The state’s constitutional spending cap should be “comprehensive” and cover all state spending except for debt service, Webster Bank CEO James C. Smith told members of the Spending Cap Commission this week. The spending cap is supposed to limit how much state lawmakers can spend – but in recent years money has been moved out from under the cap, weakening it. Smith powerfully made the argument that the state’s spending cap matters – read the rest of his testimony here.
Marc E. Fitch
The Connecticut Business and Industry Association and BlumShapiro released Friday their annual survey of businesses in Connecticut, showing state taxes and regulations are the biggest roadblocks to business growth and expansion. The three biggest challenges to growth cited by the businesses surveyed were costs associated with state regulations, taxes and “unpredictability surrounding legislative decision making.”
The American Federation of Teachers filed a petition with the state labor board on Monday in an attempt to unionize 196 assistant attorney generals. The petition will launch an investigation beginning with a preliminary conference on September 13 that will be closed to the public. In order to present a petition to the State Labor Relations Board, at least 30 percent of the employees must have signed union cards. The board checks the signatures on the cards for validation and to confirm they were not signed under pressure.
State auditors harshly criticized a website used by licensed professionals across the state to apply for and maintain for credentials, saying accounts were easily hacked because of weak password requirements. The audit revealed that in a sample of 161 different users, there were only 17 different passwords and 103 of them used the same password. The auditors were able to “hack” into 155 of the 161 different users just by using a Google search.
Connecticut teachers receive the highest average pensions, while Connecticut state employees rank second according to an analysis by a New Jersey based actuary. Connecticut’s teachers averaged $50,502 in pension payments putting them in the top spot, ahead of Illinois. State employees ranked second in the nation, behind California, with average pensions of $40,438.
The top franchises in Connecticut are almost all in the field of elderly services, according to BizQuest, a business brokerage website that lists franchise opportunities for potential business owners. BizQuest’s June 10 newsletter the “Top 5 Franchises in Connecticut” listed four businesses that deal directly with care for seniors and the elderly. The growth of these businesses in the state reflects an aging population.