After six years of planning, we're finally moving from Connecticut to Florida. The Boy™ has finally graduated high school, and we've married off* The Girl™, so we can put New England in our rear view mirror and go to where the weather suits our clothes. Now that Connecticut is fully in the hands of the
For the last 20 years CT has had a Republican governor -- since the Democrats instituted an income tax. The legislature has always been filled with dems, but at least they were tempered by a Republican governor. In fact, John Rowland (2 governors ago) was consistently rated the most fiscally responsible governor in the country (until, of course, he was convicted of corruption, but you'll have that).
Anyhow, that all ended last November. The wise people of Connecticut elected Democrat "Dannel" Malloy, a career politician (except for a brief stint as a prosecutor, natch), to be our new Governor. Since then, the government has done everything possible to drive the state into a ditch.
They started with higher taxes, of course. Higher income taxes, and sales tax increases from 6 to 6.35%. Higher taxes on gasoline, hotel rooms, cigarettes, alcohol and rental cars. In addition, scores of now-exempt services and products would be subject to sales taxes, including haircuts, car washes, luxury goods, yoga studios, pet grooming, cosmetic surgery and hazardous waste removal.1
The sales tax increase took place on July 1st, and that morning I had to stop by my local garage to check on my car. As I arrived I saw a woman scurry out, and the owner of the garage said that was the local tax collector. Evidently they were going around to every business in the area and assessing a tax on all current inventory -- to make sure not a penny of the sales tax was missed. Lovely!
In addition to the taxes, they've also mandated paid sick leave for all companies with more than 50 employees. Now, most companies of that size already offer sick leave as part of a benefits package, but the rest of them (mostly restaurants, stores, and other low-end service businesses) have to pay up as well. It already costs more to operate a business in CT than almost any other state in the country, and this just makes it worse. It's like CT is trying to drive as many companies out of the state as possible.
They also passed another interesting bill, dubbed the "Bathroom Bill". In short, that bill requires that transexual and transgendered individuals be given access to women's facilities, including public and private women's restrooms, locker rooms and showers.
On the surface, this bill appears perfectly legitimate: “An Act Concerning Discrimination”. It prevents “Discrimination” in the title, what could be wrong with that?I have no problems at all with gay or transgendered/transsexual people -- who cares how someone dresses or with whom they have sex? However, this new law opens the door for a sexual predator to claim transgendered status, and gain access to victims' showers, changing rooms, and bathrooms. That just doesn't seem like a great idea to me.
There is one decent law they passed, believe it or not. They've decriminalized small amounts of pot, which is a good thing. Now you can have up to 1/2 pound of cannabis -- a significant amount! -- and only get a $150 ticket. Finally a sane drug law in the state -- and the first law the assembly passed that'll actually save the state money!
Of course, in the same session the senate voted to make posession of *synthetic* cannabis a crime punishable by a $1000 fine and up to 1 year in jail. So, in short, you can have good weed in the state, but none of the crappy stuff. It must be a quality assurance plan for pot! Next up: a ban on ditch weed. Only high-quality hydro for CT!
So yeah, CT is a mess. The Democrats in the state are acting like the Democrats in Washington -- they're trying to do as much damage as possible before the grownups get back in power. I'm so glad to be moving somewhere a bit more civilized.
* well, they're moving down with us, but at least she's married now, right?