Staneski says taxpayers are on the hook

By Pam Staneski, State Representative

Don’t worry Hartford; don’t worry big hedge fund; Super Governor Dannel Malloy is here to save the day! While the Governor did not literally wear a cape at the bond commission meeting on Friday Feb. 16,  he certainly was the hero for some — Hartford and the second largest hedge fund in the world (with $224 billion in Assets Under Management).

Forget about potholes, providing lifeguards during the summer at our state beaches, funding for schools, our intellectually disabled, and a host of other pressing needs.

Instead, let’s give AQR Capital Management a $35.5 million dollar forgivable loan (its second one!) and Hartford $10 million on a promise that if we renovate Dillon Stadium they will come (referring to the hope that a United Soccer Team will find its home in Hartford).

Measure this against the Governor’s refusal to give $30 million to our towns and cities for pothole repair, repairs that if neglected can and do cause millions of dollars in damage to cars.  His rationale: “the state does not have money to pay for transportation projects.”

On Friday the Governor said, “We are absolutely making strategic decisions about the allocation of limited resources,” and that “we are being selective in spending the limited resources that we now have.” So, it is more important to build a 5,000-square-foot maintenance garage at Silver Sands than to provide funding for a lifeguard during the summer. The maintenance garage, part of a $9 million dollar project, is a want, not a need. How can building this garage, or giving a second multi-million dollar forgivable loan to a hedge fund be considered proper stewardship of ‘limited resources’? It is not.

I have heard the Governor and his team quip that bonding money is not the same as operating money. Don’t fall for this shell game — money is money, the taxpayers of Connecticut are still on the hook for all of it.