The Department of Social Services confirmed that it is “looking into” claims that personal care assistants employed through private non-profit agencies are having union dues deducted from their paychecks without authorization. Karen Hansen of Community Allied Resources, the company which administers paychecks for PCAs paid for by agencies like the DSS, also confirmed that “we have had calls indicating this kind of thing.”
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?
Connecticut has pledged $300,000 to study the possibility of a mileage tax but, as Representative Gail Lavielle notes, the money is wasted because the state would get the results of the study even if it committed no funds at all. Connecticut is part of the I-95 Corridor Coalition, which consists of 16 states along the Atlantic seaboard. Connecticut would receive the results of the pilot study regardless of its cash contribution because the results are shared with all members of the coalition. In all, eleven states are contributing no funds to the study but will still have access to the findings. “Why Connecticut has to be a leader is beyond me,” Lavielle said in an interview.
The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is poised to take on a new role: hotel and spa owner. Governor Malloy cancelled a contract with a private investor and directed DEEP to turn the Seaside Regional Center in Waterford into a hotel, spa and public park. Rather than selling the property to Allied Development Group for $8 million for the exact same purpose, the state is trying to spend $21 million - by their own estimate - to turn the property into a viable tourist destination.
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.
The traditional image of the union member as being a working class, blue collar factory worker has been replaced by a new reality: the state-employed bureaucrat enjoying perks and high pay at taxpayer expense. Figures show that six in 10 union members work for government. While some of them plow roads and keep us safe, many more are social workers, white-collar administrators and highly paid professors. Connecticut ranks fourth in the nation for the number of union members who work for government after only New York, Rhode Island and New Jersey.