Much has been said and written about the state of nonprofits in Connecticut and the impact on services being provided to many of our must vulnerable citizens. Nonprofits providing human service exist to partner with government – the one of the people and by the people and for the people– to look out for those most in need, helping government and our society to fulfill one of its most basic obligations. I know we can parse around the edges about what being “in need” means. Some have more restrictive definitions than others, but in the end it’s our collective sense of common humanity that brings most of us together in solidarity and collaboration to be there for folks who, often through no fault of their own, turn to nonprofits for help.
Connecticut’s community nonprofits are in a precarious state. Year after year of tight state budgets have put increasing pressure on providers, leaving them to face an uncertain future at a time when the demand for essential services is increasing. With the prediction of at least three more years of budget crisis, there is little good news on the fiscal horizon.
The CT Working Families Party fully supports the Gov. Dannel Malloy’s call for a fairer Connecticut. We’re very encouraged by his commitment to put the needs of Connecticut’s workers, who have made so many sacrifices over the years, first. His plan to ensure fairness in the workplace is a welcomed return to the policies he campaigned on and made Connecticut a national leader for other states to follow.
Amazon’s recent decision to drop Connecticut from its list of potential second headquarters locations was disappointing, but not completely unexpected. As companies expand, they look for business-friendly climates to be sure, but their primary focus is the availability of talent at every level. Amazon saw reason to invest in Connecticut for three distribution centers —which will eventually employ 4,000— but not its headquarters. The reason? Simply put, talent at every level is not what Connecticut has to offer.
The long-term fiscal stability and health of our state depend upon economic growth that affords shared prosperity to families, businesses, and communities. This kind of growth can only occur in a state that has a competitive business environment, a prepared workforce, a commitment to race equity and a fiscally sound state government. The state budget announced Monday by Gov. Dannel Malloy includes some welcome and decisive steps to narrow our long-term deficit, move the state toward fiscal stability, and tackle some of our pressing infrastructure needs. The proposal, however, fails to recommend a number of structural changes essential to grow the economy and move toward sustainable, shared prosperity.
If you were surprised that the Hartford metro area ranks No. 4 in the nation in “digitalization,” you would probably be astounded to learn that it ranks No. 3 in the world in terms of productivity per capita. For some reason, we hear mostly about what is going poorly in our state when there is also a great deal of positive news, including the fact that there is an opportunity to support additional economic development by revitalizing Connecticut’s central cities.
Response to Jim Cameron: Jim, as a person who really does know the truth, it would benefit us all for you to tell the whole truth, so we can really learn from the past and fix the problem. Past administrations on both sides of the aisle have raided the Special Transportation Fund to the tune of $1.5 billion and counting as raids continue today. If you really want our roads and bridges fixed, first we must stop the raiding.
My mother died last October at 93. She taught English and social studies (history and civics) at E.C. Goodwin Tech in New Britain, retiring in 1989. Recently my sister and I were packing her books for donation. I found a monograph among them. The year was 1978 and this was a mailing sponsored by the Standard Oil Company. It was the start of a propaganda and indoctrination campaign in support of Milton Friedman’s supply-side/trickle-down, neo-liberal economic policies implemented by President Ronald Reagan and utilized by both parties since. Here is a quote from the monograph that is the philosophical foundation of trickle-down:
Recent reports of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s desire to erect electronic tolling on select state roads is a slap in the face to those who pay taxes in Connecticut and purchase gasoline or diesel fuel for use in their vehicles and equipment. For decades, funds that were legislated to be collected for transportation development and maintenance have been diverted to the General Fund to be used for non-transportation purposes.
Fare hikes, rail service cuts and a freeze on transportation projects. As he promised in December, Gov. Dannel Malloy announced them all last month. Rail commuters and highway drivers are justifiably outraged, but they should direct their anger not at the Governor or Connecticut Department of Transportation but at the legislature.
In news that shouldn’t surprise anybody, Hartford politicians and bureaucrats have spent this past month declaring the state “desperately” needs more money. By now, Connecticut residents attuned to this rhetoric realize that “new revenue sources” just means “more taxes.” The proposed remedy in this case: tolls. DOT Commissioner James Redeker recently toured the state proclaiming that the Special Transportation Fund (STF), money that is funded by one of the highest gas taxes in the country and purportedly reserved solely for transportation, is out of money and only tolls can save it.
A “minimally adequate system of free public schools” is the new court standard for State education funding. Town and School leaders are stunned by the recent CCJEF v. Rell ruling. Unless reconsidered, the responsibility of moving our state education system forward rests with state elected leadership. We hope they accept this challenge and adopt a higher standard. Our state’s future depends on making this the top priority and working together to provide more than a minimally adequate education system.