By now, pretty much everyone knows about the amazing events of this past weekend where the Connecticut state legislature finally debated and passed a state budget.
The Democratic leadership finally called us in Thursday and then again on Friday to potentially vote on the budget they finally came up with after months of inaction – a budget that would have been so detrimental to the future of our state I find it hard to describe. Suffice it to say that it had billions of dollars in new spending and billions of dollars in new taxes on everything from hospitals, to cigarettes, to hotels, to uber rides, to cell phones, to eliminating the property tax credit, and also eliminating millions in funding to towns that would have led to enormous hikes in our property taxes.
In a remarkable and historic turn of events, instead of the Democrat budget being voted in, several brave Democrat legislators helped Republicans pass our version of the state budget – the same one that Democrat leaders have been blocking a debate and vote on since April!
We are all waiting now to see if Governor Malloy allows it to become the law in the state or will spitefully veto it.
Because I am receiving so many emails and questions about the content of this budget, I thought I would just say a few things about it.
First, remember the circumstances. It is now almost 3 most into the fiscal year. There is a $5 billion plus deficit and it’s clear to most everyone that the only way to save Connecticut is to get a handle on the ridiculous spending and taxes that have led to our economic problems.
The idea that this is supposed to be a perfect document is absurd. For me personally, I find it completely unfair to have to defend some of the things in it. I didn’t vote for any of Governor Malloy’s previous budgets or tax increases that have put us in the precarious position we find ourselves in now.
Of course, there are cuts and hard choices in this budget!! However, most of what I am hearing about are huge exaggerations, particularly with regard to the cuts to UCONN, the elimination of the public financing of election campaigns, and so called attacks on collective bargaining.
Remember that this budget raises NO taxes – not on real estate, not on cell phones, or gasoline, or cigarettes, or vacation homes, or any of the myriad of items that were proposed by Democrat leaders. We also do the most important thing which is to properly fund our towns for education aid for the next two years.
Under the Governor’s proposal, the towns I represent would have lost multiple millions of dollars which would have led to huge reductions to education, damaging schools and punishing teachers and staff, while increasing our property taxes by maybe hundreds of dollars for each property taxpayer.
This budget is actually remarkable in the way that it continues to protect the disabled community, seniors, and children considering the limited options available to us.
Of course there are things each of us will find to disagree with,” Sampson added. “There are things I absolutely do not like in this budget. However, a budget is a document that requires a majority of legislators to agree with before it can pass and therefore is going to be a blend of positive and what you don’t like but can live with. It’s not perfect, but it is the best and most responsible budget Connecticut has seen in a generation. Of course, I supported it.”
The bill has been sent to Governor Malloy’s desk. Although not confirmed, sources say that the governor is expected to veto the bill after it has been fully vetted.