Bristol legislators today “hailed Republican proposals to close the state’s current budget deficit and make long-term structural changes to help the state avoid future shortfalls,” reported a press release from General Assembly Republicans.
These proposals were shared with Democrat leaders and Governor Dannel P. Malloy in bipartisan budget negotiations Nov. 12 and with the public at a Nov. 13 press conference in Hartford.
“Our proposals aim to protect our most vulnerable residents – seniors, children, the disabled – from harmful cuts to vital services,” state Sen. Henri Martin (R-Bristol) said in the press release. “We protect hospitals, like Bristol Hospital. We also look to strengthen our state’s finances now and well into the future. We’ve got to emerge from this perpetual budget crisis and put Connecticut on sound financial footing. Our plan puts Connecticut back on the right path and helps to fix the broken state budget.”
“The Republican budget proposal addresses an obvious and undeniable fact – taxpayers are unable to support the current size and spending of state government not only for this fiscal year but for the next three or four years,” said state Rep. Whit Betts (R-Bristol) in the press release. “Our funding priorities are supporting community hospitals, the vulnerable and the disabled. Our proposal is dedicated to not raising taxes and establishing policies that will lead to companies in the private sector to create more good paying jobs.”
“The state of fiscal affairs in Connecticut is absolutely abysmal,” said state Rep. Cara Pavalock (R-Bristol). “It is clear that the policies put in place by the majority party are wrong for Connecticut and they are not working. I am proud of the strong budget proposal that my Republican colleagues and I have put forward that will put our state back on the right path.”
The Republican proposals include modifications totaling over $370 million in Fiscal Year 2016, enough to close the current year’s projected deficit while also restoring cuts made to social services by the governor’s September rescissions, said the press release. None of the immediate proposed solutions require labor concessions, according to the Republicans. The proposals also include tax changes to improve Connecticut’s business environment, including eliminating Unitary Combined Reporting.
The long-term Republican budget proposals include lowering state debt by limiting the amount Connecticut can borrow, identifying and addressing inefficiencies in state government, protecting transportation funding, better managing the state’s pension system, and modest labor modifications,” said the press release.