After living for over nine years in the historic and beautiful Black Rock section of Bridgeport, my wife, Mary, and I are leaving the Constitution State. We are saddened to do so because we love our home, our neighborhood, our neighbors, and the state. However, like an increasing number of people, the time has come to cut our losses and move closer to family. In addition, it is not clear that current state and local leaders have the willingness and ability to make the tough choices needed to create a better future in Connecticut, especially in connection with unfunded retirement obligations.
The Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth Commission has issued its report. It recommends proposed net tax and toll increases, tax reform, aspirational but unspecified spending cuts, and no changes to the SEBAC agreement until 2027. Now that the report has been issued, it seems appropriate to compare it to my previously submitted recommendations. Connecticut’s problem is fairly simple. Gov. Dan Malloy and his Democratic allies have raised taxes, increased regulation, adopted such an anti-business approach, and promised such generous retirement benefits to state workers that revenues are declining, recurring deficits are normal, and economic growth is anemic as Connecticut businesses and families flee the state.
I read with interest Gov. Dannel Malloy’s Op-Ed in the June 19 edition of the Hartford Courant, in which he offered a spirited defense of his proposed labor agreement. Unfortunately, he left out some key facts that Connecticut taxpayers and residents need to know.
Connecticut has a unique voluntary public financing program for state elected offices. The Citizens’ Election Program is designed to encourage a broader range of people to seek public office. It is also designed to help increase competition and decrease the influence of “big money” donors. Connecticut now faces a serious current budget and longer-term fiscal sustainability challenge. As a result, some are calling for elimination of the state’s voluntary public campaign financing system. In my view, doing so would be inappropriate.