HARTFORD — Rep. John Rigby joined Republican legislators today in unveiling a “budget for the little guy,” a two-year plan that balances Connecticut’s books without increasing taxes on everyday goods and services such as gasoline, back-to-school clothing, non-prescription drugs and haircuts. The plan from Rigby and his colleagues is a credible alternative to the controversial plan offered by Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who proposed the largest tax increase in state history as well as roughly $3 billion more in state spending despite Connecticut’s projected $3.5 billion budget deficit. Like Malloy, Republicans attended town hall forums throughout the state to hear concerns and ideas from taxpayers. Rigby and his House colleagues, however, listened to the common sense feedback they received. “People in my district are maxed out—their household bills are off the charts,” Rigby said. “Meanwhile, the legislature has increased spending repeatedly to a point where it’s unmanageable. We can’t have people ‘sacrifice’ more, as the governor has asked. We need real solutions to today’s stark financial realities.”
The Republican plan does just that by curbing an ever-growing government bureaucracy while reducing state spending in Malloy’s proposal by more than $1 billion—maintaining core government services the process.
The plan from Rigby and Republicans does not force sales and income tax increase on residents as Malloy proposed, and it protects the $500 property tax exemption upon which so many middle class families throughout Connecticut have come to depend. The proposal also preserves municipal aid—the money cities and towns use to buy school books for children and patch potholes on neighborhood roads.
“My constituents—their version of ‘shared sacrifice’ would have government take the brunt of our state’s financial problems,” Rigby said. “We created a blueprint to that end. Taxpayers can either walk our path toward a leaner government that support our local manufacturers, farms and main street shops, or follow our governor who will have his hand out every time you open your wallet to get a haircut at your local barber shop.”
Highlights (view line-by-line here) of the Republican Alternative Budget include:
• No new taxes on any business, individual, employer, or services or goods.
• Republicans plan to save more than $46 million through agency consolidations.
• State government will be streamlined through attrition and reduction in the 54,000- state payroll.
• No money will be borrowed for day-to-day state operations.
• More than $200 million in the state’s highest cost debt will be pre-paid, thus allowing for greater flexibility in budgeting throughout state agencies.