Posted on January 25, 2019 by Greg MacKinnon
HARTFORD – Earlier this week, State Representative David T. Wilson (R-Litchfield) voted against legislation establishing an interest free loan program for federal employees affected by the government shutdown in Washington D.C. The legislation was brought to the House of Representatives by means of an emergency-certification. As a result, the bill circumvented the standard committee vetting process and did not have a public hearing.
Rep. Wilson stated, “The legislature passed a no-interest loan program for federal employees that have been affected by the government shut down in Washington. While I opposed the bill, I supported an amendment that would have removed the Connecticut Housing Finance Authority as a loan guarantor and taken the Connecticut taxpayer out of the equation. This amendment failed, putting Connecticut’s taxpayers at a greater risk if these loans are not repaid. As a result, I was unable to support the bill without the amendment.”
The amendment was defeated by a final vote tally of 88 votes in opposition to 54 votes in support.
Rep. Wilson went on to say, “The bill language does allow municipalities to provide their own tax-deferment programs, which extends due dates for an affected employee’s real and personal property taxes, motor vehicles taxes, water and sewer rates, as well as assessment payments. I would have supported this portion of the bill had it stood alone, but it was lumped in with the detrimental language that puts greater financial liability on the state.
“During the debate, I asked questions about how the implementation of the interest free loan mechanism would affect financial institutions prior to casting my vote. Several answers offered by the proponent left me concerned about the unintended consequences of this legislation, which could be difficult for financial institutions to conform to in such a short period of time. I remain supportive of public-private partnerships, but they should not be entered into hastily.”
The legislation passed without the amendment by a final tally of 127-15 in the House and went on to pass in the Senate with only one no vote. The governor immediately signed the legislation into law.