Two Republicans seeking Governor Dannel Malloy's job made special trips to the state Capital yesterday to react to his State of the State and budget address.
Danbury Mayor Mark boughton says it was an election year speech. He said it sounded like Christmas in the Hall of the house because just about every constituent group was getting a gift. But he says the reality is the budget adds $15 million to the billions that await the state after the November election.
Boughton added that when it comes to income tax relief or property tax relief, it has to be for everyone. He said the Governor can't pick and chose who the candidate is not doing well with in the polls to give a special gift. He says the 45 to 65 age group, which is really hurting in this economy, was left out. He noted that more people have left the workforce than entered and there was little talk about jo retraining.
2010 nominee, Tom Foley questioned Malloy's proposal to use part of the surplus to provide rebates. He called it irresponsible and an election year hand out when the state doesn't have the money for it. He said in all of the education initiatives mentioned by Malloy, there was none for K-12 kids. He said that's where the achievement gap is really measured.
Foley said touting that the state's unemployment rate went down is disingenuous because it's still higher than the national average. He added that most of the improvement came from people leaving the job search because they simply can't find work.
Senate Minority Leader John McKinney is also seeking the party's nomination and said the speech had a lot of political stunts. He called it a complete reversal of everything Malloy has done for the last three years. He pointed to raising taxes which Malloy now wants cut and calling for retired teachers paying more for health care, but now giving them a benefit.
McKinney says either Malloy is admitting he was wrong, or just doing what he needs to in order to be reelected.