of Narcan. 

“Since the inception of us carrying Narcan, which was 2016 [in] November, we’ve had over 500 calls for it. Unfortunately, we’ve even had the same person in the same day. So it’s a great tool to help save lives. Unfortunately, we need to do something besides this,” Kerr said. 

Kerr was hoping to discuss other treatments and methods that would help drug users at a forum Wednesday morning. UConn Health and the Department of Public Health’s Office of Emergency Medical Services hosted the forum for about 100 first responders from across the state. 

“This is a disease that affects people’s brains, not simply a good or bad decision to use drugs,” Kamin said. 

Police officers at the four CSCU universities — Central, Southern, Eastern and Western — and four CSCU community colleges with a police force — Naugatuck Valley, Capital, Gateway and Manchester — will act as first responders at each of those campuses. At the remaining eight community colleges without a police force, specific staff trained in responding to health crises or other campus leaders will be appointed to administer Narcan. 

“I think it’s good. I think it’s going to save a lot of lives,” said AJ Messana, a CCSU student from Newington. 

“I think it’s a really good thing. Just like a defibrillator or something we need to be able to deal with emergency care on the spot,” said Garland Eastman, a CCSU student from Farmington. 

Each of the four Connecticut State Universities will receive an initial quantity of four doses per semester, and the doses administered will be replenished as they are used.

By the end of the semester, each of the 12 community colleges will be provided with two doses per semester for administration on their campuses. A dose of Narcan is good for about 24 months. 

Tick Linked to Meat Allergy Found in Connecticut


The tick species that has been linked to an allergy to red meat in humans has been discovered in Connecticut, state environmental officials said.

It is the first known established reproducing population of the lone star tick in Connecticut, according to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

The presence of the lone star ticks was first detected in June after a South Norwalk resident reported a deer acting strangely on Manresa Island, the former Norwalk Harbor Station.

An Environmental Conservation officer from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection arrived to investigate and found the deer had died after suffering a severe infestation of ticks. The ticks completely covered the deer's eyes, ears, head and neck, according to a release from DEEP.

Further examination by Connecticut State Entomologist Dr. Kirby Stafford revealed that they were lone star ticks on the deer.

"The number of ticks on and around the animal was incredible," Dr. Stafford said in a news release. "A population of this size has been established, unreported for many years."

A group from the Agricultural Experiment Station returned to Manresa Island to conduct sampling and found multiple deer and raccoon skeletons and many dead birds, according to a state official.

An abundant lone star tick population appears to be established on Manresa Island, but does not appear to have spread to the mainland, Dr. Stafford said. The island is not open to the public and the ticks do not pose a direct threat to residents, he said.

It is not the first time experts at the Agricultural Experiment Station have seen the lone star tick. Of the thousands of ticks tested in Connecticut each year, about 70-90 are lone star ticks, according to the release.

The ticks have already established a population on Long Island, and experts believe Connecticut residents could pick them up while vacationing there or points further south.

If bitten by lone star tick, people can develop an allergy to red meat. It is also associated with other human and animal diseases such as ehrlichiosis and spotted fever rickettsiosis.

The lone star ticks are reddish-brown and females have a distinctive spot on their backs.

Photo Credit: J. Gathany, CDC

Lawmakers Taking Up Collections to Help Puerto Rico


Several Connecticut lawmakers are taking up collections to help people in need after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, causing devastation and knocking out power to the whole island.

State Rep. Minnie Gonzalez, who was born in Puerto Rico, said she and other Latino lawmakers plan to travel to Puerto Rico in early October to help buy items for people who are in shelters on the island.

Lawmakers plan to have a kiosk at several events over the next few days in Waterbury, Meriden and Hartford where people can donate money.


  • Latin America Music Festival, Friday, Sept. 22 on the Meriden Green, at 77 State St., from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The Gathering, East Main Street in Waterbury, Saturday, Sept. 23, at 12:30 p.m.
  • Park Street in Hartford, in front of the El Mercado, Friday, Sept. 30, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Gonzalez said she’s been in contact with current and former lawmakers in Puerto Rico who’ve given her a list of about 50 shelters where people are staying.

Photo Credit: Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images

Man Fatally Hit Kitten With Remote, Shot Other With BB Gun


A West Hartford man is accused of killing a kitten, severely injuring another and killing a pet rat, police said. 

Officers responded to an apartment on Sky View Drive on Wednesday for reports that someone had killed kittens inside the residence. 

Police found one kitten was dead after it was hit in the head with a TV remote. Another kitten was found severely injured after it was shot at with a BB gun, West Hartford police said. 

It was also reported that the same suspect, 22-year-old Corey McCall, had killed a pet rat in the same apartment a few days earlier. Police said McCall also assaulted his girlfriend.

McCall is accused of two counts of cruelty to animals, disorderly conduct, assault, unlawful discharge of a firearm and possession of less than four ounces of marijuana. 

His bond was set at $150,000. 

Photo Credit: West Hartford Police

'We Had to Just Run': Berlin Man Describes Mexico Earthquake


A Connecticut missionary from Mexico City, who also lives in Berlin, was in Mexico with his family when the earthquake hit. 

"It was just continuing. It got very hard, very strong and we had to just run," Josue Ortiz said.

Ortiz described the horrifying moments a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Mexico City on Tuesday.

"I never ran for my life like I did yesterday," Ortiz said to his wife a day after the earthquake.

Ortiz said his wife, a Berlin native, was at home with their kids in Mexico when the quake hit. While their house was unharmed, Ortiz said, devastation is everywhere.

"Just about five minutes from where we live, there was a school that completely fell down with kids and teachers inside and as of right now they are still trying to get them out from there," Ortiz said.

The death toll Wednesday rose to at least 225. Ortiz, who is a missionary, said he’s ready to help however he can.

"It is going to be a huge government effort and as a community, we have to be there for them. We are going to try and open homes for people that have lost places," Ortiz said.

Ortiz said two weeks ago the area had an earthquake that was also very strong but didn’t cause any damage. Yesterday was also the anniversary of a an earthquake 32 years ago that killed thousands of people.

Photo Credit: Josue Ortiz

Pa. Man Who Received Girls as 'Gift' Gets 30-87 Years on Rape Charges


A Bucks County man was sentenced to 30 to 87 years in state prison Wednesday on multiple counts of child rape and related charges for years of housing and sleeping with underage Amish sisters.

Lee Kaplan, 52, of Feasterville, was convicted in June on 17 counts. Last year, police found nine daughters of Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus inside Kaplan's small house. Savilla Stoltzfus was also living with Kaplan and the girls.

Two other young girls were also in the house. They were fathered by Kaplan, a Cheltenham native, with the oldest of the Stoltzfus daughters. She was 14 when her parents "gifted" the daughters to Kaplan.

In July, Daniel and Savilla Stoltzfus were led away in shackles and handcuffs in front of 30 members of their former Amish community after their sentencing on child endangerment charges before Judge Jeffrey Finley in Doylestown. They have been in prison since June 16, 2016. 

Daniel Stoltzfus, 44, who pleaded no contest, must serve 3½ years before he is eligible for parole, while his 43-year-old wife must serve at least three years. They will get credit for time served.

"It would be higher if I had the ability to do so," Judge Jeffrey Finley said to both parents of his sentences for them. "This goes beyond the aggravated sentencing range."

Finley said he could not comprehend why the Stoltzfus couple decided that giving their nine daughters to Lee Kaplan, of Feasterville, was a good solution to their money troubles.

Daniel Stoltzfus continued to live in Lancaster County during the more than four years while his daughters lived with Kaplan, who fathered two children with the couple’s eldest daughter. She was gifted to him at 14. Savilla Stoltzfus eventually moved in with Kaplan as well.

All told, nine of the Stoltzfus' children, two babies fathered by Kaplan and Savilla Stoltzfus lived in Kaplan's small Cape Cod-style home on Old Street Road.

The case garnered national attention last summer when details of life inside the Kaplan house initially came to light.

In an interview with NBC10 the week of Kaplan's arrest in June 2016, a FedEx delivery man said Kaplan didn't often wear his shirt to answer his front door, and his house "stunk ... like cat piss."

"He doesn't talk much. I tried joking with him, but he'd just stare at you with a blank face," said Brendan Cragg, who's been delivering packages in the neighborhood for the last 10 years. "He'd come to the door with no shirt on, that big beard. I knew he was crazy. It kind of stunk in there, I thought, like cat piss. I thought he was a hoarder."

A tip from a neighbor eventually led police to search Kaplan's house, where they found the girls — and a massive, elaborate miniature train collection in the basement.

That train collection was apparently part of an eBay business Kaplan ran out of his home. A business called "The Brass Caboose" that buys and sells miniature trains has the same address as Kaplan's house on Old Street Road in Feasterville.

"I thought about him all weekend," Cragg said. "I wish looking back I would have said something. But you don't really know what's going on (inside the house). I never saw anyone else in there."

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'GOP Budget a Hot Mess': Governor Malloy Says


Days after the GOP budget passed the Connecticut General Assembly, Governor Dannel Malloy said he had more time to review what is in the budget that’s about to reach his desk.

Malloy said the funding formula for education laid out in the GOP budget is "one hot mess" and maintained his pledge to veto the spending plan and go back to the drawing board for a budget.

Republican Leader Themis Klarides counters the governor by arguing the GOP plan is constitutionally sound and would pass a judge’s test for equity in school funding.

"If we want to make sure we have equity in our education funding, we have to make sure that we have a formula that works,"  Klarides said. "We believe this does."

Over a two-year period, the GOP proposal does not decrease spending to any individual school system. Where Malloy’s criticism strikes at the heart of the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula, is the way funds are distributed when comparing wealthy and poor communities.

For instance, Greenwich, from 2017 to 2018, receives a 955 percent increase, to $1.12 million, from $106,750. While in Hartford, one of the most distressed cities in the state, the funding increase to $159 million is less than two percent, up from $156 million.

The governor said such logic baffles him.

"The places we have failed in we have recently had success in because we have redirected funds to those communities and this budget takes that money away and this budget dismembers the programs that have brought about this change," Malloy said. "You think I’m pretty hot about this issue? I am very hot about this issue."

Republicans said the fact that Democrats sided with them should be enough of a case for the governor to sign the bill into law as soon as possible.

If a budget does not go into effect by October first, then more than $500 million in spending cuts would go into effect automatically as a result of Malloy’s executive order.

For that reason, Republicans reiterated their call for the governor to sign the budget.

Sen. Len Fasano, the top Republican in the Senate said, "Look, we’ve got a bipartisan budget that passed both chambers. Sign it. Period."

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

CT Mexican Community ‘Heartbroken’ Over Earthquake


As pictures and videos pour in of the earthquake the ravaged Mexico, the Mexican community in southeastern Connecticut is heartbroken.

Even communities as far from the center of the quake did not escape unscathed. 

At Taqueria Cinco in Groton, Luis Martinez’ head is in his work, but his heart is in Mexico.

"It’s very sad and heartbreaking to see these people lost everything at once. It’s really hard," Martinez said.

Martinez, who is originally from Tlaxcala, Mexico, said his sister and grandmother live less than two hours from Mexico City. They felt part of magnitude 7.1 earthquake that tore apart parts of the country.

"It started shaking. Up and down. People started screaming. They went under the tables to protect themselves," Martinez said.

Martinez’s relatives are safe. He learned through phone calls and Facebook that his friends are too. 

Laura Ramales’ family, who is about four hours from the center of the earthquake, is also safe.

"A few buildings, churches (are damaged), but they’re safe. Thank God they’re safe," said Ramales, whose family owns Mi Casa Mexican Restaurant 2 in New London.

Her aunts, uncles and grandpa are in Guadalupe Tulcingo, Mexico, and her uncle’s house was damaged. Now they’re working to send money to help him.

“My heart is full of sadness for what my people are going through over there," Ramales said. 

Tuesday’s earthquake struck on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake in Mexico that killed thousands. Earlier that day, people were holding earthquake drills.

Manafort Offered 'Private Briefings' to Russian Billionaire


Shortly before Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination last summer, his campaign chairman offered to provide private briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire with Kremlin ties, his spokesman confirmed to NBC News.

The offer appeared in emails between then campaign chairman Paul Manafort and one of his employees, some of which suggested Manafort was seeking to use his role to make money, the Washington Post reported. The spokesman, Jason Maloni, said the emails, which had been turned over to congressional committees, showed nothing improper.

The Post said the billionaire was Oleg Deripaska, an oligarch in Putin's inner circle. NBC News has reported that Manafort had business dealings with Deripaska, who was once denied entry to the United States because of alleged mafia links.

"If he needs private briefings we can accommodate," Manafort wrote in the July 7, 2016, email, the Post reported.

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke/AP

Man Beaten With Pipe at Hartford Burger King: Police


A man was beaten by two other men at a Burger King in Hartford on Wednesday, police said. 

Officers responded to the Burger King on Main Street at 1:48 p.m. for a large disturbance. 

A victim was found unresponsive with facial injuries, police said. 

Witnesses told police that two men came into the Burger King and started a verbal argument with the victim before one of the suspects started assaulting him with a bright pipe. 

The victim was transported to Hartford Hospital. 

Hartford police said they are investigating. 

Budget Crisis Leads to Proposed Electric Bill Changes


Part of what ratepayers spend on monthly electric bills could soon change because of Connecticut’s budget problem.

Both the Republican and Democratic bills want to take part of what ratepayers pay toward the Clean Energy Fund, listed as Combined Benefit Charges under Delivery Fees and divert it to the general fund.

“That is a specific fund, there for a specific use,” said Taren O’Connor, who works for the Office of Consumer Counsel and chairs the Energy Efficiency Board. “It’s to allow the Green Bank to offer programs and services in the renewable energy space, and the clean air space.”

O’Connor explains that the average ratepayer, who uses 750 kWh per month, spends about eight to 10 dollars per year towards the Green Bank. That money helps it finance projects and grants towards things like solar.

“That’s not fair for that money to then be spent on things like pensions,” O’Connor said.

The GOP bill proposes transferring a total of $26 million to the general fund over the next two years.

“You still have $13 million, that’s a lot of money,” said GOP President Pro Tempore Len Fasano. “You can still do a lot of things, but when it comes to cutting care for kids or cutting medical stuff, we are going to opt to say, ‘Look, let’s just put a hold on this for two years.’”

Democrats proposed charging ratepayers double, keeping some of it with the Clean Energy Fund and transferring more than $30 million.

“What we’re looking to do is to have a balanced revenue structure that will put the state in balance,” said Democratic President Pro Tempore Martin Looney. “Something that was necessary to do.”

If the measure is implemented in the state’s final spending plan, ratepayers might not know by looking at their bill how much of their money will go to the general fund instead of toward clean energy.

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