Fasano, Witkos Want Budget Talks “In the Light of Day”

June 10, 2015

HartfordSenate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and Senate Minority Leader Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) today wrote to Governor Malloy (letter attached) to question why he rejected the Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s request to convene a meeting with CBIA and legislative leaders from both parties. Instead, reports indicate the governor has agreed to meet one-on-one with CBIA.

“It’s odd that Governor Malloy would continue on this path of closed door meetings when it is so obvious to everyone that we need to change the way those in power operate in our state,” said Sen. Fasano and Sen. Witkos. “At one point in his career, even Governor Malloy realized that.”

The lawmakers pointed to statements made by then candidate Malloy on March 25, 2010 in a press release calling for legislative leaders to negotiate the budget in “the light of day.” In the 2010 release Candidate Malloy stated, “I’m calling on the Governor to do today what I’d do if I were Governor. Call the legislative leaders into a negotiating session and allow members of the media (traditional and new media) to sit in. I’d put my ideas on the table, and I’d ask each of them to do the same. I’d see how far apart we are and then I’d start trying to move us to consensus, and I’d do it in public.” (Dan Malloy for Governor, March 25, 2010)

“Today, the governor’s actions don’t match up to his words,” said Fasano and Witkos.

In a letter to Governor Malloy (pdf), Sen. Fasano and Sen. Witkos reaffirmed their openness to be part of budget discussions as Governor Malloy considers changes or “clarifications” to the state budget.

“As Republicans have previously said, we are open to all negotiations and wish to participate in all budget discussions,” they wrote to the governor. “We have put forward strong plans to set Connecticut on the right path. Democrats have shut the door on us throughout the entire budget process. You have met with Democrats multiple times, but never with Republicans. Why keep us out of the conversation? We thought you were supportive of a more transparent, open government where everyone is welcome to share their ideas. Yet again you are shutting the doors on Republicans, and now it appears on Democrats as well.”

“If you are truly committed to righting the wrongs in this budget we implore you to invite legislators from both sides of the aisle to a seat at the table to discuss the impact on our state’s businesses. As we saw clearly with this budget, shutting out one side, and in this case both sides of the legislature, does not serve the people of Connecticut well,” they wrote.