Governor finds a way to annoy whole state

John J. Ryan, a former Republican state
representative, and Hersam Acorn editor Joshua Fisher, share their
back-and-forth about state government news, among other items of
interest. This week’s “mini column” takes a look at the state
Ryan: The governor
appears to have accomplished something he has had trouble doing
since taking office over two years ago: consensus.
Fisher: Would that consensus be that
everyone thinks his budget proposal is awful?
Ryan: Being the award-winning
that you are, it’s getting tougher and tougher to
get anything by you. Fisher: Well it’s
hard not to miss the mess that is the Malloy Administration. He
sure has not lived up to his words of not forgetting Fairfield
County. Besides continuing to use commuters for their cash while
ignoring the state-owned New Haven Line, the new budget has found
even more factions to annoy. Ryan:
That’s correct. In my three decades of observing what goes on at
our state capitol, I cannot recall a budget proposal that everyone
hates. Consider the following: • Town leaders
don’t like it: “Connecticut
mayors call Malloy budget ‘dishonest,’ a ‘shell game”

(, Feb. 15); • New Haven Democrats don’t like
it: “City
Legislator Vow To Fight Malloy Budget”

(, Feb. 17); • Doctors don’t like it: “Governor’s
proposed budget would result in major cut in funding to
(, Feb. 18); • Economists
don’t trust it: “Budget
projections too rosy, economists warn Team Malloy”

(, Feb. 18). And if we had more space (it is,
after all, winter vacation week), we could list many other
examples. Fisher: One thing that
should not go unnoticed is that Gov. Malloy has been championing a
“tax cut” in his budget: eliminating a car tax that will force
municipalities to raise your other property taxes.
Ryan: For the sole tax-cutting
proposal in this budget, the elimination of the property tax on
cars has caused many to note that Malloy in his mayoral days was
one of the chief critics of a similar plan by Gov. Rell. See “Malloy’s
Car Tax Plan Criticized”
(, Feb. 17), which
also points out the obvious: namely that since municipalities have
no way to make up for the car tax revenue loss, real estate
property taxes will have to increase.
Fisher: It is these sorts of political
gimmicks that really need to be highlighted. When this budget was
released, you could already imagine the Malloy 2014 campaign
commercials that tout him cutting the car tax. Meanwhile, gas
prices are soaring again. See “Connecticut
gas prices up 29¢ in past month”
(, Feb.
18). Ryan: And has anyone reminded you
that one of Connecticut’s two gas taxes, the gross receipts tax, is
scheduled to increase again this summer?
Fisher: The state has to pay for those
5% pay increases for state employees somehow. In my next life, I’m
getting a job with the state of Connecticut. They are among those
few jobs where no matter how poorly the organization is run, you
still get a nice raise and job security. John J. Ryan is
of counsel to the Fairfield County law firm Russo & Assoc.,
and served 14 years as Darien and Rowayton’s state representative —
and has been writing this column for Hersam Acorn even longer.
Joshua Fisher has been an editor with Hersam Acorn Newspapers since

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