State representatives Lawrence G. Miller, R-122nd District, and Jason Perillo, R-113th District, and state Senator Dan Debicella, R-21st District are supporting an alternative state budget that avoids massive tax increases by cutting government spending, merging state agencies, offering an early retirement incentive program for state employees, freezing state employee salaries, and requiring state employee benefit concessions.
The Republican proposal is an alternative to the Democratic budget proposed earlier this month that increases income taxes, sales taxes, corporate taxes, estate taxes, cigarette taxes, and eliminates the middle class property tax credit. The Republicans’ proposal would preserve existing state funding for Shelton, including Education Cost Sharing (ECS) funds.
“The “business as usual” ways of taxing Connecticut into prosperity and throwing state dollars at failed programs must stop now. If the Tea Party taxpayer protests taught us nothing, it told me the taxpayers are fed up with government, and how big and intrusive it has become,” said Representative Miller.
“The proposed 30% tax on small businesses would kill jobs in an economy where businesses are already struggling to meet payroll,” said Representative Perillo. “There is no question that this massive tax increase would cost jobs and cause businesses to leave the state. We think that government can be streamlined and spending cut before turning to the taxpayers for even more of their money. Our alternative accomplishes that.”
“We should not be raising taxes in a recession,” said Senator Debicella, the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee. “Instead, we need to cut the bloat of bureaucracy. Building on the Governor’s budget, we have proposed reinventing state government through shifting social services to community providers, rolling back spending on most state agencies to 2007 levels, and asking for employee concessions.”
“Shelton received a 9% increase in ECS funding in 2007-2009, and it is critical that we preserve those gains,” Senator Debicella added.
Senator Debicella noted that the Democrats’ budget would result in a $500-750 tax increase for every family in Shelton. “Our budget clearly offers a better choice for middle class families hit hard by the current economy.”
The Republican budget proposal contains all the spending reductions included in Governor Rell’s original proposal, but includes additional reductions because the deficit has increased by over $2 billion since she presented her budget in February. Additional areas of savings include:
• Rolling back spending for all non-essential programs to 2007 levels ($500 million in savings)
• Shifting 50% of social services to private providers by 2011 ($150 million in savings)
• Early retirement for state employees ($300 million savings)
• State worker concessions for salary, health care and pension benefits ($650 million in savings)
• Folding 16 agencies into three 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
• Engaging private companies that can perform duties such as state park maintenance