State Senator Len Fasano Joins with Fellow Senate & House Republican Leaders in Unveiling Balanced, No Tax Increase Budget

April 16, 2009

Hartford, CT – State Senator Len Fasano (R-North Haven) joined with fellow Senate and House Republican legislators in Hartford today in unveiling a balanced, no tax increase budget for Fiscal Years 2010-2011. While the alternative proposal offered by Republican legislators today avoids tax increases, it also avoids cuts to state municipal aid by maintaining funding at 2007 levels (including Education Cost Sharing funding) and it restores the $500 property tax credit eliminated in the Democrats’ budget.

“With billions of dollars in deficit facing the state of Connecticut over the next two fiscal years, there can be no dispute that the financial forecast is bleak,” said Senator Fasano. “However, Majority Democrats have failed to put forth a responsible budget proposal. Instead their plan relied heavily on more than $3 billion in tax increases to balance the budget. Tax increases on Connecticut’s already-struggling families and businesses are NOT the solution to this crisis. I believe the plan laid out in the proposal we offered today is the blueprint Connecticut needs to emerge from this crisis successfully.”

Some highlights of the Republican alternative include:

• Early retirement to save more than $285 million;
• State worker concessions for salary, health care and pension benefits that save $662 million;
• Folding 16 agencies into three and implementing a hiring freeze to reduce overhead costs;
• Overhauling the higher education bureaucracy that duplicates services and drives up tuition for families struggling to pay for college;
• Preserving school and municipal aid;
• Using the Rainy Day Fund for what it was intended – fiscal distress;
• Imposing $900 million in hard cuts;
• Restoring $25 million in municipal aid cut by Democrats and the $500 property tax credit for families earning as little as $46,000;
• Engaging private companies that can perform duties such as state park maintenance;

Senator Fasano said he hopes both parties can work with Governor Rell in compiling a balanced budget for the next two fiscal years that will keep both families and businesses in Connecticut by avoiding sweeping tax increases.

“Since April of 2008, legislative Republicans have called for action in closing this budget gap,” said Senator Fasano. “Now, a year later, when we are racing against the clock to close this budget gap, both sides of the aisle must put partisanship aside and take the opportunity to redefine the role of state government, together. I believe we can solve this crisis by streamlining government, making some tough cuts and collaborating. In the weeks and months ahead I look forward to the discussions and debates and hope we can set Connecticut back on the path to prosperity.”