Donovan's Tour Escalates The Debate

House Speaker Christopher Donovan spent most of Thursday in his hometown of Meriden.  He made stops at the local library, a day care center, senior center, the train station, courthouse, and the Housing Authority.   At each stop, Donovan talked about the impact Governor Rell's proposed budget cuts would have on local residents.

At the senior center, director John Hogarth said he's concerned about the transportation needs of seniors.  It's critical, he says, that  they be able to get around with public transportation.   Hogarth was joined by Carol Fabrizio, a senior citizen, who said her concerns involve health care.  Will she be able to afford adequate care if some of the governor's proposed cut go through.

Across the street from the courthouse is the Museum Cafe.  Owner Paul Dominello says if the courthouse is closed, he could go out of business, at least at this location.  The courthouse attracts people downtown, he says, adding that if fewer people are in the downtown area, others will think it's not worth it to shop or recreate downtown.

Republicans criticized Donovan's tour, saying what's needed now is real leadership that will deal with the real spending cuts that have to be made.  Rep. Christopher Coutu of Norwich says tours like this one are merely political stunts that accomplish nothing.

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