Representative Len Greene Jr. (R-105) stood with House and Senate Republicans today as they announced their ‘Common Sense’ legislative agenda for 2011.
The Republican agenda outlined today includes massive state government reorganization and downsizing, freezing state employee salaries and other across-the-board spending cuts to save Connecticut taxpayers billions over the next two years.
“It’s important for Connecticut to know that we understand the difficulty they’re going through and we’re willing to take the lead,” Rep. Greene said. “The proposals outlined today include legislative pay cuts, statewide spending reductions and state employee give-backs designed to spur the state back to fiscal health.”
Republicans also offered other suggestions on how to deal with the state’s fiscal crisis: rolling back spending to previous levels to save as much as $1.6 billion; a 5 percent reduction in the state’s workforce for $250 million in cuts; and state employee givebacks worth nearly $1.75 billion. Republicans said that their proposals preserve municipal aid over the next two years but would still save the state $1 billion. No significant spending cuts have been made over the last two budget cycles, despite the massive drop off in revenue, which has led to the projected $3.5 billion deficit.
“I am committed to doing what’s right for the people of the Valley and the entire state and that means making the difficult decisions to get Connecticut back on a solid financial footing” Rep. Greene said. “Connecticut can not afford to borrow more than it takes in, it’s time to tighten the belt on spending.”
The comprehensive set of proposals include immediate savings for taxpayers, such as the 10 percent pay and perk cuts for lawmakers to realize $3.7 million in savings and elimination of longevity bonuses for state employees to save $30 million annually. The two-year pay freeze for state workers would save $337 million, according to the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis.
Other features of the Republican plan include merging 43 agencies into 11, including combining all Legislative Management agencies into one entity; reducing the number of managers, limiting bonding to 10 percent of state budget, eliminate the 10 percent corporate surcharge and the business entity tax, and providing tax credits to companies that hire off unemployment rolls.