Fasano Statement on Democrat Budget: “This is why people distrust government”

June 2, 2019

Sen. Fasano Statement on Democrat Budget Details Released Tonight

Democrat Budget Crafted in the Dark, Major Tax Increases, Brand New Policies Shirk Legislative Process, New Spending, Cuts to Most Vulnerable

Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) released the following statement regarding the Democrat state budget bill released to the public this evening. Democrat leaders intend to have both chambers of the General Assembly vote on the budget tomorrow.

“This is why people distrust government. Today, on a Sunday evening, lawmakers finally received a budget from Democrat leaders. It’s 567 pages long, contains brand new policies that never made it through the legislative process, and Democrats want to hold a vote in both chambers before the end of day tomorrow, before anyone has had time to read and fully vet this massive document. They want to force this through as quickly as possible, before the public and rank-and-file lawmakers knows what hit them.

“This is more than just a budget crafted in darkness. It’s a slew of brand new state policies being forced on residents in one fell swoop. Some of these policies had no public hearings and zero input from the families and job creators who will be most affected. It creates new quasi-publics, funds pet projects, and includes countless Democrat policies that never made it through the legislative process. For the majority party, this fits under the category of it’s good to be king.

“The Democrat budget increases taxes on middle and working class families and on the small businesses that are the lifeblood of our state. These are regressive taxes, expanding the sales tax, taxing meals and hitting mom-and-pop shops the hardest. It also includes a new surprise tax on soda, beverages or liquor dispensed at bars or soda fountains.

“The budget also contains sloppy mistakes. It counts on cost of living adjustment savings in the Special Transportation Fund, even though the governor has said he will not be achieving those savings. So the STF is out of whack and possibly not balanced.

“Instead of cutting government spending, the Democrat budget reduces promised funding for those most in need. The budget removes cost of living increases for aid to the disabled (cutting $1.5 million), temporary family assistance for neediest families with children (cutting $4.2 million), SAGA which supports individuals who are unable to work for medical reasons (cutting $1.1 million), aid to the blind (cutting $9,100), and Old Age Assistance funds which go to the aged, blind or disabled (cutting $680,000). The budget also removes statutory rate increases for Old Age Assistance (cutting $2.5 million), Aid to the Blind (cutting $30,000) and Aid to the Disabled (cutting $2.8 million). Instead of reducing the size of government, Democrats are funding their new programs and pet projects by balancing the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable in our state. Where is the progressive Democrat outrage?”

“Any lawmaker who plans to vote in support of this budget before understanding the true scope and impact of these policies needs to be very careful. This is more than just a two year budget. It creates brand new public policies with no transparency and no input from the public. It even makes policy changes seemingly unrelated to the budget. For example, it seeks to change marriage therapy licenses and could change definitions in medical, nursing, criminal, and public health issues, and the list goes on.

“With a budget like this, who needs session? As long as the Democrats have the governor’s seat and majority in the legislature we might as well just begin session with a budget that enacts all the laws they want, all their desired tax increases and all their pet projects, and then end session the next day. The entire legislative process has gone out the window.”