Not Surprising, State Budget Nosedives

April 30, 2014

Hartford, CT –State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) member of the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee released the following statement today re: consensus revenues estimate from the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Accountability (OFA) and the Office of Policy and Management (OPM). Estimates show the state has less than $45 million in surplus and a $300 million budget gap for FY 2014 that will have to be closed with less than a week in the legislative session. The bigger picture is dire, showing deficits for FY 2016 and FY 2017 that are now approaching $2.7 billion.

“Sad but not a surprise, what I suspected to be true has become reality. We as a state are in serious financial trouble. The state’s leading financial analysts have crunched the numbers and discovered the state’s revenues have come in short.

“This is a direct result of negative tax policies passed by the majority during the last 4 years. Everywhere I go, constituents tell me that these anti-taxpayer and business budgets have made life so difficult for them.

“The largest in state history tax increase and damaging business regulations are ruining our economy and the job market. People are not working, not taking in as much income and are not buying as many goods. All of this has resulted in lost revenue.

“When will Hartford wake up to reality? The 55 dollar election year gimmick the administration tried to offer was yanked earlier this week as was the additional promise of a payment to the state employee pension plan because the money is just not there.

“These financial promises to the taxpayer should have never been made by the Governor. We have a structural problem with the way we handle our state finances until that changes, our state is on a very dangerous path.

“The state’s economy has been losing ground including the following:

  • In 2013, CTs personal income growth rate was at its lowest level since 2009
  • In 2012, CT was the only state in the country to have its economy shrink
  • CT has still not regained the jobs that it lost since the last recession, and is 54,100 jobs still below the March 2008 target
  • New housing starts are at their lowest level in five decades.
  • Foreclosures continue to plague our housing market. The state still has one of the highest rates of foreclosure in the nation.

“It is unfortunate the minority party has been closed out and not been part of the current budget negotiations. These very serious financial decisions need to be made with all sides represented. The governor has said ‘there are no republican, no democratic ideas’ …there are just good ideas. It should be a concern to all residents of our state that the administration is not fulfilling its promise to do what’s best for the people of Connecticut.”