Sen. Kane: Gov. Malloy’s budget speech not the complete truth

February 24, 2015

Editorial as it appeared in the Register Citizen

By state Sen. Rob Kane

As I listened to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s Feb. 18 budget address, I wondered if what he was saying was entirely true.

The governor said, “We must balance our budget by living within our means and living within our spending cap. This budget does that.”

Upon further review: No, it doesn’t.

The governor then said, “We must not ask any more of our middle class.”

But my research shows that he does, in fact, ask more of Connecticut’s middle class.

Here’s why:

  • Gov. Malloy’s budget hurts working families. Single mothers, for example, get an income tax hike under the governor’s proposal. The governor’s elimination of the $50 sales tax exemption on clothing and footwear represents another tax hike on young and growing families. So does the lowering of the threshold for Sales Tax Free Week from $300 to $100.
  • Gov. Malloy’s budget evades the state’s constitutional spending cap by diverting $47.6 million. Imagine if you could magically shift money around in order to balance your checkbook? The governor waved a wand and did just that.
  • Gov. Malloy’s budget does not live within its means. It requires more than $300 million to be borrowed in order to stay in balance. That’s like using your credit card to pay off your monthly mortgage. You wouldn’t do it, so why is your state government doing it?

So what happens now that the governor’s speech is over and his budget’s flaws are being revealed?

I hope this year, unlike past years, Republicans will be allowed into the governor’s budget room.

If we go over the budget, line by line, we can:

  • Find government waste which can be eliminated.
  • Reduce the size and scope of state government.
  • Move more state services into the non-profit realm and save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars going forward.
  • End the practice of handing over hundreds of millions of your tax dollars to bribe companies to stay here.
  • Stop raising taxes on single parents and on lower- to middle-income families.

After all, the governor’s budget chief recently made reference to Connecticut’s “permanent fiscal crisis.” Sounds to me like the Malloy team could use a little help.

Stay tuned.

Rob Kane, a Republican, represents Connecticut’s 32nd Senatorial District. He serves as ranking member of the legislature’s Appropriations Committee, which oversees state government spending. On the web: .