To the Editors:

The campaign season is just heating up, and some candidates are already twisting the facts.

In recent literature, both Tom O’Dea, who is running for reelection as representative from the 125th District, and Kim Healy, who seeks the Republican nomination for the 26th Senate, have made the claim that the rainy day fund was a 2017 Republican initiative.

In fact, the rainy day fund was updated and improved by Kevin Lembo, the Democratic state comptroller, and his office beginning in 2015. This fund, officially called the “Budget Reserve Fund,” was created to guard against volatility and to act as a savings account during economic downturns.

Lembo said in the 2015 press release, “This policy proposal — making changes to the Budget Reserve Fund formula now — will put the state of Connecticut in a better position leading into any future economic downturn, reducing the need for future tax increases and requiring fewer crisis-driven budget cuts.”

We thank Kevin Lembo for his foresight and the stewardship of the Democrats in protecting the fund against attempted raids over the last several years. Also note that Gov. Ned Lamont protected the fund in 2019 when Republican legislators proposed using the fund to repair our crumbling state infrastructure.

This fund has played a vital role in helping the state weather the COVID-19 storm. The Connecticut Post noted in a May 15, 2020 article:

“Connecticut’s state budget shortfall would be the 6th smallest in the nation over the next 14 months if the recession remained moderate, a new report shows. That’s largely because of the state’s surplus reserve, or rainy-day fund, which is set to reach $2.5 billion this summer. The report by Moody’s Analytics, which Gov. Ned Lamont mentioned at his briefing Wednesday, puts Connecticut as one of seven states in a green, or fiscally safe, band.”

In this election cycle especially, our local candidates will need to stick to real facts in their campaigns.

John Kalamarides