The following press release was issued by State Senator Jason Welch and State Rep. Whit Betts.
Hartford, CT – On Thursday, March 21, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, Senator Jason Welch and Representative Whit Betts will hold a state budget forum at the Bristol City Hall Council Chambers.
The meeting, which is open to the public, will run from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The forum is the fourth stop on Sen. McKinney’s eight-town “Fiscal Responsibility Tour” to discuss Governor Daniel P. Malloy’s budget proposal and to gather public input for the coming legislative debate.
“Over the next two months, there will be a vigorous debate about the direction of our state and particularly its fiscal management. I want public input to be at the center of this debate. That’s why I’m hosting this tour,” Sen. McKinney said. “The governor’s budget is the most dishonest I’ve seen in my 15 years in the legislature. There are a number of areas where his rhetoric simply doesn’t match the reality of his proposal. For example, he claims $1.8 billion in cuts, but his budget actually spends $1.8 billion more over the next two years. And he promised no new taxes, but instead extended several taxes that were set to expire. People deserve to know the truth, so we will spend some time on this tour separating fact from fiction.”
Sen. Welch agrees the governor’s proposed spending increases are unaffordable. But he also believes the governor’s budget fails to prioritize essential government functions. For example, while the budget increases spending on state employees, it would result in significant cuts to state hospitals.
“In Bristol we are dealing with the potential for savage cuts to our community hospital,” said Sen. Welch. “Bristol Hospital is central to this community. The Governor’s proposed budget slashes nearly $500 million to hospitals around the state this is not only unfair it’s a threat to jobs, community and the public health.”
“This public forum is a must for all the people who want to know why the adoption of Governor
Malloy’s budget will force Bristol to increase by a significant amount our local taxes and lead to the likely elimination of medical service programs/jobs provided by Bristol Hospital,” said Rep.Betts.
The forum will include a brief presentation of the governor’s budget proposal and an update on the budget process in the General Assembly, followed by an extensive question and answer period for the general public.
Sen. McKinney said he expects that the budget the legislature ultimately votes on and passes will look much different from the governor’s current proposal. “There are simply too many holes in the governor’s budget for it to gain legislative approval without significant changes. I want Connecticut residents to be heard as those changes are being considered by their elected representatives.”
The Bristol City Hall Council Chambers is located at 111 North Main St., Bristol. For more information, please contact (860) 240 8884.