Senator Frantz Opposes Budget Increase, Urges Fiscal Responsibility

May 9, 2012

Hartford – State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) voted against increased spending in the midterm budget adjustment proposed by the Democratic leadership and urged other legislators to practice fiscal responsibility by adopting the Republican alternative in the State Senate on Tuesday, May 8th.

“I simply cannot support continued and unrestrained spending at this time,” said State Senator L. Scott Frantz. “Our alternative budget spends $208.5 million less than the Democratic proposal while fully funding important responsibilities, including education, transportation, human services and public safety.”

House Bill 5557, An Act Making Adjustments To State Expenditures For The Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2013, would allocate $222 million in previously borrowed funds to shore up the $285 million deficit. This is effectively borrowing to cover current expenses, something that the rating agencies frown upon. It also makes budget adjustments to increase next fiscal year’s budget by $143 million for a total of $20.5 billion.

This budget adjustment includes raiding $70 million from the special transportation fund, which should be used for improving transportation infrastructure and $4 million from Banking Fund revenue to cover General Fund expenses.

“There is no question that the state budget is like a household budget,” continued Senator Frantz. “When a household budget becomes insolvent, it’s the same thing as when a state budget goes insolvent. The cost of government continues to go up, yet population growth is stagnant and personal income is flat. Until these factors change, we should not be spending more than we currently are able to generate in terms of state revenues. We must ultimately begin reducing unfunded liabilities in favor of future fiscal stability.”

Senator Frantz spoke in favor of the Republican alternative proposal which would cut taxes, limit spending and fully fund important services.

Among its many proposals, the alternative budget would:

  • Suspend the 4% fare increase for buses, rail and ADA services currently scheduled to go into affect on January 1, 2013
  • Reinstitute the sales tax exemption for clothing and footwear under $50
  • Reinstitute the sales tax exemption for non-prescription drugs
  • Continue to cap the petroleum gross receipts tax at $3.00 per gallon

The Republican amendment was opposed along a party line vote of 21 to 14.

The Democratic midterm budget adjustment passed by a vote of 22 to 13.