Weston Legislators Hail Republican Proposals to Address CT Budget Shortfalls

November 16, 2015

Weston 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. Tony Hwang, Sen. Toni Boucher, and Rep. John Shaban said the Republican proposals will put Connecticut back on a sustainable path.

“Connecticut is in trouble, and we need to chart a new policy course” Sen. Hwang said. “Our proposals protect our most vulnerable residents – seniors, children and the disabled – from cuts to vital services. We also protect hospitals from draconian cuts. I am encouraged that our ideas are finally being heard, and local taxpayers should be encouraged as well. Let’s get to work and fix this budget mess.”

“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.”

“As we have for years now, my Republicans colleagues and I have worked tirelessly this past year to craft and communicate realistic solutions to our state’s worsening fiscal crisis” said Rep. Shaban. “Today’s proposal is the latest chapter in this effort and a plan that, if adopted, will finally start moving us toward fiscal reality and the economic predictability needed to return jobs and opportunities to Connecticut.”

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.