budgets

Budget Time
5:20 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Segarra's Proposed Budget Includes Tax Hike

Mayor Pedro Segarra presents his budget.
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra presented a budget that increases taxes, cancels a class of police officers, and raises new money by selling off some of its parking assets. 

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Connecticut First
6:13 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Examining the State's Heroin Problem; Danbury's Economic Boost; Republicans' Alternative Budget

Heroin use is rising at an alarming rate here in Connecticut and in the northeast. According to U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty, 257 state residents have died from heroin overdoses, many in her district, which covers Torrington and Waterbury. Thursday, Esty met with the mayors of those two cities, along with law enforcement and public health professionals to explore options to combat the problem. 

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Budget Woes
5:19 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Segarra to Propose Budget, Facing Lots of Ground to Make Up

Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Next year's municipal budgets across the state are beginning to take shape. In Hartford, Mayor Pedro Segarra will present his budget to the city council on Monday. It's got a big hole in it. 

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Budget Time
3:53 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Connecticut Cities and Towns Make Their Case for Funding

Legislators listen to municipal leaders on Wednesday.
Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Municipal leaders from across the state came to the capitol Wednesday to speak to legislators about their budget concerns. 

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Nutrition
10:47 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Advice For Eating Well On A Tight Budget, From A Mom Who's Been There

JuJu Harris is the author of The Arcadia Mobile Market Seasonal Cookbook. A former recipient of government food assistance, she now teaches healthy eating skills to low-income families in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of Molly M. Peterson

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 5:47 pm

JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to accept public assistance to feed her son, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.

"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. At 32, she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Paraguay to help local farmers improve their crops.

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Budget Bills
10:45 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Barnes: Proposed State Tax Rebate Will Generate 1,000 Jobs

Benjamin Barnes before the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.
Credit CT-N

Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to give Connecticut taxpayers a modest rebate was up for discussion before the General Assembly's tax-writing committee on Thursday. Budget chief Benjamin Barnes said it could be a job generator in the state.

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Higher Education
8:21 am
Tue March 11, 2014

N.Y. Governor Says College For Inmates Will Pay Off For Taxpayers

Inmates at New York's Coxsackie Correctional Facility. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says reinstating state-funded prison college programs will ultimately save taxpayers money.
Mike Groll AP

Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:28 am

America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.

Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.

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U.S. Economy
7:46 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Obama's Budget: Magic Wand Or Club?

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on his 2015 budget plan Tuesday at Powell Elementary School in Washington.
Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 11:02 am

Think of the budget plan released Tuesday by President Obama as a magic wand. If he could wave it and make every line come true, how would the U.S. economy look?

Like this:

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Unfunded Liabilities
12:15 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Connecticut Wrestles With "Financial Tapeworm"

Credit Simon Cunningham / Creative Commons

Warren Buffett has added his voice to the growing chorus of concern over public pension obligations. In his annual letter to shareholders, the legendary investing guru calls underfunded public pension plans a "gigantic financial tapeworm."

Buffett said he anticipates lots of bad news in the coming decade about public pensions, and he stresses the need for prompt remedial action where problems exist.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon March 3, 2014

How is Connecticut's Fiscal Health?

Donald Boyd, Keith Phaneuf, Spencer Cain, and Benjamin Barnes at the MetroHartford Alliance panel discussion, "Fiscal Sustainability: Critical to Connecticut's Growth."
Credit MetroHartford Alliance

Connecticut’s state budget faces a series of problems that have been building for some time. It’s why the Office of Fiscal Analysis shows looming budget deficits in the next two fiscal years.

But we’re not alone. A study of several states shows some of the same trends: Medicaid costs growing faster than states can raise money, which means less funding for education; the federal government cutting aid to states in an effort to cut their own deficits; reliance on volatile tax structures and massive underfunding of public pensions.

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White House
1:18 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Pentagon Cuts Promise Political Pain

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel briefs reporters at the Pentagon on Monday. Hagel and President Obama will need to fight through a wall of resistance to their proposed defense budget cuts, say former members of a defense base closing commission.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 2:17 pm

Cutting defense spending in Washington is about as popular as proposing Social Security cuts. In other words, not very.

Which explains why, following Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel's announcement Monday that the Obama administration's new budget would propose shrinking the Army, closing bases and ditching weapons systems, the responses from Capitol Hill lawmakers have been some version of "over my dead body."

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That Didn't Last Long...
4:17 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Is the Era of Keno in Connecticut Over?

There's a good chance you'll never see a sign like this in Connecticut.
Credit Marc Moss / Creative Commons

Keno in Connecticut may be over before it begins.

Less than a year after a Keno bill passed the legislature in the eleventh hour, and was signed into law by Governor Dannel Malloy, legislative leaders are making a push for its repeal, citing an improving economy.

Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey announced his support for a repeal during remarks to the Connecticut Council of Small Towns.

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Sandy Recovery
10:22 am
Tue February 18, 2014

State Seeks Input on Sandy Recovery Spending

Cosey Beach in East Haven during Sandy.
Credit Jan Ellen Spiegel

The state is seeking public comment on its latest plan for recovery from Superstorm Sandy. Connecticut is due for a second round of disaster funding from the federal government as it distributes aid to the communities worst affected.

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Connecticut First
4:58 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Connecticut Battles a Nor'Easter; Snow Removal Budget Depleted

A winter storm has dropped heavy wet snow on Connecticut, along with rain and sleet that began in the southern part of the state overnight before moving northward. Total snow accumulations were about 10 inches in many areas. Connecticut has depleted its budget for snow and ice removal. A spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said this week that the agency has spent all $30 million on a dozen storms for the season.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue February 11, 2014

The Wheelhouse Breaks Down the State of the State

As always, WNPR's John Dankosky and Colin McEnroe lead the conversation on The Wheelhouse.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we recap Governor Dannel Malloy’s State of the State address and the proposals he laid out surrounding the state budget, education and the minimum wage. We’re joined by a panel of reporters who have spent the last week digesting the governor’s agenda.

Also, a discussion about the Olympics with a Connecticut-native who won a gold medal in women's ice hockey during the 1998 Olympics. The rivalry between the U.S. and Canada is as intense as ever and we talk about it with this Olympian.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Gov. Dannel Malloy: Live on WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last week, Governor Dannel Malloy delivered his fourth State of the State address. There are numerous Republican candidates for governor who hope it's his last. The address itself outlined Malloy's wide-ranging proposals for the budget, education, and assistance for veterans.

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State of the State
4:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy, Legislators Get to Work

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Delayed a day by the snow, Connecticut's lawmakers returned to work to open this year's legislative session, and they began their work by hearing a budget address from Governor Dannel Malloy. 

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Connecticut Legislature
10:09 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Malloy Delivers the State of the State, and the Session Starts

Governor Malloy will give his State of the State address at noon.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The legislature officially opened today, after being delayed because of Wednesday's snowstorm. Governor Dannel Malloy gave his annual State of the State address after budget chief Ben Barnes briefed the media on the governor's midterm budget adjustment proposals earlier in the morning.

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2014 Session
9:30 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Connecticut Legislative Session Opens

The Connecticut General Assembly (file photo).
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Connecticut legislative session began on Thursday morning in Hartford, delayed a day by a winter storm. Secretary Ben Barnes, of the Office of Policy and Management, delivered a budget briefing, and Governor Dannel Malloy addressed the joint session of the General Assembly at noon. Read the text of his speech here.

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Public Notice
2:09 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Should Full Public Notices Be Allowed Online Only?

Credit Jon S / Creative Commons

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities has released its list of legislative priorities for the year. One of them would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online, and not in newspapers. The move could save public money, but it is opposed by the state's newspapers.

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Housing
1:31 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

State Cuts Funding for Agencies That Provide Housing Support for the Severely Mentally Ill

Housing in Stamford.
Credit Carmine Salvatore/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has made a funding cut to housing that supports those with severe mental illness. Agencies that serve these clients said they'll have to look for creative ways to make up the difference.

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Saving for a Rainy Day
12:52 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Connecticut's Reserve Fund is Among the Lowest in the U.S., But Why?

It's taken a long time for states to get back to where they were before the last recession hit.
c-George/iStock Thinkstock

Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts studied fiscal data from the 50 states to see how each could survive on its respective reserve fund. The results were diverse, depending largely on each state’s population and resources.

For Connecticut, the study’s outcome did not look promising. New England’s Constitution State was found to have one of the lowest-ranking reserve funds in the nation. Alaska, on the other hand, came out on top. But why?

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue January 28, 2014

In Rebuilding Reserve Funds, Where Does Connecticut Stand?

Before the last recession, Connecticut's rainy day fund was substantial, but it's depleted in recent years.
Credit The Pew Charitable Trusts

Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed the fiscal data for all 50 states. They used several markers to rank the states, including the amount of money in reserve funds, sometimes known as rainy day funds. Connecticut’s rainy day fund is among the lowest in the nation. The highest? Alaska.

This hour, we find out how states like Alaska got so far ahead, while Connecticut fell so far behind.

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Connecticut First
1:46 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

CCSU Case Continued; Flu Cases Climb

David Kyem.
Credit New Britain Police Department

A former Central Connecticut State University student who triggered a campus lockdown and massive response by the SWAT team was set to be arraigned today in New Britain Superior Court on breach of peace and trespassing charges.

David Kyem, 21, wore a costume with a mask and BB handgun on campus November 4. Officials locked down the school for three hours. His case was continued to February 27. 

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Congress
4:17 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

House Republicans Join In Passing $1 Trillion Spending Bill

House Speaker John Boehner and GOP leaders face reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, on Tuesday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 5:19 pm

The House on Wednesday passed a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill — a compromise that appeared to get past the bitter partisan showdowns that have caused an unpopular federal government shutdown and nearly tipped the U.S. into default.

The 359-67 vote was a sign of considerable support from Republicans, thanks to a bipartisan deal worked out last month laying out spending for the next two years.

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Federal Budget
3:05 am
Wed January 15, 2014

'Pretty Good' Budget Deal Looks Good Enough To Avoid Shutdown

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., speaks on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. A massive $1.1 trillion spending bill, aimed at funding the government until October, is getting generally positive reviews, including from House Republicans eager to avoid another shutdown crisis with elections looming.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 9:01 am

For the first time in years, the House of Representatives is expected to approve a massive new spending bill Wednesday that keeps federal agencies operating until a new fiscal year starts in October.

The so-called "omnibus" package of all 12 annual spending bills is a compromise; it has more money in it than what Congressional Republicans wanted, but less than what President Obama had asked for. There is some disappointment with the measure on both sides of the aisle, but this time nobody is talking about forcing another government shutdown.

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Federal Budget
8:24 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Congress Poised To Pass $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill

Jonathan Ernst Reuters/Landov

The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill that would fund the federal government into October and bring to an end, for now at least, the bitter partisan battles that have led to one government shutdown and threatened to push the U.S. into defaulting on its bills.

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Federal Budget Deal
11:05 am
Thu December 19, 2013

DeLauro Highlights Plight of Unemployed Facing End of Benefits

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro listens at a round table discussion of long-term unemployment benefits.
Credit Harriet Jones / WNPR

Connecticut Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro warned that the state's economy will suffer because of the decision not to extend unemployment benefits in the federal budget deal reached last week.

DeLauro voted, she said, reluctantly, against the Murray-Ryan budget compromise precisely because it does nothing to help the long term unemployed. On Wednesday, she brought together some of the people who will be affected for a discussion in Middletown.

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Federal Budget
9:01 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Bipartisan Budget Deal Passes Key Test In Senate

It may seem to some like a holiday miracle, but the Senate moved ahead on a bipartisan budget plan Tuesday.
Jim Watson AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 7:09 pm

Updated at 10:27 a.m. ET: Moving Ahead:

The Senate voted 67 to 33 on Tuesday to move forward on the two-year, bipartisan budget plan that restores some of the automatic spending cuts of recent years, trims spending in other areas and appears to have put on hold until 2015 the bitter battles that led to this year's partial government shutdown.

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Federal Budget
10:14 am
Mon December 16, 2013

UTC Chief Welcomes Stability in Budget Deal

UTC's headquarters building in Hartford.
Credit Creative Commons

The budget deal reached last week in Washington will have a real economic impact on companies in Connecticut. United Technologies CEO Louis Chenevert welcomed the agreement, saying it gives his defense dependent corporation more ability to plan for the future.

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