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Capitol Report: February 7, 2021

Capitol Report

(WTNH) — COVID-19 has changed the landscape on everything and a group of progressive Democrats is calling on Governor Lamont to keep his campaign promise to provide middle-class relief.

They’re proposing solutions aimed at taxing the rich, which they say will raise billions for programs aimed at education equity, housing and healthcare.

And with the Governor’s budget address comes the million dollar question: “Will my taxes go up?”

The Trump era may be over in Washington, but the aftershocks of a tumultuous four years and an upcoming senate impeachment trial appears to be having a lasting effect on the Republican party in Connecticut.

According to the secretary of the state’s office, more than 6,600 Connecticut Republicans have dropped their affiliation with the GOP since the election. Compare that to 2016, the number was 1,700. That’s a nearly 300% increase.

If Governor Ned Lamont’s State of the State was the appetizer, the main course arrives Wednesday with his budget address CT Mirror Bureau Chief Mark Pazniokas joined Capitol Report to discuss what lies ahead.

When Connecticut started allowing Sunday liquor sales in 2012, it started a domino effect of changes to Connecticut’s booze industry.

Longer hours for stores the expansion of the state’s craft beer industry to name a few. And now a push is being made to allow the sale of wine in grocery stores and the sale of beer in big box stores like Target and Wal-Mart.

Many believe this change is long overdue and it’s simply about convenience. But, you know who doesn’t like this? Package store owners.

A couple of New Haven Democrats in the legislature are pushing to make pizza the official state food. Seems like an obvious choice. New Haven pie consistently ranks as some of the best in the nation — Sally’s, Pepe’s, Modern.

Rep. Patricia Dillon spoke to News 8 about why she’s co-sponsoring legislation to recognize this slice of Connecticut’s culinary history.

Finally, longtime institutions like Augie and Ray’s Drive-In are struggling to survive during the pandemic. And last week, the good folks a Barstool Sports provided some financial help to the restaurant through their Barstool Fund that’s helping ‘little guy’ restaurants across the country.

Unfortunately, one of Augie and Ray’s most popular customers didn’t factor into the decision-making process.

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