Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 9:29 pm
There's a showdown underway in Congress.
The Republican-controlled House has voted to keep the government running only if the Affordable Care Act is defunded, and the Democratic-controlled Senate isn't likely to go along with that plan. If the two sides can't resolve their differences by Oct. 1, the U.S. government will shut down.
We asked you what you wanted to know about the potential government shutdown, and journalists from NPR's Washington Desk tracked down the answers:
Connecticut’s Supreme Court is receiving briefs in a case that could affect how the state pays for indigent defendants.
Dr. Lishan Wang is accused of the 2010 murder of a former colleague, Dr. Vanjinder Toor in Branford. Wang was briefly represented by the public defender’s office, but later won the right to defend himself.
A Hartford judge will hear arguments this morning in a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools.
The state attorney general’s office wants the judge to dismiss the case, which was brought in 2005 by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.
CCJEF is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates who say the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.
There's a lot of searching on Capitol Hill but no discovery yet of a way to avoid a federal government shutdown at the start of next month.
Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor are searching for enough House GOP votes for a spending bill that could pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate and keep the government open past Sept. 30.
Tea Party-affiliated lawmakers are searching for a way to repeal the Affordable Care Act with the help of the Democratic-controlled Senate and President Obama.
The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System is facing a significant budget deficit this fiscal year, and ConnSCU officials are hoping the state will step in and pick up most the tab.
ConnSCU governs 12 Connecticut's Community Colleges; Central, Eastern, Western and Southern Connecticut State Universities, and Charter Oak State College. The projected $18 to $20 million budget gap accounts for about two percent of ConnSCU's overall budget.
Since Governor Dannel Malloy narrowly won the race for governor in 2010, Republicans have set their sights on 2014. We’re still more than 14 months away from the next election, but Republican candidates are already getting in line.
Today, Governor Malloy joins us in studio and we ask him about his re-election plans and those vying for his job. One of the big issues, if not the biggest issue, will be the state’s economy and unemployment rate. The latest numbers show 11,500 jobs were added in the state, BUT the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.1 percent.
Hospitals are making cuts to programs and staffing following the passage of the new state budget. WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports. First, St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford cut funding to a city infant mortality program. Then, last week, Waterbury Hospital announced it is cutting its workforce. Both hospitals blamed the cuts on a decrease in state funding.
You ever notice how gas prices tend to rise, just when we’re all on the road for summer get-aways?
Well, starting today, we’ll see the prices go even higher – as a Connecticut tax goes up. It’ll give the state some of the highest prices in the country – but at least that extra revenue will pay to repair the roads…or, not.
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is cutting funding to a Hartford program that targets infant mortality. The hospital says the recently-passed state budget is to blame. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program is almost 30 years old and is jointly funded by two hospitals and the city of Hartford. It serves about 450 pregnant women a year.
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center is cutting funding to a Hartford program that targets infant mortality. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the hospital says the recently passed state budget is to blame. The Maternal Infant Outreach Program is almost 30 years old and is jointly funded by two hospitals and the city of Hartford.
Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy said all session long that he would not approve new taxes. But that meant he had to find money somewhere. And, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, one place he turned was keno gambling.
Environmentalists are giving state legislators a mixed report card for the session that's just ended. They're happy with parts of the state's new energy policy. But a raid on clean energy funds is causing major concern.
If you've been following the negotiations over the state budget, you've no doubt heard three words: constitutional spending cap. But do you know what they mean?...Neither did WNPR's Jeff Cohen, who brings us this report. What is the constitutional spending cap?
"The constitutional spending cap was adopted as part of a broader political agreement to get majority support for the adoption of a state income tax." That's Bill Curry, a Democrat and one-time state comptroller, talking about the law that is now two decades old.
The fortunes of the Connecticut Office of Tourism have turned around since 2009, when then-governor Jodi Rell infamously cut state funding for tourism marketing to just one dollar. Last year the state invested $15 million to promote the state's tourism industry.
The result was the Connecticut "Still Revolutionary" campaign and according to Randy Fiveash, Director of the Connectict Office of Tourism, "Still Revolutionary" has been a huge success.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra has made headlines recently for questionable city spending -- like dining on caviar at taxpayer expense. Now, it looks as though the city council is taking concrete action to push back. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, it's likely the council will reject Segarra's appointment for the city's chief operating officer.
A bill that would allow towns and cities to publish full public notices online and not in newspapers is making its way through the legislature. Municipal advocates say it could save them money and is more efficient. The state's newspapers say it could threaten democracy.
Last week, the Connecticut Mirror ran a three part series by Keith Phaneuf on “Connecticut’s budget deficit, and why you should be worried.” It paints a pretty bleak picture of the Malloy administration's attempt to get out from under the historic budget deficit they were handed, and how despite what he calls “gimmicks” the numbers moving forward just don’t add up.
Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra says city employees will no longer be able to use their credit cards for business entertainment. WNPR's Jeff Cohen has more. When someone issues a controversial audit at 5:02 p.m. on a Friday, it's kind of sign that they don't want you to read it.
That's what happened last week, when the city of Hartford released its internal audit of its credit cards. City officials have been fending off claims of abuse. A New Year's Eve dinner for Mayor Pedro Segarra, his spouse, and six others at Max Downtown was what first drew headlines.
As the region continues to recover in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, environmental advocates are pushing for rebuilding in a smarter way to protect against future storms. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, they gathered last week in a summit to discuss the future of Long Island Sound.
Connecticut Hospital Day at the Capitol drew more than 600 hospital workers to Hartford today. They were protesting Governor Malloy's proposed budget, which they say would cut state spending on hospitals by $550 million over the next two years. The cuts would include the payments hospitals get for treating the uninsured.
But on WNPR's Where We Live, the administration's budget chief Ben Barnes said he's not sure the plan should actually be called a cut. "In recent years," Barnes said, "hospitals have received very very large increases each year, so we've discontinued providing large increases but I think overall, we're looking at a flat-funding scenario over the next few years."
Governor Dannel Malloy’s popularity is at an all-time high, jumping five points in a new poll to 48 percent. What do people like about the job the governor’s doing? Well, they say he’s good in a crisis...and he’s had plenty of those to deal with.
They’re less pleased with his handling of the state budget and tax policy.
A big part of his time in office has been spent trying to overhaul the state’s economy - investing millions in programs like “First Five” - which promises incentives to certain companies that create new jobs.
So, let’s say Where We Live was like the federal budget, and because of some self-imposed deadline, our show was subject to a “sequester” - A cut of 2.3%.
Well, you’d lose about 1 and a quarter minutes off the show. Doesn’t seem too bad, right? But what if it was completely arbitrary - cutting the first minute that explains what we’re talking about, or the precise moment our guest Bill Curry says something that might change your world. Doesn’t sound the the best way to trim things, huh?
Transportation advocates and officials across Connecticut gathered in the state capitol Monday to ask some tough questions about how the state will pay for badly-needed transit upgrades. Commuters themselves will probably have to chip in.
On the national level, we’re looking either at a “fiscal cliff” meltdown with big spending cuts or possible tax increases. Here in Connecticut, the state’s own money problems seem to be getting worse each day. So where does that leave funding for transportation?