Toni Walker

Recent Posts

Malloy tries again to expand reach of juvenile courts

In a Boys & Girls Club not far from the State Capitol, the administration of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy renewed its push Wednesday to expand the reach of the juvenile court system, a reform endorsed by a leading criminal justice expert at Harvard and imitated by the states of Illinois, Massachusetts and Vermont. Continue Reading →

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A legacy of debt: Squeeze on state’s priorities only getting tighter

State government’s surging retirement benefit costs are likely to have a big impact on programs and taxes over the next two decades. But they already have sapped significant funding from key priorities, including transportation, higher education, health care and social services. Second in a series. 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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Clues to where Malloy’s commissioners might cut, if given the authority

Asked by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to give state agency leaders the authority to cut $360.8 million, state legislators are struggling to get a sense of which programs and services gubernatorial appointees would deem “pet projects” and target for reductions or elimination. “What I am trying to figure out when someone from a domestic violence shelter calls me and says, ‘Did I get cut? Did I not get cut?’ I have to say I don’t know. Cause I can’t figure it out,” Rep. Toni Walker, D-New Haven, the House chairwoman of the legislature’s powerful budget-writing committee, told the commissioner of the Department of Social Services last week. Continue Reading →

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A second chance for CT youths who break the law?

On any given day, about 160 young offenders are incarcerated in Connecticut’s juvenile jail or pre-trial detention centers. State officials want to substantially reduce that number, but first they have some obstacles to overcome. First of two articles. Continue Reading →

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House adopts controversial state budget

Connecticut’s long-running budget drama began drawing to a close early Wednesday as the House of Representatives adopted a $40.3 billion, two-year package that largely restores deep cuts to social services and expands municipal aid while bolstering tax revenues by almost $2 billion. Continue Reading →

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Malloy’s fitful search for a ‘new normal’ on budgets

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy talks about his push for a “Second Chance Society” for ex-offenders and his intention to somehow coax the General Assembly into putting the state on a path to spend $100 billion on transportation over 30 years. But the reality of governing in the first months of his second term is less about big ideas than the prospect of a protracted and painful conversation with a restive General Assembly about what kind of government Connecticut can afford. 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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Dogged by Rikers’ scandal, Schriro confirmed on a close vote

After two days of behind-the-scenes drama and an afternoon of open revolt, the House of Representatives narrowly voted Tuesday to confirm Dora B. Schriro for a second term as commissioner of emergency services and public protection. Continue Reading →

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For now, Malloy says this budget problem is the legislature’s

Exactly four years ago, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was in Norwich for the fifth of 17 town-hall meetings to pitch Connecticut on the labor concessions and record tax increase he proposed to erase the nation’s largest per-capita state deficit. Today, he is vacationing in Puerto Rico. There is no tour this year to sell the public on his plan to resolve a smaller shortfall with business taxes and spending cuts that fall heavily on the poor, elderly and disabled. Continue Reading →

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