State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) shared his support for a stringent state spending cap with the legislature’s Appropriations Committee. The cap was approved by the legislature more than 25 years ago, but statutory definitions of what expenses would be excluded from spending cap restrictions have never been approved, explained a press release from the senator’s office.
In written testimony, the press release reported Martin told lawmakers that the General Assembly must adopt and implement spending cap definitions to stabilize state budgets and revive the economy. It is also necessary to improve public opinion about the state.
“Talking to people in my district, I learned that a vast majority of Connecticut’s residents and businesses have lost confidence in our state and, in particular, state government,” he said, the press release reported. “They have become very cynical and believe that we legislators won’t be able to resolve the state’s budget crisis. Many of them are making plans to leave Connecticut.”
In exchange for enacting the state income tax in 1991, the legislature created the spending cap as a mechanism to prevent budgets from increasing beyond the rate of inflation. Martin said that has not happened, the press release reported.
“The cap was a promise to the taxpayers of Connecticut that we would not let state spending get out of control,” he said in the press release, adding that the legislature failed to keep its promise. “For years, creative accounting let us get around the cap and the impact has been significant. State spending has soared by over 201 percent since 1992.”
The press release reported Martin said that in order to restore public confidence in the state and end the steady stream of people and businesses leaving Connecticut, the General Assembly must address the spending cap.
“It’s time to send a clear, distinctive message to all the people of Connecticut and businesses, in particular those that are making boardroom decision to leave the state, that we have the courage to make the right decisions. We all know that it will take more than approving these definitions to the state spending cap, but it is the first place we need start,” he said reported the press release. “It is more than a token step in the right direction. It is the cornerstone we must build upon to get our fiscal house in order.”
Sen. Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston.