EAST HARTFORD – The retired state employee with the largest pension benefit in 2013 was former Professor John Veiga, who received $283,273 according to new data compiled by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy for its online transparency database CTSunlight.org. Veiga has had the largest pension benefit in the state since 2009. Retiree Last Position Last Agency 2013 Pension Benefit Veiga, John Professor UConn $283,273 Blechner, Jack UConn Health Center $278,342 Henken, Eleanor UConn Health Center $246,900 Blanchette, Edward Corrections $232,325 Hartley, Harry Professor UConn $216,944 Judd, Richard Central Connecticut State University $213,544 Sigman, Eugene UConn Health Center $210,483 Dibenedetto, Read on →
EAST HARTFORD – Gov. Dan Malloy was Connecticut’s 1,379th highest paid state employee in 2013 according to new data compiled by the Yankee Institute for Public Policy for its online transparency database CTSunlight.org. The Governor’s salary is set by state statute at $150,000. There were 1,378 state employees who received gross pay in excess of $150,000 for calendar year 2013. A list of all 1,379 employees paid more than $150,000 is available here (xlsx). A total of 8,309 state employees were paid more than $100,000 in 2013. The state paid 62,680 full or part-time employees last year. Among the top Read on →
The Yankee Institute has filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in the SEBAC v Rowland case. The Connecticut Attorney General’s office and attorneys for former Gov. John Rowland and former Office of Policy and Management Secretary Marc Ryan have petitioned the nation’s highest court for a writ of certiori, which means they are asking the court to accept the case for review. The Yankee Institute has filed an amicus brief supporting their petition. The case stems from layoffs of some 2,800 unionized state employees made by the Rowland administration in 2002 to address a budget crisis. Read on →
The hits just keep on coming for Obamacare. Despite some happy talk from Gov. Dan Malloy and others, the fact is that 27,000 Connecticut residents have seen their health insurance policies cancelled in recent weeks, along with millions of Americans nationwide. While national leaders scramble to fix the broken system, a new poll from Quinnipiac reveals that
Obamacare’s failure to launch continues. Though the health care reforms have become the punchline for Saturday Night Live jokes, many of its effects are no laughing matter. Obama Administration memos reveal that just six people signed up for Obamacare on the first day. The figures stand in stark contrast to the website visit totals touted by Administration officials as evidence of the new law’s success. The centerpiece of the new law, the website HealthCare.gov, remains deeply troubled. The site will now be down for troubleshooting on a “nightly” basis for much of the month of November so that officials can Read on →
As has been reported previously, the Yankee Institute is the process of evaluating each municipal website in Connecticut for 40 key data points such as contact information, financial data, budgets, and more. While the evaluations are still in progress, several towns are taking strides to improve their websites in response to the evaluation. In Norwich, for example, local officials created a transparency page itemizing each of the key data points in an easy-to-use format. Be sure to check it out and encourage your local elected officials to do the same.
Connecticut’s State Business Tax Climate is one of the worst in the nation according to a new ranking by the Tax Foundation. The Washington, D.C.- based think tank rated CT’s business tax climate as #42 in the nation for 2014. The Tax Foundation study is based on a comparison of the tax systems in all 50 states and five major tax categories: the corporate tax, the individual income tax, the sales tax, unemployment insurance tax, and the property tax. Connecticut’s stat line across these measures leaves little room for encouragement: The state ranks 35th, 33rd, 32nd, 23rd, and 49th in Read on →
The State Policy Network recently published a compilation of public policy ideas that are working to create jobs, reduce the size of government, and expand personal liberty in states across America. It reads like a task list for Connecticut legislators from tax reform to Medicaid reform. Check out the full magazine via the State Policy Network. SPN – You Can Too!
STAMFORD – The featured speaker at the Yankee Institute’s Policy Luncheon had a clear message for Connecticut’s policymakers and opinion leaders: “Fix the state’s unfunded liabilities now!” Curtis Dubay, a Connecticut native and Senior Tax Policy Analyst at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. spoke to nearly 60 Yankee Institute guests on Tuesday, October 8, at the Stamford Sheraton about tax reform both at the federal and state level. He touted Heritage’s Saving the American Dream tax reform plan that is far simpler, more transparent, and less costly than the current tax code. But the big message was for state Read on →
EAST HARTFORD – The Yankee Institute’s Deputy Director Heath Fahle and Investigative Reporter Zach Janowski were hard at work this weekend advocating for Yankee’s research in the media and across the state. On Sunday, Zach Janowski appeared on The Real Story with Laurie Perez this week to talk about his research on spending efficiency in Connecticut’s schools. Check out the full clip here. Heath Fahle was pleased to join the Beth Sholom B’Nai Israel Brotherhood in Manchester for a conversation about politics and public policy on Sunday, followed by a presentation to the Hartford Rotary Club on Monday in Hartford Read on →