HARTFORD – During debate Friday evening on the floor of the House of Representatives, Representative Doug Dubitsky (R-47) spoke strongly against the irresponsible $19.76 billion budget proposal put forth by legislative Democrats citing his concerns with the lack of structural changes included in the budget.
The House of Representatives was called into a special session to deal with the state’s budget after disagreement between the legislative Democrats and the governor led to a stalemate in negotiations that let up only in the final days of the regular legislative session.
During the budget debate, opponents raised concerns that the new budget relies too much on cuts to vital social services, reductions in municipal aid, and gimmick revenue sources, such as an unexplained projected rise in state revenues from cigarette sales and casinos despite much evidence that these revenues are actually declining over time.
“The people of this state are laughing at us, and for good reason,” said Rep. Dubitsky in an impassioned speech on the House floor. “Why can’t we put a decent budget together on time?
“This is not a way to run a state. Look at the newspapers - there are businesses and people fleeing this state, because they need some stability in their budgeting. They need to know how much they’re going to get, what the taxes are going to be from year to year. Businesses budget out two, three, four, five years, but what we do is we try to stick a piece of chewing gum in a hole at the last minute and hope that the dam doesn’t burst.”
In an attempt to get out of what Rep. Dubitsky referred to a cycle of “gum-in-the-hole” fixes to close budget deficits, Republicans proposed several amendments Friday night that would have implemented long-term, structural changes to the budget including requiring a mandatory legislative vote on all union contracts and implementing a state spending cap.
The budget passed the House in a tight 74-70 vote, with 8 Democrats joining all 62 Republicans present in voting against the measure. The state Senate voted on the budget on Thursday, with a 21-15 vote along partisan lines.
The budget now goes to Governor Malloy for his signature.
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