Fasano, Kane Call for Long-Term Budget Reform & Bi-partisan Approach to Eliminate Deficit

November 21, 2014

Hartford – State Senator Len Fasano (R-34), incoming Senate Minority Leader, and Senator Rob Kane (R-32), Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee, today criticized the Office of Policy and Management’s (OPM) budget cutting strategy and failure to recognize the true severity of budget shortfalls.

“Lawmakers and state leaders should be working together to address the current fiscal crisis, not meddling with state finances behind closed doors,” said Fasano. “I am again calling on our legislative leaders and governor to work together on a big picture approach. Tough decisions absolutely have to be made now, but so does a plan for long-term budget reform.”

Senator Fasano pointed to the fact that Connecticut’s projected deficit in the next biennium is still approximately $2.8 billion.

“Today we face a significant deficit. And tomorrow that deficit will become staggering. Our budget crisis is also a borrowing crisis and these issues are compounding fast. The solution to these mounting problems does not lie in one time cuts. We need to identify a comprehensive solution by working across the aisle. The longer we wait to make these changes and alter our approach, the deeper the cuts will have to be,” said Fasano.

Senator Kane questioned the size of the deficit OPM has reported and is trying to address through cuts.

“We are dealing with a budget that was doomed to begin with,” said Sen. Kane. “Now, OPM is finally recognizing that a deficit exists, but they are still failing to address the true shortages Connecticut will face in the coming months.”

Kane cited that the $99 million deficit as reported by OPM does not include over $50 million in OFA identified deficiencies. The OPM number also assumes that Connecticut will collect an added $75 million in tax revenues this year.

“All of these rescissions don’t even cover the deficit as reported by OPM, let alone what the actual shortfall could be. The administration is hoping and praying that we make up the rest through things like sales tax revenue – basically putting their faith in a good holiday shopping season. Before we can fix the deficit problem, we have to be honest about the size and scope of the issues we are dealing with,” said Kane.

“We have been down this path before,” said Kane. “We ignore the real severity of the problem and pray that the money will magically appear. But in the end, this approach is futile and worsens the real damage felt by taxpayers.”