Posted on June 4, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – State Rep. Jay Case (R-Winsted) stood with his Republican colleagues to oppose the Democrat budget, which came up for debate during Monday’s House session. The document is comprised of $752 million in increased taxes over two years, not including the tax on hospitals, and does not provide any financial relief to the state’s nonprofit providers. Legislators were given less than 24 hours to review the document before the Speaker called for a vote.
“The governor had promised a new way of doing business in Hartford. Before the session got going, I gave him the benefit of the doubt. Now, it’s clear, the new administration and Hartford Democrats are comfortable with the tax and spend pattern that put our state in financial crisis for decades,” explained Rep. Case. “There is no evidence of structural changes, to help create an environment for economic prosperity, anywhere within the document that was approved on a party-line vote.”
Rep. Case offered an amendment that would have made the budget a little less onerous on the organizations serving the state’s safety net. The amendment would have provided $50 million each year for non-profit rate increases.
“The amendment I offered would have required minor structural changes to prioritize dollars to provide programs and services to those who need it most,” said Rep. Case. “Our nonprofits are facing a myriad of anti-business mandates. This change to the underlying bill would have made it a little easier for them to absorb the policy changes and ensure adequate funding was available to maintain staffing levels. It saddens me that this amendment failed, along with the other ideas put forth by my colleagues that would have made this budge better for all.”
In November of 2018 Connecticut’s electorate voted to amend the state’s Constitution to include a lock-box for transportation funding. However, it is clear that taxpayer dollars intended to go into this fund have been diverted to pay for other budgetary needs, not related to transportation projects. According to Case, this diversion tactic also occurred with money that was earmarked to go to the Passport to Parks program.
The Republican amendments, which failed, included the following:
“The governor made no attempt to cut spending in his budget plan back in February and the Democrats in the legislature decided to tack on $100 million to his bottom line,’’ Rep. Case said. “This reckless tax and spending plan will further add to our decaying state finances, restrict growth and lead to more people and business leaving the state of Connecticut.’’