Senator Joe Markley (R-16) joins Republican “Common Sense” Proposals to Roll Back Spending, Freeze State Workers’ Pay, Shrink Government

January 26, 2011

Billions in Cost Cutting Proposals Offered to Address Fiscal Crisis

Read the Proposal

HARTFORD – Republican state legislators today, including State Senator Joe Markley outlined a plan to reform and right-size government while growing jobs in the economy.

“This list of common sense reforms is a Republican priority but it should be a bipartisan priority in the interest of the state.” said Senator Markley. “We need to cut spending and make government smaller.  We can’t tax our way out of a recession.”

Republicans also offered other suggestions on how to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis: rolling back spending to previous levels; a 5 percent reduction in the state’s workforce; and cuts to the size and the scope of state government.  Republicans said their proposal is a true “hold harmless” for municipalities. It will preserve municipal aid over the next two years while saving the state approximately $1 billion.

No significant spending cuts have been made over the last two budget cycles, despite the massive drop off in revenue, which has led to the projected $3.5 billion deficit.

Senate Republican Leader John McKinney of Fairfield said, “We are making a Common Sense Commitment to Connecticut taxpayers.  Excessive government spending and inefficiency has exacerbated our budget problems.  We need to reduce the size and scope of state government and we will work with Governor Malloy on these reforms.  Make no mistake:  These reforms and spending cuts are necessary.  “

Short and Long-Term Savings

The comprehensive set of proposals, includes immediate savings for taxpayers, such as the 10 percent pay and perk cuts for lawmakers and elimination of longevity bonuses for state employees.  The two-year pay freeze for state workers would save $502 million, according to the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis. 

Republicans said the long-term restructuring of pension benefits for state employees would require them to contribute more to their retirement packages and would raise the age of when workers could retire.

Republicans point out in 2012 alone, approximately $485 of every Connecticut resident’s income tax payment will fund future state employee retirements.  Our state employee retirement system also carries an $11.7 billion unfunded liability which represents about $3,325 per man, woman and child in the state.