A NOTE: Lt. Gov. Michael Fedele will be joining us on Thursday, February 5th, at 3:30 to discuss the budget. Please be sure to stop by and ask a question! He’ll be talking with commenters on the site for about an hour.
A quick rundown of budget-related news:
State Employee Unions Offer Concessions
Better Choices Kicks off Campaign
A coalition of nonprofit providers, public service workers, and community and advocacy organizations released their own alternative budget plan on Monday, called Better Choices for Connecticut. It’s an interesting alternative that would balance the budget by increasing income taxes on the wealthiest, raising cigarette and alcohol taxes, scaling back tax breaks for the wealthiest, increasing the sales tax to 7.0% and reform corporate taxes. You can read the plan here (PDF). Take a look at a few charts:
You can also read about the unveiling of the plan here at CTNJ. I doubt that the governor or the legislature will enact this plan in full, but don’t be surprised if some of these ideas don’t make it to what the legislature’s passed budget.
State agencies are preparing for cuts, however. Many agencies will probably feel cuts before the year is done, it’s hard to imagine a budget that doesn’t have some cuts in it.
Interestingly, it looks like the governor will be proposing some sort of Connecticut version of the Civilian Conservation Corps to help the unemployed. Rell’s father, it turns out, worked with the CCC during the Great Depression.
The Old State House will be opening its doors to the public tomorrow for a television viewing of the governor’s budget address. If you want to watch the governor speak in style, surrounded by history, this is a great opportunity. Doors open at 11am. I wish I could go!
Lastly, expect some fierce responses to the governor’s speech from all three Democrats exploring runs for governor.
What do you think’s going to happen tomorrow?