In a concise Op-Ed Piece appearing in Today’s New London DAY, exploring democratic candidate Dan Malloy chastizes Governor Rell for failing to take charge in the current budget stand off.
That it’s come to this is largely due to a failure of leadership on the part of Gov. M. Jodi Rell. As our state’s chief executive, it’s her job to be a leader and a facilitator. Unfortunately, while the Republican governor’s rhetoric around the budget in February was encouraging, it was ultimately empty. Instead of leading the charge, the governor presented a budget that fell more than $2 billion short, put the legislature on the defensive and then waited for months to begin correcting it (to date, we’ve still not seen a balanced budget).
That’s not facilitating – it’s using a political tactic that is unfortunately all too familiar in Connecticut: one side tries to rig the game by setting the other up to fail before a dialog has even begun.
Meanwhile, my fellow Democrats, who have majority control in the legislature, say they plan to put their version of a balanced budget up for a vote. The governor provided a distant response through a spokesman that amounted to “I dare you.” That’s not leadership; that’s gamesmanship.
Put a budget on the table
Malloy then calls on his experiences in setting the budget in Stamford.
Through all those balanced-budget cycles I learned that if you are not willing to step up and provide workable solutions as an honest starting point, the process simply doesn’t work. The legislature has to do its job, but it can’t do its job and the governor’s job at once.
Rather than spending the coming days planning for what happens without approval of a budget, for what happens if another deadline passes and more fingers get pointed, the governor and legislature must decide together that failure is not an option. It is time to change the game by ending the games.
Although not as hard on his Democratic Legislative brethern as he might be, Mayor Malloy certainly on the right track. There are seven days left to craft and pass a budget for all.