Solving Connecticut’s budget woes requires fact, not fiction

A recent op-ed by Erik Cafarella propagates popular budget fictions—the same misinformation I heard at a recent Appropriations Committee hearing. While his op-ed claims Connecticut suffers under a heavy tax burden, a new report from the Center for Public Policy and Social Research at Central Connecticut State University found that Connecticut actually has the lowest business taxes per private sector worker in the region, and the lowest business taxes as a share of state and local taxes in the United States.

Expanding I-95 is not the way to go

When 41 million hours of waiting and $860 million of lost earnings evaporate in the haze of I-95 traffic jams every year, we should be doing everything we can to make wise investments to relieve congestion and improve transit along the corridor. Although studies have shown highway expansion would not solve I-95 congestion, Gov. Dannel Malloy has made expansion of the I-95 part of his 30-year, $100 billion transportation plan “Let’s Go CT!”

State and federal budget cuts leave those in need behind

Connecticut’s Community Action Agencies are facing state and federal budget cuts unlike anything we’ve seen in our 50+ year history of serving low-income and working poor individuals and families. Last month over 200 CAA network staff, board members, and customers attended Community Action Day at the State Capitol to make their voices heard against these cuts, which will severely impact our ability to effectively serve Connecticut’s most vulnerable residents.

College leaders to President Trump: Please preserve the DACA program

As the leaders of the Connecticut State Colleges & Universities, Connecticut’s public higher education system comprised of 17 institutions, we are dedicated to providing students with opportunities to achieve their personal and professional goals. We count among these students those who are undocumented, particularly those in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Funds for research at UConn pay big dividends

Each year, several publications identify the best public research universities in the United States. The U.S. News & World Report, though not without its limitations, has become the “go to” guide for prospective college students and their parents. In the latest rankings, the University of Connecticut is No. 20 of 133 public research universities in the country. UConn is tied at the spot with Purdue University and University of Maryland, and it is ranked ahead of five Big Ten public research universities.

Is Uber playing fair?

It looks like the fate of Uber (and Lyft, the other popular ride sharing service in Connecticut) will be decided in Hartford in a lobbying war, not in the competitive marketplace.

We all have roles to play to avert a ‘post-antibiotic era’

Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) published, for the first time ever, an extensive list of superbugs, aka bacteria that are resistant to multiple antibiotics, against which our modern antibiotics are quickly losing their effectiveness. The list warns that these superbugs now “pose the greatest threat to human health.”

Early childhood educators are under-appreciated, underpaid

As a student teacher in the Early Childhood Education program at the University of Connecticut, I am writing to spread awareness on the issue of inadequate teacher compensation for early childhood educators. When I talk about early childhood, I am referring to the care and education of children between birth and 5 years old, before they enter the public-school system in kindergarten.

It is time to end preferential treatment for the finance industry

Connecticut is home to some of the wealthiest fund managers, who are getting a 19.6 percent break on their federal taxes. This lucrative loophole in our tax code is reserved just for a special class of millionaire and billionaire financiers, who gobble up inordinate amounts of wealth, and indirectly fuel poverty in places like Bridgeport and Puerto Rico by siphoning wealth out of local economies.

Malloy tried to please everyone. In the end, he pleased no one.

Politicians are human beings, of course, but we should be careful to avoid too much empathy. Political animals, after all, crave power most. If the choice is between doing the right thing and holding power, political animals choose the latter unless constituents force them, like good shepherds, to rethink their natural inclinations. Gov. Dannel Malloy is no exception.