Victories or defeats? The session creates a template for Conn campaigns.


Democrat Ned Lamont, left, watches Republican Bob Stefanowski speak during the first gubernatorial debate between the two candidates on Wednesday September 12, 2018 at the Garde Arts Center in New London. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont made it clear Thursday, the day after the General Assembly adjourned, that he would campaign on what he sees as the big successes of the 2022 legislative session, ranging from cuts from “historic” taxes to new funding for children. care services.

Republicans, however, are likely to campaign on how far those supposed successes are from what they say voters want.

“This is a sticker budget for Democrats for November. This is not a budget designed for the future well-being of the state of Connecticut,” said House Minority Leader Vincent Candelora. , R-North Branford, referring to Democratic claims that the roughly $600 million in tax cuts and credits are the largest in state history.The list ranges from extending the gasoline tax of 25 cents per gallon until December when a new one-year child tax credit is introduced.

“Yes, you can send a message,” Candelora said. “But when people don’t feel it in their pockets, it’s going to be a problem for them.”

The election season officially begins Friday, when Democrats and Republicans gather for their respective two-day party conventions to endorse nominees for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate and other constitutional offices in the United States. State.

Lamont, who is expected to receive his party’s support on Saturday in Hartford, said he plans to argue that Connecticut’s fiscal situation has improved significantly after years of state budget deficits, unpaid pension commitments. discouraging capitalizations, sluggish revenues, cuts to state programs, state employee labor concessions, and the depletion of the state rainy day fund to help offset the deficits.

The revised $24.2 billion one-year state budget awaiting Lamont’s signature has benefited from $1 billion in federal relief funds, as well as a $4.8 billion surplus. The plan includes an additional $3.6 billion to reduce unfunded pension liabilities, in addition to about $1.6 billion in extra payments made last year, which Democrats say will save $444 million per year for the next 25 years.

In 2021, the State Employees Retirement Scheme was 44.5% funded while the Teachers Retirement Scheme liabilities were 51.3% funded in 2020, the most recent figures available from the Office of politics and management.

“What a difference four years makes. Four years ago, Susan, I was looking at the barrel of a $3.8 billion (two-year) deficit,” Lamont said Thursday, referring to Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz , who will also seek party approval on Saturday.

“I think a lot of people appreciate the state turning a corner. I think a lot of people know that we’re going from crisis to crisis and we’ve at least stabilized the ship,” Lamont said when asked about his expected campaign speech to voters. “I think we are starting to make progress. So our job is to make sure we continue to build on this progress.

Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski, who is expected to receive GOP support on Friday night, has previously raised questions about how Lamont “magically pretends to be a tax cutter.” In 2019, Lamont proposed a controversial plan to “modernize” state sales. tax base and imposing the state’s 6.35% sales tax on a long list of goods and services, in addition to offering highway tolls as a means of funding transportation.

“The governor’s budget is riddled with election-year complacency and will do little to make life easier for residents,” Stefanowski said in a statement. “Next year, my budget will be rooted in honesty, integrity, and provide long-term reform to make it easier for everyone in Connecticut to get by.”

The GOP candidate called for reductions in the sales tax, restaurant and prepared meals tax, and gross receipts tax on gasoline, arguing that residents need immediate relief from the surge in coronavirus. ‘inflation.

Meanwhile, Lamont enters the convention having signed a key bill from Thursday’s legislative session that addresses another burning election issue: abortion.

Abortion rights advocates argue that Connecticut’s new law, which takes effect July 1, is necessary to protect medical providers in the state from lawsuits stemming from out-of-state laws, as well as the patients who come to Connecticut and those who help them. The legislation also expands who can perform abortions.

Stefanowski said in a written statement that the draft opinion suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court may be on the verge of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case “doesn’t change anything here in Connecticut” where he stated that “a woman’s right to choose is fully protected by state law.

Democratic Party officials have called on Stefanowski to go further and explain whether he supports the state’s current law and whether he would support new restrictions.

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