Senator Kane Appointed To Governor’s Municipal Advisory Panel

December 3, 2009

Sees Role As A Voice For Small Towns & A Supporter Of Mandate Relief

State Senator Rob Kane (R-32) is among the legislators and municipal leaders appointed to Governor M. Jodi Rell’s bipartisan panel charged with recommending ways to cut local government costs and provide mandate relief as part of her plan to abolish the projected $466.5 million state budget deficit. Senator Kane was appointed to the panel by Senate Minority Leader John McKinney.

Senator Kane is opposed to cutting aid to municipalities and is working with Republican legislative leaders to develop alternatives. However, he said the General Assembly must reduce the burden of state mandates on municipalities even if legislators adopt a deficit mitigation plan that does not call for reducing state aid to towns and cities.

“As someone who began his political life as an elected municipal official, I know firsthand the impact state mandates have on local governments. Clearly, providing relief from state mandates is among the most important things we must do to help towns and cities control costs. According to the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, we now have more than 1,200 state mandates on the books, and all too often we either fail to pay for them or do not pay enough. Obviously, that drives up the cost of local government, a cost that is passed on to families and businesses,” said Senator Kane.

Governor Rell will call the General Assembly into special session on December 15th to consider her deficit mitigation plan, which includes a proposed $84 million reduction in state aid to municipalities. Her bipartisan municipal advisory panel met for the first time on December 3rd.

“I am grateful for this opportunity to help make the difficult decisions necessary to resolve the state’s ongoing budget problems. I see a big part of my role as ensuring that any reductions in state aid to municipalities do not fall disproportionately on small towns, including the 10 communities I represent. If the General Assembly does vote to cut state aid to municipalities, then all towns and cities – not just small communities – must share the pain. Residents of the small towns in my district already send far more to Hartford in taxes than they get back. The state budget deficit belongs to all of us, and it would not be fair or reasonable to expect the small towns to shoulder a disproportionately large share of the burden for abolishing it,” said Senator Kane.

Senator Kane urged state residents to contact him regarding their concerns about the state’s ongoing budget problems and suggestions for abolishing the deficit. He can be reached at his legislative office in Hartford at 1-800-842-1421, or via e-mail to [email protected].