Unemployment calculation bill would reform CT’s compensation system

I am a Connecticut employer who has kept his family business here despite the oppressive and stifling atmosphere including overwhelming taxes and regulations. I have been outraged at Connecticut’s Federal Unemployment Tax Act tax on all employers because of the state government’s inability to responsibly manage our federal loan, and the illegality of a tax on businesses who do not vote or have a say in government. I now see a wonderful opportunity for the state to correct its course by reforming Connecticut’s unemployment compensation system like the states surrounding us have done.

Support for Connecticut ban on use of toxic flame retardants

In the 1970’s flame-retardants were found to be carcinogenic and highly absorptive so they were voluntarily removed from children’s pajamas. Since then these chemicals have found their way back into our children’s products although the toxicity and danger to the health of children has remained the same. Flame retardant exposure is linked with cancers and immune suppression, learning disorders, lower IQ and hyperactivity, hormone disruption, reduced fertility and birth defects.

The data is clear: Paid family leave would benefit Connecticut

This week I am in Connecticut with the state’s Campaign for Paid Family Leave, a coalition of advocates pushing for the passage of a smart system of paid leave. This system is entirely employee-funded. It will offer workers 12 weeks of paid time off to welcome a baby or care for themselves or an ill loved one. It will be paid at 100 percent of a worker’s earnings, which is essential to ensuring that lower-income workers can afford to use the benefit.

State Board of Education demands action on teacher evaluation

On April 6, I attended a public meeting by the Connecticut State Board of Education (SBE), in which members of the SBE vigorously debated the merit of further delays to implementation of real teacher evaluations in Connecticut. They were discussing the Performance Evaluation Advisory Council’s (PEAC) recommendation to permit school districts to go yet another year without incorporating the results of the state mastery test as one of multiple measures in a teacher’s evaluation. I applaud the SBE for pushing back on PEAC’s recommendation and drawing a real line in the sand.

Pro-Tesla bill brings promise of investment in Connecticut

Connecticut used to be home to some of the world’s most innovative companies. From Eli Whitney to Samuel Colt, from the frisbee to the submarine, our state has long been a pioneer, setting the standard for businesses that change the world. Despite these setbacks, or maybe because of them, Connecticut is taking a good hard look at itself and the kind of state it wants to be. Will Connecticut welcome innovation and open the doors to businesses wanting to invest in the state or slam that door shut? Fortunately, there are positive signs from some of our leaders in Hartford that the door is open.

Eliminating college program approval regs is the right choice for CT

If you owned your own restaurant and wanted to create some new signature meals to attract new patrons and increase your competitiveness, how would you feel if you had to wait for state government officials to review your suggested dishes, taste those recipes and approve their preparation before you could offer them to customers? To make matters worse, what if that process could take a year or more and, meanwhile, up the street and in surrounding towns, other restaurants were not restricted from changing up their menus as and when they saw fit? For many of Connecticut’s private non-profit universities and colleges, this hypothetical example of unnecessary government oversight is analogous to a program-development challenge we are facing.

Phase out the tax on ambulatory surgical centers

Regarding CT House Bill 5493, phasing out the tax on ambulatory surgical centers. The tax structure ought to be enabling and empowering surgical centers to achieve the Triple Aim in order to bend the rate of increase of the unsustainable per-capita cost of health care — especially since surgical centers deliver the goods that are expected of them to our friends and neighbors.

Stop cable TV’s big lie from derailing CT-N’s State Civic Network

CT-N has just proposed a new State Civic Network with up to ten channels of coverage via the web. The technology would allow viewers to do a key-word search of archives, wading through hours of coverage to find exactly what matters to them. Citizens (and media) could lift video clips at no charge. And all this would cost cable subscribers just 40 cents a month.

Connecticut patient privacy rights bill needs citizen support

The State of Connecticut is on track to collect all of your medical insurance claims information into a large data base called the All-Payers Claims Database- APCD. Senate Bill 130 has been raised to allow patients a mechanism to prevent their data from being included in the APCD by using either an opt-in or opt-out option. This bill would make the APCD directly accountable to consumers for its actions as they would be able to choose who sees this medical information. But right now many state agencies have expressed opposition to that choice because of the cost and the possible decrease to the data base. So unless citizens express their support of SB 130 to the members of the Public Health Committee now, the bill may never get out of committee to go to the legislature for a vote, and we will lose this control over our medical information.