Benjamin Barnes

Recent Posts

Hospitals blast Malloy’s proposal to subject them to property taxes

The governor’s plan would also cut an $11.8 million fund that has provided money to small, independent hospitals. And it would restore the administration’s ability to unilaterally cut funding to hospitals through a technical budgeting change. Continue Reading →

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Hospitals worry Medicaid, Obamacare changes could bring pain

With the potential for major changes in federal health care policy looming, hospital leaders are watching closely, worried especially that cuts to Medicaid could bring a big financial hit and that a repeal of Obamacare could raise the number of uninsured Connecticut residents. Continue Reading →

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A lot at stake for Connecticut as Trump, GOP eye Medicaid changes

Medicaid is Connecticut’s largest source of federal funding and the largest single line item in the state budget. It covers close to one in five state residents – more than 750,000 poor children, adults and people with disabilities. A major change in federal Medicaid funding is a big worry for the state’s budget director. Continue Reading →

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Stakes grow in Malloy’s third challenge of watchdogs’ autonomy

The latest challenge to the fiscal autonomy of state’s watchdog agencies by the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is raising unprecedented legal questions likely to eventually require Attorney General George Jepsen and Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo to publicly contradict or confirm the administration’s position. Continue Reading →

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Democrats’ education cuts fall most heavily on CT’s Gold Coast

Each of the five budgets that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has proposed since 2012 has shielded wealthy communities from cuts in the education money they receive from the state. That changed Tuesday when he proposed cutting all of the $25.3 million in aid that 28 of the state’s richest communities currently receive through the Education Cost Sharing grant. Continue Reading →

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Bristol project becomes focus of tensions between state, hospitals

In the latest volley in a longstanding dispute over the financial health of Connecticut hospitals, state budget director Benjamin Barnes on Monday questioned Bristol Hospital’s plans to build a new medical office building and recruit staff, noting that hospital supporters had recently warned that state funding was needed to avoid compromising the community’s health and access to care. The hospital said Barnes was making unfounded accusations and mischaracterizing the situation. Continue Reading →

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Malloy seeks to cut legislative authority over Medicaid changes

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration is seeking to eliminate legislators’ authority over certain attempts to make changes to Medicaid and other federally funded assistance programs – an authority legislators recently used to block a controversial administration proposal. Continue Reading →

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After a few dodges, Malloy administration vows not to seek tax hikes

Updated at 2:12 p.m.
After some initial coyness about the state budget revisions Gov. Dannel P. Malloy must submit to legislators next week, the administration confirmed Tuesday afternoon it would neither propose nor support tax hikes. Continue Reading →

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Is it a gag order or the Malloy administration speaking with one voice?

Key legislators say a directive from budget director Benjamin Barnes restricting what agency heads can tell legislators about Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposal is hindering lawmakers in doing their jobs and will push more of the budget-writing process behind closed doors. Barnes says the administration simply works together “as one administration, with all our commissioners and agency heads.” Continue Reading →

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Event: ‘Budget Unbundled’ program set for Feb. 25 in Hartford

“Budget Unbundled: A Closer Look at Connecticut’s Fiscal Roadmap,” a program discussing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed state budget, will take place Wednesday, Feb. 25, at the Hartford Marriott Downtown, 200 Columbus Blvd., Hartford. Continue Reading →

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Barnes tells advocates for poor, kids: Brace for lean budget

Benjamin Barnes, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget director, warned advocates for children, the poor and other disadvantage citizens to brace for lean funding when the administration releases its next budget in two weeks. Continue Reading →

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Lembo reports CT budget deficit shrinks to $32M

The state budget deficit shrank modestly over the past month to $32 million, Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo reported Friday. But the state’s chief fiscal watchdog also noted that the deficit would have been larger were the budget not bolstered somewhat by borrowing that has become increasingly controversial in recent years. Continue Reading →

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Malloy taps Ojakian, Barnes and two commissioners for 2nd terms

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Thursday that Chief of Staff Mark Ojakian, budget director Benjamin Barnes, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Catherine Smith and Department of Revenue Services Commissioner Kevin B. Sullivan all will return. Continue Reading →

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