Blog: Regulation

Healthcare, Crime & Public Safety, Regulation

CT Government Weekly Rundown -- October 28

  • Oct 28, 2013
CT Government Weekly Rundown -- October 28

Access Health Rollout Presents Some Cause for Celebration, Some Cause for Concern

As the federal Affordable Care Act healthcare exchange website faces increasing bipartisan criticism for its technical shortcomings, the independent firm Health Pocket has praised Connecticut’s exchange website for its ease of use.  Connecticut has not been completely unaffected by technical issues at the federal level, however, as outages in the federal data services hub this weekend have interfered with enrollment on Connecticut’s exchange, known as Access Health.

In spite of the relatively smooth technical rollout of Connecticut’s exchange, the early enrollment data presents some cause for concern.  Most of the early customers were ages 55 to 64, and, among enrollees under 35 the majority are enrolled in Medicaid coverage.   The private insurance plans offered on the exchanges will only be viable over the long-term if younger people enroll.  Younger participants on the exchanges pay relatively higher premiums than older participants given the amount of healthcare they generally consume.  It remains very early in the enrollment process, but if the current patterns continue, the private insurers will face pressure to raise premiums or leave the exchange.  

What It Means for You: Connecticut’s health exchange leadership deserves credit for overseeing a relatively smooth technical launch.  But the long-term success of the exchange remains up in the air.

State Legislature May Consider New Nightclub Regulations Following New Haven Club Shootings

Following a shooting this weekend at the Key Club nightclub in New Haven, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano has called for a series of new safety regulations at nightclubs.  Many of his proposals would require state legislative action, including allowing cities to levy fees for nightclubs in a district where heavy police presence is required and mandating that private security at nightclubs be licensed and trained by local Police Departments.

What it Means For You: Governor Malloy has said he will work with the legislature during the upcoming 2014 session to pass some of the Mayor’s proposals, though previous attempts to pass similar nightclub regulations have not been successful.



Taxes & Government Spending, Healthcare, Regulation

CT Government Weekly Rundown -- October 21

  • Oct 21, 2013
  • by Alexandra Forrester
CT Government Weekly Rundown -- October 21

New Executive Order Aims at More Efficient Regulation
On October 16th Gov. Malloy issued an Executive Order aimed at increasing regulatory transparency and efficiency. The order allows public comment on, and analysis of, state regulations four years or older. The agencies responsible for these regulations must then review these comments, conduct their own independent analysis, and submit a report on the results to the Governor’s office by February 14th of next year.

The order’s stated aim is to ease the “substantial burdens” that businesses face from state regulations.  In a Connecticut Business & Industry Association Survey 7 in 10 CT businesses said they believe that the state’s regulatory environment is more restrictive than other states.

The executive order is certainly a positive step, though where the rubber hits the road is in actually getting rid of counterproductive regulations.  For instance, the CPI’s recent report identifying some specific regulations where the costs exceed the benefits included environmental regulations that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection itself has recommended repealing for several years.  But the legislature has yet to act on that recommendation.
It is also curious that the Governor is exempting from scrutiny any regulations passed under his watch.

What it means for you:  Anyone may comment on regulations passed more than four years ago until December 16th of this year.   You can email governor.regulations@ct.gov, or visit http://www.governor.ct.gov/regulations. 

Audit of UConn Health Center Reveals Overspending
An Audit of the UConn Health Center reveled fiscal inattentiveness, overspending, and a variety of other financial management problems with the state-funded health care and health research facility. Examples of mismanagement included overspending on legal fees, with billing rates as high as $820 per hour, and spending $73,000 on a sabbatical for an employee who never returned.

What it means for you: The dollar values at issue in the identified missteps are a small share of the Health Center’s budget.  But any mismanagement of the public fisc should be a matter of public concern.

About the Author: Alex Forrester is a policy analyst for the CPI

Jobs & the Economy, Regulation, Legislation, Elections

Wrapping Up the Legislative Session

  • May 10, 2012
  • by CT Policy Institute

The General Assembly’s legislative session ended this week with a flurry of activity.  With the Democratic Party in control of both chambers of the legislature and the governor’s office, the democrats pushed through a number of priorities on largely party-line votes.  However, splits within the Democratic Party on certain issues such as minimum wage increases left a few major bills on the table as the session ended.

The measures that passed included:
• Legalizing Medical Marijuana
• Supporting Unionization of Healthcare Workers
• Allowing Same-Day Voter Registration
• New Performance Standards for Utilities

The proposals that did not pass, for now, included:
• Minimum Wage Increase
• New Jobs Bill

Jobs & the Economy, Regulation, Legislation

Making Sense of the Online Gambling Debate

  • Feb 04, 2012
Making Sense of the Online Gambling Debate

After a U.S. Department of Justice ruling in December opened the way for states to legalize online gambling, Governor Malloy had declared it "inevitable" that online gambling would come to the state.  But this week, both Malloy and Rep. Steve Dargan, co-chair of the Ct. legislature's public safety and security committee, declared that it was unlikely they would introduce a bill this upcoming legislative session.  State Sen. John McKinney, the minority leader, has said he opposes online gambling in the state altogether.

Introducing online gambling in Connecticut is likely to take away current business from the state's two large casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.  But some or all of those losses could be offset by new economic activity online.  Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have explored entering the online gaming market themselves, and their owners support legislation legalizing online gambling in Connecticut, as long as they remain the only authorized providers.

Many experts think online gambling should be regulated at the federal rather than state level, since it is difficult to limit most internet activity to a particular state.  They therefore believe the DOJ's ruling, which delegated decision-making to the states, has caused more confusion than clarification.  This may explain some of the uncertainty and inconsistency in Connecticut leaders' response to the decision.