Governor Malloy’s Budget Address – Hope or Business as Usual?

February 16, 2011

State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich): “While I commend Governor Malloy for delivering a budget address that seemed constructive as much as it did optimistic, I am afraid that the actual budget package that the administration produced today does not go far enough in assuring the state’s solvency or government affordability for the long-term. The most striking component of the budgets for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 are dozens of new taxes, higher rates on existing taxes and the elimination of some of the recently enacted tax breaks that have brought hundreds of jobs right here to our back yard. Most Connecticut residents would agree that the recession is not over for them personally and are now facing higher taxes in dozens of areas.

Connecticut needs to be in a position to grow itself out of the fiscal quagmire it has been dragged into as a result of excessive growth in government spending by becoming once again the location of choice for employers, large and small, new and old. As the former Mayor of Stamford for 14 years, Governor Malloy should understand the fundamental aspects of economic development, yet surprised many of us with his tax proposals. While his point is accurate that we will still have a slightly lower tax rate than our immediate neighbors, Connecticut today competes nationally and globally, a reality that we all must recognize immediately and reflect in our policies to assure a bright future. If we truly want Connecticut to be open for business, we need to lower tax rates to improve the business climate.

On the spending side, the budget is larger for 2012 than it was for 2011 and larger for 2013 than for 2012. There have been no net cuts to state spending. Furthermore, while some measures are proposed to address our over $60 billion in unfunded liabilities, they simply fall short in sufficiently restructuring the largest liabilities that we face as a state. We remain the single worst state in the nation on a per capita basis in the category of indebtedness.

As we move forward with budget negotiations, my colleagues and I look forward to working with this administration in order to improve the solvency of our state, while finding a reasonable way to fund our essential programs and services.”