Sen. Boucher: The Governor’s budget speech tinkers around the edges and ignores the real problem.

February 10, 2014
Sen. Toni Boucher (Wilton) speaking in the senate chamber on opening day of the 2014 legislative session.

Sen. Toni Boucher (Wilton) speaking in the senate chamber on opening day of the 2014 legislative session.

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) released the following statement today re: Governor Malloy’s state of the state speech on opening day of the 2014 Legislative session.

“Governor Malloy’s speech on the opening day of the legislative session was determined to strike a positive note but Connecticut faces a grimmer reality. What the Governor touted as a $506 million surplus is actually based on one-time revenues raided from the Special Transportation and other funds. Increased revenues from the death and gift taxes, delayed payment on borrowed funds of over $196 million, capital gains collected from Wall Street and a one-time tax amnesty program contributed as well. None of these are consistent, reliable sources of income.

“The administration should deposit any funds left over at the end of the fiscal year into the Rainy Day Fund, or should use them to pay down long term debt. Instead, part of the surplus will fund a $55 rebate for Connecticut taxpayers, which is pocket change compared to the hundreds if not thousands dollars extracted from the average family by the largest tax increase in state history. The public is not satisfied that this election year gesture will do anything to improve their quality of life.

“Governor Malloy’s remarks on education similarly failed to explore the main issues affecting that area of policy. The Governor alluded to various education initiatives, such as expanded early childhood education and access to college courses, which will benefit our students. Regrettably, his speech did not address rising college tuitions, a critically important issue and the single greatest factor preventing families from having the kind of access to higher education that the Governor intends to provide. If we hope to make any progress in education, we must first find ways to make college more affordable.

“The budget recommendations in the governor’s speech tinker around the edges and ignore the real problem. Connecticut has become too expensive a place for people to live, retire or run a business. To make Connecticut more affordable, it must reform its tax policies and reduce its level of spending. During the next few months, I will be working with my colleagues to focus on what really matters to the people of Connecticut, lower costs.”

The legislative session ends in May.