Governor Jodi Rell - Christine Stuart, ctnewsjunkie.com
by John Dankosky – As I talked with Mark Pazniokas of the CT Mirror, and Keith Phaneuf of the Manchester Journal Inquirer CT Mirror this morning, I had a strange sense of deja vu. Were we about to be treated to another “punting” of the state’s big problems down the road? Would Governor Rell “scold” lawmakers for an inability to tighten their belts in a tough financial time? Would she present a plan that actually balances a state budget? Would she talk about Keno?
We seemingly got much of what we expected – what some called a “caretaker budget” that finds enough ways to solve short-term deficits, but won’t touch the massive structural problems the state faces. Both Mark and Keith have been reporting, accurately I think, that even with big cuts, state worker givebacks and new taxes, we’ve dug a hole that we can’t soon get out of. So, instead we got the promise of a new state task force/commission to examine how state government works. This was met by Senate President Don Williams with a predictable response.
“I think it’s a good idea, but I think we ought to actually dig in and do some of the hard work about agency consolidation and streamlining the bureaucracy in government now,” he told WNPR’s Jeff Cohen.
Thinking back to this morning’s Where We Live, it seems like we’re back where we started: Acknowledgement of serious governmental crisis…with a pledge to study it and wait until a new governor takes over in Hartford. Jon Pelto told us we need leadership now – and a willingness to work together. When will it come?
This comment closed today’s Where We Live – after an hour of doom and gloom prognosticating:
Today Rell will be giving a eulogy for our late, great State of CT. There seems to be no voice in the wilderness, no leadership from either party and NObody with any backbone! We need a Lowell Weicker type to take over the executive branch and make some tough, intelligent decisions! – Email from Rich
Among the news that was met with smiles today? Jeff reports that among the “highlights” – at least for mayors and selectmen -was a pledge not to cut aid to cities and towns.
Meanwhile, take a look at Chion Wolf’s photographs from today’s free clinic in Hartford (a story by Lucy Nalpathanchil to come soon).
Free clinic in Hartford - photo by Chion Wolf
Here’s where the real news was happening today. Hundreds of people – too “rich” for state aid, too poor to afford real care of their own – they lined up to get treated, only a few miles from where Connecticut’s decision-makers gathered to politely applaud, and pat themselves on the back for a situation gone out of control.
You can read Christine Stuart’s account of the day’s events from ctnewsjunkie.com here.
Mark Pazniokas’ budget analysis at ctmirror.org is here.