The Capitol Beat: October 10-14, 2016

Commission on Economic Competitiveness Hosts Panel on Revitalizing CT Cities

Today’s panelists at the CEC meeting had some very interesting observations to share about how to revitalize Connecticut’s cities. Below is a highlight of some of their comments and a link to their presentations, which can be found under today’s date.

Some highlights:

  • CT’s job growth (.2%) story is not strong, and the larger the urban area in CT the worse they do on job creation.
  • If CT enjoyed the same rate of growth as MASS (4.4%) that would translate to 70,000 new jobs.
  • One panelist agreed with the McKinsey report that a focus on cities would be more productive than a regional focus – she stated that a “suburban strategy alone will not be successful.”
  • Instead of trying to bring in new innovative companies, the state should focus on the ones that are already in existence in the state – and that the real opportunity for growth is by helping existing small business to reach the next level.
  • For urban areas to be successful there has to be “strong, charismatic leadership” and there needs to be strong collaboration between the public sector (government), not-for-profits and the private business sector.

The Commission plans to convene for its next meeting on Friday, November 18th to plan for their future work.

Link to 10/14 presentations:

Governor, Treasurer Announce New Appointments

Art House, known to many as Chairman of the three-member Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) for the past four years, was tapped by Governor Malloy this week to serve as the state’s Chief Cyber Security Risk Officer, where he will be responsible for working to enhance cybersecurity protection efforts across all agencies.

As Chairman at PURA, Art played a major role in developing the Cybersecurity Action Plan, which was released earlier this year and identified solutions for enhanced cybersecurity across the state, specifically within the electric, natural gas, and water utility sectors.

In addition, Connecticut State Treasurer Denise L. Nappier this week appointed Laurie Martin to serve as Deputy Chief Investment Officer for the $30 billion Connecticut Retirement Plan and Trust Fund.

Martin’s appointment was approved unanimously by the state’s Investment Advisory Council. Martin joins the Treasurer’s Office after 12 years as director of treasury services at Baystate Health Inc. She succeeds Deborah Spaulding who served in the position from 2012 to 2015, when she was named Chief Investment Officer.

Health Care Payment, Design Reforms Steaming Ahead

On October 20th, the experts behind the State Innovation Model (SIM) health care payment and delivery model initiative, are planning a Learning Collaborative hosted by the Connecticut Business and Industry Association at Pitney Bowes in Stamford. The focus of the discussion will be on a Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) manual for fully insured employers. SIM has a goal of getting 84-percent of Connecticut’s insured population enrolled in a VBID plan by 2020. Along these lines, they have created a manual for fully-insured Connecticut employers to help with explaining and implementing these plans for the benefit of their employees. In very basic terms, VBID plans encourage and reward employees’ health improvement (as gauged through regular screenings, etc) using various incentives (e.g. reduced premiums, bonuses, higher contributions to HSAs).

Meanwhile, on January 1, 2017, the Department of Social Services (DSS) is prepared to launch an enhancement to its Medicaid reform agenda, dubbed Person-Centered Medical Home-Plus (PCMH+). The aim of PCMH+ is to further improve health and outcomes for Medicaid beneficiaries who are served by Federally Qualified Health Centers and “advanced networks” of primary care, specialty care and other providers.

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