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In Conn., State-Local Partnership Panel To Address Fiscal Challenges

Johnathon Henninger
The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities is creating a 13-member panel of city mayors and suburban leaders to develop proposals to improve the fiscal health of cities and towns in the state.

Kevin Maloney, spokesperson for CCM, says the panel will look into creating new sources of revenue and find ways to regionalize costs for special services like special education, which municipal leaders say is a big drain on their budgets under the current town-by-town funding process.  

“Special education services are costly and are hurting many towns in the term of the level of expenditures. The notion of being able to regionalize special education services is just one significant example where, if you broke through on that front you’d see some significant cost reductions.”  

Maloney said that the panel will also study how cities can raise new revenue without putting more stress on local property taxes. He said that all towns should care about the fiscal health of Connecticut’s cities.  

“If those urban centers get any more stressed, it’s going to affect their ability to attract and retain jobs which affects every suburban and rural community within a 20-mile radius in the urban centers.”  

The panel will work through December on its package of proposals. Maloney says they will submit their ideas to the 2017 legislative session for consideration when it opens in January.

A native of New York City, Ann Lopez, is an Editor and Senior Content Producer with WSHU. She has more than 20-years of experience as a journalist and audio producer. Her career has brought her to Ms. Magazine and Newsday. She broke into radio at WGBH in Boston as a producer and studio director for the daily international news program, The World, Ann is the founding producer for WSHU's mid-day talk show, The Full Story. As a senior content producer, Ann works with the hosts of Morning Edition and All Things Considered to produce interviews that focus on local topics and issues that our listeners care about.