Barely four months in office, and Governor Ned Lamont is facing a serious uprising against his authority.
Not only have members of his own party advanced a plan to hike taxes on the wealthy that he opposes, they have joined with Republicans in an attempt to remove his control over the state credit card.
The powerful Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee voted overwhelmingly 46 to 4 on Wednesday night to recreate the State Bonding Commission. The proposal was written and ushered through the committee by committee co-chairman Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford).
He told News 8, “I think the vote yesterday suggests strongly that it isn’t just me, but a lot of my colleagues feel strongly.”
The Governor has only permitted one Bonding Commission meeting so far this year, cancelling four others because he wants to curtail state borrowing.
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But lawmakers from both political parties say his “Debt Diet” is starving important stuff like affordable housing projects.
Senate Minority Leader Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) said, “The legislature should have more say of where the bonding money goes. I think we’re left out. We give the approval, then we’re left out, and the Governor controls it and we’ve got to ask him.”
Asked about the committee vote at an event in New London on Thursday, the Governor said, “This is tough. They’ve been borrowing for an awful long time, and the Republicans want to borrow on transportation and the folks on the Finance Committee want to borrow for a lot of their own hometown projects, and I’ve got to be strict on that and I will.”
Lamont is bolstered in his position by the fact that the bond rating agencies have reacted favorably to his pledge to hold the line on borrowing in his Debt Diet.
Asked if he would he veto this proposal if the House and Senate give it final passage, he responded, “I would.”