Connecticut rejected the lowest of five bidders for the contract to operate train service on the new Hartford Line, instead picking the overall top scorer in a ranking system that valued expertise and experience over price, according to scoring sheets released Thursday by the Department of Transportation.
A formal opinion released Thursday by Attorney General George Jepsen warns of legal peril in rewriting state-employee contracts through legislation, but notes the free hand legislators have after contracts expire and the flexibility the courts have granted in some cases in the event of extreme fiscal emergencies.
On July 19, the unelected, governor-appointed Connecticut State Board of Education approved 504 additional seats in state charter schools for next year, with 154 of those seats going to Capital Preparatory Harbor School in Bridgeport. Go figure: Connecticut is in a budget crisis with every expense being monitored, yet new charter school seats, which cost the state $11,000 each, are being initiated. The cost will be more than $5.5 million.
If Connecticut residents are wondering what Connecticut’s “secret sauce” is to rank us tops in efficient Medicaid spending, it’s a combination of Inadequate and flat Medicaid reimbursement to home health providers, a State Plan Amendment cutting Medicaid behavioral home health nursing rates by 15 percent and other factors — all at the suffering and demise of our Medicaid provider community.
Officials hope the trend toward transit-oriented development, or TOD, will lessen traffic congestion, reduce pollution and create dense and lively town centers that can attract bright young workers – the ones the General Electrics and Aetnas say they want.