Hartford, CT – State Senator L. Scott Frantz (R-36) State Reps. Livvy Floren (R-149), Lile Gibbons (R-150) and Fred Camillo (R-151) of Greenwich, along with the other Republican legislators today announced support for an alternative budget proposal that contains no tax increases, preserves vital programs and services at 2007 levels and begins the process of trimming wasteful government spending. Today’s plan is an alternative to the one offered by the Majority party earlier this month which included tax increases of about $3.3 billion – the single largest tax increase in state history. Today is not the first time legislative Republicans have offered a responsible budget proposal. House & Senate Republicans proposed a “No Tax Increase” budget two years ago in 2007.
Rep. Livvy Floren said, “In a time when our CT economy is facing the largest state deficit it has ever faced, Connecticut Republicans today called for a brand new approach to state government. It’s time for innovative ways to solve this fiscal problem.”
Some highlights of the proposal put forward by Republican legislators today are:
• Early retirement to save more than $285 million;
• State worker concessions for salary, health care and pension benefits that save $662 million;
• Folding 23 agencies into six and implementing a hiring freeze to reduce overhead costs.
• Overhauling the higher education bureaucracy that duplicates services and drives up tuition for families struggling to pay for college;
• Preserving school and municipal aid;
• Using the Rainy Day Fund for what it was intended – fiscal distress;
• Imposing $900 million in hard cuts;
• Restoring $25 million in municipal aid cut by Democrats and the $500 property tax credit for families earning as little as $46,000;
• Engaging private companies that can perform duties such as state park maintenance
“Given the dim economic outlook for our state, this alternative budget proposal is the only viable solution if we want to preserve what is great about Connecticut going forward,” said Senator L. Scott Frantz, “Importantly, this no-tax increase proposal avoids burdening Connecticut families at a time when they can least afford it and businesses at a time when they desperately need resources to survive and maintain employment. This alternative budget proposal addresses the waste in state government through consolidation and spending cuts while continuing to provide care for our neediest citizens. Additionally, it would make the state of Connecticut the most competitive and fiscally responsible state in the northeast virtually guaranteeing an influx of business, capital and brains into our economy. There is no doubt that we will get through this severe recession but the question we must ask right now is how do we want to be positioned as a state when we do? Your delegation vehemently supports the idea of emerging a winner.”
Rep. Gibbons added, “It is imperative that we reduce the size of our state government. We have too many departments, too many commissions and too many state workers. This budget consolidates many of these functions into smaller entities with no loss of service to the general public. With the cost savings achieved in this reduction, we eliminate the need for the huge tax increases proposed in the Democrat budget.”
“The “business as usual” ways of taxing CT into prosperity and throwing state dollars at failed programs must stop now. If the Tea Party taxpayer protests taught us nothing yesterday, it told me the taxpayers are fed up with government, and how big and intrusive it has become,” concluded Rep. Fred Camillo, a freshman legislator from Cos Cob.