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In the News 

Lamont, Democratic lawmakers, have different visions to rebalance CT's finances amid crises


The CT Mirror

June 24, 2020

While the new state budget that begins July 1 poses tough – yet manageable – challenges, they pale in comparison to those facing state officials seven months from now.

Ask Gov. Ned Lamont and the legislature’s Democratic majority how they’ll close a projected $4 billion gap over two years — likely with nothing left in the rainy day fund — and they’ll usually deflect with the same answers.

Maybe Congress will approve more aid for states.

Perhaps the economy will rebound quickly.

But dig a little deeper, and it becomes clear the business-sensitive governor and his more liberal base are headed in opposite directions.

Lamont last week was assuring business leaders it’s time to rein in spending and keep taxes stable.

“If the economy comes back by the end of this calendar year, we’ll be in pretty good shape, which means we’ll have to tighten our belts,” Lamont told business leaders from Westport and Weston last week during a teleconference meeting.

At the same time, Democrats on the Appropriations Committee were quizzing department heads, making sure they’re not pinching pennies and curtailing services amidst a social and health care crises.

© Copyright 2020, The Connecticut News Project. All Rights Reserved.

Lamont:  Surging COVID-19 cases in other states could prevent mid-July reopening of CT's bars

The CT Mirror

June 29, 2020

Gov. Ned Lamont warned Monday he’s reconsidering reopening bars in mid-July as new data shows the coronavirus spreading quickly in other parts of the nation, including in states that border the Northeast.

And while surging caseloads in the nation’s major southern and western states dominate the headlines, Lamont also acknowledged the spread is creeping closer to Connecticut, with rising infections in Ohio and other Rust Belt states.

“I would probably say I’m rethinking that [after] looking at what’s going on in other states,” Lamont said of the planned reopening of bars in Phase 3 of his economic roadmap for Connecticut, adding he likely would have more to say after July 4. “You hope for the best and you plan for the worst.” 

Besides reopening bars and amusement parks in mid-July, the administration’s plan currently calls for limits on indoor gatherings to grow in about two weeks from 25 people to 50. The limit on outdoor gatherings would jump from 100 to 250.

Lamont already has carved out an early exception to the mid-July outdoor limit for fireworks. Effective July 3, groups as large as 500 can gather outdoors for these demonstrations, provided groups of guests are spread at least 15 feet apart.

© Copyright 2020, The Connecticut News Project. All Rights Reserved.





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