Fourth Downgrade in a Year Shows Connecticut Must Change Course

May 15, 2017

Last week, Fitch Ratings downgraded the state’s bond rating, telling the world that investing in Connecticut’s bond is a risky proposition. This means a higher interest rate on future borrowing, which will cost taxpayers more to build schools, repair state-owned buildings, and fund other state-sponsored projects.

Despite the Administration’s assertions that legislative objections to the latest proposed budget cuts caused the downgrade, anyone who has been watching state government and our fiscal troubles knows that this has been predicted for months. The ship of state is full of holes and taking on water fast.

The black mark on Connecticut created by the downgrade puts even more pressure on elected officials to change the way we are doing things in Hartford.  The great Albert Einstein said that insanity is doing the same things over and over, but expecting a different result. The state can no longer indulge itself in doing the same thing over again.

Businesses and residents are leaving because our state’s economy is dragging and they feel crushed by the high cost of living. They see greener pastures in other states while Connecticut’s grass is slowly dying.

It would be easy for Republicans to say “I told you so,” but that doesn’t get us anywhere. This financial situation the state is in must be faced and soon. State spending must be brought under control. This means rolling up our sleeves and looking at what Connecticut needs.

The process will be painful. We are going to have to make cuts that will make some people unhappy, but we can’t fund what we can’t afford. If revenues continue to decline, we’ll be able to afford less and less and our bond rating will continue to go down.

The situation we are in is downright scary for too many and too much is at stake. Out towns, our schools, our parents, and our businesses are counting on us to do the right things. I believe we have the courage needed to step up to this challenge. Now, let’s get started.

Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.