Republicans Keep Pressure On Malloy For Seat At The Table [CT News Junkie]

June 11, 2015

CT News Junkie

Republican lawmakers are nothing if not persistent.

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano and Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos sent another letter to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy Wednesday to ask him why he excluded them from talks with the business lobby.

Joe Brennan, president and CEO of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, asked for a meeting with Malloy and legislative leaders from both parties to discuss the impact of the tax package approved last week. However, Brennan said Tuesday that Malloy agreed to meet with him one-on-one.

“We thought you wanted to seriously talk about the trickledown effect these taxes will have on everyone in our state,” Fasano and Witkos wrote. “By choosing to leave legislative leaders out of the room, we question whether you are truly serious about addressing the concerns raised by CBIA and thousand of other state residents.”

The two pointed out that at one point, candidate Dan Malloy thought budget negotiations should be opened to the public.

In a March 25, 2010 press release, Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, called on former Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell to open budget negotiations to the media.

“I know this suggestion is going to be dismissed by some as ‘grandstanding’ or me not understanding how the legislature works. Neither is the case,” Malloy said.

He said if he’s elected governor he would open budget negotiations to the media. That never happened. Budget negotiations since Malloy’s first year in the governor’s office have always been closed to the media.

“Today, the governor’s actions don’t match up to his words,” Fasano and Witkos said.

The letter, which was shared with the media, was largely dismissed by Malloy’s administration.

“NEWSFLASH: Senator Fasano writes another angry letter to our office and releases it to press!,” Devon Puglia, Malloy’s spokesman, said.

“For months we’ve asked for constructive ideas on paper – and what we got was a bogus GOP budget filled with hundreds of millions in phantom savings that could never materialize. As we have said previously, we are happy to meet with Joe Brennan one-on-one, since he is much more interested in a constructive dialogue about how Connecticut has one of the lowest effective corporate rate in America.”

The discussion between Brennan and Malloy is expected to take place this week.

Meanwhile, the Working Families Party, Connecticut Citizens Action Group and labor advocates plan to deliver their own letter to CBIA regarding the state’s tax policies on big corporations.