Dems Push Big Five: Minimum Wage, Family Leave, Tolls, Sports Betting, Pot

Holding significant advantages over Republicans going into the January legislative session–in the House 92-59 and Senate 23-13–Connecticut Democrats are pushing what they call a Big Five agenda: raising the minimum wage, paid family and medical leave, electronic highway tolls, approving sports betting and legalizing recreational marijuana, the latter three new revenue enhancers.

More on this from Chris Keating, Hartford Courant:

Lamont has repeatedly called for the legalization of recreational marijuana, but he said he has other immediate priorities when asked whether marijuana should be fast-tracked in Connecticut after retail sales recently started in Massachusetts.

“Look, my priority No. 1 is to get a budget, get people around that table, and get a budget that’s not meant to last for one year but a budget that helps us to have a blueprint for the next four and eight years,” Lamont said.

The two-year budget of more than $40 billion is expected to dominate the legislative session that starts when Lamont and legislators are sworn in on Jan. 9. Although the state’s rainy day fund is now expected to reach as high as $2.1 billion, the projected deficit in each of the next two years is expected to be at least $2 billion. The fiscal year that starts on July 1 is about $2 billion.

Full story here.

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24 comments

  1. Minimum wage might reduce jobs immediately .
    Family leave will cost money and prove administratively impossible.
    Tolls and pot will backfire because those who act LAST benefit the least. Tolls will make CT a target.
    Sports betting is where we’re behind the curve. Read Lennie’s ad, Sportstech is waiting on Hartford!
    My number one priority = reduced spending, the kind that rewrites contracts and solves problems.

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    1. Pot won’t backfire. You underestimate the amount of people who would appreciate a local option to buy and enjoy marijuana. It’s a no brainer Now, if you add tolls and DON’T legalize pot you’d have an argument because the revenue made from charging everyone from NYC driving to Mass to buy weed would be significant.

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  2. HOW Connecticut can have a fortress-style balance sheet via Sports Betting:
    Gamblers crave the action. Devise an insurance-based product that refunds 50% of your losses and forfeits 20% of any wins. Such a product would exploit our identity as the insurance capital while attracting outside gamblers. This increases frequency, velocity and puts all the good laws of economics in motion. Nothing beats importing money.
    Bonus: Bridgeport can grab a special slice of this pie when Hartford turns on the green light.

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    1. Hey Local Eyes, I think you should go see an optometrist you might have a astigmatism. 🙂 I see your vast knowledge of politics and economics goes beyond Bridgeport’s borders. I swear to God Bridgeport’s like my high school math text book. It has a lot of fucking problems. 🙂 Ned, Joe, Moore, and Chris, I would say Mario too but someone have be the loser. JK TBK where you at. 🙂 focus people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2d_dtTZQyUM

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  3. The sports book and the legal weed will do the trick. Highway tolls are a waste of money. The funds never ever go into the transportation fund. Lamont is going to have a hard time weaning the legislature away from that cash teat.

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  4. MAKING Connecticut the only destination for 99% of all sports betting because of our unique product?
    Now that’s the kind of steady habit we need more of!
    (You don’t win big until you dream big)

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  5. Paid leave paid for by the workers is a no brainer.
    Tolls paid for by the truckers another no brainer.
    Have the minimum wage have step increase every year until it reaches $15 an hour. It’s a compromise everyone can live with. Next.
    Sports betting has to be tied into off the reservation casino gambling. Allow for off the reservation then the casinos get a bigger cut. Don’t allow for off the reservation then go nuts with sports betting.
    And as for legalizing pot? Only if a substantial percent of the revenues towards instituting real and meaningful drug prevention measures.

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  6. Don’t bother to ask how to make CT a more business friendly place to be.
    Trumpism isn’t working nationally. Why would one think it would work in Connecticut.

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  7. Tolls will be another tax on lower-echelon, commuting workers… Terrible, unjust idea… And any transportation money that is used to facilitate more commuting in support of down-county development is bad news for the rest of the state/state economy… Minimum wage: Right idea, but not something that this third-world state can sustain with most businesses that are already paying less than minimum wage operating too close to the margins — with our corruption-based, crippling, utility prices and property taxes already forcing small, lower-wage businesses to fold or sell-out to larger corporations (where applicable — e.g., independent drug stores, et al….). Pot sales and sports better aren’t going go very far in addressing our huge, increasing deficits… Legalize them, but don’t expect much mileage from those sources… Family leave is absolutely indicated, but again, in this state, the employment places where it is needed most are least able to accommodate…

    This state needs massive economic growth based on wealth-creating businesses that pay living wages and are capable of contributing to the local and state tax-bases…

    Ned has some very heavy lifting to do… (The first thing that he should do is get utility prices to where they should be, which means killing DEEP and bringing back free-standing, well-managed, transparent, corruption-free Public Utility Control, Energy, and Environmental Protection departments that are designed to serve and protect the consumer and the average citizen…)

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  8. Jeff, you say the state needs wealth-creating businesses that pay living wages and are capable of contributing to the local and state tax-bases. Where and what kind of jobs are those? Connecticut as Bridgeport was a manufacturing dynamo and those jobs are never coming back because you wanted cheap TVs, cheap washer and dryers, cheap stoves and refrigerators and cheap cars. Those manufacturing jobs went to China, Japan the Philippines and other Asian countries because they could build them cheaper and that’s what you wanted.

    Your bloviating and your ability to call attention to the obvious without the benefit of resolve is like a hard on and nothing to start on.

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  9. Donald: Why did you attack my comment but offer no intelligent response to that comment except a general condemnation with no supportive analysis offering a viable counter to my argument? You didn’t do justice to your intent, whether or not you realize that…
    And, understand that I support a minimum wage ($15/hr in Connecticut is still only 50% of the way there…). But you certainly understand that the businesses where most jobs and job opportunities exist in Connecticut are small concerns, with small bottom lines that barely justify opening their doors… Don’t you see all of the restaurants, diners and Subways, etc., closing? Just in Bridgeport?
    And, as far as appropriate industries and jobs for Connecticut that could pay living wages and benfits, I’ve been writing about them for years — I used to get full pages in the Connecticut Post describing the industries and a plan to put them in place that could resurrect Bridgeport and the rest of the state. I plan to do a piece in this regard and ask Lenny to publish it in OIB (within a week, or so…)
    In the mean time, in between compiling your data base of bloviation in the blogosphere, I suggest that you use your prodigious research skills, reach back into the archives of the Post, et al., and get a clue about where I’m coming from before you make any more incorrect assumptions concerning the latter — if you care to make valid points in your criticisms in that regard…
    Good luck with your research and pursuit of solid ground in your critical pursuits!

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  10. Jeff, I guess offering an intelligent response is in the eye or ear of the beholder. What you did was talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way. Intelligent? I bet you think it was but I personally think that you were bloviating and your ability to call attention to the obvious without the benefit of resolve.

    You don’t like tolls, aren’t crazy about recreational weed or sports betting, yet you offer no other means of raising money for the state other than saying the state needs wealth-creating businesses that pay living wages and are capable of contributing to the local and state tax-bases. Hell everyone in the state wants that, but how or what my intelligent one.

    Again, what and where are those jobs that will lift this state to financial viability? How about an intelligent response from you on this question rather than your continued ability to speak pompously.

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  11. One marijuana store in Massachusetts grossed over $2,000,000.00 in one day. Why are Lamont and the legislature still dicking around with tolls on the highways?

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