Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie file photo
Gov. Ned Lamont (Christine Stuart / ctnewsjunkie file photo)

HARTFORD, CT — A poll released Friday by Sacred Heart University’s Institute for Public Policy and the Hartford Courant found 40% of 1,000 Connecticut residents surveyed disapprove of the way Gov. Ned Lamont is handling his job.

The poll found 24.6% approve of how he’s handling the job, while 35.4% were unsure.

“Is it nice to be liked? Sure,” Lamont’s senior adviser Colleen Flanagan Johnson said. “But it’s better to do what you believe is right to help the state that you love.”

Flanagan Johnson said Lamont “inherited a $3.7 billion dollar deficit, a slow-growing economy and a broken transportation system, all of which have severely hampered our economic growth. There are no easy choices. Gov. Lamont doesn’t poll issues for popularity and then decide what to do. He uses sound policy and objective data to inform his thinking, and he’s never afraid to reach out across the aisle or across the state to talk through the critical issues of the day.”

As far as the issues were concerned, the highest level of support existed for raising the state income tax on individuals earning more than $500,000 a year and couples earning more than $1 million a year. A whopping 70.2% of residents supported the idea of raising the income tax on the wealthy, while only 23.6% opposed it.

At the same time 66% of those surveyed felt it was “very important” for Lamont to keep his campaign promise not to raise income tax rates.

Further 66.5%, of those surveyed reported to “strongly” or “somewhat support” an increase from 6.99% to 8.99% in the capital gains tax. According to Lamont and legislative leaders, that’s not going to be part of the budget deal they reached Thursday.

But it’s unclear if they can pass a budget that leaves the wealthy in Connecticut untouched.

The survey also found that 48.3% of residents support a Paid Family and Medical Leave system supported by workers who would pay 0.5% of their paycheck into the fund. An estimated 40% disapproved of the idea.

More than 48% of residents surveyed also supported a half penny sales tax increase and 42.9% opposed it.

The poll results released Thursday found 59% of residents surveyed oppose electronic tolls. That’s the same amount of opposition found in earlier polls.

Lesley DeNardis, executive director of the Institute for Public Policy said the poll results show Connecticut in a “proverbial ‘cake and eat it too’ situation — residents want the budget deficit to go away and quality of life to improve, but don’t want to see spending cuts in state services or new taxes affecting the general population. We can’t have it both ways. Obviously, something will have to give.”