Fairfield Republicans Propose Budget Plan Closes 2017 Deficit of $935.7 Million; Five-Year Framework Puts State in the Black

April 25, 2016


Restores Fairfield Education Funding; Provides Municipal Mandate Relief

HARTFORD – State Reps. Brenda Kupchick (R-132), Laura Devlin (R-134) & State Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) stood with their Republican colleagues in the Connecticut General Assembly today proposing a revised 2017 budget that closes the state’s projected $935.7 million deficit, protects Fairfield education funding, restores core social services, and implements long-term structural changes to the state budget. The plan ‘Pathway to Sustainability’ includes savings that roll out over the next five years, mitigating future projected budget shortfalls.

Sen. Hwang said, “Our priority as lawmakers must be to restore predictability, sustainability and transparency to our state’s finances. Our plan will hold harmless state funding for local education and protect services for our most vulnerable residents while making fundamental, long-term, structural reforms. We can do this without tax or fee hikes on residents and businesses. We look forward to these sound, common sense ideas being passed soon so that we can put Connecticut back on a stable, sustainable budget path. ”

“This is a budget that balances our books and sets Connecticut on a new path towards long-term sustainability. This plan rights the wrong proposed by both the Appropriations committee and the governor with their massive cuts to Fairfield’s ECS grants. Fairfield’s education funds shouldn’t have been zeroed out, especially after the town is at the end of our budget cycle. I’m hopeful the Democrat majority will agree to work with the Republican minority on the states budget and for the greater good of the people in Connecticut ,” said Rep. Kupchick.

“Our plan protects education and stops the continued taxation of residents and state businesses which led GE to leave Connecticut. This is a blueprint for new policies that will help ensure our state lives within its means moving forward and provides for a sustainable, predictable future,” said Devlin.

The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that if the current budget practices continue, the state will rack up huge deficits over the next 5 years ranging from nearly $1 billion to over $3 billion annually.

This plan includes a line by line budget to mitigate the fiscal year 2017 deficit, as well as long term structural changes. Together, these policy changes roll out into future years to mitigate ballooning deficits on the horizon. Following 2017, this budget proposal is projected to produce annual surpluses, with a cumulative total of over $1 billion.

The proposed Republican budget would restore funding to core social services Democrats have proposed cutting this year, while also making needed cuts and implementing new policies that generate long-term savings. This includes the following:

  • Restores education funding for towns and increases statutory grants to municipalities. Also preserves funding at 100% for car tax capping and implements a robust municipal mandate relief package. Maintains funding throughout the next 5 years.
  • Protects funding for social services. In order to preserve the safety net of services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty, this proposal eliminates new proposed budget cuts to direct services.
  • Restoration of support for hospitals and Medicaid reimbursements.
  • Administrative reductions. To enable the state to protect funding for core services, this budget cuts specific, non-service accounts by 12% for a total savings of $157.5 million.
  • Legislative givebacks including legislative salary reductions and elimination of unsolicited mail.
  • Modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
  • Funds transportation development with “Prioritize Progress” – a no tolls/ no tax increases plan.
  • Implements long-term structural changes to the state budget including mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding, and many more, detailed in the attached document.
  • Prices out savings from changes to unionized state employee health and pension benefits, to offer an alternative to layoffs should unions come to the negotiation table.

For more information about the ‘Pathway to Sustainability’ budget plan please visit: http://fiveyearbudget.com/.