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News

Lamont's Big Budget Reveal Goes As Expected

Cindy Caron

By: Paul Stern, CT Mirror
February 24, 2019

Last week was Gov. Ned Lamont’s big budget reveal, when he attempted to satisfy hundreds of competing interests with billions of dollars the government doesn’t have.

His $43 billion proposal was an attempt to thread the needle between closing a huge budget deficit and investing in progress, paying for better education and encouraging school economies, limiting borrowing and bringing tax relief to hospitals, and finding money to improve Connecticut’s transportation network while keeping his campaign promises about highway tolls.

It remains to be seen whether he will succeed –or wind up stabbing his own hand.

Lamont’s initial effort to promote a plan for highway tolls – by publishing an op-ed on the subject on a Saturday – was seen as the stumble of an inexperienced administration. Similarly, his announcement that he will seek wage or benefit concessions from state retirees while taking other cost-saving measures was met with their stern refusal to make any more sacrifices in the taxpayers’ behalf.

The jury is still out on how the public will react to his proposal to tax sugary drinks, electronic cigarettes and plastic bags. Then there are the proposals to repeal the estate tax or perhaps impose a statewide property tax on motor vehicles. And, of course, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities need more money if they are to stay out of a $57 million hole.

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