Sen. Martin Says Cooperative Effort Needed to Address State Budget, Spending Issues

January 3, 2017

Opportunities abound as we head into a new year and a new Legislative Session. Republicans and Democrats reached an agreement for cooperative control of the now 18-18 State Senate and House Republicans added eight new seats. This leaves Democrats with just a seven-seat majority in the House.

It’s been a long time since Republicans have had the numbers necessary to affect real change at the capitol.

In the Senate, we are already developing plans for moving the Connecticut economy forward and creating sustainable state budgets. Personally, I would like to reduce the number of burdensome and unnecessary state regulations that make operating a small business in Connecticut more difficult, if not impossible. I would also like to see the legislature finally address the state spending cap.

Recently, the Central Connecticut Chambers of Commerce asked the legislators that represent their towns to repeal a state statute allowing employee collective bargaining agreements to be approved without a vote by the General Assembly. Under this law, if the legislature takes no action within 30 days of an agreement being filed, it automatically passes. The chambers want such agreements to be approved by a roll call vote.

I wholeheartedly agree.

It’s important that this chamber consortium is speaking out about this matter and I hope other chambers, business leaders, and organizations will join them.

Since I have been a state senator, I have seen many groups make the trek to Hartford to advocate for a cause. I commend this activism and hope more of our residents will become involved in the lawmaking process.

Unfortunately, each group seems to have a particular bill or issue it would like to see addressed, and a particular way they would like to see it addressed. This results in a scattershot approach and may or may not lead to a bill’s passage or defeat.

What I would like to see this session is for these various groups to join forces on a specific issue, such as addressing union benefits or a specific tax or regulation. I believe this laser-focused approach will make it impossible for legislators to ignore. We were elected to serve the will of the people, and having a sizable constituency express a will to resolve our budget and tax issues will require action.

Having more Republicans in the General Assembly to work toward sustainable budget and responsible tax policy is a start. If you join us, it can become reality.

Sen. Martin represents the communities of Bristol, Harwinton, Plainville, Plymouth, and Thomaston