A deficit mitigation package approved Wednesday by the state House of Representatives eliminates a projected deficit of about $1.2 billion for the fiscal year ending June 30th, avoids tax increases, and preserves special education funding for municipalities, state Representative Selim Noujaim said today. “I originally was prepared to oppose this proposal because, in its original form, it would have reduced special education funding for municipalities across the state by $8 million and authorized $220 million in spending cuts that were not spelled out,” said Representative Noujaim, R-Waterbury, who voted in favor of the package.
“If these proposals had not been removed from the version that came to the floor, I could not have supported it because it would have been harmful to my Waterbury constituents. Fortunately, these objectionable elements were not included in the measure we considered, and I was pleased to vote for it.”
“I was especially concerned about the $8 million reduction in special education aid to municipalities that had been proposed in the earlier version of the bill,” Representative Noujaim said. “It would have penalized Waterbury by an estimated $500,000, money that is needed for our most vulnerable citizens. The $220 million in unspecified cuts that were in the original proposal were defined and identified in the final package and I know they will not hurt Waterbury taxpayers.”
“The deficit mitigation package that eventually passed was a compromise that includes proposals developed by both Democrat and Republican legislators. It was acceptable to legislators on both sides of the aisle and it closes the deficit for the current fiscal year. It is my hope that the bipartisan proposal we approved today will give us the momentum we need to eliminate a projected deficit that could amount to as much as $8 billion over the next two years,” Representative Noujaim said.