During a special session of the Connecticut General Assembly called to address Connecticut’s widening budget deficit, State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113), and Ben McGorty (R-122) opposed a partisan Democrat plan that the legislators said was little more than a Ban-Aid on a massive wound, and reflected an inability to come to terms with worsening economic conditions in the state, or the role high taxes and a punitive business environment have played in them.
“No matter how many tax hikes this legislature and governor approve, we are continually finding ourselves facing new budget deficits, and that’s no surprise to me,” said Rep. Perillo. “I’m pleased that there were some moderate rollbacks on the massive tax hikes to businesses and to our hospitals that were passed in June. But frankly, this mitigation plan takes no definitive structural action to stem the dire situation the state finds itself in overall. I can’t support a measure that fails to do that.”
“I had hoped we would be able to vote on a budget mitigation package that would make long-term structural adjustments to a system of budgeting that has obviously failed us time and time again,” said Rep. McGorty. “Massive and punishing tax increases have not righted our economic ship, and we have seen budget deficit after budget deficit. What was acted on during this session simply kicks the can down the road, and set the table for future deficits.”
Republicans in October put forward a serious budget proposal in an effort to close the current budget deficit aimed at addressing the state’s long-term structural budgetary issues. Some of the key points (highlighted below) include lowering the state debt by limiting the amount Connecticut can borrow, identifying and addressing inefficiencies in state government, protecting transportation funding, better management of the state’s pension system, and modest labor modifications.
· Mandatory approval of state labor contracts by both House and Senate. This will force lawmakers to be accountable. A contract has not been rejected since the Senate, controlled by the Republicans, voted one down in 1995.
· Increase state employee pension contributions and healthcare beginning in 2022 when the current contract expires.
· Implement definitions for a constitutional spending cap by March 1st in the next legislative session through a bipartisan commission. If no cap is in place no final action on any bills would be permitted.
· Cap bonding allocations by the State Bond Commission at $1.8 billion annually.
· Competitively bid the Corrections Department healthcare contract that costs the State of Connecticut $92 million last year.
The full Republican deficit mitigation proposal is available here.