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CT Debt Burden

A new study out this week says Connecticut is one of dozens of states with a debt burden higher than the state's ability to pay. It means that if Connecticut were to attempt to pay off its debt it would cost each of us almost $50,000.

The study can be used as argument for taking steps to control debt specifically and the cost of government in general.


Still Fighting on Spending Cap

Twenty-five years on, Connecticut is still struggling to define the terms of a constitutional cap on spending approved by the voters in a referendum.

At a recent meeting of the Spending Cap commission, Jim Smith, CEO of Webster Bank, said defining the terms of the cap and living within spending constraints is a key to a robust economic recovery. Smith says lack of confidence in state government's ability to control spending is holding Connecticut back.


Good and Not So Good

The latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau says Connecticut has among the lowest poverty rates in the country with a rising median income. At the same time there is evidence the Connecticut economy is not good for recent graduates with more than 40% of 18-34 year olds still living at home with their parents.


Appeal for Solutions

The state will appeal a controversial decision announced last week by a Superior Court judge that declared Connecticut's system of school funding "irrational."

Despite the appeal, the expensive challenge of school funding has now been put front and center on the legislative agenda for next year. In announcing the state appeal, Attorney General George Jepsen said the legal battle should not prevent the legislature from addressing the legitimate issues concerning how to pay for public education in Connecticut.


Highly Cited

The annual survey of members by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association includes some positive indicators and some troubling findings.

The report, released at the end of last week, says business profitability is up in Connecticut, but at the same time more than 25% of business owners say they are at least considering moving some operations out of state and nine in ten think state government is doing nothing to help make Connecticut a better place to do business.


More Spending Pressure

Although the court ruling did not specifically set new spending levels, a superior court decision on a major school funding case will put new pressure on the legislature in the coming session.

The court ruled the state's system of funding local schools is "irrational" and ordered a fix by early next year. Municipal leaders, who feel the state often short changes cities and towns on education funding are celebrating the decision.


New Report Low Wage Jobs

A new report from Connecticut Voices for Children supports some of the recent findings of the Connecticut Commission on Economic Competitiveness.

Low wage jobs are increasing in Connecticut and high wage jobs are decreasing. Setting aside the obvious effects on families, this is a trend that also has a direct effect on the ability of state government to provide services since low wage workers pay fewer or no taxes.


Private Providers

With the state relying increasingly on private sector providers of social services - a policy promoted by CT21 - some advocates are arguing that taking the responsibility away from state employees may save the state money, but it is not necessarily in the best interest of people who need care.


Debating First Five

Although always controversial, Governor Malloy is defending his administration's First Five program designed to provide incentives to companies that bring or in some cases commit to retaining jobs in Connecticut.

Some argue it is corporate welfare, but Malloy strongly contends it's what states have to do to compete in the national marketplace for big employers.


CT Unemploy Rate Drops

The labor department reports the Connecticut jobless rate dropped to 5.7% in July. According to statistics, 1,700 jobs were added to the economy.


Overtime Costs Down

The Office of Fiscal Analysis is reporting that state overtime costs were reduced dramatically in 2016.

The cost reductions were achieved after CT21 identified better management of the use of overtime in a number of state agencies as a broad target for state government cost cutting efforts. As expected, some of the best results came in the Department of Correction.


Poorly Poised?

According to a new report from Standard & Poors, Connecticut may be "poorly poised" to endure if a recession occurs in 2017.

S&P says low budget reserves, high costs and over-reliance on taxing the wealthy all contribute to Connecticut's weak position.