Connecticut Senate Republicans to Offer Budget for a Vote Today

June 7, 2017

Hartford – Connecticut Senate Republican lawmakers announced their intentions to hold a vote on the Senate Republican budget proposal in the state Senate today.

“Connecticut is in a financial crisis. Revenues are declining, businesses have left, people are struggling to find jobs, and families are suffering. We are facing a $5 billion deficit over the next two years that has to be addressed, and we have to act swiftly. Senate Republicans have heard these concerns over and over again. Now we are taking a stand and offering our ideas to move Connecticut in a new direction,” said Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven). “Legislative Democrats have yet to offer a line-by-line budget. While we remain committed to working together to do what is in the best interest of our state during a special legislative session, we also cannot negotiate with ghosts. We have to restore confidence in our state, and to do that we need to get serious, look at real numbers, and take action. The budget we are offering today for a vote includes changes that take into account the feedback we’ve received from Democrat lawmakers and the governor. It is also the only complete, balanced legislative option on the table today that can be voted on. At the very least, this budget should be used as the basis for our state to negotiate from if lawmakers want to make further changes. We have a responsibility to tackle the state budget, and Senate Republicans are prepared to put our ideas up for a vote so we can move the ball forward. This is about protecting our state for future generations. It is about our state’s survival.”

Deputy Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Kevin Witkos (R-Canton) added, “The Connecticut Senate Republicans have a bold plan to change the direction of our state and restore confidence in Connecticut so that we can attract businesses and grow jobs. Voting on this plan today will send a clear message to the public that state lawmakers are listening. We are working to fix our state’s problems to create a better place for all families and all employers. We are not sitting by idly. We need to push for action and that’s what we intend to do today.”

“I’m proud to stand with my colleagues to offer our budget for a vote,” said State Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), Co-Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “It is a plan that will support economic growth, sustainable transportation funding, increased funding for parks and tourism, as well as policies aimed at urban development and growing jobs. It protects the most vulnerable while making needed changes to the structure of government to achieve savings not only today, but for future years as well.”

“Our state budget makes tough choices to cut spending, make structural changes to government, and make necessary changes to state employee benefits – all while protecting core services and avoiding tax increases. This budget represents a new direction for our state and is deserving of a vote and action in the Senate,” said State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-Greenwich), Co-Chair of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

Senator Fasano also explained the proposed labor savings included in the Senate Republican budget. Without state employee unions coming to the table to negotiate additional savings beyond what the governor proposed, this budget relies upon labor savings that can be achieved through legislative changes that go into effect beginning in fiscal year 2022.

“Our future depends on making sure state policies are fair and affordable. Therefore, in addition to spending cuts, tax reductions, and structural changes to government, how we fairly compensate our unionized state employees must also be a component to putting our state back on the road to prosperity,” said Fasano. “State employees currently receive benefits that far exceed what workers such as nurses, teachers, municipal firefighters, police or other municipal public service workers get in our state. Our budget will implement changes to state employee benefits to make them more in line with the benefits municipal and local union employees have today. I want to be clear; this does not eliminate collective bargaining laws in the state of Connecticut. Rather, this proposal would make changes to state employee benefits in 2022 that can now be altered through statutory changes under current state law. In addition our budget seeks to create a more fair system for state employee benefits by implementing a sliding scale based on salary for health care premiums. While some employees with high salaries will see their health care premiums increase, employees at the lower end of the pay scale will actually fair better than under the proposal union leaders have negotiated with the governor.”

The Senate Republican budget includes the following:

  • Significant structural changes to streamline government including eliminating deputy commissioners, executive secretaries, selected areas of middle management and appointed positions.
  • Tax relief including exempting social security and pension income from the income tax.
  • Changes to state employee union benefits to make them more comparable to municipal and local union employee benefits.
  • A new education funding formula that takes into account factors regarding CCJEF and Meskill court decisions, enrollment, poverty and wealth. The budget also includes $170 million more in Education Cost Sharing dollars over the next two years.
  • A plan to provide predictable municipal aid without adding new financial burdens onto towns and cities.
  • Protection for core government services including funding for mental health care and substance abuse treatment, services for those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, programs that support seniors and working families.
  • Preservation of the tax exempt status for hospitals to protect them from a new local hospital tax.
  • Prioritization of transportation needs and a plan to stabilize the Special Transportation Fund without tolls by implementing the Prioritize Progress transportation funding plan.
  • Enhanced funding for state parks and tourism.


Town Runs – FY 2018/2019 Budget Proposal