Report by Paula Antolini
May 16, 2017 5:31PM EDT
Bethel Reps. Duff & Harding, House Republicans Unveil Revised No-Tax-Increase Budget Proposal
HARTFORD- State Representatives Will Duff (R-2) and Stephen Harding (R-107) joined their House Republican colleagues on Tuesday to issue a revised no-tax-increase budget for 2018-19 that eliminates the projected $5 billion budget deficit, increases school funding for all towns, reduces the corporate surcharge and mitigates municipal aid losses by reallocating funds.
In the last two weeks, Connecticut has received terrible economic news, both Fitch and Moody’s Bond Rating Agencies have downgraded the state’s credit rating and the state revenues have plunged due to lower than anticipated revenue collections from wealthy state residents.
“The tax hikes of 2011 and 2015 have backfired on the Democrats in Hartford. We can’t continue going back to the same well; that policy has failed. It’s time for a new approach to state budgeting and address our long-term structural problems without raising taxes,” said Rep. Will Duff.
“As I stated in our previous budget release, my Republican colleagues and I believe this revision is a far better approach to addressing our current deficit and projected deficits to come,” Rep. Harding said. “Once again, this proposal has no tax increases while properly funding our local municipalities, my primary concern throughout this budget process. I look forward to advocating for fiscal responsibility and proper funding for our towns.”
In this current proposal, Republicans revert back to the former Education Cost Sharing formula, while also adding $20 million to the distribution. In addition, the proposal establishes a $90 million grant in order to ensure that no municipality loses aid compared to the current fiscal year.
Other structural changes include:
- Implements a strict Constitutional Spending Cap
- Reduces bond issuance cap from $2 billion to $1.3 billion for each fiscal year
- Ensures municipalities are held harmless
- Establishes a wage freeze for state employees, but no layoffs
Republicans now join Democrats and Gov. Malloy at the negotiating table to come up with a final budget plan that can pass both the House and Senate.
For more information on the House Republican budget proposal, please visit www.cthousegop.com/budget.