budgets

Congress
4:07 am
Sun September 29, 2013

House Ties Government Funding To One-Year Obamacare Delay

Speaker of the House John Boehner arrives at the Capitol on Saturday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sun September 29, 2013 8:52 am

Updated at 12:24 a.m. ET Sunday

The House voted early Sunday to tie government funding to a one-year delay in implementing Obamacare, sending the dispute back to the Senate, where it is certain to get a frosty reception. The House measure also repeals the Affordable Care Act's tax on medical devices.

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Congress
6:37 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Government Shutdown Looms

The U.S. Capitol.
Credit Diliff / Wikimedia Commons

In a rare weekend session, Congress will continue to debate how to avoid a government shutdown. The Senate voted along party lines for a temporary spending bill that would keep the government from shutting down next week. But Senate Democrats stripped a provision that would defund Obamacare, something House Republicans insist upon.

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Congress
11:42 am
Fri September 27, 2013

President To GOP: Don't 'Burn Down The House' Over Obamacare

House Republicans have insisted that a spending bill contain language defunding Obamacare.
Win McNamee Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:32 pm

Update At 3:50 p.m. EDT.

President Obama on Friday praised the Senate for passing a spending bill to keep the federal government operating and called House GOP efforts to tie approving the measure to defunding the Affordable Care Act "political grandstanding."

He said that despite Republican hopes that Obamacare will be repealed, "That's not going to happen," accusing Republicans of threatening to "blow up the entire economy."

No one has the right to precipitate such a crisis, he said, "just because there are a couple of laws you don't like."

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:32 am
Thu September 26, 2013

Lembo's Fiscal Review; Wind Turbine Ban Extended; Hemp Bake Sale Denied

Kevin Lembo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut is doing a little bit better getting ready for rainy days, we learned from Kevin Lembo this week, but when there's fair weather, the state legislature made sure we won't be generating energy from wind turbines anytime soon. Read about that and more in today's Wheelhouse Digest... where UConn has us thinking about the legality of digesting hemp brownies.

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Congress
1:45 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Senate Takes Next Step Toward Shutdown Showdown

After a dramatic 21-plus hours in which Republican Sen. Ted Cruz stood to express his opposition to President Obama's health care programs, the Senate early Wednesday afternoon voted 100-0 to move ahead and take up legislation that would avert a government shutdown next Tuesday.

As expected, the move by the Democratic-led Senate sets up what promises to be another showdown with the Republican-controlled House.

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The Wheelhouse Digest
11:22 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Barnes Preps for Possible Shutdown; Security Tightens; FOI Commission Meets

Ben Barnes.
Credit Uma Ramiah / WNPR

Today at The Wheelhouse Digest, there's a lot of talk of shutting down and tightening up. Maybe it's the cooler weather, or maybe it's a new mentality pushing us to block things from happening. In that vein, there's an effort at hand to consider the Associated Press's request to release 911 recordings in the wake of the Newtown shooting last year. Read about that and more in today's digest.

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Health Care
7:17 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Would A Federal Shutdown Delay Health Care Exchanges?

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz leaves the weekly Senate Republican Policy Committee luncheon Tuesday, shortly before beginning a filibuster against Obamacare.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 8:27 am

Well, it's almost Oct. 1, the day of a threatened government shutdown and the day state health insurance exchanges are scheduled to begin operations.

Those are the online marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act where people can compare health plans and sign up for coverage.

Would closing down the government delay the opening of the health exchanges?

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Government Shutdown
6:03 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Your Government Shutdown Questions, Answered

If Congress can't come to an agreement to fund the government, there will be a shutdown on Oct. 1.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

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:

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Justice
5:05 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Who Pays For Indigent Defendants?

Connecticut Supreme Court.
Credit John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:30 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

What Happens When Private Groups Save Public Parks?

Henry Hester is the Vice President of the Friends of Keney Park. He was also one of the founders of the group back in 1988.
Chion Wolf

New Havenites reclaiming a beautiful park in their city got us thinking about urban parks in general. Frederick Law Olmsted is the undisputed father of American city parks, including Central Park itself. He came from Hartford, and he is buried here.

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Education Funding
8:56 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Education Funding in Connecticut

Chion Wolf WNPR

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.

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Politics
6:33 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Congress Searches For A Shutdown-Free Future

House Speaker John Boehner tried to sound optimistic Thursday that his Republican conference would find a way to avoid a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

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.

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Budget
5:05 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

ConnSCU Facing Multi-Million Dollar Deficit

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.

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Where We Live
10:54 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Governor Malloy Discusses Jobs Numbers, Politics and the Newtown Report

Chion Wolf

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.

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Budget
3:55 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Hospitals Continue To Make Cuts, And The State Continues To Defend Its Budget

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.

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Where We Live
10:27 am
Mon July 1, 2013

A New Gas Tax, But What's It Paying For?

Lundgren Photography, Creative Commons

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.

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Where We Live
10:22 am
Tue June 25, 2013

Governor Malloy's New Office of Early Childhood, the State Budget, Keno and 2014

Chion Wolf

Yesterday, Governor Malloy signed an executive order establishing the Office of Early Childhood, an idea that has broad support, and funding from the legislature.

"There was no doubt that this legislation, until it apparently got tied up in some politics, was going to pass," said Malloy.

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Hospitals
10:37 am
Mon June 24, 2013

St. Francis Hospital Cuts City Funding and Blames the State

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.

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Budget
10:37 am
Mon June 24, 2013

St. Francis Hospital Cuts City Funding And Blames The State

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.

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Your State Budget
1:38 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

There Will Be Keno. It Will Make Money. That’s About All We Know.

Like to gamble? Like beer? Try Keno!
Credit (Photo Courtesy Flickr, edkohler)

Promises - easy to make and tricky to keep.

In the case of Governor Dannel Malloy, he promised throughout the legislative session that he wouldn't raise taxes.  And, by his account, he didn't.  (Others disagree.)

But here's a riddle.  If you promise not to raise taxes, and you've cut all you say you can cut, and you STILL need money to balance the state's books, what do you do?

Answer: Keno.

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News
11:20 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Lawmakers Tap Energy Funds To Balance Budget

Energy Tomorrow, Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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Conservation Fund
11:20 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Lawmakers Tap Energy Funds to Balance Budget

Energy Tomorrow, Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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The Faith Middleton Show
4:05 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

Politics, Burgers and Beer: June 10, 2013

Sarah Simpson Creative Commons

Rich Hanley joins Faith for Politics, Burgers & Beer. They’ll talk issues, arguments, budgets, controversies, news, Obama, Malloy, Washington, Hartford, and other people and places with names… and you should join the conversation! Call in: 203 776-WNPR.

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Behind the Taxes
11:16 am
Fri June 7, 2013

The Truth Behind Connecticut's Gas Prices

This is a three-part series. 

Part 1

Ever wonder why gas prices are so high in Connecticut? A lot of it has to do with state gas taxes very few people know about – taxes that are about to undergo a steep increase. 

So, last week I paid $3.79 per gallon of gas at a North Haven gas station. This made me angry. And I asked my fellow gas-guzzlers – who’s to blame?

“I can’t determine what’s going on or what’s causing it," said one customer.

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Connecticut Legislature
9:06 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How Was Keno Legalized In Connecticut?

Daniel Lobo (Flickr Creative Commons)

This was not the first year that Keno was discussed in the state of Connecticut. But its inclusion in the 2013 budget surprised many - including those who thought they were following it closely.

Earlier this week,  executive director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling Mary Drexler said she's been in contact with Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman about Keno for the last two years.

"I did not get any word on this until Friday of last week," said Drexler about the deal that passed the legislature.

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State Budget
4:39 pm
Wed May 29, 2013

What Is The State's Constitutional Spending Cap?

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.

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News
2:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Legislature Looks To Cut Tourism Budget

CTVisit.com

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.

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Connecticut Legislature
2:02 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Legislature Looks To Cut Tourism Budget

CTVisit.com

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.

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Segarra Administration
10:37 pm
Thu May 9, 2013

Caviar Takes Its Toll

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.

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