Fasano, Klarides Respond to Speaker’s Comments on State Budget

April 24, 2018

Senate Republican President Pro Tempore Len Fasano (R-North Haven) and House Republican Leader Themis Klarides (R-Derby) released the following statement in response to comments made today by Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz regarding the state budget. Attached is a letter Sen. Fasano and Rep. Klarides sent to Democrat leaders yesterday regarding this same issue that was referenced by the speaker in a press conference this morning.

“If we want to have serious negotiations, Democrats need to share with us their budget in full. What Democrat lawmakers released on Friday was not a complete budget. As they admit, it was a spending plan only. While it spelled out what Democrats want to spend money on, it failed to define how they would pay for any of it. It was an appropriations package only, missing the revenue side and exceeding the constitutional spending cap.

“It is impossible to negotiate from half a budget if we do not know where the other side stands on the issues that are most difficult to overcome. Therefore, if the Speaker wants to seriously work together he needs to share his budget proposal in full. If Democrats never intended to provide the revenue side of their budget, then their appropriations package is truly nothing more than an unworkable political document.

“Are Democrats proposing $410 million in new taxes and if so where are they coming from? Or are Democrats proposing taxes along with raiding one time revenue from the rainy day fund? Just today the Speaker indicated that he would look to the rainy day fund to balance the Special Transportation Fund, even though the Democrats’ appropriations budget claimed they fully funded the STF. This illustrates just how little we know about how the Democrats’ proposal would actually work. The reason it took us so long to negotiate a bipartisan budget last year was because Democrats’ incomplete proposals made it difficult to find common ground. We don’t have the luxury of that time this year. We need a complete proposal from Democrats if we want negotiations. Democrats need to do their job and produce a budget, not a spending plan. Time is running out. Lawmakers don’t have time to play games with the state budget.”

Fasano-Klarides Letter 4-23-18