About Town

What is the “State of the State” address?

Last week we heard from Governor Lamont as he proposed his version of a fiscal plan for the biennium. In his “State of the State” address to the Legislature.

Which was delivered virtually. And the next morning it got panned by both Parties in the newspapers.

Their problem with his budget was that it seemed to fall back on “one-time” money from elsewhere. In the form of already received and perhaps expected Federal “stimulus.” Just to balance the books.

New taxes and sources of revenue appear to be in the works in Connecticut. No matter whose vision of a biennial budget document passes.

For what it is worth, Governor Lamont made no mention of tolls on I-95 or other roads.

Instead would be a tax on tractor-trailer mileage. These vehicles cause the greatest damage to our highways.

The Governor also wants pot legalized, and sports betting online as well. Why now? To keep us afloat. Both are expected to bring in needed new funds.

And then there is the Legislature itself, also meeting “virtually.”

It is always at this time in the Session that you see what is on the minds of both Democrats and Republicans.

Surprise! Although it was understood that this Session should focus on COVID-19 and its effects, that has not happened.

Regionalizing schools is back! Along with punitive measures for “wealthy” towns – the “mansion tax” has resurfaced.

To be reviewed by the Public Health Committee comes more than one bill affecting schools. SB288 is a mandate regarding improving indoor air quality.

But I am particularly curious to see the proposed sea changes for Planning and Zoning statutes. As relates to local control of zoning. A blueprint for its loss might be “An Act Concerning Inclusion In Certain Communities,” SB804.

Its statement of purpose:

To address several issues surrounding affordable housing, multiunit residential buildings, sewerage systems, housing authority jurisdiction, training for certain municipal officials involved in planning and zoning decisions and compliance with municipal zoning regulations.

This is one to watch as Weston P&Z moves ahead with work on its Affordable Housing Plan!

“About Town” is also a television program. It appears on Fridays from 5:30 to 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 6:30 to 7 p.m. on Cablevision Channel 88 (Public Access). Or see it at www.aboutweston.com.

Also in Weston Today...