In the wake of the failed labor concessions agreement between Governor Dannel Malloy and state labor unions, state agencies are feeling the crunch. The Office of the Chief public defender has to cut about 7.5 percent of their overall budget, which some believe will hinder the states poorest from getting proper legal counsel, and will make it difficult for public defenders to honor their constitutional obligations.
We are joined by Mike Lawlor, undersecretary for criminal justice planning.
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.
The U.S Department of Labor says nearly 12 percent of veterans who've served since 9-11 were unemployed last year. Twenty-five percent of them have service-related disabilities. The number of unemployed is expected to grow now that more veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are returning to a country trying to recover from the recession. A small program by Congress aims to help veterans get back into the workforce.
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.
In this country we could see some changes in a government housing program known as Section 8. Critics have complained that this subsidized rent program gives recipients enough money to live in poor, minority neighborhoods, but not enough money to live anywhere else. Now the Department of Housing and Urban Development is rethinking the way it calculates rent payments.
The city of Dallas has been testing these changes and Jeff Cohen from member station WNPR has this report.
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.
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.
We'll be talking with members of the state congressional delegation from the city. They'll share their thoughts about the state of Hartford, and what lawmakers are doing to solve some of the city’s problems - from violence, to education scores, to literacy rates.
Today, the Supreme Court struck down an Arizona public financing law similar to the one in Connecticut. But campaign finance reform can be a little dry and hard to follow, so first, a little colorful history:
Connecticut’s legislative session has drawn to an end….on time.
Yeah, really. Governor Dannel Malloy did a little bit of celebrating, shortly after midnight, then called for a special session on job creation and declared that education reform should be the priority of the next legislative session.
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.
So, the state legislative session’s about to end, and we’ve got a balanced budget, and all is right with the world - right?
Judging by his press conference with reporters yesterday, Governor Dannel Malloy thinks there’s still work to be done. He told state workers that if they don’t ratify the concessions package he’s hoping with plug the budget hole - there will be layoffs. Lots more than the 4700 that were already threatened.
We give billions to charity every year, but are we actually solving the world’s problems? When we look at the programs meant to fight global poverty and disease, we tend to see two poles...either we just need more money thrown into the aid programs we now have, or we realize that all these billions are just going down the drain.
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.
Thirty-four states use the death penalty. Sixteen do not. Connecticut does, but most of its neighboring states -- New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine and Vermont -- do not. New Hampshire does, but the state has had no executions since 1939 and currently possesses no means of executing anyone. Only recently did the ranks of its death row swell to one.
Our roller coaster economy has been a leveler - throwing the formerly rich and lower income people into the same basket. We thought we'd talk about debt, credit cards and bankruptcy with Mitchell Allen, author of A Survival Guide to Debt. He has been a debt counselor to many.
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.
With strong support from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, the Senate voted 18 to 17 Wednesday to pass the nation's first state mandate on private employers to offer paid sick days. It now goes to the House, where passage is expected. The bill, which passed with only one Republican vote, has a limited reach, applying to dozens of specific types of service workers at companies with more than 50 employees. Sponsors say it will affect 300,000 workers.