Bipartisan Budget Deal Provides Framework For Future

November 1, 2017
Floor Debate 4-13-16 (4 of 16)

Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) discusses legislative issues on the Senate Floor during the legislative session in Hartford.

Last week in Hartford the General Assembly came together and approved a bipartisan budget that avoids the governor’s devastating executive order. This budget puts Connecticut on a new path of fiscal responsibility and also protects the most vulnerable residents of North-Central Connecticut.

This budget shows what can happen when both sides work together and agree to cooperate to move our state forward. While it does contain compromises on both sides, this budget includes significant structural changes. These changes include a strong spending cap, which is something that was promised to taxpayers more than 20 years ago and something that our state needs.

It also includes a bonding cap which is nearly $1 billion less than what the current administration has bonded in recent years. In addition to these important structural changes, this bipartisan budget preserves a significant amount of municipal aid, avoids massive tax increases and avoids shifting teacher pension costs onto our towns in North-Central Connecticut.

Along with the many important structural changes, this budget also includes:

  • Funding for the Connecticut Home Care Program for seniors
  • Funding for Care4Kids
  • Elimination of taxes on social security and pension income for single filers with an income below $75,000 and joint filers below $100,000
  • Funding for Day and Employment Services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • Funding for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Increased funding for Meals on Wheels

While this budget is a document of compromise, we were also able to avoid an increase in the sales tax, it avoids a cell phone tax and there are no massive motor vehicle fee increases. Even more importantly, by coming together, we were able to sidestep the harmful cuts contained in the governor’s executive order – which would have decimated North-Central Connecticut towns.

Overall I think this budget represents what Connecticut residents want and that is for both sides of the aisle to work together to do what is best for our constituents. I was proud to cast my vote in favor of this compromise. I look forward to the renewed cooperation and exchange of ideas during future legislative sessions.