Criminals getting state pensions. Professors using a one time opportunity to change retirement plans for six years. If Connecticut lawmakers do not muster the strength to make such common-sense changes to the way state pensions are handled, than we may have a long road ahead of us to get Connecticut back on track.
Marc E. Fitch
Connecticut cut $1 billion from its planned borrowing this year in response to lowered tax revenue but is still moving forward with a massive project to update the state office building at 165 Capitol Avenue. Among the projects and grants-in-aid that didn’t make the bonding cut was $4.5 million for repairs and alterations to group homes and residential facilities with the Department of Children and Families.
Ellis K. Hagstrom was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2014 for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of two disabled women he was supposed to care for while working for the Department Developmental Services. However, due to Connecticut’s strict policies on pension revocation Hagstrom will still be eligible to receive his pension. "Mr. Hagstrom's convictions do not qualify as predicate convictions," said Jaclyn Falkowski, spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, "thus barring action by our office to seek revocation of his pension."
In the face of mounting deficits after years of unsustainable policy, Democratic Party leaders appear to have made a shift, albeit one that has turned their most ardent supporters into some of their harshest critics. “Hopefully the governor won’t do any more layoffs,” one member said. “Stop building so much stuff,” he added. “They’re spending money. They’re renovating things. They have to stop spending money that way - foolishly.”
State employees who teach at Connecticut's colleges and universities won a unique opportunity in 2010: a partial escape from the effects of the Great Recession. The SEBAC ARP Grievance agreement specified that this was a one-time opportunity. However, Connecticut professors are still allowed to switch from the ARP to the state’s pension system because the IRS has not yet ruled the SAG award.
When people think of a major city declaring bankruptcy the city of Detroit often comes to mind with its sky-high crime rates and areas of urban wasteland. But as more and more cities like Hartford find themselves in impossible financial situations, sometimes filing for Chapter 9 can actually be the best alternative. If the city could prove it was insolvent, what would a Hartford bankruptcy look like?