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WWL: Legislative Roundtable
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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As the legislative session ends, House and Senate leadership race to balance budget


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49:00 minutes (23.52 MB)
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Connecticut’s current legislative session adjourns today, but budget talks have been unsuccessful, and a special session will convene tomorrow.  The budget stalemate could continue throughout the month – in part because The Governor and the Legislature still can’t agree on exactly how big the deficit is--It might be as high as 8.7 billion over the next two years.

Coming up, Where We Live, we’ll talk with governor Rell, legislative leaders, and capital reporters about the budget crisis as we hit this important deadline. Rell and Republican leadership oppose levying any new income taxes, as the democrats have proposed. They’re relying instead on deep spending cuts, borrowing, and expanded gambling revenue to dig the state out of its hole. After months of stalemate—what’s next?

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intoxicants versus gambling as a source of revenue

some of the same people who decried marijuana decriminalization [as immoral] are quick to embrace keno. a sin by any other name? how is one permissible while the other is not?

Facebook comment from Shawn Lang

From DC today, why will they not look at the revenue side in a realistic way? We have a regressive tax structure which only works in good times. We nee a more progressive tax structure which will sustain the state in good economic times and bad. We cannot responsibly balaance this budget with cuts alone which will disproportionately impact the state's most vulnerable people. 

Editor's note from Dankosky

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Email from listener Don Gonsalves

Dear Sir:
I was very,very  disappointed that you did not have call in today on the budget. I believe a lot of people could have contributed to this discussion. As usual the politicians in both parties did not answer the real questions or issues. I would have loved to make a few comments and then asked for their replies. Both parties are wrong .
I would have made the following comments
1. State spending is simply to large to start with. Even if revenue was on plan we would actually have a serious deficit. At the present time we have an obligation to state workers and teachers of $65 billion for retire pensions and health care costs. The present amount we have is only $19 billion or a shortfall of $46 billion which is staggering. What do they plan to do about this and when?
2. The budget agreement between the Goody To Shoe governor and the Unions of $700 million is a complete farce.The real actual savings is only $159 million. Part of the so called savings is a deferral of approximately $200 million to the health/retirement fund which is already underfunded by $46 billion. How can anyone in their right mind say this is a savings. Then there is a so called savings of $208 million for early retirement of 3,000 state workers. There is no savings with so called early retirement as has been proven time after time in the past.No one has ever asked for the assumptions behind this so called savings? Nany Wyman said several times that the records show that these plans never work.

3. There was absolutely no mention of the possible bonding of the deficit for this year which I feel is completely illegal. You can only bond if the deficit is a surprise or unexpected. The deficit has been known since last June so it is not a surprise. Perhaps the size is a surprise but I would even question that as I had a letter published in the Hartford Courant last June or a year ago indicating that the budget deficit would be far larger than the $150 million they were forecasting at that time. 

Listener email from Nancy

Why is there a Dept of HIgher Ed? All the colleges have their own Boards of trustees. It is my understanding that no one in the dept of Higher Ed has any higher ed experience. I have been told they are ex-legislators with powerful friends. Is that true?
And the Dems suggested eliminating the Assn commissioners, usually political appointees. That proposal is going nowhere.
Together these 2 cuts would save a lot of money.

Listener email from Kenric

Good Morning John, Ann and Ted,

As a resident of New London, I have been supportive of property tax reform in CT.  I have been supporting the bill in the House, Bill 379, Land value tax pilot in New London.  As the bill has gone through committees it has attracted various limitations, different from our original proposal, but we still want it.

What are the prospects of this legislation getting a vote and potentially passing the vote?

Kenric Hanson

New London Sustainability Committee