Looney stay­ing put as Se­nate leader

The News-Times - - NEWS - By Ken Dixon [email protected]­post.com Twit­ter: @KenDixonCT

Ru­mors in the state Capi­tol that Se­nate Pres­i­dent Pro Tem­pore Martin M. Looney might bail out on his up­com­ing 14th term to ac­cept a top agency job in the nascent ad­min­is­tra­tion of Ned La­mont, are just that.

“It is ab­so­lutely un­true,” Looney said Thurs­day, re­spond­ing to talk in the Capi­tol that he’s be­ing con­sider for a ma­jor job, such as com­mis­sioner of revenue ser­vices or so­cial ser­vices. “I speak with Gov.-elect La­mont quite fre­quently and never has any­thing been dis­cussed about join­ing his ad­min­is­tra­tion.”

The 70-year-old New Haven lawyer said if he re­ally wanted to leave the leg­is­la­ture, the right time would have been two years ago, when he had a bad hip, a kid­ney trans­plant and an 18-18 tie in the Se­nate that made the pur­suit of a Demo­cratic agenda very dif­fi­cult.

“Now I’m feel­ing much bet­ter and we now have 23 mem­bers in our cau­cus,” said Looney who was just elected to a two-year term as chair­man of the State Leg­isla­tive Lead­ers Foun­da­tion, a na­tional group. “I don’t know what more that I have to do to be com­mit­ted to the Se­nate.”

Looney was first elected to the Se­nate in 1992, and has been the high­est-rank­ing mem­ber since Jan­uary 2015 when the Demo­cratic cau­cus elected him pres­i­dent pro tem­pore. The pre­vi­ous dozen years he was Se­nate ma­jor­ity leader.

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