Sen. Fasano Responds to Recent Statements by Democrat Legislative Leaders

January 19, 2016

We Need to Recognize State Problems, Pursue Change

HartfordSenate Minority Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following in response to statements made by Democrat legislative leaders to the press about the need for long-term structural changes in the state budget, something Republicans have repeatedly and continually sought, and their questioning of Republicans’ efforts to make Connecticut more competitive with other states.

Speaker Brendan Sharkey commented on Friday’s news that Connecticut is still running deficits saying, “This reiterates the need to continue to implement long-term structural changes that will bring more predictability and sustainability to the budget.”

“It’s amazing that now Speaker Sharkey is talking about predictability and sustainability,” said Fasano. “Just weeks ago, bipartisan budget negotiations ended because Speaker Sharkey and fellow Democrats did not want to make long-term structural changes to the state budget. All they ever want to do is make quick fixes, convince the public that their clearly doomed policies are somehow great for the state, and distance themselves when they eventually fail. That’s exactly what they did with this year’s budget. Their press releases say one thing, but their actions tell an entirely different story.

“If Democrat leadership is truly committed to serious structural changes, this session we must not only address this year’s deficit, but we absolutely have to tackle next year’s $503 million deficit and take significant steps to mitigate the nearly $4 billion out-year deficit. In the past, leadership refused to address these problems until it was too late to make any structural changes, resulting in the universal quick fix of raising taxes. The lack of predictability and sustainability created by these tax policies and financial crisis is why GE left. It’s also the reason why people are leaving the state of Connecticut, reflected by declining income tax revenue. Democrat leadership either doesn’t understand the problem, or wrongfully believes that they can continue to ignore these critical fiscal failures without the state suffering as a result.”

Democrats have also said Republicans, “…have really not been supportive of things to help Connecticut compete,” because they did not support things like Governor Malloy’s $1 billion Jackson Laboratory bio-science initiative.

“Democrats don’t understand that picking winners and losers does not make our business environment friendlier; it makes it more challenging for all other businesses to succeed. Republicans have repeatedly proposed budgets and policies that would reduce burdens on all businesses. The goal is not to give handouts to a select few. The goal is to create an environment that’s conducive to job growth and economic development across the board. GE was not looking for a payout from the state. They were looking for a state on a positive trajectory where all businesses and residents could thrive. I’m truly glad the governor is turning up the pressure on Democrats to listen to Republicans and take on a long-term approach to budgeting. But clearly Democrats do not understand what that new direction should even look like. All lawmakers must first be realistic about what the problems are if we are to figure out a way to fix them together,” said Fasano.