Plans to bring more natural gas to New England to lower the region's high energy prices face trouble. Two separate pipeline plans would have brought more natural gas, a relatively clean and low-cost fuel, to the region while investing more than $4 billion in the projects, but one developer dropped its plan last week. Kinder Morgan pulled the plug on its planned regional pipeline that would have invested $3.3 billion in the region. Company officials said in announcing the change in plans that the company could not find the support and consumers necessary to make the investment.
Marc E. Fitch
A proposal to create a government-run retirement plan for private employees would ultimately hurt the very people it aims to help, according to testimony from Kim Chamberlain of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association before the Labor and Public Employees Committee. The American Retirement Association, which supports a public retirement system, testified they could not support this legislation “in its current form.” The group labeled the proposed bill “confusing and costly.”
Connecticut is losing better-paying jobs and replacing them with low-paying jobs, according to a study released by the Commission on Economic Competitiveness. The commission had previously attempted to keep the document secret by discussing it in a closed-door executive session, prompting a Yankee Institute complaint to the Freedom of Information Commission.
A doctor employed at the University of Connecticut Health Center’s prison health service has left the health organization following a reprimand by the medical examining board. Dr. James O'Halloran worked at UConn for 15 years, but before even taking his state job he had a troubled record. In January, the medical examining board placed O’Halloran on probation for five years for over-prescribing controlled substances and having an affair with a female employee in his private practice. O’Halloran worked as physician for the Correctional Managed Health Care system that provides medical care to prisoners across the state. He was on leave pending the board’s decision. The board ordered that he undergo therapy and random drug testing and barred him from meeting with patients in private.
Connecticut lawmakers face high legal hurdles if they want to reform health benefits for retired state workers, according to a new study from the Manhattan Institute. A 2002 Connecticut Supreme Court decision set the precedent, ruling that retiree health benefits could not be changed when a collective bargaining contract ends. However, this precedent contradicts a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling.
Several state union representatives spent more than half of the year working for their unions while still getting paid by the state, driving up overtime costs and putting an extra burden on the state budget. The year of 2015 contained 261 working days but Ronald J. McLellan, president of the Connecticut Employees Union Independent SEIU local 511, spent 201 of those days on union leave. He earned $111,000 in pay and fringe benefits from the state while working for the union, and continued to keep his title of lead power plant operator at Central Connecticut State University.