Ridgefield Legislators Hail Republican Proposals to Address CT Budget Shortfalls

November 19, 2015

Ridgefield 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, Rep. John Frey and Rep. Jan Giegler said the Republican proposals will put Connecticut back on a sustainable path.

“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 to the state budget are needed to avoid future shortfalls and restore predictability and sustainability. These solutions will help to put Connecticut finances back on track again.”

“We weren’t elected to sit on the sidelines about the budget. Now that we are a part of the conversation, we’re more likely to reach a solution for the benefit of Connecticut’s residents. We have to turn the deficit around, protect our state’s most vulnerable population, and not leave a fiscal mess for the next generation to inherit. This is the first step in the right direction,” said Rep. Frey.

“For too long, party politics has prevented open and inclusive negotiations and it’s long past time for serious discussions and difficult choices,” Rep. Giegler said. “The Republican proposals presented last week are a step in the right direction and I’m pleased the Democrats finally agreed to allow us a seat at the negotiating table. By working together, we can begin to repair the economy and get Connecticut moving forward 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.