Over the past three years, the Connecticut Department of Labor has audited 95 youth sports leagues, limiting the programs they can offer or increasing the cost to families. The DOL audits focus on whether workers paid by the league, including referees, coaches and assistants, are properly classified as independent contractors. The attempts by the Connecticut DOL to change the classification of referees and clinicians for youth sports organizations has the potential to affect business throughout Connecticut. By changing the definitions of who constitutes an employee or contractor, businesses may find themselves having to put new workers on their payroll, even for one-time minor services.
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.
People suggest, in not quite so many words, that if we don’t have this tax or that spending program or yet another regulation, we’ll somehow slip below the Mason-Dixon Line. Fortunately, nothing is so tenuous about our situation. This strict view – good states don’t allow bad behavior – leads us to pile on rules without any perspective on the real-life effects of those rules. Until we stop wearing policies as a badge of honor, it will be hard to honestly assess their impact on people.
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.
The Cato Institute released its ranking of states based on personal and economic freedom, which placed Connecticut in the bottom ten states in the nation. Connecticut dropped to 45th in the country - one spot lower than the previous 2014 ranking. The Cato Institute performs the ranking every two years and factors in personal freedom - such as marriage laws, drug and alcohol prohibitions, incarceration and gun rights - and state fiscal and regulatory policy.
A major state political party is under federal investigation. Is this 2016, or has Connecticut collectively flashed back to 2004 when its governor resigned and headed off to federal prison? Connecticut has used a unique approach to financing political campaigns since 2008, inspired by the downfall of Gov. John Rowland. The scheme, called the Citizens’ Election Program (CEP), awards taxpayer money to all candidates who can raise small donations from a set number of people. CEP was supposed to replace the stereotypical big-money politics funded by special interests. Or so we were told.