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CT DOL says February unemployment rate was 6.4%

The unemployment rate in Connecticut was 6.4 percent in February, a tenth of a point higher than the previous month as the state added both jobs and job seekers, the state Department of Labor said Thursday. “Connecticut’s record cold February temperatures and frequent snow appears to have affected industry employment, hours worked, and some unemployment claims activity last month,” said Andy Condon, director of the Office of Research. “Nevertheless, the state’s labor force weathered the cold and continues to expand, bringing out more jobseekers.”

The unemployment rate was higher, despite the addition of jobs to the economy, since more people were seeking work, Condon said. The state’s labor force, which grew by 5,368 jobs last month, now has increased for 17 consecutive months. The February 2014 unemployment rate was 7 percent. Continue Reading →

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Budget debate: Malloy’s ‘childish,’ but GOP’s a ‘comedy show’

Rep. Themis Klarides and Sen. Len Fasano, the GOP minority leaders. At left, Sen. Michael McLachlan.

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. Continue Reading →

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Larger deficit looms as Malloy warns of more emergency cuts


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 →

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Blumenthal: Effort to block recognition of CT tribes faces challenges

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal

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 →

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Tax hike ideas abound at the Capitol


Now that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s campaign pledge not to raise taxes is in the political rearview mirror, the Democratic governor’s political base is seeking to widen the tax debate in hopes of averting some painful spending cuts. Higher income-tax rates on the wealthy, restoration of the capital gains levy, an extra $1.50 per pack on cigarettes and expanding sales taxes on business are among the ideas circulating at the Capitol.
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Gaming expansion bill clears committee

Senate Majority Leader Robert Duff, D-Norwalk, at microphones, flanked by Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Sen. Tim Larson, D-East Hartford.

A proposal to expand casino gaming outside of Connecticut’s Indian reservations advanced Thursday. But while the state legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee endorsed the measure by a wide margin, it narrowly rejected an amendment that would have barred the state from offering loans, grants or other economic aid to preserve casino jobs.
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Malloy to Wall Street: Expect state borrowing to jump 40 percent this year

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy recently warned Wall Street the state plans to increase borrowing dramatically over the next year. But while Connecticut uses borrowing primarily to finance capital projects, Republican legislative leaders fear the planned spike also signifies that a disturbing trend of borrowing to cover day-to-day expenses will get worse. Continue Reading →

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Finance chair wants Keno included in new gambling debate

A typical keno game: A video screen with the 20 numbers drawn from a field of 80.

If the state and Connecticut’s Indian tribes are considering opening new gaming sites, then launching Keno – a lottery-style game legislators have flirted with in recent years – must be on the table as well, the House chairman of the legislature’s revenue panel said Tuesday.
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