Raymond Saulnier was right - letting dollar float was the beginning of the end for the economy...http://jonathanpelto.com/2016/11/08/running-congress-jonathan-pelto-green-party-candidate-2nd-cd/

               
W H E N    A R E    S T A T E S   G O I N G    T O  C O M E    T O    G R I P S    W I T H    F E D E R A L I S M    A N D   M A N    U P   N E W   C T    M I R R O R    S E R I E S . . . Above COURANT story in full.
Here is a link we are sure many are dying to know about.  And the "truth squad" report on what the mill rate really is in Hartford.  We note other communities have varying rates, too.

Parallels to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau?
  Remember the FDR programs that the Supreme Court voided?  And "packing the Court" too!  Changing commercial real estate market:  "...Short of Amazon setting up shop in west Danbury, the question remains: What do you do with a largely vacant 1.2 million-square-foot building in receivership?" from the Danbury News-Times' article.




HOW IS THE CT BOND COMMISSION LIKE THE RUNNING OF THE BULLS IN PAMPLONA? 
Someone always get gored - no reference to Al.  Since it was a Special Meeting no agenda changes allowed.


      
And then the voting Republicans get trampled by Democrats who used the sharp horns of Mason's Rules (like Robert's Rules).

I WONDER WHAT THREATS WERE MADE FOR THE COMPTROLLER TO SWITCH?  HE DIDN'T, HOWEVER.

      
  
Special Meeting of the Bond Commission did...what?
  Took away $$ from real needs to appease the Governor.  Rep. Rojas makes lame excuse.  3 brave folks.

CTNEWSJUNKIE report:  https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180725_10m_approved_to_study_tolls_on_connecticut_highways/







C.C.M. Forum July 2018:
 
https://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/20180723_analysis_pension_shortfalls_loom_large_2_experts_talk_solutions/

PLEASE READ THIS ON PENSION DEBT
Taking the bull by its horns, as it were, an opinion piece from CT MIRROR
DOES CT NEED A FRESH LOOK?  https://ctmirror.org/2018/04/03/attacking-state-pensions-stemerman-tries-break-gop-pack/
Regarding shopping malls and new owner
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-generalgrowth-bankruptcy/general-growth-files-historic-real-estate-bankruptcy-idUSLG52607220090416

THE SUN ALSO SETS DEPARTMENT

By Mark Steyn, NATIONAL REVIEW online 
March 24, 2012 4:00 A.M.
"...There’s a famous exchange in Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises. Someone asks Mike Campbell, 'How did you go bankrupt?  Two ways, he replies. 'Gradually, then suddenly.'”


HOLD ON TO YOUR POCKET BOOK DEPARTMENT:  http://www.ct.gov/dob/cwp/view.asp?a=2235&q=587310

SOCIAL SECURITY NOW RUNNING A DEFICIT (JUNE 2018) - 2034 TO RUN OUT OF $$


Link to:
M.A.R.B.
MUNICIPAL ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW BOARD



Link to:
F . S . & E . G .
FISCAL STABILITY & ECONOMIC GROWTH



Link to:

C.R.S.A.
CT Retirement Security Authority





FROM PEW
https://www.hks.harvard.edu/centers/mrcbg/publications/awp/awp92






FOCUS ON CONNECTICUT


FOCUS ON WESTON...AND HOW WE RELATE TO THE LARGER PICTURE OF WHITHER CT?.
Some of us watched the CT Tax Panel as well as the Spending Cap Commission in succeeding summers, and reported online here.

     

CONNECTICUT STATE BOND COMMISSION MEETING JUNE 1, 2018 DISHES OUT THE $$
So who said there were any fiscal stability problems?  To listen to the Governor there's no problem.   We just have to make sure the workforce can match these higher-paying jobs he sees flooding in.



THE MULTIPLIER EFFECT:  i.e.  Simple economics - if you create economic activity there is a spin off effect = 1 industrial/manufacturing job = 3 more in other businesses and parts suppliers;  1 retail/commercial job = 2 more created;  1 government job.= 1 addition job.  Oversimplification, but actually, not too far from the empirical studies!






FIRST CAME CT TAX PANEL (2015), THEN THE SPENDING CAP COMMISSION (2016) AND FINALLY, THE FISCAL STABILITY & ECONOMIC GROWTH COMMISSION (@Nov. 2017 - Mar. 2018).





What did he do for an encore?
NEW CT MIRROR SERIES 2018






SMART PEOPLE ONLY


As we were saying, CT is in dire straits.
http://www.ctn.state.ct.us/ctnplayer.asp?odID=14798





BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME DEPARTMENT: 
Governor made a point that residents next door to Milford Town beach have WC facilities plus they can go home and return easily.  He didn't suggest sharing facilities w/State Park next door.



B O N D I N G   C O M M I S S I O N    S P R E E    1 1 - 2 9 - 1 7

Hey no problem.

In under an hour, Connecticut spends on XL Center, $500 million on delayed school constructions...under new spending cap.  Rep. Davis votes "no" on those items he feels are "wants" and not "needs."






Capital funds now sucking up operating funds?





BOND COMMISSION GOES TO TOWN TUESDAY? 
Whoever the next Governor is he or she should take a few workshops in panhandling...




 
 UCONN LAW SCHOOL SYMPOSIUM ON BANKRUPTCY - SOME OF PRESENTERS AT FIRST PANEL...AND THEN CT-N CUT AWAY TO HEAR ABOUT "THE DEAL".   SPEAKING OF DEALS, THE ARTICLE TO READ ON THAT SUBJECT.



And the latest news:  http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com/archives/entry/wall_street_sends_connecticut_a_warning_10_13_2017/

  

The Capitol City to go bust?  Implications for everyone of the 169 towns in CT?  Regions?





     

NO ONE IS PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS.  Legislators most sensitive to the needs of those they can hear from at or out the window of the Capitol...what deficit?  Moody's thoughts, April 26th article in the Courant
http://ctsdc.uconn.edu/







"The legislative session ended Wednesday with no agreement on a new state budget and no certainty on whether Hartford would get the tens of millions of dollars in additional aid it needs to avoid insolvency..."

Above opening line in the Courant Session wrap story today:  http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-hartford-aid-in-limbo-20170607-story.html



Above the prospect of increased job opportunities in defense industry.






Well, we started to outline our ideas for fixing CT's financial mess, but decided not to put it online for two reasons:
  1. Nobody cares what About Town thinks anyway;
  2. Our views make assumptions that those in the political establishment would not find acceptable.
Surprise!  AFSCME in Hartford doesn't agree to do what it is claimed it had agreed to do:  http://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-hartford-union-deal-failed-20170519-story.html



How about the end run around new Federal Law?

This is a loophole waiting for income redistribution advocates to grab a hold of???

"  That new state tax bill, which Malloy has not signed into law yet, allows municipalities in Connecticut to create “community supporting organizations” classified as charitable organizations. Taxpayers would make “contributions” to these organizations that are credited toward their tax liability.  Since there is no cap on charitable donations in the new tax law, this would allow Connecticut taxpayers to avoid the $10,000 cap on SALT tax deductibility."

How about this good news - but no one wants to give credit to the new federal tax law...








CT Finances like the Board of Ed Budget in Weston - all but a few hundred thousand dollars to teachers, administrator and contracted work.  Where was the Speaker employed again"

"...Almost two-thirds of the state’s $18 billion General Fund involves costs that largely are fixed by contract or federal rules, such as employee wages and benefits — including pensions and retirement health care — the Medicaid program and payments on bonded debt.

"And of the little more than $6 billion that’s left, about $3 billion goes to cities and towns as grants.

"So how do you close annual deficits of $2.3 billion and $2.8 billion with spending cuts — without gutting municipal aid, something legislators from neither party nor Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have done since he took office in 2011?

"Further complicating matters, a dozen of the state’s poorest communities receive about half the total of the largest grant program, the $2 billion Education Cost Sharing program, which helps fund local school districts.

"So how do legislators avoid major state tax hikes without cutting local aid — and not just grants to the wealthy towns?

"And if legislators do cut aid to most communities, will their legislators still want to provide something extra for Hartford?

“'From Day One I have felt and still feel if we are not helping towns in general, then it will be very, very difficult to ask for the support we need,' Fonfara said..."

(One part of a longer article in CT MIRROR 5-15-17)






        
CONNECTICUT STATE TREASURER DENISE NAPPIER AT BOND COMMISSION THINKS TO HERSELF...SO WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO OUR BOND RATING AFTER TODAY?
Governor punts until after Mother's Day to fess up to what a mess we're in - and oops we shouldn't have bonded for more?  But those of us who have memory of past similar events know that Bond Commission action can be rescinded.


About Town said, in a column some time ago, that the solution was to have a extra state-wide property tax of two (2) mills to cover what may or may not come from the C.C.J.E.F. lawsuit appeal.  Please remember that the very same people who are now complaining about not receiving money from Hartford ("aid to towns") are the same people (mostly) who started the C.C.J.E.F. lawsuit in the first place.  Including Governor Malloy when he was Mayor of Stamford!





A February 2017 article of this subject:  http://www.csg.org/pubs/capitolideas/enews/issue65_3.aspx

2018
     
"Zero" is the right number for urban renewal...when imputed cost of wasted time by government included... 
But that was quick:
Thursday:   http://www.courant.com/breaking-news/hc-news-crda-backs-down-from-xl-center-eminent-domain-20180523-story.html
Wednesday:  http://www.courant.com/real-estate/property-line/hc-xl-center-eminent-domain-20180522-story.html



Wall Street agency warns CT budgets will be bleak for years
CT MIRROR
By: Keith M. Phaneuf | April 5, 2017  https://ctmirror.org/2017/04/05/wall-street-agency-warns-ct-budgets-will-be-bleak-for-years-to-come/

The Moody's report here:  https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3536536-Moody-s-Paper.html






CT MIRROR 2017 SERIES "THE LEGACY OF DEBT"


BANKRUPTCY:   Cities can do it, States can't; and other Entities can - what's the story now in 2017 and beyond?  WHAT IS THE RULE IN CT FOR BONDED INDEBTEDNESS OF MUNICIPALITIES?

An idea come again for the 50 States?  http://abcnews.go.com/Business/state-bankruptcy-change-life-public-pensioners-bond-holders/story?id=12732137

SOME SOURCES: 





We began this sub-page some years ago - below an updating of sorts, and simplification: 

BANKRUPT CITIES AND TOWNS AND COUNTIES IN THE U.S.A.;  HARTFORD, CT, SOMEDAY SOON?  HOW ABOUT THE POST OFFICE?  Social Security?  Did we leave any entity out?

In 2009, we knew all about this crisis - and Dionne Warwick asks "Do you know the way to San Jose?"  It was at this time that one whole county was underwater as well as a few communities.

ARTICLE ON THE 13 FINANCIALLY SICKEST AMERICAN CITIES (from a few years ago):  These geographical areas updated:  Nice simple graphic.  For most recent news:  How about all 50 States?  Research summary:  http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/Norcross-State-Fiscal-Condition-summary.pdf

Alaska

Kentucky

Illinois - you don't want to know.

Michigan:  "Hybrid pension plan" development - other States and cities and towns watching...and remember - don't drink the water in Flint.

Detroit Looks to Health Law to Ease Costs

NYTIMES

By MONICA DAVEY and ABBY GOODNOUGH

July 28, 2013

As Detroit enters the federal bankruptcy process, the city is proposing a controversial plan for paring some of the $5.7 billion it owes in retiree health costs: pushing many of those too young to qualify for Medicare out of city-run coverage and into the new insurance markets that will soon be operating under the Obama health care law...

Pennsylvania and how it relates to Illinois;


Puerto Rico - not a State, but close.  And research/stories below: 
FACTS - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Title_11_of_the_United_States_Code
Not facts - ct - http://ctmirror.org/2016/05/20/ct-lawmakers-advocates-open-to-new-puerto-rico-bill/
Not facts - D.C. -http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/oct/2/puerto-rico-rebuilding-must-be-accompnies-by-econo/

Atlantic City?   Hartford?  Who pays for Hartford sewer service since they have a long history of regional governance?  And yet another twist.

DALLAS?  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/21/business/dealbook/dallas-pension-debt-threat-of-bankruptcy.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news
Rhode Island
Alabama

California the Independent State of Fruits and Nuts
Its cities:  
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/business/dealbook/a-sour-surprise-for-public-pensions-two-sets-of-books.html?action=click&contentCollection=DealBook&module=RelatedCoverage&region=EndOfArticle&pgtype=article

Connecticut:
Out for the count?  Or is the solution to pass the debt back down the chain to a level of government that CAN go bankrupt?  But, since there is no level of government between State and locality in CT (counties do not exist except on maps), that requires voluntary revenue or Grand List sharing to pay for mandated activities that are unfunded???  Hartford AFSCME articlehttp://www.courant.com/news/connecticut/hc-hartford-union-deal-failed-20170519-story.html

 




DO YOU THINK FRIDAY AFTERNOON IS A GOOD TIME TO ANNOUNCE JUNE BUDGET FREEZE AND ROLL BACK?  READ THE LAST LINE!



May 12, 2017


HOW ABOUT OUR CAPITOL CITY?  http://www.courant.com/community/hartford/hc-hartford-unused-sick-vacation-payouts-20170504-story.html


         
Watch toward the end of a long Tri-Board Meeting for a former First Selectman!

TWO EXAMPLES OF WHAT IS ON THE TABLE IN 2017...ACIR TO THE RESCUE?  Mayor of Hartford brings tin cup to Legislature...as a draft board once said, "You can bleed, too."

       



FROM FORBES...










                         
"NON DESCRIPT ROAD" MEANS IT LOOKS LIKE WESTON, PERHAPS?  MORE RATS DESERTING THE GOOD SHIP CT?  BRING IT ON WITH REGIONAL COST SHARING?  Higher minimum wage, too, since these are the new jobs.


CONNECTICUT:  THE BANKRUPTCY STORY OR NOT - what's new?   And then there is this:  http://ctmirror.org/2016/05/02/malloy-democrats-bring-very-different-perspectives-to-budget-crisis/

‘We really don’t have a deficit.’

“I think there are some real aspects to [the deficit,] and then I think there are all kinds of muddied aspects to it,” Malloy told The Mirror during an interview last week.

When the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis projects a $1.37 billion hole in 2015-16 finances, more than $300 million of that is an inflationary adjustment.

But Malloy said state agencies routinely are asked to make do without any inflationary funding bump.

Similarly, analysts count some mandated increases in town aid that legislatures and governors routinely waive year-after-year.

OFA counts contractually obligated pay raises for workers, but doesn’t consider that the governor might freeze vacant posts to offset those costs.

The governor insists these and other efficiencies can whittle away three-quarters of the projected shortfall.

As far as the remainder, less than $400 million in red ink, “I have dealt with that size problem throughout my political career,” said Malloy, who served 14 years as Stamford’s mayor. through 2009.

“We really don’t have a deficit,” he said. “I know that’s hard to believe.”

He's right. The governor’s critics, both on the left and the right, don’t believe it.

“What a sad commentary,” said petitioning candidate Jonathan Pelto, a Mansfield Democrat and former state representative. “He’s not functioning in the same economic world that the rest of us live in...”  From CT MIRROR April 8, 2014.

Bully bully pulpit story, 2016 DNC Convention;  scary stuff:  http://ctmirror.org/2016/07/26/analysis-ct-bond-premiums-grow-debt-by-550m-since-2011/


ANY "SMART" IDEAS?

CT 169 towns, plus special districts plus regional entities.

RATING AGENCIES' ROLE:

Many big cities face serious pension debt, report says
Washington POST
By Michael A. Fletcher, Published: September 26, 2013

Most of the 50 local governments with the largest pension debt have worker retirement liabilities that are greater than their annual tax revenue, according to a new report from the credit-rating firm Moody’s.

The pension burden posed by current and future municipal retirees is significant and apparently troublesome for many local governments, the report said. Others, including Washington, D.C., have liabilities that appear manageable.  The report was issued the same day that Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, indicated that he wanted to freeze the city’s pension plans and move workers into 401(k)-type accounts.

Under the freeze, retirees would still collect pensions but current employees could not accrue further benefits, and some cost-of-living adjustments would end, according to news reports. The freeze must be approved by Michigan’s treasurer and could come under legal challenge because of prohibitions in that state’s constitution against trimming pension payments.  The move in Detroit, which filed for bankruptcy in July, came after an auditor’s report found that the city’s pension system made questionable bonus payments to retirees.

The Moody’s report found that other than Detroit, the most severely underfunded local government entities were in the Chicago area, which is also in the state that has the nation’s most severely underfunded pension system...





GOVERNOR MALLOY UNIFIES CT


Connecticut economy ‘moving sideways’
By Luther Turmelle, The Register Citizen
Posted: 06/14/16, 6:09 PM EDT | Updated: 9 hrs ago

 “'...The real question we need to be asking is what tools are available to stimulate Connecticut’s economy, where is the organic growth going to come from?' a quote from CT economist - Story in full:  http://www.registercitizen.com/business/20160614/connecticut-economy-moving-sideways



         
For openers...