Personal Finance

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

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Consumer advocate Ralph Nader spent the better part of two decades dreaming up a museum with a highly specific, slightly bizarre theme: tort law. In late 2015, that dream became a reality with the opening of the American Museum of Tort Law in downtown Winsted, Connecticut.

The Senate unexpectedly found itself debating the minimum wage on Thursday night. The effort to raise the wage to $12.00 an hour by 2020 was introduced as an amendment on a different bill. 

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If your cabinets are filled with leftover prescription drugs, you'll have an opportunity to clean them out on Saturday. 

Lori Mack / WNPR

A controversial bill that would have taxed Yale’s $25 billion endowment failed earlier this year. Now, Yale officials are speaking out against a proposed bill that could potentially increase taxes the university pays on some of its properties. 

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Physicians, patients, and drug manufacturers are often at the center of discussions about pain and opioid abuse. But what about insurance providers? One Connecticut company said it's found a way to better manage pain, while reducing the number of prescribed opioids. 

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A bill that would gradually phase out single-use plastic and paper bags at supermarkets and grocery stores in Connecticut has passed out of the state Senate and is awaiting action in the House. 

It was 1993 when Massachusetts Gov. William Weld declared: "A good education in a safe environment is the magic wand that brings opportunity." The Republican was signing into law a landmark overhaul of the state's school funding system. "It's up to us to make sure that wand is waved over every cradle," he added.

With that, Massachusetts poured state money into districts that educated lots of low-income kids, many of which also struggled to raise funds through local property taxes.

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The effect of a declining middle class is everywhere -- the medically uninsured or underinsured, the heroin epidemic, declining life expectancy for middle-aged white men, flat wages, weakened unions -- the list goes on and on.

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Layoffs are continuing in Connecticut state government, with 166 employees at the Department of Correction receiving pink slips.

Uber drivers will stay independent contractors, not employees, in California and Massachusetts, just as the ride-booking company had maintained they were. Uber is settling class action lawsuits by drivers in the two states for a maximum of $100 million.

In a statement, the company says it will pay the plaintiffs $84 million, plus another $16 million if Uber goes public and within a year increases in value by one and a half times over its worth in December.

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Tax liens might not sound like the "sexiest" topic. But for some property owners, they can mean the difference between keeping or losing a home.

This hour, we take a look at how these liens -- and, more specifically, the sales of these liens -- are affecting some of Connecticut’s most financially vulnerable residents. It’s the latest in our ongoing series with WNPR contributor Susan Campbell. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR (file photo)

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin wants to close next year’s budget deficit by laying off 40 city employees, demanding millions in union concessions, draining every last dollar from the city’s rainy day fund, and not raising the tax rate. 

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Connecticut employers added just 300 positions in March, a big dip from the 4,100 jobs created in February. 

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A bill to phase out plastic bags at grocery stores is moving forward and it's got the support of one prominent garbage man. 

Harriet Jones

Hundreds of workers in Hartford are expected to go on strike Thursday in the long-running campaign to raise the minimum wage. The one-day stoppage once again calls for $15.00 an hour.

A coal-mining giant has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid an industrywide slump.

Peabody Energy — which is the biggest coal miner in the U.S. and says it is the largest private-sector coal company in the world — is looking to restructure its heavy debt load and gain relief from its creditors. It hopes to continue operations unimpeded.

Heather Brandon and Mary Lou Cooke digital illustration / Chion Wolf photo / Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum photo / WNPR / Creative Commons

As a sitting governor running for re-election in 2014, Dannel Malloy gave himself a nickname on Where We Live.

"You don't have to love me," said Malloy. "I'm a porcupine." The public is being reminded of Malloy's prickly side as he moves forwards with state employee layoffs. This hour, our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse discusses the jobs cuts and what impact they will have on the state's residents.

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The first round of layoff notices have been given out to state workers as Governor Dannel Malloy works to confront looming deficits.

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Unions representing more than 36,000 Verizon landline phone and cable workers are threatening a strike starting Wednesday morning if the company doesn't agree to a new contract.

A New Hampshire-based bakery chain is showing its support for Equal Pay Day Tuesday by giving female customers a break on their bills.

Women who visit The Works bakery locations in Concord, Keene, Portsmouth and Durham today will be charged only 79 percent of their bills.

Men will still have to pay full price.

That’s meant to highlight the oft-cited statistic of women earning 79 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts.

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Money set aside for energy-efficiency projects could soon get slashed as state legislators work to close a large budget deficit.

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The high cost of insulin, which has risen by triple-digit percentages in the last five years, is endangering the lives of many diabetics who can’t afford the price tag, say Connecticut physicians who treat diabetics.

Malloy: More Than 1,000 State Workers To Lose Their Job

Apr 11, 2016

More than 1,000 state employees are expected to lose their jobs as part of Connecticut's efforts to address a $900 million budget deficit, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said.

Malloy told reporters the exact number of workers to be dismissed has not been determined, but it could easily approach 2,000.

Robert Markowitz and Bill Stafford / NASA Robonaut Lab

The U.S. and world economies were revolutionized by globalization and later by the digital revolution. What's coming next? This hour, we sit down with someone who has an idea of what's to come. Alec Ross served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. He tells us how emerging fields like robotics and genomics are changing the way we live and work.

Poor people who reside in expensive, well-educated cities such as San Francisco tend to live longer than low-income people in less affluent places, according to a study of more than a billion Social Security and tax records.

U.S. Cities Facing Issues Over Pension Packages

Apr 7, 2016
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Andy Uhler

A task force aimed at preventing Philadelphia from going bankrupt has urged the city’s mayor to figure out how to deal with its almost $6 billion pension deficit. Philadelphia hasn't been or isn't the only region in the country dealing with this issue, though. 

Detroit was the poster child of cities running out of money. In 2013, the city filed for bankruptcy after accumulating $18 billion of debt. The pension program was said to account for a sixth of that total.

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