Connecticut faces a variety of complex and growing challenges. We are struggling with economic development, jobs that don’t meet the cost of living in Connecticut, diversity and equity barriers, an aging transportation system, high healthcare costs, and educational challenges among others.

Even though Connecticut has only recently recovered all of its private sector jobs lost in the last recession, another downturn is likely and inevitable according to most experts. Massive uncertainty at the federal level isn’t helping. And the state’s budget isn’t keeping up with promises made in the past. Governor-elect Ned Lamont’s new administration and General Assembly are working to find solutions we can afford.

Fortunately, Connecticut has lots of smart, caring people who are working on these problems.

Over the next year, CTNewsJunkie will host several forums to explore emerging issues facing the state. Forums will include experts from inside and outside government, drawing on best practices that are feasible for Connecticut with an eye toward avoiding past mistakes.

The first forum will focus on state budget challenges. The Squeeze Is On: The Next State Budget is coming up Wednesday, Jan. 16, 10 a.m. at reSET, 1429 Park Street in Hartford. Tickets are available below or they can be purchased here.

Panelists include Kevin Lembo, Connecticut’s State Comptroller, Katie Roy, Executive Director and Founder of, and State Representative Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, the Deputy Minority Leader in the House.

The panel will be moderated by CT News Junkie Editor Christine Stuart. This forum is made possible by sponsors Dominion Energy and the Social Enterprise Trust (

Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door. Admission is free for CTNewsJunkie member-subscribers who will receive a code by email. If you haven’t received your coupon code yet and have an active subscription, . Receipts will support CTNewsJunkie’s mission of delivering independent news coverage at Connecticut’s state Capitol.

The second forum will focus on healthcare cost, quality and access challenges in Connecticut. That forum will be Wednesday, Feb. 20, 10 a.m., also at reSET.

Future forums in planning stages are expected to cover transportation, education, seeding the right startups, and the opioid epidemic.

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