UCONN STUDENTS, PARENTS: SUCK IT UP LIKE EVERYONE ELSE

UConn students and the parents of students who foot the bill for a quality education for their children, are rightly upset that tuition at the school may increase as much as 6.3 % or $1,2228 for tuition, room, board and fees for in-state students. The (unimpressive number of reported) protestors are correct when they point out that top administrators make excellent money; athletic coaches are the highest paid state employees, and millions more are spent on athletic programs.

It’s sad that the state doesn’t have the money to keep the increase lower say, 3%. But the reality is that the state is facing a budget deficit of more than $500 million for the current fiscal year and has to come up with a plan to plug huge holes in the budget for years to come.

However, the students and parents need only look at the people who are be homeless because the governor cut funding for their shelter. Or the kids whose parents are in prison; the governor cut the money for the program designed to help those kids NOT end up where their parents are.

Everyone who relies on state funding in one way or another, is cutting back. When you think about it, it’s easier to swallow a 6.3% increase at UConn than it is to see eliminated state commissions and agencies on which at-risk segments of our state population directly rely.
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The Associated Press is reporting that some workers at the site of the power plant explosion in Middletown routinely worked more than 80 hours a week at the plant. Fatigue of the workers at the site may have played a role in the explosion that killed 5 people and injured 12. There is a lot more to come out of this tragedy.
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The debate is underway once again at the state Capitol about “Sunday Sales”—the issue revolving around the state law (based on the antiquated “blue laws”) that package stores be closed on Sundays and supermarkets cannot sell beer.

The mayors of the state’s three largest cities are banding together to support legalized Sunday Sales. One of their big selling points is a study recently done by a legislative committee that shows allowing Sunday sales of alcohol would mean an extra $7.5 to $8 million dollars to the state each year. Officials from “border towns” in the state also support eliminating the ban because the business just goes to stores over state lines. Connecticut is the only state on the east coast until South Carolina to have a ban a strong as Connecticut’s.

Each year, the Sunday Sales effort is blocked primarily by the Connecticut Package Stores Association who have a serious lobbying effort on the issue. This shows the influence high-priced lobbyists still have. Governor Rell can’t seem to speak to a reporter without bemoaning Democrats’ “addiction to spending.” But she has no problem leaving $8 million on the table when it comes to this issue—despite the legislative committee’s report.

The Hanging Shad supports Sunday sales of alcohol strictly on fairness grounds. Is there any other industry that the state mandates be closed on a certain day? Does the state say dry cleaners have to be closed on Tuesdays? Or shoe stores be closed on Thursdays? Of course not. It makes no sense. Nor does it make sense to require packages be closed on Sundays. Let the store owners make their own choice as to whether they want to open on Sundays.