The Connecticut Spending Cap Commission concluded its last meeting on Monday unable to reach agreement on a definition of “general budget expenditures,” which would be subject to Connecticut’s constitutional spending cap. The commission voted 11-12 against a proposal by William Cibes, which recommended gradually phasing in increases to the cost of the unfunded liabilities the following year. The year long delay would continue until 2022, at which point all the unfunded liabilities would be subject to the cap.
Marc E. Fitch
In 2016 Connecticut borrowed $327.4 million for public projects, which included $4 million in fees for Connecticut agencies to oversee the projects, essentially borrowing to pay the cost of its employees. Those fees have added up to more than $61 million since 1999. Each year the state pays interest on these costs.
The Commission on Health Equity which was supposed to eliminate racial and gender disparities in health status rarely met for meetings and was 11 members short of the 32 required by state statute during 2014 and 2015, according to an audit of the Connecticut Department of Insurance.
Although Connecticut often ranks very low in the nation for taxation, debt, regulatory burden and cost of living, a new research project from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University ranked Connecticut 48th in the nation for healthcare access and openness. Although Connecticut ranked highest for access to e-cigarettes, naxalone - to prevent opioid overdoses - and good samaritan protections, state insurance restrictions and regulatory burdens were ranked as some of the worst in the nation.
Bridgeport ranked highest in the nation for “family flight” as middle income families flee urban areas with failing schools, according to research done by Dr. Bartley Danielson, associate professor of finance and real estate at North Carolina State University. Danielsen examined 100 metropolitan areas across the United States and compared census data for families with children aged 0-4 and 5-9. His findings showed that families whose children reach school age relocate out of areas with poor performing schools.
Waterbury grocer Raul Marcos Monarca-Gonazalez pled guilty in federal court on Tuesday to unlawful use of food stamps and conspiracy to commit food stamp fraud. Investigators estimate the amount of fraud to be in the millions. According to the press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Monarca’s store, WB Trade Fair Grocery, only stocked enough eligible food items for a maximum of $240,000 in food stamp purchases per year.