Connecticut state retirees are having a new benefit added to their healthcare package as a result of anti-discrimination laws in President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Starting in July, hearing aids will be covered by the state retiree health plans. The devices cost, on average, about $4,500 according to the American Association for Retired Persons. Previously, insurance companies covered the costs of hearing aids for children 12 and under. State retirees were able to obtain a discount on hearing aids through Anthem Blue Cross, Blue Shield. However, based on the ACA’s restrictions, that age-based limit is considered discriminatory.
Groton has been trying in vain to meet state racial balance requirements for its schools since 2000, but now city leaders have a new idea: build one giant middle school. The effort - known as the Groton 2020 plan - comes with a price-tag of $191.7 million. With up to 80 percent of construction costs being paid for by the state, the Groton 2020 plan is a prime example of how court-imposed racial balance guidelines are forcing districts to build new schools and costing towns and the state millions. Yet, despite the money spent many remain dissatisfied with the results.
While components of Malloy’s proposal were controversial the ultimate motivations shouldn’t be. Connecticut should put people in prison to ensure public safety, but putting more people in prison than necessary is a waste of resources, not to mention human potential. After leaving prison, punishment should end and new opportunities should begin. Whether you believe in forgiveness or second chances, or simply want to prevent people from resuming criminal activity, we can share this goal.
Public schools in Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford face a variety of challenges. Safety concerns, budget deficits, low student performance and in-fighting among school board members have parents looking for alternative ways to get their children a good education. CEO of Connecticut is just one of many similar organizations throughout the United States that have made school choice and opportunity for inner city children their mission. Funded only through private donation, foundations like CEO are an example of people coming together to find a solution to a problem that has long plagued state and federal government.
Connecticut cut $1 billion from its planned borrowing this year in response to lowered tax revenue but is still moving forward with a massive project to update the state office building at 165 Capitol Avenue. Among the projects and grants-in-aid that didn’t make the bonding cut was $4.5 million for repairs and alterations to group homes and residential facilities with the Department of Children and Families.
Ellis K. Hagstrom was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2014 for the repeated rape and sexual abuse of two disabled women he was supposed to care for while working for the Department Developmental Services. However, due to Connecticut’s strict policies on pension revocation Hagstrom will still be eligible to receive his pension. "Mr. Hagstrom's convictions do not qualify as predicate convictions," said Jaclyn Falkowski, spokeswoman for the Office of the Attorney General, "thus barring action by our office to seek revocation of his pension."