As someone who was born and raised in Connecticut, I have a deep-rooted love for this place. It’s natural beauty. It’s strong communities and hard-working people. It’s pizza and, more recently, development of a real “foodie” culture. All good things.
But I have to say: What in the hell is wrong with this place?
Since I moved back here from Boston last year, it feels like there has been nothing but bleak news. Here is sampling of headlines here at CT Boom just from July: Our super-hyped minor league baseball team won’t play a single game in their new stadium this year. Our governor skirted airport security. We have a smog problem. The state is home to one of the country’s worst business climates. There’s a serious problem with income inequality here. Oh, and our state government doesn’t know how to make a budget yet insists on spending $300,000 on “exploring” a new way to tax us for driving.
After a month like that, no one could blame Connecticut residents for being upset or skeptical about the state’s future. Sketchy politicians, unbreathable air, and unimaginable economic woes make this place sound like a fictional dystopian state.
Unfortunately, it’s all too real. And now, to add whipped cream to the shit sundae we’ve been eating here in Connecticut, here’s this: According to The Middletown Press, Governor Malloy cut all 40 staffers working at 211, the telephone hotline that deaf residents use to get information and referrals. If that sounds bad, here’s the cherry on top: No one was notified the cuts were coming.
Look, when it comes down to it, all the terrible July headlines are survivable. Yard Goats baseball isn’t a necessity. Malloy dodging a TSA checkpoint didn’t actually hurt anyone. And all of our other state’s woes could be worse. At the very least, all our complaints about Connecticut are survivable.
But when the state government sees fit to eliminate invaluable resources that help our disabled community survive on a day-to-day basis and they don’t even bother to tell anybody, that is unacceptable. It is an offense beyond the pale.
I understand the “economic realities” of our state and how general incompetence in state government has led to a budget imbalance that makes cuts necessary. But when you make of cut of this nature and magnitude, you need to have a plan in place to make sure no one is left in the gutter. Malloy and company didn’t do that, and saw fit to hang Connecticut’s deaf residents out to dry.
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most informed person when it comes to Connecticut politics, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned in the year and a half that I’ve been back it’s this: Connecticut is speeding down a road to ruin and no one in control of the car is hitting the brakes or trying to turn around. And if we don’t get someone with a brain behind the wheel, we might not be able to stop this ride until it’s too late.