Barnes does his best “Willie Sutton” on Finance Committee

As the Finance Committee picked apart the governor’s budget proposal this afternoon, Sen. L. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich, scottfleft, asked OPM Secretary Ben Barnes why the proposal would add more taxes on state hospitals, above the current $600-million levy. “When that first became a public concept three, three-and-a-half years ago, I again scratched my head wondering why we were taxing a virtuous activity…and we’re increasing it here in the proposed budget…”

A smiling Barnes interrupted, quoting the late, not-so-great bank robber Willie Sutton: willie“Why do you rob banks? That’s where the money is. Sorry.”

Frantz, laughing: “That’s on the record sir.”

Barnes: “I understand.”

Frantz: “Who’s head of the Banks Committee?”