Dan Malloy scored an upset victory against Ned Lamont SOM ’80 in August’s gubernatorial Democratic primary. Malloy sat down with the News on Tuesday to discuss his views on taxes, education and job creation.
“We are going to take our state back,” he told students circled around him at Blue State Coffee on Wall Street ,during a meeting hosted Tuesday by the Yale College Democrats.
Malloy, the former mayor of Stamford, is now running against Tom Foley, the Republican gubernatorial candidate and a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland.
Q How do you see your policies affecting municipalities and, in particular, our city, New Haven?
A I think there’s a big difference between myself and Mr. Foley. I’m an urbanist. I have a full array of urban-centric policies — not exclusive urban policies, but urban-centric — for instance, housing policies, my support for nursing homes being closer to the populations they serve, changing how we pay for education … I’m pledging to balance the budget in such a way that we maintain the services that individuals are most dependent on, and those individuals are disproportionately located in urban areas.
Q What is your strategy for job creation?
A Job creation — there’s no one strategy. It’s making appropriate investments in transportation and education. It’s tackling the cost of electricity, which I think is the biggest impediment.
Q Connecticut did not get Race to the Top funding [federal grants awarded to states for education reform]. What was your reaction to that?
A We should be embarrassed, and we should hold people accountable for that failure. In part, we had that failure because we have not engaged to a significant extent [in] the kinds of reformation efforts that other states have engaged in, Massachusetts being a very good example, but many other states … We should be embarrassed. I am. A drive to change Connecticut’s approach to education is only going to be successful if the governor plays a leading role.
Q How do you plan to deal with housing in the state?
A You need to spend money in housing … We have rapidly deteriorating state sponsored housing that needs to be rebuilt and replaced — we’re going to invest in that. We need to be more aggressive in going after federal dollars, and I think we need to think outside of the box with respect to zoning bonuses and historic preservation dollars. So we’re going to have a very detailed approach to creating more housing.
Q How do you hope to address declining state funding for municipalities?
A Under statute, we’re supposed to reimburse PILOT, payments in lieu of taxes, under the appropriate properties that fall under that system at 70 percent, but we’re funding it at 51 percent. We need to fully fund that … We need to broaden the tax base of municipalities with local options. Those local options might include … some other combination of taxes.