Senator Kane Promotes Republicans’ Alternative State Budget Proposal Cuts Spending, Reduces State Gas Taxes, Phases Out Business Entity Tax, Offers State Employee Early Retirement Plan

April 28, 2008

Senator Rob Kane (R-32) endorsed the alternative state budget proposal unveiled Monday by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney of Fairfield and House Republican Leader Lawrence F. Cafero, Jr., of Norwalk.

“Connecticut residents are struggling with rising gasoline prices. They’re worried about their jobs. They’re worried about what the economy is going to look like next year, and how it is going to affect their families. Our financial picture has changed, and it may not make sense to make do with the state budget the legislature passed last year. The Republicans’ alternative budget proposal is intended to help Connecticut’s families cope with the reality of today’s economy, and what we could be facing tomorrow. I look forward to working with Governor Rell and my fellow legislators in a bipartisan manner to do what is right for our state,” said Senator Kane.

Republicans offered their proposal as an alternative to adjourning this year’s legislative session without making adjustments to the second year of the existing two-year state budget adopted in 2007. The Republicans’ proposed alternative 2008-2009 budget calls for spending $16.839 billion, as opposed to $17.073 billion under the existing 2008-2009 state budget.

Among other things, the Republicans’ alternative budget proposal:

• Cuts gas prices by 10 cents per gallon through a summer state tax moratorium and cancels the scheduled July 1st gross receipts tax increase of .5 percent on July 1st.
• Phases out the annual $250 Business Entity Tax over two years.
• Phases out of the estate tax “cliff” over two years.
• Offers an early retirement incentive program to eligible state employees.
• Allows eligible seniors to receive care in their homes, instead of in nursing homes.
• Funds recently adopted criminal justice reforms.
• Re-establishes the early reading success program.
• Provides one percent cost of living adjustment for private non-profit social service providers and nursing homes.
• Includes additional $5 million for Town Aid Road grant program.
• Increases funding for Vo-Ag programs by $1 million.

“The Republicans’ alternative budget proposal is designed to help Connecticut handle the realities of our economy. This is our proposal to provide Connecticut with a well-thought out, balanced, and realistic state budget. We have time to do the right thing before the legislative session ends on May 7th,” said Senator Kane.