HARTFORD – The Connecticut General Assembly today passed a bipartisan budget that averts Governor Malloy’s devastating education cuts to cities and towns and installs structural municipal mandate reform that provides long-term relief sought by local leaders and taxpayers. State Representative Prasad Srinivasan (R-Glastonbury) appreciates the effort of leaders from both sides of the aisle to come to this compromise, it passed 126-23 – a margin that overturns a veto by the governor, however without Rep. Srinivasan’s vote of support.
“I have had very mixed feelings on this budget,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “Anywhere and everywhere I’ve been people have consistently – as you can imagine – asked me when we will have a budget. Anything is better than the draconian cuts under Governor Malloy’s Executive Order. Anything is better than uncertainty. However, we passed a bipartisan budget last month that should have been signed into law. That is the budget I supported and will continue to support.
“I recognize that there is a lot of good in this budget, but it does not go far enough,” Rep. Srinivasan said. “The structural changes comprising of the constitutional spending cap does not go far enough. It is long overdue and this budget addresses it marginally at best. The bonding cap, in addition, does not go far enough as we continue to kick the can down the road. Time and time again we are sweeping money into the General Fund to balance the budget. $6 million from the tobacco settlement fund is not being used for the purposes it is intended for. $64 million from the energy efficiency fund should not have been swept into the General Fund. It is the ratepayers’ money! Money sent to Hartford in excess of $86 million at the expense of our schools and education is unacceptable. We are rewarding “the failures” and punishing “success,” it should be the other way around.
“The concerns of our citizens with crumbling foundations are not adequately addressed,” said Rep. Srinivasan. “We have cut the services from those who need them the most. We must preserve our safety net. In the seven years I have been in the General Assembly so far, I’ve heard it said over and over again that the budget is a good first step, but we have reached a tipping point where the medicine the state needs is far beyond the first step. It was repeatedly said in the debate that we will be back very soon to mitigate the budget. That is very concerning. We need a budget, no question about that, but we need a meaningful and sustainable budget.”