HARTFORD — Cash-strapped Connecticut just can’t afford the slate of non-essential projects the Bond Commission approved during its meeting today, Rep. Sean Williams said. With multi-billion-dollar deficits looming, and an incoming gubernatorial administration already mulling tax increases, the commission committed to spending millions of dollars statewide on projects including a farmer’s market, picnic tables, and infrastructure improvements to an out-of-business ski area.
“Saying ‘no’ to good projects, many of which are worthy of money, is one of the toughest things for legislators to do,” said Williams, who represents Watertown and Woodbury. “But given our state’s financial situation, that’s a word we’ll have to get comfortable using during the next couple of years.”
Today’s commission approval allows state Treasurer Denise Nappier to issue bonds, a move that will trigger considerable principal and interest bills when Connecticut can least afford it, Williams said.
Bond funds and tax revenue end up in the same pool of money, and Williams worries the state will again borrow bond dollars to cover everyday expenses—something he believes is a recipe for instability.
Williams during the last two years argued for fiscal restraint, urging his majority party colleagues to reduce state spending and dump budgeting gimmicks used to paper over deficits.