HARTFORD- Today the three-month 2012 session of the Connecticut General Assembly was kick-started by the Governor’s annual state of the state address. State Representative Tim Ackert (R- Coventry) responded to Governor Malloy’s remarks today, saying he heard little to convince him the state was headed toward firm economic ground.
“The Governor spoke of getting spending under control and implementing wholesale changes but I just haven’t seen it,” Ackert said. “Last year he raised taxes by a record amount and increased spending to historic levels- that’s a change I want no part of.”
Despite Governor Malloy’s historic tax increases the non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis projects a $145 million budget deficit by the end of the fiscal year. This comes on the heels of the announcement that Moody’s Investment Services would be downgrading Connecticut’s bond rating.
“Ask you neighbor, your friend or your co-worker; do they feel better about the economy today? I think not. If we are truly going to enact wholesale change we have to reduce spending to levels we can afford and stop increasing taxes on our working families and businesses- that’s they type of change I want to see,” Ackert remarked.
Malloy spent a good deal of his speech talking about the need for education reform in Connecticut. Malloy discussed increased spending on education and tenure reform as some of the principles behind his reform.
Ackert agreed with many of Malloy’s goals on education but was skeptical about spending an additional $329 million as the Governor proposed.
“Education should be a top priority of the legislature,” Ackert said. “I applaud the Governor for taking on tenure reform and working toward a system that rewards our best teachers. What I question is the suggestion that we need to spend an additional $329 million to achieve these goals. Much of these dollars are targeted for the worst performing schools in Connecticut which already spend the most per pupil. We need to take a closer look at how that money is being spent and focus on spending it more wisely.”
The legislative session ends on May 9th.