Among the troubled roots is Connecticut’s inability to sufficiently reduce spending, which has hurt the state’s fiscal health. In the most recent fiscal health analysis put out by some of the nation’s most reliable economic researchers, Connecticut shows vast room for improvement. In the Pew Charitable Trust’s research titled Fiscal 50: State Trends and Analysis, Connecticut did not fare well compared to its neighbors. Of particular note is the state’s depleted reserves; Connecticut’s reserves would allow the state to operate for a projected 8.3 days.
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.
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.
Connecticut earned a “D” grade for its public-sector labor laws from the Commonwealth Foundation, a free-market think tank based in Pennsylvania. Connecticut was one of 22 states in the country that earned a grade lower than a C. The study cited Connecticut’s binding arbitration laws, lack of paycheck protection and closed-door union contract negotiations as contributing to its poor grade.
A 2003 lawsuit by the State Employee Bargaining Agent Coalition against Gov. John Rowland has increased the Connecticut budget deficit by $18 million according to figures released by the Office of Fiscal Analysis. The OFA estimated a $20.8 million shortfall at the Office of the State Comptroller due to adjudicated claims. “Approximately $18 million of the projected deficiency is for estimated payments for the SEBAC v. Rowland Settlement.”
Regional coordinators for the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security are receiving municipal pensions while employed by the state of Connecticut and driving state vehicles, including Emergency Management Director William J. Hackett. Hackett retired as chief of the Branford Fire Department and president of the union local of the International Association of Firefighters before being appointed to the position in 2006. Hackett receives a disability pension in the amount of $45,175.80 per year.