HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - Connecticut's governor offered a short preview of his state budget address, which he'll present on Wednesday.
Gov. Ned Lamont posted his preview to social media on Tuesday.
"It's going to focus like a laser beam on economic growth and jobs," Lamont said. "If Connecticut just had the same economic growth and job creation as most of our neighboring states, we'd be talking about how we're going to invest the surplus or cut taxes."
However, he said that's not the case.
"This budget is going to change that," he said. "I'm going to focus on job creation, workforce development, education and in particular, transportation."
Lamont said he specifically wants to speed up the transportation system.
"Those are the three building blocks of economic growth," he said. "That's how we get our state going again."
Later in the day on Tuesday, Lamont released more information about his plans for CT.
He did release information about the how he plans to restructure the teacher’s retirement system and adjust the payment scale.
He warns if nothing is done, the annual teacher pension costs could increase by more than $2 billion.
So, he’s proposing reducing the assumed rate of return from 8 percent to 6.9 percent.
Lamont also wants to adjust the financing schedule to create a new 30-year period.
Right now, the majority of the unfunded liability is supposed to be paid over the next 12 years.
That puts a strain on the state when it comes time to pay out, so Lamont is proposing stretching the payment schedule out to 30 years to buy some time.
Lamont also plans to establish a special capital reserve fund to meet the requirements of the 2008 pension obligation bonds.
It would be funded with $381 million from the 2019 fiscal year surplus.
On Tuesday, Democratic State Senator Bob Duff said this is a solution that should work for teachers as well as the average taxpayer.
"Flatten it out, not having a big spike in a few years, we’ll be able to save some money and they’re doing it in a very creative way. The devil is in the details but I think it takes this issue, which has been a real problem in the past few years because of decades of underfunding, but it helps provide relief to the budget but also helps make teachers happy in the fact that they’ll feel safe and secure with their pension going forward," Duff said.
Lamont also touched upon modernizing the sales tax base, saying the expansion would raise the state $292 million in 2020 and $505 million in 2021.
He did highlight that groceries will not be taxed.
Lamont turned heads over the weekend after he flip-flopped on his stance about reinstituting tolls in the state.
He said that he's considering a broader option for tolls. He originally indicated during his campaign that only tractor trailers would be tolled.
Lamont said that tolling only tractor trailers wouldn't generate enough revenue to help fix the state's roads and aging bridge infrastructure.
The governor's budget address is set to be delivered at noon on Wednesday in Hartford.