• Connecticut Survives The 2024 Legislative Session

    In A Deep Blue State, Liberals Received Very Little Except Those Who Work For The Government

    Hartford Capitol. Public Domain.

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    You would never know from the outcome of the 2024 legislative session that the Democrats control the governorship and approximately two-thirds of both houses.

    But a closer examination of this session reveals that two basic tenants of Connecticut politics still hold sway no matter who is in power.

    The raison d’etre of our government is to fund pensions and health insurance for government workers. Just two years ago, the Democrats gave $3,500 bonuses to government employees including judges who make high salaries.  Now they have just received a 4.5% raise over two years. And these raises increase pension benefits which are also indexed to inflation. Thus, a government employee who retires at sixty receiving an annual $100,000 pension will receive $250,000 to $300,000 annually at 90. These pensions are underfunded, and massive tax increases will be needed in the future to make them whole.

    There was even a bill to pay striking workers, but this was even too much for Governor Lamont who has thankfully promised to veto it.

    The liberal lily white suburbs will remain lily white.  Connecticut’s posh suburban towns have zoning laws that construct figurative moats, especially in Fairfield County. Those fortunate to live Darien, Westport or Fairfield (where I live), have access to nice beaches, safe neighborhoods, good schools, nature preserves and trains with convenient access to New York City. The rest of the state is on the outside looking in.

    Thus, every election cycle we have a variation of some tweaking of an “affordable housing” law called H-30g whose supposed goal is to remove these figurative moats. This law gives developers legal redress if a town rejects their proposals for affordable housing. However, towns are exempt if 10% of their total housing stock is designated affordable. As you may have guessed, this results in endless litigation.

    This link shows you the affordable housing options in Westport. Notice how every apartment complex with affordable housing states “Waitlist closed.” And the average rent in Westport’s Sasco Creek Village is $1,952! This comes to close to $24,000 a year! Thus, a family making $48,000 would have to spend half its income on rent! I hope the refrigerators are stocked with chateaubriand when a family moves in.

    There were two surprising developments:

    The Climate Change Activists received very little.  Connecticut was poised to proclaim that we are in the midst of a “Climate Emergency” and pass all sorts of gimmicks to reduce use of fossil fuels and even ban the sales of gas-powered cars by 2030. Republicans along with the Yankee Institute worked like dogs to stop this legislation but Governor Lamont is the gift that keeps on giving.

    The Governor – a supposed champion of the environment – chopped down almost 200 trees near his property while not obtaining the requisite permits to do so. This is the action of a man who does not believe in responsible stewardship of environmentally sensitive areas but believes his wealth immunizes him from rule of law. This obvious hypocrisy stopped the momentum for Climate Change legislation.

    The Secular Left did poorly. There was not even an attempt this year to legalize euthanasia and attempts to change verbiage in some legislation from “expectant mothers” to “pregnant persons” failed. Two bills to allow Medicaid to pay for fertility treatments for gays and single parents died.

    But the Secular Left did want to force Catholic Hospitals to promote abortion. This legislation made very little sense because Connecticut is already The Abortion State. Planned Parenthood clinics proliferate in minority neighborhoods and the State’s web site promoting abortion has a Black model.

    Governor Lamont even made a video encouraging businesses to move to Connecticut because abortion is legal at any time during pregnancy. This legislation also failed to pass.

    But at least Connecticut is safe until next year, unless a special session is called.

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    Author

    Dr. Joseph Bentivegna

    Dr. Joseph Bentivegna is an ophthalmologist in private practice who ran for Congress and US Senate in Connecticut. You can subscribe to his Substack here: https://substack.com/@jfbentivegna

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