finance

If you want to get an earful about paying for college, listen to parents from states where tuition and fees have skyrocketed in the last five years. In Arizona, for example, parents have seen a 77 percent increase in costs. In Georgia, it's 75 percent, and in Washington state, 70 percent.

The Jackson Laboratory

Connecticut officials have welcomed a report on the progress of the Jackson Laboratory site in Farmington. Jackson Labs said its new facility is on schedule and on budget.

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Governor Dannel Malloy's proposal to give Connecticut taxpayers a modest rebate was up for discussion before the General Assembly's tax-writing committee on Thursday. Budget chief Benjamin Barnes said it could be a job generator in the state.

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Legislators want to create a state-sponsored retirement plan for private sector workers in Connecticut. A bill before lawmakers would task the state treasurer with administering a low-cost plan that residents could pay into. 

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Connecticut's housing market continued to improve in January, and market-watchers said it's possible the state could see big gains in the spring selling season.

The state also saw distinct improvement in its housing market activity for the full year of 2013, with sales up six percent and prices rising 8.3 percent over the year. The numbers come from the Warren Group, a real estate data firm, and it marks the best full year results for the Connecticut market since 2005, before the market crash.

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Thirteen Connecticut residents appear on this year's list of the nation's billionaires, compiled by Forbes Magazine. The list, released annually, includes 1,645 billionaires worldwide. 

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Warren Buffett has added his voice to the growing chorus of concern over public pension obligations. In his annual letter to shareholders, the legendary investing guru calls underfunded public pension plans a "gigantic financial tapeworm."

Buffett said he anticipates lots of bad news in the coming decade about public pensions, and he stresses the need for prompt remedial action where problems exist.

MetroHartford Alliance

Connecticut’s state budget faces a series of problems that have been building for some time. It’s why the Office of Fiscal Analysis shows looming budget deficits in the next two fiscal years.

But we’re not alone. A study of several states shows some of the same trends: Medicaid costs growing faster than states can raise money, which means less funding for education; the federal government cutting aid to states in an effort to cut their own deficits; reliance on volatile tax structures and massive underfunding of public pensions.

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The Commissioner of Economic and Community Development has defended her department's record on business assistance loans. Catherine Smith gave evidence before the Commerce Committee, saying 1,114 companies have been helped through DECD programs like Small Business Express.

The Chronicle of Philanthropy / Johns Hopkins University

A New Canaan couple is among a list of the 50 most generous donors in 2013. Theodore and Vada Stanley were number 18 on The Chronicle of Philanthropy’s annual list. They gave $143 million to medical research and to a family foundation. 

Pretty soon, going to community college in Tennessee may become absolutely free. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled the proposal in his annual State of the State address this week.

Haslam is trying to lift Tennessee's ranking as one of the least-educated states. Less than a third of residents have even a two-year degree. But a community college free-for-all has been tried elsewhere, though not sustained, and there's always a nagging question.

"So I know you're wondering," Haslam said. "How do we pay for this?"

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Our financial analysts look at protecting and growing your money.

On this fresh edition of The Faith Middleton Show, the markets have been dropping despite some good economic news. Are investors truly spooked or taking profits? What's going on? Are we in for one of those rocky years in the market, and if so, our guests take your calls and talk about protecting and growing your money.

Diane Orson / WNPR

A recently-released report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that as college tuition costs soared between 2007 and 2012, demand for federal student loans increased more than 300 percent.

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families held a full-day forum on Wednesday about domestic minor sex trafficking. The aim was to raise awareness of the issue and to strengthen partnerships across the state to combat the victimization of children. Keynote speaker Audrey Morrissey shared her experience as a survivor of the commercial sex industry, and discussed her work teaching young girls how to avoid her fate.

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The price of college textbooks has increased 82 percent over the past decade, according to a new study that looks at alternatives to the traditional college textbook.

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Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts studied fiscal data from the 50 states to see how each could survive on its respective reserve fund. The results were diverse, depending largely on each state’s population and resources.

For Connecticut, the study’s outcome did not look promising. New England’s Constitution State was found to have one of the lowest-ranking reserve funds in the nation. Alaska, on the other hand, came out on top. But why?

The Pew Charitable Trusts

Last year, The Pew Charitable Trusts analyzed the fiscal data for all 50 states. They used several markers to rank the states, including the amount of money in reserve funds, sometimes known as rainy day funds. Connecticut’s rainy day fund is among the lowest in the nation. The highest? Alaska.

This hour, we find out how states like Alaska got so far ahead, while Connecticut fell so far behind.

Mike Priggins and Kyle Reyes / under30ceo.com

Earl O'Garro, the embattled insurance broker who is at the heart of a federal criminal probe, is due in state court Thursday on charges that he failed to pay his workers.

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A Hartford Superior Court judge has denied a request by the state to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. The attorney general’s office had filed motions aimed at postponing the start of the trial until October 2015. Now, the case is set to begin later this year. 

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It's been two years since the in-state tuition law went into effect. It benefits students without legal status who have graduated from a Connecticut high school. The young people who fought for the in-state tuition law for undocumented students are launching a new campaign. Their new goal is to help these students access financial aid.  

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Total Mortgage Services has announced a deal with the state of Connecticut to expand its headquarters in Milford. The company said it will create 140 new jobs in the town, doubling its Connecticut workforce over five years.

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The State Bond Commission, along with Governor Dannel Malloy, held a meeting on Thursday. One of the items was a request from the Department of Social Services for just under $6 million to provide grants-in-aid to eight social service providers. An additional request was made for $3 million toward grants-in-aid to non-profits in Stamford, Pomfret, and Branford. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been one month since State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced the expansion of Open Connecticut -- an online source for state finances -- to include financial information for Connecticut’s quasi-public agencies and federal programs.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Established in 1965, the Connecticut Health and Educational Facilities Authority has earned its title as the oldest quasi-public agency in our state. Now, it’s one of eleven quasi-public entities in Connecticut, agencies like Connecticut Innovations, Inc.; the Connecticut Development Authority; the Connecticut Lottery Corporation; and the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority -- to name a few. 

Connecticut officials are campaigning for the extension of a federal tax provision that expired at the end of last year. It's the tax relief provided for distressed families that have to sell their homes at a loss, or who go through a foreclosure.

After striking a deal with federal prosecutors, JPMorgan Chase has agreed to pay $1.7 billion to the victims of Bernard Madoff's multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.

The bank will be criminally charged with two violations of the Bank Secrecy Act and will admit to the violations. But under the agreement, the bank will receive a deferred prosecution.

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Jury selection begins on Tuesday in the trial of Matthew Martoma, a manager for SAC Capital, who's accused of insider trading. It's the latest court action in an investigation of the Connecticut-based hedge fund that has lasted for several years.

The Senate has voted to approve the nomination of Janet Yellen as the next leader of the U.S. Federal Reserve. With Monday's vote, Yellen, 67, will become the first woman to serve as America's banking chief, heading an institution that was established in 1913.

Update at 6:31 p.m. ET: Some Senators Left Out

Fortnight Journal

It turns out that Earl O’Garro, the man at the center of the federal grand jury investigation in Hartford, owes the state a lot more money than we first thought.

Catie Talarski

We're broadcasting live from Wesleyan University, where the Connecticut Humanities Council is kicking off a day-long look at the past, present, and future of work life in Connecticut.

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