Southeastern Delegation Opposes Majority Party’s Budget “Fix”

July 1, 2015

HARTFORDState Representatives Devin Carney (R-Old Saybrook), Jesse MachLachlan (R-Westbrook), Aundré Bumgardner (R-Groton) and John Scott (R-40), along with State Senators Art Linares (R-Westbrook) and Paul Formica (R- East Lyme) decried the majority party’s budget “fix” that increases taxes on an already overburdened middle class and struggling property owners, and hinders job-creating businesses despite weeks of outcry from both residents and business owners across the state.

Just four years ago, Connecticut underwent one of the largest tax increases in state history. Yesterday, GOP legislators voted against the majority party’s budget “fix,” with concerns that it does nothing to change the trend of state government spending outside its means, and costs Connecticut taxpayers an additional $1.4 billion.

S.B. 1502 – An Act Implementing Provisions of the State Budget for the Biennium Ending June 30, 2017 Concerning General Government, Education and Health and Human Services – passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 78 to 65 and 19-17 vote in the State Senate.

“This budget will only make people further question living in Connecticut. Nothing disappoints me more than to drive through my district and see house after house after house for sale, for sale, for sale,” said Rep. Carney.

“What upsets me so much is that we are once again raising taxes in the hope of stimulating economic growth amidst a highly competitive time for states in this country, said Rep. MacLachlan. “Now is not the time to be squeezing our tax base. Now is the time to create incentives for job creators and young professionals to ply their trades here in the state of Connecticut. This budget does not do that. While it does contain several laudable initiates, it fails to stem the exodus of young people, retirees, and businesses in our state. We need to achieve a balance between our needs and our means.”

“Once again the Democrat majority pushed off the hard decisions and balanced the state’s budget on the backs of the middle class and job-creating businesses of Connecticut,” said Rep. Bumgardner. “Connecticut cannot afford to continue down this path of fiscal instability. As a state we must learn to live within our means, cut state spending and provide true tax relief to our citizens.”

“The budget “fix” passed last night does nothing to address the underlying issues of one-party rule, budgets created behind closed doors, and continued tax and spend policies that have repeatedly failed our state ,” said Rep. Scott. “The people of Connecticut deserve better than another massive tax increase.”

“I believe every generation should have the opportunity to live a better quality of life than the one before it,” Sen. Linares said. “Our job as legislators is to give the people of Connecticut the opportunity for upward mobility and to help them achieve their dreams. Unfortunately, with budgets like these, we are not allowing that opportunity for the next generation. The next generation will be hindered by this budget. I refuse to be part of the problem. I will keep pushing to be part of the solution for the taxpayers I represent. I will keep working and fighting for them, and I will not quit until I see this state with a healthy and balanced budget. That is my commitment to the taxpayers, and that is why I voted no.”

“We can and should create an environment of success. Money comes and goes; economies go up and down but what’s most important – the people need to feel pride again. They need to be proud of their neighborhoods, be able to feel proud of their state and hopeful for a future for their families in Connecticut,” said Sen. Formica.

“But I am concerned this budget will not allow that to happen. This gets us to the real challenge – what does this budget do for future generations? Where are the youth going to live and work tomorrow if the jobs are going away today? How will our cities and towns continue to provide a quality of life? Sadly, there were no bipartisan negotiations and because of it, we have before us the second largest tax increase in our history.

“This budget, does not live up to the people it is supposed to help, or who will end up paying for it. I voted no on the first budget and I voted no on this “second budget.”

After considerable pressure and public outcry from taxpayers and businesses around the state, the Governor and majority party made small changes to their original budget passed on June 3rd, including roll backs of only 10 percent of the original $1.8 billion in tax hikes that directly impact the middle class and businesses. The Democrats paid for much of the tax rollbacks by diverting more than $100 million in additional revenue from sales tax increases that were intended to go to towns and cities.

One of the most controversial measures is implementation of a “unitary tax” that requires corporations to pay taxes on companies they run out of state. In an effort to appease companies threatening to relocate out of state because of the increased tax burden, that unitary tax, originally set to be retroactive to last Jan. 1, has been delayed to Jan. 1, 2016, a small change that does little to address the fundamental issues or provide relief to Connecticut employers.

To read the entire bill, visit:

The special session was required because the Democratic-led legislature left unfinished business on the table when it adjourned June 3.