September 21, 2017

Hartford Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statements in response to criticism of the state budget passed by the General Assembly.

Sen. Fasano statement regarding rally today urging Gov. Malloy to veto the state budget passed by the General Assembly:

“It’s ironic to see state employee union leaders organizing a protest on budget cuts that are a direct result of their labor deal, which has sucked our budget dry. Our current financial decisions have been made all the more difficult because our options were dramatically limited by the SEBAC deal and the governor made it clear he would not support a budget with massive tax increases. That being said, the budget that passed the legislature with bipartisan support still manages to prioritize core services for working and middle class families. It’s a budget that protects services, particularly in low-income neighborhoods, that were cut in other budgets, such as Project Longevity, Care4Kids, Meals on Wheels, the CT Home Care Program, mental health and substance abuse treatment grants, as well as day and employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This budget does not shift teacher pension costs onto towns and cities, a cost that could fall on the backs of teachers, schools and property taxpayers. It boosts funding for Hartford by $21 million over two years. It increases k-12 education funding based on a formula that takes into account poverty, enrollment and number of English Language Learners, benefiting our neediest communities. The best way our state can move forward at this point is for the governor to sign this budget, not veto it. If we want to save our schools from the devastation they will see come October, this is the path forward. I remain open to conversations and amending this budget. But our state needs stability now and a budget that has already been passed by the legislature is an appropriate step in the right direction.”

Sen. Fasano statement regarding Gov. Malloy’s press conference on workforce training programs:

“The governor is concerned about the budget’s consolidation of various workforce development grants, which is misplaced. These reductions are associated with consolidation of programs resulting in efficiencies and small restructuring cuts. All of a sudden, this governor, who has chased businesses out of the state and has made it virtually impossible for businesses to thrive in Connecticut, is now picking on workforce development. For the governor to lecture anyone on job creation is absurd. For 7 years we have seen tax increase after tax increase lead to deficit after deficit. We have seen failed leadership create an environment where job growth has lagged and some of the biggest job creators have fled our state. Instead of press conferences, it would be nice to see leadership from the governor. The governor and Democrat leaders have yet to offer a budget that can actually be passed by the General Assembly. But the legislature has in fact passed a budget. It’s a budget that aims to put our state on the long and difficult road to move in a new direction and create an environment that benefits all job creators and encourages opportunities for all people. If we want to send a strong message to businesses, like Amazon, that we are improving our state and creating stability then a bipartisan budget with significant structural changes is our best path forward. It must be a budget that has spending cuts and makes difficult decisions but that creates stability for taxpayers, for cities and towns, for schools especially in our cities, for transportation, and for businesses. We have a budget before us today that meets those needs.”