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finance

Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

Governor Malloy’s budget plan promises to aid struggling cities, but many towns are concerned about footing more of the bill.

This hour, we ask municipal leaders and lawmakers about Malloy’s budget proposal and we want to hear from you. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Republicans in Congress are mulling an obscure rule change that could threaten Connecticut's newly established, state-sponsored retirement savings plan. 

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Rob Klee says the state will continue to receive EPA grant money for its two largest projects. The announcement comes after President Donald Trump’s administration ordered the EPA to freeze its grant spending last week.

Rocpoc / Creative Commons

When you buy a container of soda, water, or beer, you pay five cents -- and if you return the bottle or can to be recycled, you get that money back. In Connecticut, the program is called “the bottle bill,” and it’s been around since 1980. But now, some are worried the whole system is on the verge of falling apart.

Connecticut officials are now projecting that the state will end this fiscal year with a $23 million surplus, as stated in a letter sent by Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget director to the state comptroller on Friday.

New Haven Promise

For some, the journey to higher education can feel more like a dead end -- an opportunity stifled by rising tuition fees and the weight of student loans.

Here in Connecticut however, initiatives such as New Haven Promise and Hartford Promise are working to make college more attainable to students.

This hour, we find out how. We sit down with officials from each Promise program and we also hear from you. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy hasn’t yet ruled out cuts to municipal aid as he prepares his budget proposal. 

Mike Grauer Jr. / Flickr Creative Commons

  Vin Baker was an Olympic basketball player and four-time NBA All Star. The journey from University of Hartford to professional basketball got him rich quick, but it was a lifestyle he couldn't keep up with.

Baker's struggle with alcoholism is well-documented, as is the fact he blew through $100 million. He lost his home and restaurant.

Carlito2000 / Creative Commons

President-elect Donald Trump appears to have fossil fuels on his mind as he makes his cabinet picks: The former governor of Texas at the Department of Energy, an ExxonMobil CEO running the State Department, and Oklahoma’s attorney general for the Environmental Protection Agency.

But it’s an uncertain time for Republicans who have embraced clean energy. Do renewables fit into this conservative agenda? 

Harriet Jones / WNPR

President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday the 21st Century Cures Act. The new legislation contains $1 billion in funding to combat the opioid addiction epidemic. Connecticut activists say that it's vital this state secures its fair share of the money. 

A federal court has fined a Connecticut investment company $22 million for running a Ponzi scheme. Sharon-based Wilkinson Financial Opportunity Fund bilked 30 investors out of $11 million.

Home Equity Helping People Build Household Wealth

Nov 24, 2016
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Mitchell Hartman

Remember the housing crisis? Well, for many American homeowners, it’s now squarely in the rear-view mirror. A report from RealtyTrac finds that the percentage of homeowners who are underwater — meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth — has fallen to about 10 percent. It was 28 percent at its peak in 2012. The main reason: home prices have been rising, for years, helped by low mortgage rates. So homeowners have been able to build wealth through the equity they have in their homes.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The proportion of people in Connecticut who are working, and yet still struggling to make ends meet has risen in the last two years. That's according to a new study from United Way.

The federal government is offering official approval for Rhode Island’s plan to toll commercial trucks on state bridges. The toll has generated opposition from the trucking industry and some businesses concerned about how the new tolls might impact the economy.

State Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti says the go-ahead from the federal government is the final step needed to move forward with the project.  The tolls will be installed in 13 locations, and 34 bridges so far are slated for repairs from the toll revenue.

The office of New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman issued a "Notice of Violation" to the Donald J. Trump Foundation and ordered the foundation to cease and desist from soliciting contributions in New York.

The notice states that the Trump Foundation failed to register with the Charities Bureau before soliciting contributions or engaging in fundraising activities.

zeevveez / Flickr Creative Commons

Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

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David Brancaccio

Starting on Oct. 1, prospective college students will be able to access and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid —  commonly known as FAFSA — for the 2017-18 school year. That’s three months earlier than the usual date and is part of an initiative by the Obama Administration to provide timely financial aid information to high school students and their families.

U.S. Education Secretary John B. King, Jr. spoke with us about how exactly this decision will help.

On the issue this earlier deadline is trying to resolve: 

Negotiators in the House and Senate have reached a deal on a bill to fund the government through Dec. 9.

Republicans and Democrats have been arguing for weeks to find a way forward before the Sept. 30 deadline in order to avoid a government shutdown.

Last week, negotiations in the Senate appeared to be at a standstill, with Democrats in both chambers insisting that the most recent Republican offer was not enough.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said his budget numbers are ugly. The more than $15 million in savings he was hoping for from union negotiations probably aren’t going to happen. 

sanjitbakshi / Creative Commons

Earlier this year, members of the United Nations met in New Canaan, Connecticut for a workshop on how countries can fight human trafficking.

Tax Credits / Creative Commons

A Superior Court Judge ruled last week that Connecticut’s system for funding public schools is ‘irrational’ and ‘unjustifiable’ — failing to provide a fair distribution of funds for Connecticut’s students. The judge allowed the state 180 days to come up with a plan to overhaul its system.

This hour, we talk more about the ruling and find out what, if anything, can be done to improve the way our schools are funded. 

Bonnie-Brown / Creative Commons

The state’s largest business organization has given a cautious welcome to a landmark court ruling, which orders a complete overhaul of Connecticut’s education system. 

Pool Photo / Stephanie Aaronson / Wall Street Journal

A Superior Court judge in Hartford dropped a bombshell on Connecticut’s entire education system Wednesday, saying the state is failing in its constitutional duty to rationally and fairly fund public education. 

ConnPIRG

A Connecticut advocacy group is calling for better federal regulation of predatory lending, to help states crack down on the worst practices. ConnPIRG just released its latest analysis of data from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. 

zeevveez / Creative Commons

Five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease -- the sixth leading cause of death in this country. There are many caregivers who provide unpaid care for their relatives with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementias -- but it’s not an easy role to fill.

This hour, we explore caregiving and how it can impact a person’s physical and emotional health -- and their finances. 

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