Encourage Democratic Colleagues to Consider Republican Proposal
HARTFORD – State Representatives John Frey (R-111) and Michael Ferguson (R-138) have joined the House Republican caucus in calling for an up-or-down vote Thursday in the House on the balanced, no-tax increase budget proposed by Republicans – the third version produced by the caucus – noting the Democrats failed to produce a single complete proposal.
“Never before in recent history has the legislature failed to adopt a budget before the end of the fiscal year without even voting on one – and it’s certainly the first time the majority party simply neglected to even produce one,” said Rep. Frey. “The single most important issue the legislature had to address this year was fixing the mess that has been made of the state budget, but as a result of the pathetic leadership vacuum that exists in Hartford we may not even have a chance to debate the budget. I think Democrats should be ashamed of themselves if we can’t even discuss our ideas in the House on Thursday.”
“Leadership failure of this magnitude would never be accepted in a private-sector job,” said Rep. Ferguson. “Families and businesses in Connecticut are struggling in this economic climate and they deserve immediate action on resolving the crux of the issue, which is the state budget. I am worried for the near future of many people and institutions in this state if nothing is done.”
Legislative Republicans proposed a full balanced budget this spring and then revised that proposal last month to account for a dramatic drop in revenue receipts. Democrats did not even produce a plan by the time the legislative committees reached their deadlines later in the spring and still refuse to call the Republican budget for a vote. If no budget is passed by the end of the fiscal year on June 30th, the governor will run the state on a series of continuing resolutions.
Frey and Ferguson each considered this prospect distressing and warned that a prolonged budget struggle will result in huge problems for towns and cities that count on state revenue to help run local government. Those most at risk and in need of social services will also be affected.
“Running the state without a budget in place is not an acceptable back-up plan for the legislature,” said Rep. Frey. “It’s important to point out that if Republicans were in charge, we would have passed a balanced budget that does not contain any tax increases. We worked hard to produce three versions of a budget proposal to accommodate the revenue shortfall this year. The alternative is the governor’s proposal, which even members of his own party called ‘draconian.’ Legislative Democrats have not even come up with a full budget package. Why won’t Democrats rise to the occasion and even put our proposal up for a vote? You’ll have to ask them.”
“The prospect of the governor running the state almost unilaterally paints a disturbing picture for core services like education and hospitals, as well as the people who rely on them,” said Rep. Ferguson. “These institutions need to be protected and they are severely threatened by budget uncertainties. I hope my friends on the other side of the aisle will consider this and give the House Republicans’ balanced budget considerable thought as good steps forward for this state. The people deserve a government that takes meaningful and decisive action.”