A lot of work still to do
HARTFORD- State Reps. Laura Devlin (R-134) and Brenda Kupchick (R-132) listened intently and with hope to Governor Ned Lamont’s first state budget address and pledged to work with him to improve the plan.
Governor Lamont outlined several proposals to raise taxes across all sectors of the state, including expanding the state sales tax to hundreds of previously exempt items including accounting, interior design, real estate, dry-cleaning, barber shops, beauty shops, veterinary services, parking, sports and recreation instruction, medications, sugary beverages, haircuts, liquor bottles, vaping and Netflix(R), shifting a large part of the teachers’ pension costs (25%) onto local municipalities and installing highways tolls to charge all vehicles – not just tractor-trailers.
“There are several elements of the Governor’s proposed budget with which I agree, specifically private-public partnerships to better serve to state’s needs,” said Rep. Devlin. “But I am deeply concerned about the impact of teacher and education costs shifted to our town and, in the area of tolls, the governor simply outlined two bad choices. A choice between truck-only tolls, which might be considered illegal or tolls for cars and trucks, with state drivers getting a possible discount.”
Rep. Kupchick said, “This budget, as written, includes taxes on nearly everything and will hurt middle class families. No one person or business is left harmless. I will share the impact on my town and business community with the Governor and expect him to keep his word to work with both sides of the aisle on this budget proposal in the coming months”.
Both Kupchick and Devlin empathizes that it is important to understand that this budget is merely a starting point for discussions and negotiations and any budget that they could eventually support must provide adequate funding for public education and prioritize the needs of families in Fairfield.
The Connecticut Education Association immediately after the budget address came out against the governor’s plan to shift pension costs onto cities and towns.
Although, Gov. Lamont talked about getting $2 Billion in state union concessions in his address, the state union minutes after the speech issued a statement that they will not negotiate any state employee givebacks.
The Internet link to Governor Lamont’s budget: https://portal.ct.gov/Office-of-the-Governor/2019-Legislative-Proposals