Latest News

Borrowing Reform

The Connecticut Office of the Treasurer continues to push for some common sense reforms in the manner in which the state borrows money for capital projects.

Among the ideas; ending the practice of using some borrowing to pay for operating costs and paying cash for some capital projects.

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Smart Manufacturing Investment

By Scott Bates

At a time when Connecticut is seeing an increase in job opportunities in the manufacturing field the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system has smartly added new advanced manufacturing programs. These programs will be instrumental in expanding the changing manufacturing sector.

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No More Layoffs?

In delivering budget reduction options to the governor's budget office, state agency leaders are arguing they can make the cost cutting goals without further layoffs.

Twenty-six state agency leaders are making the claim according to a report in the Connecticut Mirror.

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Reforming Juvenile Justice

The Connecticut Department of Children and Families is considering juvenile justice reforms that align with best practices often recommended by CT21.

The plan forecasts a move toward fewer and smaller locked facilities and a greater reliance on the private sector to provide services to those youth who do not require locked facilities. It is believed this approach can lead to better outcomes at lower cost to taxpayers.

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Room for Improvement

Despite the mixed results of Governor Malloy's efforts to reform the state's criminal justice system during the last legislative session, there is still evidence more can be done to reduce costs by understanding how to reduce prison and jail incarceration rates.

Statistics show the state is spending more than it needs to - as a matter of policy and sound management principles - on pre-trial detention.

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Troubled Picture

The Office of Policy and Management has submitted its final report on the just completed fiscal year and the deficit numbers show continuing unfavorable trends.

Revenues from both income and corporation taxes are down. If the trend continues it means more difficult spending decisions will await the next legislature when it convenes in January.

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Transportation Funding

The Malloy administration is investing in a study to determine the best way to begin taxing drivers based on how many miles they drive.

This as talk at the capital suggests the re-introduction of highway tolls may be a major issue in the next legislative session. Governor Malloy has made no secret of the fact that he believes Connecticut needs a more stable revenue stream to fund transportation improvements. He and others have also acknowledged that changes in the way people are using their cars, electric cars, cars that get better gas mileage, and increased use of public transportation are all factors making the gasoline tax less reliable.

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Capital Spending in Comparison

According to a new report, Connecticut and the rest of the New England states, trail much of the rest of the country when it comes to spending on capital projects. This might come as a surprise to many who have been critical of the Malloy administration for borrowing too much.

A report from the Connecticut Mirror notes that several of Connecticut's New England neighbors have been living under self-imposed borrowing caps for the past several years and that may be a contributing factor in the rankings.

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Consolidation Recommended

A study done for the Connecticut Healthcare Cabinet is recommending the creation of a new state agency that would take control of many healthcare management functions currently spread throughout state government.

The idea is far from the point of implementation, but certainly provides policy-makers something to consider and may also raise questions about the need to re-align other agencies of state government to better address the issues of today.

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The Borrowing Issue

At the same time state agencies are being asked to cut spending in anticipation of several more years of declining tax revenues, Connecticut continues to put the cost of more capital projects on the credit card.

At a Bond Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, nearly $200 million in borrowing is scheduled for approval bringing the total this year to more than $2 billion. Some observers are predicting the use of borrowing will be a major issue in this fall's legislative campaigns.

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CT Overtime Costs Reduced

With a workforce reduction of 1,000 positions over the last year, state overtime costs have been cut by 14% according to a memo from OPM Secretary Ben Barnes.

The report comes following previous public criticism of overtime costs in state government.

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New Labor Data

The Connecticut Department of Labor is out with new statistics showing job migration patterns in Connecticut.

It shows many have left the state for places like Texas, California and North Carolina, but the new figures also show more people are moving to this state from Massachusetts and New York. The findings are published in the latest edition of the Connecticut Economic Digest.

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