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?
Governor Dannel Malloy is heading into the new year with a series of questions surrounding this budget year - and the next couple. He’s put a plan in place to cope with the state’s current budget shortfall...but the next three years show the state budget billions in deficit.
He’s said that everything - except tax increases - are on the table, and he’s working with legislative leaders from both sides of the aisle to find a solution before next week’s special session.
Yesterday, State Comptroller Kevin Lembo officially certified a state budget deficit of $415 million. That’s $50 million more than the Governor Malloy's numbers and these come less than a week after a first round of budget cuts.
Those $123 million in cuts span the budget from education to social services. ...and it’s a sign of things to come.
Today, Where We Live, it’s a state budget roundtable with Kevin Lembo and the Connecticut Mirror’s state budget guru Keith Phaneuf.
Today, we’ll officially kick off a monthly visit from Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. Here at Where We Live, we made a big deal about how the last governor didn’t like to come on the show and answer questions from listeners.
This governor, despite news of a growing budget gap and facing pretty low approval ratings, says “bring on the questions!” So we will and we’ll give you a chance to call in as well to talk about the state budget, about recovery from Sandy, about economic development and the just-completed elections.
Governor Dannel Malloy and other governors signed a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta voicing their concern with the DOD's proposed budget, specifically disproportionate cuts facing Air National Guard units. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports on how the budget will impact Connecticut's force.
Major General Thad Martin of the Connecticut National Guard anticipates there will be no reduction of the 1144 Guardsmen and women who serve with Bradley's 103rd Airlift Wing. The Defense Department releases firm numbers on Tuesday.
A year ago, Dannel Malloy's job fell into the general categories of triage and emergency medicine. The state's finances were broken. He had to get the patient stabilized so the process of care could begin. This year, to extend the analogy, the patient is out of intensive care but not out of the woods.
Governor Dannel Malloy is investigating whether scores of people, including some state employees, defrauded the state when they received emergency aid after Tropical Storm Irene. As WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, Malloy says state workers could be fired or arrested should the allegations prove true.
What are we watching when we watch (and cheer about) a college game?
Historian Taylor Branch disputes the notion that we are watching a logical, natural outgrowth of the college's academic identity. If you're a student, are those your fellow students playing football? If you're an alumnus, are those people on the basketball court extensions of what you used to be?
WANTED: Point Guard. $70K/yr. Must work weekends. Student-athletes generate billions of revenue for universities and private companies while they earn nothing. Some who’ve been badly hurt don’t get the care and coverage they’d get with workers comp. Others see their scholarship canceled after a year and find themselves on the hook for expensive tuition if they want to go further. Others object the the use of their images on licensed products long after their scholarship expire. Atlantic and Taylor Branch tackled this in a feature last week.
Yesterday, Republicans who control the house finally addressed the issue that's been gripping the nation: Naming Post Offices.
Yes, when it became clear that House Speaker John Boehner's two-stage solution to avert the debt crisis was not going to get enough votes from within his caucus, the House quickly turned to the important task of naming the Post Offices in Peoria and Pasadena.
Federal lawmakers spent the weekend working on ways to break the standstill in budget talks. While there is still hope that lawmakers can come up with a package of spending cuts and taxes, including President Obama's $4 trillion so called grand bargain, with an August 2 deadline quickly approaching, a simple raise of the debt limit, as proposed by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will be the more likely outcome.
Here to talk about reaction from Connecticut's congressional delegation is the Connecticut Mirror's Washington correspondent Deirdre Shesgreen.
Deficit cutting negotiations with President Obama and Congressional leaders continued yesterday with no apparent progress. Time is running short to raise the government's debt limit. We talk to Congressman John Larson about the impasse.
JEFF COHEN: And I'm Jeff Cohen in Hartford, where the budget season began with what seemed like a safe bet. Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy said he and labor leaders would find a way to save $2 billion over two years, and the Democratic legislature said okay. Eventually, the governor and the state's unions came to an agreement that scaled back some benefits and included a four-year pledge of no layoffs.
Connecticut’s special legislative session ended last night with a budget deal. But, believe it or not - this still might not be over.
Governor Dannel Malloy and state lawmakers agreed on a package to plug the last $1.6 billion dollar hole in the state budget with up to 6500 layoffs in the state workforce.
It’s something neither Malloy, nor the Democratically controlled legislature...nor union leadership wanted to see happen. But the union vote to reject a concessions package has seemingly sealed the deal.
No 4th of July recess for the US Senate as they try to hammer out a deal on the debt ceiling. We talk to Deirdre Shesgreen, the Connecticut Mirror's Washington Correspondent about the action at the Capitol.
OK, I know this might not be as easy and fun as yesterday's show on comic books, but if the current state budget were a comic book, it would be about a dystopian future. (And present for that matter ...)
The state constitution requires that the budget be balanced by Friday. It isn't. The plan for doing that included significant givebacks by the state employees. They wouldn't do it.
State employee Union leaders met with reporters yesterday to discuss what options are still available to them now that enough rank and file union members voted to kill an agreement with Governor Dannell Malloy that would have saved the state 1.6 billion dollars over the next two years. Governor Malloy says thousands of state employee layoffs could begin as early as next week. Joining us by phone this morning is Larry Dorman.
Connecticut's first district congressman, John Larson, will host a forum this afternoon at the University of Hartford that hopes to accomplish what Congress can't seem to - namely cutting the national deficit.
The question asked by an exasperated state legislator at an informational hearing last week was the one posed frequently, if not publicly, at the state Capitol about Connecticut's always-in-a-hurry governor: "Why can't this wait?" The query, by Rep. Roberta Willis, D-Salisbury, concerned Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's fast-track plan to remake the UConn Health Center, but it could have applied to any major initiative, beginning with the budget.
On today's Politics, Burgers & Beer, Connecticut state Comptroller Kevin Lembo joins Faith, Rich Hanley, and the New Haven Independent's Paul Bass for the full hour. We'll talk Connecticut's fiscal/budget/labor situation, and we'd love it if you'd join the conversation: 203 776-WNPR. Live at 3pm!
It almost sounds too good to be true: state budget officials, who already saw revenues surge by nearly $400 million over the past month, now say anticipated savings in retired worker health care costs have grown by some $100 million in the same period.
And though Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo said his office was somewhat conservative in assessing the account that it controls, he added that a number of factors made the $117.4 million savings--equal to nearly 20 percent of the entire annual allocation--difficult to predict before now.
More than 800 students graduate tonight from Gateway Community College in New Haven. Many took their first steps into higher education through the school’s open door policy. But, budget shortfalls could end open admissions at community colleges in Connecticut.
Walk down the corridor at Gateway Community College and you’ll see a diverse mix of students – teenagers right out of high school, mothers in their early 30's, even senior citizens.
Late night meetings on union concessions; layoff notices rattling the state workforce; and a “plan B” that stands for bad news in state government.
Capitol reporter Brian Lockhart says “Plan B” - prepared by budget chief Ben Barnes - also stands for “bursting bladders” for motorists if Governor Malloy closes seven rest stops… and it could mean bus fare increases to make up for huge cuts in the Department of Transportation.