The following is a advance transcript of Gov. Ned Lamont’s upcoming budget speech
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, Lt. Governor Bysiewicz, my fellow state officials, ladies and gentlemen of the General Assembly, members of the clergy, and all the people of our great state: I’m super excited to announce that the online fundraiser we’ve been working on to close the budget gap is now up and running!
This effort is the culmination of weeks of brainstorming, refining, and late-night coffee-fueled venting sessions with my incredible team of wonderful, hardworking, and depressing people. We looked at all the fundamentals, considered all the potential lawsuits if we did what actually needs doing, and instead came up with a plan to put a tax on a number of things, including groceries.
You guys didn’t like that one, huh?
[Pause here for good-natured laughter]
So we went back to the drawing board and looked at a few other options. Our second try was to implement something Democrats have been talking about for over a year, and that’s highway tolls on both tractor-trailers and passenger cars. I thought this was a real winner, because I campaigned and won on a pretty impressive 50 percent of that idea.
You didn’t like that one, either.
We had a few other ideas, but the Avery Soda people said they’d make a “Noxious Ned” flavor that tasted like old socks if we did the sugary beverages tax, and Massachusetts never got back to us about our offer to sell back Enfield.
That brings us to today. We had the guy in the office who understands the internet up all night coming up with it, and we’re so proud to unveil this online funding vehicle to you.
Folks, this campaign is going to be a winner. Not only will our backers get the immense satisfaction of helping to keep a small, locally-owned northeastern state afloat, but we have fantastic prizes included with each backer tier!
First is the “Lyme Disease” tier. Backers who pledge $5 or less will receive a “Connecticut: Still Ticking!” sticker from a marketing campaign we decided not to do. That’s not bad, these stickers are pretty nice, and we really need to get rid of them. Someone printed up a warehouse full of them. I’m not kidding.
Second, for pledges of $6-$100, you’ll get our “Berlin Turnpike” tier, which is the sticker and also this great Connecticut keychain, it’s shaped like the state and made out of some very durable plastic. Some of them have the name of an old motel on them as a bonus.
[Hold up the keychain for everyone to see]
Nice, right? But if you pledge $101-$200, that’s the “Quiet Corner” tier, and that’s really exciting. You’ll get everything from the first two tiers but also you’ll have the option of having a minor state road in Windham County named after you! I did that just now, and you can drive down Ned Lane to where all the old tires are next to the swamp in Killingly.
Next is the “Tunxis” tier, where if you pledge $201-$500 you’ll get a personalized video from a community college student whose business textbook you’ve just helped to buy! These kids are so great, and I had no idea how expensive those books were. Wow.
If you pledge $501-$1,000, though, you get the “Moo-dus” tier, where you get to join the Connecticut Milk Promotion Board for any meeting you want, with full voting rights! They get crazy, those guys, believe you-me.
Okay, now’s where it gets good. The “Wethersfield” tier is for anyone pledging $1,001-$2,000, and the reward is one free “get to the front of the line” ticket for the DMV. Amazing! Don’t tell me you don’t want this one, I know you do.
If you pledge $2,001-$5,000, you get our “Reapportionment” tier, where we will move your house in or out of any legislative or congressional district that you want! We have no problem doing this, there is literally nothing stopping us.
And lastly, if you are the first to pledge $15 million or more, you can have this job. I really, really hope someone takes this one.
So there it is! I hope you’re just as excited as I am. This is a great opportunity for people from Connecticut and all around the world to voluntarily contribute to the pension funds of state employees they’ve never met, and I just know it’s going to be a big hit.
And if not, we’ve still got the plastic bag idea.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the great state of Connecticut!
Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.
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