Connecticut is not a bad place to be on Medicaid, but it’s about to become a lot worse. As an internal medicine primary care resident, I care for many patients insured through Medicaid, a program which allows my patients’ chronic diseases (such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and depression) to be managed according to the most up-to-date evidence available. I screen my patients for colon cancer and cervical cancer. I counsel them to avoid tobacco, drink alcohol in moderation, and comfort them in difficult times. I have a lot to do to help my patients maintain their health.
Like any other adult person in Connecticut who was born in Hartford, I can go to Room 103 at City Hall, pay a fee, and get a certified copy of my birth certificate. I’ve done that. I have it. There’s only one problem with that government-issued document – it’s not true. One could even go so far as to call it “fake news.” I was, indeed born, at the date, time, and location listed on my birth certificate. However, my mom didn’t give birth to me; I wasn’t conceived when my dad’s sperm met my mom’s egg.
State lawmakers are gearing up to promote a bear hunt in Connecticut, which would be the first in the state since 1840. The legislation for the hunt is being spearheaded by Environment Committee Co-Chair State Sen. Craig Miner who is seeking approval for a bear hunt in his own backyard – Litchfield County.
Stoked by exaggerated bear sightings, supporters are manipulating the public by marketing fear, so hunters, who represent just one percent of the state’s population, can rally support for what really amounts to nothing more than a trophy hunt to slaughter bears for mounts and rugs.
Connecticut must address its low-wage job boom. One key way to do that is by passing a Fair Workweek bill to limit on-call scheduling.
Almost half of all jobs created since the start of the economic recovery have been in low- wage industries, such as retail and fast food service, which pay less and lack the benefits, predictability, and flexibility of jobs past. This makes our families less economically secure, puts a greater strain on state budgets, and makes workers less able to contribute to our economy.
The bill [to rescue the Medicare Savings Program] before the General Assembly on Monday is a far cry from fiscal responsibility. Despite a growing deficit, and a projected deficit for fiscal year 2019, based on the plan expected to be put before the legislature, the General Assembly appears content to avoid making tough decisions about how to deal with the $224 million deficit gorilla in the Capitol and instead has decided to just keep feeding it.
Republicans in Congress are about to pass the Trump tax bill, which hammers Connecticut. Our state is already getting cheated by the federal government, sending over $2,700 per resident to Washington more than we receive back. The Trump tax bill adds another $800 net loss per resident, money sent to D.C. which we never see again. We are in a hole; stop digging.
The Millstone Power Station supplies more than 90 percent of the carbon-free electricity generated in Connecticut, and in fact is the largest carbon-free generator in all of New England. That’s just one reason why allowing Millstone to close prematurely would be a mistake. As a native New Englander who ran the U.S. Department of Energy’s nuclear energy program under President Obama, I’ve followed this issue closely. Let me offer some perspective on the important issues at hand.
Connecticut residents have grown weary of budgets that both cut services and increase taxes — understandably so. It’s time to bring the oppressive cycle of tax increases, followed by revenue shortfalls, service cuts, and yet more tax increases to an end. But it can only happen if there are structural changes to the way our state does business. Connecticut’s leaders — at both the state and local levels — must work together to prune and reshape a legal and regulatory thicket that is choking Connecticut’s growth, and putting the cost of state government on a steep upward trajectory.
TYhe House Democrats’ proposed school funding plan is not a legitimate attempt at a logical or responsible school funding formula. It falls far short of creating the “rational, substantial and verifiable” school finance system that Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher called for in his September 2016 ruling in CCJEF v. Rell.
Every family who lives in Bob Duff’s district and every business operating in Fairfield County needs to be aware of what their elected State Senator just did to threaten their livelihoods last week. The labor contract agreement that just passed and will now become law is another in a long line of sweetheart deals with unions negotiated by Gov. Dannel Malloy that has prolonged the fiscal crisis and created the poor economic climate our families and businesses suffer in every day.
Connecticut families and businesses need to understand the state union agreement the legislature has just approved and what it means for them. While one union leader called it “the best and longest public-sector pension and healthcare contract in the country,” its far-reaching budgetary consequences will likely not draw such enthusiasm from Connecticut taxpayers.
There is a shortage of good ideas at the Capitol this summer as lawmakers try to put together a budget for Connecticut, but there is no shortage of bad ideas. One of those bad ideas is a plan to allow cities and towns to levy a new tax on restaurant meals as a means to increase tax revenues to municipalities. There is no rhyme or reason to this concept, it is just another random scheme to help lawmakers pay for the promises they have made in the past to get themselves elected.