Former co-chair of fiscal stability commission: Gov. Lamont’s budget gets ‘high marks’

Gov. Ned Lamont gets high marks for the both the policy recommendations and the collaborative style reflected in his biennial budget proposal released this week.

For those of us from the private sector who labored for 16 months in producing two reports for the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, we can finally say that somebody is listening. While the commission has formally disbanded and these views are my own, I can say with confidence that they reflect the policies we endorsed and the thinking of most of our members.

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There is no shortage of ideas to address the extremes of income and wealth inequality that threaten Connecticut’s economic future.

Whether it involves the investments in education and social programs that liberals favor, or the austerity and tax cuts espoused by conservatives, there’s general agreement on the need to reduce Connecticut’s deep pockets of poverty.

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Editorial: Bold action required to fix Connecticut’s finances

The issue: It is no secret that Connecticut has been in a “permanent fiscal crisis,” as the governor’s budget director put it several years ago. Sure, there’s been a few bright spots, such as higher-than-expected tax revenues recently. But unfunded pension liabilities are reaching a critical mass which is dragging the state down and in the next fiscal year will push to an estimated $2 billion deficit. Shuffling funds from one pot to another is no longer adequate — restructuring is required.

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Editorial: State needs to swallow cures to its ailments

The Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth is a team of doctors offering a second opinion on the state’s financial health.

It supports a diagnosis we all suspected: The state has the flu. It’s had it for some time.

The patient must be willing to take a course of corrective action, and not just sip from a cup of warmed-over chicken soup poured from a dusty can in the back of the cupboard.

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Fiscal panel report renews call for legislature to tackle tax reform

Hartford — Formed by the state legislature in 2017 and officially disbanded earlier this year, the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth — now a collection of private citizens — resurfaced Wednesday, releasing an updated version of its plan for restoring Connecticut’s “competitive edge.”

Like the initial report, “Report 2.0” focuses on stabilizing state government spending, stimulating economic growth and creating jobs.

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Op-ed: Here's How Connecticut Gets Out Of Financial Trouble

The Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, created by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the legislature in 2017, has continued as an entirely private-sector group advocating structural changes in Connecticut’s fiscal and economic policies. As its co-chairmen, we have been crisscrossing the state talking to thousands of people about needed changes and have now gathered this feedback into our Report 2.0. Our revised recommendations are guided by the imperative of improving Connecticut’s competitiveness. We believe that they can put Connecticut back on the path to growth and prosperity.

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They’re Back

Two business executives on Wednesday brought back to life their proposals to fix Connecticut's broken budget and slow-growth economy.

James Smith and Robert Patricelli, who earlier this year headed a panel of business executives that recommended personal income tax cuts and higher sales and corporate taxes among numerous other proposals, submitted what they call “Report 2.0.”

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General Assembly Balks At Economic Reform Initiative, Votes For More Study

With the flight of corporations, young people and retirees from Connecticut and its stagnant economy, the General Assembly was under pressure to respond.

But before adjourning Wednesday and heading for the campaign trail, state lawmakers scaled back a sweeping set of recommendations intended to point Connecticut in a different direction as it struggles with declining revenue and a shrinking economy.

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Statement of Co-Chairs of Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth Concerning the Bipartisan Budget Agreement

“On behalf of the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth, we congratulate the leaders of the General Assembly on again fashioning a bipartisan budget.  We are pleased that several studies of proposals made by the Commission were authorized as part of the bill, indicating serious interest in our work.  These studies are only seeds, which might grow into structural reform in future years – rather than reform itself – but it is a start down the long road of fixing our state’s deep-seated problems. 

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