Deputy House Republican Leader Vincent J. Candelora (R-86) expressed bitter disappointment today as Democratic lawmakers resorted to budgetary gimmicks late last night to balance the state budget by raiding transportation funds, borrowing for operating expenses and cutting programs and services, six months after they rammed through the largest tax increase in state history.
“We were told firmly that we would finish the year in the black, and we would not borrow to keep operational costs of government going,” said Rep. Candelora. “Now with a giant deficit we are going into dedicated funds to do just that- borrow to pay down the deficit they said we wouldn’t have. The budget is filled with one-shot gimmicks, and conspicuously absent is the use of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) that they also promised we would have to maintain transparency in budgeting.”
Candelora said that the Democratic budget does not account for newly revised revenue estimates which show the state budget deficit is now at $285 million, thereby building into future budgets even greater deficits. He noted that het revenue projections are now at least $300 million less than when the budget was adopted.
Payments will be reduced to the Teachers’ Retirement Health Care fund by paying for it out of the Teachers’ Retirement Fund. This will increase the unfunded liability within the teachers’ pension funds.
Additionally, the budget would swipe $70 million from the Special Transportation Fund by taking $30 million from Town Road Aid, delaying bond sales and reducing the STF balance.