Sen. Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) send letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy

September 21, 2016

Sen. Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) have sent the attached letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy urging the governor to call a meeting with legislative leaders to discuss expanding the call of the Special Session:

September 21, 2016

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy
State Capitol
210 Capitol Ave.
Hartford, CT 06106

Dear Governor Malloy:

The Sikorsky deal represents a required investment in order to retain and potentially grow good, quality jobs in our state.

Restoring confidence in our state’s future and stabilizing Connecticut’s finances must continue to be our priority.

With this goal in mind, we will soon be presented with a golden opportunity to send a positive message to state businesses and residents.

By expanding the Special Session’s call of measures to be taken up, we can seize that opportunity in a bipartisan fashion.

We write to urge you to convene a meeting of the legislative leaders as soon as possible to discuss the expansion of the call.

Expanding the call would dovetail with the remarks that you made to the Midstate Chamber of Commerce on Sep. 16.

In your comments, you said that if you had known six years ago that the economy would take this long to recover, you would have governed Connecticut differently.

While our caucuses will maintain that the economy here in Connecticut is the direct result of the policies you and the democratic majority put forth, we will agree that Connecticut is very much in a tough economic situation.

  • We saw a loss of 800 jobs in July – a swing of 2,500 jobs from the original Department of Labor announcement. We gained just 300 jobs in August.
  • Connecticut is dead last in the Northeast for job recovery since 2008.
  • Revenue from the personal income tax continues to decline.
  • Sales tax revenue is declining.
  • Higher paying jobs are leaving the state.

We think we can all agree that the status quo is not the answer.

Given the above facts and your recognition of the difficult place we find our state in, our caucuses believe that we need to act now.

We are in a financial crisis that never seems to end. Although the legislature is “part time”, given where we are as a state economically, we need “all hands on deck”.

We cannot wait until next session to talk about the issues and try to change the course and direction of our state.

If high-paying jobs are leaving and personal wealth is departing Connecticut for more attractive locations, then we need to stop the exodus and restore confidence among state residents and businesses.

The 2017 legislative session begins in January. We should not wait until then to act. Policies passed by the General Assembly next year may not take effect until October of 2017. From now until then, Connecticut’s economic slide could accelerate as more people depart Connecticut and leave us with a greater deficit in this fiscal year rolling out into the future.

So we propose to have you call a meeting of the legislative leaders and demand that we embark on a different road to bring Connecticut out of the sluggish economy.

Below is a list of ideas that we believe can be implemented now which would send a message about the direction Connecticut is heading and help to bring back confidence in our state:

  • Vote on state employee union contracts. (Which you support.)
  • Cap bonding allocations by the State Bond Commission and reduce proposed bond issuances in the future.
  • Save taxpayers $300,000 by ceasing participation in the mileage tax pilot program. (Senate and House Democrats and Senate and House Republicans have expressed their opposition to the mileage tax study.)
  • Develop career pathways in growth industries. (An idea which House Democrats and Senate and House Republicans have expressed support for.)
  • Reinstate the Transportation Strategy Board which the democrat majority eliminated in 2012. (Republicans have proposed this in the past and House Democrats have expressed support.)
  • Reduce the number of legislative committees.
  • Reconvene discussions about pension reform. (A starting point would be to pass the reforms contained in Senate Bill 1301, which passed in the State Senate in 2011. House Democrats have now expressed support for pension reform.)
  • Require the legislature to act when projected budget deficits occur in two consecutive months.

These important steps can be taken immediately and will send a message that we are committed to moving Connecticut in a different direction in response to the sluggish economy. These steps will build confidence among businesses and state residents and show that we understand that times are tough in Connecticut.

This will be the precursor to the 2017 legislative session, when we can continue to readjust Connecticut’s track.

Governor, this is about saving our state for today, not political pandering for tomorrow.

Thank you for your consideration of this suggestion. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


Len Fasano
Sen. Minority Leader

Themis Klarides
House Republican Leader