Yankee Institute Blog

Connecticut Department of Labor audits youth sports leagues

Over the past three years, the Connecticut Department of Labor has audited 95 youth sports leagues, limiting the programs they can offer or increasing the cost to families.

The DOL audits focus on whether workers paid by the league, including referees, coaches and assistants, are properly classified as independent contractors.

The attempts by the Connecticut DOL to change the classification of referees and clinicians for youth sports organizations has the potential to affect business throughout Connecticut. By changing the definitions of who constitutes an employee or contractor, businesses may find themselves having to put new workers on their payroll, even for one-time minor services.

The CEO of Webster Bank speaks frankly about the spending cap

The state’s constitutional spending cap should be “comprehensive” and cover all state spending except for debt service, Webster Bank CEO James C. Smith told members of the Spending Cap Commission this week.

The spending cap is supposed to limit how much state lawmakers can spend – but in recent years money has been moved out from under the cap, weakening it.

Smith powerfully made the argument that the state’s spending cap matters – read the rest of his testimony here.

Connecticut business survey faults taxes, regulations as barriers to growth

The Connecticut Business and Industry Association and BlumShapiro released Friday their annual survey of businesses in Connecticut, showing state taxes and regulations are the biggest roadblocks to business growth and expansion.

The three biggest challenges to growth cited by the businesses surveyed were costs associated with state regulations, taxes and “unpredictability surrounding legislative decision making.”

Assistant attorneys general file petition to unionize

The American Federation of Teachers filed a petition with the state labor board on Monday in an attempt to unionize 196 assistant attorney generals. The petition will launch an investigation beginning with a preliminary conference on September 13 that will be closed to the public.

In order to present a petition to the State Labor Relations Board, at least 30 percent of the employees must have signed union cards. The board checks the signatures on the cards for validation and to confirm they were not signed under pressure.

Too many rules drive Connecticut’s ‘race to the bottom’

People suggest, in not quite so many words, that if we don’t have this tax or that spending program or yet another regulation, we’ll somehow slip below the Mason-Dixon Line. Fortunately, nothing is so tenuous about our situation.

This strict view – good states don’t allow bad behavior – leads us to pile on rules without any perspective on the real-life effects of those rules. Until we stop wearing policies as a badge of honor, it will be hard to honestly assess their impact on people.

Audit reveals abysmal security in state eLicensing system

State auditors harshly criticized a website used by licensed professionals across the state to apply for and maintain for credentials, saying accounts were easily hacked because of weak password requirements.

The audit revealed that in a sample of 161 different users, there were only 17 different passwords and 103 of them used the same password. The auditors were able to “hack” into 155 of the 161 different users just by using a Google search.

Connecticut teacher pensions highest in the nation

Connecticut teachers receive the highest average pensions, while Connecticut state employees rank second according to an analysis by a New Jersey based actuary.

Connecticut’s teachers averaged $50,502 in pension payments putting them in the top spot, ahead of Illinois. State employees ranked second in the nation, behind California, with average pensions of $40,438.

Senior and elderly services dominate list of top Connecticut franchises

The top franchises in Connecticut are almost all in the field of elderly services, according to BizQuest, a business brokerage website that lists franchise opportunities for potential business owners. BizQuest’s June 10 newsletter the “Top 5 Franchises in Connecticut” listed four businesses that deal directly with care for seniors and the elderly.

The growth of these businesses in the state reflects an aging population.

Connecticut employers often give up on unemployment appeals

Connecticut businesses drop unemployment appeals or fail to show up for hearings 40 percent of the time, according to state figures, driving the low success rate for employer appeals found in a recent association report.

Strategic Services on Unemployment & Workers’ Compensation, a nationwide association of employers, recently reported that Connecticut employers have one of the lowest success rates in the country. Data provided by Chief Appeals Officer Ralph Dorsey shows that employers frequently decide not to follow through on their appeals, contributing to their low success rate.

Beware of tax increases bearing promises

Imagine if Connecticut had 2.5 million people working here. That would mean nearly a million more people at work. What would be different? There would be more jobs to choose from and more options when it comes to shopping, eating or having fun. Some families that moved apart seeking opportunity elsewhere would still be together. Many new people would have arrived, bringing new ideas and opportunity with them.

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