Sen. Martin to Bristol Seniors: “The state of Connecticut can’t be trusted.” (Plainville Citizen)

September 9, 2015

Article as it appeared in the Plainville Citizen

Legislators sound off on state budget
Published: September 4, 2015 | Last Modified: September 8, 2015 08:52AM
By Ken Liebeskind The Plainville Citizen

State Sen. Henri Martin and state Rep. Whit Betts held a forum at the Bristol Senior Center Thursday, Sept. 3, expressing opposition to the $40 million budget Gov. Dannel Malloy signed at the end of June.

“If I was governor I would have told the legislature not to introduce a bill that would cost us more money,” Martin said.

“The governor is not a leader, he’s a divider,” Betts said.

The budget, which increases business taxes, is opposed by Martin, a small business owner who believes other businesses may be planning to leave the state. “Businesses looking for lower taxes may look to move or expand their businesses in another state and they will hire workers in another part of the country,” he said. “The move won’t happen overnight, but decisions are being made for plans to move from Connecticut to minimize expenses.”

Martin said the new budget is the second largest in state history. “We felt rejected when it passed,” he said, making reference to the Republican minority.

Betts picked up on this theme, noting that the legislature has been controlled by the Democrats for 44 of the past 46 years. “Leadership is as big a problem as the budget in a one-party system,” he said.

Betts suggested term limits of 10 years for legislators, but when asked said there was no chance the move could be enacted because of Democratic control of the legislature.

“The state of Connecticut can’t be trusted,” Martin said, noting that funds earmarked for specific purposes, such as the gas tax for transportation initiatives, are put into the general fund.

Seniors in the audience generally agreed with Martin’s and Betts’ oppositional sentiment.