John J. Ryan, a former Republican state representative, and Joshua Fisher, a Hersam Acorn editor, share their back-and-forth about news going on around Connecticut, among other items of interest. Ryan:\u00a0After a long weekend of celebrating our independence, it\u2019s time to return to reality and look at Connecticut\u2019s dependence\u00a0on its overtaxed residents. Fisher:\u00a0This year\u2019s legislative session is finally over \u2014 but it took \u201covertime,\u201d or a Special Session, last week to get it over with. The denouement was inevitable: A bad budget deal with batches of tax increases, bureaucratic fees and bad news for businesses and taxpayers, with huge deficits still unresolved. Once again, it is everyone in Connecticut except the government class that is being asked to make sacrifices. And the governor\u2019s big transportation improvement plan \u2014 something Connecticut needs desperately \u2014 was downgraded to patchwork. Ryan:\u00a0In a sense, it is probably good news that little legislation has made it\u2019s way out of the State Capitol this year other than the budget fiasco, since long-time observers point out that the less damage our state government does to us, the better. In case you haven\u2019t been paying attention, or were vacationing in Greece \u2014 an economy similar in size and some fiscal problems like the Nutmeg State \u2014 for the last month and a half, a good place to catch up is CTMirror.org. Check out these headlines from the past month (when you read us online, you can just click on the headlines to get the full story): \u201cNew budget includes $200 million income tax hit on middle class,\u201d\u00a0\u201cProposed state budget diverts most new transportation dollars,\u201d\u00a0\u201cBig business speaks loudly, rattles fragile tax deal,\u201d\u00a0\u201cPlay by play: The budget debate,\u201d\u00a0\u201cLooming deficits already threaten transportation, town aid initiatives,\u201d\u00a0and "Malloy signs, then promotes, newly tweaked budget.\u201d Fisher:\u00a0When the governor signed the budget last week, he rattled off a list of other states that hadn\u2019t approved a budget yet; apparently seeking praise for completing one of his most basic tasks. He failed to mention that he once again broke an often-repeated campaign promise that he would not raise taxes. But even Tom Foley could have told you that was going to happen. Connecticut\u2019s voice of reason, Chris Powell, put what was not happening in Hartford into focus with \u201cLegislators do trivial; serious is too scary\u201d\u00a0as well as \u201cForget vision and courage, where\u2019s simple competence?\u201c\u00a0(Both can be found at JournalInquirer.com.) The Wall Street Journal went after the low-hanging fruit that is Connecticut\u2019s fiscal status with \u201cWorse than Illinois?\u201d\u00a0(wsj.com). Ryan:\u00a0And not only are the state\u2019s fiscal crisis worsening with no solutions in sight (unless you consider more and more new taxes and tax increases to be solutions), there is a whole new level of acrimony in the process, see \u201cMalloy Comments on Racism Anger Republicans,\u201d\u00a0which even led The Hartford Courant editorial board to note \u201cMr. Malloy Poisons the Debate\u201d\u00a0(courant.com). Fisher:\u00a0Part of this should be a reminder to fiscally-minded residents and politicians of Connecticut: The Republican brand is vile in the Nutmeg State. No matter what it once meant to be a Republican, most northeast independents and Democrats think of Southern Republicans\u2019 social message when the GOP is mentioned. So good luck to J.R. Romano, the new chairman of the dwindling Connecticut Republican party. See: \u201cYoung new GOP state chair promises \u2019tenacity\u2019\u201d\u00a0(CTMirror.org). But there is some other bad news in the horizon for all of us. Still think tolls are far off? See \u201cStudy: State could rake in $62 billion installing highway tolls\u201d\u00a0(CTPost.com) and \u201cWhistleblowers\u2019 Lawsuit: Retirement System Rife With Politics, Pro-Union Bias\u201d\u00a0(courant.com). Ryan:\u00a0Here are some more headlines to brighten up your summer: \u201cDMV torture stations serve up hours-long waits\u201d\u00a0(TheDay.com), \u201cDemocrat Loses Election, Then Gets $85K State Job During Hiring Freeze\u201d\u00a0(courant.com) and \u201cHartford Baseball Stadium Could Be Financed by State\u201d\u00a0(NBCConnecticut.com). Fisher:\u00a0The news that Connecticut businesses such as GE, Aetna, Travellers, Stanley Works and others finally chirped up about our state\u2019s toxic anti-business environment was tempered by this news flash: \u201cEx Bridgeport Mayor Previously Imprisoned for Corruption Seeks Second Chance in Mayor\u2019s Race\u201d\u00a0(NBCConnecticut.com). Ryan:\u00a0He\u2019s already raised $200,000 in campaign contributions. Proving that no one\u2019s political career actually dies in Bridgeport; you\u2019re just sometimes sidelined by a prison term. John J. Ryan is of counsel to the Fairfield County law firm Russo & Assoc., and served 14 years as Darien and Rowayton\u2019s state representative \u2014 and has been writing this column for Hersam Acorn even longer. Joshua Fisher was an editor with Hersam Acorn for 12 years. He is now the company\u2019s director of audience development and engagement.