laborLabor Study: Businesses can pay more to preserve CT’s quality of life

By Keith M. Phaneuf

HARTFORD: Connecticut businesses can afford — and should pay — higher taxes to support investments in education, health care and other priorities to grow the economy and preserve quality of life, a report sponsored by the state’s biggest labor group urged Wednesday.

The analysis prepared for the state AFL-CIO by the Center for Public Policy and Social Research — a policy think-tank at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain — also concluded Connecticut businesses enjoy some of the best economic advantages in the nation.

But the state’s chief business lobby countered that Connecticut lost jobs in 2016 while they grew in most of the rest of the nation, and this dangerous trend cannot be reversed if taxes are not stabilized.

foxfarmbeerFox Farm Brwery in Salem, May Be Joined By Many Others If Legislation Passes Senate 

By Mark Pazniokas


Rep. Caroline Simmons takes a picture of the vote tally after passage of her first bill as co-chair of the Commerce Committee.

The House of Representatives began moving legislation Wednesday with the passage of a string of bipartisan bills, including measures authorizing farm-based breweries and expanding an “angel investor” tax credit program.

With nine weeks left until the constitutional adjournment deadline of midnight June 7, the House calendar is filling with debate-ready bills as all but three committees have passed their deadlines for reporting legislation to the floor.

The House voted unanimously Wednesday for a bill authorizing farmers to bottle and sell up to 50,000 gallons of beer that they brew on their farms annually, an expansion of the growing craft brewing industry.

Jepsen sees ‘not insubstantial’ risk in casino expansion

HARTFORD: Allowing Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes to jointly operate a casino off tribal lands would pose legal risks that “are not insubstantial” to the more than $250 million in slots revenue annually shared with the state, Attorney General George Jepsen wrote Monday in a formal legal opinion sought by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

Jepsen’s new eight-page analysis is unlikely to reassure lawmakers who backed away from casino expansion in 2015 after the attorney general’s office first flagged the risks and complications of allowing the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations to develop the state’s first commercial casino without an open-bid process, which already has generated a lawsuit from their competitor, MGM Resorts International.

tribes casino copyHARTFORD:  The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribe[s], released a rendering of their planned East Windsor entertainment and gaming facility. The two tribes also highlighted the benefits of Senate Bill 957 authorizing the casino and which would include an infusion of funding to assist the state's tourism industry.

According to the tribes the proposed development will be a “world-class,” 200,000 square foot gaming and entertainment facility with 2,000 slot machines and 50 to 150 table games. The Senate bill requires the facility to pay a 25% tax on its slot machines and a 25% tax on its table games.

cadeucesBy Mitchell Young

WASHINGTON: Aetna [NYSE: AET] and Cigna [NYSE:CI] have watched their huge mergers collapse this month under the weight of lawsuits brought by the Obama administration.

The Justice Department  won a first round legal ruling against the Anthem [NYSE: ANTM] Cigna deal and Cigna said enough is enough. Anthem said no way, and now the would be couple are talking trash and in court. 

Cigna CEO David Cordani was among the health insurance executives that met with the President. Cigna and Anthem are suing the hell out of each other, over their busted deal, both sides are claiming the other guy wanted to scuttle the merger. Some recent reports say that with a new administration, Cigna, Anthem's merger could be resurrected.


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Nonpartisan analysts cite eroding CT income tax receipts

By, Keith M. Phaneuf,

Eroding income tax receipts have pushed the current state budget back into the red, nonpartisan analysts reported Monday.

More importantly, the $65.2 million shortfall the Office of Fiscal Analysis reported also reflects a potential hole of about the same size in each year of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new biennial budget proposal.

That’s because the revenue schedules in the governor’s plan are based in part on estimated tax receipts for the current fiscal year.