Kelly Statement on Appropriations Committee Budget Proposal

April 7, 2022

Kelly: “…a retreat from the historic bipartisan financial protections of 2017”


HARTFORD Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly (R-Stratford) released the following statement regarding the Democrat-controlled Appropriations Committee proposed spending package being voted on today, in conjunction with the revenue package approved by Democrats on the Finance Committee yesterday:


“This is an irresponsible budget and a retreat from the historic bipartisan financial protections of 2017. Everything Gov. Lamont is taking credit for in his campaign ad is being thrown out the window by this budget.


“Instead of fixing massive shortfalls and providing immediate tax relief to Connecticut’s working and middle-class families, this budget digs bigger holes.  It works around safeguards, circumvents the spending cap, and eliminates the revenue cap. This proposal walks away from the very financial protections that are widely celebrated today for turning massive deficits into historic surpluses, setting up CT families for financial disaster post-election. This budget also fails to provide immediate tax relief to low- and middle-income families because Gov. Lamont is unwilling to join other states that are successfully challenging President Biden’s unconstitutional restrictions on a state’s tax cutting ability. Instead of returning funds to our overtaxed residents, this budget overspends and turns a blind eye to sustainable budgeting.


“CT Democrats could be providing more tax relief to working- and middle-class families. But this budget does not make Connecticut more affordable today. This budget increases spending by more than $500 million outright, and more than a billion dollars if you consider what is being moved off budget. It violates the spirit of the spending cap by moving nearly $750 million in federal relief funds outside of the cap. On paper, the budget is less than $5 million below the spending cap, but that doesn’t even reflect the full costs of the new state employee labor agreement. This puts Connecticut on path that will lead us right back to the dire circumstances we faced before the historic bipartisan action of 2017.


“At the same time the budget increases spending elsewhere, Democrats also decided to scale back new investments in state and local police departments intended to reduce violence and auto thefts.


“Finally, the proposed budget does nothing to address a massive job-killing problem on the horizon. Connecticut still needs to pay back the loan it took to pay unemployment benefits to residents during the pandemic. If Connecticut does not repay that loan it jeopardizes our unemployment safety net and places financial burdens on the creation of new jobs. People across Connecticut are working hard to move our state to recovery, we must continue to make good decisions and not create new impediments to jobs.”