Comptroller Kevin Lembo guest speaker at 15th Betty Hill Forum, May 30, 2014.

“The State of the State, Transparency, and the Future of Connecticut’s Economy.”

Friday, May 30, 2014
The Red Barn, Westport.


The League's invited guest speaker for this 15th Betty Hill Forum was Hon. Kevin Lembo, Comptroller of the State of Connecticut.

The video is 52 minutes 20 seconds long, and is presented in two formats:

Windows Media Player format (best viewed on Windows computers via Internet Explorer, which will open Windows Media Player and begin playback without waiting for the entire file to download; other browsers may not begin playback until the entire file has downloaded, which may take several minutes or more.  Can be viewed on Apple computers if Windows Media Player has been installed):
(139 MegaBytes)

MP4 format (viewable on most Windows and Apple computers, but playback may not start until the entire file has downloaded, which may take several minutes or more):
(232 MegaBytes)

First there was an excellent lunch.
After seating themselves, League's guests - perhaps a crowd of @45 (not counting the Westonites who were lunching at a table in the next room) had many conversations and met new faces and...

Those seated at the speaker's table perhaps got a preview...and then our speaker, Hon. Kevin Lembo, was introduced by our Convener...and all turned their attention away from the excellent meal and dessert and coffee.

Good questions came after his presentation - which was given about topics usually addressed in Power Point.  Comptroller Lembo really knows his stuff, and so was able to express himself  and explain concepts without need of any help from slides and charts! Members of LWV of Weston had been following newspapers on these matters...

Finally somebody has gone on record to provide actual numbers re: the budget, the status of it from month to month (or some other period of time - we'll check the tape - yes it was said that way) - to give everyone out there the opportunity to know the facts!


How big?  Our speaker didn't get into a fight about what it, the projected deficit, is - but that since no one else in leadership in Hartford seems to want to try to think long range once they get elected...Comptroller Lembo gave it a try!


Asked early in the Q&A period, Comptroller gave some details and referred to actions of the Legislature this Session to try to keep the system afloat (although bonding really isn't the answer).


Everyone was quite taken with Comptroller Lembo's approach to putting the facts out on the table and encouraging intelligent discussion of complicated matters!

BACKGROUND READING:  Online newspapers and links to organizations' web research reports

Having heard from Comptroller Lembo, we did a search on some of his remarks and found support at this link!

PEW "Building State Rainy Day Funds" July 1, 2014.

New site allows viewers to track CT finances day-by-day

By: Keith M. Phaneuf | May 13, 2014
The CT Mirror

A look at the Open Connecticut website.

There are several state websites that provide visitors once a year with data – usually old information – about government spending and revenues.

But state Comptroller Kevin P. Lembo announced the re-launch Tuesday of a site that will provide updated details daily on the money coming into – and going out of – the state’s coffers.

Dubbed “Open Connecticut 2.0,” the revised site builds upon the “Open Connecticut” database unveiled nearly one year ago.

“Open Connecticut 2.0 holds true to a promise that open government is always a work in progress, with no finish line, that we will  continue to build upon,” said Lembo, who announced the re-launch during a late morning press conference in the Legislative Office Building.

Visitors now can see what Connecticut has received from various taxes – income, sales corporation and other – over the past six years, and also how tax receipts are coming in throughout the current budget year.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT MIRROR website]


State comptroller agrees with revised, lower revenue predictions
Johanna Somers, New London DAY
Article published May 1, 2014

Hartford — State Comptroller Kevin Lembo announced today that he agrees with the governor’s budget office and the
nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis that the state has a $43.4 million budget surplus this year instead of a $505 million surplus.

“These final income tax payments buck historical trends — but reinforce my position that economic volatility and uncertainty
demand sustained financial caution, discipline and rebuilding our Budget Reserve Fund,” said Lembo. “I am pleased to hear that
any surplus will be directed to the Budget Reserve Fund.”

The majority of the $461.5 million revenue reduction is due to lower than anticipated income tax payments, which include capital
gains, Lembo said. But $72.4 million of the revenue reduction is due to other revenue reductions such as lower than predicted
sales tax revenues and corporation tax revenues.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at THE DAY (New London, CT) website]

Report: Connecticut’s Fiscal Transparency Improves

by Hugh McQuaid | Apr 8, 2014 11:42am

Connecticut earns a “B” for transparency in government spending according to an annual report card grading the
50 states in online access to data on where taxpayer dollars are spent.

The grade comes from the fifth annual “Following The Money” report by the ConnPIRG Education Fund.
The report grades states’ from “A” to “F” based on the content and accessibility of each their transparency websites.

Connecticut’s “B” represents a step up from last year’s report card where the group gave the state a “C+.”
However, the state website was outpaced by more comprehensive sites from states like Florida, Indiana, Iowa,
Massachusetts, Oregon, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

The report calls Connecticut an “advancing state” and cites two recent executive orders by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
designed to improve access to information on economic subsidies handed out to businesses and establishing an
“open data portal.” But it also said information on business tax credits are not as transparent as similar programs
in other states.

[Please read the rest of this article in the archives at the CT NEWS JUNKIE website]