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How does the state budget proposal promise to address inequality, as required by a new law?

Gov. Ned Lamont is standing at a podium presenting his budget inside the state Capitol in Hartford.
YEHYUN KIM
/
CTMIRROR.ORG
Gov. Ned Lamont presents his proposed 2022 adjustments to the biennial state budget at the state Capitol in Hartford.

For the first time under a new law, the state’s budget is required to justify how spending would help reduce socioeconomic and racial inequities where we live.

The budget law was passed last spring, calling for a quote "explanation of how provisions further the governor’s efforts to ensure equity in the state," helping to "identify and remedy past and present patterns of discrimination."

According to the Economic Policy Institute, "Connecticut ranks #3 of the 50 states in income inequality."

The United Way of Connecticut projects the basic "survival budget" for a family of four exceeds $90,000 per year, reports Keith Phaneuf, the Connecticut Mirror's budget reporter. Even prior to the pandemic, the organization projected 38% of Connecticut residents were living paycheck-to-paycheck, or falling behind, Phaneuf writes.

So how did Governor Lamont’s $50.5 billion budget meet this new mandate? And what’s missing? This hour, we examine where critical items like housing and higher-education come in.

GUESTS:

  • Lisa Hagen: Federal Policy Reporter, Connecticut Mirror
  • Dan Haar: Associate Editor, Hearst Connecticut Media
  • Jonathan Wharton: Professor of Political Science at Southern Connecticut State University; Associate Dean at the School of Graduate and Professional Studies
  • Ginny Monk: Children’s Issues and Housing Reporter, Connecticut Mirror
  • Jennifer Ludden: National Correspondent, NPR

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Katie is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio's news-talk show 'Where We Live.' She has previously worked for CNN and News 8-WTNH.
Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.