As the election approaches, the administration of Governor Malloy and Republican legislators are taking part in a very public spat over the size of the state's projected budget deficit. All sides know the state is facing substantial shortfalls for the foreseeable future, so the real focus of debate should not be on the size of the problem, but how to address it long term.
The departure of General Electric and budget strains being felt at the local and state level continue to hamper the outlook for the Connecticut economy. This as the governor and legislature engage in an on-going debate over the size of the projected budget deficit.
A week of argument over the size of the projected state budget deficit largely misses the point.
The facts are; nearly everyone at the state capitol views the current state budget as being more than $1billion out of balance this year with a gap of about the same margin in the following fiscal year. Privately, lawmakers will say they expect the gap to be even than that.
It all means that regardless of the monthly projections, the state is still facing financial challenges and a new approach focused on trimming spending and building a tax structure to support agreed on spending levels is needed.
The Malloy administration is asking its agency leaders to put together budget proposals for the next two years that contemplate cuts of as much as 10%.
This is an early sign that the administration expects a period of continued high demand for government services with no revenue source strong enough to consistently meet that demand.
A new report from American Council for An Energy-Efficient Economy says Connecticut is doing well in the category.
Connecticut, with its first in the nation Green Bank, got very high scores for use of government policy to influence energy efficiency and ranked number five overall across all categories.
ACEEE says Connecticut government leadership "is committed" to improving the state's economy through the promotion and practice of new energy policies.
Despite strong efforts to provide programs to train students with the skills necessary for modern manufacturing, some leaders in the sector say Connecticut manufacturers are not finding enough millennial generation employees to fill out their payrolls.
The issue was discussed at a forum put on by UConn in Wallingford earlier this week.
Nearly a year after it was authorized, a government efficiency task force created by the legislature now has all its members in place and can begin work.
The task force is supposed to study how government services are delivered and determine whether there are more efficient ways to do so with an aim toward saving money.
By Chip Beckett
It is time to consider specifics when discussing regionalism and the Connecticut economy.
Our state, and the Hartford region in particular, is in an especially unhappy mood. Residents expect government services, but feel they are often of poor quality. Taxpayers feel stretched financially, but there is always a concern government may ask for more. As a state, we have lagged socially, culturally, and economically for a generation. We are among the slowest growing regions in the country according to a recent report called MetroHartford Progress Points from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The only way to break the cycle is to grow our economy by creating jobs.
A new study out this week says Connecticut is one of dozens of states with a debt burden higher than the state's ability to pay. It means that if Connecticut were to attempt to pay off its debt it would cost each of us almost $50,000.
The study can be used as argument for taking steps to control debt specifically and the cost of government in general.