Recent Posts

Business leaders push to intensify control of state spending

Paul Timpanelli, president and CEO of the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, comments on the governor's proposed budget Tuesday. Behind him are Tony Sheridan, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, left, and Larry McHugh, president of the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce.

Connecticut’s business leaders had high praise Tuesday for the deep spending cuts and absence of tax hikes in Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new budget. But they also warned that without an even harder, bipartisan push to control spending, businesses will remain reluctant to grow — or to support the tolls and gasoline tax hikes recommended to finance transportation improvements. Continue Reading →

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Malloy calls ‘lockbox’ vote a milestone, not a setback

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Transportation Commissioner James Redeker at an event last week promoting transportation investments.

What do you say when your pitch for a constitutional amendment protecting transportation revenue is strongly endorsed by the General Assembly, just not by the three-fourths margin necessary to place it before the voters in 2016? “This is a victory,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Wednesday. “It’s not a hundred-percent victory, but it’s a victory.” Continue Reading →

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Griebel: Rushing CT’s transportation ‘lockbox’ is a mistake

R. Nelson "Oz" Griebel, president of the MetroHartford Alliance.

State officials will move forward Tuesday with new constitutional language to protect transportation spending, despite warnings Monday from one of Connecticut’s staunchest “lockbox” advocates that a hurried approach could lead to trouble. Continue Reading →

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CT deficit plan taps many special funds and one-time sources

Senate President Pro Tem Martin Looney and Majority Leader Bob Duff

While the General Assembly is expected to adopt a plan in special session Tuesday to close most or all of this fiscal year’s budget deficit, restore some funds for hospitals and finance modest business tax breaks, almost 40 percent of the plan diverts resources from specialized funds and various one-time sources. Continue Reading →

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Transportation advocates urge ‘lockbox’ despite budget woes

Donald Shubert, president of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association, at podium, and Mary Tomolonius, director of the Connecticut Association for Community Transportation, left, urge support for a transportation lockbox Thursday.

Transportation advocates were certain Thursday they want a new constitutional lockbox to protect planned new state investments in highways, bridges and railways. But they weren’t as specific about how state officials can shield new transportation dollars from a looming budget deficit roughly six times its size. Continue Reading →

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Malloy signs, then promotes, newly tweaked budget

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs the budget. From left, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.

The rocky path to a fiscal plan for the next two years ended Tuesday with Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signing the budget adopted June 3 in the closing minutes of the 2015 session — and tax rollbacks passed earlier Tuesday in special session to quell an outcry from business interests. Continue Reading →

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Looming deficits already threaten transportation, town aid initiatives

Former Transportation Strategy Board member Karen Burnaska and other advocates challenge gubernatorial candidates to focus on state's transportation needs.

A new, two-year state budget would make unprecedented investments in communities and transportation. But while Gov. Dannel P. Malloy insists his transportation investment will be protected by a legal lockbox, and Democratic lawmakers profess their commitment to local aid, looming deficits that start arriving in 2017-18 have advocates for both constituencies admitting they’re worried. Continue Reading →

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Proposed state budget diverts most new transportation dollars

budget logo

Updated at 9:44 p.m.
While the tentative state budget deal technically dedicates $436 million in sales tax receipts over the next two years to stabilize transportation finances and back a major infrastructure overhaul, that same spending plan effectively diverts more than 85 percent of those funds for non-transportation programs. Continue Reading →

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Behind The Numbers Podcast – Episode 1: The governor, the deficit and the lockbox


Mirror reporter Keith M. Phaneuf and Hartford Courant columnist Dan Haar, discuss Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s upcoming budget proposal, big deficit projections, and whether a legal “lockbox” can ensure transportation investments will actually grow. Behind The Numbers is sponsored by the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants. Continue Reading →

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With ‘lockboxes’ for toll receipts, there are lots of ways to pick the lock

The Q Bridge on I-95 over New Haven harbor under construction.

Though Gov. Dannel P. Malloy would consider restoring tolls if Connecticut creates a legal “lockbox” to ensure receipts are spent on transportation, other states’ have struggled to keep their “boxes” locked. And because Connecticut’s transportation program relies on many sources for funding, guarantees to protect toll receipts might mean little if other sources are diverted. Continue Reading →

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