Hartford area employment has only increased by 1.1 percent in the past 25 years, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, leaving Connecticut’s capitol region last in the nation. The report focused on the 51 metropolitan areas with a population of at least one million people and tracked data from March of 1991 to March of 2016. Connecticut’s population saw a 10 percent increase during the same period.
Marc E. Fitch
A federal audit revealed a litany of errors, poor documentation and questionable spending by the Bridgeport Housing Authority, including the use of $1.75 million of housing funds to pay for past-due bills instead of helping people pay for housing. The money, which was meant to be used for housing choice vouchers and low-rent reserve funds, was provided by the federal government. The Bridgeport Housing Authority - now called Park City Communities - is disputing this finding.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is poised to take on a new role: hotel and spa owner. Governor Malloy cancelled a contract with a private investor and directed DEEP to turn the Seaside Regional Center in Waterford into a hotel, spa and public park. Rather than selling the property to Allied Development Group for $8 million for the exact same purpose, the state is trying to spend $21 million - by their own estimate - to turn the property into a viable tourist destination.
Billionaire and hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones has left Connecticut and moved to Florida according to a report in Bloomberg News. Jones, the head of Tudor Investment Corp., opened an office in Palm Beach, Florida, and registered to vote there in November 2015. Jones’ 2014 income as a hedge fund manager was listed as $600 million by CNN Money, which would make his annual income tax about $30 million per year. The state of Florida has no income tax.
Connecticut state retirees are having a new benefit added to their healthcare package as a result of anti-discrimination laws in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Starting in July, hearing aids will be covered by the state retiree health plans. The devices cost, on average, about $4,500 according to the American Association for Retired Persons. Previously, insurance companies covered the costs of hearing aids for children 12 and under. State retirees were able to obtain a discount on hearing aids through Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield. However, based on the ACA’s restrictions, that age-based limit is considered discriminatory.
Groton has been trying in vain to meet state racial balance requirements for its schools since 2000, but now city leaders have a new idea: build one giant middle school. The effort - known as the Groton 2020 plan - comes with a price-tag of $191.7 million. With up to 80 percent of construction costs being paid for by the state, the Groton 2020 plan is a prime example of how court-imposed racial balance guidelines are forcing districts to build new schools and costing towns and the state millions. Yet, despite the money spent many remain dissatisfied with the results.