Sen. Boucher Opposes $1 Billion In New Taxes & $2 Billion In Borrowing

October 2, 2009

Votes Against Most Implementing Legislation – Votes For Delaying In-School Suspension Mandate

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) will continue to oppose the recently adopted $37.6 billion biennial state budget by voting against most of the implementing legislation under consideration by the State Senate today.

Senator Boucher noted that the legislature has acted on four deficit mitigation packages to date, and that the recently adopted biennial budget drains the Rainy Day Fund, raises taxes by $1 billion and borrows another $2 billion. She also noted that just this week Democratic Comptroller Nancy Wyman warned the General Assembly that the state may be facing a $500 million shortfall.

“I voted against this budget last month because Connecticut families and businesses cannot afford the new taxes, the increased fees, or the continued level of government spending it requires. It would make no sense and, in fact, be irresponsible of me to vote today in favor of legislation that implements the worst aspects of this state budget. Good programs in our district that could have been maintained will be reduced because of the bloat of state government,” said Senator Boucher.

However, Senator Boucher said that she supported implementing legislation that delays implementation of a new state law requiring schools to provide in-school suspension until 2010.

“The bill before us today that delays implementing the new in-school suspension is a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing session. I routinely speak with local elected officials in my district who have pleaded with me to repeal, or at least, delay the requirement for in-school suspension. I understand how state mandates burden towns by requiring them to carry our policies with little or no funding because I served as chair of a local school board, a selectman and as a member of the state education board during previous recessions. I understand the challenges they are now facing. This issue is a very clear example of a policy decision that should be made locally – or towns should receive full funding from the state to implement it. So, of course, I support the school districts on this issue,” said Senator Boucher.

Senator Boucher said she cannot support other budget implementing legislation before the Senate today. She noted that Republican legislators offered several alternatives to the biennial state budget adopted last month that would have helped to make our state more competitive and save jobs. Senator Boucher said that if Connecticut’s tax policy were more favorable than that of surrounding states, Connecticut could more easily attract and retain businesses.

“Among the many negative aspects of this budget is the possibility of fare increase for Metro North commuters. If we were to cut as little as $20 million each year out of this biennial budget, we could certainly avoid increasing train fares. That, along with the decision to raise taxes and fees rather than to make our state government smaller and more cost efficient, makes it just as impossible for me to support most of this implementing legislation today as it was for me to vote in favor of the budget last month,” said Senator Boucher.