“Why are we tying our own hands for a decade?”Sen. Tony Hwang (R-28th) on July 31 expressed his disappointment in the State Senate’s narrow 19-18 passage of a state union concessions deal which bounds state government’s hands for a decade.“This deal will result in more and more job-killing tax hikes,” Sen. Hwang said. “This deal will result in slashed municipal aid and force property tax hikes. And this deal will hurt the very people we should be protecting: our vulnerable and disabled state residents who will see their services decimated and eliminated.” Sen. Hwang noted that by tying its hands for ten years and making a substantial amount of the state budget untouchable, the union deal will ratchet up the pressure for:Tax hikes
- Tax hikes
- Property tax hikes
- More devastating cuts to town and local education aid
- More draconian cuts to vital services for disabled individuals
- the homeless
- domestic violence victims
- our neediest and most vulnerable residents.
Hwang. “Connecticut’s finances are in crisis due to past decisions by both Democratic and Republican leaders that have kicked the fiscal can down the road. Senate Republicans and I have attempted to push the state in a new and more sustainable direction. I am disappointed that this Democratic party line vote represents more of the same Hartford inertia. It represents the same old comfortable self-assuring bad habits which got us in trouble in the first place.”
Sen. Hwang cited the deal’s four year no-layoff guarantee combined with substantial raises and bonuses. He cited how health care insurance deductibles are zero for those who participate in a State of Connecticut wellness program.
“Those are only a few of the benefits in the union concession agreement details,” Sen. Hwang said. “We can do better for the people of Connecticut.”
“Who gets such a deal in the private sector?” Sen. Hwang asked. “Regular Joes and Jills on the Main Street look at this deal which is being afforded state employees and they get bewildered and upset. There is an obvious disconnect between what is happening in Hartford and what people are feeling in my communities. People are hurting. Many have lost belief in their government leaders.”
“This is a missed opportunity to send a visionary and compelling message that Connecticut is ready to move forward.” Sen. Hwang said. “Why are we restricting our own negotiation leverage by approving this legally-binding agreement for nearly a decade? Connecticut is now in crisis mode. We need to get back to budget negotiation and restructure and reform state government. This deal doesn’t go far enough in terms of savings.”
“We need a better roadmap, not the same thing all over again,” Sen. Hwang concluded. “That said, I will never stop fighting to advocate policies which stabilize Connecticut, which bring about predictability, and which encourage innovation, ingenuity and pride in Connecticut.”
*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport . On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com. He can be reached at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and at 800-842-1421.