Capitol Update from Senator Frantz

June 8, 2009

After a very intense 2009 legislative session, I need to report to you that while legislative business was officially closed Thursday, our state still does not have a budget. While there is some good news, the all important deficits for this fiscal year and for 2010 and 2011 have not been addressed adequately to the point where we are close to a budget deal. As the clock ticks away, we can expect to be near $1 billion in the red for FY 09 and in the neighborhood of $8 billion for the next two years. While trying hard during the legislative session to reign in spending on the Appropriations Committee, I consider my job at this point to maintain pressure on the majority leaders and budget negotiators to make the right choices at this very difficult time. As I see it, those choices include not raising taxes, reducing state spending and waste and borrowing as little as possible to get through this fiscal crisis.

Governor Jodi Rell has led the charge tackling our state’s fiscal crisis introducing not one but TWO no-tax-increase budget proposals since the start of the legislative session as well as several rounds of very tough rescissions. She is the only person standing between the majority’s proposed budget and you and I paying as much as 56% more in income tax, 30% more in corporate income tax and 30% more in estate taxes. We simply do not have enough numbers in the House or Senate to stop the Majority Democrats’ proposed tax increases. I will continue to keep you abreast of the status of budget negotiations during the summer months.

While the budget battle dominated much of the legislative session, there were some good bills passed such as SB 951 which increases the penalties for residential mortgage fraud. Also PA 09-60. That legislation postpones property revaluations at the option of municipalities and SB 1081 that reduces the blood alcohol level allowed while driving.

I am also pleased to report that I had two concepts make it through the process that are now ready for the Governor’s signature. They concern the streamlining of Bradley International Airport and making our state more accountable on the issue of relative economic competitiveness, something that will mean a great deal to those of us in the district for many years to come. I was unsuccessful in my efforts to eliminate the estate tax and the associated cliff provision – that was not the result of any lack of effort and I will try again next session.

I consider it an honor and a privilege to be serving you the State Senate and look forward to hearing from you or seeing you in person to be sure that your thoughts and ideas are fully represented in Hartford. I am grateful for your trust and will continue to work hard to improve everyone’s life in the district.

While we continue to work through our budget process, I encourage you to visit our website: www.ctbudgetfacts.com. The site is an interactive and user-friendly resource which explains the budget process and gives you a look at the various proposals before the legislature.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have about the budget process. I can be reached toll free at 800.842.l421 or via email at [email protected]