Posted on May 10, 2018 by admin
HARTFORD – State Representative Scott Storms (R-60) voted in favor of a compromise state budget agreement on the last day of the legislative session, Wednesday, May 9th. The budget agreement was reached through negotiations by legislative leaders and caucus members using significant portions of a proposal hand delivered to all members of the Democrat Caucus by House and Senate Republicans last Saturday afternoon.
The agreement avoids new taxes without launching costly new government programs. It prohibits Executive Branch hold backs to municipal and education funding, allows for strengthening of the state infrastructure, restores the Medicare Savings Program and provides needed services to the state’s working families. The budget also respects the revenue volatility cap instituted in 2017 which created an influx of one-time revenue collections into the rainy day fund this year.
“This compromise protects our seniors, veterans, schools and municipalities,” said Rep. Storms. “In addition to providing protections for our most vulnerable residents, the agreement provides short term stability without new taxes and abides by the spending caps set out in last year’s budget. However, there is still much more that we can and should be doing to secure our state’s finances. I was proud to join my Republican colleagues on the Appropriations Committee in offering a balanced proposal that would have made long-term investments into paying our unfunded liabilities and enacting many recommendations which will serve as a basis for future discussions.”
The agreement also begins to implement some of the recommendations from the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth by requiring a study of pro-growth tax rebalancing, as recommended, for future consideration by the 2019 legislature. The budget deal also creates a mechanism to identify $500 million in savings from general fund expenditures to be acted on in the next session, and requires further study of reforms to the teacher retirement system to pay down unfunded liabilities.
Rep. Storms concluded by saying that this year’s compromise did not accomplish all that could have been done to address long term financial stability, but did bring the many seemingly disparate parties together to avoid the political grid lock that is evident in other branches of government.