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Rep. Doug Dubitsky to Host Coffee Hours in Chaplin

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State Representative Doug Dubitsky to Host Post Session Coffee Hours

HARTFORD – State Representative Doug Dubitsky (R-47) will be hosting post session Coffee Hours to discuss the issues that has shaped the 2017 Legislative Session, the current budget situation, and any other items you’d like to discuss.

WHEN: Saturday, October 21st from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Pine Acres Diner, 250 Willimantic Road, Chaplin

If you have any questions, or are unable to attend but would still like to connect with Rep. Dubitsky or please contact his State Capitol office at 800-842-1423 or Doug.Dubitsky@housegop.ct.gov.

Myth vs. Facts on Bipartisan Budget

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Does the budget decimate UConn/UConn Health Center?
The Republican budget passed with bipartisan support by the legislature provides $1 billion in state aid to UConn and UConn Health Center over two years. This is a $200.1 million reduction to the anticipated $1.2 billion in state aid UConn would have received had the university not been touched by any budget cuts. While this is a cut of approximately 17%, this budget also for the first time allows for purchasing and contracting flexibility so the university can save money and enhance revenues in other ways that do not rely on taxpayer dollars.

There are policy changes that will allow in direct savings for UConn; like requiring professors to teach one additional class and eliminating the tuition waivers that allow UConn and UCHC employees and their dependents to attend UConn for free. Yes there are cuts to UConn, like every other agency. The difference between other state agencies and our flagship university to raise revenue or trim costs are substantial. UConn has alternative ways to support their organization through the school’s Foundation and fundraising or additional federal grants for research. While we have supported large investments over the years, we simply cannot afford it until our state is back on course. UConn still has an extremely healthy budget and now even greater flexibility to attain funding in ways that do not overly burden taxpayers. All of those avenues should be explored fully and pursued.
It’s also important to note that UConn is overstating it’s reductions by using the fiscal year 2017 original budget as the base, rather than what they actually received in 2017. It is only fair to compare the actual dollars taxpayers invested last year.

Does this budget change hospital taxes?
The budget proposed by Republicans and passed with a bipartisan vote in the legislature does not allow municipalities to tax local hospitals and preserves the small hospital pool. It also accepts the hospital settlement agreed to by the Connecticut Hospital Association and the governor’s office which includes tax changes our state hospitals lobbied for and meets all their requests to help them operate more efficiently and better meet the needs of their patients. This budget will also phase out the hospital tax over time and increases Medicaid rates which protect hospitals from changes on the federal level.

What does it do to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?
The Republican budget that garnered bipartisan support in the legislature would implement a graduated schedule for the Earned Income Tax Credit which provides 5% for single individuals, 10% for those with one child, 15% for those with two children, 25% for those with three or more children. By implementing a graduated scale we can make sure to preserve as much of the credit as possible for those who need the support most. Unfortunately facing a massive deficit of historic size we had to make the difficult decision to reduce this program in part to protect other core social services including SAGA. In addition, there are some who say a case could be made that it is not actually a tax cut, as over 80% of recipients never paid state income tax. Regardless on your opinions about the program–we prioritize children in the graduated scale model we worked hard to define.

Does this budget better serve the I/DD Community?
It is the only budget to fully fund day and employment services for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. It also does not carry forward reductions imposed by Governor Malloy to employment and day opportunities services for the intellectually disabled. In addition it adds funding to help individuals on the wait list access services.

Is this budget balanced?
Yes, OFA shows surpluses of $70 million surplus in 2018 and $40 million surplus in 2019.

How do we balance the budget?
– We rein in government as much as we can. We consolidate agencies and eliminate top heavy positions like Commissioners and their deputies.
– We make targeted spending cuts while simultaneously protecting core services.
– We implement 10% reductions to certain agency accounts.
– We implement overtime savings of 10 percent, a hiring freeze of non-24-hour employees, and cut the legislature’s budget.
– We include long-needed structural changes to achieve future savings such as a strong spending cap and bonding cap. The Democrat budget included a spending cap which recommends not counting our growing pension debt.

Why does OFA show a deficit in the out years?
All budgets proposed show deficit in the out years because the state’s financial problems cannot be resolved in one year. That being said, the Republican out year deficits are less than what was projected in the Democrats’ budget which includes many new tax policies like cell phones and non-prescription medicine (for example, in FY20 the Republican budget shows $1.2 billion deficit while the Democrat budget shows $1.4 billion deficit. In 2021, Republican budget shows $2 billion deficit while Democrat budget shows $2.1 billion deficit.) However, unlike the Democrat budget, the Republican budget also includes tax reductions to pension income, social security income, and inheritance/estate tax. We have heard our retirees and seniors loud and clear! They want to stay here and we want them here, too. These tax reductions contribute to the deficit on the surface because we are taking in less revenue, but they are likely to actually lower the deficit once implemented by sparking economic growth. In addition, the Republican budget contains a strict spending cap (as voted for nearly 25 years ago, but never enacted) and other long term structural changes to achieve future savings, restore confidence in our state, and therefore have a positive effect on the economy that cannot be calculated by OFA in the projections they show.

Does this budget change taxpayer funding for campaigns?
This budget eliminates taxpayer funding for political campaigns under the “Citizens Election Program” (CEP). The state cannot keep up with managing funds for this program that is a mere shadow of the original program meant to keep elections clean. In an extremely challenging budget year, this budget makes the decision to end taxpayer funding for political candidates – an expense which is expected to balloon to $50 million for the next election cycle with no additional money to be found in escheats which has previously funded the program. Democrats have actually underfunded this program in their own budget proposal by $10 million also putting the program in jeopardy because the state simply does not have the funds to support what this program has grown into.

Does this budget change teacher pension contributions?
This is not a tax on teachers. This budget does increase contributions teachers’ pay towards their own retirement from 6% to 8% at maximum, which remains below the national average of over 10% for teacher contributions. It was important in this budget to minimize the increase while also stabilizing this fund so the state can keep the promises it makes to our teachers who dedicate their lives to serving our state and its students. This is an increase that teachers pay into their own pensions; therefore it is all money that every single teacher gets back when they retire as it is part of their retirement savings. This is money that will be used to make the teachers’ pension plan more solvent and benefit teachers in the long run. In addition, this budget does not shift any teacher retirement costs onto towns and cities. Shifting any portion of this opens the door to more burdens being placed on municipalities and taxpayers. This is the state’s responsibility and we stood firm on not letting the state push off any amount of this obligation onto our cities and towns.

To make sure that the intentions behind the legislation adopted by the General Assembly are crystal clear, since partisan folks are distorting those intentions— the leadership of the Republican caucuses will put a request in writing immediately to the Teacher’s Retirement Board (TRB). While normally the TRB sets the state contribution amount every two years, this is too important to wait for the normal process. The money will be held in the General Fund UNTIL the TRB sets the amount as required.

Our intentions are crystal clear. This money will be deposited to the teacher’s pension fund, as was explained during the budget debate. Period.

Click here to see the Teacher’s Retirement Systems latest evaluation.

THREE CHOICES FOR TEACHERS

  • Support the bipartisan budget that gradually increases the pension contributions for teachers 2%, while also keeping the income tax exemption of 50% promised in the last session. This budget also promises level funding for every school district.
  • Support the Democrats proposed budget that passes a significant portion of the teacher’s pension payments to local taxpayers and municipalities. This mandate will force towns to consider laying off teachers or programs and their education funding cuts many communities. It also fails to keep the promise to exempt 50% of their income tax, dropping it down to 25% retroactively to January 1st 2017.
  • Support the Governor’s Executive Order which slashed education funding by almost $600 million and passes the burden of the teacher’s pension fund onto taxpayers.

 

CT Veterans Stand Down Event

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On Friday, September 22nd the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting a CT Veterans Stand Down event at the Rocky Hill Campus from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

This event provides veterans across Connecticut with access to a variety of federal, state and local services such as veterans benefits, medical, dental, mental health, recovery services, legal, housing, employment, education and much more.

Free bus transportation will be provided from various designated locations throughout the state.

No Pre-registration is required and all Veteran participants will register upon arriving at the event.

**You Must Arrive No Later than 12:00 p.m. to access services**

Pickups will occur @ 7:00 a.m. in Norwich at The Buckingham House, 307 Main Street

Due to time changes, please check the transportation schedule for other locations in your area.

To view the transportation schedule click here

Special Session Update

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Friends and Neighbors,

Here we are approaching August and the Democrats are still refusing to allow a budget — any budget! — to be brought to the House floor for an open debate and vote.

I have heard people say both parties are equally at fault. On some issues they may well be right. However, in the case of the current state budget debacle, the fault falls squarely and exclusively on the shoulders of the House Democratic leadership. Nobody else has the power to bring a budget to the House floor for debate.

To date, House Republicans have proposed four separate balanced budgets plus a short-term stopgap “mini budget,” each of which has accounted for changing revenue projections and other developments over time. All of which have been fully vetted by the Legislature’s non-partisan staff. None of which raise taxes, add tolls, shift teacher retirement costs to municipalities, or cut the middle class property tax credit. Yet despite the pain being wrought upon our people and our municipalities by having no state budget in place this late in the fiscal year, the House Democrats won’t even let us debate a budget for fear that it might actually pass.

The Democrats have the majority, and as they have been doing for the past 40 or so years, they are deciding what gets a vote and what does not. On Monday, House Republicans tried again to debate the state budget, but again the Democrats, on a party-line vote, blocked our every effort as if being without a state budget in July was no big deal.

Since adjourning the regular session on June 7th, my Republican colleagues and I have come back to Hartford on three separate occasions hoping to debate and vote on a state budget. Yet here we are at the end of July (almost a month into the next fiscal year) no closer to enacting a state budget than when the Regular Session started in January. You deserve better!

You deserve to know how much you will be taxed in the coming year and how your tax money will be spent.

As your State Representative I will continue to fight for you. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss the state budget or any other issue before the Legislature.

Thank you,

 

 

 

 

Doug Dubitsky

 

47th District – Canterbury, Chaplin, Franklin, Hampton, Lebanon, Lisbon, Norwich, Scotland, and Sprague.

As always, please feel free contact me anytime at Doug.Dubitsky@cga.ct.gov or 1-800-842-1423. 

Rep. Doug Dubitsky: Democrats Have Completely Failed the People of this State

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“The Democrats have completely failed the people of this state.” Rep. Dubitsky said. “Democrats control both houses of the Legislature and the governorship. Yet since January, the Democrats have been completely incapable of proposing a legitimate balanced budget that the House and Senate can vote on.”

“House Republicans have proposed three fully-vetted forward-looking balanced budgets with no tax increases and no draconian cuts to towns or essential services. We have been and continue to be ready to debate and vote on our budget, but the Speaker of the House has flatly refused to allow any vote on any budget proposal. With the start of the fiscal year looming, the Democrats’ dereliction of their legislative duty is throwing our towns into financial turmoil. Our towns cannot finalize their municipal budgets without a state budget in place. We owe it to the people of this state to set a biennial budget the towns can rely on. The Speaker should immediately call the Legislature into Special Session and let us vote on a state budget.”

Below are links to the House Republicans’ most recent fully-vetted, balanced, no tax increase budget.

House Republicans two-year budget proposal

  • Round 3 Budget changes: A list of major changes from House Republicans’ second budget proposal to our third proposal to keep our budget balanced. Most recently, we removed all fee increases and restored existing tax exemptions.
  • Appropriations: This is the budget. It shows how much House Republicans would appropriate to each account in the budget compared to the current year.
  • Municipal Aid: This is the run of major grants to each municipality. All towns will receive additional education funding. And, all towns will be flat-funded with regard to ALL municipal aid, including education funding.
  • All Budget Changes: A list of every policy and current services update on the spending side of the House Republican budget.
  • Revenue Changes: A list of every policy and current services update on the revenue side of the House Republican budget.