Rep. DebraLee Hovey (R-112) called the tax and spending increase approved during today’s Appropriations Committee vote a “sham” and expressed disappointment that the legislature continues to fail to make any spending cuts.
“Are you kidding me?” said Hovey, a member of the Appropriations Committee. “The people of this state have been struggling under 9% unemployment, foreclosures on their homes, and have had to tighten their belts to get by. Today the legislature made a move to increase spending when they should be cutting it, increase taxes when they should be reducing them, and increasing the debt to us and our children when they should be paring it down. It’s completely irresponsible.”
The state budget deficit is currently at $725 million. The Appropriations Committee voted in favor of a budget adjustment adding $700 million in taxes – on top of the $1.5 billion in new taxes enacted only seven months ago.
The budget passed by the Appropriations Committee imposes a new 5.5% tax on hospitals, increases spending by $758 million (4%) over last year’s budget, and fails to take into account any proposals that the Governor or Republicans have offered such as agency consolidation, fraud protections, elimination of waste and duplication of services or any privatization of state services.
“I think that when the private sector has lost nearly 100,000 jobs, and the legislature continues to grow the size of government, that really ought to be of grave concern to residents of this state,” Hovey added.