What a difference a year makes. Last year, Senate President Martin Looney presided over the passage of a budget that included $1.8 billion in tax hikes and canceled tax cuts. Those tax increases fell largely on businesses and wealthy state residents. Last night, Looney seemed to repudiate his actions of a year ago, as he shepherded a budget through the Senate that included over $800 million in cuts to planned spending, and contained no major tax increases.
Photographs taken at the Governor’s 2016 Economic Forum in February highlight a number of troubling statistics. - Poverty among minority groups is rising faster than others. - The decline in Connecticut manufacturing jobs has wiped out more than half of all job growth since the 1990s. - Middle-skill jobs in the science and technology sector are the hardest to fill. - Connecticut has some of the highest long-term unemployment rates in the nation.
Last year Connecticut taxpayers worked until May 15 to pay all of their tax bills, tied with New Jersey. This year we fell behind New Jersey by nine days with our Tax Freedom Day last in the country, according to the Tax Foundation. Now we work until May 21 to pay all of our tax bills, meaning they consume more than a third of our collective income. It’s troubling that Connecticut residents have to work until May to pay for all layers of government: federal, state and local. But even more concerning is that moving to New Jersey could mean an extra week of take-home pay for many Connecticut residents.
What do permitting a third casino, legalizing marijuana and eliminating liquor price controls have in common? They all have politicians seeing dollar signs. Each of these policy directions have pros and cons and the potential for serious consequences if we adopt them. So they should not be made lightly. Unfortunately that is exactly how lawmakers are looking at them right now, or at least that’s how these policies are being sold by proponents. Don’t worry, supporters say, my policy will bring in revenue for the state.
This week lawmakers on the Human Services Committee will vote on the Working Class Tax, a tax on jobs. This tax would be mean Connecticut employers would have to pay the state $1 per hour for every hour worked by an employee who earns less than $15 an hour. Every job matters in our state, and this tax means there will be fewer jobs, and things like your gas and groceries will be more expensive. We already tax too many things in Connecticut – we shouldn’t tax jobs too.
It’s complicated. That’s the best way to describe the ongoing relationship between Gov. Dannel Malloy and Connecticut’s hospitals. Malloy has significantly changed the rules of their game since he took office five years ago - and the changes show no signs of slowing down. The past two weeks brought significant announcements highlighting these changes. First, Malloy intervened to prevent further hospital consolidation, a trend that raises concerns about increased costs and fewer choices. Then, worsening deficit projections led the administration to halt $140 million in payments to hospitals.