Sunday, June 05, 2005

Budget Compromise Hammered Out

Quick post about the compromise on Saturday:

Democrats gained a tax increase on businesses and estates valued at over $2 million/year, while blocking further "sin" taxes on tobacco and alcohol products. Rell can claim a victory in that tax increases were much lower than expected, and that the so-called millionaire's tax on households earning very high wages won't be enacted.

The windfall of a budget surplus meant that taxes don't need to be raised quite as much, so absolute budget armageddon was averted for at least another year.

The budget is pretty fair, all things considered. Most importantly, cities and towns will get more state aid, which they desperately need.

The Courant has a good breakdown of the budget here, as do most other local papers.

We can look forward to an interesting week in the General Assembly, however, as Democrats run every which way trying to figure out whether or not to pass Gov. Rell's campaign finance reform proposal. I'm still a bit surprised by their reaction, and the reaction of other Democrats. Isn't this exactly what we wanted? Then why not do it?

If a bill isn't passed by the time the session ends, Democrats are going to look like hypocrites, and Jodi Rell will look like John McCain. Don't say I didn't warn you.


Ebpie said...

Senate Republicans don't seem to be very happy about this budget. Rell has diverged pretty heavily from traditional GOP positions on everything from civil unions to campaign finance. It is certainly depriving the Democrats some ammunition against her, but she may lose some Republican backing. Given this moderate posturing and the fact that someone has registered I expect a "Rell 2006" announcement sometime in July or August.

Genghis Conn said...

Rell is already losing core Republican support, if the nuts over at the inexplicably named Radio Free West Hartford are to be believed.

It isn't surprising that the Republicans in the GA are upset; the governor has completely bypassed them to work directly with the Democratic leaders. It's as if they don't exist, which, for all the influence they have, they might as well not. Why would Rell work with them anyway? It isn't as if they have much in common any more.

Interesting about the domain name. If I still had my Dialog access I could find out who registered it... Oh, well. An announcement around the time you suggest would fit with what Rell has been saying, which is that no announcement would be made until the session was over.

stomv said...

Did the budget allocate any additional money to the pension funds of (IIRC) teachers and civil servants, as had been discussed on this site a few weeks ago?

I seem to recall that there were two pension funds that were underfunded -- and we had discussed perhaps some of the budget heading that way to help bridge the gap. Any word?

Genghis Conn said...

Some of the money is going to the teachers' retirement fund, but only about $30 million. That isn't very much.