HARTFORD--On the eve of his budget address, Gov. Dan Malloy gave Fox CT a preview of the much-anticipated plan. He sat down Tuesday morning with Fox CT's Jenn Bernstein in the halls of the Capitol.
When asked what his message is to Connecticut residents on budget eve, he not surprisingly said transportation was the first topic out of the gates. "I'm going to share with people what a vision to have a first class transportation system would look like over the next 30 years,” said Malloy. “My budget will fund or ramp up to that system." Malloy isn't giving specifics on how he'll fund it, and whether that will include tolls.
"I believe transportation is what's holding Connecticut back. It's why we see slower job growth than we otherwise would see,” said Malloy, “I'm arguing we need to address that. That includes having a funding source."
He also brought up his plan to reduce Connecticut's sales tax from 6.35 percent to 5.95 percent by April 2017. The sales tax on clothing and footwear under $50 was supposed to disappear this July, but Malloy's new plan would keep that tax alive.
The tax on non-prescription drugs, however, would still be phased out.
Republicans criticized the changes, saying Malloy made a promise that's not being fulfilled.
On Tuesday, he brushed off the attacks. "I'm going to lower it to the lowest point it's been since 1971," said Malloy. “I always said that as we made the changes we needed to make to survive the great recession, when we can we should roll some of those back so that's what we're doing."
Recently, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities urged Malloy to maintain state funding levels for towns and cities, citing worries over cuts causing a rise property taxes. "The budget address will cover some of that,” said Malloy. “I'm certainly doing my best to treat municipalities as fairly as we can given the circumstances."
Fox CT will carry his budget address live Wednesday at noon on TV and at foxct.com/live.