SSW Blog

Topsy-turvydom of CT State Budget Plan

Posted on | February 8, 2009 | No Comments

After CT Governor Rell had addressed the CT Budget recommendations I was sure that some people like I became silent and perplexed about her idea of establishing the “Middle” school, reducing 93 agencies, a new concept of regionalism and creation of CT Conservation Corp.

First, I would be grateful for the local Channel 3, WFSB for its beautiful job of “live” closed captioned broadcast of Governor Rell. Since around late 1970s, local news stations in the USA had been doing poor quality of closed captioned broadcast by using “good enough” electronic newsroom system. As you can imagine in the 21st century some local news obliviously use lousy closed captioning and none. In CT, several local TV stations for New Haven and New Britain, Channel 8 and 30 persistently show choppy, delayed, and lousy closed captioning, and most of time, non-closed captioning.

I had confessed that normally I didn’t watch local news for more than 25 years but to my surprise I unwillingly began watching this particular WFSB local channel 3 (Hartford area), thanks to much improved real-time captioning technology.

One little part for an interpreter was there at the Governor Rell’s side but not on TV screen. It is imperative that ASL interpreter should be shown along with live closed captioned broadcast because English is second language to most of Deaf people.  I love reading English but couldn’t help some time to figure out in understanding the concept of English when it doesn’t make any sense. So I had translated it to ASL in order to visually understand it in the whole picture.  I hope someday WFSB will realize about an invaluable asset of using the interpreter and will consider to set up the picture in picture on the TV screen.

As I like to go back to the Governor’s budget plan I had discovered some flaws like reducing some certain amounts; $665 K from five independent living centers,  $50K and $95K from National Theatre of the Deaf, and close down of several agencies that are most important for civil rights and protecting women, people with disabilities and others as well.

One major flaw is regionalism and however, it is a fine idea to combine several small towns into one regional place. There are some areas to resolve some real matters in the following:

  • property tax adjustment table based on new type of formula using regionalism for house values, town assets, town debts, and risks relating to environmental factors; lake, river, open space, and infrastructure of electricity or wireless so forth.
  • board election realignment by setting up town council depending on some towns that have mayor while others don’t.
  • public works, police or fire stations should be equally shared but some towns spent too much costs to build these while other towns don’t.
  • driving distance between towns; suppose one regional place is far away from one town against other several towns.

I doubt that it will take two years to regionalize the state of CT but I believe it will take some years to formulate the matrix of every town and cities in long process. What kind of process will it take regionalism? Does the Governor Rell have this plan in hand now?

On the bottom line I ask whether the state budget was balanced. If no come on and please make action on this important step to balance the state budget first and make new proposals.