I hope that your summer is off to a great start! As you may be aware, the state is facing great uncertainty concerning the budget. I want to take an opportunity to share with you the latest from the Capitol.
We are nearly a month into the fiscal year, but without a state budget. The Democrats, who still have the majority by a slim margin in the House, set the agenda and determine when we will be called into special session in order to vote on a budget. As a result of the inaction prior to the start of the fiscal year, the power has been transferred to the governor – who is ruling through executive orders on a month-by-month basis until a negotiated budget can be passed by the legislature and signed into law. Already, critical programs are being cut and suspended – all due to the legislature’s inaction.
Let me be clear on one thing – I, along with my House Republican colleagues, have not sat idly by while the House Democrats’ inactivity and lack of leadership has placed the state in a terrible fiscal situation. We have recently released our FOURTH budget proposal and have renewed our call to action as we want our ideas brought before the legislature. Our no-tax-increase budget proposal has been fully vetted by the legislature’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis – proving that it makes the structural changes needed in order to eliminate the current $5.1 billion deficit without putting the weight and pressure on the backs of you, the taxpayer.
On July 11th, the House Republican Caucus hosted an open budget presentation for all lawmakers and the public to participate in a comprehensive overview of our no-tax-increase budget proposal. I encourage you to view the entire presentation by clicking here.
We also held a press conference after the presentation and I encourage you to view that here.
Highlights from our budget proposal include:
- Increasing school aid for every town and city and preserving overall municipal aid;
- Rejecting the shift of $400 million in teacher pension payments to municipalities;
- No tax or fee hikes whatsoever, unlike the House Democrat proposed sales tax hike bringing the rate to 6.99%;
- Municipal mandate relief and limiting state borrowing to $1.3 billion;
- Eliminating the property tax on hospitals.
The budget balances without tax hikes through $2 billion in state employee union concessions over two years, a reduced state workforce through attrition and privatization, and numerous other savings throughout state government.
- Implements a defined contribution plan for new hires and increases pension and healthcare payments for all state workers;
- Overtime savings and enhanced fraud detection programs to make government more efficient.
For a comprehensive review of our proposal, I encourage you to click here.
Until only recently, the House Democrats had not released a budget proposal. Their budget includes a proposed sales tax hike – with an option for towns to raise it even higher, places a 1% tax on restaurants and sweeps money out of the Community Investment Act.
You, the taxpayer of Connecticut, cannot afford any more of these revenue grabs drawn up by the Democratic majority in the House. We need to regain control of Connecticut’s spending problem, and do so in a structurally sound manner.
You have elected me to represent your interests to the best of my ability at the Capitol and I will continue to push for our proposal as I believe it will move the state forward in a positive direction. We, the House Republicans, have made it clear that when we are called into session, our budget will be voted on – one way or another. While that may terrify the House Democratic leadership – the House Republicans are ready to lead.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Carol.Hall@cga.ct.gov or call (860) 240-8700.