Committee Rejects Malloy Plans on Teacher Pensions, Education Cost Sharing

A key legislative committee is calling for rejection of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s highly controversial plans to change the education cost-sharing formula and to force towns to share one-third of the cost of teachers’ pensions.

Under intense pressure from mayors and first selectmen for nearly three months, lawmakers are calling for the same funding of the educational cost-sharing formula as now. The state is sending more than $2 billion in cost-sharing funds to municipalities in the current fiscal year, and that number would remain the same in each of the next two years under the committee’s plan.

The educational formula was among the most controversial changes recommended by Malloy when he released his proposed budget in early February. While the committee recommends changes to the internal components of the spending formula, it is recommending no change in the total amount of ECS funding – providing a huge sigh of relief for cities and towns.

The Democratic-controlled committee’s recommendations were made in a thick budget document that was released Tuesday morning by the budget-writing appropriations committee. Tuesday is a major day at the state Capitol as the committee is expected to vote later on a series of spending items ranging from prisons to education and the courts

Overall, the Democratic committee would spend about $200 million more each year than Malloy – meaning an increase of $400 million over two years. While Malloy sought to spend $20.097 billion in the next fiscal year, the committee wants to spend more – $20.296 billion. Over two years, the committee would spend $41.03 billion to fund state government.

House Republican leader Themis Klarides said that Democrats were going down the wrong path with increased spending and proposed tax increases.

“We’re losing revenues,” Klarides said. “We’re losing taxpayers. We’re losing businesses.”

Luke Bronin Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin speaks to the media before a hearing of the General Assembly’s Finance Committee Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin speaks to the media before a hearing of the General Assembly’s Finance Committee See more videos

Legislators and mayors were still reading the budget Tuesday and trying to digest the changes. Hartford mayor Luke Bronin, whose city would have received millions of additional dollars under Malloy’s now-rejected proposals, said, “Until I see the whole package, I can’t comment on it.”

With higher spending, legislators said there will be more pressure to increase taxes in order to meet the levels of spending.

Despite huge gains in the stock market on Wall Street over the past six months, state coffers have not been overflowing with money. Republicans say the reason is partly due to the departure of Fairfield County billionaires and millionaires who have moved to Florida and other low-tax states and are no longer paying millions into Connecticut coffers. The budget recommendations were made on the same day that the Nasdaq Composite Index hit a record-breaking 6,000 for the first time.

But Rep. Josh Elliott, a liberal Democrat who serves as vice chairman of the finance committee, said the state is facing budget deficits because past tax increases were “not enough” – despite complaints by Republicans that the tax increases had helped cause the state’s problems in the first place.

“In the last 10 years, yes, we’ve had two income tax increases,” Elliott said. “In my mind, they were not enough. That’s why we’re here today. That’s why we’ll be talking about this over and over again. Because we’re not doing enough to raise revenue.”

Sen. L. Scottt Frantz, a Greenwich Republican, said he personally knows an investor with a net worth of $15.6 billion who moved out of Connecticut. The problem, Frantz said, is that the numbers are so high for one person that making up the tax loss is difficult.

“We’ll need 15,000 new millionaires to make up for that one person,” Frantz said.

The budget battle is far from over. All recommendations made Tuesday are subject to final approval by the House of Representatives, the Senate and Malloy. No final deals are expected until June at the earliest.

In one of the busiest days of the legislative year, two committees are working simultaneously Tuesday on the spending and taxing sides of the budget.

Cities and towns

The appropriations committee will focus on restoring cuts proposed by Malloy that included the plan to ask municipalities to collectively pay more than $400 million annually as a one-third share of teachers’ pensions. Currently, the state pays 100 percent of the employer cost and the towns pay nothing. The teachers contribute 6 percent of their salaries toward their pensions.

In a one-line explanation in the budget book, the committee recommendation said: “Maintain full state funding for the TRS retirement contribution.”

The committee accepted the explanation by the Council of Small Towns

Talking K-Pop Style with BTS :: Style :: Features :: BTS :: Paste

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The Dye Hard Symposium offered new perspectives for the fashion industry

The Dye Hard Symposium offered new perspectives for the fashion industry

The symposium presents experienced facilitators to talk about the process and creation of dye

Close Cal State LA showcase their fashion creations Marcela Valdivia

Marcela Valdivia Cal State LA showcase their fashion creations

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On Monday, April 10, the Cal State LA Downtown campus hosted “Dye Hard Symposium” focusing on exploring contemporary dye practices.

Professor Carole Frances Lung decided to hold the “Dye Hard Symposium” after attending the 2016 Surface Design Association. Taking a tour at Valdese Weavers, the symposium allowed attendees to participate in conversations about the process and thinking behind dye with a variety of facilitators.

Mika Cho, Department Chair of the Department of Art, touched upon how the symposium offers educational discussions that allow for creative research to expand while facilitators share their knowledge about dye to others who are building their experience. “We are the researchers and without doing research we cannot do creative work.”

The symposium counted the presence of five facilitators from across the nation that were willing to share their experience and expertise in dye. The first roundtable discussion consisted of topics on community, technology, farming, and global. These topics focused on the process, inspiration, and techniques in creating dye.

Marianne Fairbanks teaches at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the textile and fashion design department. Her extensive history of art making and dyeing concentrate on color in a solar textile research and artwork. She enjoys utilizing color as an attention grabber and intrigues people through fluorescent colors that are bold and bright.

Molly Keogh is co-founder of a clothing company, Osei-Duro, that creates contemporary western clothing using local handmade textiles. The idea for the company came to fruition when she took a trip to Ghana with her friend and worked with resist dyers to create something completely new in the clothing industry. In Ghana she discovered traditional textiles of dyes including strip weaving, factoring printing, and resist dyeing. “Osei-Duro has always been trained as an experiment, a dialogue, a meeting of techniques, and aesthetics,” said Molly Keogh.

Jane Palmer has a background in textiles and her inspiration of colors comes from where she lived. She spoke about her passion for natural dyes and how she opened the first natural dye house in the United States. However, natural dyes are challenging to produce and she shifted her focus into developing a high performing natural dye made from agricultural waste that helps reduce water usage.

“Natural dyes are immense challenging because they use twice as much water as commercial reactive dyes, they fade really fast in the sun and for commercial purposes that is unacceptable, and they are also immensely expensive,” said Jane Palmer

Laura Sansone, creator of Textile Labs, spoke about regional production systems and clothing in textiles. Her organization, Textile Labs, focuses on design and research to promote regional ethical textile production through education. Essentially, the mission of her organization is to link regional textile systems together by connecting farmers, mills, consumers, and designers through community projects. “The goal is to get people to understand the environmental and social impact of the textile supply chain,” said Laura Sansome.

Rowland Ricketts teaches textiles at Indiana University’s Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Art. His passion for dye emerged when he moved to Japan after graduating to teach English and discovered indigo as a powerful tool for dye. Living in an old farm house eventually sparked his artistic side and his passion for making different blue colored dyes. “My goal is to get the the indigo that I use out in the world and into the lives of others, while also using it as a vehicle to create connections, foster community, and engage others,” said Roland Ricketts.

A second round of discussions involved topics about market demands, color, and jousting capitalism. These discussions concentrated on the process of thinking when dyeing through theoretical conversations.

In aspects of market demands, facilitators highlighted the importance of keeping individuality in a product and satisfying what the consumer wants at the same time. The designer puts their soul into the work to reach a satisfying product that will impress the consumer. Also, designers take into consideration the trends or work on their own unique vision to reach market demands.

Color is crucial to the developme

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What is it and how does it connect with SEO?

Web site positioning and the design and implementation of a visual design are just the opposite of the eye have not much in common. As it turns out, since proper web design is heavily dependent on the effectiveness of SEO activities. These activities should therefore be conducted with equal care.

Importance of web design

Internet portal users first pay attention to the graphics, page layout and navigation. Graphic designers and SEO specialists should work together to determine the way content is presented before the implementation phase. Even the most interesting content will not attract the attention of customers, if its display will end indefinitely due to unnecessary flash modules or other effects that make it difficult to navigate the site. It is important, first and foremost, to have enough fonts to read, readily matched to the background, and to highlight the most important elements.

The web design should meet the responsiveness criteria, that is, be able to display both in web mode and on various types of mobile devices. To make this happen, web design should be prepared with simplicity, navigation speed and ease of navigation between tabs. A page that fits into the User Experience criteria is usually sure of a significant reduction in the bounce rate. So if you are not only interested in visiting the portal but also frequent conversions – you must take care of this aspect.

The last update of the Google algorithm shows us (https://wezom.pl/blog/mobile-first-index-world-world-of-moving-movies-mobile) that in the future the friendliness of the mobile web site will be one of the main factors in Google ranking . Now it is still not the case, but it also counts when indexing the website.

SEO a web design

After all, do you think that the positioner is working only for the Google algorithm, while the web designer is trying to meet the expectations of visitors to the site? None of these things! As it turns out, the long loading, unreadable and difficult to navigate page will also be worse seen from the point of view of Google crawlers.

The lack of effective SEO efforts will make even a well-thought-out web design impossible. In fact, the site will then be invisible on the Web and therefore will not attract traffic. Both the positioning expert and the person responsible for web design also care about the visibility of the site for search engines and users.

Content marketing – a binder connecting web design and SEO

What comes closest to SEO and web design is undoubtedly the elements of marketing content on the company website. However, you must realize that content marketing is not just text messaging. It also includes the preparation of attractive iconographies, charts, tabular and audiovisual materials. Content marketing also naturally influences the acquisition of high positions – especially from the long tail. For this purpose, it is worth trying to expand the content of each subpage – both valuable content for readers and encouraging to take action graphic materials.

(Read more about the most effective forms of online promotion.)

From the SEO point of view, you also can not forget to place the tagged graphics on the page, remembering the positioning phrases. Such a treatment does not require too much time, and can have a positive effect in the form of higher positions.

Summary

So if you want your website to stand out among the competition, you must invest your time and resources in both modern web design and SEO. These two elements combine broadly understood content marketing.

Pawel Korobov

SEO Specialist

Wezom Interactive Agency