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Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Opinion by Rep. Rob Sampson: The New Economic Reality
The "New Economic Reality" is Getting Old Fast
As I write this, I’m still digesting the debate over revisions to the
FY17 Connecticut state budget that were voted on during the May 13th special
legislative session. This was an unusual situation as we typically
vote on our state budget in the first year of every two-year legislative
term. The reason for a budget debate this second year of the biennium
has been the gargantuan and growing projected deficit.
Click above for Rep. Sampson's comments on the House Floor the day of the budget vote.
I’ll start my comments there. Why do we have such a huge deficit -
$960 million was the last number I can recall – nearly a billion
dollars? It’s simply a function of spending beyond our means.
Governor Malloy has increased the state budget dramatically since he
became governor in 2011 and despite giving us two of the largest tax
increases Connecticut has ever had, we are still short on money to pay
the bills. The reason is because the analysis they rely on from
non-partisan offices to predict the revenue side of the budget simply
cannot keep up with the damage to the state’s tax base that has been
done by the economic policies of the governor and his friends who serve
in the majority in the legislature. Businesses are leaving, taking
their money and jobs with them. Fewer and fewer of us left pulling the
cart means budget shortfalls and the situation we have now.
Over the last several months, the governor, the Democrats, and my
Republican colleagues have all met repeatedly, offered our own plans and
tried to find some kind of common ground and a solution to
Connecticut’s perennial budget problems. We can and do work together
to solve so many issues but the state budget is a matter where
fundamental philosophical priorities diverge.