HARTFORD- State Representatives Livvy R. Floren, R-149th District, Lile R. Gibbons, R-150th District, and Fred Camillo, R- 151st District, today expressed mixed reactions to Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed budget.
The governor’s proposal spends $900 million more over the next two years, according to Malloy’s own budget director Ben Barnes. This jump in spending brings with it $1.5 billion in tax increases in the first year, from income taxes to sales and property taxes.
“While I support that the Governor is not borrowing money to cover operating expenses, I wish that there was a better balance between budget cuts and tax increases,” Rep. Floren said. “There is no question that finding the places to make cuts in the state budget is a difficult, but necessary task. Connecticut needs to fully fund pension liabilities, and consolidate commissions and agencies to end duplicated services, save on rented office space and the cost of a current 45,000+ person state workforce.”
“One of the biggest ticket items in the state budget is the cost of health care to current and retired state workers,” Rep. Gibbons said. “In order for the Governor’s budget to work, there must be increases in contributions from current employees and retirees for their health coverage.”
Malloy’s proposals only include a 0.3% reduction in the State workforce, one building closing, and about $10 million savings after consolidations, which hardly put a dent in the current $3.5 billion deficit.
“I’m deeply concerned about the levels of taxing and, yes, even increased spending at a time when we are broke,” Rep. Camillo said. “These changes are not conducive to a more competitive environment for businesses. The new taxes instead put up even more hurdles for our struggling small businesses to overcome. New York and New Jersey are choosing what are, I believe, better paths to economic recovery and sustainability. We in Connecticut must be even more cognizant of that or risk the loss of even more jobs and people.”