The 2018 legislative session comes to a close at midnight on Wednesday. Today, I want to provide you with an update on what is happening at the State Capitol, particularly with the state budget.
While there have been some significant developments on major issues in the past week, the state budget, unfortunately, remains an ongoing problem and there does not seem to be a conclusion in sight.
Traditionally, each legislative caucus and the governor craft a budget plan for the year and then propose a complete version of it. Each side uses their budget document as a basis for negotiations going forward, realizing that nobody ever gets 100% of what they want.
This year, only the Republican caucus presented a detailed budget proposal for the session in addition to the governor’s (the governor’s plan was a non-starter for us, since it relied on new revenue from tolls and slashed social services considerably). The majority party has not yet presented a complete budget proposal.
I joined my fellow House and Senate Republicans in unveiling our latest budget proposal. This budget would stabilize the state budget in fiscal year 2019 and beyond.
Right now, our state needs stability and predictability. Instead of using an expected revenue surplus to create more unaffordable programs and issue more empty promises, this budget proposal shows fiscal restraint by using that money to pay down our unfunded liabilities, fund teachers’ pensions, and add to the rainy day fund. Then, we prioritize funding for core social services including the Medicare Savings Program for seniors. This can be done without introducing new taxes.
The plan also fully funds the Special Transportation Fund and increases funding for Fairfield in comparison with the governor’s 2019 proposal. Overall, the Republican plan implements policies to achieve long-term savings and will help restore confidence in our state.
You can read more about our budget proposal, complete with documentation and OFA analysis, at this link.
Budget proposals are an important window into what each caucus values and how they intend to plan for the future, so putting forward a budget is a key responsibility for both parties.
Finally, three bills of significance passed the House this session and currently await action in the Senate. These are: an act banning bump stocks, an act eliminating accelerated rehabilitation (AR) for felony animal abusers, and a bill I have long pushed for that improves protections for children with food allergies.
You can also follow the work of the legislature as the deadline approaches by tuning in to CTN online here: http://ct-n.com/ and track the status of legislation here: http://cga.ct.gov
I hope you find this information helpful and please feel free to email me at email@example.com if you have any questions or to share your thoughts.