State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) cast their votes against a state budget bill during a special session of the legislature called on Friday, May 13th. The budget measure agreed on by majority Democrats and Governor Dannel P. Malloy does not raise state taxes, but cuts municipal aid which will result in local property tax increases. It also slashes mental health services, education funding and hospital funding across the state.
Perillo and McGorty stood with legislative Republicans last month as they put forth their own balanced budget that does not raise taxes, does not use the Rainy Day Fund and makes measured cuts that do not punish the most at risk, such as the poor and elderly. The plan also included a comprehensive five-year strategic plan that reduces spending and achieves savings that will result in actual surpluses.
“They have done bad work, and they have done it slowly,” said Rep. Perillo. “The reason we have continued deficits even after the two largest tax increases in state history under Governor Malloy is that the people who pay those taxes are leaving the state. It really isn’t any more complicated than that. Unless this state changes how it looks at employers and stops trying to squeeze them for everything they can, the economic conditions in this state won’t change. Other states all around us have figured this out and have rebounded excellently from the recession. This budget shows the determination of state Democrats to double-down on failed policies.”
“The budget that the majority Democrats put out is more of the same and worse,” said Rep. McGorty. “It is balanced on the backs of local property taxpayers while making deep cuts to education, hospitals and social services. Without meaningful structural changes to the way we budget, we will never get the state back to the economic strength it ought to have.”
Republicans offered amendments on the floor of the House during debate, aimed at improving the budget package, but they were defeated on mostly party-line votes. One of those amendments would have done away with the Citizen’s Election Fund (CEF) which provides millions of taxpayer dollars to candidates for state constitutional and legislative offices to run their campaigns. Perillo and McGorty said that vote shows the priorities of legislative Democrats who would rather see state employees laid off and funds be reduced to for education and mental health services before they give up their taxpayer-funded bumper stickers and campaign lawn signs.
In addition, the Democrat-majority plan will:
Make Cuts to the Most Vulnerable and Needy
• The cuts to hospitals are deeper than the Democrats’ original plan. This proposal includes a $30
million state cut to hospitals and creates a $130 million total cut to hospitals
• There is a $1 million cut to grants for DCF Psychiatric Clinics for Children
• $13.8 million cut to DMHAS includes $5 million cut to young adult services, $7 million to grants for mental health services and $1.7 million to grants for substance abuse services at a time our state is grappling with opioid and opiate abuse epidemic
• $580,000 cut to the American school for the deaf
• $2.2 million cut (1%) to services for the poor- TANF
• 1% Reduction to Connecticut Home Care Funding
• Fire training schools are cut by 24% ($120,000)
• Cut the Office of Early Childhood- $10.8 million
Make Cuts to Education
• $32.2 million cut to the Education Cost Sharing
• $4.3 million cut to Special Education
• Eliminates $23.3 million grant for school transportation and $3.4 million grant for non-public school transportation
Read more about what’s in the Democrats’ budget here: http://cthousegop.com/badbudget/