Enrolling in Connecticut's public community colleges and regional state universities will be getting more expensive next year, and students are concerned. The Board of Regents for Higher Education voted Thursday to increase tuition and fees next school year by 4.8 to 5.3 percent, and is also considering staff reductions and layoffs.
WASHINGTON – Fees paid to doctors who treat Medicare patients could drop sharply at the end of the month, the result of an impasse in the U.S. Senate over a bill that would prevent the 21 percent decline in payments. Connecticut's five House members voted Thursday for the legislation; but its Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, aren’t sold on the bill.
Leaders of the legislature's Republican minority condemned Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed budget Thursday as savaging the social safety net, but they declined to commit to offering their own alternative to the one by the Democratic administration. Zingers ensued.
The Senate Democratic majority is blocking House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and minority Republicans from closing what critics say is major loophole in Connecticut’s system of publicly financing campaigns — the parties ability to direct special-interest money to taxpayer-funded candidates.
ConnectiCare Benefits Inc. was the most popular carrier among plans sold on the state’s health insurance exchange this year, capturing 42.3 percent of the 110,095 people who signed up for insurance through Access Health CT. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the state’s largest insurer and last year’s exchange leader, received 39.8 percent of signups. Continue Reading →
Faced with a $2 million dollar cut to the Connecticut parks budget, the legislature is considering a new funding model. With 140 state parks and forests, the state is poised to join a trend among states of cobbling together park funding from an array of sources. Continue Reading →
The University of Connecticut's governing board voted unanimously Thursday to sever its relationship with the school's 126-year old alumni association, saying membership dues the organization charges have led to low engagement with graduates. But records show the UConn Alumni Association's board had agreed in December to stop charging membership dues and was planning to have members vote on eliminating them. Continue Reading →
Nonpartisan fiscal analysts again asserted Wednesday that the current state budget deficit is worse than Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration has reported — and that’s despite a recent administration estimate that more than doubled the shortfall. And while the Office of Fiscal Analysis was issuing its $191 million deficit forecast, Malloy’s budget chief directed all agencies Wednesday to brace for a third round of emergency cuts and to ensure spending is “significantly curtailed” between now and the fiscal year’s close on June 30. Continue Reading →
In a conference call from Washington, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday he believes there is a consensus for Connecticut to undertake a massive, long-range program to invest in transportation — and it's almost time to talk about how to pay for it. Continue Reading →
With a packed audience of lobbyists waiting and watching, a legislative committee approved three dozen bills Tuesday that define the General Assembly’s relatively modest ambitions on energy policy in 2015. The more significant bills would ban variable electric rates for residential customers, cap the fixed-costs portion of electric bills and authorize state officials to explore expanding the supply of natural gas in Connecticut. Continue Reading →
Lisa Wilson-Foley, a wealthy protégée whom ex-Gov. John G. Rowland liked to call “grasshopper” as he tutored her behind-the-scenes on the art of politics, will be following her mentor straight to prison for her role in the botched business scheme they engineered with her husband to help her win a U.S. Congressional seat. Continue Reading →
The legislature’s human services committee voted to move forward Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed social services budget, but not before disowning the cuts within it and debating whether the way they handled the measure was a sufficient protest. Continue Reading →
Most Republican legislators on the Higher Education Committee voted Tuesday in favor of opening a $100 million pot of college financial aid to undocumented immigrants. The vote may signal a change of heart among legislative Republicans about providing financial help to undocumented students. Continue Reading →
Legislators are grappling with whether to fund new charter schools in Bridgeport and Stamford, put a moratorium on new charters while existing schools are assessed, or demand more transparency and oversight in the wake of financial and management failures at a charter school in Hartford. Continue Reading →
Government assistance should not be treated as a loan, and the law that allows the state to seize the estates of deceased welfare recipients hurts the surviving family members -- the very people public assistance is supposed to help lift out of poverty. The law should be changed. Continue Reading →
WASHINGTON – Rules under consideration that would make it easier for Indian tribes to win federal recognition have a carve-out aimed at denying that status to several Connecticut tribes, but Sen. Richard Blumenthal has joined others in saying the provision may be unconstitutional. Continue Reading →
As legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy grapple with the unpleasant prospect of raising taxes, anti-smoking forces insist state officials are overlooking the only tax hike that yields huge benefits – and almost no public backlash. Continue Reading →