Statement on Democrats’ Increased Spending Proposal

April 21, 2021

Sen. Kelly: We need transformative policies, not more burdens on the middle class


Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement regarding the Appropriations Committee spending plan CT Democrats voted to advance today:


“Connecticut is growing more unaffordable by the day and families are struggling. Now more than ever we need to make sure state government is funding core needs, but also not overspending and adding new burdens onto Connecticut residents when they can least afford it. Above all, we must ensure that federal funding is used in a way that is both transformative and empowering. We must not perpetuate a cycle of needing future federal assistance. Rather, the programs we support and the decisions we make must be designed to truly lift people up and out of poverty and hardship, and spark long term economic growth, so that every person has the opportunity to succeed.  It concerns me that the Democrats’ spending plan exceeds the Governor’s proposal and uses budgetary gimmicks to avoid the state’s spending cap. Someone is going to have to pay, and I fear the middle class will be hardest hit. Look no further than the Democrats’ record to see why.


“Year after year Democrats have put the well-connected and wealthy before the middle class. This year CT Democrats were quick to give a $300 million tax cut to a group of commuters who earn a median income of $433,000. They were quick to agree to a new $50 million per year bailout for UConn Health to support enormous pensions for the doctors they employ.  But at the same time, they are asking for more from working- and middle-class families. They are proposing new regressive taxes on things like gasoline, food, and health insurance. A $200 million tax increase on gasoline and mileage will make going to the grocery store and driving your car more expensive. A $50 million new tax on health insurance premiums will make it harder for people to afford health care. These are real costs that will hurt the working and middle class most.


“We need to make sure the state budget helps move our state beyond the pandemic and that federal funds are used for transformative policies. But we also must not add new costs that our residents cannot afford over the long term. I fully support funding for core services, such as restoring our bipartisan education funding formula, increasing the personal needs allowance for seniors in nursing homes that Democrats cut and refused to increase for over a decade, and reversing the Governor’s draconian cuts to the Medicare Savings Program. These are promises that were made that must be delivered. But making new promises, without having a sustainable plan to fund them over the long term, is only going to cause further harm to middle class families.”