Governor-elect Ned Lamont is in Colorado for the weekend meeting of the National Governor’s Association and orientation for newly elected Governors.
In his first full week as Governor-elect he received a strong signal from the state’s major employers and he, in turn has sent a strong signal back on how he plans to address the state’s chronic budget problems. He says he will soon name his Chief of Staff and personnel director and has a national head hunting firm helping him to find leaders for his new administration.
The Democrat from Greenwich says two of his role models for running the state are the Republican Governor of Massachusetts, Charlie Baker and the Democratic Governor of Rhode Island Gina Raimondo adding, “I’m going to have a chance to see some of the other Governors and go through what their best practices around the country this weekend.”
In his first full week as Governor-elect, Ned Lamont appears to be taking a cautious, some might even say conservative approach to the budget and economic challenge ahead. He says he heard loud and clear the message from the state’s top business leaders, “They were pretty frank. They said; ‘this is a state we want to grow, we want to invest, you provide us the trained personnel we need and fix the budget.”
Governor Malloy has provided Lamont with a budget outline for the next two years that includes moving teacher pension costs to the towns and reducing municipal aid. Two things resoundingly rejected by legislators from both parties. Malloy also suggested using some of the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
That was rejected again by Lamont this week saying this is definitely not a rainy day as the economy is growing and he intends to make “structural changes” to the budget….a term used by Republican leaders constantly over the past two years. Lamont adding, “I think it’s a bit of a cop out to rely on the ‘Rainy Day Fund’…..so I don’t want to patch, patch, patch through the ‘Rainy Day Fund’ and other short term fixes, I want a real fix.”
“Short term fixes” is another term used constantly by Republican leaders over the past two years.