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At the Urban Hope Refuge Church in the North End of Hartford, residents and activists celebrated the city’s new housing codes, which they hope will hold landlords and owners more accountable.

“The new code will not only prevent slumlords from continuing to make money off horrendous and inhumane living conditions they create for residents,” said Joshua Serrano, “but also lift the corporate veil, of which many slumlords hide.” 

Phil Warren / Creative Commons

On the need for new affordable housing, some Connecticut municipalities say "not in my backyard." But why this NIMBY approach?

This hour, we take an in-depth look with the author of a ProPublica-Connecticut Mirror investigation into local housing policies. We also check in with a town in southwest Connecticut, and with the policy director for the nonprofit Partnership for Strong Communities. 

Does Working More Days Make State Legislatures More Effective?

Jan 25, 2019
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut purposely doesn't have a full-time legislature.

But state lawmakers' jobs aren't considered part-time either, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

They fall somewhere in between.

Yinan Chen / Wikimedia Commons

What does effective philanthropy look like in the 21st century?

This hour, we sit down with Jay Williams, the President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.

We also talk with scholar and author, Chuck Collins. He is a one-percenter who dedicated his life to addressing income inequality. Collins’ policy institute has found that charities are increasingly depending on larger donations from a smaller number of wealthy individuals. We ask Collins--is that a good thing?

Updated at 5:45 p.m. ET

Amazon will pay all of its U.S. employees a minimum of $15 an hour, more than double the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The retail giant, run by the world's richest man, was criticized earlier this year after revealing its workers' median pay was $28,446.

Amazon says the new rate will go into effect on Nov. 1, covering all of its full-time, part-time, temporary and seasonal employees in the U.S.

Paul Sableman / Creative Commons

It’s been ten years since the Great Recession reared its ugly head, lurching the country into a state of economic crisis. 

This hour, we look back and ask: What effect did the downturn have on the American public? And how did it come to reshape perceptions of the so-called ‘American dream’?

We check in with a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center. We also sit down with experts in the fields of economics and sociology. And we want to hear from you.

Whether you’re an immigrant or a native-born citizen, what do the words American dream mean to you? Is the answer to that question more or less clear now than it was a decade ago? 

Doug Kerr / Flickr

A recent study found that Connecticut ranked third nationwide in overall income inequality.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Connecticut is suing the federal government over Republican tax cuts. The $1.5 trillion cuts were signed by President Donald Trump in December and included a cap on federal deductions for state and local tax, or SALT.

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?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

They've gone years without a raise. Now, members of Connecticut's private group home workforce are calling for a boost in support from the state.

With a possible strike looming this April, we speak to Josh Kovner from the Hartford Courant for an update. 

Chris Potter / Flickr

When you file your 2018 income taxes, you might notice that the standard deduction has essentially doubled. Exemptions will likely be eliminated and in its place, you might see a larger tax credit per dependent claimed. But it also raises at least one other big question: will you give as much to charity?

trialsanderrors / flickr

Few things evoke such antipathy and condemnation from the western world than the idea of children toiling away for low pay in dangerous conditions. And while there are cases of child labor which truly warrant our concern, the broader truth is a bit more complicated.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Coming up: We sit down with Chuck Collins, senior scholar at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.

But first: A look at how researchers are working to preserve the world's most endangered languages -- including locally-based efforts to expand fluency of the Mohegan language

The U.S. economy created an estimated 209,000 jobs in July, representing a modest slowdown from the previous month but coming in better than many economists had expected. The unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent from 4.4 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said in its monthly report that, statistically, July showed little change from previous months, as the number of unemployed persons remained around 7 million.

SBSTNC / Creative Commons

Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. He's also an author, an editor, and a child of the so-called “one percent."

This hour, we sit down with Collins. We talk about his latest book and preview his upcoming appearance in Winsted, Connecticut. 

State legislatures and city halls are battling over who gets to set the minimum wage, and increasingly, the states are winning.

After dozens of city and county governments voted to raise their local minimum wage ordinances in the last several years, states have been responding by passing laws requiring cities to abide by statewide minimums. So far, 27 states have passed such laws.

kaboompics.com

Efforts on the state level to introduce paid family leave are critical to overcoming gender equity problems in the workforce, according to advocates.

creative commons

Advocates for the state's low income families say budget proposals to cut the earned income tax credit, or EITC, will have a negative effect on the economy and make the tax code less fair. 

Tracy O / Creative Commons

The fight over raising the minimum wage in Connecticut may be one of the issues that tests the new strength of Republicans in the General Assembly. 

Jackie Harris / WNPR

State lawmakers held a public hearing Thursday on a series of bills to benefit workers in Connecticut. One effort would increase the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour by 2022, while another would mandate paid family leave. 

anopdesignstock/iStock / Thinkstock

The minimum wage next month is increasing in four of the six New England states.

Massachusetts’s 2017 rate of $11.00 an hour puts it in a tie for top statewide rate in the country, along with Washington state. Not far behind are Connecticut, with a new rate of $10.10 an hour, and Vermont, at $10.00.

Updated at 10:45 ET Wednesday

While votes are still being counted, some high-profile ballot initiatives already have returned clear results — including a slew of states opting in favor of medical or recreational marijuana, and several more raising the minimum wage.

You can see our full list of key ballot measures here, or check out a sample of the highlights: