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CT cybersecurity: ‘We cannot rely on Washington to keep us safe’
The leader of Connecticut’s cybersecurity efforts said Tuesday that Washington, with a deeply polarized Congress and faction-riven White House, has abrogated its role in defending the nation’s electrical grid, natural gas system and public water supplies against hackers who are growing bolder, more numerous and more sophisticated. “I’m often asked in my job, ‘Are we safe from a cyber attack?’ And the answer, of course, is no,” said Arthur H. House, the state’s chief cybersecurity risk...
New tax break for private K-12 tuition begins this school year
A new state tax break is available this school year to help parents pay for private K-12 school tuition – a development triggered by the federal tax overhaul. The state has for years allowed parents to avoid paying state income taxes on up to $10,000 each year that they put into a college savings account, known as a 529 CHET account. In addition, they have not had to pay taxes on the money when it is withdrawn or on the investment earnings when they use it to pay for college.
Report says pension boards share blame for states’ widening debt
While past governors legislatures and governors get much of the blame for Connecticut’s massive pension debt, a new analysis says politically appointed oversight boards should share the heat both here and in other states. A recent analysis from The Manhattan Institute, a conservative, New York-based public policy group, also charged that labor representatives on these boards risk long-term pension stability to achieve short-term union objectives.
Insurance Commissioner Knocks Down Rate Hikes, Reduces Rates On Some Plans
Insurance Commissioner Katharine Wade reduced the average rate increases proposed by two private health insurance companies from 12.3 percent to 2.72 percent Thursday.
CT cities and towns press candidates for mandate relief
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities challenged candidates for state office Monday to address more than 1,300 mandates placed on city and town budgets. The costs associated with these mandates — most of which are supported only partially with state dollars or unfunded entirely — are driving up property tax rates and leeching resources from local services, according to a new CCM candidate bulletin.
Is CT gearing up for another fiscal bait and switch?
Some folks call it the fiscal bait-and-switch, and it goes like this: Before an election, state officials vote to cut taxes — effective in the next term — ignoring projected budget deficits much larger than the promised relief. After the election, most of the tax cuts are canceled on the grounds the state can’t afford them.
CBIA: Unemployment benefit hike a concern
Connecticut may diminish its Unemployment Trust Fund faster than expected when the state labor department raises its weekly unemployment benefit by $18 next month, the state's largest business lobby said. On Oct. 7, the state Department of Labor (DOL) is scheduled to raise its weekly unemployment benefit from $613 to $631, the largest amount allowed under state law. The increase, which is calculated and mandated by state statute, will not impact those filing claims before Oct. 1.
Survey: CT companies lukewarm about state’s economic future
While most Connecticut businesses are optimistic the nation’s economy will grow over the next year, a new survey has found many have broad anxiety about the state’s economic future. The Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s 2018 Survey of Connecticut Businesses also found business leaders disapprove of the legislature’s handling of the economy and want the next governor and General Assembly to focus on cutting spending and reforming state employee retirement benefits.
New chapter in governor’s race opens Wednesday
The first opportunity for side-by-side comparisons of Democrat Ned Lamont and Republican Bob Stefanowski, each a businessman trying to become Connecticut's next governor without significant government experience, will come Wednesday night on the stage of a 1920s movie palace enjoying a second life as a performing arts center.
CT ramps up efforts to collect online sales tax revenues
Back in June, a Supreme Court decision overturned a long-held standard that no state can collect sales taxes from e-commerce businesses that lack a physical presence, or "nexus," within its borders. That was a week after Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law a measure requiring online retailers doing more than $250,000 of business and 200 transactions annually in Connecticut to pay state sales tax.