Sure, it was sleazy of Gov. Dannel Malloy and the Connecticut Department of Transportation to release news of a proposed 5 percent fare hike on Metro-North on a Friday afternoon in July, hoping nobody would notice. But the more I dig into the proposal, the more I realize the governor and CDOT are not to blame. It’s the Connecticut legislature that’s really responsible for this fare hike.
For nine years, Connecticut was one of the very few states in the country that did not reduce state funding for public education. In 2016, that very praiseworthy policy ended. The impact of reduced state funding for education will be felt in one way or the other by every child who attends a public school in the state.
Three weeks ago, in his sixth State of the State Address, Gov. Dannel Malloy laid out his five “budget principles” and called for a “more predictable, more sustainable, and more transparent” Connecticut budget that “prioritizes funding for core services.” Rightfully, one of the core services Malloy listed was public education. However, for Connecticut to prioritize education and achieve the governor’s budgetary goals, the state must fundamentally change the way it funds its public schools.
Missing from Gov. Dannel Malloy’s budget address on this year’s opening day of the legislative session was any mention of GE’s departure from the state. Of course, a leader must focus on the future and direct attention away from the negative. But why ignore reality? The only thing I can say for his speech is that at least pointing out the few companies that are investing in our state was more convincing than again spouting the “need for transportation and a high-tech atmosphere” as the reason for GE’s relocation.
No one wants terrorists to have guns. However, Gov. Dan Malloy’s recent proposal to ban gun purchases from those who appear on a nebulous terrorist “watch list” is a step too far. There is no doubt that Gov. Malloy is not a big fan of the Second Amendment. Unfortunately, this plan also guts the 14th Amendment due process clause by suspending the right to purchase and potentially confiscating legally owned property without providing ANY evidence to do so.
ByState Reps. John Scott, Mike France, Kathleen McCarty, Aundré Bumgardner and Doug Dubitsky |
Yesterday, the legislature voted to implement a “transportation lock box” to presumably protect funding to repair and replace our state’s crumbling roads, rails and bridges that we travel daily. While this sounds like a noble idea, we of the Southeastern Connecticut delegation – and many of our colleagues – saw the serious flaws in this bill that compelled us to vote against it.
Last Thursday, this year’s President of the Connecticut’s Board of Regents for Higher Education, Mark Ojakian, hurried past a large group of AAUP protesters outside of his scheduled Board of Regents meeting at the old Phoenix Insurance building on Woodland Street in Hartford. It probably never occurred to this right-hand man of the governor that he was presented with a rare opportunity. In Ojakian’s defense, his boss probably would not have seized the opportunity either.
Massachusetts, one of the leading states on education reform in the nation, in a monumental decision has abandoned Common Core testing. The Massachusetts Commissioner of Education, Michael Chester, in a stunning reversal, has walked away from the very test he helped to create. Now it remains to be seen if other states in the nation, including Connecticut, will follow Massachusetts, a state that is considered to be “the gold standard” in successful education reform.
The nearly decade-long struggle to replace the crumbling Stamford railroad station parking garage has taken another bizarre turn: the Connecticut Department of Transportation now wants to spend $1.5 million and take six months to repair the garage before they tear it down.
I am opposed to the recent ill-advised budget cuts made in the areas of health care, social services and education, and I am engaged in a touch advocacy effort to see these cuts rescinded. Our most disadvantaged residents will be disproportionately affected by these draconian cuts. I urge you to advance the concerns of those we care about most.
As someone who has testified and written frequently about funding decisions and service modifications and also as someone who is very familiar with health disparities in Connecticut, I believe that the governor’s current budget rescissions are not only evidence of a disconnect between the state’s commitment to ending disparities and inequities in health and health outcomes, but they are also a departure from the state’s early commitment to the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.
This is in response to Paul Hughes’ Sept. 22 article in the Waterbury Republican-American about Gov. Dannel Malloy’s request for public support backing a state constitutional amendment creating a lock box on transportation funds. The article quotes Malloy as saying “What’s important now is that the legislature enact a constitutional lock box so that as we move forward in funding that people understand that any dollar that is collected for transportation will be spent on transportation. Nothing else.” Gov. Malloy should think before he speaks, as I find his comment laughable for several reasons.