Report by Paula Antolini
June 8, 2017 8:27PM EDT
Senator Boucher Voices Support for a New Direction for CT and Senate Republican Budget with No New Taxes
State Senator Toni Boucher (R-26) spoke in favor of the latest Senate Republican budget that includes no new taxes and provides funding for critical state services. The budget was proposed as an amendment, but was not called for a final vote.
The fully balanced Republican proposal can be read here.
Sen. Boucher said people she talks to throughout her district are concerned about the state budget and deficit, and long for leadership that will move the state in a new direction. The state’s financial problems are reflected in the fact that Connecticut remains behind other states in job growth.
“All the other states around us have recovered the jobs lost from a recession that ended nearly a decade ago,” she said. “Our unemployment rate is going up while all the other states in New England are going down. People are upset and many are downright frightened.”
Sen. Boucher said the Republican proposed budget reduces state spending.
“Even though there are items I don’t want to see cut, in this alternative budget we fund the things at the top of the priority list,” she said, which includes municipal aid, education and special education funding, and it does not require municipalities to assume any costs associated with teachers’ retirement.
She said the proposed budget makes the Special Transportation Fund solvent and prevents it from entering deficiency.
“This budget funds transportation without tolls and without a mileage-driven tax by prioritizing transportation bonding,” Sen. Boucher said.
Sen. Boucher said she hopes the Republican budget can be used as a starting point for future budget negotiations and to move Connecticut in a new direction.
Other aspects of the Republican budget she would like to retain include
- not allowing municipalities to tax local hospitals and preserving the small hospital pool,
- exempting all Social Security income from the state income tax starting January 1, 2017 for single income filers with an adjusted gross income (AGI) below $75,000 and for joint filers with an AGI below $100,000
- providing funding for Care4Kids
- providing day and employment services for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities
- restoring core social service programs
Because a budget was not approved during the regular session, a special session was approved by the legislature. Sen. Boucher said taxpayers can express their support for the Republican proposal by signing a petition urging state leaders to move the state in a new direction.
Sen. Boucher represents the communities of Bethel, New Canaan, Redding, Ridgefield, Weston, Westport, and Wilton.