Mark Greenberg believes the comptroller needs to play a bigger role in order to get Connecticut’s budget in balance and its economy back on track.
The office’s current functions largely revolve around accounting, financial reports, and overseeing the payment of benefits, but Greenberg wants a comptroller who will be more aggressive in regard to some of the state’s biggest budget issues.
“I’m going to expand that job,” he said Wednesday during a visit to the Record-Journal for an episode of the “Morning Record. “I’m going to enlarge it to include a new methodology to fix the state.”
Greenberg is challenging Seymour First Selectman and Republican-endorsed Kurt Miller for the party’s nomination for comptroller in the Aug. 14 primary. The winner will face Comptroller Kevin Lembo, who has no Democratic challenger, in the November election.
Connecticut has elected only one Republican for comptroller since 1959 — Nathan Agostinelli from 1971 to 1975. Greenberg said voters should see Connecticut’s current fiscal woes — projections call for a combined deficit exceeding $4.5 billion over the next two years — as a reason to buck that trend.
“I think this looks very good for the party that’s not in it, because things have been so bad for the party that was in it,” he said. “There’s nobody that I speak to in the state of Connecticut , frankly, that thinks that the last seven years have been good, prosperous years for the state of Connecticut.”
The comptroller doesn’t have a say in the budget outside of monthly reports on the deficit, but Greenberg wants to change that. He has pledged to do a “top-to-bottom audit” on the budget.
Connecticut already has an auditor of public accounts, but Greenberg said he’d be more aggressive in getting the legislature to act on his findings and recommendations.
“I’m very forceful, so I’ll keep at it,” he said. “I’ll keep at it and I won’t stop until I get some of the recommendations I make considered and enforced and put into law.”
Greenberg also said he’d use a combination of his experience in real estate and the bully pulpit to push state employees to renegotiate their current agreement on benefits.
Other campaign promises included a pledge to identify 10-percent in wasteful spending each year and to take a strong stance on bonding. The comptroller has a vote on the State Bond Commission.
For more from Greenberg, listen to the “Morning Record,” the Record-Journal’s daily news podcast, at https://bit.ly/2KAbN3q