New Canaan Legislators Hail Republican Proposals to Address CT Budget Shortfalls

November 18, 2015

New Canaan legislators today hailed Republican proposals to close the state’s current budget deficit and make long-term structural changes to help Connecticut avoid future shortfalls.

These proposals were shared with Democrat leaders and Governor Dannel P. Malloy in bipartisan budget negotiations Nov. 12 and with the public at a Nov. 13 press conference in Hartford.

Sen. Toni Boucher, Sen. Scott Frantz, Rep. Tom O’Dea and Rep. Fred Wilms said the Republican proposals will put Connecticut back on a sustainable path.

“It should be pretty clear at this point that the old way of doing this budget – of increasing taxes and increasing spending, and sacrificing vital services while hammering hospitals and municipalities when the numbers don’t add up – just isn’t going to work,” said Rep. O’Dea. “Our plan protects those hospitals and our citizens who are most in need, while charting a course toward more reliable budgeting.”

“The current policy of spending and borrowing is unstable and will continue to fail the residents in our state. Unless we do something to change the course we are on – I fear for our state’s financial future. This is a serious problem that cannot be ignored,” said Sen. Frantz.

“The governor and Democrats are finally allowing Republicans into the negotiating room,” Sen. Boucher said. “We expect an open and transparent dialogue and a commitment to permanent structural changes. Structural changes are needed to avoid future shortfalls and restore predictability and sustainability. Republicans are proposing long term changes such as healthcare premium sharing, defined contribution plans, an increase in pension contributions, and reduction in state workforce, overtime reform and a reduction in raises for state employees. Our plan would enable our state to address the current deficit without cutting hospitals, Medicaid, those with developmental disabilities, or from substance abuse treatment programs. Our plan also includes tax changes to improve the state’s anti-business business environment, including eliminating Unitary Combined Reporting. Structural changes must be part of the solution to put Connecticut finances back on track again.”

The Republican proposals include modifications totaling over $370 million in Fiscal Year 2016, enough to close the current year’s projected deficit while also restoring cuts made to social services by the governor’s September rescissions.

None of the immediate proposed solutions require labor concessions.

The proposals also include tax changes to improve Connecticut’s business environment, including eliminating Unitary Combined Reporting.

The long-term Republican budget proposals include lowering state debt by limiting the amount Connecticut can borrow, identifying and addressing inefficiencies in state government, protecting transportation funding, better managing the state’s pension system, and modest labor modifications.