Revised budget proposal increases school funding
State Representatives Jason Perillo (R-113) and Ben McGorty (R-122) joined House Republicans as they issued their revised no-tax increase budget for 2018-19. The adjusted budget proposal eliminates the projected $5.1 billion budget deficit, increases school funding for Shelton, reduces the corporate surcharge and mitigates municipal aid losses by reallocating funds.
“After six years of serious fiscal mismanagement compounded by massive tax increases, Democrats are looking to plug the newest gaping hole in the state budget with increased fees, legalized marijuana, casino gambling and pinks slips to state employees,” said Rep. Perillo. “These are more bad decisions that the state can’t afford, and there is another way. Our plan makes some tough decisions, but we managed to put together a budget that restores the governor’s cuts to our municipalities and local education without a tax increase.”
"Everyone can see at this point that raising taxes and increasing spending have not solved our economic troubles- they have worsened them," said Rep. McGorty. "Now the state has been downgraded again by two credit agencies within the last week. We can turn the state around, and our plan does that without raising taxes, and making some tough choices."
Under the newly proposed plan, Shelton would see an increase in school funding over current levels. The plan relies on significant state employee union concessions and reduced state spending to balance the budget. It also includes a wage freeze for state employees, but no layoffs.
The Governor’s revised budget proposal includes hundreds of millions in additional cuts in local aid that Republicans rejected. The House GOP also turned down a proposal to require towns and cities to pay $400 million in teacher pensions.
Republicans will now join Democrats and Gov. Malloy at the negotiating table to come up with a final budget plan that can pass both the House and Senate. Both Perillo and McGorty expressed hope that a budget could be agreed on and finalized before the June 7th adjournment of the legislative session.
“Time and time again Senate Republicans put forward ideas that demonstrate there is a better way to move our state for the benefit of our families,” said Sen. Kevin Kelly. “Even in this extremely difficult budget year we are able to offer Connecticut families a budget that does not rely on tax increases. We have seen what Democrat budgets have done to our state – driven businesses and families out. We have a plan to get us out of this fiscal mess and get us back on a path to economic growth and jobs without digging into the wallets of hard-working families.”
The updated two-year Senate Republican proposal does the following:
- Closes the state budget deficit without tax increases
- Increases education funding by $170 million in the first two years and includes a new Education Cost Sharing formula
- Reformulates municipal funding and holds towns harmless in the first year to cuts to statutory grants
- Streamlines government
- Provides for structural changes
- Maintains the tax exempt status for hospitals to protect them from a new local hospital tax
- Preserves core government services by restoring funding for social services such as Meals on Wheels, mental health care and substance abuse treatment
- Prioritizes transportation needs and stabilizes funding without tolls or new taxes
- Lowers taxes for retirees and helps seniors age in place
- Enhances funding for state parks and tourism
A full summary of the updated “Confident Connecticut” budget is available here .