CT Mirror: What is Malloy learning on the road?

Posted on March 29, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized |

After being yelled at for 10 hours by 10 different communities over the course of 10 nights, Gov. Dannel Malloy gets a bit of a report card by the CT Mirror article “What is Malloy learning on the road?”

Truth be told, we don’t know for sure what he’s learning on the road. He seems to be listening/considering each citizen’s concerns, but until we see revisions to his budget, that’s as debatable as everything else.

Malloy has been very clear that that revised budget, depending on how the closed-door labor union talks go, could be a lot worse than the one proposed on February 16.

His administration already has conceded there are some inequities that must be addressed. His plan to eliminate a $47 million program that reimburses municipalities for a tax exemption on manufacturing equipment, for example, would hit blue-collar communities that could least afford it, such as East Hartford, Bristol and Waterbury.

But Malloy and legislators cannot fully engage until they know the outcome of his administration’s efforts to obtain labor concessions and other savings. The biennial budget he proposed Feb. 16 relies on $1 billion in labor savings in each of the next two fiscal years.

It’s hard to fix a $47 million problem or debate the merits of a property tax credit he wants to eliminate, when there might be a $1 billion disaster around the corner.

“I am preparing recommendations with respect to what that would look like,” Malloy said. “I hope we don’t have to go there. It would be nasty and ugly.”

On WNPR’s “Where We Live,” Malloy fleshed out exactly how ugly.

“You want me to cut the budget more? I’ll cut the budget more.  You want me to eliminate more programs? I’ll do that.  And in the absence of reaching a restructuring agreement we’ll lay off lots of people. I don’t want to do any of those things,” Malloy said.

Time will tell where we end up. But the CT Mirror article is worth a read for a look at a very different governor.

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