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Posted inEducation, Money, Politics

Some education aid increases might not be spent on schools

In his new budget Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is proposing to increase state education grants to 52 cities and towns with struggling schools by about $230 million, but it will be up to the municipalities to determine whether to actually spend it on their schools – or use it to close their own local budget shortfalls or make up for other state budget cuts.

Posted inCT Viewpoints, Talking Transportation

Don’t blame Malloy for transit fare hikes

Sure, it was sleazy of Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to release news of a proposed 5 percent fare hike on Metro-North on a Friday afternoon in July, hoping nobody would notice. But the more I dig into the proposal, the more I realize the governor and CDOT are not to blame. It’s the Connecticut legislature that’s really responsible for this fare hike.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Connecticut needs a rational, fair, school funding system

Three weeks ago, in his sixth State of the State Address, Gov. Dannel Malloy laid out his five “budget principles” and called for a “more predictable, more sustainable, and more transparent” Connecticut budget that “prioritizes funding for core services.” Rightfully, one of the core services Malloy listed was public education. However, for Connecticut to prioritize education and achieve the governor’s budgetary goals, the state must fundamentally change the way it funds its public schools.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

GE aftermath: Have the governor and Dems learned their lesson?

Missing from Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget address on this year’s opening day of the legislative session was any mention of GE’s departure from the state. Of course, a leader must focus on the future and direct attention away from the negative. But why ignore reality? The only thing I can say for his speech is that at least pointing out the few companies that are investing in our state was more convincing than again spouting the “need for transportation and a high-tech atmosphere” as the reason for GE’s relocation.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Malloy gun proposal NOT about terrorism

No one wants terrorists to have guns. However, Gov. Dan Malloy’s recent proposal to ban gun purchases from those who appear on a nebulous terrorist “watch list” is a step too far. There is no doubt that Gov. Malloy is not a big fan of the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, this plan also guts the 14th Amendment due process clause by suspending the right to purchase and potentially confiscating legally owned property without providing ANY evidence to do so.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

No lock on Connecticut’s transportation lock box

Yesterday, the legislature voted to implement a “transportation lock box” to presumably protect funding to repair and replace our state’s crumbling roads, rails and bridges that we travel daily. While this sounds like a noble idea, we of the Southeastern Connecticut delegation – and many of our colleagues – saw the serious flaws in this bill that compelled us to vote against it.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

CSCU president could have addressed protest instead of breezing by

Last Thursday, this year’s President of the Connecticut’s Board of Regents for Higher Education, Mark Ojakian, hurried past a large group of AAUP protesters outside of his scheduled Board of Regents meeting at the old Phoenix Insurance building on Woodland Street in Hartford. It probably never occurred to this right-hand man of the governor that he was presented with a rare opportunity. In Ojakian’s defense, his boss probably would not have seized the opportunity either.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Will Connecticut follow Massachusetts on Common Core?

Massachusetts, one of the leading states on education reform in the nation, in a monumental decision has abandoned Common Core testing. The Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Michael Chester, in a stunning reversal, has walked away from the very test he helped to create. Now it remains to be seen if other states in the nation, including Connecticut, will follow Massachusetts, a state that is considered to be “the gold standard” in successful education reform.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Budget cuts will hurt Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents

As someone who has testified and written frequently about funding decisions and service modifications and also as someone who is very familiar with health disparities in Connecticut, I believe that the governor’s current budget rescissions are not only evidence of a disconnect between the state’s commitment to ending disparities and inequities in health and health outcomes, but they are also a departure from the state’s early commitment to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.