House GOP Leader Klarides Says SEBAC Deal Not Enough Savings for Taxpayers

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HARTFORD – House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today said the proposed concession agreement between Gov. Malloy and state employee union leaders does not go far enough to rein in state spending and added the House and Senate should go on record as either in support or against the plan through a vote in each chamber.

“Committing taxpayers, future governors and the next five legislatures to paying for fringe benefits that are unseen anywhere else but in state government – and a pension system that is collapsing around us as we speak – is unfathomable, ’’ Klarides said. “After months of negotiations, this proposed deal falls short of where we need to be.’’ The deal is based on extending the expiration date of 2022 on the current pension and healthcare programs for five more years.

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House GOP Issue Revised “No-Tax Increase” Budget

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HARTFORD – House Republicans today issued their revised no-tax increase budget for 2018-19 that eliminates the projected $5 billion budget deficit, increases school funding for all towns, reduces the corporate surcharge and mitigates municipal aid losses by reallocating funds.

“This is probably the most challenging budget to put together because revenue projections collapsed in recent weeks. Our goal was to come up with a plan that does not increase any taxes and mitigates the revenue losses to towns and cities and we did just that,’’ House Republican Leader Themis Klarides said.

Every town will see an increase in school funding over current levels. House Republicans relied on significant state employee union concessions and reduced state spending to balance the budget. They also included a wage freeze for state employees, but no layoffs.

Now the hard part comes as Republicans join Democrats and Gov. Malloy at the negotiating table to come up with a final budget plan that can pass both the House and Senate, Klarides said.

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Republicans Unveil “No Tax Increase” State Budget Proposal

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HARTFORD – House and Senate Republicans today shared a state budget proposal that closes the current projected state deficit over the next two years without new taxes and without pushing state expenses onto towns, cities or hospitals. The “Confident Connecticut” budget includes increased education funding with a new funding formula, restores money for core social services, and provides for significant structural changes to state government that roll out into the future.

House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) said, “This budget puts Connecticut on a better path without tax increases; without shifting the state’s financial burdens onto towns, cities or hospitals; and without pushing off our obligations onto future generations.”

“By creating stability for our state we can encourage confidence. With confidence comes jobs and economic growth. And with a healthy economy, comes a government that can invest in core services to make our state a better place for generations to come,” Representative Melissa Ziobron (R- East Haddam), ranking member of the Appropriations Committee. Read More →

House GOP Leader Klarides Reacts to Malloy Bond Meeting Cancellation

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House Republican Leader Themis Klarides released the following statement Tuesday:

“The governor continues to push policies that have been harshly criticized by Republicans, Democrats and local leaders. Pushing costs on to towns isn’t true reform; it’s a different way of paying for the same thing. It’s the ultimate gimmick. In the end, taxpayers will still have to foot the bill.”

“Connecticut residents are tired of these shell games and cost shifts. We need to make real, structural changes that will result in more affordable, leaner government. This governor doesn’t seem to get it.”

In response to the governor cancelling the March bond commission meeting, Rep. Klarides said:

“Cancelling one bond commission meeting won’t amount to much unless we change the way we do business in Hartford. Under this governor our borrowing has soared to astronomical levels- pushing costs further and further in to the future. Republicans have proposed setting a hard bond cap to achieve real borrowing reform. We are still waiting for the governor’s support.”

House GOP Leader Klarides Calls for Immediate Halt to First Five Program

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HARTFORD – Following the disclosure that Alexion Pharmaceutical, which received $51 million from the state to relocate from Cheshire to New Haven, is laying off 210 workers, House Republican Leader Themis Klarides today called for a halt to the First Five deals and said the legislature’s Finance Committee members should have some oversight on such agreements.

A bill providing that oversight will be heard on Friday in the committee.

“Alexion is just another example of how the administration is doing deals to benefit companies without any real guarantees of long-term job creation and commitment from the beneficiaries of such lucrative contracts,’’ Klarides said. She also noted that Alexion for the first time ever gave the Democratic Governors Association $25,000 in 2013 after it had received the $51 million package of loans and grants from the state. Read More →