Senator Boucher Calls Governor’s Budget a False Start that Results in Roughing the State

February 8, 2017

State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) today said Governor Malloy’s budget proposal fails to provide a vision for the type of come from behind strategy the state desperately needs.

“The budget and economic stakes for the state of Connecticut have never been higher,” Sen. Boucher said. “Our state needs to mount the kind of historic comeback we saw in Sunday’s Superbowl. Instead the budget proposed by the Governor fails to make the first down.”

Sen. Boucher said she agrees with the Governor’s statement that all residents need the opportunity for success and that, so far, state government has failed to build a good educational or transportation system.

“Unfortunately, the governor’s playbook doesn’t show us how to achieve these things,” she said. ‘It continues to fumble our children’s educational needs and deserves a personal foul for eliminating the property tax credit and passing an $11 billion increase in unfunded pension liabilities onto our children.”

Sen. Boucher said the budget calls for changes to the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula that funds local schools and proposes to separate special education costs from that funding. Special education funds would be paid to towns on a sliding scale with communities being reimbursed between zero and 55 percent of their costs.

‘The new ECS formula just moves money around and does nothing to address the root problems that are hurting education in our cities every day,” she said. “Money alone does not equal educational opportunity. We must find out why the money currently going to our cities isn’t getting to our children.”

A possible example of this, Sen. Boucher said, is that between 2010 and 2014 Hartford Public Schools’ student population grew by 2.89 percent. At the same time, the number of teachers increased by 4.2 percent, while central office staff increased by 66.7 percent.

Sen. Boucher said she also is bothered by the Governor’s proposal to shift a third of teacher retirement pension costs onto municipalities, which will almost certainly result in property tax increases.

The Governor’s budget proposes $700 million in savings from state employee unions and an additional $256 million in spending reductions.

‘The bottom line is that Connecticut’s budget situation calls for tremendous drive, vision and grit to get us into the end zone,” Sen. Boucher said. “Instead, the Governor’s proposals are an incomplete pass and the result is that our economy gets sacked.”

Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.