House and Senate Republicans presented a united front today (April 27th) when unveiling a proposed state budget that boosts education spending, protects core services, and closes projected deficits without pushing the burden on hospitals and municipalities. The proposal is a balanced budget that does not raise taxes and adheres to the state spending cap.
Representatives Devin Carney (R-23), Jesse MacLachlan (R-35), Robert Siegrist (R-36) and Senator Art Linares (R-33) said the proposed budget provides a blueprint for restoring confidence in Connecticut by creating predictability and showing that legislators are ready to produce spending plans that live within the state’s means.
Sen. Linares, who serves as Co-Chair of the Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee, said his constituents have told him that Connecticut needs smaller, more responsible government and that senior citizens have complained that taxes keep rising while they live on a fixed income. Many seniors say they can no longer afford to line in Connecticut.
“I am proud to say that this budget provides relief for middle class seniors by eliminating the income tax on Social Security income below $75,000 and phasing out the tax on pension and annuity income for most residents,” Sen. Linares said. “We also propose mandate relief to help towns manage their budgets and identify savings.
“By creating a balanced budget that reduces spending and does not raise taxes, we are putting Connecticut on a path of fiscal responsibility that will bring back business and jobs,” he said.
Rep. Carney said the proposed budget provides vision for dealing with the state’s present problems, as well as how to navigate for future prosperity.
“Connecticut is in a dire fiscal crisis,” noted Carney the ranking member of the Transportation Committee. “Year-over-year of reckless spending has left the taxpayers of this state burdened and struggling to maintain their livelihood. Spending without restraint and an anti-business climate has made it nearly impossible for Connecticut residents and businesses to survive – let alone thrive. I stand with my Republican colleagues in the General Assembly as I believe that we have drafted a plan that seeks to enact the long-term changes we need to move Connecticut forward in a more prosperous direction.”
Rep Siegrist said the proposed Republican budget shows that House and Senate Republicans have learned from the mistakes of past budgets.
“Uncontrollable spending habits followed by two of the highest tax increases our state has ever seen and anti-business policies have left us further in the hole. Our jobs and economy have remained stagnant,” said Rep. Siegrist a member of the Insurance, Public Safety, and Veterans’ Affairs Committees. “We need to change course. I stand by my colleagues in the House and Senate in support of leading our state in a path toward fiscal health.”
Rep. MacLachlan said the budget shows that Republican legislators are ready to responsibly deal with the state’s problems.
“During this volatile fiscal climate, it is imperative that the legislature adopt a budget that will restore confidence in Connecticut’s economy,” said Rep. MacLachlan a member of the Transportation, Banking and Executive Nominations Committees. “We are showing, yet again, a pathway forward without the need for taxes or tolls. My House and Senate Republican colleagues are ready to lead and ready to solve our state’s fiscal crisis.”
Other Budget Highlights include:
- Consolidations of state agencies
- Restores funding for senior Meals-On-Wheels programs
- Eliminates taxpayer funded campaigns
- Restores funding for Care4Kids
- Mandatory Approval of labor contracts by the General Assembly
- Requires $700 million in union concessions
- Cancels bonding $250 million for the XL Center
- Enact a constitutional Transportation Lockbox
- Phases out the income tax on pensions and annuity income
- Exempts social security from income tax for middle income seniors