Proceed with Caution: Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore asking new administration to be laser focused and careful with money matters

January 24, 2011

Hartford, CT – State Senator Len Fasano is concerned the new administration maybe making risky investments believing jobs will be created.  Senator Fasano says a key tenant that Government doesn’t create jobs people do is being ignored by the new administration.  This in response to Governor Malloy’s state bonding agenda set for this week.

“We need to be laser focused when considering bonding projects,” said Fasano.  “I understand Governor Malloy wants to make smart, strategic choices to help create jobs and invest in Connecticut’s infrastructure, but I’m concerned the new administration’s definition of risk and what the state can afford are two different things,” said Fasano.

The Office of Policy and Management lists more than two dozen items on its bond meeting agenda scheduled for January the 27th, 2011.  At the top of the list, more than $81 million to buy new rail cars is a fair item to be considered.  Senator Fasano however, raises concerns over the other questionable items.

Sen. Fasano says, “If Governor Malloy wants to prioritize certain areas – the governor has talked about the importance of transportation infrastructure – he’s got to sideline other projects.”  Other projects, like a million dollar investment to the Prudence Crandall Center in New Britain to pay off the centers debt, an allocation for nearly $3 million to relocate a Softball field at ECSU and $3 million for 5 potable water projects that benefit individual homeowners.

“We need to have everyone start rolling back what is a want and what is a need,” said Fasano.  “Are these investments in which we will get a good return? I don’t believe some of these items achieve the goal of not spending more than we make.”

As Ranking Member of the Executive and Legislative Nominations Committee, Senator Fasano voted in favor of Ben Barnes as the state’s Secretary of Office of Policy and Management.  However, during confirmation Fasano raised questions over Mr. Barnes definition of “moderate debt service.” 

Fasano believes there should be caution, “to accept more than ten percent debt service at a time when the state faces a more than $3.7 Billion dollar deficit and a bonded debt, which now stands at $19.4 billion, is questionable.”  Adding, “We need to be careful about how much risk we are willing to take when we talk about debt service. What is prudent and what is foolish?” said Fasano.

“The new administration has a philosophy that ‘well-considered risks make government work better’ I’m not so sure this is the time to take such risks.”