Letter: Courant Ignores Republican Solutions

May 14, 2018

Letter to the Editor as it Appeared in the Hartford Courant

The Courant is right when it comes to Connecticut needing a plan to grow [May 10 editorial, courant.com, “Where’s The Plan To Grow?”].

Unfortunately, while The Courant has been vocal about these needs, the paper has been silent when it comes to plans that actually provide solutions.

Specifically, The Courant completely ignored a Republican budget proposal this year that would have addressed every concern laid out in its recent editorial.

The Republican budget would have paid more to the state’s unfunded liabilities to address debt. It would have made changes to state employee benefits after current contracts expire, such as taking overtime out of pension calculations.

It would have reduced out-year deficits over the next four years by $2.7 billion more than the plan Democrats proposed.

It would have implemented a plan to boost infrastructure funding by billions over 30 years.

And it would have promoted job growth with policies to stabilize our state and attract economic development, including recommendations made by the Commission on Fiscal Stability and Economic Growth.

Perhaps if The Courant had recognized these policies in the Republican budget, the paper could have given courage to Democrat lawmakers afraid to support a “plan to grow” when there was an actual solution before them.

Ultimately the Republican budget could not get enough support in our Democrat-controlled state to make it over the finish line.

So Republicans did the next best thing:

We avoided the gridlock that we in see in Washington and worked with Democrats to negotiate a budget that contains some of our pro-growth policies and that avoids the devastating money grabs, such as tolls, that have hurt our state in the past.

Contrary to The Courant’s statements [May 11 editorial, courant.com, “Six Great Bills”], this is also a budget that stabilizes the Special Transportation Fund, resulting in surpluses over the next five years, and begins to implement a Republican proposal for long-term infrastructure funding, a plan I have met with The Courant multiple times to explain but which the paper appears to have forgotten about. The end result is a budget that takes an important step forward.

If The Courant wants a plan, it need look no further than the Republican vision.

Unfortunately, this paper was silent when it mattered most.

Len Fasano, North Haven

The writer is Senate Republican president pro tempore.