And thanks to the 30 or 40 of you who packed the back room at Liberty Bar and asked great questions.
State Rep. Reuven Carlyle
Some news from the event: Sen. Kohl-Welles said she would sponsor legislation in the senate to repeal the cost overruns measure. Also, Kohl-Welles said it's likely the legislature will send a referendum to the voters to repeal corporate tax loopholes, citing the $50 to $60 million-a-year tax break for out of state banks that the legislature failed to repeal last year.
2. Note: One thing missing from Barnett's otherwise comprehensive live blog account—when Josh asked the Democratic crew of legislators what they saw coming from the GOP this session, Fitzgibbon added undocumented immigrants to the list of targets—public employees being the other, noted by Kohl-Welles—that Republicans were going to demagogue on this year. (We've already seen that in their budget plan.) Props to freshman legislator Fitzgibbon for being so alert and fired up on that issue.
3. One more thing to add to our "2011 is the new 2010" list of New Year's predictions (this one emailed in from a reader): The old city council is the new city council. Meaning: Of the five city council members who are up for reelection in 2011, Tim Burgess, Sally Clark, Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Tom Rasmussen, all of them win.
4. An early New Year's resolution completed? Reporters and others who follow Mayor Mike McGinn have noticed a rather dramatic change in the mayor over recent months. No, we're not talking about his newly calm demeanor (although he definitely has toned his heated rhetoric down a degree or two), but his dramatic weight loss---nearly 40 pounds in the past few months. The secret to his success? A diet composed almost entirely of vegetables and salads, and constant bicycling (on a mountain bike, not his electric-assist).
5. Happy New Year!