Senator Guglielmo Calls Proposed Spending Increase “Unconscionable”

April 16, 2007

State Senator Tony Guglielmo, R-Stafford, today expressed his displeasure towards the Democratic proposed biennial state budget. At a meeting of the legislature’s Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee today, Sen. Guglielmo called the two-year budget “unconscionable” in that it would increase state spending by over 10.4% for the upcoming fiscal year (FY 08). The $17.8 billion is approximately $1.6 billion over the current budget and is over $850 million over the state’s constitutional spending cap.

“I really don’t remember being this disappointed about a spending plan before. It just does not make any sense to me why we would be doing this. This budget doesn’t just breach the constitutional spending cap; this budget destroys the spending cap. For us to ignore the cap and then tell voters to trust us is plain wrong. The people of this state voted overwhelmingly in favor of that cap (in 1991) and for us not to take it back to them so that they can tell us it is okay to exceed it is beyond my comprehension,” said Sen. Guglielmo. “If the members of the Finance Committee (and the legislature’s as a whole) expect the people of Connecticut to trust them when it comes this type of spending then they are not paying attention.”

Sen. Guglielmo said that claims being made that additional taxes would only affect a small number of state residents were misleading. “Let’s not make this into class warfare. The bottom line is that everyone will be affected by this budget. If not today, they certainly will be in the very near future. Look at the massive new spending we are doing and yet we still have a huge unfunded liability in the Teachers’ Retirement Fund, the State Employees Retirement Fund and other areas. In addition, it makes substantial changes to the state’s sales tax.”

Sen. Guglielmo, who voted against the proposal, said he will continue to work with his colleagues to come up with a more “responsible” compromise, but admits that the bar has been set. “The Governor exceeded the cap in her proposed budget, a measure I too could not support, so this proposal isn’t all that surprising. We need to bring some common sense back to the table, if not; we are going to tax people right out of our state.”