HARTFORD – Rep. Gale Mastrofrancesco offered the following comments after the conclusion of the recent legislative session on Nov. 28.
“At a time when people are struggling with record inflation and energy costs, the majority of legislators in the House and Senate have taken away a tax break that was helping many drivers in our state.
Months ago, the 25-cent per gallon tax on gasoline was suspended at a time when prices were sky high and people needed the break. During a special legislative session in November, the majority voted to phase that tax back in starting in January, which will squeeze family budgets even more. By May, the full 25-cent tax will be back in place. The state government has a record surplus, yet the majority continues to demand more from residents at a time when they can least afford it.
I voted no to this bill because I believe this tax break should be extended, not taken away. Taxpayers are already dealing with strained budgets and higher energy bills, they don’t need higher gas prices on top of it.
Reinstating the tax was lumped into several other pieces of legislation, which I completely disagree with. Instead of debating each part of the bill separately, we were forced to take all of it or none of it.
The majority also voted to spend $76 million in taxpayer dollars on bonuses (called “premium pay”) for certain people who worked during the pandemic. But the government shouldn’t be in the business of providing these bonuses. So many people lost their jobs during the shutdown and many businesses were forced to close permanently. Yet those who were fortunate enough to remain employed are now getting taxpayer-funded payments. Some were healthcare workers who are dedicated to their profession, helped many people who were sick and never expected a bonus as a result.
In Connecticut, we have many fiscal issues and we shouldn’t be increasing spending on programs that are Band aids to bigger problems. Instead, we should be investing this money in the long-term growth of our state because when those Band aids come off, it’s going to be painful.
You can listen to my comments on the bill in the recording below.
And in case you missed it, I was recently a guest on the Todd Feinburg show on WTIC 1080. You can listen to our conversation about this legislation at this link: repmastrofrancesco.com/WTIC “