The 2019 session has now been completed, and as a first-year legislator, I am quite disappointed at the results. Sadly, there was no real goal or vision for Connecticut. I was hoping the legislature would have focused on fiscal restraint, lower taxes and a business-friendly environment. Instead, we got more taxes on families and a continued appetite for finding revenue and spending more of your tax dollars. Any significant initiatives by Republicans to reduce spending and trim the size or scope of government were summarily dismissed in favor of progressive economic policies.
The majority Democrats in the legislature and the new Governor worked overtime to push through every proposal possible that would harm the working families of Connecticut and businesses that provide thousands of jobs in our state.
Watching the session unfold one comes to realize how beholden the Democrats are to the government sector unions. The unions and their leadership seem to hold all the cards getting most of their big-government, anti-business proposals through the legislature.
There seemed to be a real lack of understanding this session by legislators to what the real financial costs of what the many bad economic policies will do to the business community and consumers. Overwhelming testimony I read and heard talked about how Connecticut is too expensive to live, raise a family or to run a business and anything the General Assembly could do to mitigate would be much appreciated. Instead, businesses were hit with $50 million dollars in taxes, a mandated paid family medical leave program, an increase in minimum wage, a reduction to the pass-through entity tax credit, and increased filing fees to name a few. No wonder businesses are closing and leaving Connecticut.
There is no doubt that these increased taxes and expenses will be passed on to the consumer on top of the newest list of taxes that were raised during the 2019 session. Some of the new taxes are on digital downloads, prepared food from grocery stores and restaurants, plastic bags, soda & alcoholic beverages, bus fares, dry cleaning, parking, rideshare services, safety apparel, and more.
My hope is lawmakers will finally realize that punishing businesses that want to stay here only leads to less jobs for state residents and higher prices on goods and services. As always, I will continue to fight for pro-job growth legislation, lower taxes for all and less government intrusion in our lives.
Finally, as we celebrate July 4th, I reflect on how fortunate we are to live in this great country. Those who laid down their life for our freedom believed courage, determination and liberty was the secret to making America such a prosperous and great nation and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Have a wonderful holiday and enjoy your summer.
As always, if you have questions about our state government, please contact me by phone 1- (800) 842-1423 or email Gale.Mastrofrancesco@housegop.ct.gov. You can sign up for my email updates by visiting my website at www.repmastro.com.