Republicans & their Constituents Deserve Seat at the Table; Only Two Weeks Left for Budget Negotiations

May 20, 2015

HartfordSenate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) is pushing for Republicans to be part of state budget negotiations. With only two weeks left until the end of the legislative session, Sen. Fasano is urging Democrat lawmakers and the governor to respect all constituents across the state and give both parties a voice.

“Legislators have come together in a bipartisan manner on many issues this session,” said Sen. Fasano. “It’s time to extend that relationship to the budget debate and collaborate to do what is best for everyone in our state.

“By not allowing Republicans to participate in negotiations, the governor and majority party are silencing the voices of the hundreds of thousands of both Republican and Democrat constituents represented by Republicans. This is downright wrong,” said Fasano.

The Day newspaper editorial board explained today that this is how some people feel in Southeastern Connecticut, an area in which many Republicans were first elected this year.

Today’s editorial stated: “In failing to include Republican lawmakers in state budget negotiations, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is effectively disenfranchising thousands of citizens in southeastern Connecticut who sent a message about the need for fiscal prudency with the choices they made last November…Republican legislators and their ideas may yet be needed to break a budget impasse, but we urge the governor not to wait until such a situation and include Republican leaders at the budget negotiation table now,” (The Day, “Include Republicans in state budget talks”).

Sen. Fasano is urging Democrats to heed this advice for the benefit of the state.

“We are dealing with the same governor who flippantly told legislators they could send him ideas scribbled on the back of an envelope, and when we presented a serious line-by-line state budget he completely dismissed our ideas with no conversation. This is the same governor who once said that no one party or one policy maker holds a monopoly on good ideas, yet he continues to reject our invitations to work together on important policy issues. This is the same governor who presented a transportation plan with no way to pay for it, all while belittling a Republican proposal that could realistically fund many needed transportation improvements and pays for it without taxes or tolls. This is the same governor who said he was opposed to the Democrat’s proposed tax hikes, yet refuses to pledge to veto these proposed tax increases that would be incredibly burdensome to families and employers. What is the governor’s agenda? If we are both opposed to tax hikes, why does he not want to work together? Shutting and locking the doors to conversation on the budget is not in the public’s best interest. With only two weeks left, the time for collaboration is now.”