Capitol Update: ReviveCT and Concerns Over a ‘Shadow Budget’

Posted on May 13, 2021


I just wanted to provide you with an update on the state’s budget process, including an alternative plan for use of the state’s federal pandemic aid and a brewing constitutional debate over the use of an off-budget spending account.

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An Alternative Vision for Connecticut’s Future

House Republicans recently unveiled an alternative proposal for the use of that aid to address the lingering challenges of COVID, as well as position our state for future growth.

Most importantly, our plan recognizes that one-time federal aid should not be spent to create continuing programs, but instead focused on targeted needs like infrastructure, long-term care and learning loss in education.

Click to watch a clip of the press conference on the Republican plan

The ‘Revive CT’ plan:

  • Doubles the Governor’s proposed investment in nursing homes, prioritizing HVAC systems and connectivity for virtual visitation
  • Puts $350M towards shoring up the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund, offsetting future penalties for small businesses
  • Invests $15M in domestic violence services
  • Deposits $100M in the Special Transportation Fund, ensuring it remains solvent and enabling Connecticut to repair aging surface transportation infrastructure
  • Invests $24M in technical schools
  • Invests $2M in suicide prevention for military veterans

The Appropriations Committee is set to meet tomorrow to debate the Governor’s plan, with a committee vote pending for Friday.

It is my hope that my legislative colleagues will recognize the importance of using this funding properly and not creating future fiscal pitfalls for our state.

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Concerns Raised Over ‘Shadow Budget’

House Republican Leader Candelora recently sent a letter to Attorney General William Tong requesting a formal ruling on the constitutionality of the ‘Connecticut Equitable Investment Fund’.

The Attorney General is being asked to review a section of HB-6443 that would divert revenue from…

  • a new (voluntary) payroll tax,
  • a new consumption tax,
  • a new digital advertising tax,
  • new taxes on recreational cannabis and cannabis products,
  • and a diversion of future revenues generated by any form of online gaming…

To an off-budget account separate from the General Fund and not subject to the constitutional spending cap.

This account would be overseen by only a handful of public officials, including only two legislators.

I am deeply concerned that this approach would take spending decisions on a $1 billion dollar fund out of the hands of the people’s representatives.

I hope the Attorney General can provide some clarity on this issue, and I will be sure to update you on this issue when there are new developments.

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As the legislative session continues, please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you may have.

 

Tony Scott

State Representative for the 112th District

Monroe and Newtown

www.RepScott.com