There are only 20 days left to nominate someone. If you know of a liberty-minded person who has volunteered his or her time to fight for freedom and fairness, with the intention of making Connecticut a better place for us all, now is your chance to honor them. The 2016 award recipient will receive a $1,000 cash prize and recognition at Yankee’s gala, Connecticut’s Champions of Freedom, on Dec. 1 at the Palace Theatre in Stamford.
Figures released Tuesday by the Office of Fiscal Analysis show Connecticut made big strides in reducing overtime, despite recent state employee layoffs. In fiscal year 2016, state agencies reduced overtime payments by 14.5 percent, $37 million less than the previous year. The biggest reduction in overtime came from the Department of Correction, which reduced overtime by $21.4 million, followed by the Department of Developmental Services, which reduced overtime spending by $5.2 million.
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.
A new study from the Employment Policies Institute shows that Connecticut’s 2012 paid sick leave law resulted in reduced benefits and less hours for young and low-wage workers. The study, conducted by Dr. Thomas Ahn of the University of Kentucky, focused on Connecticut because it was the first state to mandate paid sick leave and therefore had the most measurable data. According to Ahn’s research one-third of surveyed businesses reduced other employee benefits to compensate for costs due to the law. One fifth of the businesses either raised prices or reduced staffing levels.
New Haven and West Hartford are looking to create high-speed fiber optic internet systems for all their residents and businesses. These are just two of the 46 municipalities that are part of the CTgig Project, a state-wide effort to increase internet speed and affordability. As city councils and town boards mull the costs and benefits of creating such a system, there are important facts that every taxpayer should know before moving forward.
The definition of affordable housing is changing in Connecticut. What used to mean housing accessible to poor families has become housing accessible to people with well-paying full time jobs. Due to provisions in Connecticut's laws an apartment for $2,100 per month would qualify as affordable. The question is, affordable for whom?