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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Analysis Says CT Budget Proposals Hurt Kids

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Friday, June 2, 2017   

HARTFORD, Conn. – An analysis of four proposed state budgets finds they all would cut critical spending on programs for children to record lows and still fail to address the causes of the deficit.

The proposals - from Gov. Dannel Malloy, House Republicans and Democrats, and Senate Republicans - all would reduce the share of the budget for children's services to about 29 percent of the total, a 13-percent drop since 2008.

According to Ray Noonan, an associate policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, everything from child care and health care to higher education would be affected.

"They reduce the share of programs for children and families and as a result, take a crisis-driven approach, relying on cuts and harmful austerity for the future," he explains.

Budget negotiators fear that raising taxes to close the projected $5-billion, two-year deficit would prompt more businesses to leave the state.

But Noonan points out that all four budgets include tax increases for low- and moderate-income families, including a $25-million increase from cutting the Earned Income Tax Credit.

"You see millions of dollars more in tax increases for low- and middle-income families in reducing their property tax relief - and at the same time, the 600 wealthiest taxpayers in the state would see a $100,000 tax decrease," he says.

He notes that potential budget cuts at the federal level could compound the state's fiscal problems and further jeopardize the security of children and families.

Noonan thinks Connecticut needs to adopt a budget that modernizes an outdated tax system and builds a foundation for growth by targeting resources where they would be most effective.

"Connecticut's budget is the clearest statement of our priorities every year, and those priorities should include advancing long-term, inclusive economic growth, preparing our children for success," adds Noonan.

He also adds that a preliminary assessment of the latest budget proposal from Senate Republicans indicates it isn't much different from the four earlier proposals.


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