Restores Medicare Savings, No Taxes, No Tolls
HARTFORD- House Republican Leader Themis Klarides, State Reps. Pam Staneski (R-119) and Charles Ferraro (R-117) voted to support the negotiated bipartisan state budget plan on the final day of the 2018 regular session.
This budget plan does not include any new tax increases and does not bring tolls back to Connecticut roads. And, this legislative body blocked the Governor from using his ‘hold-back’ authority to reduce municipal aid funding at will.
While it did not include some important pieces that were in our proposal, such as a plan to pay down unfunded pension liability, we were able to negotiate numerous provisions from our budget plan into the final legislation, including a hard hiring freeze on new state employees that will save $7 million.
“Republicans made restoring Medicare cuts a top priority so that more than 100,000 seniors will not lose their benefits beginning July 1. We also added money back to support veteran’s health programs and community colleges, all without raising taxes,’’ Klarides said.
“We still believe that our Republican budget plan was the best for Connecticut because it was a broad approach that included paying down the state’s debt and preserving the Rainy Day Fund. But those provision were not acceptable to Democrats and Connecticut needed to have a balanced budget in place,’’ she said.
The plan also includes:
- Restores $130 million in funding to the Medicare Savings Program (MSP) for senior citizens and the disabled
- Funds the Retired Teachers’ Healthcare Fund
- Restores funding for the HUSKY ‘A’ Medicaid program for about 13,500 low-income parents who are “working poor”
- Contains a hard hiring freeze on new state employees to save $7 million.
Additionally the budget document:
- Blocks the planned fare increases on buses and trains that are scheduled for July 1
- All municipal aid, education cost sharing, town aid road, Regional Fire Training Schools, the CT Firefighters Cancer Fund will all remain whole and untouched for 2019
“This budget plan is a product of a lot of hard work and many hours of conversation,” said Rep. Staneski, who is a member of the budget-writing Appropriations committee.
“This budget compromise brings Republicans and Democrats together to save critical funding for our seniors, veterans and to our local communities, “explained Rep Ferraro. This budget compromise does not do everything we had hoped, however, it does not raise taxes, implement tolls or employ other revenue gimmicks. Republican proposals that were adopted in our 2017-2018 biennial budget have been carried over and preserved in this budget compromise and are beginning to stabilize our state’s economy. I hope we can continue to gain support on our vision for Connecticut.”
“Throughout the budget process, I heard from many from Milford and Orange who said they did not want to pay higher state taxes or lose critical education funding, I am happy to report this compromised budget does not punish our towns. The main goal was to preserve the fiscal reforms going forward—a state spending cap, a cap on borrowing, and a volatility cap. We accomplished that without hurting our most vulnerable residents,” said Rep. Staneski.
The budget passed the House of Representatives 142-8 and the State Senate 36-0.
The budget now heads to Governor Malloy for his signature.