A federal audit criticized Connecticut housing officials for failing to finish a number of projects supported with $25 million in grant money, with one official blaming "difficult neighborhoods" for the failures. The state of Connecticut was given $25 million in funds to purchase and rehabilitate houses and buildings that were abandoned or foreclosed during the housing market collapse. However the audit cited instances where work was never completed and properties were left abandoned and falling down.
Marc E. Fitch
Wendy Traub of Hemlock Directional Boring - a construction company that specializes in underground utility pipe installation, says small businesses like Hemlock simply do not have the time to commit to appeals when there is little chance of success - regardless of whether or not the employee quit, was fired or laid off. “I would say 98 percent of the time - I don’t want to say it was a joke - but no matter what evidence we could present, the labor board said they are going to get it.”
As the Connecticut Department of Education mulls whether to close two technical high schools to deal with an expected $1.2 billion deficit, the state recently showcased a massive renovation project at the Emmett O’Brien Technical High School at a cost of $94 million, nearly double the national cost of constructing a brand new high school.
Connecticut union leaders signed off on pension underfunding each time it happened, according to the state’s top union official and expert testimony before the Spending Cap Commission last month. At the Sept. 26 commission meeting, AFL-CIO President Lori Pelletier said union leaders agreed to underfund the state employee pension in exchange for better benefits for workers, even though they knew it was “not a good idea.” Pelletier said Connecticut is now “left holding that basket.”
Assistant attorneys general who plan to vote "no" in an upcoming union vote are making their case to their colleagues, arguing that a union could interfere with the existing relationship they have with their boss, Attorney General George Jepsen. A letter circulating among the AAGs and published on the website, AAG Independence, criticized Governor Malloy for rescinding raises for managerial employees in February of 2016. But the unnamed authors argue that if the department had been obligated by union contract to give those raises, attorney would have lost their jobs.
Connecticut was ranked 43rd in the nation based on its tax structure by the Tax Foundation, an independent tax policy research organization. During a presentation on their findings, Joe Henchman, one of the three authors of the study, noted that Connecticut’s tax policies have become unnecessarily burdensome. He notes that although Connecticut started off with an income tax with a relatively low rate “the state has piled complexity upon complexity," into its tax code.