Friday, February 19, 2010

A Rerun in Hartford?


This week I read in the Connecticut Mirror that Governor Rell has proposed canceling bond funding for projects which were already given preliminary approval by the legislature. On the list of cancellations are three in Middletown: $475,000 to South Fire District for renovations of fire stations, $50,000 for watershed management at Crystal Lake, and $1,000,000 for construction of a new building at Kidcity Children's Museum.

Kidcity, oh me, oh my!

Within minutes I had Jen Alexander, founder of Kidcity and erstwhile Eye contributor, on the phone. She laughed at my consternation and alarm, telling me that I had already reported on this last year. That can't be true I said, the report in the Mirror was just published on Wednesday. Take a look, she said.

Sure enough, on March 1 of last year, I breathlessly reported that Rell had proposed the same cuts to the same Middletown entities.

Silly, silly fishmuscle, that was just a show.

In a ritualized performance, the Governor proposes cuts and the legislature prevents them from happening. Making it even more like theater is the fact that these are cuts in proposed bonding, not in actual or even proposed spending. These "cuts" do nothing to address the real and significant deficit in the state's budget in this year or anticipated deficit in future years.

I wish they would have subtitles for this kind of theater, so we would know when to pay attention and when it is just a game that politicians are playing.

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