February 4, 2009

Bristol lawmakers back Rell on education funding

Gov. Jodi Rell’s proposed budget drew some praise from Bristol’s legislative delegation Wednesday.

State Rep. Frank Nicastro, a Bristol Democrat, said he found "some real super positive things" in Rell's speech.

Nicastro said his top priority is education, so he was happy to see that there weren't cuts in state spending in that realm.

"Those children are our future leaders," said Nicastro, whose 79th District covers the southern third of Bristol.

Rell “truly understands that if our state is to succeed, we have to have well-educated children,” said State Rep. Betty Boukus, a Plainville Democrat whose 22nd District includes a sliver of Forestville.

State Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose 78th District includes northwestern Bristol, said Rell "set the right tone" in her address.

"I don't think anything she proposed was a surprise," said Hamzy. "I think she's taking the right approach."

Boukus said she’s pleased that Rell is taking aim at unfunded mandates that push up costs to municipalities, including the in-school suspension requirement.

Nicastro also said he liked the governor's idea for a Connecticut Conservation Corps.

"It gets people to work," said Nicastro, who said his father worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression.

The governor's push for regionalization is good, said Nicastro, if it can save towns money, but he said there are a lot of details he still has to learn.

Rep. Chris Wright, a Bristol Democrat from the 77th District, said the governor's figures are too optimistic.

"She's using numbers that are not real numbers," said Wright. "They are out of date."

Rell was "somewhat less than honest," said Wright, in saying that taxes wouldn't be raised when so many state fees are being increased.

Wright said he's pleased that school funding isn't being cut, but said he's concerned that too much of the cost is being shifted to local property owners.

"I think the property taxes are high enough," said Wright.

But Wright also said there were some points Rell made that he liked, such as eliminating some state agencies and consolidating others.

"Government should be streamlined some," said Wright, who said he also liked the expansion of the bottle bill.

Boukus said she would like to see Rell make a big push on transportation.

As the session goes on, she said, it’s going to be tough.

“It’s going to be like no other budget that I’ve ever experienced,” said Boukus, a longtime lawmaker.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Frank, you have not been a supporter of education since you left the BOE. Do you really believe that what you sputter is believed?

Anonymous said...

Chris Wright still doesn't get it.

Time for his father to give him some more lessons.

Anonymous said...

Frank, for Mayor!

Fix Wards Mess!!

Anonymous said...

Frank, you are a hyprocrite!!!!

Odin said...

To "Anonymous 11:59 pm":

When you say Wright doesn't get it, do you mean that you disagree with his statement that "Government should be streamlined some"? If you're going to criticize him, be specific.

Concerned Conservative said...

I respect what Chris Wright is saying...to a point. It's odd that he's worried about transfering the burden to home-owners through property taxes when the alternative would be to either raise income taxes or for the unions (which is his party's bread and butter) to make major concessions. Which alternative would you favor Chris Wright...or should we just ask your dad the lobbyist to ask the special interests?

Odin said...

Concerned Conservative: damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Posting your opinion of him is therefore kinda pointless, isn't it? You have no respect for him - we get it.

By the way, the bill Chris just introduced is antithetical to the interests of the group that Gardner lobbies for. So much for your not-very-clever jabs.

Anonymous said...

No one loves Frank more then Frank.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Frank & Betty for your classy comments. It's great to see that some politicians recognize the dire situation we are in and are not playing politics. Let's hope this will continue & we can actually get something accomplished without the usual nonsense.

Concerned Conservative said...


Why don't you just try (for your friend Chris Wright) to answer the question instead of attacking me?

I've never met Chris Wright. He's probably a nice person. I just think his politics and his public comments tend to be ridiculous.