Connecticut Governor-elect Ned Lamont said one of the first things he’ll do after he is inaugurated on Wednesday will be to reach out to state workers.
Lamont, a 65-year-old Greenwich businessman who is coming to state government for the first time, said soon after the fanfare of his inaugural he’ll go visit some of the state’s departments and agencies.
“Talk to state employees, thank them for what they do. Better get a sense for what they do. Hear their ideas on how we can do things better. At the same time I’m going to work with the legislature to get a budget that is honestly balanced so we can invest in organizations like this and invest in the future of Connecticut.”
Lamont was speaking during a visit to Homes for the Brave in Bridgeport, a non-profit that provides accommodation and services for veterans. It was one of several non-profits he visited across the state on Sunday in an effort to highlight the work of such agencies.
Lamont also said he’s had a look at the state’s books and will have a budget plan ready to be presented to the state legislature in February.
“We have a severe structural deficit. It goes out for the next five, 10, 15 years. And I appreciate the short-term surplus we have here. It goes in the rainy day fund. It protects us in case of downturns so we don’t have to cut off funding for organizations like where we are today. But we cannot rely on that. I’ve got to fix the budget in a long-term way.”
Connecticut has a surplus this year but faces a projected $1.7 billion deficit in the next two years. Lamont has promised not to raise taxes. Instead he said he’d like to have highway tolls for tractor trailers, and to legalize and tax the recreational use of marijuana.
Lamont’s inaugural in Hartford on Wednesday will include his swearing-in, a parade, a speech to the legislature, and an inaugural ball.