EXCLUSIVE: Boughton on the Budget: “We Have a Spending Problem in Connecticut”February 9, 2017
Part 1 of 2 from our interview with Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury), who's considering a run for statewide office, on Gov. Dan Malloy's (D-Conn.) budget.
Mayor Mark Boughton (R-Danbury) told Reclaim Connecticut there are “a lot of unanswered questions” in the budget introduced on Wednesday by Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.). “It raises more questions than solves problems,” Boughton said.
Boughton shared his thoughts in a wide-ranging interview on the budget with Reclaim Connecticut. Boughton is strongly considering a run to succeed Malloy as governor.
Boughton insisted “[w]e have a spending problem in Connecticut.” He added “[i]t’s costing us companies. It’s costing us business. And it’s costing us jobs.”
Malloy’s budget cuts $1.36 billion in spending, but over half of that figure ($700 million) comes from “assumed labor savings” that Boughton claims Malloy has “no roadmap” to achieve.
“He’s projecting $700 million in employee savings, but has no roadmap … to achieve those savings,” Boughton said. Malloy’s budget notes that the state “is seeking a voluntary agreement to change pension and benefit terms.”
Boughton suggested a two-tiered approach to fixing the state’s budget woes: 1) clear the way for job creation, and 2) make state government more efficient.
“The best way to cure our budget woes is to create more jobs,” the Danbury mayor said. “Look to reduce costs and lower the bottom line of the state budget.”
On the former subject, Boughton said the state’s business environment is “horrible”:
“What’s disappointing is that what Connecticut suffers from his a horrible business environment. A business environment that doesn’t encourage economic growth, the entrepreneurial spirit that resides in Connecticut residents.”
On the latter, the mayor said Connecticut has yet to assure residents it is doing everything to “make the organization more efficient”:
“You’ve got to assure [residents] you’ve done everything you can to make the organization more efficient, to be able to deliver the best services at the most affordable price. We haven’t done that yet.”
Overall, though, Boughton noted this budget proposal “is just a start.” The budget season is long, and stakeholders will weigh in often over the next several months.
Check back on Friday for part 2 of our interview, covering Malloy’s shift of teacher pensions onto towns and cities, and what other small town leaders are telling Boughton about the budget.
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