HARTFORD – In a special session of the House today, State Representatives Laura Hoydick (R-120), Ben McGorty (R-122) and Joe Gresko (D-121) voted in support of a bipartisan budget compromise arrived at after a months-long budget impasse that lasted well beyond the close of the regular legislative session at the beginning June, and 118 days after the start of the current fiscal year. The action today ends the longest budget impasse in Connecticut history.
The Stratford legislators noted that this budget, arrived at after marathon negotiations between Republican and Democrat leaders, passed the House by a vote of 126-23. The budget had passed the Senate the previous evening by a vote of 33-3. The margin of favorable votes in both chambers would be enough to override a veto from Governor Malloy if necessary.
“This budget is far from perfect, but we were able to work together to save the $21 million in Education Cost Share funds the governor threatened to slash from Stratford in his executive order,” said Rep. Hoydick, “We were also able to prevent towns like Stratford from having the burden of the cost of teachers’ pensions foisted on them by the state as the governor proposed. We also finally instituted a spending cap and a bond cap to reign in state spending, and phased in exemptions on taxes on Social Security and pensions. We also protected important services for the disabled. The alternatives we would face continuing under the governor’s executive order would have been devastating.”
“I am pleased that we could finally arrive at a budget agreement and I am especially pleased that we will be phasing out the tax on Social Security and pensions, something I have been fighting for since I arrived here,” said Rep. McGorty. “This budget represents giving a little on all sides, but the important priorities we have concerning the preservation of Shelton’s state aid, and making important structural changes to our budgeting process were included. I hope the governor will sign it, but if he does not, we have the numbers to see it pass without him.”
“This bipartisan budget is not perfect, but it prevents Stratford from losing over $20 million in state assistance through the Governor’s executive order budget,” said Rep. Gresko. “I appreciate the statutory changes we achieve in the spending and bonding caps, not forcing Stratford to pay for the Teacher Retirement Benefits and programs like Care4Kids and programs for the Intellectually and Developmentally Disabled being funded, but cuts in the Earned Income Tax Credit and energy Efficiency Funds and Green Bank were tough to handle. In the end, I could not in good conscious let the state and Stratford go any further without a budget.”
The budget now heads to the desk of the governor.