Trumbull House legislators propose budget: Fixes deficit, creates stability
Trumbull State Reps. David Rutigliano (R-123), Laura Devlin (R-134) and Ben McGorty (R-122) today applauded the alternative state budget put forth by legislative Republicans for its structural reforms, its emphasis on local education funding, and its lack of any tax or fee hikes.
Rep. David Rutigliano said, “This plan offers a positive path forward for Connecticut, without tax or fee hikes on residents or businesses. It restores funding for local education, emphasizes much-needed mandate relief for cities and towns, and makes long-term structural changes which will stabilize our finances in the future.”
“Our plan protects education and stops the continued taxation of residents and state businesses which led GE to leave Connecticut. This is a blueprint for new policies that will help ensure our state lives within its means moving forward and provides for a sustainable, predictable future,” said Devlin.
“In this package we recognize that budget cuts are simply not enough, and that the structural changes we have long been calling for are critical to turning this state’s economy around, and providing level and fertile ground for our fiscal fortunes to be reversed,” said Rep. McGorty. “Neither the draconian cuts of the governor, nor the inadequate half-measures offered by legislative Democrats up to now will not do. It’s time to take serious action.”
The Office of Fiscal Analysis estimates that if the current budget practices continue, the state will rack up huge deficits over the next 5 years ranging from nearly $1 billion to over $3 billion annually.
This plan includes a line by line budget to mitigate the fiscal year 2017 deficit, as well as long term structural changes. Together, these policy changes roll out into future years to mitigate ballooning deficits on the horizon. Following 2017, this budget proposal is projected to produce annual surpluses, with a cumulative total of over $1 billion.
The proposed Republican budget would restore funding to core social services Democrats have proposed cutting this year, while also making needed cuts and implementing new policies that generate long-term savings. This includes the following:
- Protects funding for social services. In order to preserve the safety net of services for the disabled, those with mental health needs, children, the elderly and those in poverty, this proposal eliminates new proposed budget cuts to direct services.
- Restoration of support for hospitals and Medicaid reimbursements.
- Restores education funding for towns and increases statutory grants to municipalities. Also preserves funding at 100% for car tax capping and implements a robust municipal mandate relief package. Maintains funding throughout the next 5 years.
- Administrative reductions. To enable the state to protect funding for core services, this budget cuts specific, non-service accounts by 12% for a total savings of $157.5 million.
- Legislative givebacks including legislative salary reductions and elimination of unsolicited mail.
- Modifications to debt service and a cap on state bonding.
- Funds transportation development with “Prioritize Progress” - a no tolls/ no tax increases plan.
- Implements long-term structural changes to the state budget including mandatory voting by the legislature on labor contracts, overtime accountability protocols, as well as caps on spending and bonding, and many more, detailed in the attached document.
- Prices out savings from changes to unionized state employee health and pension benefits, to offer an alternative to layoffs should unions come to the negotiation table.
For more details about the Republican Pathway to Sustainability Plan, visit www.cthousegop.com/goppath .