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Economic incentives like loans and tax breaks for companies have been a controversial subject in recent years. And now a new study shows Connecticut doesn’t follow national best practices in monitoring the effects of its own generosity. 

President Trump is set to sign an executive order on Thursday that aims to relax restrictions on political activity by religious groups without threatening their tax-exempt status.

Senate Republicans voted Wednesday night to rescind an Obama-era policy that allows states to offer retirement savings plans to millions of workers.

Retiree and worker protection groups say the move will hurt employees at small businesses.

Many small businesses say they can't afford to set up retirement savings plans, such as 401(k) plans, for their workers. That's a big reason why so many Americans aren't saving, says Cristina Martin Firvida, the AARP's director of government affairs.

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The Office of Fiscal Analysis reports that tax revenues are plunging. The state's 100 largest-income tax payers paid 45 percent less this year than last. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Battling lawmakers, a multi-billion dollar deficit, and the end of a gubernatorial era. April was -- without doubt -- an eventful month for state politics. 

This hour, we hear from the man at the helm of it all: Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy. With less than two years left to go, how does he plan to round off his second -- and final -- term in office? We find out and also we also hear from you.

Jim Bowen / Creative Commons

State lawmakers are up against deadlines this week to settle on a budget plan — one that tackles a nearly two billion dollar deficit next year. But so far all we’ve seen is a logjam in Hartford.

This hour, we find out what gridlock at the capitol could mean for the state’s future.

Updated at 4:12 p.m. ET

The Trump administration Wednesday put forth a proposal that it labeled a "massive" tax overhaul, which would give big tax cuts to individuals and corporations and reduce the number of tax brackets and deductions.

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Lawmakers will examine a proposal to raise Connecticut’s sales tax this week. The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities wants to see an increase in the sales tax from 6.35 percent currently, to 6.99 percent. The idea is that the additional revenue should be given to cities and towns so they can control a rise in property taxes. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut U.S. Marine Michael Zacchea had a job to do in 2004: train and lead the first Iraqi Army battalion after the U.S. disbanded the country’s military post invasion.

This hour, we revisit our conversation with Zacchea, and co-author Ted Kemp about their book The Ragged Edge which details the challenges Zacchea faced leading a diverse group of Iraqis. 

Mike Licht / Creative Commons

Presidential press secretaries usually keep a low profile. They don't typically try to control the room or get defensive or mean with reporters.  They don't typically break news or become the butt of jokes on late-night TV. They don't typically perpetuate information proven to be untrue and then assume a threatening manner when asked to support the claim. In short, Sean Spicer is a press secretary like few we've seen before. 

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin will present his budget to the City Council Monday, and he's projecting a $50 million hole. But he said a lack of clarity about the state budget is making the city's job harder. 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, started with a warning to the U.S. - don't strike the Syrian regime again. 

Back home, the consensus among Connecticut's delegation in Washington is that President Trump should have informed Congress before sending missiles into Syria. 

Tax day is just a week away, but as you hurry to get your return in, experts say you must also take more care than ever to protect your identity.

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Connecticut is stepping up efforts to collect state sales taxes not being paid by online and out-of-state retailers.

Current state law requires out-of-state sellers with a substantial economic presence in the state to collect and remit Connecticut sales tax.

But the Department of Revenue Services estimates at least $70 million is being evaded annually.

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It's been 20 years since Connecticut's landmark Sheff v. O'Neill ruling, which said that segregation in Hartford schools was unconstitutional. This hour, we dive into an investigation by The Hartford Courant about how some neighborhood schools are still struggling, and how Sheff didn't solve the challenge of school integration. 

Donald Trump and his wife Melania earned about $150 million in 2005 and paid federal taxes of about $38 million, the White House said tonight.

The Trump administration made the revelation after copies of the tax returns anonymously were put in the mailbox of journalist David Cay Johnston.

The numbers have not been independently verified by NPR.

Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

It will also be a chance for him to reassure congressional Republicans, whose view of the new administration runs the gamut from optimism to unease.

David Wilson / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s cities and towns are calculating the potential cost of Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget proposal. The governor included major changes in the way the state disburses municipal aid, as well as shifting part of the cost of teachers’ pensions to towns. 

Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

Governor Malloy’s budget plan promises to aid struggling cities, but many towns are concerned about footing more of the bill.

This hour, we ask municipal leaders and lawmakers about Malloy’s budget proposal and we want to hear from you. 

Connecticut officials are now projecting that the state will end this fiscal year with a $23 million surplus, as stated in a letter sent by Governor Dannel Malloy’s budget director to the state comptroller on Friday.

President Trump began his first full workweek in the White House by hosting a breakfast "listening session" with business executives. In his opening remarks, Trump largely stuck to traditional Republican themes of lower taxes and reduced regulation.

But he also reiterated his threat to impose a border tax on companies that move jobs overseas — a plan with little support from the president's fellow Republicans in Congress. Trump said he hopes to hold similar meetings with business leaders on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s business community sees solving the state’s seemingly ever-present fiscal crisis as key to economic recovery in the new legislative session. But the Connecticut Business and Industry Association is also focused on a couple of specific priorities for lawmakers.

Why We Leave and Why We Stay

Dec 8, 2016
Nicolas Raymond / Creative Commons

Recently we did a show about the science of loving where you live and we heard from plenty of Connecticut residents who really do love living here. But that sentiment is not shared by everyone. Some residents say high taxes are driving them away to places like Florida and North Carolina.

This hour, we talk about out-migration from Connecticut. We also explore the number of people who are moving into the state — what’s known as in-migration. And we want to hear from you. Are you looking to leave Connecticut once you retire? If not, why do you want to stay here?  

Ray Hardman / WNPR

With the Donald Trump transition team announcing new cabinet picks on a nearly daily basis, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal wants to make sure those nominees disclose their tax returns. 

President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Wilbur Ross Jr., a billionaire investor and turnaround specialist, as his commerce secretary.

Ross announced his selection Wednesday during a joint CNBC interview with longtime Wall Street banker Steve Mnuchin, Trump's pick for Treasury secretary.

"Wilbur Ross is a champion of American manufacturing and knows how to help companies succeed," Trump said in a statement announcing his choice.

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump promised the biggest tax cut since Ronald Reagan's conservative revolution swept into Washington in the 1980s.

A big part of that tax cut would go to corporations. The president-elect says that will fuel investment and growth. Skeptics say the plan would explode the federal budget deficit.

Top business tax rate slashed

Donald Trump has proposed a very detailed tax plan — but his statements on the campaign trail don't always match what his proposal would really do.

For instance, at a rally in Scranton, Pa., Trump promised to "massively cut taxes for the middle class, the forgotten people, the forgotten men and women of this country, who built our country." During a town hall meeting on NBC's Today show, he said he believes in raising taxes on the wealthy.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is continuing his effort to highlight the capital city's structural financial problems. And he's giving state lawmakers a few suggestions on how to fix them. 

To Regionalize or Not to Regionalize

Oct 20, 2016
BrianSwan / Creative Commons

Connecticut is home to some of the wealthiest Americans in the country, and yet its cities are among the nation’s poorest. Some say the first step to ending this inequality is to spread the wealth from thriving suburban areas to struggling urban areas.

This hour, we talk regionalization – will Connecticut ever embrace it as the state struggles with constant deficits?

Sikorsky Aircraft

The state of Connecticut has cut a deal with helicopter maker Sikorsky to keep the company’s headquarters in Stratford. 

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