HARTFORD – State Representative Mike Alberts (R-Woodstock) 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 Republican plan is a credible alternative to the controversial plan offered by Democrat Gov. Dannel Malloy, who proposed one of the largest tax increase in state history, as well as roughly $1 billion more in state spending despite Connecticut’s projected $3.5 billion budget deficit.
“Today, I stood with my fellow colleagues to offer a no tax-increase budget to the people of Connecticut. This is really ‘The People’s Budget,’ a real alternative to the Democrats’ big interest laced budget. What you see here isn’t shared sacrifice, but opportunity,” said Alberts.
The Republican’s offered a no-tax increase balanced budget proposal that has been vetted by the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA). Alberts called the plan a fiscally and socially responsible solution to the cultural and economic challenges facing our state.
“One of the common sense highlights in our budget is debt restructuring. Republicans propose paying off our high interest debt first before making payments on lower interest debt. If you have several credit cards or loans, it makes more sense to pay down the high interest debt first. By doing this, we not only save the state money in the here and now, but we are better off in the long run. It’s financially responsible and just common sense,” said Alberts.
The budget alternative significantly reduces the size and cost of government while protecting the social safety net and preserves state aid to municipalities. This is accomplished by focusing on core government functions, eliminating waste and creating efficiencies.
“Once again, the Republican caucus showed it is ready to tackle the serious problems we face as a state and make necessary decisions to get Connecticut on the right track. We are the most indebted state per capita. We have some of the highest taxes in the country. Republicans today said no more. Some of these decisions mean real cuts that affect real institutions, but in hard times and with our unsustainable debt and unfunded liabilities, we must make real decisions without kicking the can to future generations,” said Alberts.
Nicknamed “the state budget for the little guy,” highlights of the Republican Alternative Budget include:
• No new taxes on any business, individual, employer or services or goods.
• The Republican budget cuts spending from Gov. Malloy’s plan by $1.2 billion.
• The budget preserves municipal aid for all towns and cities.
• Enhanced Medicaid fraud detection units will save an estimated $224 million in wrongful payments.
• Republicans plan to save more than $46 million through agency consolidations.
• No hospital tax that would increase health care costs.
• 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.
• The $500 property tax credit that Gov. Malloy wanted to abolish is fully restored.
• 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.
• It restores the sales tax amnesty week that every Connecticut consumer can use to support household budgets and no new clothing taxes like those in the Governor’s proposal.
(View the line-by-line of the budget proposal here.)
Middle class families, employers and businesses will all benefit from the Republican budget which does raise sales taxes, Republicans said. “Anyone who has to get up and drive to work would pay more under the Democratic budget,’’ House Republican Leader Lawrence Cafero (R-Norwalk) said. “The Democratic sales tax hike will be felt most by middle income families and businesses who pay more than 50 percent of all sales taxes in Connecticut.’’
“There is no shared sacrifice here. What you see is responsible governance offered by Republicans. Today we’ve taken hard times and with some hard work, turned it into opportunity,” said Alberts.