Austere Budget Ahead

Governor Malloy said Friday that we can expect a "very austere" budget proposal from him when he opens the legislative session next week. For the second time a week, the governor promised no new taxes as reporters tried to probe him for exceptions to that rule.

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Regionalism on Rise: CREC

The trend towards general state government reform continues based on the evidence at the local level and based on bills being filed for consideration during this year's legislative session.

Former Simsbury First Selectwoman Mary Glassman offered a compelling look at the issues in an article published by CT Viewpoints.org.

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Continued Justice Reform

Governor Dannel Malloy unveiled new proposals to reform bail policies in Connecticut. As part of his Second Chance Society program, Malloy's proposals could lead to long term savings by reducing incarceration costs.

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Speaker Changing Approach to Budget

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey made some telling comments about the state budget situation in an article published by Connecticut News Junkie.

Looking at the condition of the state budget Sharkey has concluded it is time to make fundamental changes in how Connecticut government delivers services. With Governor Malloy pledging no new tax increases in the coming session Sharkey and others are concluding dramatic spending cuts will be necessary to bring the budget into balance. That may require a serious reconsideration of general assumptions.

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Criminal Justice Reform

Governor Dannel Malloy is scheduled to unveil further details of his proposals for criminal justice reform during an appearance on Thursday of this week.

At an event earlier this week at Harvard he gave some hints as to his thinking and what to expect. CT 21 has identified criminal justice and juvenile justice as two parts of state government where reform can lead to cost efficiencies and greater effectiveness.

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Business Mandates

As lawmakers return to the capitol in a few weeks for the traditional short session, some businesses and business groups are worried about efforts to impose new mandates on the private sector. Most of the new rules under consideration could have un-intended consequences on business competitiveness.

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Opportunity Trends

New numbers from the Office of Fiscal Analysis, the Legislature's non-partisan budget office, show this year's state budget has fallen further into the red by at least $72 million. While this is not good news and must be addressed by lawmakers in the upcoming session, the trend continues to put pressure on lawmakers to look for non-traditional solutions. CT 21 has produced a series of reports over the last several years that provide some of the many long term solutions necessary to put state government on a corrective fiscal path.

Analysts Peg Deficit at $72M - CT News Junkie

Long Term Thinking

There is growing consensus among various analysts about the economic meaning of the recent decision by General Electric to move its headquarters from Fairfield, Connecticut to Boston.

The consensus, fortified by an article this weekend from the Connecticut Mirror, suggests GE's decision was not based entirely on action taken during the last legislative session, but instead based on the sense that Connecticut state government is on a long term path that is unpredictable.

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GE Analysis

A week after General Electric announced plans to move its headquarters from Fairfield to Boston many are still weighing in on what the decision means for Connecticut, the policy direction of state government and the impact on the community. We have put together a brief round up of analysis and opinion.

GE Move Reflects HQ Trend - Boston Globe

The Pros and Cons of GE Move - CityLab

Fairfield Ponders Future - New York Times

Time for Honest Assessment - CBIA

 

Overtime Still a Source for Savings

As CT 21 has pointed out in previous reports on cost cutting in state government there are still opportunities to reduce personnel costs by reducing overtime clocked by state employees. Making better use of private sector providers when they can deliver the same services at reduced cost is an obvious place to look.

The website Trend CT published an info graphic explaining the status of overtime pay at this point in the fiscal year.

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Deficit Projection Up

Ben Barnes, the head of the governor's budget office, said this week the projected budget deficit for the current fiscal year has risen to $7.1 million.

When compared with the overall budget this is a small figure, but just last month the state comptroller was projecting a much smaller number. This is a trend in the wrong direction and raises the possibility that even more budget cutting may be necessary in the upcoming "short session" of the legislature which is scheduled to begin in early February.

Although the legislature took steps at the end of last year to stabilize the budget, current trends continue to point to the need for a complete look at long term policies.

Texas Reduces Incarceration, Crime

The Atlantic’s David Frum in a piece May 11 asked a question that has been a discussion across the spectrum of criminal-justice scholars for decades: Can America have fewer prisoners without more crime?

Second Chance Prison

Somers -- Serafettin Senel and Andrew Phillips are inmates at the Willard-Cybulski prison complex, one of Connecticut’s expensive monuments to the mistakes of men. Senel’s mistake was selling narcotics. Phillips’ was drinking and driving, repeatedly.

CT Economic To Do List

Connecticut's modest recovery from the Great Recession has been marked by slow job growth, stagnant personal income, and a "groundhog day" cycle of state budgets in which revenues consistently fail to meet increasing expenditures while underfunding mental health, transportation, and other critical initiatives and programs.

Gov. Malloy Embraces CT 21 Concepts

(Hartford, CT) In unveiling his budget proposal, Governor Dannel Malloy(D) is backing many of the criminal justice reforms CT 21 has been advocating.

UCONN Economists Say Invest

A team of UConn economists and researchers said Wednesday morning that state government must invest in education, transportation and high-speed internet networks to ensure long-term economic job growth.

Second Chance Society

Connecticut began the year with 16,167 inmates in its prisons and jails, the lowest number since John G. Rowland celebrated his second New Year's Day as governor on Jan. 1, 1997. The drop comes as arrests fell by nearly 5 percent in 2014, while the number of young people entering prison has fallen for a half-dozen consecutive years.

Cloud Technology

EAST HARTFORD, CONN. (PRWEB) DECEMBER 31, 2014

Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. (CCAT) today announced an agreement to work in partnership with the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) throughout 2015 to demonstrate how the use of cloud technology over the Connecticut Nutmeg Network enhances municipal management.

Reform Connecticut's Prison System

The growth of the American prison system is explosive – and misguided.

A recent book, The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked The American Dream, notes that between 1980 and 2000, the number of people incarcerated in the United States rose almost 700 percent from 300,000 to over 2 million.

By 2008, more than 7 million Americans (1 out of every 31 adults) were estimated to be behind bars, on probation or on parole. The U.S. now has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

Connecticut’s prison system wasteful of both human and monetary resources

The growth of the American prison system is explosive – and misguided.

A recent book, The Justice Imperative: How Hyper-Incarceration Has Hijacked The American Dream, notes that between 1980 and 2000, the number of people incarcerated in the United States rose almost 700 percent from 300,000 to over 2 million.