Fasano: State Legislature’s Sole Focus Needs to be on Passing a Complete Budget

June 23, 2017

Hartford – Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding state budget negotiations and discussion of adopting a temporary short-term continuing resolution instead of a full biennial budget.

“The governor is right when he says the legislature should not be focusing on continuing resolutions at this time. Our sole focus at this point has to be on passing a complete budget first and foremost.

“Earlier this week I was hopeful about the process when I heard that Democrat legislators were caucusing on Thursday to discuss offering a full budget proposal. I assumed that all caucuses would be bringing line-by-line budgets into negotiations on Monday. But to see the Speaker of the House emerge from his caucus yesterday saying ‘We don’t have a product to put on the table’ is beyond frustrating. Senate Republicans have a budget that can be voted on today. The governor has a budget that can be voted on today. Why are we not taking action on these budgets? There should be no talk of continuing resolutions until we first try everything we can to pass a budget. That means we need to see complete budgets from all parties or have a vote on the budget proposals that are already on the table now.

“Should a budget be voted down, I understand the governor’s need to look at other options. But Democrat legislators cannot continue pushing off action to adopt a state budget when we have multiple balanced and fully vetted budget options on the table ready to be voted on. Either Democrats need to present their own budget or tell us specifically what they would change in the Senate Republican or governor’s budget proposals – and then have a vote. Continuing resolutions are a last resort. Based on what Speaker Aresimowicz said yesterday, Democrat lawmakers have still not done their jobs and the Speaker essentially said he has no idea what to do. But that shouldn’t mean the legislature comes to a standstill when viable options are ready to be voted on. Even though the House Democrats do not have a budget today, I am confident that the Speaker would sign an emergency certification to allow for a vote on other budgets and not use his unilateral power to prohibit the ability of an open and transparent discussion in the chambers.”