Local legislators praise budget that passed

State Representatives Whit Betts (R-78), Cara Pavalock D’Amato (R-77), and William A. Petit, Jr. (R-22) and State Senator Henri Martin (R-31) applauded passage of a bi-partisan budget that avoids new tax increases, preserves core social services, keeps commitments to education, provides stability for municipalities, and rejects Governor Malloy’s proposed shifting of teacher pension costs onto towns and cities.

A press release from the legislators said the budget passed following a remarkable display of bipartisanship from Democrat senators Hartley, Doyle and Slossberg, who joined their Republican colleagues to vote of 21-15 in favor of the bill. The document was later taken up by the House of Representatives and, after lengthy debate, was passed by a margin of 77 – 73 early Saturday morning.

“I am proud to stand in support of this bi-partisan budget which avoids cuts to municipal aid and school funding and rejects shifting the costs of the teacher’s retirement system on to towns, all of which would have been passed on to our taxpayers in the form of increased local taxes. We have instead provided the state of Connecticut with a plan and a path forward to lift Connecticut out of the fiscal mess we have been in for far too long. The legislature has done its work, and now it is up to the governor to act,” said Betts in the press release.

“This is a great day for the state of Connecticut. The budget that we passed does exactly what taxpayers have asked of us; it does not raise any new taxes and it restores education funding cuts. This plan provides the relief that our middle class and low and fixed income families have been asking for, and I am confident that this budget will put Connecticut on a stronger financial footing. I urge the governor to sign it,” Pavalock-D’Amato said, according to the press release.

Petit added, according to the release, “The budget we passed restores the funding cuts that were made to municipalities and education, and implements the structural changes necessary to stop the fiscal bleeding and cycle of perpetual annual deficits.  It also keeps critical programs in our safety net, which so many of our residents rely on, intact. This budget was endorsed by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Council of Small Towns and the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, who recognize that this budget will help move us toward prosperity.”

“This budget recognizes that Connecticut cannot survive the tax-and-spend policies of the past. The only way we can move forward is to reduce the cost of our bloated state government and prioritize how we spend taxpayer dollars. Our budget funds those priorities: education, municipalities, services for seniors and those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I believe this is the path we must take to stabilize the state’s economy,” said Martin, the press release reported.

Highlights of the bi-partisan budget:

Eliminates Social Security income tax and phases out tax on pension income for middle class

Restores funding for the state’s property tax credit in its entirety to all families and individuals

No increase or expansion of the state’s sales tax

No income tax increase

No new restaurant sales tax

No income tax increase

No secondary home tax

No cell phone tax

No increase to the cigarette tax

No new tax on nonprescription drugs

No increase to the pistol permit fee

No increase to the hotel tax

No new fantasy sports tax

The budget moves to Governor Dannel Malloy’s desk where it awaits his signature, or sits for 30 days without signature, in order to go into effect. Should, the governor veto the budget, it would return to the legislature for lawmakers to either begin the budget process again, or override the veto with a two thirds vote of each chamber.

For more detailed information on the budget proposal, visit: www.cthousegop.com/budget.