Sen. Hwang: Why I Voted Against the State Budget

June 4, 2015

Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28) issued the following statement early Thursday morning in response to the passage of a biennial state budget, which the Democratic majority bullied through the Connecticut General Assembly on the final day of the 2015 legislative session:

“There are so many troubling components of this $40 billion budget that I fear it will directly impact our state resident’s ability to live in Connecticut,” Sen. Hwang said. “For starters, it is funded by revenue from the second highest tax increase in our state’s history – just four years after this Governor enacted the single highest tax increase. We know now, given the billion-dollar deficit we are facing yet again over the next two years, that the tax increases in 2011 did nothing to improve our financial situation and have not put us on a path to long-term stability and prosperity. In fact, and this just demonstrates how outrageous and ill-conceived this budget is, the nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis projects it will lead to a $1.6 billion deficit for the next biennial budget.”

“By relying on revenue from keno gambling and increased and unique taxes on hospitals, businesses and residents to the tune of about $2 billion, this budget fails to make the difficult decisions that demand true leadership. Furthermore, this budget represents a blatant disrespect for the legislative process and a total disregard for the people of Connecticut, given the fact that Democrats and the Governor negotiated it in secret with zero input from Republicans despite repeated requests for bipartisan collaboration on what is arguably the single most important piece of legislation we will see this year. Also, several elements of the taxation piece – totaling $802 million – were never even properly vetted in public hearings and were only made available to legislators on the day of the vote. It disturbingly almost seems to border on taxation without representation.”

“While the budget passed both the House and Senate largely along party lines, I want to stress that my ‘no’ vote and those of my Republican colleagues have nothing to do with partisanship. It’s about representing my constituents and all the people of Connecticut, who overwhelmingly said no to more tax increases. It’s also about a better vision for the future of our great state and for the role of state government – one that fosters an environment where businesses can truly thrive and grow and residents are not saddled with more and more taxes year-after-year.”