budgets

Connecticut Budget Process Mired in Political Gridlock

Apr 21, 2016
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With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, Governor Dannel Malloy’s new budget proposal has spurred political uproar between him and Democratic leaders -- specifically Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey who called the revision a "personal hit list."

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Just a few weeks ago, Connecticut started to write-off its importance in the presidential nomination process. But then Bernie Sanders picked up steam and Donald Trump's campaign faltered. With less than a week before Connecticut residents cast their ballots, the candidates are making public stops across the state. Trump was in Hartford last week, and Hillary Clinton and John Kasich have visits scheduled this week.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR (file photo)

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wants to close next year’s budget deficit by laying off 40 city employees, demanding millions in union concessions, draining every last dollar from the city’s rainy day fund, and not raising the tax rate. 

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has released a revised budget plan for the next fiscal year that begins July 1st.

Malloy said Tuesday that Connecticut has to align its spending with the revenue it actually has. He said that’s why he is proposing no new taxes. Instead he’s calling for cuts to social services and the withholding of state funding to big hospitals.

At the same time, $12 million earmarked for small hospitals would be maintained.

Heather Brandon and Mary Lou Cooke digital illustration / Chion Wolf photo / Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum photo / WNPR / Creative Commons

As a sitting governor running for re-election in 2014, Dannel Malloy gave himself a nickname on Where We Live.

"You don't have to love me," said Malloy. "I'm a porcupine." The public is being reminded of Malloy's prickly side as he moves forwards with state employee layoffs. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the jobs cuts and what impact they will have on the state's residents.

Photo Phiend / Creative Commons

The first round of layoff notices have been given out to state workers as Governor Dannel Malloy works to confront looming deficits.

Malloy: More Than 1,000 State Workers To Lose Their Job

Apr 11, 2016

More than 1,000 state employees are expected to lose their jobs as part of Connecticut's efforts to address a $900 million budget deficit, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

Malloy told reporters the exact number of workers to be dismissed has not been determined, but it could easily approach 2,000.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin took office in January, and his honeymoon is officially over. The mayor is trying to figure out a way to balance the city’s budget. 

Republican legislative leaders say their Democratic counterparts "didn't do their job" by proposing $570 million in spending cuts to cover Connecticut's projected $900 million deficit next fiscal year.

The Democratic-controlled Appropriations Committee planned to vote Wednesday on a $19.9 billion plan.

Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) said the Democrats "didn't do their job" and "that to me, is failure on their part."

Puerto Rico's governor has signed a bill that puts the island's debt payments on hold until January 2017. Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla says the island's first priority is covering payments for essential services.

Puerto Rico acted this week following reports that a key financial institution, the Government Development Bank, is nearly insolvent. A group of hedge funds went to court to block public agencies from withdrawing funds from the bank. Within hours, the Legislature moved to pass the debt moratorium by approving the measure.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

This week, Governor Dannel Malloy was announced as the winner of the 2016 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award for his response to the Syrian refugee crisis. It adds to Malloy's national popularity, despite the political struggles in Hartford.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Radiologists and advocates are trying to persuade Connecticut lawmakers to reverse a cut made last year to the state Medicaid reimbursement rate for radiology services. 

State lawmakers were down to the wire on meeting the state budget deadline, and voting was expected to go on beyond the midnight deadline, once all of the budget bills are finalized.

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Connecticut lawmakers have passed a plan to slash the $220 million deficit in the current fiscal year budget, warning they still have to solve a much bigger financial problem in the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

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In his February budget address, Gov. Dannel Malloy outlined the challenges facing the state government. "Connecticut state government must reset our expectations of what we can afford, how we provide services, and how we save for our priorities," said Malloy. "It won't be easy, and it often won't be politically popular." That last part is becoming increasingly evident.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

State employee layoffs might not initially produce as much budget savings as Governor Dannel Malloy and legislative leaders would like as they try to balance Connecticut's budget.

Sage Ross / Wikimedia Commons

The leader of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is recommending a tuition increase at all of its 17 campuses. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy and legislative leaders say large numbers of state employee layoffs appear more likely after the unions' umbrella organization declined to discuss possible pension and benefit concessions.

Adavyd / Creative Commons

Time in the legislative session is starting to run down and the list of things to do remains long. This week on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we’re joined by Capitol reporters to catch us up on what is (and isn’t) getting done. Governor Dannel Malloy is going up against labor unions and asking for concessions to help with the budget but the rank and file union members haven't authorized a renegotiation of the current contract.

AMagill, Creative Commons

Connecticut Working Families is calling on the governor and the legislature to raise more revenue to solve the state’s budget crisis, instead of focusing on cuts in services.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy used his executive authority on Wednesday to make $65 million in budget cuts, including millions from day and residential programs for people with disabilities, to help slash Connecticut's $220 million deficit.

The Democratic governor's list of budget reductions was released hours after he met with legislative leaders to discuss how to address the stubborn budget shortfall.

"These were difficult decisions, but ones that nevertheless have to be made to ensure that we don't spend more than we actually have," he said.

Chuck Kennedy / White House

It's that time of the political season when just about every Tuesday seems like a "Super Tuesday." More voters head to the polls, and on our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we discuss the results, and take a look at what's ahead for both major political parties.

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Governor Dannel Malloy’s bill which would create a constitutional lockbox to safeguard transportation funds has moved out of committee. But several lawmakers said they want the bill to be improved, or they won’t support it going forward.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

When Luke Bronin was running to be Hartford’s mayor, he said he wanted to spend some time looking under the hood at the city’s finances. He’s done that now, and what he's seen isn't good. In advance of his state of the city address tonight, Bronin sat down with WNPR to share his take on the city's budget. 

JasonParis. / Creative Commons

This hour, our news roundtable The Wheelhouse tackles some of the biggest political stories of the week. We discuss everything from state budget cuts, to automatic voter registration, to a "legislative mystery" that's got everyone asking: Who added language to the SEEC's bill? 

MilkADeal / Flickr

The Thighmaster, the Chop-O-Matic, the George Foreman Grill and the Clapper: Products which are all part of American consumer culture and which were all introduced through infomercials. But as online shopping increases and traditional television watching decreases, are we beginning to see the end of these high-energy, late-night shows?

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Connecticut hospitals are being notified they may not receive about $150 million in anticipated payments because of state budget problems.

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The legislature's Transportation Committee heard testimony Monday on Governor Dannel Malloy's proposed transportation lockbox. Lawmakers expressed concern about possible ways around the proposed amendment to the state constitution.

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New estimates show the projected deficit in Connecticut's main spending account has grown to about $266 million.

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The state Freedom of Information Commission in Hartford has ruled that the University of Connecticut trustees violated open-meetings laws when they privately reviewed the school's $1.3 billion proposed budget.

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