Monday, January 02, 2006

2006 Legislative Session: Priorities

There's more than a month before the start of the short 2006 legislative session, but Democrats and Republicans are starting to focus on their priorities for this election year:

Preliminarily, Amann said, the Democratic House caucus will be pushing for more money for after-school programs, more funding for transportation improvements, pro-business legislation and working toward health care coverage for all children, something Amann said might not be ready until next year.
Senate Minority Leader Louis DeLuca, R-Woodbury, said the GOP is still assembling its priorities, but he said Republicans are eager to act on a Program Review and Investigations Committee report on reforming the state's tax structure, and another task force report on Educational Cost Sharing grants to municipalities expected in the next month. (Coleman)

The focus for the coming year ought to be economic. Last year's focus was largely social and political, which resulted in landmark legislation for campaign finance and civil unions. With those issues behind us, the focus should shift to jobs and taxes.

I'd like to see the legislature focus on ways to relieve some of the property tax burden, which has driven municipalities to cut school funding and make poor development choices.

I'd also like to see the state start working towards improving transportation in Connecticut, especially in the bottleneck of Fairfield County.

Property tax reform and an investment in roads, trains and buses will help promote economic growth and smart development, but only if done wisely and creatively. This legislature has already shown us that it can do extraordinary things, when prodded. They should take that creativity and drive and apply it to issues that will make Connecticut economically stronger this session.


Coleman, Tobin. "Election-year politics hover over legislative session." Stamford Advocate 2 January, 2006.


Anonymous said...

Democrat "priorities"

1. Spend
2. Spend
3. Spend
4. Blame someone else for economic and fiscal morass
5. Repeat

Anonymous said...

Throwing money at Transport cannot be done hastily, look what happen in Massachusetts, the Big Dig exploded to 16 Billion dollars (iniatially planned to be 2 Billion and be done by done). However, I agree something needs to be done in Fairfield Country, the traffic is out of control.

The Plan for Tax Reform:
Eliminate the Income Tax, Cut All Pork and Wasteful spending, Cut Entitlement Programs by 10%, Streamline and merge the bureaucratic Departments of Government. (Not that this would ever happen in a Democratic Legislature)

Anonymous said...

*done by now

Anonymous said...

The priority should be to start getting the State's fiscal house in order. $14 Billion in bonded debt, $12 Billion in unfunded liabilities in State Employee and Teachers' Pensions, and $21 Billion in unfunded liabilities in State Employee Retirement Health Care (as reported by OFA and OPM to a joint meeting of the Legislature's Appropriation and Finance Committees in November,'05)
Too bad all parties (D's & R's) will work to keep these items from surfacing as they would make excellent issues to be debated in the upcoming '06 elections.

Moderate Republican said...

No tax reform is going to be relevant as long as state spending goes up 8-9% per year. We need to enforce our CONSTITUTIONALLY approved spending caps first, then talk abotu tax reform.

Rowland, Rell, and the Democrats have all been accomplices in our spending free-for-all...which has also resulted in the greatest debt burden per capita in the nation.

That all being said, what exactly does "property tax reform" mean Genghis? Does it mean shift the burden to the state and raise the income tax? What do you see that is beneficial from it? I might be interested in it if it is coupled with a reduction in spending increases, but want to know more about it.

Anonymous said...

Will Democrats back Jodi up against the wall by bringing out same sex marriage? If she doesn't support equal rights it could be the perfect wedge issue especially since so many Democrats view her as more socially progressive. Both Destefano and Malloy support same sex marriage. Will Rell tick off the rest of her Republican base and support it too?

Anonymous said...

People that Support Gay Marriage instead of Civil Unions as Democrats will never vote for Rell anyway. She has already attracted the Civil Unioners in the Democrat Party, and still has Republicans on her side, she doesn't need to try to appeal to the more radical elements of the Democratic Party to get elected. Conclusion: She will not support Gay Marriage, and Will not tick off her base or the Democratic Support she has for reelection

Anonymous said...

Yeah, let's focus on a huge fight about gay marriage when hardly anyone applied for civil unions and ignore the state's other issues.

Chris MC said...

The continuing lack of leadership from the Governor on the issue of education and the funding of it is a bona fide disgrace.

Rell's insistent game of "no you go first... no you go first" is indefensible.

There are structural problems in this state that can only be addressed by an executive with political capital to burn and the spine and intellect to do it.

If she cannot step up to the plate with her approval ratings in the mid-eighties, she simply cannot be considered competent in the job.

If a corporate executive was this negligent she'd be fired if not sued.

johnnyrainbow said...

Gay marriage has become a non-issue in the Dem primary, and Rell will look behind the curve. It probably won't come up in the Gov's race, but it WILL come up in the State Leg races as both Love Makes a Family and the Family Institute will be looking to endorse candidates who have strong opinions.

HOWEVER, research shows, being seen as open minded and tolerant is ALWAYS beneficial to one's campaign (e.g. Mass and CT in 2004; and nationally, state legislators who voted pro-gay were elected 97% of the time...100% if they were Latino, Asian, or Pacific).

p.s. no one got civil unions because gay couples want marriage

Enough is enough said...

Can someone tell me when this nonsense is going to catch up with the King in NH??? Haven't we all know how politics work there for YEARS???

NEW HAVEN — The parent company of a New Haven nursing home has paid a $2,000 fine after a worker — apparently feeling intimidated by Mayor John DeStefano Jr.’s staff — kicked a political opponent off the premises on the day of primary absentee balloting, according to state elections officials.


Anonymous said...

Interesting that the gay community fought for the civil union bill but didn't take advantage of it because they really want marriage. Thought they wanted legal rights for property, benefits and all that. Guess not.

With povery abounding and education in the tank in the cities. No doubt the debate will focus on gay marriage next session. The squeaky wheel...

Anonymous said...

How many gays got married in MA?

Was the number larger or smaller than number of hetero wedding in any decent sized towns in a year?

MikeCT said...

Once again, our Anonymous serial spammer can't hear himself talk often enough in one day, with afterthoughts on the hour.

Clearly, thousands of gay people and their supporters spent countless hours organizing, lobbying, educating, door knocking, and fundraising for equal marriage (and explicitly opposing civil unions) because they don't want marriage. What other reasonable conclusion could there be?

In any case, Love Makes a Family has explicitly said they will not advocate for equal marriage legislation until the 2007 session, so Anonymous can remain secure in his homophobic shell until then. They will, however, support candidates who support equal marriage in the 2006 elections, and they were 80% successful with the their 2004 endorsements.

Anonymous said...

what's homophobic about ascertaining actual response to the MA gay marriage approval?

Anonymous said...

MikeCT - when you 'assume' something, like all anonymouses are the same person, you should know how it goes