Two weeks ago, both the Director and Deputy Director of the Iowa
Department of Economic Development (IDED), Mike Tramontina and Vince
Lintz, resigned abruptly, and the manager of the Iowa Film Office, Tom Wheeler, was forced to step down following allegations of corruption and abuse of public funds. Specifically, an internal IDED audit discovered issues with the state’s film tax credit including improper oversight,
the purchase of luxury vehicles unnecessary for the completion of
films, and filmmakers claiming payments for multiple production jobs.
A new month brings new fee and tax increases in Connecticut.
Starting today, the state's cigarette tax jumps from $2 to $3 a pack;
most bottles of water will cost a nickel more because of an expanded
bottle and can redemption law; and hundreds of state licenses and fees,
ranging from a pet shop license to the cost of filing small claims
cases in superior court, will be higher.
Connecticut legislators deserve praise for a robust and active legislative session,
despite an unprecedented budget deficit and opposition to many
important measures by Gov. Jodi Rell. Legislators succeeded in
expanding access to health care and improving its quality, passing a
public health insurance option, and addressing the foreclosure and
financial crisis to aid consumers and prevent corruption and abuse.
Lawmakers expanded environmental protections, improved long-term
planning for coastal waterways, and passed measures to support
families, workers, and seniors. A notable achievement, the result of a
State Supreme Court ruling in 2008, was implementation of marriage
equality for same-sex couples.
As the economic downturn progresses, American workers are facing a
disturbing rise in employers using credit ratings to determine job
worthiness. According to a 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management,
the number of firms using credit histories to screen applicants rose
from 25% in 1998 to 43% despite such inquiries often being
discriminatory and even illegal.