Here Come the Mayors
Never have the state's municipal leaders spent more time at the Capitol than the last few weeks. Everyone, seemingly, is getting in line to set agendas for the upcoming budget session - with the state facing a growing, multi-billion dollar deficit. The big keyword is "regionalization" - but this group of mid-sized towns is looking beyond geographic similarities, toward a larger, common purpose. Today, mayors Scott Slifka of West Hartford, Melody Curry of East Hartford and Sebastian Giuliano of Middletown joined us in studio to talk about the priorities they share with 14 other towns in their "working group." My takeaway: These town leaders think they're doing things right...and don't want to be punished for it; they want their docket clear of "unfunded mandates" from the state; and they're ready to think big to make changes happen. Although I'm not sure exactly how big...we hit some disagreements on regional school districts, for instance. For more on this story, check out Anna Sale's coverage, ctnewsjunkie.org, and the Middletown Press.
Live at the Capitol
As the session gets underway, we'll be broadcasting live from the Capitol's lower press room. We'll be joined by legislative leaders, and reporters getting ready to cover the session, including Day reporter/blogger Ted Mann, who has a not-too-sunny take on the decisions that will have to be made to balance the budget. Mann: "There will be a defender for each and every good and necessary thing. Only some of them will prevail."
During our regular 7pm "rerun" slot, we'll be doing a Where We Live special. We'll hear Governor Rell's opening day speech (not the "budget address," mind you, but still interesting). Then, Ray Hardman will join me with interviews and reaction. Gotta tell you, everyone's in a pretty dour mood about the prospects for this budget - and what the cuts will mean to social service programs and education. We'll make sure we're talking to some commissioners about the impact they'll see. Any questions you have - leave 'em below.
On Friday, we're helping to kick off a new web series from CPBN called "Corrupticut" exploring the history of corruption in Connecticut. Timely work by the CPBN media lab, as we officially hand over our title as "most corrupt state" to Illinois. We'll be joined by veteran reporter Greg Hladky, late of the New Haven Register, who covered the Rowland administration, and wrote a big piece on this for the Boston Globe recently.