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What’s At Stake in CT Special Election: Cuts to Schools, Taxes, and Jobs

February 28, 2017 By Staff
What’s At Stake in CT Special Election: Cuts to Schools, Taxes, and Jobs

With a current tie of 17 Republicans and 17 Democrats in the State Senate, there's a lot more at stake in Tuesday's special election than just two seats.

Connecticut has two special elections for State Senate on Tuesday, one in the heavily Democratic 2nd District and one in the conservative 32nd District. Spending from national liberals in the 32nd has led some to report the race could be competitive.

The 32nd District covers Watertown, Oxford, and eight other towns in northwest Connecticut. Reclaim Connecticut wrote last week about how $14.66 million in Malloy-led cuts to local aid are at stake in the election. The Republican in the race, State Rep. Eric Berthel (R-Watertown), opposes Malloy and his budget.

Since then, a national group called Wolf PAC – led by Bernie Sanders supporter Cenk Uygur – has spent $40,000 trying to sink Berthel. Republicans have pointed to the hypocrisy of liberals spending big money trying to help a party that claims to be against big money in politics.

As noted above, though, a lot more is at stake than just one Senate seat tomorrow.

Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) has said he wants to pass a wage hike (which could kill 40,000 jobs in the state) and marijuana legalization. It would be easier in a Senate with 19 Democrats and 17 Republicans than one with 18 from each party.

Gov. Dan Malloy (D-Conn.) proposed a budget earlier this month that eliminates a popular tax credit, adds new cigarette taxes and gun fees, and cuts hundreds of millions from towns and cities. His wishes may come closer to reality with 19 Democratic senators, as opposed to 18.

Clearly, Looney and Malloy are rooting for the Democrats in Connecticut’s 2nd and 32nd Districts. A lot is on the line for them in Tuesday’s special elections.