HARTFORD- State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78) and Cara Pavalock-D’Amato (R-77) along with State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) stood arm-in-arm with their House and Senate Republican colleagues and put forward a balanced, no tax increase budget which sets the Connecticut on a new fiscal course, reported a press release from General Assembly Republicans.
“The proposed budget comes as Connecticut stands on the brink of fiscal disaster and faces a $3 billion budget deficit that seems to grow by the day,” reported the press release from Republicans. “The budget provides a blueprint to move the state away from years of tax increases and unsustainable budget that have cost Connecticut businesses and residents.”
“In response to my constituents and all Connecticut taxpayers, the Republican budget we’ve proposed today meets their demand of no tax increases and cuts government spending,” said Betts, according to the press release. “As important, our budget strongly supports our community hospitals, including Bristol Hospital, which have been under constant attack by Gov. (Dannel) Malloy. This is a responsible plan which provides a roadmap to put Connecticut back on solid fiscal ground.”
“The Republican budget protects taxpayers in Bristol and across Connecticut by rejecting the governor’s budget, which included a $400 million proposal requiring towns and cities to fund the teacher’s pensions,” said Pavalock-D’Amato, reported the GOP press release. “This proposal by the governor, if adopted, would have forced Bristol to significantly increase property taxes on Bristol taxpayers. Our proposed Republican plan is a fully vetted and balanced budget which maintains core services and eliminates wasteful spending.”
“While other states have recovered from the 2008 recession, Connecticut’s high taxes, onerous regulations, and anti-business policies are strangling efforts to restore jobs and improve the economy,” Martin said, reported the Republican news release. “This budget starts the process of reviving the state and putting it back on the path toward fiscal health by making government smaller and more cost effective.”
“Unlike the governor’s budget which raised taxes by $200 million and the legislative Democrat plan, which would raise taxes by over $400 million, the Republican plan does not raise taxes,” according to the General Assembly Republicans.
“The Republican budget spends $500 million less than the Democrats’ budget and $313 million less than the governor’s budget,” said the GOP press release.
Other budget highlights include:
Consolidations of state agencies
Eliminates funding for a University of Connecticut branch of FastTrack bus service
Eliminates taxpayer funded campaigns
Mandatory approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly
Requires $700 million in union concessions
Cancels bonding $250 million for the XL Center
Enact a constitutional Transportation Lockbox
Phases out the income tax on pensions and annuity income
Exempts Social Security from income tax for middle income seniors
According to the latest report by the Office of Fiscal Analysis, the Republicans reported, the state budget is projected to run a $1.7 billion in deficit in 2017-18, and $1.9 billion in the red in 2018-19, according to Governor Malloy, for a combined biennial shortfall of $3.6 billion.
If the April income tax estimates hold, the deficit forecast would rise to $2 billion in 2017-18 and $2.2 billion in 2018-19, which would represent a potential gap of 10 percent and 11 percent, respectively, said the Republican news release.