In the early morning hours of Saturday, September 16 th , history was made. For the first time in\u00a0over\u00a040 years, the Connecticut General Assembly passed a no-tax- increase budget that was\u00a0developed by legislative Republicans, and sent it to the desk of Governor Dannel P. Malloy for\u00a0his signature. What started as a Republican budget became a bipartisan budget as three Democratic State\u00a0Senators, and then five Democratic Representatives, joined with all Republicans in voting in\u00a0favor of this budget. It had been 141 days since House and Senate Republicans put forward the\u00a0first version of this budget, only to have Democratic leaders who hold a razor-thin majority\u00a0refuse to call it. These Democratic leaders in the legislature preferred failing to deliver any budget until 70 days\u00a0after the start of the fiscal year, allowing the governor to run the state through ruinous\u00a0executive orders, including a looming order that goes into effect on October 1 st that takes away\u00a0all of Shelton\u2019s $5.8 million in Education Cost Share funding for our local schools. The historical nature of the successful passage of the GOP budget goes beyond the superficial\u00a0politics of the event. It represents a turning point in the philosophy of a working majority in the\u00a0General Assembly away from reflexive job-killing tax hikes such those enacted in 2011 and 2015.\u00a0These tax hikes have placed Connecticut behind almost all other states in recovery from\u00a0the Great Recession \u2013 resulting in the loss of large employers like General Electric, Aetna and\u00a0now Alexion. There are many important features of this budget document. First, it does not resort to\u00a0another massive tax increase to eliminate the projected $3.5 billion deficit \u2013 the budget that Democratic leaders negotiated with Governor Malloy and were preparing to unleash on the\u00a0state contained a whopping $1.5 billion in new taxes on residents. Among these was a 55% tax\u00a0increase on hospitals \u2013 a well the governor and legislature have repeatedly gone to since 2011. Other tax increases were planned for hotel tax, a new tax on cell phone bills, a new restaurant\u00a0tax, a new fantasy sports tax, and elimination of several income tax and sales tax credits, to\u00a0name a few. In the end, the majority did not have the votes to pass this third massive tax hike\u00a0in six years. The bipartisan budget that emerged Saturday morning is the product of recognizing that the\u00a0state is living beyond its means to sustain the level of government spending it has been making. This budget makes important structural changes to the way our state budgets which will\u00a0produce long-term savings for the state. This budget restores critical education funding to our towns, preserves essential core social\u00a0services for those most in need, invests in our state parks and tourism, and prioritizes\u00a0transportation infrastructure. That isn\u2019t to say there is no sacrifice. We implement a 10% reduction to state agency accounts,\u00a0achieve 10% savings through overtime reductions, and institute a hiring freeze on non-24- hour\u00a0non-union posts. We also make cuts to the legislature such as reducing the number of\u00a0committees. You can read more detail about this plan by going to cthousegop.com. If you feel that this\u00a0budget is better than the sweeping cuts to local education and massive tax hikes, I urge you to\u00a0contact Governor Malloy\u2019s office at 800-406- 1527 and urge him to sign this budget into law and\u00a0end this budget impasse once and for all.