In Wake of Scandals, Lawmakers Seek to Limit Film Tax Credits

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.

CT: Higher fees, cigarette tax among new Connecticut laws

The Day:

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.

CT Legislative Session Roundup

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.

Protecting the Unemployed from Abusive Credit Inquiries

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.