Here's what Gov. Malloy had to say recently, according to one news source, about his proposal for mitigating the cost of one expensive Connecticut commodity.
"This (price structure) is ghastly, unfair and has driven business from our state, causing us to lose jobs," the governor was quoted as saying. "I want to be very clear that we need to put pressure on prices in the state of Connecticut."
One would like to think he was talking about Connecticut's gas prices, which we all know are among the highest in the nation, mostly because of Connecticut's high taxes on gas.
Connecticut gas prices are indeed probably driving business from the state and leading to job loss.
But does the governor really think liquor prices are driving people out of Connecticut?
The same governor who just finished raising all our taxes thinks that the prices charged by mom and pop liquor stores, prices that are actually set by the state, are driving people across the border?
After all, liquor is still, depending on your perspective, not a necessity. The gasoline you need to get to and from work is.
It struck me that liquor prices have never seemed especially cheaper to me when I have been in liquor stores out of state. Certainly I have never been inspired to stock up or do any border runs.
To be sure, though, I did a little scouting this week of liquor and gas prices in nearby Rhode Island.
Yes, gas prices are outrageously higher in Connecticut.
On a drive through Westerly, I saw prices as low as $3.83 a gallon for regular unleaded. Even as I drove across the border back into Connecticut I saw someone changing the sign at a Connecticut station to $3.99 a gallon, close to the norm here now.
As for liquor, I tried some sample prices at stores in both states. If anything, I found lower prices in Connecticut.
You can buy a bargain bottle of California cabernet in Connecticut for $3.99. The same brand was $5.99 in the three stores I checked in Rhode Island.
I found a Connecticut package store selling a 24-pack of Bud Light for $16.95. A 20-pack of Bud Light was going for $17.99 in two stores in Rhode Island.
You can buy a 1.75-liter bottle of Skyy vodka in Connecticut for $23.99. I saw it for $23.99 and $24.99 in Rhode Island. A big bottle of Tanqueray gin was $29.99 in Connecticut. I saw it for $32.99 in one store in Rhode Island, $34.99 at another and $31.99 at a third.
I found some other good examples, too.
It was by no means a scientific survey, but it seems obvious that prices in Connecticut are not especially higher than in southern Rhode Island. There is no reason to cross the border, and indeed store employees in Rhode Island told me people don't.
As for the other big push in Malloy's proposed reworking of liquor laws - allowing Sunday sales - I say sure. This seems like it's heading for a slam dunk. After all, Connecticut is one of the last states with this outdated rule.
But I would have to side with legislators who are inclined to protect the mom-and-pops in the liquor business here.
I am dubious about the governor's claims that unleashing big chains of liquor sellers is going to lower prices.
Lower prices that accompany the opening of big retailers like Walmart and Home Depot have usually disappeared once they dominate the market and the smaller stores are gone for good.
I also wasn't very impressed with Malloy's endorsement of the merger between electric giants NStar and Northeast Utilities.
"After everything our residents have been through over the past year, weathering storms and enduring long outages of utility service, we knew that we had a tremendous opportunity to negotiate an agreement that would really benefit the people of Connecticut," Malloy said in a statement announcing his approval of the deal.
Under the terms of the deal, rates will be frozen through the end of 2014 and the average consumer will get a rebate of about $16.
Given the governor's tough talk on the campaign trail about lowering electric rates here, again some of the highest in the country, I expected more.
An electric rebate of $16 is hardly enough to cover the cost of driving to Rhode Island for cheaper gas.
This is the opinion of David Collins