I had the chance to chat with Governor Dannel Malloy on the show today, Tuesday, February 8, 2011, as did our listeners. Here are some of the highlights; you can hear the whole interview on the link below:
On liquor stores opening on Sundays, the Governor said, “I’m not spending time on this… If they pass a bill for Sunday sales, I will sign it.” In other words, the Governor has bigger things to worry about.
On tolls, my personal bugaboo, the Governor said that “the regulatory process takes 4 to 5 years. …Don’t expect anything in my budget about tolls…Tolls are a terrible way to raise money for government.” However, the Governor said he would consider tolls for specific road- building, like Route 11. As for the big highways, he would only consider tolls if the legislature passed a constitutional amendment requiring that the money collected go only for the specific purpose of maintaining the roads.
Let’s face it , I was relieved. Nothing makes me angrier than waiting in line for tolls, EZ pass or not. I just hate them.
In general, Governor Malloy wants people to know that “Connecticut government a year from now will look very different from today.” He spoke about the consolidation of agencies, and immediately after the interview, I received a press release that the Governor is consolidating the Environmental and Energy agencies. He vowed “not to borrow any money to cover operating expenses” but admitted that “there will effectively be a very large spending cut.”
On the subject of raising taxes, Governor Malloy played coy. He refused to name specifics, reminding us that his budget will be available next week for all to see and discuss. When I asked if he would cut our income tax to create a pro-business environment, he said ” I don’t think that’s a terrible idea….[but] does that mean we should let half our populations out of prison, close half our hospitals…?” Stating that “the biggest driver is the increase in medicaid- health care costs”, the Governor offered no solution to this dilemma. “Do I think Connecticut made some very bad deals? Yes I do”, said Malloy.
The Governor concluded, ” I want people to know that the rules are changing.”
Since we are all in this game, let’s hope we can play by his rules.
The Lisa Wexler show is heard Mondays-Fridays on AM 1400 WSTC/ 1350 WNLK from 4-6 PM EST. Also live streamed on lisawexler.com and ustream.com. A PieceA Lisa podcasts are uploaded daily as well. The following link is to the entire interview.