August 25, 2009

Democrats: Rell needs to lead

Democratic leaders expressed growing frustration this week with Gov. Jodi Rell for failing to take the lead in resolving a budget impasse that’s beginning to cut into services that people rely on.

“It’s getting very scary,” said city Councilor Cliff Block. “Somebody’s got to take control.”

Among the programs feeling the pinch from the budget standoff in Hartford are Head Start, Dial-a-Ride, the Retired Senior Volunteer Program and early childhood education as a whole.

Mayor Art Ward said, “We’re starting to see the ramifications of working without a budget.”

“People are hurting,” said Bob Badal, the city’s Democratic registrar, and they need help.

Democrats pin the blame for the crisis on Rell for her unwillingness to negotiate seriously or to agree to tax hikes on the state’s wealthiest residents.

“Her lack of leadership has been astounding,” said state Sen. Gary LeBeau, an East Hartford Democrat who’s eyeing a gubernatorial run. “It’s disgraceful.”

But Republicans, including state Rep. Bill Hamzy, a Plymouth Republican whose 78th District includes Bristol, said Democrats haven’t bargained in good faith yet.

"Governor Rell wants to see the Democrats' proposed cuts,” said Adam Liegeot, one of the governor’s spokesmen. “If the cuts are real, then this represents progress."

“Somebody has to make some bold choices,” said Joella Bouchard Mudry, a Democratic activist.

The lack of state funds caused the Bristol Community Organization to slice its Dial-a-Ride program in half and to lay off a part-time staffer for the RSVP program.

The city also found that it was paid back only 89 percent of the money due for early Ward said the city is already in the hole as a result.

“It’s really, really, really frustrating,” Ward said.

LeBeau said that the cuts that have been made were done entirely by Rell.

“These are her cuts and this is where she wants to go,” he said.

LeBeau said that Rell won’t talk with Democrats about alternatives.

“This has been a giant charade,” LeBeau said, “and it looks terrible for the state.”

“She doesn’t talk to anybody except Lisa Moody,” LeBeau said, referring to the governor’s top aide.

LeBeau said he thought that officials in Hartford would cut a deal before the end of the month in order to avoid tapping rainy day funds that will be needed later.

But now, he said, it appears there won’t be a resolution until the heat reaches a boiling point in October when state educational aid isn’t sent to towns and cities across Connecticut.

City Comptroller Glenn Klocko said that if the city doesn’t get its first installment of Educational Cost Sharing money in October, it would quickly have cash flow problems.

He said Bristol “would try desperately not to borrow” the money if the budget impasse drags on, preferring instead to put off purchases and hope for a resolution.

“It would be delay, delay, delay,” Klocko said.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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Anonymous said...

Why wait for Rell? Why don't the Democrats lead by cutting the budget and refusing to raise taxes on their constituents who are already hurting? I'm sure Rell will jump right in when she sees the Democrats actually represent the people who elected them.

Anonymous said...

Rell needs to retire or resign.

Anonymous said...

Rell is leading. The Democrats just don't like how. They are not exactly on the sidelines here. What have they done?

Anonymous said...

If the Dems want to pass a budget they can pass a budget. They control both the state house and state senate.They are constitutionally obligated to make and pass a budget, not Governor.

It appears to me they are looking to Rell so they can lay the blame of the budget cuts and tax increases on the Governor.

Years of budget increases is finally catching up with the legislature. There will need to be cuts and they will affect everybody.

Anonymous said...

i completely agree with 11:19. when gary lebeau spoke at the DTC meeting on Monday, he acted like he and the rest of our democratic legislature can do nothing in the face of the governor's inaction on the budget and have no responsibility for the state of the State. frankly, its a bunch of crap.
we have different branches of government that exercise checks and balances on each other, right? the legislature is not powerless. the dems in the legislature are not powerless. if the dems' claims re rell's lack of leadership and failure to live up to her constitutional mandate to submit a balanced budget are TRUE, then they should get the PR rolling and start to tarnish her reputation now, instead of waiting until october 15, or whatever. geez. our entire State government appears to be completely ineffectual. it is embarassing and very dangerous for all of us!!

Anonymous said...

The democrates will not cut spending...they will raise taxes and give out union jobs benefits and pay raises...that is how democrates stay in office...they buy votes with our tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

There won't be a budget until Halloween. People better learn to live within their means instead of looking for more money.

NOT mine said...

My hope is that Gov. Rell stands her ground in favor of the taxpaying citizens of Connecticut and CUTS SPENDING to balance the budget .

Anonymous said...

All the legislators who want to raise taxes need to be voted out, for our survival.

Odin said...

In Rell's refusal to raise taxes on the wealthy she is pandering to her constituents: the wealthy. I get it. But can't the Democrats go around her and pass a budget with their veto-proof majority? Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

What does Ward know about leadership?

Anonymous said...

Hey dems, why didnt you come up with a budget 4 weeks ago? Why did you waste taxpayer money on an extended session. You have the votes to pass it. Or would that require a set of B#^^s. Dont hold Rell as a crutch you can do it anytime you want.

Blame game the Dems are a crock of SH^%.

Frustrated Democrat said...

We Democrats have a veto proof majority. So where is our leadership. Not having a budget by now is not acceptable. We have only ourselves to blame.

-Frustrated Democrat

Anonymous said...

I thought that Nicastro was going to get things straightened out, just like he did in Bristol (or so he says).

Anonymous said...

The State of Connecticut has a Democratic Super Majority. By definition, they have the upper hand in everything. Nothing can be vetoed or philibusterd.This is the first time since the late 1800's that this state hasn't passed a budget and it costs the taxpayer roughly $12,000 for each additional session. They can't pass a budget amongst themselves and they have no chance at a veto. Coincidince or ignorance. It filters down through the cities with the parties too, sheer arrogance and ignorance.

Anonymous said...


What does Ward know about budgets?

Anonymous said...

After two weeks,nobody has come up with anything.

That speaks volumes!