Trumbull’s state House delegation, consisting of Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) voted against the state budget proposal that passed the House and Senate Monday along mostly party lines. Critics of the budget complained that it raises taxes by $1.75 billion, and raids the transportation fund to pay for ongoing services.
Parking garages, the Internet, dry cleaners, restaurants, plastic bags and scores of other goods and services will all cost Connecticut consumers more beginning July 1 due to sales tax hikes. Thousands of business owners operating as LLCs will pay an estimated $50 million more in income taxes under the Pass Through Entity tax.
Republicans offered a series of amendments that supporters said aimed to reduce government spending, shrink what they called the bloated bureaucracy, privatize certain state agencies, preserve funding for the Special Transportation Fund and keep intact pension exemptions for seniors. Republicans said they also hoped to allocate more money for towns and cities.
“The budget is just another hit to the working families of our state, which for this legislature unfortunately is par for the course,” Rutigliano said. “No new economic direction just the same-old same old.”
McGorty, who represents a small strip of town along Huntington Turnpike, said residents were questioning what the state was doing.
“Instead of passing a lean state budget with bold changes, we get a budget that taxes more and spends more,” he said. “When are we going to stop this reckless way of governing? If we don’t change the tax-and-spend way of operating state government we will never see our state economy improve.”
Devlin said the budget would affect every consumer and taxpayer in the state.
“This budget increases spending, increases taxes and requires more borrowing,” she said. “And to make it even worse, it ignores the will of Connecticut voters who overwhelming voted in favor of a ‘Constitutional Transportation Lockbox’ by diverting money due to be deposited in the Special Transportation Fund.”
The Trumbull delegation supported amendments that relied on spending cuts to the taxpayer-funded Citizen Election Program, furlough days for non-union state employees, cuts to the benefits for state retirees and privatization of some agencies that provide social services. The state GOP also sought to repeal the business entity tax and make the paid family leave plan optional.