Fasano Statement on the Governor’s 2018-2019 State Budget Proposal

February 8, 2017

Hartford – Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s proposed 2018-2019 biennial state budget.

“Governor Malloy’s budget lacks a clear sense of direction or vision for the state of Connecticut. Once again we see a plan that will balance the budget on the backs of working and middle class families while shifting problems onto others. Let’s be clear about what this budget includes each year: over $200 million in annual tax increases on low and middle income families, over $400 million in new property tax burdens, potentially 4,200 state employee layoffs, and $570 million in expenses pushed onto our children’s credit card thanks to the governor’s pension deal. I don’t see this budget creating stability. I see it creating chaos.

“The governor’s $700 million in labor savings will be extremely difficult to achieve. The question is what are you giving up to reach that target? The governor’s proposal will also hit middle and working class families directly with a $224 million tax increase in year one including cuts to the earned income tax credit and elimination of the property tax credit. And make no mistake, by shifting $408 million in teacher pension costs onto our towns and cities, local property taxes will go up. A new tax on hospitals and hospital owned facilities looks like an expansion of the money grabbing hospital tax, which has proven to be nothing more than a shell game. Instead of encouraging people and jobs to come to Connecticut and grow here, these kinds of proposals are exactly what are pushing people away.

“Finally, education is not a one dimensional issue. Money doesn’t equal opportunity. For the governor to celebrate changes to the education funding formula as a solution to all our state’s education inequities is wishful thinking. We have to figure out why money currently going to our cities isn’t getting to our children. Quieting people’s concerns by throwing more money at the problems has failed our cities thus far.
“I remain open to conversations with all legislators and the governor to create a budget that puts our state on a path towards prosperity and opportunity for all. But what has been presented doesn’t create stability, or predictability, or confidence. Our state cannot move forward with a proposal like what the governor shared today.”