Sen. Markley: The Governor’s state of the state budget address was ludicrous.

February 10, 2014
Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) in the Senate Chamber on opening day of the 2014 Legislative session.

Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) in the Senate Chamber on opening day of the 2014 Legislative session.

Hartford, CT – State Senator Joe Markley (R-Southington) released the following statement today re: Governor Malloy’s state of the state address on the opening day of the 2014 Legislative Session.

“The governor’s speech was just ludicrous. It is unreasonable to think that our state is on sound financial ground. This was a speech that said, “Don’t pay attention to what you see or how you feel? Everything is really terrific. It is terrific the governor is about to reduce taxes, it is terrific the governor wants to pay off debt and it is terrific that the governor says the economy is roaring back? It would be terrific, if it were true. The problem is, that’s not what is happening in Connecticut.

“The so-called surplus – $500 million in the bank – is an illusion. We know we can’t pay our bills down the road. How can you say it is a surplus? It is like saying I have $50 in my pocket and my rent is not due until next week. We are in trouble.

“Governor Malloy came out with his plan to pay us all $55. What is interesting about the plan is he is doing it during an election year. The voters will not fall for it. A UCONN economist says the $55 will create 1,200 new jobs. The real question is how many jobs were destroyed when he took $3.5 billion out of the Connecticut economy with the largest tax increase in history? We didn’t hear anything about job destruction then, but now when we get pocket change we are told it will create jobs.

“He also laid out a plan to promote education:

  • He wants to promote universal pre-k which should be a town decision.
  • The governor discussed a “baby scholars” college fund. This does nothing to tackle the issue of affordability of higher education. We should ask why the cost of college is so high, not seek new ways to pay for it.
  • There was also discussion about speeding up the time in which students earn their college degree. Acquiring an education means you are learning something. Speeding up the time it takes to earn a piece of paper is not like being in the classroom learning.
  • A $134 million investment in a data system for the Connecticut State University System doesn’t improve higher education; it just makes it easier to count the beans.

“It is important to scrutinize this plan, to decide whether it makes sense for the taxpayers of Connecticut. At this point sadly, there are too many examples of people struggling to survive. How can we justify spending money we don’t have?”

The 2014 legislative session ends in May. The general assembly will be debating and voting on all of these proposals and more during the next 90 days.