Another editorial…what do you think?

June 29, 2017

(Attached below is the today’s editorial in the Waterbury Republican-American.  What do you think?  Send me a comment at[email protected] and please share this with CT Taxpayers!)

Connecticut budget

Democrats’ risky strategy

Our June 19 editorial noted Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, like many state Democrats, has portrayed legislative Republicans as naysayers incapable of making positive public-policy contributions.

Speaker Aresimowicz offered this criticism just before the legislature’s regular 2017 session adjourned June 7 without a 2017-19 budget.

The speaker has no credibility left to make this argument in the future.

He may have created a political problem for his party.

Legislative Republicans proposed a budget April 27. After plummeting revenues rendered it unbalanced, the GOP went back to the drawing board. The House and Senate Republican caucuses released separate, updated proposals May 16. Connecticut faces an approximately $5 billion deficit in the 2017-19 biennium.

After the legislature adjourned, lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had to figure out how to fund state government come July 1, the start of fiscal year 2017-18. A special legislative session was scheduled for today. Republicans hoped to bring their budgets up for votes.

June 27, Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Leonard A. Fasano, of North Haven, wrote to Speaker Aresimowicz and Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, on the matter. “Under the rules of special session, a budget bill or bill implementing the budget must be emergency certified, which requires the signature of the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore. … Therefore, I am asking for your approval as soon as possible so that a vote can be held on (the Senate Republican) budget,” he wrote. House Minority Leader Themis Klarides, R-Derby, hoped “to force an up-or-down vote on the House Republican package,” the Republican-American reported June 28.

However, Speaker Aresimowicz refused to allow votes on any budget proposals – not the GOP’s budgets and not on Gov. Malloy’s “minibudget.”

Scheduling conflicts and dissension in the House Democratic ranks factored in the speaker’s decision.

Speaker Aresimowicz was criticized not only by Sen. Fasano and Rep. Klarides, but by Sen. Looney.

Come Saturday, Gov. Malloy almost certainly will have unilateral control of Connecticut’s finances until a budget is agreed upon.

The governor has unveiled an executive order that will “impose drastic spending cuts to local funding, hospitals and social services,” according to the Republican-American.

Sen. Looney, Rep. Klarides and Gov. Malloy himself have said gubernatorial-only control is a less than ideal scenario.

In the wake of this episode, it is hard for Speaker Aresimowicz to claim Republicans offer nothing positive.

Indeed, as Sen. Fasano noted, the speaker “has still not offered a complete state budget proposal.”

Additionally, if Gov. Malloy’s cuts prove as “draconian” as Sen. Looney predicts, the public should pin some of the blame for them on Speaker Aresimowicz.

That wouldn’t help Democrats during the 2018 legislative elections, when they will try to recover from their 2016 losses.