Fasano, Frantz: State Cannot Handle Bonding Beyond Necessities

July 12, 2016

Hartford – Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich), ranking member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee, released the following statement regarding the state’s continued borrowing and growing debt. The bond commission agenda passed today brings the total General Obligation bonds borrowed so far this calendar year to $2.1 billion.

“Connecticut cannot afford to bond beyond necessities. Obviously we have to bond for certain projects as we always have done. However, we need to put a moratorium on bonding outside the core responsibilities of the state. Republicans have previously outlined our own bonding plan that would do this by capping annual bonding at a manageable level and guaranteeing appropriate funding for the following needs:

  • School construction and security grants
  • Clean water funding
  • Housing Trust Fund and housing programs,
  • STEAP funding and Capital Grants to Municipalities
  • Local Capital Improvement Program
  • Capital improvements to state owned buildings
  • Higher education commitments including UConn and the Board of Regents
  • BioScience Collaborative obligations
  • A manageable gubernatorial contingency to support additional necessities not included above

“Beyond these most important needs identified in our ‘Prioritize Progress’ plan, the state cannot afford any additional handouts at this time, and such handouts should be stopped.

“The state is struggling – the latest Democrat budget makes that abundantly clear. If we don’t make an effort to change our ways now our state will continue down the same path towards deep economic trouble and towards budgets that cut services to the most vulnerable. Democrats have said they support long-term structural changes to the state budget, yet they turn a blind eye to the record-breaking level of bonding that is still occurring in our state. That bonding today will have long-term effects we cannot ignore. Democrats also use the excuse of a ‘new economic reality’ when they talk about why they cut so drastically from social services. But when it comes to bonding there is no mention of that ‘reality’ – there is no effort to change the direction our state is headed. That is wrong. While some necessities should be protected, we cannot borrow for every single want or desire, no matter how well intentioned.”