State Rep. Jason Perillo, a Shelton Republican, is criticizing the proposed Democratic-backed biennial budget that has been approved by the legislature’s Appropriations Committee.
Perillo said the plan violates the constitutional spending cap, adds hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s multi-billion deficit, and borrows nearly $1 billion to pay for every-day governmental operating costs.
The Democrats also raid accounts such as the Retired Teachers Healthcare Fund to expand state government, he said, calling this another example of promoting the government class at the expense of the private sector.
‘The same old tired way’
“This is the same old tired way of running government,” Perillo said. “And I think by now we’ve seen that this is no way to run a state.”
Perillo is a member of the Appropriations Committee and an assistant Republican leader in the House. He represents the 113th District, which includes most of Shelton.
Delaying debt payments until after election
The plan borrows $1 billion to pay day-to-day expenses, places a permanent tax of $550 million on hospitals, and pushes off debt payments until after the next state election, according to Perillo.
He said other elements of the Democrat budget plan:
—Exceed the constitutional spending cap by $1.3 billion.
—Reduce the scheduled economic recovery note payments from $208 million next year to $12 million. The balance is added to the state debt and pushed out until after the 2014 elections.
—Increase funding by almost 10% over two years.
—Add a $550 million tax on hospitals by taking away that amount in previous funding.
—Swap the current $80 million electric generator tax with $80 million in borrowing.
—Use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles as an excuse to borrow $750 million to use for operating expenses.
Federal funds ‘an excuse to spend more’
“There are aspects of our funding that are 100% reimbursed by the federal government and there appears to be a fundamental disconnect in what many of us believe we should be able to do because of that 100% reimbursement,” Perillo said during an Appropriations Committee meeting.
“My sense here today,” he continued, “is that many of us feel that this becomes an excuse to spend more money. From my perspective, that 100% reimbursement should be a reason to lower taxpayers’ financial burden. Those are two very different things.”