Taxpayers Need Relief

February 5, 2015

Hartford, CT – State Senator Toni Boucher (R-Wilton) testified this week before the General Assembly’s Planning and Development Committee in support of a proposal to make it harder for unfunded mandates to be passed by the legislature. The bill is called An Act Increasing The Threshold Required For Passage Of Unfunded Mandates.

“The passage of unfunded mandates by the General Assembly continues to exacerbate the financial difficulties faced by Connecticut’s municipalities,” said Sen. Boucher.

According to the Connecticut Council of Municipalities (CCM) there are currently 1,200 mandates, most of which are unfunded, that place an undue burden on towns already grappling with severe budget problems. Faced with ever rising costs, many of these towns are forced to raise their property taxes, or to cut back on services to the detriment of their residents.

Boucher says this has proven to be the case for the towns both in her own district and across Connecticut, which is why she has consistently called for the modification of such mandates as the Minimum Budget Requirement and the prevailing wage mandate.

“Oftentimes these mandates impose a one size fits all solution that does not work equally well for all towns and which produces unintended consequences. With the state asking so much of its towns as already, we should not add to that burden without the most careful consideration,” added Sen. Boucher

The unfunded mandate bill would require two-thirds majority vote in both chambers for the passage of new or expanded unfunded mandates. Raising this threshold Boucher says will slow the growth of policies that handcuff towns. In turn towns will have more flexibility in managing their budgets which can greatly decrease the cost of living for taxpayers.

The proposed bill will be voted on by the committee and if passed sent to other committees of cognizance, or can be placed on the calendar for vote by the full general assembly.