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.
When Liz Wilson submitted her final test results to become a marriage and family therapist in early September, she thought she would be able to receive her license from the Department of Public Health within a couple weeks and move forward opening her own private practice. Six weeks later on October 21 she finally received notification that she was now officially licensed by the state but there was one last hold up - the DPH only prints licenses once a month.
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.
The city of Danbury has been experiencing a renaissance in the past few years, which has the city moving in the opposite direction as the rest of the state. Although Connecticut has been experiencing a net loss of population, Danbury has increased its population by 8 percent since 2000; while Connecticut’s credit rating has decreased, Danbury recently earned a AAA rating; Connecticut’s state employee pension system is among the most underfunded in the nation, while Danbury’s is nearly fully funded into the foreseeable future.
In tear-filled testimony, Holly Tucker of New Haven recounted how she was arrested following a traffic infraction and had her bail set at $25,000. She was forced to spend the night in jail away from her daughter before getting out on a written promise to appear the following day. Tucker was just one of many who crowded into the public hearing before the Sentencing Commission, which was tasked by Gov. Dannel Malloy to explore reforms to Connecticut’s bail system.
Senate President Pro Temopore, Martin Looney, D-New Haven, urged lawmakers to consider legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in Connecticut, claiming it “could be a substantial revenue benefit to the state.” Chris Stiffler, an economist with the Colorado Fiscal Institute says the idea that it will bail out a state mired in deficits is not realistic. “There was this idea in Colorado that there would be an extra lane on every highway and an extra teacher in every classroom, but we’re not talking about those kinds of numbers.”