HARTFORD – State Representatives Dave Labriola (R-131), Rosa Rebimas (R-70) and fellow Republicans released a revised budget during a press conference on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Based on previous proposals put forth by the caucuses this year, this version balances the state’s $3.5 billion deficit without new or increased taxes.
“Our caucus has proposed a responsible, balanced budget,” said Rep. Labriola. “Our proposal contains no tax increases on the citizens of Connecticut and does not add any taxes onto our small businesses.”
“We are approaching three months without a two-year budget in place and our cities and towns have suffered as a result,” said Rep. Rebimbas. “Without assurances from the state, municipalities cannot plan ahead and have resorted to delayed school openings, layoffs and damaging spending cuts to offset the shortfall. House and Senate Republicans have been prepared to vote on a budget for months, but the majority’s refusal to entertain our proposals, or even permit a healthy debate, has blocked our efforts. We have offered a final version before Thursday’s special session and we believe this comprehensive plan is the best option for the entire state. I hope we have the opportunity to put it to a vote.”
This budget proposal would put a stop to the governor’s executive order, restore funding for education and social services, and provide local governments with the clarity they need to form their own budgets. The package includes elements of House and Senate Republicans previous plans while incorporating suggestions and feedback from Democratic lawmakers and Governor Malloy. The new version also factors in the recent SEBAC agreement, which is now law.
The GOP budget restores the $200 property tax credit for all qualifying families and individuals, creates a more equitable ECS formula, provides predictable municipal support and crucial mandate relief, funds core social services for the poor and seniors, including Care4Kids and Meals on Wheels, and prioritizes education funding. The proposal seeks long-term changes by reducing the size of government through hiring freezes, consolidating legislative committees to increase efficiency, and implementing a spending and bonding cap. With these savings, Republicans were able to include phased-in tax exemptions for social security and pension income for middle income families.
The Connecticut House of Representatives is scheduled to meet this Thursday, September 14, 2017 for a Special Session. It is unclear if the majority party plans to call for a vote on the budget at that time.