HARTFORD – Local lawmakers State Representatives Doug Dubitsky (R-47) and Mike France (R-42) followed their votes opposing the compromise budget at the end of October with another “no” vote last week against technical changes to the current approved plan. The representatives felt that the negotiated settlements, which ultimately passed in the House by a vote of 123-12, did not make the budget more fiscally responsible in the ways they had hoped for.
“There were some things I generally liked in this bill, including a partial fix of the renters rebate program,” Rep. Dubitsky said. “However, even that “fix” was only a half-measure which still imposed yet another unfunded burden on our beleaguered towns. Since we were not able to vote separately on the good and bad parts of this bill, and had to vote on all parts as one, I had to vote against it.”
“There are changes to the budget contained in the bill that we did not appropriate for, which made it impossible to support,” said Rep. France. “I did support restoring the renter rebate program; however, the new proposal only served to shift the part of the cost for this state program to towns and cities, resulting in an additional $8.5 million reduction in municipal aid to create the revenue needed for the renter rebate program. Though this is better than the original proposal of putting the entire financial burden on towns, I can’t see how municipalities are going to make up for the 50% share of the cost, capped at $250,000 per town. I do not agree that towns should be responsible for paying for this state-created program, which effectively becomes another unfunded mandate.
“In addition, we amended a portion of the budget regarding insurance policies under the premise that the changes will be in compliance with the federal government, and that the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will reimburse us accordingly,” said Rep. France. “However, if the federal government does not find Connecticut to be in compliance, the current budget language could potentially cost Connecticut taxpayers over $1 billion in payments to hospitals over the biennium without the expected federal reimbursement. Fixing the legislative language removes the uncertainty for Connecticut taxpayers concerning the agreement between the Connecticut Hospital Association (CHA) and the state of Connecticut.”
For more information, please visit www.cthousegop.com/budget.
Rep. Dubitsky represents the 47th district of Canterbury, Chaplin, Franklin, Hampton, Lebanon, Lisbon, Norwich, Scotland and Sprague. www.repdubitsky.com
Rep. France represents the 42nd district of Ledyard, Preston and Montville. www.repfrance.com