Senate Approves Annual Budget; Bill Would Expand Early-Childhood Education
The state Senate approved a $19 billion annual budget over the weekend. It postpones three tax breaks for shoppers and retired teachers as the state's surplus dissolves in the state’s sluggish economy. Democrats rallied around the package that provides funding for public education, housing, after-school programs, social service needs, and transportation infrastructure. The budget now awaits Governor Dannel Malloy's signature.
Early Childhood Education Bill Moves Forward
The Senate has approved legislation that creates a new program called Connecticut Smart Start. It provides capital grants to any municipality that can demonstrate an unmet need for preschool education. Senate President Donald Williams said providing quality pre-K services can help close the achievement gap in Connecticut between wealthy and needy students.
Lawmakers Consider Pensions for Private-Sector Workers
Connecticut lawmakers and several other states are looking at ways to provide pensions to private-sector workers. Elected officials are responding to a widespread loss of private-sector pensions, a lack of access to employer-sponsored retirement accounts in smaller businesses and stagnant incomes that make it hard for workers to contribute to their retirement plans or company account.
UConn Poll Shows Americans' Skepticism Over Common Core
A poll conducted by the University of Connecticut finds Americans are skeptical about the Common Core Standards. The survey released today shows 38 percent of people believe the Common Core was a good policy. That's compared to 44 percent who think the opposite. The poll showed that just 33 percent believed adopting the standards would increase the quality of education.
U.S. Coast Guard Museum Gets a Ground-Breaking
The U.S. Coast Guard broke ground for its new museum in New London last week. It will be the first museum honoring the Coast Guard in the nation. Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio said this was an honor for the city, which is already closely associated with the Coast Guard.