January 6, 2011

Opening Day in Hartford

State Sens. Joe Markley and Jason Welch

Despite the inevitability of partisan bickering and budget battles to come, Inauguration Day at the Capitol provided a jolt of hope for a state mired in economic misery.
“It’s exciting. Everybody’s starting a new page,” said Steve Casey, a former state senator from Bristol.
With the opening of the General Assembly session and the swearing-in of Gov. Dannel Malloy as the state’s 88th governor, politicians on both sides of the aisle talked about the necessity of facing Connecticut’s woes head on.
“There’s a little bit of a dreamlike aspect to all of this,” said state Sen. Joe Markley, R-Southington, who was thinking back to his first term in the legislature a quarter century ago.
For state Rep. Frank Nicastro, D-Bristol, the start of the new session is “very exciting” in large part because Malloy is taking hold of the helm.
“We’re going to turn the state around and bring it back,” Nicastro said.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm here,” said state Rep. Betty Boukus, D-Plainville, because of “a blend of old and new” officials and the swearing-in of Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman.
State Rep. Whit Betts, R-Bristol, said he is also excited at the possibilities.
“I hope we can meet on common ground,” Betts said.
State Sen. Jason Welch, R-Bristol, said that a lot of serious work lies ahead to repair the state’s fortunes and that Republicans and Democrats “disagree on how to fix it.”
But, he said, the Democrats in the Senate have been “very welcoming” and he hopes everyone can settle on a course that will get the economy flowing again and create much-needed jobs.
Malloy said the state has reached “a crossroads of crisis and opportunity” and that if its leaders show strength and compassion, they can fix the state’s finances and economy.
“We will need to solve our problems together – by pursuing with great urgency not Republican ideas or Democratic ideas, but good ideas that know no political master or agenda," Malloy said in his address.
State Rep. Chris Wright, D-Bristol, said the first day is always fun, but he’s sure a long and difficult session lies ahead.
“There’s going to be no easy answers,” Wright said, because every spending cut creates howls from whoever is hurt but somehow the state has to fill a multi-billion hole in its budget.
Sacrifices are going to be required, Wright said, and the need to slice spending and raise taxes is “going to upset people, but that’s what we were elected to do.”
Casey, who works for the state’s information technology department, said it helps “to have a new governor who has a lot of hope and vitality and who is willing to take on the massive challenges we have.”
“We’re ready,” Boukus said.
[And here is the New Britain version of this story, which is actually quite different.]

Two new Bristol lawmakers

Bristol’s two new GOP legislators took office Wednesday morning at the Capitol amidst many family and friends.
The weight of responsibility that comes with the office “hit me for the first time today,” said state Rep. Whit Betts. “It was a very serious moment.”
State Sen. Jason Welch said he’d been so busy that the enormity of the job didn’t really sink in until he stood in the Senate chamber.
As the names of each senator were called one by one, he felt thankful for the opportunity to serve.
“We made it. We’re here,” Welch recalled thinking.
Betts said, “It’s now time to face the music.”
Betts won the open 78th District seat representing northwestern Bristol and Plymouth that longtime GOP lawmaker Bill Hamzy of Terryville gave up when he opted not to seek reelection.
Betts and Welch, who unseated a longtime incumbent to win the 31st District seat, joined three Democratic veterans to make up the city’s legislative delegation. The others are state Reps. Frank Nicastro, Chris Wright and Betty Boukus.  Click here for the rest of the story.
Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Concerned Conservative said...

I have no faith what so ever that Chris Wright, Betty Boukus or the rest of the Democrats in the General Assembly will do much of anything to reduce the size and cost of government. Wright's goal still, apparently is to expand government. I have close to the same lack of faith in the Governor elect. I hope I'm wrong.

Anonymous said...

Beauty (male) and a beast (commie).

Anonymous said...

So Steve Casey has a nice cushy state job in information technology? Give me a break! All he knows how to do is sell fish.

Anonymous said...

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING?! What's wrong with those two idiots we elected...they had NO IDEA OF THE ENORMATY of the job that was expected of them?? I can't believe they “actually” admitted to being that STUPID. Oh great, now we have two more useless politicians in Hartford, just what the people need when there is a HUGE BUDGET PROBLEM that these two apparently DIDN’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT. We (voters) had better pay more attention to the people we vote into office next time. Get these two out!!! Can we IMPEACH them?

Anonymous said...

Hey "Concerned Conservative", Wright is more of a Republican in some of his ideas ...guess you can't figure that out or are just shooting off your mouth against ALL Democrats.

Anonymous said...

Yup, Welch is a beaut-E and Betts would be the beast? lol.

Anonymous said...

You the phony concerned conservative have no ideas whatsoever that mean anything and you have nothing to offer except partison politics. You are one of the "useless" anonymous big mouths. Do you honestly think we believe that you haven't any faith but for your own kind?

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to Jason and Whit! Let's hope they are successful in their endeavors to help improve the state of CT.

amarko55 said...

It will be interesting to see if Betts and Welch actually propose constructive solutions or if they merely join the Republicans in proposing things that can't possibly work but don't have a chance of passing. The Repub play book for years has been to force the Dems to do the heavy lifting while sniping from the sidelines. Of course, since they are essentially powerless in the legislature you really can't blame them. At least Rell occassionally proposed innovative ideas, she just never showed up to implement them.

Anonymous said...

We work on average from January 1 to May 17 to pair our share of state local and federal taxes in this state. In the 70's the lottory system was created for the state education system until (both parties) saw the windfall of revenue. The result? Sheff v. O'Neil an enormous failure and a broken school system
In the 90's it was the income tax brought in with lowering the state tax. Lowering the state tax was also ammended to include thousands of items that weren't previously included when the rate was 8%. That brought in million and millions. The revenue from the slot machines, billions. We've seen Republicans and Democrats come and go each with his or her own promises to the state. The result?
The state has lost enough population to loose a representative seat but yet the largest employer in the State of Connecticut is surprisingly, The State of Connecticut. The state is one of the easiest section 8 and welfare havens, but red tape for veterans who have served thier country and need assistance. Now as other states (California, New Jersey, New York, etc.) put the hammer down on the unions, we will be nothing but a Welfare Union state. as we sit and do nothing, we will slowly drown

Get Real said...

It's good to see that the Republicans were able to keep the seat given up by Bill Hamzy and to take one from arguably one of the most one-sided (being kind) State Senators in Connecticut.

The Republicans will still be marginalized by the large majorities in both the state House and Senate. This trend will continue until the massive amount of influence that public labor unions (which basically control the Democrat Party) can be curbed by insituting Right to Work Laws or limiting the amount of influence that these public labor unions have on politics. Until that happens Connecticut will continue to shread jobs and population to more business-friendly states generally controlled by Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Your union meme is amusing if ignorant. Like a playful child unaware that he is sticking a metal object in an electrical outlet...

Since you all seem to think unions are the cause of all your misery you should move to someplace that lives by the dream of your conservative paradise. Some place like Texas.

Texas where 20% of the public workforce is unionized.

Texas where the state has a 25 billion dollar budget deficit.

Texas which is in almost as bad a fiscal situation as New Jersey and California.

Texas which has the worst healthcare for its residents in America.

Texas which teaches it's children that Thomas Jefferson almost had nothing to do with founding this nation...

Yes you too can be part of this wonderful paradise that gives "hell on earth" a proper place.

stuck with stupid said...

January 8, 2011 11:02 AM:

Connecticut Democrats and their supporters (like you) don't get it.

Texas not only is in NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM in the same fiscal crisis as California or New York. Texas has the best economy is the country. Actually Gov. elect Cuomo is taking steps to make New York more like Texas, while the Malloy is trying to make Connecticut more like the France.

Anonymous said...

Blah, Blah, Blah. Same old and I do say and mean old Republicans with the same old rhetorical whining!