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CT Gov. Dan Malloy Talks Budget, Same Sex Marriage

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy in his Capitol office. (Anna Sale/WNYC)

Welcome to Politics Bites, where every afternoon at It's A Free Country, we bring you the unmissable quotes from the morning's political conversations on WNYC. Today on the Brian Lehrer Show, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy discussed state politics and recently passed bills for paid sick leave and the decriminalization of marijuana.

Gay marriage: 'We're not changing history'

As New York inches closer to adopting gay marriage, one wonders what it was like in Connecticut after a court decision legalized same sex marriage in Connecticut. Any instances of gay-bashing, or backlash from certain conservative or religious communities? What about the bureaucracy: did it have difficulty adapting? Dan Malloy's answer on all points: flat-out no. "And why would there be?" he asked.

Historically, two people get married. We're not changing history. We might be changing the sex of individuals or the concept that they're both of the same sex, but we're not changing anything. A registration is a registration is a registration.

Sick leave

Governor Malloy's approval rating might be at a paltry 38 percent, but one proposal passed during the legislative session enjoys an approval margin of 3-1: granting paid sick leave to workers in Connecticut, making it the first state in the nation to do so. The public may love it, but small business owners, particularly restaurants, complain the five paid sick days a year for every employee would take a big bite out of profits.

Malloy said that he understands concerns about extending employee benefits and slowing the economic recovery. But he's heard all this before.

Those kinds of things have been said every time we've made change in the nation. When we stopped children from being able to work, we were going to end the industrial revolution. When we went to the minimum wage, we were going to end the industrial revolution; when we increased the minimum wage, or required Social Security contributions. That argument has been made time and time and time again and yet still, here we are.

Why CT is different

Brian Lehrer pointed out that between New York, New Jersey and Connecticut—three states facing huge budget problems—Malloy's state was the only one to raise taxes. Connecticut also isn't considering a property tax cap, which has become a priority for New York and New Jersey. Why the different tack? Malloy said it was simple: different problems.

We were in a bigger hole. The deficit represents 18 percent of our revenue; New York's is less than nine percent, so we had a different situation. Secondly, and related to that, is that no early work had been done to address these problems in Connecticut, when in fact early work had been done both in New Jersey and New York.

I also stated quite clearly that I would not play any games or gimmicks. Other states aren't funding their pension plans, as if that's savings. Well, that's not really savings. The obligation continues to grow, it just gets handed off to the next governor. In point of fact, that's what happened to me.

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Comments [4]

Transporter from Middlesex County

I just had to "edit" my comments because despite the name "It;s a Free Country" apparently that doesn't include free speech. Malloy is an a**hole who is too stupid to realize that as he institutes the LARGEST, BROADEST TAX INCREASE in the history of our state, the long term and short term effect on small business.

His policy of spend, spend, spend in the face of a $3 BILLION deficit are incredible.

He and his democrat cohorts who pushed this through without a singe republican vote and even blocking the discussion of the republican ideas will undoubtedly be short term officials. The question and problem is the damage they do in the mean time.

CT now has an illegal, unbalanced budget by a governor who claimed no smoke and mirrors and we still have a $1.5 billion hole in the budget.

Jun. 19 2011 08:17 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The clergy already have the opt out to not marry same sex couples under the first amendment.

Jun. 15 2011 10:16 AM
Alfredo from Hartford

Gov Malloy, CT is consistently talking about retaining "young professionals" and preventing brain drain from the state. Let's face it. Young people want to have the OPTION to have fun in their own way. Why does CT still have laws banning the sale of alcohol on Sun, and stop selling at 9pm? This is an arcane law and the lobby against over-turning it is hurting the state from retaining young talent.

Jun. 15 2011 10:16 AM
Jeff from Ct.

Thank you Gov. Dan Malloy for trying to bring common sense to our state by Decriminalizing Marijuana. Prohibitions never work and actually cause the violence they are designed to stop, not to mention the huge waste of $ and young lives in the Criminal Injustice System.
There are much more dangerous legal drugs and Marijuana has Never been written in as the Cause of Death on a Death Certificate.
Bottom line is let us Adults do what we want with our own bodies and hold us to the same responsible standards as driving under the influence of Alcohol , cold medicine, anti depressants, texting and distracted Moms looking back at the kids instead of forward at the road of common sense, responsibility and fiscal reality.

Jun. 15 2011 09:23 AM

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