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Posted inEducation, Health, Money, Politics, Transportation

Struggle to balance current budget could help with future deficits

While legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy scramble to close yet another hole in the current state budget, the exercise could help them solve a much larger problem. Depending on how they solve this fiscal year’s $220 million deficit — a task lawmakers have pledged to complete Tuesday — the $900 million hole built into 2016-17 finances could be whittled down by nearly one-quarter.

Posted inMoney

CT jobless rate rises as 2015 job growth estimates are cut in half

Despite gaining 900 jobs, Connecticut’s unemployment rate rose slightly in January from 5.4 to 5.5 percent, the state Department of Labor reported Friday. The department also significantly reduced its original job growth projections for 2015 by 14,700 jobs. That means Connecticut only has recovered 73 percent, or 86,700 of the jobs lost in the last recession.

Posted inHealth, Money, Politics

Malloy hints at layoffs before summer

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signaled an intention Tuesday to lay off state employees in the current fiscal year, saying the workforce must shrink substantially, and that the process must begin before the fiscal year ends on June 30. Malloy spoke to reporters after a meeting with legislative leaders, where he pressed them to offer their own cost-cutting ideas.

Posted inCT Viewpoints

Saving jobs and protecting tourism is a winning combination for Connecticut

The recent groundbreaking for a casino just north of the Massachusetts border in Springfield promises to draw more customers from Connecticut than from their own region. Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes are working to remain competitive in this new environment with a strategically located, jointly run facility that will directly compete with new gaming options on our border. Last session, the Connecticut General Assembly allowed the tribes to work together and accept proposals from towns interested in hosting this new facility. The tribes have been good neighbors and friends to the state for 13 generations, and business partners for the past two decades. They are asking the state to support a plan to protect jobs, business and revenue. Doing so is a win-win for all.

Posted inMoney, Politics

Malloy warns of workforce cuts, affirms opposition to tax hikes

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s administration confirmed Friday the downward trend in state revenues — though not the precise numbers — that nonpartisan analysts reported earlier this week. While the governor never used the word “layoff,” he told reporters Friday that state government’s workforce must shrink considerably soon, and that the next state budget still must be balanced without tax hikes.

Posted inEducation, Money, Politics

Raises for UConn professionals spark broader CT budget debate

Tuesday’s debate over whether to grant raises to non-teaching professionals at the University of Connecticut reverberated Wednesday throughout the state Capitol. While some argued it weakened any chance of securing wage and benefit concessions from all state employees, others argued it was the first step toward a fairer budget debate that includes talk of tax hikes.

Posted inEducation, Justice, Money, Politics

Judiciary says proposed cuts ‘compromise access to justice’

Cutting $64 million from the previously approved funding for the Judicial Branch next fiscal year would result in hundreds of layoffs and force closure of multiple courthouses and a juvenile detention facility, Judge Patrick L. Carroll III, chief court administrator, told the legislature’s Appropriations Committee.