Hartford,CT– Republican lawmakers today proposed alternative budget adjustments for FY13 that fund critical education and pension reforms within existing appropriations while providing immediate tax relief forConnecticut’s citizens. The Republican proposal spends $345 million less than Governor Malloy’s Fiscal Year 2013 proposal and complies with GAAP.
GAAP, which stands for Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, is a transparent system of accounting that encourages accurate accounting and prevents tricks that would otherwise be used to hide budget shortfalls.
“This alternative is based on sound principles and, I think, embodies what many of Connecticut’s citizens believe- we have to spend less and tax less,’’ said State Representative Sean Williams (R- Oakville). “We simply cannot continue to overturn every stone looking for more taxes and more revenue- it’s not creative and it’s not fair to the working families and businesses inConnecticut that are struggling to get by.”
Tax relief proposed in the Republican plan includes the reinstitution of the Sales Tax exemptions for clothing and footwear under $50 and non-prescription drugs as well as the restoration of the Property Tax Credit to $500. In addition to these tax relief measures, Williams says he will continue to oppose proposals like the “download” tax and the “Priceline” tax due to the negative impact they will have onConnecticutbusinesses and consumers.
With respect to public safety, the proposal modifies the controversial risk reduction credit program passed by Democrats last year to not allow time reduction for those individuals convicted of a violent crime or a crime that involved a firearm. The program applies retroactively to 2006 and allowsConnecticutcriminals – even those convicted of manslaughter and rape – to earn time-off of their court ordered prison sentences for “good behavior.”
The Republican budget adjustment also funds the hiring of 168 state troopers which would bring the state police force in compliance with the statutory minimum of 1,248 troopers. While the new hires will cost the state a total of $8.9 million in FY13, it will result in a savings of $4.9 million in FY14 due to the reduction in overtime pay.
Republicans also took aim at fraud which wastes millions inConnecticutevery year. Adding 26 fraud prevention positions in the Department of Social Services and assigning that unit to the Division of Criminal Justice will result in millions of dollars in savings over the coming years. An additional 12 positions would be dedicated to Medicaid fraud detection and 75 percent of the costs would be paid by the federal government.
“I think this alternative does a good job re-focusing state spending on the core functions of government and cuts out some luxuries we simply cannot afford right now,” Williams said. “I don’t expect the majority or the Governor to wipe their proposal out entirely and adopt this one; however, I hope they don’t ignore it completely. They have some good ideas in their budget and I think we do some good things here- I look forward to working with legislators from both parties to come up with a budget adjustment that makes sense for the people ofConnecticutand the future of our state.”