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CONNECTICUT

Connecticut

State Recovery Act Website: http://www.ct.gov/recovery

Connecticut's state Recovery Act website scored 40 out of 100 possible points (ranking 10th) on Good Jobs First's 51-state study of state stimulus websites entitled Show Us the Stimulus. The state earned a higher than average score by detailing allocations by broad and narrow program categories, describing the projects undertaken, highlighting the information on a centralized website with clear links, updating the site within the last month, and displaying the allocations categorically by county on a map. Contractor information: none.

Connecticut scored higher-53 out of 100 (ranking 9th)-on its disclosure of information specifically about highway projects funded by the Recovery Act.  The state's transportation data score was improved by providing a map showing the location of each project, a breakdown of allocations by each individual county, a brief description of the project, job creation data for individual projects, and the proportion of the project completed. Contractor information: none.

For detailed scoring information, see the Connecticut appendix of Show Us the Stimulus.

Coordination & Oversight

There is currently no "Stimulus Czar" in Connecticut, but the Governor has created a group to help   administer funds - the Connecticut Recovery Working Group, and a group to oversee the state's compliance with ARRA - the Connecticut Recovery Act and Transparency Accountability Board.  Matthew Fritz, Special Assistant to Gov. M. Jodi Rell, and Mary Anne O'Neill, Deputy Legal Counsel to Governor Rell, are in both. Matthew Fritz has been named the Connecticut ARRA Coordinator and State Recovery Act Transparency Officer, and  Mary Anne O'Neill has been named the Connecticut ARRA Coordinator and Recovery Act Accountability Officer.

There is also a Stimulus Expediting Group, composed of representatives from state agencies, which also have their own accountability officers.

Policy Debates

As is the case in a number of other states, there has been some controversy in Connecticut regarding stimulus funds for Medicaid. Earlier this year, Gov. Rell proposed millions of dollars in Medicaid cuts. In order to accept federal stimulus funds for Medicaid though, states cannot restrict existing eligibility standards, so some of the proposed cuts were eliminated. However, a number of other cuts that supposedly do not restrict eligibility (such as charging co-payments for some Medicaid recipients, eliminating non-emergency medical coverage for some legal immigrants, and reducing coverage for prescription drug programs) are still planned.

Advocacy organizations, including Connecticut Voices for Children, have challenged these Medicaid cuts, saying that although Congress did not explicitly forbid them, they go against the intent of ARRA.

There is also some controversy regarding how to use stimulus funds in Connecticut's schools. Currently most of the funds are going to the state budget to maintain aid to local schools, but it has been reported that some officials, including U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, want at least a portion of the funds to go toward education reform.

Last updated on: 7 October, 2009

Quick Facts

Population:
3,501,252

Median Household Income:
$65,967

Unemployment Rate:
8.1%

Poverty Rate:
7.9%

Estimated Recovery Act Funding:
$2.9 billion

Watchdog Groups

Connecticut Voices for Children

Common Cause Connecticut

ConnPIRG (Connecticut Public Interest Research Group)

 

Resources

Connecticut Voices for Children has a webpage devoted to Federal Stimulus Resources. It includes materials by its own staff, other non-governmental organizations, and government-related agencies and offices. Among its own materials are:

The American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, May 4, 2009, a detailed presentation explaining ARRA provisions and the Connecticut context; online here.

Serving Our Youngest Citizens: A Primer on How Title I and IDEA Federal Stimulus Funds May Be Used for Children Aged Zero Through Five, April 2009; online here.

Using Federal Stimulus Dollars to Improve Infant and Toddler Care, April 2009, a brief arguing that some stimulus dollars should be used to help license family child care providers; online here.

Maintaining Health Insurance Coverage After Losing Employment: The COBRA Subsidy under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, April 2009, a brief on new COBRA provisions; online here.

It's Your Money Too! Some Ways Connecticut Families Can Benefit from the Federal Stimulus Bill, April 2009, a brief summarizing ARRA tax credits and other benefits for families; online here.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: Making the Economic Stimulus Work for Connecticut, April 7, 2009, testimony to the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs noting that the state's budgeting process combines federal and state funds for Medicaid and Child Welfare dollars, making it difficult to track stimulus money; online here.

The Federal CHIP and Stimulus Laws: Opportunities for Improving the Health of Connecticut Children and Families, April 2009, a brief providing policy recommendations for using federal funds to improve children's health insurance in Connecticut; online here.

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy has created a page of weblinks called What Non-Profits Need to Know about the Federal Recovery Act. Among the materials are descriptions of a series of community forums on ARRA that have been held around the state.

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