In a state that’s been almost entirely run by Democrats for years, Connecticut’s moderate Gov. Ned Lamont is getting a hard push from the left. Rep. Robyn Porter of New Haven is co-chair of the legislature’s labor committee, and she’s been a vocal opponent of what she calls Lamont’s “austerity budget.” She wants more investment in state programs to help vulnerable residents through the economic damage of the pandemic, and to do that, she wants to raise taxes on wealthy residents, an idea Lamont has rejected.
Porter has also been critical of a vaccine rollout strategy that has given advantages to white, suburban residents. She says it’s simple, just do it by zip code, and target the neediest residents – a strategy the state is starting to adopt. In our conversation, we also talk about something she and Lamont do agree on, the legalization of marijuana, and the overwhelming passage of the Crown Act – a multi-state effort to prohibit discrimination based on hairstyles, a bill Porter strongly supported.