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Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont is leaning toward tolling of all vehicles in Connecticut, rather than concentrating on trucks as he said during the campaign.

Lamont's 'Debt Diet' Hits An Already Lean Nonprofit Safety Net

Mar 4, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s private, nonprofit social services community has been struggling since the early 2000s with minimal growth in state funding for the vast array of programs it provides.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It's been nearly two months since Ned Lamont was sworn in as Connecticut's 89th governor. 

Elements of his budget proposal, released last month, are being opposed by many segments of the state's population.

Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Governor Ned Lamont has said he is open to negotiating almost everything in his budget proposal. Well, it seems like lots of people are going to take him up on his offer.

State legislators on opposite sides of the political spectrum are panning Lamont's plan to raise roughly $500 million a year by expanding the goods and services subject to the state's sales tax.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s some good news for local brewers in Gov. Ned Lamont’s proposed biennium budget, which would cut the alcohol beverage tax on craft breweries in half.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont's proposed budget doesn’t include a plan to increase the state income tax to help cover a $3.7 billion projected budget deficit, and that has some watchers and stakeholders wondering about the state of income inequality in Connecticut.

Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

It was 1983. Toll booths in Connecticut had already experienced decades of problems like accidents and traffic jams.

And then, a truck slammed into a car waiting at the Stratford toll plaza on Interstate 95.

Dissecting Governor Lamont’s Budget Proposal

Feb 21, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Ned Lamont did a lot of asking Wednesday, as he promised he would.

A general plea for everyone to step up toward a budget solution is one thing. Specific requests, like the ones he made in his state budget address to lawmakers, will prove much more difficult to attain.

It May Be Bumpy, But Lamont Sees 'A Path Forward'

Feb 20, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont cast his first budget proposal Wednesday as “a path forward,” a map for a wealthy state struggling to wriggle free of a crushing pension debt amassed over decades, end crippling cycles of deficits and spark economic growth.

Lamont Presents $43 Billion, Two-Year Plan To Legislators

Feb 20, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont delivered his first budget address to the legislature on February 20, 2019.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont proposed a $43 billion, two-year state budget Wednesday that establishes tolls, shifts more pension debt onto future taxpayers, deals another blow to hospitals, but also closes a multi-billion dollar shortfall without raising the income tax.

Gov. Ned Lamont gives his first State of the State address.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

The honeymoon period is over for Gov. Ned Lamont. When he delivers his state budget address to lawmakers later on Wednesday, there will already be plenty of animosity among those watching.

Lamont Seeks Giveback From Future State Retirees

Feb 19, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont gives his first State of the State address.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Gov. Ned Lamont will seek concessions that could reduce pension benefits to future retired state employees by more than $130 million per year — a move that was immediately met with resistance Tuesday from union officials.

Connecticut legislators are getting ready for state budget talks, and one proposed tax cut is getting support from surprising sources. Some Democrats in the General Assembly support repealing the estate tax.

PAUL BASS / NEW HAVEN INDEPENDENT

New Haven Police Chief Anthony Campbell's recently announced plans to leave the department has brought the city's budget woes into focus, as well as its contentious brand of politics.

The police department is down to 395 officers, Campbell told city alders earlier this week. That's 100 less than called for in the department's 2019 fiscal year budget, he maintained.

Getty Images / Pool

President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night was full of contrasting tones. Like when he endorsed national paid family leave for new parents, and then just seconds later, called for legislation banning late-term abortions.

Today, we break down his speech, and how well it went over or didn't go over with Congressional Democrats.

Updated on Jan. 23 at 6:45 p.m. ET

The Senate is set to consider two competing proposals Thursday that could reopen the government — but probably won't.

Republicans are planning a vote on President Trump's proposal to end the stalemate. But Democrats are reiterating that his offer — with $5.7 billion for a border wall in exchange for temporary protections for those under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and temporary protected status programs — is a nonstarter, meaning there's no realistic end yet in sight for the shutdown.

As the standoff between President Trump and Congress continues over funding for Trump's proposed border wall, the partial shutdown of the federal government means workers will go weeks without a paycheck. That has some looking for temporary jobs to pay their bills.

In Boise, Idaho, Chris Kirk says he's worked for the federal government for 19 years. He administers contracts for the hundreds of millions of dollars the U.S. Forest Service spends on fighting wildfires. But these days he's on furlough and looking for extra income.

Ned Lamont Finally Is 'In The Room Where It Happens'

Jan 9, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont gives his first State of the State address.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut’s new governor showed himself Wednesday to be affable, straightforward, optimistic, playful — and even slightly goofy — in his first address to the General Assembly, promising a collaborative approach to rebranding a state down on itself.

Updated at 1:25 p.m. ET

The ongoing government shutdown didn't stop the Justice Department's public affairs office from issuing statements this week about cases involving America's Southern border.

Officials in Washington, D.C., instructed field office workers on Dec. 21 that the public affairs unit would "only issue press releases to the extent it is necessary to ensure public safety or national security, such as a terrorist attack or something of similar magnitude."

Governor Dannel Malloy speaks at a ceremony for a new parking garage built at the State Office Building in Hartford in December 2018.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

As the state prepares for a new governor to take office, one of outgoing Gov. Dannel Malloy’s ongoing challenges will become Ned Lamont’s problem: the state budget.

With no deal in sight to keep the government funded, hundreds of thousands of federal employees will either not be returning to work after holiday vacations or will be back on the job but without pay.

President Trump reiterated Tuesday that he is in no mood to compromise over funding for a wall along the southern border, and Democrats who oppose the measure are showing no signs of budging either.

The partial shutdown of the U.S. government that began Saturday affects about a quarter of the government. About 800,000 federal workers will feel the effects as lawmakers try to come to an agreement on a set of spending bills to keep the government funded.

A central sticking point remains funding for President Trump's proposed border wall, and with the Senate adjourned until Thursday, there is no apparent quick end in sight.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

The threat of a partial government shutdown this weekend may be diminishing.

The Senate passed a short-term measure Wednesday night to keep the federal government open into 2019. The House is expected to take up the bill on Thursday. Funding currently expires at midnight on Friday.

CTMirror.org

Governor-elect Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced two team captains who will be tasked with helping him confront huge state budget deficits and Connecticut's tarnished business climate.

For his chief of staff, Lamont picked Ryan Drajewicz, an executive from Westport-based hedge fund behemoth Bridgewater Associates. His budget chief will be Melissa McCaw, currently the head of the city of Hartford's Office of Management, Budget and Grants.

From left, Oz Griebel, Bob Stefanowski, and Ned Lamont at a recent debate at UConn.
CTMirror.org

With the nation transfixed on the revelations pouring out of Washington, D.C., how much remaining brain capacity do voters have for Connecticut's governor's race?

It's undoubtedly hard to compete for attention against news cycles dominated by edge-of-your-seat histrionics that could shape the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court for a generation. So this week we set out to bring state politics back into focus.

Connecticut Has A Surplus - For Now

Aug 20, 2018
Office of Policy and Management Secretary Ben Barnes
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

State government’s new budget year is off to a healthy start, but there’s good news and bad news in the numbers.

CHION WOLF / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

Layoff notices went out Wednesday to 37 New Haven school staff members in the face of a budget deficit.

Most of the pink slips went to guidance counselors. Also laid off were several classroom teachers, library media specialists, and physical education teachers.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Employment and health care top the list of issues concerning Connecticut voters, according to a recent poll.

Ryan Caron King/Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

With just three weeks before the August 14 Democratic and Republican primaries, taglines and sound bytes are all the rage in the governor's race. Positions on a substantive issue? Not so much.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

This hour, we learn about a new online series about "extreme inequality" in Connecticut.

We also look at trends in white shark activity off the coast of Cape Cod.

But first, an update on hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. How well-equipped are the island and its residents to face a possible next storm?

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