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Promises made: A cheat sheet for top issues in governor’s race

Connecticut’s gubernatorial candidates: from left, Ned Lamont (D, Bob Stefanowski (R) and Oz Griebel (I). (CT Mirror0

The election is Nov. 6.

HARTFORD, CONN. – Campaign promises haved piled up like orange and yellow leaves this election cycle. We built this tool to keep track of how the three leading candidates for governor say they would steer Connecticut forward if elected.

Check out this summary of the candidates’ stands on key topics:

CASINOS

Stefanowski (R)
Open to Bridgeport casino proposed by MGM
“I’m open to it. I’ve met with MGM. I’ve met with the tribes. I think we need to be careful about what it does to employment trends in the eastern part of the state.”

Lamont (D)
Not a high priority, but the money makes it worth a look
“On my list of priorities, another casino is pretty far down that list.” But if a private casino developer wants to invest $700 million to $800 million in a city like Bridgeport, “I’d take a look at it. I would have an open process.”
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Griebel (I)
Concerned about impact on tribal casino revenue deal
Griebel is cautious about the prospect of a non-tribal casino, noting it would imperil a longstanding revenue-sharing deal with the tribal casinos in southeastern Connecticut that produces more than $200 million a year. “That’s a big deal for us.”
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CHARTER SCHOOLS

Stefanowski (R)
More charter schools
“I think we need to provide more choice,” he said. “But it’s certainly not at the expense of the [traditional neighborhood] public school system.”
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Lamont (D)
No more charter schools
“I just worry about how we get them funded. I am trying to do no harm for our existing districts, our districts most in need. So let me be very careful before I promise funding to any new alternatives,” Lamont said.
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CLOSING BUDGET DEFICITS

Stefanowski (R)
Has not offered specifics
“I can tell you I can find 5 percent of waste, fraud and abuse in this government. And I can take out a billion dollars,” he said of the state’s $20 billion operating budget. He has also promised to get savings from state employee labor unions. He has not provided specifics where the cuts or givebacks would be achieved.
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Lamont (D)
Has not offered specifics
“I don’t want to rule anything in or out,” Lamont said of getting givebacks from labor. He has ruled out most options available to close a major post-election deficit in state finances.
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Griebel (I)
Tap rainy day fund & seek to defer pension contributions
“We would use the rainy day fund. If it is raining now financially, then I don’t know what rain looks like,” he said of tapping the rainy fund. He also plans to seek union permission to defer pension contributions. (Unions are not required to provide this and leaders have said this would be a mistake).
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DESEGREGATE SCHOOLS

Stefanowski (R)
Open more regional, integrated magnet schools
“I think it is critical that kids be surrounded by kids that are different from them. Most of the studies that you see show that a diverse student body allows kids to better perform. I think the more these schools are representative of the real world, the better off we are all going to be.” If state economy improves, he would use additional revenue to open more regional magnet schools.
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Lamont (D)
Enough with opening regional, integrated magnet schools
“I happen to think we have to raise up the level of [neighborhood] schools in the city,” he said. “I think we can take a pause on this.”
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Griebel (I)
Enough with opening regional, integrated magnet schools
“We need to do more in individual neighborhoods so that those schools are performing well. I understand the argument that exposure to diversity is helpful. I don’t disagree with that notion. The question is, do you do everything you can to get to that goal and, at the expense of that, undermine local community schools?”
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GUN CONTROL

Stefanowski (R)
Refuses to say
He has an A rating from the NRA and has recently refused to say whether he would support repealing legislation passed with bipartisan support after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting that gave Connecticut some of the nation’s strongest restrictions on guns.
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Lamont (D)
Background checks, expand assault weapon ban and other restrictions
He supports mandatory background checks prior to purchases, expanding the assault weapons ban, and banning gun purchases for those who are subject to protective orders for domestic violence.
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Griebel (I)
Background checks, ban ghost guns
He expresses support for gun ownership for “protection, sport and hunting,” while applauding restrictions passed following the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting. He supports mandatory background checks prior to purchases, banning so-called “ghost guns.”
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HEALTH INSURANCE MANDATE

Stefanowski (R)
Does not support indvidual mandate
“I do not believe people should be forced to purchase something that they don’t want. Young adults who are healthy should not be forced to pay expensive insurance on the mandate,” he said.
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Lamont (D)
Supports individual mandate at federal level
Lamont “is concerned about adding an individual mandate to Connecticut law at a time when the Trump Administration is working to sabotage the Affordable Care Act,” his campaign said.
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Griebel (I)
Supports individual mandate
“I’m a believer people should be taxed if they don’t get coverage …The devil’s always in the details on how does an individual mandate work, but conceptually the idea that we’re all responsible for having coverage in one form or another that’s adequate I think is an important responsibility we have for one another.”
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MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION

Stefanowski (R)
Maybe
“Maybe at some point we could look at it,” Stefanowski said. “Let’s fix the economy first.”
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Lamont (D)
Supports
“It is another source of revenue for the state,’’ Lamont said. “All of our neighbors have legalized marijuana. We [can] do this carefully [and] regulate it.”
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MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS

Stefanowski (R)
Supports
“I support efforts to encourage able-bodied individuals without dependents, and those who are not disabled or seniors, to engage in work or volunteer work in order to receive Medicaid benefits.”
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Lamont (D)
Against
“Health care is a basic right … and the idea that you would make [having a job] a prerequisite is the wrong way to go,” he said.
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Griebel (I)
Worth examining
“It’s not to penalize somebody for Medicaid. Is there an opportunity if someone’s not working today, is there an opportunity to get them back into the economy in a way that gives them dignity, gives them an opportunity to learn skills?”
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MUNICIPAL AID (NON-EDUCATION)

Stefanowski (R)
Will not cut
“I think the best way to provide funding for all of the communities is to get the economy running,” he said.
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Lamont (D)
Cannot commit to shielding non-education aid from cuts
“My priority is education. I just think that that’s something I cannot shortchange, play games with, take five years off,” he said. “In terms of the rest of municipal aid, look cutting back on municipal aid for our neediest towns and our communities is not a place where you want to be, but let me get through this budget.”
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ROE V. WADE

Stefanowski (R)
Believes Roe is settled law
“He would not seek to limit access to reproductive choice if elected,” said Kendall Marr, Stefanowski’s communication director.
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Lamont (D)
Supports Roe
“Women – not the government – should have control over their own bodies and our state needs a leader who will make sure Connecticut is a state that upholds women’s reproductive freedoms,” he said in a statement.
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Griebel (I)
Supports Roe
His administration would “unequivocally uphold a women’s right to choose … Abortion should be safe, legal and rare,” according to the campaign’s website.
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SCHOOL FUNDING

Stefanowski (R)
Will not cut, wants more accountability in state aid
“I just think there’s a lot of opportunity here to improve the money that we are spending and get better results. … The money’s gotta matter”
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Lamont (D)
Open to redistributing aid to poor towns
“I would keep the overall grant the same, not town-by-town, but the overall grant,” he said. On redistributing aid, he said, “Generally, I think that we ought to focus our money on the towns that are the most in need given the incredible achievement gap in this state.” Will not look to education aid to close state budget deficits.
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Griebel (I)
Repurpose aid to fund regionalization
Shift a large share of existing state municpal aid (including education) to regional governing board. “Ideally [towns] would see this an incentive to go after that money,” he said. “They would say, ‘Okay, there is this bucket of money over there, should I be doing something differently?’”
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TAXES

Stefanowski (R)
Phase out income tax, eliminate estate and business entity taxes
Would phase out the income tax in eight years, would eliminate the estate and business entity taxes.
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Lamont (D)
Reduce income tax, increase property tax credit, eliminate business entity tax
He would reduce the income tax by increasing the property tax credit, providing $400 million in new annual relief by his third fiscal year in office. Would also eliminate the business entity tax.
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Griebel (I)
Eliminate the business entity and estate taxes
Would eliminate the business entity and estate taxes
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TEACHER PENSION PAYMENTS

Stefanowski (R)
Use lottery proceeds & rainy-day fund
“We may have to use some of the rainy day funds to pay for some of these unfunded liabilities… I did like the idea of using some of the [lottery] revenue that comes in from the state,” he said. “We find the revnue without having to come after the teachers again. They’ve made a lot of consessions already.”
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Lamont (D)
Use lottery proceeds, refinance payment schedule
“That would give me enough of an asset base that I could renegotiate with [the lottery proceeds] being on the Teacher Pension Fund. If I could do that, I could stretch out the payments over a longer period of time,” he said.
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Griebel (I)
Skip payments
“We need a little breathing room,” he said.
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TOLLS

Stefanowski (R)
Opposes
His platform calls for “no unfair tolls that overwhelmingly would be paid for by [Connecticut] commuters” and “no unfair tolls on our trucking industry that already pays taxes to Connecticut for passing through the state.”
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Lamont (D)
Only on tractor trailer trucks
On his campaign site he writes, “I support electronic tolling on heavy trucks that are coming in from out of state, which useour roads tollfree and creates significant wear-and-tear.”
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Griebel (I)
Pilot them
He favors tolls but would begin with a pilot program using HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) lanes
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5 comments

Alan November 5, 2018 at 9:04 am

Will Ned Malloy open the Greenwich weigh station, and others that cost countless millions to establish and being in close to nothing?
No.
Like all the money that is wasted at DMV, which should be a goldmine of revenue, we just call it water under the bridge and move on…

Piberman November 5, 2018 at 11:02 am

There is only ONE issue. Do we want to continue ruinous CT Democratic rule in Hartford that has made CT widely viewly viewed as the most mismanaged State in the nation. A decade of stagnant economy and employment amidst the nation’s most vigorous post-War economic expansion.

The old business saw surely applies here. Those that get you in trouble are rarely the ones that get you out. Applies in spades in CT.

Bryan Meek November 5, 2018 at 3:10 pm

3 years ago, DMV spent $25 million on system upgrades that were a spectacular failure.

I’m not sure what Ned Lamont’s exact plan is to revamp it with $10 million.

For perspective, Amazon.com was launched on a $10 million investment in systems.

I would have liked for one to detail a plan on moving all new hires to 401ks and getting us out of the pension fund management business. We should all be able to agree that our government is a total failure at managing these.

Piberman November 5, 2018 at 8:30 pm

Sadly the long list of “platform issues’ doesn’t hide that CT voters don’t really see much prospect of major change in CT’s economic and fiscal affairs no matter the outcome of the election. Will take a Governor and Legislature working together to make major progress in reversing CT’s slide. And that’s not on the horizon.

Likely we’ll need another decade of economic decline and fiscal misfortuante before enough CT voters are convinced to make major changes in how CT is governed and constrain the power of the public Unions. Among the highest paid in the nation in a State with failing impoverish cities where 1 in 3 CT residents live at or below the poverty level. In CT the poor don’t matter. Only the public Union entitlements.

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